Warner Bros Finally Gets Serious About DC Comics

Published 5 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

TAGS: aquaman, green lantern, justice league, the dark knight rises, the flash, wonder woman

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  1. Another thing is that the only movies that have come out so far are the Superman movie and the two Batman ones. We dont know how the others ones are gonna come out, they might be as gritty and dark as the Batman films. People arent gonna care whos suppose to be older between Batman and Superman, especially since its just by a couple of years. A nice well written script/story can make this all work with Bale and Routh both in it.

  2. Oscar, if they can use Bale, fine. But Nolan’s Batman does not fit into a world where aliens and magical characters run amok. Sorry. And using Bale would probably mean that they’d be using Nolan’s Batman, which, as mentioned, wouldn’t work in a JLA or (World’s Finest) movie. Besides, Bale said he would not play Batman unless it was with Nolan directing and what do you think the chances are of Nolan doing a JLA or World’s Finest film? Yeah. Slim. :/

  3. Dude, I can tell you, right off the bat, that the GL film – with it’s space battles, aliens, and other civilizations – will not fit into Niolan’s Batman U, no matter how “gritty”. Unless they’re doing the comic book Batman, with the black and gray suit and the batmobile, batcave, batplane, computer, where he’s the gadget/detective extraordinaire, GL will not fit into the (Nolan) Batman U. They can do a “grim and gritty” comic book Batman with all the afformentioned attributes. That goes double for WW, with her greek mythology oriented story and so on. Nolan’s Batman is the comic book Batman in terms of story, that’s it. It’s set in a hyper realistic world where all the “gee whiz” elements that put Batman on par with and allows him to credibly function in the same world of Superman, GL, WW, the Flash, etc, have been relegated.

  4. Thats true but i think thats the whole point of a crossover, to put a character in an environment that he’s not used to. And Bale did mention that, but everyone knows how fast money can change peoples minds.

  5. Thats a nice list Kel .
    unfortunately fans wont be choosing who plays GL.
    I would go with an unknown as well.

  6. Oscar,

    That’s an interesting point, but the JLA members are all supposed to exist in the same universe/environment. Like Marvel is doing with the Avengers. They set the members up in the same U from the start (like the comix) so that they’re compatible for the big teamup movie. If WB/DC would’ve been smarter from the start and set up Nolan’s Batman and Singer’s Superman in the same U then I wouldn’t have a problem with it, ya know? But who knows? Enough money can do anything, right? :p

    Gary,

    thanks. :D Sorry the links didn’t come thru. :(

    Here’s a list of folks I could see as some JLA members:

    Superman – [url=http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0873998/]Michael Trucco[/url]

    [url]http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0873998/[/url]

    He’s expressed interest in the part several times and I’ve spoken to him personally about it. :D Great guy. And yeah, I know he’s on BSG.

    or [url=http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0004827/]Eddie Cibrian[/url] (maybe)

    ^ Looks the part (he can anyway) and is an OK actor.

    [url]http://www.buddytv.com/articles/Vanished/Images/Eddie_Cibrian_Vanished.jpg[/url]

    Batman – [url=http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0289142/]Matthew Fox[/url]

    [url]http://primetime.unrealitytv.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2008/01/matthew-fox.jpg[/url]

    I like this guy. He’s a decent actor, and can pull off the “grissled, veteran” look that might be necessary for the JLA Batman. His face would work well with the Batman cowl, IMO. He would also make for an OK Bruce Wayne, IMO.

    Wonder Woman – [url=http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0384751/]Victoria Hill[/url]

    [url]http://www.theage.com.au/ffximage/2006/09/08/macbeth_narrowweb__300x447,0.jpg[/url] (probably)

    Looks the part (I think) and can act. I guess that’s all there is to it…?

    The Flash/Barry Allen – [url=http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2187603/]Scott Porter[/url]

    [url]http://www.aolcdn.com/ch_celebrity/scott-porter-491742[/url]

    Auditioned for the role in the cancelled George Miller JLA film (but lost), he’s got the right age (Barry was 24 when he got his powers and became Flash, Porter is 29), complexion, height, good sense of humor, and is a comics fan (he’s expressed interest in playing the Avenger’s Hawkeye) like Barry Allen/The Flash.

    Green Lantern/John Stewart (since I already posted on Hal) – [url=http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0996669/]Common[/url]

    [url]http://suckerfreeblog.mtv.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/01/common_l.jpg[/url]

    He supposedly had the part in the cancelled JLA film, sure he’s a rapper, but he looks the part and can act (better then he raps anyway heheh). He was the best thing about the cancelled film’s cast, IMO.

    I’m still working on Martian Manhunter and Aquaman… but lemme know whatcha think of those 5^ castings. :D

  7. Wow Kel, couldn’t disagree more.

    In your post, you’re complaining about a 6 year age difference from two guys in their 30s, you even say superman should be a few “months older”…what? lol. you can tell people months apart when they are adults? That’s impressive. Superman, is an Alien to btw, he doesn’t necessarily need more wrinkles.

    Dress Bale up in his Bat Costume, put Routh in his superman costume, have them talk to each other…Bale can even go crazy with his batvoice, and they can come up with a plan to take down some crime syndicate with the green lantern in the background listening. There’s your commercial, I’m sold. Theatres, please take my $10. Insta-half-billion in box office.

    Both new franchises are set in the modern world, in real-looking cities. Re-casting for this film in any way for the main characters means me not seeing this flick. And many others too, so that’s probably not gonna work. We need a batman and a superman in JLA…we have two, and I really like both. Any change from that and I’m out.

    It’s like if Edward Norton were replaced by Banner in the Avengers, I’d be pretty upset and not excited for the film.

  8. Rob,

    The point being Batman and Superman are supposed to be very close in age/the same age. Routh and Bale aren’t close in age at all. They aren’t compatible. Routh is 29 and Bale is 35. The worst part is that Routh looks much younger than Bale, yet they’re supposed to be playing characters who are the same age.

    Also consider the storyarcs for both respective films (SR and BB). They don’t fit.

    Superman and Batman, unlike Hulk and Iron man, have, as I mentioned, been played by numerous actors in different media hardly years apart since the forties. It’s not like it’s the 1950s and they’re recasting George Reeves. Because of the amount of exposure these two characters have had over the years, no one will care if they’re recasted as long as they fit the part.

    If they are recasted and you choose not to see the movie, shame on you. I’d watch a SNL skit with Superman and Batman in it.

    Besides, Singer’s so called “franchise” seems to be getting the boot anyway (hopefully), so there’s no need to have Nolan’s realm clash with it anyway if it’s to be done away with. It would not have worked anyway.

    (Bale’s Batman voice sux, BTW. that’s the only thing I dislike about him as Batman lol)

  9. Cuz it’s hard to read above, here’s my JLA cast again:

    Superman – Michael Trucco or (maybe) Eddie Cibrian

    Batman – Matthew fox

    Wonder Woman – Victoria Hill (probably)

    The Flash/Barry Allen – Scott Porter

    Green lantern/John Stewart (since I already posted my thoughts on Hal) – Common

  10. I love how passionate Kel is about this. LOL..

    The one thing we have to take into consideration is that by the time that a JL project even gets under way is going to be quite awhile. I have NO doubt in my mind that EB is going to have a 3rd Nolan Batman film out before JL. They HAVE to because it is literally money in the bank. So figure it will be 2011 or 2012 before we see that film. SO we’re probably looking around a 2013-2014 release date which would put Bale around 40 and probably SICK of being Batman. I don’t think there is a chance that Bale will be Batman in JL.

    Now ROUTH, on the other hand, I can TOTALLY see being Superman in a JL movie released 5-6 years from now. He’ll be in his early to mid-30′s (which fits your criteria Kel) and I can totally see the other JL characters such as GL, WW, Flash, etc, existing in Singer’s Supes universe. (Hopefully they kinda forget about the kid.) As a matter of fact, I would be surprised if Routh WASN’T Supes in a JL film.

  11. Dang, in my first paragraph I meant to type “WB” for Warner Brothers, not EB…LOL…

  12. lol Andy.

    Singer’s superman is getting a sequel, man of steel, no? So they aren’t throwing that away. If that’s good, then everything changes.

    We have two current actors playing the most modern theatrical versions of the character. And to me, they’re both perfect. They can act the same age, when when Routh is in his superman apparel, he doesn’t look any younger or feel younger to me, I honestly think that’s a complete non-issue, and I certainly don’t think that warrants re-casting.

    Re-casting one doesn’t make any sense, and if DC does that, then they aint serious and the film will be weakened severely by it. If they wanna play in the big game, they have to match what the avengers are doing…Nolan’s batman isn’t gonna support DC all by itself.

    I wonder what kind of contract options were included for both of these actors, for Marvel they had them all set up for future flicks.

    What does everyone else think?

  13. Andy, when I saw that I thought Editor Bros?
    Eagle Bros?
    I kept trying to find the right E word!

  14. Not sure why everyone’s so down on the JLA flick. Sure some of the actors are kinda young, but we haven’t seen them in action yet so it’s really kinda hard to put their performances down so prematurely. Secondly, I think using this film as springboard for future WW, GL, MM, AM, and Flash films is probably not such a bad idea. Just keep the same actors if you can. Personally, I’m ELATED that they elected not to use either Christian Bale or Brandon Routh. I think their current flicks portrayed their characters as WAAAAAAAAY to dark and serious. A little hint of camp is what makes a comic a comic. It’s not reality. Spiderman and X-Men are good examples of balancing some slight camp with good acting and an engaging storyline.

  15. Their ages don’t have to be a stumbling block. What’s five years a wrinkle or two done in the makeup dept?? I say if you want to make Superman dark, dress him dark and put a couple war wounds on him. He took on Zod, Ursa, and Non for crying out loud, which is the only descent place to start a JL movie. After Superman has defeated them. After fighting three super powered beings, even a Superman would rethink going it alone. “MOS” still has wiggle room why not break the crossover there? Even if the events of Superman II are ignored “MOS” is still a good place to pull Batman in. Right at the end you just have Superman show up at Wayne’s office window asking him: “can we talk?”
    That could go anywhere you want. From Superman knowing Wayne’s duel identity, to just hitting up Wayne for the cash to build the watchtower and leaving identity issues out. I can hear Wayne’s reply “A wry look- What a brave new world this has become.. Superman-Something like that.” Superman shows up in the Green Lantern movie at the end: “can we talk?”

    Superman isn’t losing face over this either. It takes discipline to reign in your ego, being such a powerful person. To know when a team effort is going to be successful, where an individual effort wont. Humor, Batman- that’s some outfit.. Superman- Superior to Kevlar..

  16. I really like the whole “Can we talk” piece by Superman in the other supes flicks. It would certainly build some momentum and interest in a JLA flick for sure!

  17. I feel that a separate Superman and Batman movie is possible – with Bale and Routh. As long as it isn’t overly connected to either franchise.

    These characters have been portrayed in many ways over the years in different mediums – so a different director and tone is possible. If you think about it the character of Batman in Batman and Robin and the Dark knight isn’t that different – it is his surroundings that have changed.

    The characters don’t have to change that much just their surroundings. The Dark Knight -as realistic as it was did skirt the realms of science fiction with the sonar equipment so adding a few fantastical elements into the mix would be possible.

    Science Fiction and gritty realism can work – Alien is a prime example. However I would just make sure that the Nolan franchise has run its course.

    Making Superman a tad darker – there’s nothing like adding a bit of depth to a character to make him interesting.

    Niall

  18. <>

    The problem is that the “shared universe” thing is just an awful, AWFUL idea.

    Iron Man was great because the creative team was allowed to analyze the character and create his film’s world from the ground up. They made the best Iron Man movie they could.

    The Dark Knight was great for the same reason. Nolan and company created a perfect world for Batman to inhabit. Can you imagine if some know-nothing suit at WB had said, “I’m sorry, Mr. Nolan, but Superman Returns came first and your Batman film must take place in the world Bryan Singer and his team created. Them’s the breaks, kid.” (Yes, I know Batman Begins actually came first, but for the purpose of this scenario just pretend it didn’t.) We would’ve missed out on something as great as The Dark Knight and in exchange we would’ve gotten a run-of-the-mill, take-no-chances Batman flick with no balls and no purpose other than to set up a potential Justice League movie.

    Marvel is shooting their future film stable in the foot with their shared universe idea, and WB would be smart to avoid the same trap.

    Iron Man’s world is perfect for Iron Man. It ISN’T perfect for Captain America, Thor, or any other hero. Instead of getting a Captain America movie where the creative team is allowed to world-build from the ground up and make the best Captain America movie possible, we’re destined to receive middling fluff where Cap is forced into Iron Man’s world like a square peg in a round hole.

    And all in the name of an Avengers movie that will make audiences laugh. Mark my words: Thor and Iron Man will look absolutely ridiculous on the screen together. Movies aren’t comics, folks. The same rules don’t apply.

  19. I have to agree with some of your points Sinnycal,,,,

    I think when they do the Avengers film they should find a way to keep Thor out of it. ;-)

  20. Well at least we won’t have to worry about Jack Black playing Green Lantern anytime soon, lol.

  21. Yeah, Jack Black as Green Lantern would be the death knell of that franchise for sure! It was bad enough casting Halle Barry as Storm and Catwoman. Hollywood needs to be more mindful of their casting.

  22. @Kane

    Yeah, can you imagine? The Hollywood machine is very strange – sometimes it’s not the casting so much as it is the direction the studio wants for the film that determines the strange choices.

    Vic

  23. FINALLY. Im a huge DC fan and i cant wait to see all of their top quality movies! especially an Aquaman movie! they could pull it off and finally show people that he is a badass!

  24. Iman would have made a cool Ororo Storm.

    For JLA they should use unknowns. If Bale and Routh don’t come along, so what? Lots of people can play Batman and Superman. Use unknowns or the production will bankrupt DC/Warner for sure.

    I wonder, if JLA soars to success will JLI and JLE be far behind?

    I wish much success for JLA….

  25. Jim,
    You’re the first person I’ve ever heard say the same thing about the casting for Storm. Iman was MADE for that role as far as I’m concerned. Although, my heart is with DC first and foremost.

  26. Why the heck didn’t you guys tell the casting director on the first X-Men movie? :-P

    SUCH a better fit than Halle…

    Vic

  27. Halle as Catwoman. Poor casting choice. Halle as Storm. Tragic casting choice. Will the studios ever learn to listen to me?!!

  28. Check out my JLA dream cast.

    http://thedreamhunter.deviantart.com/art/Justice-99050961

  29. Not bad Huntthejest, I like Fishburn in the mix! ^
    However:
    I’m not a fan of Decap, having him as bats is a deal breaker for me… ;-)

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