Why ‘Justice League’ Could (Still) Be DC’s Next Big Movie

Published 1 year ago by , Updated June 25th, 2013 at 7:36 am,

Justice League Movie Discussion Characters Why Justice League Could (Still) Be DCs Next Big Movie

DC and Warner Bros. have finally broken ground on their shared movie universe with the release of Man of Steel, and though critics and fans may be divided on how well Zack Snyder’s Superman reboot turned out to be, many conclude that the studio’s plan is now obvious: a Man of Steel sequel to capitalize on the success, and get to work on similar origin stories for the rest of DC’s heroes – even a Batman/Superman team-up film – before the Justice League becomes a reality.

While the success of Man of Steel could lead many to feel that standalone origin stories are the best move –and, in some cases, the only right way of proceeding – it isn’t the only one. There’s a case to be made for following Marvel’s formula, to be sure, but a look at other successful film franchises (including Marvel) leads us to believe that moving to Justice League next may not just succeed, but could offer something genuinely new to the superhero genre.

First, it’s worth remembering that Man of Steel wasn’t just tasked with introducing a new version of Superman – a feat it accomplished (read our review) – it was also saddled with washing away the lingering memories of Bryan Singer’s failed reboot, Superman Returns (2006). For Snyder to launch a Superman universe that makes Justice League possible, a new origin story, a new actor and new approach was needed.

Superman Man of Steel Zack Snyder Why Justice League Could (Still) Be DCs Next Big Movie

That’s not an issue that Warner Bros. or DC needs to worry about in the case of Flash, Wonder Woman and Aquaman, since those heroes have yet to be introduced to modern movie audiences, and as such, are freed from much of Man of Steel‘s burden. There is no doubt that those characters could stand on their own, and given the right treatment, rival the feats and scale of Superman. Yet for good and bad, they are characters with whom modern audiences have less experience with on the big screen.

That means a new approach is possible, and given a few facts about modern audiences and DC’s biggest heroes, a group introduction could be the right way to move forward and gain unparalleled audience attention. We’re all in favor of half a dozen more superhero films – provided they’re well-made – but it’s worth hearing the other side of the Justice League discussion.

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Origin Stories are Just One Kind

Man of Steel Henry Cavill Diane Lane Why Justice League Could (Still) Be DCs Next Big Movie

The sad truth of comic books: origin stories are usually not the most interesting or acclaimed part of any classic superhero’s history. That might sound like heresy coming from self-professed comic book fans, but look up the very best comic book arcs for any superhero, and the vast majority do not tell of the character’s earliest days. Why? That’s a difficult question to answer.

While occasionally interesting science fiction or fantasy tales in their own right, origin stories also tend to be the first ones sought out by new readers, for obvious reasons: they answer the first questions a curious reader is likely to ask – is Superman even human? How can Flash run so fast? Why is Wonder Woman so strong?

As a result of this need to explain the nuts and bolts of a mythological character, origin stories often follow a painfully formulaic layout. Since readers are just looking for answers – or in the case of John Byrne’s iconic “The Man of Steel” origin story, what’s been changed canonically – writers are limited in how much of the character’s personality and meaning can be addressed. The makers of Man of Steel clearly knew how rigid an origin story can be, doing everything possible to change up the standard formula (skipping over Clark’s childhood completely, giving flashbacks where needed, etc.).

Zack Snyder with Henry Cavill on set of Man of Steel Why Justice League Could (Still) Be DCs Next Big Movie

Nobody says a good story needs to start at the start – just ask Tarantino – and Warner Bros. (under Nolan’s leadership) has shown an interest in surprising comic book fans with their structures. Batman Begins kicked off a reboot with Bruce Wayne in a Chinese prison, after much of the film’s ‘story’ has already occurred. Far from lost, fans were thankful for it, since most have been forced to witness the death of Thomas and Martha Wayne more times than their son ever did.

Instead, Nolan introduced the world to his Batman late in his life, only showing elements of his childhood trauma and maturation where it aided the overall plot. That fact was not lost on Zack Snyder when charged with similarly reinvigorating a spoiled brand.

Batman and Superman movie mashup Why Justice League Could (Still) Be DCs Next Big Movie

Yet in the case of both Batman Begins and Man of Steel, the writers and directors needed to make significant changes in order to distance the new films from those that came before. The fact that both succeeded despite those hurdles led to a widespread belief that in order to care about a character/superhero/villain, audiences need to see exactly how they got the way they are. If the audience is simply told that a hero is good or a villain is bad, this logic states, they can’t buy in and never become invested. And yet, the most beloved of genre films seem to defy this rule as often as they adhere to it.

While origin stories are great for fiction buffs, audiences react just as strongly to what characters do on screen as where they came from. No one needed to be told, for example, that Darth Vader was evil – the first thing he does is kill people cruelly – and by the same token, no one needed to know that Obi-Wan Kenobi was once a soldier for good; he saved a helpless boy from certain death, and could therefore be trusted.

star wars episode 7 uk Why Justice League Could (Still) Be DCs Next Big Movie

If audiences had no idea how Obi-Wan Kenobi came to be an old hermit, or how Vader had cast off the light in favor of evil, the above logic implies audiences should have never been able to invest in either. But let’s give movie geeks some credit: they’re willing to fill in the gaps and details if given enough substance to go on. And provided the heroes they’re presented with are iconic enough to begin with.

It’s this idea that Zack Snyder tapped into when he claimed that DC’s heroes are “purer archetypes” than any of Marvel’s, and can therefore reach higher heights, if done properly. Being introduced to Luke Skywalker (we’re Star Wars fans, sue us) when he’s barely a teen isn’t what tells audiences that they’re witnessing the hero’s journey; he could be a thirty-year-old moisture farmer and most of the story would remain unchanged.

George Lucas made the wise move of beginning the story in the middle, where the most archetypal characters – the hero, the rogue, the princess, the sage – would draw crowds in and carry the bulk of the story (the story of how Luke came to be born, as it turns out, took three movies to tell and nearly killed the entire franchise).

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TAGS: batman, flash, green lantern, justice league, man of steel, superman, wonder woman

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  1. So.

    I haven’t seen Man of Steel yet (it only came out a couple days ago where I live), but I’m already heartbroken over this movie. I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen a similar amount of sheer undiluted hatred aimed at anything in my life; and I’m not talking about people making fun of it, because then you could obviously make a point that Twilight and similar products hold the crown in that department. I’m talking about people screaming at the top of their lungs that this movie must burn in hell. Which really sucks for me, as I had really become invested into its release, frankly.

    Which is not to say that I’m not gonna enjoy it anyway, because I’m pretty sure I will, when I finally do see it. My point is that the Internet has completely ruined the experience of going to see this movie for me: much like with Iron Man 3, I’m going to enter the theatre not with excitement and anticipation, but rather as though I were going to get a tooth plucked. All because critics, many of whom I respect and trust, are shouting rudely and often incoherently that if I enjoy this movie I have to feel sorry and ashamed for it.
    (This is true of the new Star Trek movie, as well, which I still haven’t seen either, but which I’m pretty sure I’ll enjoy, which apparently means I’m a horrible monster guilty of endorsing some kind of Hollywood agenda involving the gratuitous degrading of women and the white-washing of characters. When did social justice become a major point of movie production, by the way?)

    With all that said, it’s not like I really care. I’m just sad that people have to act like feces-flinging monkeys whenever their opinions are concerned, and that the Internet is so liable to invite comment only when negative opinions are involved, whereas whoever has a positive outlook on things usually stays silent. If anything, I feel ashamed about being part of such a vulgar generation and community.

    • @Kenji
      You also need to understand exactly what is riding on the success of MoS. What Disney can’t allow to happen is a unanimous public and critical opinion that MoS is everything that it’s supposed to be, and looks like the best superhero film ever made and all others should be compared to it.

      What I’m getting at here, is this:

      If you want to believe that Disney has the power to purchase Star Wars, but doesn’t have the power to purchase film critics… you’re naive.

      Am I saying that every single negative review was coached by Disney? Of course not, that’s ridiculous. I’m saying that a handful of some of the initial, prominent negative reviews were. That’s all it takes to get the ball rolling. Disney knows this game better than anyone.

      So how do I know which articles were coached and which ones weren’t? It’s simple, it’s the articles that find a way to use all three of these keywords in the negative review:

      Humorless. Joyless. Colorless.

      Basically, the primary things that distinguishes this movie from being a Marvel movie… are the reasons you aren’t supposed to like it.

      Let’s break down each one, starting with humorless. Humorless is nothing more than a less flattering way of saying “serious.” Is MoS without humor? Absolutely not. Is it without the level of humor that you find in a Marvel movie? Yes, and it should be. This is a story about an alien who wants to kill every human being on the planet to recreate his home world. That’s something that should be taken seriously.

      Now on to joyless. Does this movie invoke the same type of joy, that say…you get from seeing the Avengers team up for the first time? No. Does it invoke any joy at all? Absolutely. You get to watch some iconic Supes moments, including his first flight. Again, this is also a less flattering term for “serious.” Being serious isn’t good… that’s the idea that they want to get across.

      And finally… “colorless.” Now this one is my favorite, because it’s the most blatant. Colorless? Are you kidding me? Do we need artificial color injected into outdoor shots? Or is this once again another way of saying: “this doesn’t look like a Marvel movie, therefore you shouldn’t like it.”

      Now, I have to admit… the initial negative review trick worked on me. I spent the entire first half of the movie focusing on what the negative reviews were saying. That was the point. The power of suggestion is a powerful thing indeed. I left the movie satisfied with the action, but still slightly disappointed over-all. The second time I saw the movie, when I brought my Dad on Father’s Day, all of the negative stuff got washed away. The majority of the negative stuff is only there if you want it to be. Notice I said majority, not all.

      So, to echo what you said in your post, Kenji… I too am disappointed in the world we live in. You really can’t trust anyone or anything but your own eyes and your own instincts.

      Before somebody wants to call me out as being “pro-DC”, I would just like to say that I enjoy Marvel for the very reasons that distinguish it from being DC, and vis versa.

      If I am “pro” anything… I’m pro quality.

      • There it is! I was wondering how long it would take the Superman fans to concoct some loony conspiracy theory about how all the negative reviews were planted(by Marvel of course, who else?!) Anything to keep from having to admit that Man of Steel was a critical failure!

        • If you want to believe that Disney has the power to purchase Star Wars, but doesn’t have the power to purchase film critics… you’re naive.

          Am I saying that every single negative review was coached by Disney? Of course not, that’s ridiculous. I’m saying that a handful of some of the initial, prominent negative reviews were. That’s all it takes to get the ball rolling. Disney knows this game better than anyone.

          So how do I know which articles were coached and which ones weren’t? It’s simple, it’s the articles that find a way to use all three of these keywords in the negative review:

          Humorless. Joyless. Colorless.

          • How immature do you have to be to make up a bunch of lies about a group of critics just because they didn’t agree with you about some dumb movie? Get over it dude.

            • Not agreeing with me about a “dumb movie” is one thing.

              Anyone with a brain realizes that a 56% on RT is another beast entirely.

            • @ Calculon

              +100

              • @ Stark
                Iron Man 3 Sucks

      • You have got to be kidding me.

        I have heard a lot of unfounded tripe spilled by you but to suggest Disney is now buying the opinions of movie critics is beyond asinine and now bordering on paranoid delusion. Did some Disney Exec come to your house and beat your dog so you’re out to get back at them?

        In fact, if I was Disney, I would WANT MoS to be successful. Why? Because Marvel doesn’t live in a bubble and every turkey superhero movie that comes out (regardless of who makes it) reflects on the genre. Too many bad ones and our bubble will burst and the unwashed masses will lose interest in these blockbusters which none of us lovers and believers in comics want to have happen. Plus Marvel/Disney also know the DC side will bring a different aspect to the genre which keeps things different and fresh for EVERYONE.

        One thing to remember in all this is, the vast majority don’t even know or care about the difference between Marvel and DC, it’s all just “superheros” to most which is why you often hear people talk about DC and Marvel characters together. As an example, I have what I consider a very informed friend and while he does know the difference between the two big names, he was clueless about the Marvel properties being split between Fox, Marvel and Sony. He saw “Marvel” on all those movies and thought Marvel made them all.

        To prove my point though……Nolan’s Batman was very successful and was not hurt one iota Marvel movies and vise versa (or Sony movies for that matter). Both did VERY well last summer despite being released only 2 months apart with TASM jammed in the middle.

        Good Superhero movies = a win/win for all. period. end of line.

        • Great response about just wanting good superhero films. Competition is there and keeps things interesting and exciting for everyone. That’s why it was so intense for fans in 2012, you had Avengers, Dark Knight Rises and Amazing Spider-Man in the same summer. I usually pitted Whedon against Nolan, which to me is pretty awesome considering both of them are my favorite directors and writers.

          Usually on the internet you see DC vs. Marvel but with a couple of my friends (This might just be us though) we compare characters and movies, whether they’re both DC or Marvel. It doesn’t matter to us. There’s a different team for each film so I think I’ll be treating them as such.

        • Wrong. The “end of the line” is this:

          At the end of the day… these studios are competing for your wallets. Nothing more. Nothing less.

          • Well, unless you are so poor that you can only afford to see one movie a year OR that there are multiple superhero movies released on the same day (which never happens because they PLAN, so that never happens)…. “competing for your wallets” is a non-issue.

            • Let’s see hear… what movie did Disney have opening the next week, where it could possibly benefit by smearing the competition?

              Hmm…

              Oh yeah… that’s right. The next Pixar film.

              Stop being naive.

            • “competeting for your wallet” is a non issue?

              Really?

              You gonna see MoS twice, or you gonna go see the new Pixar.

              Please son.

              #getaclue

              • Hummmm……NEXT week and not head to head? Wonder why? That’s because they knew those who saw MoS LAST week will then see MU THIS week for their entertainment dollars. Everyone gets their part of the consumer’s money.

                Most people don’t go see the same movie multiple times. Some do, yes, but the majority don’t. I’m one of the many who don’t as a general rule because I would rather spend my money on new.

                But you just go right ahead and keep believing in your own assumptions.

                • Cheers! I will! And you… yours!

                  *tips martini glass*

                  *winks*

                  *sips*

        • @ mongoose

          +1,000,000,000

          • My bad man. You’re right. We live in an honest world.

            The other side wants a movie that everyone says makes your movies look like crap, because that’s what makes competition good.

            The other side wants to help take money out of it’s own pockets.

            My bad guys. We live in an honest world.

            • @Dr Mindbender

              I somewhat agree with you! While I would not go so far as to say that Disney purchased critics…I will say that upon reading or listening to the criticisms, it seems as though there is an agenda behind attempting to trash it. Why for example does a superhero movie have to be overly joyful? Is it some sort of rule I have never heard about? There are PLENTY of movies that have very little “joy” to them that get very positive critical praise. I was listening to the Red Letter Media Review and the facts and concepts of the movie that they missed was nothing short of astounding.

              It very much explains why the “critics” are completely out of touch with the audience reaction. Rotten Tomatoes Senior Editor Gray Drake, who appeared on Fox Business News called the Superman reboot “definitely the film to see, because finally Superman is back and he’s going to do big business.” he also indicated that he was shocked stating that ““As much as I love and respect our critics at Rotten Tomatoes, I’ve got to say I am shocked. Listen, the movie’s not perfect but…I just cannot fathom it. It was a good movie, you guys.”

              • It really just boils down to Disney wanting to take dollars away from WB and give it to there new Pixar film. That and the way it effects future Marvel endeavors… of course.

                And here is what I don’t understand:

                “I won’t go as so far as to say Disney purchased critics”

                Why not? They purchased Star Wars. I think they can afford a critic here and there.

                All companies do that, to some effect. With social media the way it is today, every side has people that use facebook, twitter, youtube, etc. to both hype their product and slam the competitions.

                Duh.

                • Buying Star Wars was a legitimate transaction. It’s not as if they strong armed or blackmailed Lucas into selling.

                  I would hope rational people can see the difference between comparing a legitimate venture vs a sorted and illegal practice. The two are nothing alike.

                  Sure there are probably some shills out there but they promote the positive side of their product, not tear down the competition mercilessly.

                  Care to back up your theorycraft with some actual proof?

                  • #life

                • If they can just buy critics it would mean that EVERY Disney movie would have positive reviews. I have not looked but I don’t think that is the case. And as was pointed out earlier why would they not do so with the Dark Knight. I am with you when you suggest that the criticism of Man of Steel is motivated by something other than an impartial review of the film. But you lose me when you contend it is orchestrated by one organization.

                  • I didn’t say orchestrated by one. I said they had a few, and that’s all it takes.

                    And that’s not what it means. It’s different when you have movies of this caliber going neck and neck, AND when one movie has the potential to take future dollars away from your franchise by effectively making your product look silly.

                    I’m going to leave this rant with this:

                    most level headed people know that something is up with that RT score, and that is that.

                    • They are all rich, multinational companies who want your money, arguing over which one is more duplicitous is just bar room banter. While I agree that all movie companies are out to fill as many movie screens as they can to get movie-goers money (it is the move business by definition), I really doubt Disney or any other company is paying off top critics to try and submarine another studios film. It would be more beneficial to buy positive reviews for their own product then wasting time and money even acknowledging the competition.

                      The other side to this seems to be this need some have for their taste in things to be justified by strangers. How and why any of this is important is beyond me, and all of this angst people have over a movie is really what is making going to movies joyless, on top of some movies just being mediocre.

                  • Not to jump in on a conversation i dont care about. But pixar films of late are getting far to much credit besides Cars 2. Best animates feature for brave? Ok pixar i get it your not nearly as good as you once were but your still good enough

      • @DrMindbender
        Well Said.

        • Except for the critics that were bought part, yet nothing is impossible.

          • It’s just a theory, that I based on logic and timing.

            I didn’t expect everyone to jump on board with this.

            Look, I understand “different strokes for different folks” but there are a lot of reviews that don’t offer any explanation for WHY they think the way the do, they just seem intent on slamming the movie just for the sake of slamming it.

            -”no character development.” I have yet to see one, ONE review explain this stance, other than just throw the term around. So, fellow ranters… if someone would like to be the first, I’m all ears. (or eyes, I guess)

            -the humorless, joyless, colorless (colorless?) angle that is taken, is completely disingenuous. At what point in the trailers did this movie look like a comedy? At what point in the trailers did this movie not look like it had a serious tone? And at what point was this movie in black and white? Colorless. For f***’s sake.

            There is a big difference between having a differing opinion, and just being flat out disingenuous.

            And BTW, never before in the history of the site of RT has a spokesperson come forward to say -”I’m not sure WTF is going on here.”

            • Except that you present your “theories” as matter of fact statements.

              Maybe if you took the time to word things a bit better after an initial rough draft people wouldn’t be be jumping down your throat and it (like me)

              And as for the use of your 3 supposed catch phrases, there’s an equally logical and opposite explanation for it. Critics don’t live in a bubble and, *gasp* read each others columns. Maybe just maybe someone used those terms and others, after reading this fisrt one thought those words were highly appropriate and thus used them. Simple and I’ve seen this type of thing happen before.

              Critics are also under no obligation to fully explain themselves. They are giving their personal opinion on the matter just like everyone else,

              • Except that those three terms are completely disingenuous.

                The movie is not humorless.

                The movie is not joyless.

                The movie is not colorless.

                And as I said before, calling this movie “colorless” has the most blatant agenda: What that says is… “this doesn’t look like Marvel, you shouldn’t like it.”

                Those critics decided to take an extreme approach, as opposed to an objective one which is what REAL critics do.

    • You go and enjoy the movie worry free. All that matters is how YOU feel about it. I thought it was absolutely awesome and have seen it twice. I enjoyed it far more the second time.

      • Bingo. Genre films with strong online fan communities are the most likely to be dissected right out of the starting blocks. I’d recommend seeing them early for exactly this reason.

        It sucks that internet buzz can have that much of an impact on those who don’t go see films opening weekend, but you gotta do what you gotta do.

        • I disliked the movie, but didn’t “hate” it. I am a big Zack Snyder fan, as I thought 300 was amazing, but MOS, for me, was not well done. It was too choppy, too much back and forth with the timeline, too much destruction and noise, and way too quick of a resolution. The dialogue was also lacking.

          I was very disappointed with MOS, and thus, I don’t think Snyder should do Justice League, if made.

      • Frankly, the critics are idiots. They gave Superman Returns 75%. Think about that. Superman Returns….

        I think that Man of Steel gave a convincing origin and beginning for Superman, and I think that the film sets up an entire universe incredibly well. There is potential for a Batman film, a Wonder Woman film and a sequel to Man of Steel. As long as they get a really good Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Green Lantern and perhaps Martian Manhunter. And they really make the film as best as possible, then I will happily pay to watch it.

        Anyway, Zack Snyder did a brilliant job on 300 and Man of Steel so…

    • I don’t even know what you’re talking about. I’ve heard some professional film critics talk about what they didn’t like in the film, and I’ve seen some moviegoers talk about aspects of what they didn’t like, but I’ve seen no hate or rage as you describe.

    • Dude. I’m going to see it for the THIRD time today! My mom hasn’t seen it and i QUICKLY volunteered to accompany her as an excuse to see it again lol. It’s awesome man. Just pretend the internet doesnt exist.

      • It’s a matter of taste, like any film, and being that it has dropped in its second week to third place, it is not that “awesome”. Visually, it looks good, but I really didn’t care for the story, nor how it was edited.

        • It dropped because 2 other heavy hitters came out this weekend and still did good. Try harder Jeff.

    • “The amount of sheer hate?”

      Wow. It seems that you’ve made yourself a really bad disservice by reading the negative reviews. You really shouldn’t have. I thought the movie was incredible and loved it, even saw it twice and will see it a third time. But between the first and second time, I read some of the reviews and it impacted my enjoyment. Don’t read the reviews and enjoy this awesome reboot which I couldn’t have planned any better.

  2. Agreed with every single word of this post. I can see this all happening.

    • The ONLY thing I see happening is DC/WB SCREWING this whole this up!!!

      I loved MOS, but I just DO NOT see DC keeping this up! to the ppl whining that there was “TOO MUCH DESTRUCTION”, and “TOO CHOPPY” go see Monsters U and quite being a baby!
      IT IS SUPERMAN, a GOD on earth what is he supposed to do? blow bubbles around? CMON, that is such a lame excuse! JUST PPL that NEED to complain about SOMETHING.
      TOO CHOPPY, I would rather see that then another movie with .5 hours of a kid going thru puberty with super powers! THEY ONLY showed the parts that were relevant to the story and I thought it was done BRILLIANTLY!!
      Of course this is only my opinion, but I just think ppl need to bit(h about something, I have even seen comments saying it was too loud?!?! HUH WTF you went to the theatre to see a summer blockbuster about superman! IT SHOULD BE LOUDDDDD!!!!! MY 80 yr old dad didn’t even complain about the volume! grow some balls and quite whining

  3. I loved the origin story in Man Of Steel and I wanted to see it.
    And I am more familiar with Superman than any other character.

    The general audience for movies has no real familiarity with the Justice League.
    I see no pent up demand for a Justice League film nor should it be pursued
    before Superman and again Batman run the course of a few more movies.
    Then the logical set up for the JL would be a World’s Finest movie first.

    Man Of Steel on its own merits has earned its sequel(s) and that is priority one.
    A Justice League film without proper introduction of other characters is
    not a sure fire box office success and if not could impair the brand
    of Superman and even Batman which must be preserved.

    Sequels to Man Of Steel and a reboot of Batman and its sequels
    already would be a major release two out of every three years.
    Eventually they will need some juice to reinvigorate them both
    and then World’s Finest then Justice League makes sense.

    • I’m afraid you and I disagree on MOS, as I did not particularly care for it, but I agree wholeheartedly that they should not rush into Justice League. That would be a mistake. Let’s get some other origin stories first.

    • I agree wholeheartedly.
      I would rather see more of this Superman (and perhaps other characters)
      before a Justice League.

      1) The character(s) have so much potential planted in the world that
      Snyder and Co. created. So much stories to develop and characters to
      evolve.
      2) I simply want a well done Justice League film. Not one that is rushed
      or one that may waste time building up a story that can have already
      been planted. I want it to be fun spectacle but thematically rich.
      3) Most DC characters may be known as opposed to those of Marvel Studios,
      but have negative pop culture reputation. Aquaman, Wonder Woman, and
      now Green Lantern must shed away the old image and display a new,
      better one, just as Superman and Batman had to do with their films.

      • Here’s my billion dollar idea for the DCCU future. Man of Steel 2 is set very shortly after Man of Steel (which has not been released where I am yet so I’m speculating a bit), the story can focus a little on the clean up of Metropolis, both Luthor Corp and Wayne Enterprises have been gifted Kryptonian wreckage and asked to study it for whatever reason (maybe future protection of Earth), this could directly introduce both Lex Luthor and a new Bruce Wayne. Bruce uses his business trip to Metropolis to secretly study Superman. They could have a few tv interview scenes, just small ones, thanking Bruce for his contribution to the city rebuild and maybe a passing question about a new vigilante running around Gotham dressed as a Bat. All that would be minor to the main story but a decent way to Batman without needing a full Batman reboot movie.
        I think Luthor would need to play a big role in Man of Steel 2 because Metropolis is his home town and (speculating a bit) he has a large invested interest in it’s well-being, along with his own, personal, grander plans. Jump a few months forward, Superman is flying about, helping to mend buildings and all the while Lex has been plotting some master plan to destroy Superman and/or his reputation, while playing the worried politician for the cameras.

        I’m just spit-balling a bit, and I doubt I’m even close to the path DC/WB may go done, but in my head it sounds plausible/logical…

        • I kind of agree. Except a) No passing comment about “a new vigilante”. This needs to be a Batman that has been around for a while. b) Lex SHOULD REALLY BE the “worried politician”. In his eyes, he’s protecting the world from Superman, not trying to take over the world with some evil scheme…

          • Yup, fair enough. I don’t know what impact Batman has in this Universe, I have read articles on a possible Batman reboot and this Superman being the first super hero that is out in the public eye, so I was taking Batman as a new entity for this world.

            You’re right about Luthor, I think that would suit his character better and show him as a complex person rather than a straight out villain.

            • Thing is, even if Batman has been around for a while (even for years), Superman would still be the first public superhero, since Batman’s entire existence is kind of hush-hush, an urban legend among criminals. (I’m assuming we’re not talking about Nolans Batman who is kind of public knowledge. As for the Bat-Signal… “Psychological Warfare”.)

  4. Okay, okay… *chuckles* ready?

    Lois: “What does the ‘S’ stand for?”

    Clark: “Sequel”

    • BOOM!

    • Yes. With a capital S.

  5. I really dig this text, as myself i would like to see DC/WB to follow different pattern with their cinematic universe.And just as you said, putting them together in first place, and then exploring their own mythologies later could really work especially because in my opinion the Justice League could set up potential dangers for each and everyone of heroes.Now add that to a little bit of their origin and you got a great movie.Also, i would like for DC cinematic universe to be REAL universe and not something Marvel did, because for example we had Thor fighting Destroyer and where the hell has Iron Man been while that? Because we seen him resolving crimes around the world in both first and second film..

  6. I found this post to be too long! It rambled on for no purpose, except to make little jabs at Marvel. I also am sick of writers stating their feelings as fact and everyone’s sentiment. Singer’s Superman returns wasn’t really a reboot. It was obviously a sequel to Donner’s Superman and Superman II! Even if most fans believe it missed its mark, you can’t say that it was a failure. If you were to watch it without your so-called comic bigotry, you would see that it is written well and filmed very well! I think Man of Steel is awesome and I think they should make a Justice League film next and include the Dark Knight trilogy in the timeline. They should place the film before TDKR, that way, it would better explain Batman being off the job for eight years! It would be better than the dark knight rises’ reason!

    • It’s an editorial, it’s supposed to be opinionated. As for the jabs at Marvel, there were none. Marvel’s cinematic universe was used to draw a comparison as to how DC should forge their own path, not follow in Disney/Marvel’s footsteps.

    • Jabs at marvel? Where? Sounds to me like you’re defensive and are reading into it things that aren’t there.

      Also, editorials are written about what the writer thinks and feels. No editorial is going to be written with everyone’s viewpoint in mind. Editorials are about the writer’s opinion.

    • @wil_stryder: no jabs here, unless you take the argument that not everyone should follow the same path as a shot against the first one to forge it. If you’re talking the claims that mass audiences knew more about Superman that they did Iron Man before Marvel’s films…I’m standing behind that.

      As for the Singer reboot, DC and Warner Bros. never meant for the film to simply be a sequel to Donner’s first two films and end there. They wanted a new Superman, with a new actor, and new director to reinvigorate the franchise.

      • In all fairness, Superman returns was totally married to the Donnor films, if not as a formal sequel than as an homage. It isn’t a horrible film, but reinvigorating was the last thing it did.

        • I didn’t think that Superman Returns was a terrible film either but what they set out to do in my opinion, was just plain odd. Donner’s films are great but it was thirty years ago, a good portion of the audience didn’t even see it. 2006 was the perfect time to establish a Superman reboot, especially if it’s around the same time Begins was released. Instead they make a sequel to a 30 year old franchise. I’ll never understand their logic.

          • because*** it around the same time Batman Begins was released.

          • Exactly my thoughts. At least Man of Steel feels like a modern take.

            • Exactly. Really enjoy some of Bryan Singer but if I was at the top of Warner Bros and he came up to me with that idea, I’d reject it instantly.

  7. some characters need a origin story the main one is Wonder Woman and Green Lantern reboot featuring John Stewart as the hero.

    i got to admit MOS should of had John Stewart featured in the movie cause he is a military man.

    • I agree. They should at least make a Wonder Woman movie before a JL movie. This could give DC a advantage Marvel hasn’t done yet: A movie with a female lead.

      • Yeah, I think WW is the on other character who should get a full film of her own before being thrown into a team-up.

  8. Warning: This post contains SPOILERS for Man of Steel

    One of the rumours making the rounds is Man of Steel 2 in 2014 and Justice League in 2015. Now that seems implausible but say DC follow that sequence, just taking a little more time to do it.

    Given all the ocean based action we saw in Man of Steel, you know, the oil rig, whales, the terraforming machine, could an atlantean be the villain in MoS2?

    That movie would end with Superman and Aquaman shaking hands and possibly Batman stepping out from the shadows saying he has plans for a team. Then you fly straight into Justice League.

    Perhaps Wonder Woman could be slotted in somewhere, I think a movie about her, grounded in greek mythology, could be awesome. Or maybe that proposed CW show could be her introduction.

    • Batman just stepping out of the shadows to say he’s thinking of a team is out of character.

      • You’re right. I suppose it would have to be Superman forming the team and then practically having to force Batman to join.

        • I want New 52 type starting. Where every one fighting there individual fights. And that fights lead them toward team up.

          • I agree I loved how they did it in the new 52

        • A brooding Batman being forced to join. Lol. Just watching that on screen would be hilarious in the sense that he wild keep saying no until they were in need of him and he just shows up to save the day.

          Superman AS
          Superman: Thanks Bruce. I couldn’t have saved Lois without your help.
          Batman: I’m aware of that.

          Gold.

      • Well, if i remember correctly…Batman is the oddball in the group, even in the animated version of Justice League. It would only make sense that he’d remain the same for the movie too.

  9. I agree with you Andrew. But I also think that a man of steel or batman begins for green lantern,flash,aquaman, wonder woman or cyborg would be succesfull especially if it includs superman or batman.

  10. I’m ready! Here’s a link to my Justice League logos: http://imgur.com/a/DLwwW

    • the trinity one kicks serious ass!

      • Let’s hope they have a good villain to fight against the Trinity too.

  11. Do a mix of Batman ’89 and SM3 for the origin of Batman: sort of open with the famous murder and then go through sequences of his determination and training to be become Gotham’s Dark Knight.

    • That’s a great idea, I just don’t see it happening anytime soon for the very reason Dyce points out below.

  12. I think before a Justice League movie, we need one more Superman movie to show how much he has progressed since the first outing. We also need another Batman movie to introduce a new actor in the role. It doesn’t need to be another origin story, we’ve had how many of those already. It can have some flashbacks to childhood or training though. I think the Batman movie would be the best way to kick off a Justice League movie.

    Batman would be faced with some sort of predicament where he barely makes it out alive, or something happens in multiple places that he can’t be at which makes him realize that he would need some help. The end of the movie would have him reaching out to Superman to join him when the world needs it. The Justice League movie would then have a crisis that Batman would need more help than just Superman and he goes looking for other heroes that he has heard about. The movie could also be Wonder Woman’s origin, leaving the island to help save the world for the first time, sort of like how the animated show started out.

    • I agree that Superman needs another movie before he fully has the title locked down. As much as I’m in favor of a new Batman, and am a big fan, (forgive me) it’s hard for me to think of something I have yet to see in a Batman movie that would justify an entire film.

      I want the world’s greatest detective, but it would be hard to think of a Batman film that (even if I enjoyed it) would avoid being a retread in one way or another.

      • I as well want a good detective side of Batman that we haven’t fully seen in the movies yet. I think the Riddler would be excellent to show this but I agree that it would be hard to find a way to make a full film, especially one that could also tie in to the Justice League universe.

        • Really guys? I could name a few. His detective skills, a suit more akin to the comics(not molded plastic a la Burton or a modified military suit a la Nolan), a Batmobile that’s less of a tank and more of a concept car, the fantastical villains in his rogue’s gallery(Clayface anyone)…

          In all fairness a different take on Batman would give us many things we have yet to see on the big screen. No offense at and I’m not accusing either of you of doing this but don’t let the recent iterations of Batman be the definitive end all be all of the character for you.

          • I was actually thinking it would be awesome to see Clayface on the big screen but unless they put a spin on the character, I don’t know that they could bring him into the more realistic tone DC has established for their movies. Zsasz could also be cool to see too.

          • @ Rizzle

            I agree. Id like to see Batsuit that doesn’t protect Batman fully. To the point where he may get shot in the arm, or bad cut on the leg where he tears his cape up to stop the bleeding & continue on. In the past we only seen him get little cuts & bruises & mauled by dog except for TDKR when Bane broke him.

            As he uses the dark to his advantage, he’s supposed to be agile. I figured something like Captain America’s costume. To make the actor more agile & get away from the rubber suit. I bet it would look good if people gave it a chance. Batman is a mere mortal in a halloween costume so why not make him look more like it when standing with other heroes.

      • In other words… set the stage for world’s finest in the sequel, having Lex reach out to Bruce Wayne in regards to the “Superman problem.”

        Or something like that.

        • I like it. Do you think it could work if Bruce Wayne (not Batman, at least not until closer to the end) had a somewhat prominent role in the MoS sequel to begin setting up the Bruce/Clark dynamic?

          • Best idea I’ve heard in a while.

          • I was thinking the same thing! I actually want Lex to be set up as a semi-good guy in the sequel. I’d love to see a lex/clark team up against Brainiac and also have Bruce Wayne (not batman) interwoven throughout. Then at the end of the film have the Lex/Superman conflict, setting up for them to be enemies in the next film.

      • Kal-El needs to earn the title of Superman. I loved that they used Man of Steel because that’s what sometime would use to describe him.
        I think the next film would just be called Superman.

        I think the title (and image art) ‘Caped Crusader’ would be a good reboot title. But I agree, I just don’t know what DC/WB can create as a reboot film to justify a whole movie besides it playing the role of Iron Man 2– setting up for The Avengers.

        In Iron Man 2, he’s already established himself as Iron Man, even going so far as to say, “I am Iron Man.” So, with that, Batman’s reboot story is unnecessary; it should just start where he’s smack dab in the middle of trouble. Maybe something like the Batman Arkham games storyline. You already know you’re playing as Batman to stop his rogues gallery. Why not put him in the situation where various villains have all teamed up against him and he needs to create a parallel team to combat them? That would be great.

  13. Id like a jl movie before the individual origin stores just for something different.

  14. The reason Avengers not only WORKED, but ultimately succeeded beyond all expectations was simply the very fact that it was properly set up before hand with stand-alone character origin stories.

    • This, my friend, is a false statement. I would go into why, but ultimately I doubt I’d be able to convince anyone on these comments otherwise because it is so widely believed to be so.

      Essentially, the Avengers succeeded beyond all expectations because:
      1. Iron Man was their tent-pole.
      2. It had great marketing and advertising.
      3. It was well written. You didn’t need to see the origin movies to keep up or understand most of the dialogue and plot-points. It was an easy and entertaining movie to follow.

      While I will concede that The Avengers succeeded so incredibly well because of a combination of everything – hype from origin movies included – MOST of its success should be more accurately attributed to what I described above.

      • +1

        The only movies I saw before The Avengers were The Incredible Hulk and Iron Man. Ended up loving the movie and seeing it twice in theaters (I rarely do that).

        I use to think DC needed origin / individual stories for each character before heading into Justice League. This article made me aware that there are several other methods of going about doing Justice League. Maybe a lot more than this article may suggest too. The Justice League film will just have to have everything a good film has, a great story, character development, great acting and heart running through it. Flashbacks can easily explain a lot of things, whether it’s in the actual Justice League film or in later solo films.

        • Personally I would like them to do origin stories first though, only because I love origin stories. Batman Begins was my favorite film and really liked the first half of Man of Steel, much more than the second half. Origins stories in my opinion, always have that sense of purity in them and sort of a ‘Indie’ film making vibe going through it because it focuses on the character to such a large extent.

      • @ Justin

        So is safe to say if Justice League was top or come close to it of topping The Avengers, Justice League’s success would be due to MOS aswell?

  15. There’s been so much BS reported on over the last couple years – possible Batman reboot before JL, JL in 2015, Nolan’s TDK trilogy as continuation, Superman sequel first… Who knows what WB are planning. A JL film first would avoid having to reboot Green Lantern and Batman though, it’s the best possible way to go about things.

    • Introduce the new GL and Batman in JL and don’t look back! If they choose to a MoS sequel and individual origin films for the rest of the members, we won’t get a JL film till Marvel’s way into Phase 3. JL needs to be next, screw Marvel and they’re template, all their “phase 1, 2″ b*******, DC owns MCU and their B list Avengers team. Now maybe if Marvel had the rights to Spider-man and X men, there would be some competition but c’mon, I can’t believe there’s even comparison between the two. JL are all household names. The Avengers was always set to be successful purely on spectacle – but DC’s heroes? Or rather, their GODS? Forge ahead WB and trample all over your “competition”.

      • Well said!

  16. I don’t think it’s wise to make a JL movie just for the sake of making one. I think WB/DC is pressured to do a JL movie in 2015 just to compete with Avengers 2. I hope they do it properly. FOCUS ON CREATING AMAZING ORIGIN MOVIES while slowly planning for the big finale.

    The good thing going for DC is that they have no rights problem w/ their characters, unlike Marvel. I think most watchers, comic book oriented or not, would rather have origin movies first than giving us a handful of super heroes we couldn’t relate to.

    • Good points. Frankly, I think that the main argument for doing JL soon is just to strike while the iron is hot and catch the current zeitgeist tha Marvel has fueled. The DC characters really should be developed individually first, IMO.

      • I agree. Character development and each hero getting their own story first is more important to me than throwing them all together for big action or to compete with The Avengers, and that’s the only reason WB would do such a thing. Luckily they aren’t and JL isn’t happening in 2015.

  17. 3 questions for the author

    1. Was Superman Returns a reboot?
    2. Was Superman Returns a failed attempt? Take a look at the numbers.
    3. Was Superman Returns an unwanted child who made no sense? Please read FilmSchoolRejects.com’s analysis and 5 points that explains why SR was good and true to the Supes legacy on screen.

    In Singer, I trust :-P

    • 1. As far as the studio hoped, yes.
      2. It made money, and even that couldn’t save it due to the awkward divisions itcreated. So yes.
      3. It made sense (assuming you had seen the previous movies, making it a poorly-planned reboot). It has fans, and some good moments, but the ONLY way it was good and true was as a love letter to the past.

      • I disagree with your answer to No. 1. Returns was not a reboot, it was a sequel to the Donner flicks. Yes, it was hoped that it would revitalize a dead franchise and spawn other sequels, but it would still exist in the same timeline as Donner’s Superman flicks. A reboot, to me, takes things back to square one and doesn’t follow the continuity of anything before it. DC’s New 52 is a reboot, but if Scott Snyder leaves as the writer of Batman, the new guy coming in won’t be rebooting the book. And in films, it’s like saying that Forever was a reboot and not sequel to Batman and Batman Returns because the director changed. The only difference is that Superman Returns came out nearly 25 years after Superman II, but it was still just a sequel.

        • As do I about number 1, to an extent. It was half reboot/half continuation…

          …wait that makes no sense.

          Yeah, I’ll stick with continuation. It starts with Superman having already been on Earth. It’s not a reboot.

      • It’s not a reboot. It was a continuation of Superman 2 by design – that’s official from Singer.

    • I never thought I would say this, but I actually believe Supeman Returns and Man of Steel were comparable works of art…neither of which I particularly cared for. Very disappointed with Zack Snyder for the poorly edited movie he directed. No “hate” or “bigotry” here…I just felt like many of the critics did after seeing it. I have already not recommended it to friends.

    • 1. Sort of, sort of not.
      2. It lost a ton of money. Consider, the studio gets less than half of the global box office take. They lost at least $70 million on Returns.
      3. Yes. Yes it was.

  18. to the verrrrrrry first comment stop listening to ppl and watchnit for yourself man geesh

  19. This article made some interesting points. Personally I agree with the statement that the most interesting storylines with any comic book hero happens after they’ve got their powers and are comfortable with their role as a hero.

    One underlying question I have is “what exactly do comic BOOK fans want from comicbook MOVIES”. They are both very different mediums and as widely accepted now, there are things that work well in comic books that just wouldn’t work in a movie (I reference the first X-Men movie and the line about their costumes).

    If you look at the best comic book movies, the reason the were popular with fans and did well at the box office is because they respected the original source material, however they weren’t handcuffed by it. Nolan’s Batman trilogy, X-Men 1 & 2 and Blade are examples where the essence of the character and the world they inhabit was used as a backdrop to tell an original story, sometimes using elements of fan favourite storylines from their respective comics. Man of Steel, while changing minor elements, did it’s best to be true to the original tone of what makes the character who he is, while trying to update him and make him relatable for the 21st century (in case people forget, Superman has been around since the 1930s. All the best superheroes can trace their longevity to the fact that they adapt and change with the times, while staying true to who they are).

    In terms of the difference of approach between the two studios, I think the main reason why Marvel’s movies have been more successful (to this point) is purely because they were part of a plan; it was always thought that The Avengers would be impossible to make; too many heroes/egos/personalities to balance in a live action movie. Obviously Whedon proved that that was entirely possible. However, the ground work had already laid by the preceding movies making Whedon’s job a little easier.

    Warner/DC never seemed to have a long term plan beyond “let’s make a movie and if it’s successful we’ll make another one”. The DC-verse and Marvel-verse are very very different and it would be a mistake to try and make the movies using similar templates. Apart from DC’s holy trinity (Supes, Bats and Wonder Woman) the majority of their other heroes aren’t as well known to the none comic book reading public (with the exception of possibly The Flash). Thor has shown that less well known characters can be well received and do well in a movie of their own if handled correctly, which Green Lantern, Daredevil Ghost Rider and Elektra (to name a few) weren’t. Also, in the DC-verse, their heroes are pretty much unconditionally loved by the public in their respective cities. Match that with the troubles/conflict that Spiderman or the X-Men have had to put up with over the years and you see a very different set of rule and circumstance that divides the two verses.

    With that in mind, I think logistically (in a purely storytelling capacity), Superman from Man of Steel is quite where he needs to be for a Justice League movie to work yet. I think a sequel showing him more comfortable with his role as a hero (and starting to display some the inherent goodness and morality that we expect from the character) would be best. In the sequel they could make verbal references to other heroes/cities/incidents/characters as well as having more easter eggs to allow the transition to a Justice League movie more smooth.

    Whatever they plan to do, I think Warner should take a chance, make an actual plan and then commit to it the way Marvel did. While the cost involved with making these movies is huge, given the current state of cinema, making a comic book movie isn’t really seen as a gamble anymore. As long as the movie is well cast, well written and properly captures the essence of the character, the movie will make money. Even the worst entries in the comic book genre weren’t total flops financially (yes I’m looking at you Ghost Rider and Superman Returns). While they may not have performed as well at the box office as the studios would have liked, it’s not as though 200+ million was spent on making it and it only made 50 million.

    The fact that Warner don’t seem to know what to do next (a MOS sequel, a Batman/Superman team-up, straight to a Justice League movie) worries me more than anything. That is the one thing Marvel has going for it over Warner and that is they have a plan of exactly what movies they are going to release. Warner really need to do the same.

    • In Superman Returns case, they spent over $270 million making it, and netted less than $200 million. That’s a failure, and that is why WB treated it as a failure.

  20. Only that it’s not long been loosely adapted into an animated film the JLA: Tower of Babel story arc would be a good place to jump into a world where these characters are already established and would double as the reboot for the Batman character without giving us a new stand alone Batman film so close to the culmination of Nolan’s trilogy.

  21. My biggest problem with jumping into a Justice League movie after Superman is the way they set up his world. I have a hard time believing that other super things are lying hidden around Earth after they seemed to go so far out of the way to make it clear Superman is the first Super thing to be on Earth. I don’t buy that an island of magical Amazonian’s are hiding when they established at the end of the movie a satellite could find superman if he didn’t drop it out of the sky. I also don’t buy that there is a larger galactic community for the Green Lantern Corps when space was portrait as so empty via the Krypton back stories.

    Perhaps through solo stories that are well written I could be convinced these other characters inhabit this world, but as a viewer I feel I would NEED that convincing first.

    • I for one can buy GL just fine. In canon, I foget who… but there was a Lantern on the way to help save Krypton that unfortunately got detoured due to an unexpected super-nova or something.

      But yeah, Amazonians and Atlantians… not so much. Gonna need some clever spins.

      • @Holden: isn’t that the same as saying “I can’t believe in aliens because we haven’t found them yet”? I mean in terms of our actual world, not in a film. Now that Superman has confirmed that what we thought in the past wasn’t questionable, we have to re-examine. Maybe the strange readings picked up by the government and NASA *aren’t* just glitches, etc.

        I think that ‘having eyes opened’ idea could be very relatable, if approached well in follow-up films.

        • The part of the movie that makes it feel like there are no other aliens was everything about Krypton. If there was a larger galactic community it feels that it would have come up in all the talk of how Krypton went down, but they paint a picture of a planet that is very much alone in space. And Zod jetted around for years going after outpost after outpost only to find them all abandoned and dead. To me that, once again, paints a picture of a galaxy devoid of other intelligent life.

          • Well in the prequel comic the Thanagarians are mentioned. Plus, the universe is unfathomably massive.

  22. I think that DC and Warner Bros. have tough decisions ahead. Whatever they do I will probably see as long as it looks promising (not a Green Lantern style movie again) mainly because I love the DC universe. A Justice League movie followed by solo films is fine by me. It would be fun to see more films from this universe and origin stories that do not spend to much time on the youth of the character.
    Man of Steel was done fantastically in my opinion and a Wonder Woman story of her helping people in trouble around the world after she leaves Themyscira to learn about the world would interesting. The story could start with her creation or birth and show her training or that could be done in flashbacks. As long as the tone remains universal for the movies.
    I do hope that they come to a smart decision quickly though so the attention that the film deserves will not fade with time.

  23. Attempting to look at things pragmatically, I think that along with another Superman film or two, with which pieces of a shared universe can gradually be introduced, the only other character who really needs a solo prequel to JL is Wonder Woman. She is a major character and deserves every bit as much attention as Superman and Batman, not to mention a high-quality film to flesh out her personal mythology (and I wouldn’t mind that being revised for the film version).

    Flash has great icon recognition thanks to Big Bang Theory, and a good film would be a can’t-miss proposition, but he could be introduced via JL. Batman, I feel, could be worked in via the Man of Steel films and JL as far as his reboot goes, since he is already familiar and should be a mysterious, fringe character anyway. Aquaman if done well could be a fantastic thing can wait until post-JL. Green Lantern….if we must…

  24. This was well written. Personally for me, I trust DC/Warner. They are being cautious, and they have a right to be, DC heroes, and its overall universe is very hard to bring to the silver screen, especially since they’ve had such bad luck with other movies in the past. I want them to take everything slowly. My only problem with them is that they completely fail to see what potential B.O. success they can have with other superheroes, we don’t need or want another Batman origin story, we already know everything we need to know. His entire origin story can easily be told in a few scenes, with no dialogue at all, it’s that easy! Gives us Aquaman, I really hope he gets introduced in the MoS sequel.

    • Many thanks, a lot of time went into it :D

      Like you, I’ll be happy with whichever path they choose, as long as DC and WB stand behind their characters.

  25. Stand alone movies must happen! Jumping in to a Justice League movie is the absolute wrong move for Warner Brothers. And they should happen for the following reasons:

    1) To establish the character traits that can define how the hero and maybe villain responds to certain situations and what motivates them.

    2) To discover with the hero the extent and limits of their abilities. In Superman 2, I was stunned to learn that Superman could pull cellophane from his chest and throw it at someone.

    3) I think that the more people get to know characters the more interested they are in their future adventures. If they had just jumped into the Avengers for example, people would have not necessarily have gone to see Robert Downey Jr. and his charming take on Iron Man. Without an origin story that would have been one less draw for an audience to see the Avengers.

    Let me also state this! Warner Brothers for some oddball reason spends ridiculous amounts of money on films. They keep hashing out $200-$250 million on films so the bar for success is so high that it seems like it is not worth the risk. By contrast Thor (the first movie) was made for $150 million. I can see something in that range for Superman and Batman, but $200 million for Green Lantern? Over $250 million for Superman Returns? I think their incessant need bring in academy award winning actors who wind up doing and saying little is wasteful. In addition, a smaller CGI budget for Man of Steel might have worked out better reducing the drawn out destruction scene at the end. I liked Man of Steel a lot!…I saw it three times! But I think the moral of that story is toning it down, budget, special effects and A list actors might be the way to go forward. If you do that instead of spending $500 million on two films, you could spend that same amount on three providing MORE opportunities to develop other characters and spreading out the financial risk over three movies rather than two.

    Justice league is going to be a $250 million film at least so i think at least establishing some groundwork with solo films is the best way to go to reduce the risk of that film falling flat.

  26. Couple of things…..

    MoS didn’t, “get it right” as the article outright states…..they did it, “better” than any Superman movie we have seen in over 25 years. That is a feat in and of itself but let’s not get carried away with absolutes shall we?

    And while the writer likes Aquaman as the next big thing, realistically it’s just not feasible. The character has been labeled by entire GENERATIONS as, “lame” and no matter how much you tell them the new version is a bad ass (which his is btw), those generations will ALWAYS remember the SuperFriends version.

    Add to that an entire underwater movie could run into 400+ millions (see Waterworld for just a hint of the problems and skyrocketing costs) and no studio in their right mind would gamble so much for such a character with the stigma, “lame”. A 400 million dollar movie is not the proving ground to try and change peoples opinions. I can appreciate the pipe dream but please let it go.

    So where should we go from here to get us to a JL movie? Well I’m all for the next Superman movie being a Superman/Batman discovery movie that has them solidifying a new partnership by the end and the forming of a team of supers.

    Should they use the “new 52″ though to tie into the comics? That for me is both a yes and no. MoS didn’t use the new 52 version straight out of the new box so why should we expect or even want that from the other cinematic versions of these titular characters? Use some of the new 52 elements but please please PLEASE kick Cyborg to the curb and bring back Martian Manhuter. Cyborg is the new, “lame” member and I don’t think he’s necessary to bring the group that supposed ethnic diversity.

    • @Mongoose: not accusing, but you could point out where the article outright states that Man of Steel got it right? I was only ever making the case that they did a good job, and a very risky one that seems to have paid off, at least from an artistic standpoint (like you said, better, than some in the past).

      As far as the Aquaman theory goes, well, mass audiences not taking something as seriously as it should be taken is a pretty poor reason to just throw your hands in the air and cut losses. Especially with the great writing that Geoff Johns brought to the character in the New 52. And that’s also implying that people who *know* a character as a bit of a joke would be less likely to attract attention than a character they’ve never heard of, as Marvel faced dead-on when bringing Phase One to life.

      And in terms of filming, nobody is claiming that massive floating sets should be constructed over blue screen, like Waterworld – if the Thor or Krypton sets were built those movies would have cost billions.

      • I am in the crowd that believes just for the sole reason that characters like Aquaman seem to be like running jokes in pop culture is a good enough reason to explore the character on film.

        By introducing a character such as Aquaman, Wonder Woman, or even Green Lantern before shedding away that bad memory, as ‘Man of Steel’ did for Superman or ‘Batman Begins’ did for Batman, in a Justice League film, one may see a huge part of the mainstream audience not interested in seeing “Super Friends Live Action”.

        • Dude, I love reading what you have to say about comic book stuff. I really do.

          …but Aquaman. Why?

          Get down to the ‘why’ about Aquaman. It’s non-existant, other than to have people that look like you and me, underwater. It’s very lazy, very old, storytelling.

          Underwater people contradicts itself. Unless you want a “this is all make-believe” approach… you stay away from underwater humanoids.

      • I think that a well-written, serious take on Aquaman could be flat-out awesome. The underwater element underexplored in superhero films just as in real science. If James Cameron’s technical work on Avatar 2 makes it easier to pull of technically and visually, then there is a real opportunity for WB/DC to do something that even Marvel hasn’t (yet). Comic fans will go see it, kids will want to see it, and again if done well, positive word-of-mouth can take care of the rest.

      • @Andrew Dyce…….I read through the article carefully and I did not find the exact phrase I supposedly quoted. Lots of, “got” and “right” but not together. Since I know SR doesn’t delete/change text after publishing I must have mixed up a line or two while quickly scanning the article. (plus I didn’t quote the entire sentence which is a cardinal sin) I retract that statement and apologize. :)

        As for Aquaman…..we both know that movie studios are notoriously skiddish. I point to John Carter as just one example….they fiddled with the title multiple times for silly and unfounded reasons….THE TITLE of all things. Are you going to tell me the stigma or being a joke for 30+ years won’t weigh heavily on a decision like this? They then balked at the original Lone Ranger script+bill which should have been a slam dunk even if it was going to cost more but they put the brakes on for a rewrite on a smaller budget.

        And Waterworld wasn’t just about set construction but also underwater footage. They are not going to be able to CGI fake the ocean or get away with filming in a swimming pool. Even Cameron knows this which is why he’s doing all the underwater film work for Avatar 2 in the actual ocean.

        I also used both reasons because while neither might not be a great reason alone, both at the same time are a one two punch.

        Look, I like the new bad-assed AM which is part of the reason why he should be introduced as a super neutral for the first JL movie. That will give those resistant audience members a sort of acclamation process and see just how awesome he can be w/o needing to see an entire movie about him first.

  27. Seems to me WB/DC is cocky by just wanting a JL film to compete w/ The Avengers 2. They have a thing about rushing things out such as Green Lantern, no wonder why that film flopped.

    Marvel still plans to take risks but still plans ahead carefully on future projects. Outside Justice League’s main core, I can’t imagine seeing a lot of DC characters fitting the tone of their already planned universe in a real world setting.

    • Personally, I can see all the characters fit the tone and Man of Steel universe. I mean if Superman of all superheroes can fit that tone and world, I think several other characters can too.

      • Agreed! I think the tone DC/Warner Brothers set is EXACTLY the right way to go and is what I think sets them apart from Marvel in a good way. I enjoy DC films much more than Marvel as a result.

      • @ ColdSc

        Unlike you & Patrick, I have my doubts that many of DC’s characters are gonna fit the tone of MOS or Nolan’s Batman version once you get past the core members of the JL. There’s the minor popular heroes & lesser known heroes depending how far WB/DC stretch their universe. characters like Dr.Fate,The Creeper,Fire,Ice, S.T.R.i.P.E & Stargirl, The Legion Of Superheroes.

        If they show Darkseid, will we see New Genises & Apolcalypse. Along with Orion, Mr.Mircicle & Barda or Kalibak, Steppenwolf, Dessad, Granny Goodness & the Female Furies?

        As for villains, Cheeta, Gorilla Grood, Giganta, Killer Frost, Ultra Humanite, Solomon Grundy, Copperhead. It’s endless how many characters would look out of place in their universe Snyder,Nolan,Goyer started if it gets to be huge.

  28. I have to say, I agree with most of this article. In my opinion, do a man of steel sequel that shows Superman confident at the top of his game. Give him and enemy that he barely beats and hints at an even larger foe. Make this the reason Superman seeks out help. Next go to a World’s Finest movie. Have Superman seek out Batman who is already established in Gotham. After those two are set up, I think you can move into JL. Have Superman and Batman be the recruiters. Show some friction between the people they recruit. (For instance, Batman frustrated about Superman bringing in the Flash). I agree that the spectacle of seeing the heroes at their peak will draw in the crowds even more than orgin stories. Just my two cents.

  29. Comic book movies in the end are only as good as the villians

    • Well, no. They are only as good as the acting, the hero, the villain, the plot, the story, the directing, the editing, etc.

      • +1

      • + 1,000

        Which is why I am not worried if the Superhero trend may die out. It has certainly come close in the past but several great films manage to keep it going.

        Great films will always find a place

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