Shelving JUSTICE LEAGUE = The Right Move,
For Right Now
Thursday, December 17, 2007
So Warner Bros. has made a decision on JUSTICE LEAGUE and the verdict was to put it on, ahem, “indefinite hold.”
And we all know that in most cases, “Indefinite hold” = “Dead as a doornail.”
Look, I feel bad for everyone that was involved with this project, cast and crew -- especially for that Megan Gale. I certainly would never advocate or be happy about someone losing their job. I also know that there are some disappointed fans out there -- although they seem to be a small minority -- who truly wanted to see DC’s super team on the big screen. I too have been similarly disappointed and can sympathize.
Nonetheless, this is a good thing because from where I stand, JUSTICE LEAGUE was headed for disaster from day one.
A lukewarm (at best) reception from fans combined with rumors of a script in dire need of a polish and skyrocketing budget, seems to have combined to do JL in.
And I didn’t even mention the cast of young unknowns that apparently no one could get excited about.
Except for that Megan Gale. Anyway…
I truly feared that if this thing came to fruition and stunk up the joint, the negative fallout would have hurt any and all future DC Comics-based superhero films.
Despite the fact that I’ve been incredibly “Anti-JL“ ever since this film was announced, that doesn’t mean that I don’t want to see these characters up on the big screen. I do, just not together and especially right now.
That’s the biggest issue I had with a JUSTICE LEAGUE film, the timing. There’s not a soul out there that can convince me that the timing for this movie wasn’t flat out terrible. One can give me the “But these are different versions of Batman, Superman, Green Lantern, Flash, etc., etc.” ‘til the cows come home and that line of reasoning still is nothing more than a big load of crap.
Having more than one live action version of any of these characters on the silver screen at virtually the same time is flat-out foolish. It reeks of a cash-grab at the sake of future solo films -- in particular the BATMAN series.
Speaking of that film franchise, it was just resurrected -- literally pulled out irrelevant hell -- three years ago with BATMAN BEGINS and THE DARK KNIGHT looks like it’s going to be one of the top films of 2008.
Why on earth would you want to possibly jack with a third Bat-flick helmed by Chris Nolan and starring Christian Bale for JUSTICE LEAGUE featuring a 21 year old Batman? Look, I've got nothing personal against Armie Hammer who was cast as Batman. Perhaps he's a really fine actor and this was his big break. But again, it's a timing issue -- there's no need to have two actors playing Batman at the same time. (And frankly, he's too young to play a Batman who would even be in the Justice League.)
Don’t you figure it might lead to some confusion on the part of moviegoers? Did anyone take into account Batman on film overkill? On top of all of that, wouldn’t you think that just about everyone involved with the solo BATMAN film series would be utterly livid at such a project?
I certainly can’t speak for Mr. Nolan, Mr. Bale, and all the others involved, but I certainly would be pissed if it were me.
Especially if this JUSTICE LEAGUE was trying to gravy train off the success of BATMAN BEGINS by “allegedly” tying plot elements of that film to JL! Oh yeah forgot, the JL Batman has nothing to do with *wink* the BEGINS/TDK Batman, so no worries, right?
If I were consulted by the fine folks in Burbank -- and I’m available ;) -- here’s what I’d consider doing:
* Put JUSTICE LEAGUE on “indefinite hold.” Nevermind, they’ve already done that.
* Make THE MAN OF STEEL -- I don’t care if it’s with or without Bryan Singer. Just make sure it’s a big ‘ol, epic, kick-ass action film. And for the love of pete, keep Brandon Routh as The S-Man -- he was the best thing about SUPERMAN RETURNS!
* Kick up the development of that GREEN LANTERN project that was announced recently. I’m telling you right now, a GL film would make for one hell of a scifi/action/superhero flick! If stinkin’ Marvel can put out IRON MAN as a summer release, DC/WB can do the same with GREEN LANTERN.
* You want a lighter superhero film that has a little (non-campy) humor perhaps? The THE FLASH fits that bill.
* Take another hard look at that World War II era WONDER WOMAN script (WW SCRIPT REVIEW). Yes, yes, I know that super hero films with female leads can be a hard sell, but this one to me had the perfect mix. It had sort of a “Wonder Woman meets Indiana Jones” vibe to it. Also Megan Gale -- I thought that she should be mentioned.
* Consider making JUSTICE LEAGUE using MoCap, CGI, and all that newfangled, 21st century moviemaking stuff. And model the characters on Alex Ross’ JLA designs. Now THAT would get me fired up!
* You want a superhero team film that can attract the same sort of demographics as FANTASTIC 4? Voila, TEEN TITANS! Just don’t make it as damn cheesy.
Again, I do feel for the people on the cast and who no longer have a job -- although all will find another rather quickly I assume. I feel bad for the JLA fans who sincerely wanted this movie. But I’m not going to hide the fact that I wholeheartedly believe that Warner Bros. made the right decision here.
The last thing that the fans -- or the entire superhero movie genre for that matter -- needs is another dadgum BATMAN AND ROBIN or CATWOMAN to screw it all up.
And you never know, perhaps one day soon they’ll get the right script and the right cast (which needs to include Megan Gale) at the right time, and we’ll get to see a good JUSTICE LEAGUE movie.
Hmm, I wonder if George Clooney would be interested in playing an older, grizzled veteren Batman in…
You can reach him at BOF_MAILBAG@MSN.COM.