Just like that, the ultimate geek year starts to fall apart. At first, 2015 was looking like it was going to be a big year for geeks because Star Wars Episode VII, Justice League, and The Avengers 2 were all going to be released the same year. However, it was reported yesterday that J.J. Abrams might be unable to commit to the 2015 release for Star Wars, which would be fine actually; getting the story right should be Abrams’ highest priority.
But it’s a much different story for Justice League‘s future. We may know who the heroes are, but the film only has Will Beal (Gangster Squad) on the creative team. There is no cast or director on board this film of ensemble superheroes. And now we may know why Beale is the only person working on Justice League.
According to Variety, the future of Justice League hinges on the success of Zack Snyder‘s Man of Steel.
Variety stops short of actually confirming the aforementioned heroes will be seen in the film, but their report included the fact that Justice League will be greenlit only if Man of Steel is a huge success at the box office. Here’s the exact quote from Warner Bros. President Jeff Robinov:
Stakes are high for “Man of Steel.” Other than Nolan’s Batpics, Warners has not been able to effectively exploit the DC library. Its 2011 “Green Lantern” underperformed, and a “Justice League” film wouldn’t likely be in theaters before 2015, as Warner’s top brass has indicated that they are awaiting the results of “Man of Steel,” which opens June 14, before moving further ahead.
That’s a lot of pressure for one film. But it also makes me think that Man of Steel may be connected to Justice League. I’ve said many times before, having two separate Supermans existing in the DC Cinematic Universe wouldn’t make much sense, in fact it may cause some confusion. But having Justice League‘s future lie in the hands of Man of Steel‘s success makes a little bit more sense. It’s very similar to Marvel’s platform and how they approached the road to The Avengers. One very ambitious film hinges on the success of one film alone.
Warner Brothers already has Beale on board as a writer, but the big question is, would they really stop midway through the process, go two steps backwards, and stay in Marvel’s shadow just because Man of Steel wasn’t a success?
It didn’t live up to my hopes but I also didn’t think Green Lantern was as terrible as everyone makes it out to be. So what if it underperformed. Green Lantern was not going to be an easy movie to translate and taking GL to OA in the first go around was a monumental task. For example, how do they make OA unique and appealing when only a few humans have ever even left the Earth’s atmosphere? How do you introduce the GL Corps and make them relatable when Hal Jordan is the only one not an alien (to us)? I don’t know about advertising expenses but I recall Green Lantern at least making back it’s budget when worldwide revenues were tallied. That’s not an abysmal failure by any means, not with a $200M budget. Even Superman Returns, while flawed, wasn’t that much of a failure (it made it’s money back and then some). I think Warner Brothers ought to move forward with a Green Lantern sequel and bring it home (to Earth). Maybe “mature” Hal Jordan a little bit and follow up with the corruption of Sinestro. Then bring on a movie with the Flash because that’s the one I really want to see (and he’s more of an “everyman” anyway). Take some chance on building support for the characters and then pitch Justice League at us. Teasing fans with hopes of seeing Justice League on the big screen after the massive success that the Avengers had and then tying any production on the movie to Man of Steel though? That’s a cop out and that’s what makes being a DC fan frustrating. If Warner Brothers doesn’t have faith in it’s properties, why should we?
Comment by PAUL — January 29, 2013 @ 2:39 pm