‘Kick-Ass’ Creator Mark Millar Describes ‘Justice League’ Script

Published 2 years ago by , Updated July 19th, 2013 at 1:17 pm,

DC Comics and Warner Bros. are following in the footsteps of Marvel Studios’ The Avengers by resurrecting their defunct Justice League movie. The recent announcement that writer Will Beall has been working on the Justice League script for some time was exciting enough for comic fans; today, we actually have first word on what Beall’s script is like.

Of course, you may want to take or leave the forthcoming impression of Beall’s work, given the source.

Comic book scribe Mark Millar (WantedKick-Ass) is talking up Beall’s Justice League script, which he apparently knows about through a guy who knows the guy (hence the ‘take it or leave it warning). This is what Millar posted on his own forum:

A pal of mine is good friends with the new Justice League screenwriter and said his take on the team is incredible. Very real-world and not at all what you might expect. WB has a chequered history with their superhero characters. They’re great with their boy wizards, but less consistent with their DC stable. But my chum said that this could be a thing of beauty and has been in the works for a little while now, not just an Avengers knock-off. Best of luck to them. The tidbits I heard sound quite dark and mature, which isn’t what I expected. But word on Gangster Squad is great too, so I feel this is in really good hands.

If you’ve been reading any of our coverage of Kick-Ass 2 (the upcoming sequel to Millar’s hit comic-turned-film), then you already know how we feel about the guy. SPOILER ALERT: He tends to talk a lot of things up – only some of those things turn out to be accurate. Hearing about something ‘from somebody who knows somebody’ is already pushing us into ‘Whisper Down the Lane’ territory; but, from a geek perspective, there’s good incentive to believe in Millar’s assessment.

Justice League Movie Casting Announcement Kick Ass Creator Mark Millar Describes Justice League Script

While The Avengers has been overwhelmingly well-received by geeks and non-geeks alike, I think that true comic book aficionados would expect something different from Justice League. Somehow, I just don’t see Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman sitting around joking like Tony Stark, Captain America and Thor. That’s all to say: The tone of a Justice League movie should probably be different and (gasp!) more serious. After all, the League members are basically like the Gods of Olympus, with a cynical human (Batman) constantly worrying about their combined power. Way different than a bunch of sci-fi-themed misfits trying to function together.

What kind of tone and style do you think a Justice League movie should have? Light and fun like Avengers; dark and realistic like the Nolan Batman films? Or something else entirely?

Source:  Millar World (via CBM)

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  1. I think it would be cool to do a Justice League movie set back in the 30s or 40s.

    • The JLA was formed in 1960, so I wouldn’t do it earlier than that.

  2. So I suppose DC is doing the opposite of Marvel’s take on a team-up film. They’ll hit us with the team film first and then make solo films afterward. I don’t think it will be as successful this way. You shouldn’t hit us with everything right at the start. Give us a little bit at a time and that will build the hype for the Justice League movie.

    At this point I think Warner Bros. is just rushing the film. “OMG, Avengers made over a billion dallahs! Quick, Justice League movie now, now NOW!”

    • Totally agree.

    • That’s exactly what they should do. They need to make a 2-part JLA movie that get all the characters together, then fight the big bad. Then decide from the result which characters get solo films.

      Also, recast Batman with the guy WB wants to be the new Batman. It’d allow for them to recast again for thenext Batman solo films of it doesn’t work out.

    • yeah starting with “MAN OF STEEL” they should make an after credit surprise, this can build up the JUSTICE LEAGUE hopefully …its time !

    • Marvel’s way is not the only way geez. They could take a LOTR approach but with the news of WW hitting the same time too I guessing she and Flash could be out the gate followed by the JL movie.

  3. I’ll take a ton of salt with anything Millar says. He heard from an unnamed friend that the script was good, and what, this script was just sitting around while Disney/Marvel were knocking it out of the park, or is this simply a knee jerk reaction from WB/DC and it was written in a short space of time?

    • The report claims it was in the works while The Avengers was filming. Still I don’t see it happening until the next 3 years at least with WW back on track and Flash possibly up next.

  4. “like the Gods of Olympus, with a cynical human (Batman) constantly worrying about their combined power.”- Exactly, they must have realized this and embraced it. MOS should def start off that god among men vibe.

    • That was one of the earliest points about man of steel. Is that it’s about this guy in our world that basically everything is like paper to him. Like he can do anything and what the world is like cause he can do anything. I think giving zac snider a new 52 cinematic universe would be awesome but they definitely need other directors for other movies. But I have high hopes for man of steel I think snider is perfect for superman he is just an over the too director and superman is out in space ya know anything you can think of. But gods of olympus sounds good. Especially if they can get the characters to carry justice league. Each has their own part to play. Action is to supplement the movie

  5. “Very real-world”
    LMFAO.
    Look at DC’s heros. NOTHING, with the exception of Batman can be remotely described as “Real-world”
    Millar’s public persona is that of a birthday clown seeking attention.

    • THe only person greater at this is Todd McFarlane.

    • Idk probably meant the tone of it? Or in a real world context if that makes any sense.

    • Real world I think means or should mean like it is with marvel these over the too characters in world that looks like ours and acts like ours to these god like people.

  6. The Justice League, though a great idea will never get off the ground. The entire premise behind iron man was to build an Avengers franchise. DC would have to do this, and with that they are going to have to recast batman bc Christian Bale is done after TDKR. Also making it gritty like the BB or the TDK wont work also, because their needs to be mysticism and super powers involved. Batman is the greatest super hero bc he is just a man. To combine that with mysticism and super powers would take away from it, and in all honesty bomb the franchise.

    • “To combine that with mysticism and super powers would take away from it, and in all honesty bomb the franchise.”

      Do you even read DC Comics or watch any of the DC Universe Animated Original Movies? For you to say and thing that it wouldn’t work is completely absurd.

      • Not exactly that absurd…other then batman what DC movies in the last 20 years have been a success?

    • I’m going to be honest, saying Batman is “just a man” is pretty ignorant. Even though you are technically right, he’s really just as ridiculous as Superman. He’s mastered every form of martial arts, trained his mind to peak mental perfection, has all of these absurd gadgets stored in a small utility-belt, and, most ridiculously, has a successful plan for, like, every situation you could think of. All within the span of a few years. I don’t see why people call him more relatable or a lot more grounded. He’s a little more grounded and relateable but not by nearly as much as people claim.

  7. well i don’t think it has to necessarily be “dark” but i imagine it being a bit more serious. not sure how “realistic” you can make it (aliens, super powered humans etc). but i think the movie would certainly benefit from a more grounded approach.

    • Im thinking real world in terms of plot or something, maybe the feel of it? Color me intrigued on this one.

  8. I think Justice League should be like Nolan’s Batman, not light & fun like Avengers!!!

  9. Dark and realistic like the Nolan films would be
    the only style where Nolan’s Batman could appear.
    Now if only Nolan was tapped to direct and Bale return.

  10. Well guys I kind of see here that the battle Marvel vs. DC is a little like the American cinema (type Michail Bay; lots pf special efects, little jokes, and a lot of action) vs. the English cinema (deep, tought-provoking, dark). I want to see Zack Snyder (“The Man of Steel”) first, bit I feel like the DC movies could be even better than the Marvel ones, if they remain stricly dark, deep, without any stupid jokes. Guy Ritchie’s possible involvment with a comic book DC hero would be a total hit I think.

    • I would be satisfied with a mature film with a mix of mystery,humor,philosophy,suspense like Nolan’s Batman or Watchmen.

      I’m just curious as to what their plans are for Superman and The g****** Batman. As far as doing reboots and what not.

    • Ritchie for WW? Of perhaps Flash.

  11. Screenrant,

    I just wanted to say you guys are fantastic for all the Alex Ross you’ve been sporting here lately. The man is one of the BEST ever to grace the world of comics.

    • Favorite artist ever. How he portrays the league in his drawings, even his Marvel adaptations. Stellar. Kingdom Come was epic. JUSTICE, great artwork.

  12. I believe it should be its own thing. A bit darker then avengers but certainly not darker than batman. We need to relate to the heroes. I personally think a justice league movie shouldn’t be rushed. They should start building it up like avengers did through its movies.

    • Agree !

  13. Dark and serious, definitely. Real-world, I don’t think so. They should approach it as the mythical team they are. Key word, mythical. Gods among men–like how Alex Ross (artwork above) portrays the heroes in his work. Serious, but majestic.

  14. BATMAN is the only character that can be realistic & dark (THE DARK KNIGHT), doesn’t mean every DC character has to be realistic & dark.

  15. as i said before, there is no shield to assemble these heroes throught 6 movies it must be like new frontier that was awsome…and do you realy want to wait another 5 years to see the jl movie?

  16. At this point, IMO, the only reason a Justice League movie should be made is so that we can get a little closer to that geekgasm dream of a Marvel vs. DC movie.

    It would involve cooperation between studios though, so that isn’t likely at all – even though Marvel and DC themselves managed to work together to create the Marvel vs. DC comics.

    • A Marvel and DC movie is more likely than an Avengers/(Fox)X-Men movie or having Spider-man show upon while still with Sony. IMO. Marvel would rather sit back and let them stumble on their own, instead of helping them too much.

      But I don’t know if Marvel and DC would mesh stylistically. At least it sounds like they taking it somewhere different.

  17. realistic could mean in the way people react to such god like beings, the responsibility of dealing with the worlds problems, the politics of different heroes having ties to different countries and agendas and ideals. i really like the whole gods of mount olympus and the paranoid batman approach. if they go for a serious tone different to how avengers played out then that could work in their favour. show the league dealing with evacuating people from disaster zones like in the justice league animated series, was things like that really made me believe in the world they created. that they didn’t just fight villains but helped with real world problems that could use the help of super powered beings

    • I really like that idea. Don’t have them fighting a villain, but dealing with real-world problems. It would definitely be different than your classic good vs. evil predictable superhero movie storyline.

  18. “Mature” that’s how WB make most of their superhero movies imo…that’s what I like about their movies, tho I’m in the minority.

  19. Naturally, we’re hearing a lot of news about a Justice League film now because of the recent release of The Avengers, and the huge impact it’s had.

    However, the fact of the matter is that DC/WB had every intention of producing a JL movie in 2007. Everything was set: George Miller was set to direct, actors were cast for The Flash, Batman (not Bale) and Wonder Woman.

    But things fell through because of financial confusions in Australia, and then the writer’s strike back at that time. If it were not for those problems, we would have had our DC-JL movie before an Avengers flick.

    All this talk about a JL movie is not DC scrambling to compete with Marvel. With the exception of Green Lantern, DC and WB have been doing great with Nolan’s Batman trilogy. One year from now they will have another strong franchise with MAN OF STEEL.

    Maybe WB will develop a JL strategy beginning with MOS and offering Henry Cavill a multipicture deal ($$$) he can’t refuse.

    Since Nolan and Bale end their Batman story this year, perhaps a new Batman that can share his world with Supes, Wonder Woman, etc, can reboot IN a JL flick.

    Even though Nolan and his wife are still executive producers for MOS, I think he’s ready to move on to other things (Bond, his own projects). If their is one guy who can overlook the entire DC/WB film universe it is David Goyer. ( also maybe Jonathan Nolan ).

    The Green Lantern movie was awful but there’s no reason not to have HIM in a JL movie w/out having to shoot another solo movie. Ryan Reynolds is keen on keeping the character close to his chest.

    Wonder Woman is FINALLY getting her movie. Things are looking good for DC.

    • Woulda, coulda, shoulda. Hindsight is 20/20 and there are a lot of things DC/WB should/could have done but the fact is…..they didn’t. What you are talking about happened FIVE years ago. Since that fall out they have had plenty of opportunity to get the JL movie off the ground but instead decided to focus on a poorly executed GL movie, a Batman franchise that could not be integrated into a shared universe concept and another Superman movie that also has not been tied to a shared concept (afawk).

      Seems to me DC/WB didn’t think Marvel Studios could pull it off and continued down their narrow view of encapsulated universes that has worked for them all these years. Guess they are rethinking a few things now ;)

      So pretty much all we have is a suspect MoS movie and a LOT of sketchy and grandiose plans. Maybe those plans will flesh out to something promising but I don’t know if I would say it’s looking good for DC atm.

      As for GL’s inclusion…..I’m almost of the opinion that they should bypass Hal Jordan and go with John Stewart as GL in this. Yes, it kind of flies in the face of the “new 52″ but they need to distance themselves from that movie somehow.

      • I never collected DC comics, so most of what I know about Justice League are from the old cartoons. My question would be in any movie with a lot of characters how are they not only going to introduce all of the heroes, but the Legion of Doom as well? After Lex Luthor and the Batman villains DC bad guys tend to get pretty obscure.

        • haha, oh my now THAT would be an epic task.

          If they do decide to do a Legion of Doom, the best bet would be to “try” and set it up for a JL2 movie where the villains can’t hope to compete with a unified hero front solo so they need to band together out of necessity. That, at the very least, would be 14 lead/supporting cast which is something not even The Avengers tried to do. If they could pull it off though it would be awesome.

  20. As a fan of DC Comics, I have to say they dragged their feet way too long and poorly plotted their course to bring their characters to Hollywood. Even when the films weren’t successful, Marvel was smarter about getting their franchises out there.

    I like the idea of a Batman/Superman movie that introduces Wonder Woman. It brings together the concept of a team movie while still allowing an origin story to be (needlessly) told.

  21. Of course JL shouldn’t be as light as The Avengers. Two completely different groups.

    The only jokers in there group are Flash and the Hal Jordan version of GL. The problem is, sitting around a table with the entire league, one of these two would make a joke and the others would just stare at them; MMM wouldn’t get it, WW would krinkle her face with a “WTF was that!” look, Superman would raise an eyebrow, Aquaman would shake his head and Batman would be all stoic……uncomfortable silence ensues…then Batman clears his throat and they all get back to the business at hand.

    Personally I think the movie should start with Batman and Superman discussing forming a group and constructing a base to combat all the new threats popping up over the world and then going through each of the “recruits” origins. That would take care of the introductions at least.

    • Arg…..The only jokers in THE group……/edit feature plz!

  22. A “friend of a friend” is never a reliable source IMO.
    But if this is true, then I gotta say, I’m not happy. I was hoping a JL movie would be a bit more fun and fantastical.

    I mean come on! Sure, it might be possible to have Batman and Superman team up and still make it believable and kinda “real-world”, but throw in Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Flash and Aquaman/Martian Man Hunter/Cyborg then trying to have “dark and mature” and “real-world” tones/themes becomes absolutely laughable IMO.
    Still, it’s not I’ve actually seen the script (and neither has Millar) so I’m reserving my judgement of the movie until we get more info (and a trailer :D)

    Also, I think it would be awesome to have a 3hr JL movie (with an intermission), or like someone mentioned here, a two-part epic. That way, they’ll have enough time to introduce all the characters without the need of more solo movies.r

    • I thought they meant like MTV “real world.”

      Kidding aside, “real” could mean anything. It could mean there will be more blood, or a real sense of “physics” like wieght and force of punches, etc. One of the things I think DC has in it’s favor is that the cities are fictional. They could destroy half of Metropolis or whatever.

      • I’m pretty sure he meant “real-world” as in realistic and grounded to reality (that’s usually what one would associate with the word IMO).

        But yeah, you’re completely right: it could mean anything… especially since Millar only heard it from a friend of a friend.

  23. There seems to be a lot of negativity towards this movie for some reason. It is OK if this movie is made, it won’t take anything away from Avengers.

    The Avengers was ok, as far as that kind of popcorn action CG fest goes, but the Justice League should be…more. Yeah, there should be a lot of action and CG, but the tone should absolutely be more serious. Avengers almost seemed like a comedy there were so many puns, corny jokes and one liners. That doesn’t sound like any JLA book I have ever read. There should be a real impending sense of doom and dread for any scenario that would require all of the members of the JL “save the day”. There should be a sense of responsibility on the part of the heros for protecting all those on Earth. That kind of responsibility doesn’t usually lend itself to big laughs and snide remarks from the protectors.
    There certainly doesn’t need to be an individual movie for each character before the JL movie is made. These are the worlds greatest heros. They are already well known by comic fans and average movie goers alike. Most non-CB geeks had no clue who Thor or IM were before they had their own movies, and very few non comic readers had even heard of Black Widow or Hawkeye until Avengers came out. Everyone knows Supes, Batman, WW, Flash, GL, Aquaman, GA. Sure, MM and Cyborg might need a little intro for the general public, but not their own entire movie just to set them up for a JL movie.
    Let’s wait for at least some kind of solid plot synopsis before you start trashing the mere idea of even the posibility of this movie being made.

    • I’m in agreement on the lack of need for solo movies. I’d add that they are risky. Thor could have bombed big time and Avengers would have been less solid (Although just having Batman and Superman is a plus).

      Also, Avengers struck the right balance. I honestly think Whedon virtually doubled the money it would have made otherwise (though it still would have been a hit). The important thing for any of these movies is for a clear idea from the director. If they try to imitate some other success formula, and force their director to follow, it won’t be good. Still, JL is a pretty bankable idea.

  24. I also have a friend of a friend.

    One time he hung onto a fighter jet going mach-2 with just his bare hands. Not to mention that his finger nails are bullet proof and the original ending to the movie Armageddon had him with a .22 shooting the astroid, but lunging the .22 forward so fast that the bullet had that much more velocity, so that made the astroid blew up, Bruce Willis didn’t have to die in that version, but Ben Affleck got hit by some flying astroid fragments and died.

    Take my word for it, because like Mr. Miller, I heard it from a friend of a friend. :D

  25. I think the dark and gritty can make this film work but only if nolan gets up and smells the coffee! People love bale and want him to be the batman in justice league thats what everyone wants! And if there going for a gritty dark tone it could really work because based on the pictures and plots of both MOS & TDKR they can easily be adapted to fit in the same film or universe because they already have that look and tone! Just need a wonder woman and flash film to make this film good but that would mean nolan to get off his butt and possibly reshoot something like the avengers or something to tweak the film a little bit!

  26. I can’t WAIT to see this film!! It’s going to be SpEcTaCuLaR!! There’s no rule that says each superhero needs to be introduced via their own solo movie. I just hope they keep the same actors (Cavil, Bale, & Reynolds) It’s THAT surreal factor that put me on cloud nine while watching The Avengers. The only exception to Bale not playing Batman is if he is killed off in The Dark Knight Rises. We’ll have to wait and see!!

  27. Everyone keeps fearing that when they say they’re making it realistic and dark that they are talking about the characters themselves, I take it more as the plot and situations that the characters will have to face. Just like for MoS, how its more dark and realistic they say… I just think that goes for the tone of the movie and that will show the true side of superman and how he makes the tough decisions being god like and all will still stand for whats right. The characters themselves don’t have to be dark but the situations they come up against do for this to work. My thoughts if they are going with realistic terms then the phrase Gods among Men stands out to me… I think that they will go with “Cadnis” and the governments agenda to protect itself from these other wordly beings. That would be the best way to go and at the end even when humanity shows its fear of the JL that fear turns to trust and appreciation for these being who devote themselves to the protection of earth. Meanwhile you still have batman against the fence about them of course and they could actually set up a JLA two with batman showing plans on how to take out the JL after seeing what they do to Cadnis…

    • I completely agree. Don’t make the characters realistic, make the plot, character relationships, and tone realistic.

  28. A proper Justice League movie (this decade) would be a live-action adaptation of KINGDOM COME, featuring, of course, an all-new cast and set in its own world.

    DC doesn’t have to answer to Marvel’s The Avengers, they already had one of the best superhero-films ever made in WATCHMEN.

    I think it’s much better that DC/WB should stick to their original approach of letting each character explore their own genre to its fullest. For all the good The Avengers did, it compromised a lot of the genre-sensibilities established in each individual film. It worked, of course, because the source material was designed so that every Marvel superhero can interact in New York City. The same cannot be said for the source material for DC’s characters–they are each unique and work best in their own universes. The pulp, noir-driven Batman has no business in space next to Hal Jordan; the Last Son of Krypton has little to offer to a world besieged by psychopaths and terrorists; the mythical world of the Amazons lose their narrative gravity if they’re battling space-monsters.

    If DC/WB retains to their original single-hero-centric adaptations, not only will both hardcore and general audiences applaud their marked contrast from Marvel, but the approach would actually carry the genre of comics-to-film further in its own way. Crossovers should NOT be the all-encompassing standard just because Marvel Studios has done it.

  29. I would love to see a Batman/Superman movie since Nolan is involved in both..Maybe you could throw in a cameo or two, but I’d love to see Bale vs uuhh..what’s his name. lol

    • Not gonna happen. Once the credits roll at the end of TDKR, that’s it for Nolan and Bale. THE END. There will be a reboot.

      WHY is this sooooo difficult for some people to comprehend??

      • Because they REALLY don’t want it to be over…
        Fanboys (and fangirls) will always cling to what they love and I admire that (partly because I am a fanboy ;)).

        It is somewhat delusional (especially when there’s all this evidence: Nolan said he was done, Bale said he was done, the freakin trailer said “The Legend ENDS”), but if there’s even the slightest chance of another installment then they’ll be as optimistic as possible…

      • Well Bale did leave the door open a crack but that’s only if Nolan had a great way to make a Batman 4.

        So yeah, don’t hold your breath.