On The Edge Films

Cinematic Thoughts for Cinematic Minds

Look Ahead: The Justice League

With the news coming to us this week that the planned Justice League movie will revolve around 5 central super heroes we thought it time we took a look at just how difficult this movie is going to be…

How do you solve the problem of The Justice League?

What Marvel did so well with The Avengers was to slowly over a period of years re-boot every hero they wished to be included in their assembled film. They did this with ‘Iron Man‘, ‘Iron Man 2’, ‘The Incredible Hulk‘, ‘Captain America‘ and ‘Thor’. They operated as stand alone films yet viewers were constantly made aware that the events of these films played out on a bigger canvas… one which would lead to ‘Avengers Assemble‘ which has become one of the greatest super hero films of the modern age. And so with that being a success DC Comics decided they wanted a slice of the pie. But there is one problem… time

We are now just gracing the first few months of 2013 and The JL movie is only two years away. Marvel took its time over four years to bring us 4 fully formed heroes. DC have half the time and one extra hero to play with. It has been stated that they may prefer to reboot all 5 before and after the JL movie but in reality there isn’t time for that. The first thing they need to do is this if they haven’t already…

… call Christopher Nolan because he has the perfect gateway to the success of The Justice League. To make this film work DC need a different approach, they have less time and the style of their most recent films doesn’t compare to the fun natured tone of Marvel. DC has always been a bit darker and they need to play on that, they need to play on what Nolan did with Batman and is going to do with Superman. With that in mind let’s look at the 5 heroes that will form the Justice League.

Batman

The famed director stated that he would not be returning for a fourth Batman film and Christian Bale would not be returning to the cowl. But we must remember in Nolan’s universe Bruce Wayne is still alive and has left Gotham in the capable hands of Robin Blake (Joseph Gordon- Levitt). If the Dark Knight was needed to join up with a group of heroes then I’m sure Bale could be tempted to throw in with the big boys. There is no difficulty here, Batman isn’t dead merely on hiatus and after all of the great work Nolan did across 3 films it would be relatively easy to pull his Batman into a wider world where things are a bit more fantastical without seeming too ridiculous. All of this however relies upon the success of Nolan’s next re-boot

Superman

Is back in the form of Nolan and Zack Snyder‘s ‘Man of Steel’ set for release this year and which from the trailer looks similar to the recent Batman trilogy. Gritty and dark are not things usually referred to in context with Superman but it looks like it really could work. The film will also see Henry Cavill’s Clark Kent face off against the evil General Zod bringing the DC universe into the realms of outer space and sci-fi not touched upon in Batman. And as we know kicking around in outer space can often wake nasty evil bad guys up… so a potential enemy for The Justice League could be contrived from this. However, if this film flops there really won’t be any way in which DC can sync up their films with others and they will have to go for a straight re-introduction of all their characters in one go in one film… there isn’t any need for this though. A youtube source claims that ‘Man of Steel’ will be the launch pad the JL movie and that there is a possibility that Joseph Gordon- Levitt may be seen as Batman in an after credits scene.

Green Lantern

Yes the first installment of ‘Green Lantern’ in 2011 was a commercial flop but if you can look past the overwhelming wave of criticism surrounding it there is a good film in there. It does what other super hero films don’t do and establishes the world it’s in excellently and also sets up Green Lantern’s arch- nemesis in Sinestro for the next chapter. Also the ‘outer space’ link to Superman is there and the Green Lantern universe is full of all kinds of evil that could threaten earth. Each colour in the Lantern Corps emotional spectrum offers up a new villain, villains such as: The Butcher and Ophidian and their associated Red and Orange Lantern Corps which could offer up good contest for The Justice League. With this hero there really is no need to re-boot the franchise entirely, if he suffered a poor outing last time round all it would take is a good sequel with a better story and villain to bring Green Lantern up to speed and in line with Superman and Batman to form a solid trio with the power of 6 films behind them. The sequel has been announced and it’s coming our way next year probably.

The Flash

Has also been officially announced as well but without a year of release to it so far. With the two years they have left DC will probably opt like Marvel to put two films out per year bar 2013. So we may see Flash next year or early in 2015 before The Justice League movie opens in June. The planned film even has a director in the form of Greg Berlanti who produced Green Lantern and is set to produce the sequel. It’s nice to see DC is keeping a bit of synergy with its films with Nolan doubling up as director/ producer and so too is Berlanti. The Flash is a conundrum as he is a different kind of hero than any other, a man that can run faster than the speed of light. But in recent years this ability with speed has produced some interesting story lines, in one he runs so fast that he gets lost in time, in another he runs so fast that he stumbles into a parallel universe and has to fight his doppelganger and in a third one he uses his powers along with science, his speed meaning that he can set fire to objects and break things apart through kinetic energy. There is a lot of material to work with and if Marvel managed to bring Captain America from WWII to the present day surely DC can think of a way to get The Flash making sense next to some of the other heroes they have to play with.

Wonderwoman

Similarly to The Flash, its been officially announced but is yet to get a director. And will also be released within the same time frame (2014/2015) as The Flash. This remains the most mysterious one as of yet as nobody has been officially linked with it. However, Nicolas Winding Refn was linked with the film last year and said that he has “an idea” involving Christina Hendricks which would make for interesting viewing considering the director’s previous work with ‘Drive’ and ‘Bronson’. If this goes ahead expect a very violent super hero film that will probably make Kick- Ass look like a Disney film.

If DC however opt to not try and convince Nolan, Snyder and David S. Goyer that their Batman and Superman projects are needed for The Justice League then the film will probably even fail to get made. All it would need though is 3 solid films (we’re taking it as a given that ‘Man of Steel’ will be good), so that’s ‘The Flash’, ‘Green Lantern 2’ and ‘Wonderwoman’ and a bit of tying up in-between would stand the comic book company in good stead for their planned team up. Even if Christian Bale refuses the Batman role it seems that Joseph Gordon- Levitt would be more than willing to step in but we’d like to see a bit of consistency. All the signs now point that this film is upon us and it will be an interesting two year wait to see what DC Comics will do to try and deliver Marvel the appealing opponent for ‘Avengers 2’ that we all know they can…

-Josh Senior

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2 comments on “Look Ahead: The Justice League

  1. Adam Hayter
    January 26, 2013

    I only have a basic background in actual comics, but I think a Justice League franchise is going to.. struggle. Unless they have some seriously genius talent on the job.

    Batman and Superman generally stand alone, and as you say Green Lantern shows promise. Trying to build those in with Flash and Wonderwoman into an overall franchise will be very tricky, especially as they don’t (currently) have the pop-culture resurgence that Thor, Cap America et. al. gained from the films before Avengers Assemble, and I’m not sure if Flash, Wonderwoman and Green Lantern have the “oooo shiny” factor that Iron Man and Thor had to attract the masses.

    • ontheedgefilms
      January 26, 2013

      I think ten years ago though many people would have said you can’t do Avengers. A billionaire playboy, a Norse god, a revived American soldier and a green rage type monster don’t fit.

      There is a huge wealth of Superman and Batman team ups in the comics and if Green Lantern can sync well with The Flash they’d be onto a winner.

      Have you seen any Nicolas Winding Refn films? I suggest Drive as a first watch if not as he’d be a great pick for Wonderwoman… he could make her a very appealing addition to the JL franchise.

      Thanks for the comment Adam, much appreciated! 😀

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