Warner Bros Finally Gets Serious About DC Comics

Published 7 years ago by

warner bros and dc comics round up Warner Bros Finally Gets Serious About DC ComicsIt has been a long time in coming, but it now appears that Warner Bros. has finally decided to make use of their stable of DC Comics characters.

Following the financial and critical success of The Dark Knight Warner Bros. has realized that they are sitting on a gold mine – not only from box office receipts, but also from DVD, television, video games and other sources of revenue.

Last month the company held a strategy meeting in an attempt to figure out what was needed in order for them to match Marvel Comics in the comic book movie stakes, and it would appear that they have finally come up with a plan.

Variety spoke with Warner Bros head honchos Jeff Robinov and Alan Horn who touched on topics such as the sequel to The Dark Knight (and director Chris Nolan’s involvement), the development of DC Characters movies and the chances of there ever being a Justice League movie.

It looks like the company is about to go to town on their stable of iconic characters that includes: Batman, Superman, The Flash, The Green Lantern, Aquaman and Wonder Woman.

Warner Bros chief Alan Horn said that Warner and DC were committed to turning:

“the properties into viable movie product in an intelligent way so that we introduce them like planes on a runway. They have to be set up the right way and lined up the right way and all take off one at a time and fly safe and fly straight.”

With regards to Justice League, Jeff Robinov as good as admitted that the studio almost made a terrible mistake.  Robinov said:

“We’re not off the notion of a Justice League. There’s a massive interest and knowledge in the comicbook industry and it takes time to sort of catch up and understand the characters and the history, where they’ve intersected with each other and what their worlds are. That’s part of the education that we’re going through.”

There’s a lot of B.S. that flies around Hollywood, but it’s good to see somebody own up to making a mistake – or as close to owning up as you can in the City of Angels.

That said the studio isn’t totally off the idea of the multi-character superhero film.  Gregory Noveck senior VP of creative affairs for DC Comics stated:

“These are big, iconic characters. So when you make them into a movie, you’d better be shooting for a pretty high standard. You’re not always going to reach it, but you have to be shooting for it. We’re going to make a Justice League movie, whether it’s now or 10 years from now. But we’re not going to do it and Warners is not going to do it until we know it’s right.”

With regards to the sequel to The Dark Knight, there is a deal with Christopher Nolan –  if he is interested, but Horn says: We have no idea where Chris is going with this. We haven’t had any conversations with him about it.”

I find it very hard to believe that in the month since The Dark Knight has opened and broken all sorts of box office records that the studio has not started talking to the brains behind the film. You can bet that Warner Bros. wants to get into the Nolan-Batman business but it sounds to me like Nolan is playing a bit of hard ball (echoes of the Marvel/Iron Man/Jon Favereau situation). If he does decide to do the film (and I’m pretty sure that he will) Warner Bros will be bankrolling some of his passion projects for the next few years.

There will be more announcements next month with regards to Warner and DC’s plans, but it looks like the studio has finally decided to fight back on the comic book movie front. It would appear that Marvel will finally be getting some serious competition for the superhero limelight.

Source: Variety

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  1. That’s the one I was unsure of. But the more I thought about it, the more it grew on me. I hated him in Titanic and thought he was another Teen Beat flavor of the month pretty boy actor. But c’mon! Catch me if you can, aviator, The DEPARTED! This guy has come into his own. He would have to bulk up, but that’s not hard in today’s hollywood. He can play the Bruce side easily, a la the Aviator, and he can play the dark hero as in Blood Diamond. I think he could be the right man for the job, since Bale probably won’t be up for it.

  2. I have to agree, Leo as Bats doesn’t quite work for me. How about someone more on the lines of an unknown. Like Wonder Woman, and Superman, people want to the see the CHARACTERS and NOT the actors PORTRAYING the characters. I think Smallville’s contribution to the cast might work, since fans of the show, including myself would LOVE to see Tom Welling FINALLY don the red and blue suit!!

  3. Any ideas on who’d be better suited as the Bat?

  4. Billy Crudup would make a fine Bruce Wayne/Batman if you asked me.

  5. Said this back in Mid July:
    Marvel’s announced they’re coming up with an Avengers movie, one of the worst kept secrets in the industry.

    So now I s’pose its only a matter of time until DC anounces that they’ll release a Justice League movie… so I started tossing around potential cast for one inside my head.

    Superman: Brandon Routh

    Not the problem with Superman Returns, why punish him?

    Batman: Two different ways of going about it.
    Bruce Wayne: Christian Bale
    Terry McGinnis: Jake Gyllenhal

    If they go the Batman of the future route then they’d probably be best getting Bale to put in a small time performance as an aged Bruce Wayne.

    Green Lantern – John Stewart(?): Don Cheadle

    John Stewart is probably the most intriguing Green Lantern prospect because of how he mixes with the other League-members – Hawkgirl and such.

    Flash – Wally West: Ryan Reynolds

    Easy choice, personality matches, he wouldn’t have to go out of his comfort zone too much in terms of acting… pretty much the perfect role for him.

    Martian Manhunter – J’onn J’onnz: Lawrence Fishbourne is probably out due to his involvement with Marvel, Silver Surfer (although Ryan Reynolds had a pretty big role in Blade Trinity – also Marvel). I’d probably try and track down the guy who voiced him in the animated series (Carl Lumbly) and use CGI as Marvel did with Silver Surfer in the recent Fantastic Four movie.

    Hawkgirl – Shiera Sanders Hall: Natalie Portman(?)

    Need someone who can come across as cold, military front out of the two heroines. Wonderwoman wears her heart on her sleeve a bit more than Hawkgirl.

    Wonderwoman – Diana Prince: I’ve heard Sandra Bullock and Catherine Zeta-Jones have their names mentioned for the Wonder Woman movie coming up… To be honest, the heroines are probably the hardest ones to cast currently.

  6. Okay Hound, I have to give you credit on your 10/28 comment, since clearly you gave this whole JLA casting subject a great deal of thought. But I have to admitt that some if not all of your choices were definitely not folks I would have ever considered casting if I had my way. Case and point, Brandon Routh as Superman. His portrayal of the Man of Steel was weak at best. He just didn’t have the commanding performance that one would come to expect from such an iconic role as Superman! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Tom Welling should be cast as Superman. I think he can pull of the meek Clark Kent complete with eyeglasses, as well as the strong, brave, and bold Superman. He’s been prepping for this role since day one of Smallville!

    As for Bats, well, Christian Bale would be alright in the role but most anyone covered up by that costume could pull it off, as was the case with Michael Keaton. Terry McGinnis…? No. He’s not a part of the Justice League that novice viewers and die-hard fans alike will come to expect. Besides, this country’s too Bat-crazy right now to settle for a future Bats vs. the classic Dark Knight.

    Green Lantern-John Stewart portrayed by Don Cheadle?! Jinkies! That really scares me! I’m thinking more like a Shemar Moore, Rockmond Dunbar, or even Taye Diggs would be better choice that Cheadle. Zoinks! Someone more physically suited for the role as well as having a strong on-screen presence and intensity.

    Flash – Wally West: Ryan Reynolds, I totally concur! He’s pretty much the ideal actor for this part.

    Martian Manhunter – J’onn J’onnz: Lawrence Fishbourne. Awesome! I couldn’t agree with you more on this one either.

    Hawkgirl – Shiera Sanders Hall: Natalie Portman(?), maybe, but how about Anne Hathaway?

    As for Wonder Woman, I have two words for you: Megan Gale. End of subject.

  7. There’d been a lot of talk of a Flash movie over the years.

    I’d been thinking Ryan Reynolds but looked into it myself after writing that and fortunately they’d been thinking along much the same lines as me there.

    Along with Deadpool, Flash is the role in Comics Reynoldsis most suited for.

    Anne Hathaway doesn’t seem strong enough to me for Hawkgirl, remember she has a very harsh exterior… I don’t think Hathaway could pull it off in a way that I wouldn’t laugh at.

    While I can see the line of thought with Megan Gale and also like her a great deal, she doesn’t have a great deal of acting experience.

    Finally, don’t short sell Michael Keaton, he was quality and held the right temperament to pull off this twisted dual identity of Bruce Wayne and Batman. With Val Kilmer and *ugh* Clooney shortselling the Batman role (although I think Kilmer did a bit better in the Bruce Wayne side) I think it kind of sits i the face of anyone pulling off Batman.

    Terry McGinnis as a Batman of the future was a concept I was tinkering with in order to see things under budget and deal with Bale’s lack of interest considering Nolan likely wouldn’t be involved. In which case he could be offeed a lesser role made upas an aged Bruce Wayne, at least that can be written around. As far as Bale’s Batman-voice goes… I don’t thik this would be a bad thing either.

  8. Don’t rule out Hathaway quite yet, I think she might surprise you. But then again, there’s been no talk of a Hawkgirl featured any live-action film as far as I’m aware. Have you heard anything to the contrary? Would love to know.

    As for Megan Gale, from what I’ve read about her audition, she pretty much knocked em dead with her screen test. And keep in mind that Lynda Carter who is synonymous with the character of Wonder Woman, had very limited acting experience as well. And now you can’t help think of the one without the other.
    And from what I’ve also been reading, Gale’s been taking not only acting classes but voice lessons to get rid of the Australian accent as well as training for the fight scenes. She seems pretty dedicated to this project. And I have a feeling the studios want to keep it off most folks radars until they’re ready to start leaking some of the goods.

    Michael Keaton is beyond Batman now. He was awesome in the 80′s, but it’s time to give someone else a shot at the role now. But from what I’ve heard on-line there’s talk that both Supes and Batman won’t be in the JLA film now, after re-writes. Intriguing, since that would mean that they wouldn’t interfere with the solo Batman and Superman franchises.

  9. Well, as I said before my first comment I made that cast list quite a long time ago, I stand by Cheadle for Green Lantern and I’m taking his appearance in Iron Man 2 taking over the role of Rhodey as professional casters agreeing with me that Cheadle could pull off a military hero wielding “super” powers.

    I hadn’t heard anything of Hawkgirl appearing either… just figured that if studios were going to go for this it would best suit their demographic to fill a similar cast to the recent Justice League and Justice League Unlimited animated series… easier to promote.

    My comment regarding Michael Keaton was that I thought you were underselling his performances (which along with Bale would be the best portrayal of the character to date) with the suggestion that anyone can fill the suit.

    As for Megan Gale, being Australian I’m very familiar with her (lucky me) and from what I can tell she’s a very driven career woman, to me in still images and the trailer I would expect her to look awesome, so I’d reserve all judgement beyond the trailer until seeing a 45 minute demo or such. As much as Lynda Carter was an icon for the role (I’ll probably get lynched for saying this but I will anyway) its a different era and anything less than making Lynda Carter look farcical I would see as a failure.

    From talk I’ve heard the whole thing’s been put on stand-by due to a negative reaction to the cast… although a lot of the official talk has shifted blame to the writers strike.

    I really don’t know about Brody (not that its his fault)… I think its a lot harder to push Barry Allen Flash on the kids today than a Wally West… and Reynolds is a no brainer cast pick for that role.


  11. i think its an awesome thing to put all movies on hold. i think i speak for all true fans that we would be deeply disappointed if the Justice League movie didn’t live up to our expectations. they should really study each and every character before putting him or her on the big screen. i myself love justice league and all major DC Comics characters so i would love to see a perfect movie of them.

  12. dude i miss those cartoons like real bad :(

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