Mark Millar Calls the ‘Justice League’ Movie a Good Way to Lose Money

Published 2 years ago by , Updated June 27th, 2013 at 6:14 pm,

Mark Millar Calls Justice League Movie Disastrous Mark Millar Calls the Justice League Movie a Good Way to Lose Money

Mark Millar – (ex) Grant Morrison pupil, comic book creator (Kick-Ass 2), and newly-appointed creative consultant to Fox’s corner of the Marvel movie universe – recently had some very kind words to say about Warner Bros.’ Man of Steel adaptation and the casting of Henry Cavill as Superman. Perhaps he was just softening up DC fans for his latest comments.

In a recent interview, Millar spoke at some length regarding the forthcoming Justice League film – specifically, he talked about how “out of date” the characters are, how “disastrous” the team will be, and how the project is an “excellent way of losing $200 million.

According to Mark Millar (courtesy of Sci-fi Now):

“I actually think the big problem for them is the characters are just too out of date. The characters were created 75 years ago, even the newest major character was created 68 years ago, so they’re in a really weird time.”

Of course, Batman was created some 74 years ago and he’s not only the single most popular superhero in existence, he also just came off one of the more successful film franchises – not just superhero film franchises, mind you! – in the history of time. It’s also worth noting that Mark Millar himself practically begged DC and Warner Bros. to let him make a trilogy of Superman movies in the vein of Lord of the Rings. If that 75-year-old character is “too out of date” to succeed at the cinema, why was Millar so interested in attempting just that?

And Sherlock Holmes! That guy was created in the 1800s. There’s just no way you could make successful movies or TV shows based around that character in this day in age. Dracula? More like Lame-ula. Snow White? More like Lame White. The Hobbit? More like the Lamelet!

The point being – who cares if a character was created 75 years ago, a hundred years ago, 200 years ago, or more? Isn’t the significant (and ongoing) lifespan of these characters – the ones that comprise the Justice League of America – just proof that they have the ability to stand the test of time, not unlike Sherlock, Dracula, and so on?

Millar went on to talk specifically about Green Lantern:

“Now the stuff I grew up with… I adored the DC stuff growing up but really, how do you do a movie about Green Lantern? His power is that he manifests green plasma from his imagination and uses them as weapons against someone? Even that in itself if you just imagine then watching a fight scene with a guy who’s like a hundred feet away making plasma manifestations fight someone – it’s not exactly raucous, getting up close and personal.”

And The Flash (a comic book character that Millar had some success writing, incidentally):

“The Flash has door handles on the side of his mask and if he doesn’t wear that mask, I’ll be pissed off, you know what I mean? They’re in a weird, weird situation – if you’ve got a guy who moves at the speed of light up against the Weather Wizard and Captain Cold or whatever, then your movie’s over in two seconds.

And Aquaman (who, according to recent reports, won’t even be a member of the movie version of the Justice League):

“You can get away with stuff in comics that in live action’s just a bit sucky – the best one is definitely Aquaman. Aquaman can’t even talk under water. If you think about it in comics it’s fine, you just have a speech balloon, but how do you have Atlantis and people talking under water? Are they gonna talking telepathically? Is it going to be body forms? The actual logistics of each member of the Justice League is disastrous, and you put them all together and I think you get an excellent way of losing $200 million.”

Aside from the fact that most of these complaints seem incredibly nitpicky (Aquaman’s inability to realistically talk under water is not a serious roadblock to his cinematic future), couldn’t we play this game with every major superhero? Like, every single one?

Captain America: “A guy who throws a shield – with an American flag on it, no less! – at bad guys? And wears wings on his head? And says stuff like ‘Golly gee whillickers!’ Why, that sounds like a recipe for disaster!”

Or Wolverine: “A five-foot-tall wolf-like Mary Sue who sports mutton chops and has knives coming out of his hands? What an excellent way to lose money!”

Or Thor: “The Norse god of thunder – but, in the movie version, an alien who rides alien horses and just acts like the god of thunder – who sometimes talks like someone out of Shakespeare. ‘Verily this’ and ‘verily that.’ Pfft. Like that’ll ever make money!”

Justice League Movie Character List Mark Millar Calls the Justice League Movie a Good Way to Lose Money

The comments are particularly strange considering Mark Millar previously talked about the Justice League script and was fairly gracious, saying it could be “a thing of beauty” and “it’s in really good hands.” Did something happen between then and now to give Millar the impression that the movie is headed down the wrong path? Because the Justice League characters certainly didn’t age 75 years in the eight months since his prior comments.

Ultimately, I think Justice League – as with any movie – will live or die (critically, financially) depending on who’s writing, directing, producing, and starring in the movie, and not because of any specific character foibles. If those writers/directors/producers/actors aren’t the right people, the movie will probably be less successful than it could’ve been – maybe even terrible. And if they’re precisely the right people, the movie probably has a pretty good shot at being a massive blockbuster. After all, who doesn’t want to see Superman and Batman on the big screen together?

But what do I know? Maybe Mark Millar’s right and all these characters are just too old and out of touch with the world of today, unlike all those hip X-Men, Fantastic Four, and Avengers characters.

What do you think, Screen Ranters? Do you agree with Millar that Warner Bros.’ Justice League movie plan (what little we know of it, anyway) is an excellent way to lose money?

The Justice League movie is tentatively scheduled to hit theaters in 2015.


Follow me on Twitter @benandrewmoore.

Source: Sci-fi Now [via Bleeding Cool]

Follow Ben Moore on Twitter @benandrewmoore
Get our free email alerts on the topics and author of this article:


Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.

If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it. Keep in mind that we do not allow external links in the comments.

  1. The source of this article ‘bleeding cool’ is pretty notorious for sensationalising non-news. They also have a habit of taking comments completely out of context. Mark Millar, for all his big-mouthed faults, loves comics and these characters. Plus he’s already been vocal about his enjoyment of the script.

    • The source is Sci-Fi Now.

  2. He’s right of course, not because the heroes are old but because their sensibilities are outdated.
    Even the New 52 couldn’t help.
    Yet if you look at his career, every stupid thing he has said seems to have been leading up to this manipulative remark.
    He will need to write a special story for a sick child to recover publically from this debacle.
    An angel told me so in fact.

  3. millar’s last comment(shown in the darker SR boxes) was totally justifiable

  4. Mr Millar sounds like someone with an axe to grind. I think as always if the Justice League film is well written, a great story with the right director and cast it could also be a success. I very much agree with your Dracula, Sherlock Holmes, Batman Argument. It means nothing when these characters were created, they just need the right story. The fact is good characters, will stand the test of time and multiple interpretations. The bad ones will not… C’mon WB, I’m rooting for you, you guys arfe the underdog right now, that should be great motivation to do something great with The Justice League.

  5. Yeah cause it isnt like the last Batman movie made over a billion dollars at the box office.

  6. I think it is true for some. Superman and Batman were always going to be timeless. Wonder Woman could still work as long as they cast someone that is sexy as hell.

    Marvel characters in general were always more interesting.

    • TRUE DAT

    • …in YOUR opinion. OPINION: It’s an important word to remember, Chris. Many people think Marvel characters are more interesting. Many people think DC characters are more interesting. Many people have flip-flopped their positions over the years.

      Do NOT state your own perception as fact. it’s not.

    • I agree completely. I always viewed the DC characters (other than Batman) as being more for kids. To me they work well for a young crowd (5 to 13) but once you get older than that, they start to fall apart. Marvel characters seem more drawn out and deeper in my opinion.

      • Dc more for kids, ha. If anything marvel has that market, in spades. Dc has just a little bit more fantasy than marvel. Dc has always been more dark than the campy marvel line. Marvel and DC need to get it together in comics. The editorial is the problem at DC and the lame writing and constant hero vs hero story from marvel have put both in a state of mediocrity.

      • Its been the opposite for me. Dc brought comics to adults with watchman, dark knight returns, V, etc.

  7. Simple industry politics.
    Given his new exhaulted position in the Marvel scheme of things it’s just a simple dig at the oposition while sucking up to his bosses.

    ALL superheroes per say are out of touch… because they’re SUPER, even the ones without powers are normally rich beyond the dreams of avarice.
    It’s not about the heroes but the stories then enable us to tell thats important and will only be as relavent as the writer wants it to be.

    That’s why the lasted batch of superhero movies have all “tried to ground the character in reality”, to make them relavent. Iron Man did it, Bats did it, etc. And because they have grounded there heroes you can get away with it when you go far our bonkers and do something like the Avengers.

    ALL the DC diehards will go see a Justice League movie, Supes and Bats are just too cool to miss, WW will not doubt be sexy as hell, GL and Flash – mhemm, always got to have a runt in the litter. As long as it’s a good script, well cast and directed like the Avengers was then comic fans from both side will flock to it.

    • What grounded Iron Man in reality? Him flying through the air in a hand made metal suit, slamming into the desert ground and walking away?

      Being shot at by an F15 and hit yet having no damage to his body?

      All Iron Man did was bring the same story to modern time. It did nothing to ground it in reality.

      Now Nolans Batman is a different story especially with his talk about the movies and the way he tried to make it real.

      Spiderman, Cap, Thor? Again story made for modern time not really reality.

      • Ok, I’m picking nits, but it was an F-22 ;)

      • Right.. Because the batwing Hover mobile was totally realistic.. Rolls eyes*

        • well said lol

  8. Hmm…Mark Millar, a guy who felt the need to make a sequel to a successful graphic novel more vicious, violent, and disgusting for no particular narrative purpose. Yep, I want to listen to him. *Sarcasm*

  9. To the hardcore DC fans, after reading this all you need to do is 1) take a deep breath and 2) rejoices in the fact that Mark Miller is not contributing to the movies you want to see.

  10. I look at it this way:

    Marvel’s poster boy is Spider-Man. If he was in an Avengers movie, people would go nuts (and he is part of the New Avengers team).

    DC’s poster boy is Batman. If he was in a Justice League movie, which he will, people would, and will, go nuts.

    I have seen more people begging for Spider-Man in place of Black Widow or Hawkeye in Avengers and even MORE people begging to see Batman and Superman in the same movie (I see more Superman and Batman merchandising being bought than any of the Avengers stuff).

    From my perspective, DC has the upper hand for now as they have control of putting the prime Justice League members into one movie. Marvel needs to negotiate with Sony to bring Spidey into the Avengers because IMO, Ant Man and Guardians of the Galaxy will not be as near as hyped or successful as many comic or movie fans believe it will be.

    Thats just me though

  11. DC sucks anyway

    • That’s cold!

    • @TrillaDude
      Thank God that’s just your Opinion.

  12. DC outdated STFU Millar And BTW can’t someone like both marvel and dc ( even though i prefer DC ).

    • Agreed!

    • I know I like em both. As well as image, IDW, vertigo and so on.

      And DC doesn’t suck.

  13. In regards to Batman, let us be honest with ourselves here! While Nolan’s franchise was infinitely superior to the previous 4 consecutively “ugh” to, “Oh my God what’ve they done??”, fiascoes we were treated to between 1989 through 1997, not ONE (and yes, including Nolan’s version) has adequately managed to evince & evoke the true quintessential essence of Batman! Both in physicality as well as the true intensity in the brooding depths of a damaged psyche possessing a man driven by his witnessing as a child, the murder of both of his parents simultaneously in cold blood. Oh yeah, they’re allude to in order to establish the basis for why Batman exists, but their role is essentially marginalized beyond their ‘plot point’ significance. But what can you expect I guess from an industry steeped in such hypocritically dysfunctional liberal folly as they denounce & promote against gun violence in the public arena on one hand, while on the other it’s their bread & butter as they cash in on gun violence continuously in their movies to take to the bank.

    • Agreed. I always get annoyed when people who don’t know anything about Batman say that Nolan’s Batman is the real Batman. Not even close. But that doesn’t stop me from loving the hell out of his movies.

    • I still think Returns is the best Batman film ever. Of course, that is simply my opinion.

  14. Millar is wrong.

  15. Wow. Someone is really butt-hurt for the JLA.

  16. I love Thor. But Thor is about as corny as comic book character as you can find. Yet they still managed to make a good Thor movie. I don’t thinking making a good JLA movie or a good Flash movie will be a problem.

  17. If JL sucks or fails, it won’t be because of the characters, it will be because WB/DC fuumbled it up somehow.

    Millard has a lot to prove in his own little super hero group before he starts bashing others. I’m defiantly not a fan of how WB/DC is handling it’s characters (other than Arrow), but Millard just sounds absolutly foolish with these remarks. I would expect something better from somebody like that.
    What’s he going to sat next, Marvel Studios doesnt know what their doing either? Or maybe “Marvel Studios will never revolutionize the way movies are done!” Both are equally as stupid comments.

  18. The only problem I see with making this film is getting all the actors who have put on the suits in the recent years to reprise their roles one more time

  19. Hmm wa he too nice the other day? Looks like somebody making snarky comments because his own stuff at fox isnt as soli as he tought. When is xmen coming out 2014 or 2015? Maybe its a situation where Fox people have told him to stop being nice about the competition…

  20. Come 2015 and the Justice League release, I’d really like to see M. Miller regret these words. Not because I didn’t like what he said (that too), but mostly because that would mean that not only JL would be a hit, but also that DC/WB would have succeeded in making a good — make that a GREAT — movie.

  21. Why did Millar’s attitude change? Simple answer Fox is using mind control on him.

    • Strong in the dark side of the force Murdoch is.

  22. Mark Millar talking (and writing) b*******? What a surprise.

  23. Ben, maybe I’m just dense, but I’m getting the impression that you don’t agree with Millar’s comments.

  24. This guy is a master of shilling it seems……

  25. couldn’t agree more. I just don’t have confidence in this project. WBro’s just has a horrible record. I feel like a Green Lantern is going to happen again….

  26. I honestly believe if The Justice League movie does right then it will beat Avengers by a land slide. I mean when Avengers came out with all the work and characters in it, it should have been the most looked forward to superhero movie their is. But for me and some other people I know The Dark Knight Rises was the most looked forward to movie. My point being a marvel superhero team movie like the avengers had competition with A DC superhero movie about one hero. I personally think Justice League will fail just because they are trying to rush it to keep up with Marvel, but I do think it has potential to be the greatest superhero movie of all time IMO

  27. Batman + Superman in the same movie = $$$$$$$$$$$$, outdated or not.

  28. This might seem like a strange suggestion but if WB wanted to do something different but still do a DCCU maybe they should have set their DCCU in the 50′s/60′s. This could have been quite cool and very unique. Imagine Bruce Wayne in an old Rolls Royce, Clarke Kent in a classic suit and hat as a homage to the old superman films, Hal Jordan in an old pilot leather jacket and head cap wearing the goggles as a test pilot etc. If done with class this could have looked really good and then all the technology/gadgets in the films could have been done in a far more comic book style like captain America was and this way maybe villain such as poison ivy/freeze could look less weird/not have to be made as realistic for modern adaptations.

    This obviously won’t happen as MOS is set now (which I am really looking forward to) as will the rest of the DCCU. I like the realistic approach to TDK triology and the new MOS film as I do think that works to and has made for not just good superhero film but actual great films. Was just a thought really about alternative ways of doing superhero films. What do you guys think about this? Maybe when the next DCCU is done many years from now they could take this approach?????

    • Nice idea

      • Thanks! Also I agree with you about your post above. I think that with a bit of marketing, provided it does not look utterly rubbish, this film will make a decent amount at the box office.

  29. Image, Dark Horse, IDW, Dynamite & all the other indie comic book companies are better then Marvel & DC. With Marvel & DC, it’s the same old crap. Don’t get me wrong, i still read their stuff but i gravitate towards the indies. So please lets get stuff like Hack/Slash, Savage Dragon, Invincible, The Goon, Chew, Irredeemable, The Darkness, Usagi Yojimbo & The Darkness on the big screen.

    In my opinion