While a Justice League film may seem like a must in today's industry, DC and Warner Bros. are showing they're not exactly in a rush. The attention, for now, is on Zack Snyder's reboot of Superman in Man of Steel (2013). The presumed plan was that Superman's return would launch a Justice League universe, followed by the blockbuster team-up introducing new heroes, and rebooting Batman in the process.
But the newest rumors claim that not only has the team-up been delayed, but the studio may be so unsure of anything beyond Man of Steel that Justice League may even come after the re-launch of Batman, which is still years away.
A source close to Batman-On-Film (which may or may not be the same source that claimed the earliest Batman solo movie wouldn't be coming until 2017) provides the report, once again implying a new, non-Bale Batman rebooting in an effort to protect all the company's franchises going forward:
“Don’t worry about the Batman [film] franchise...it’s [Warner Bros.’] most valuable [DC Comics-based] asset...I believe that they are now looking at introducing [the rebooted] Batman in a solo film, though that will likely take place later than they initially had planned. They are extremely worried how a [Batman film franchise] would be affected if Justice League bombs...and rightfully so."
"The fact that what should be the core fanbase of a Justice League film isn't on board is making them sweat as well."
The source largely voices the concerns expressed since Warner Bros. was reported to be putting all their eggs into one basket, as opposed to green-lighting numerous films. Since then, reports from the studio say there is no concrete plan until Man of Steel is released, along with rumors that the existing Justice League script has been tossed out (no complaints from us, since the proposed story made little sense for a movie launch).
It's hard to know exactly what the source means by assumed fans not being 'on board' (besides Mark Millar, apparently) but it's probably best that the studio get its ducks in a row before rushing to film. The right director, the right script, and the right creative team and talent should be the first steps to success - regardless of how many films Marvel and Fox are putting into production.
The good news for DC fans is that a successful Man of Steel doesn't just mean a Justice League film will suddenly be steamrolled into production. In fact, the source goes on to speculate that DC and Warner Bros. may just choose to capitalize on Man of Steel's popularity with a direct sequel:
“If Superman is huge, then they’ve bought themselves some time and will have a franchise to hang their hat on for seven, eight years. The need for Batman won’t be as great, and [the reboot] of that franchise can wait until the Superman trilogy is done.”
DC has got two proven properties in the bag, since Superman never needs help finding an audience - and coming off of Christopher Nolan's trilogy, fans have never been more motivated to see a movie featuring the Batman. But, for the surrounding cast of characters, Warner Bros. and DC Comics have made it clear they're not taking anything for granted.
We've given our reasons for why Justice League might be the right path for introducing DC's best and brightest; if the studio decides to take its time introducing The Flash, Wonder Woman, and any other Leaguers in a massive event film with a colossal budget (reaped from the Batman and Superman box office earnings), who's to argue?
Up to this point, any enthusiasm to copy Marvel's movie formula and bankroll films of all their solo characters has been stalled by studio infighting and a good amount of reluctance to repeat Green Lantern's critical slaughter. So while many comic book fans will be disappointed to see the prospects of a live-action League (once again) disappear in front of their eyes, maybe it's best to just make the most out of a popular reboot of Superman for the time being.
Whether Batman or Justice League comes next, fans shouldn't hold their breath. If a Super-sequel is planned in their stead, both projects will likely be pushed back several years at least.
What do you think of Warner Bros. and DC's hesitance to push Justice League into existence? Do you agree that the film should only happen if the pieces come together properly, or is this a sign of trouble? Given the collapse of George Miller's Justice League film in the late 2000s, are we seeing a "curse" on the JL movie property? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Man of Steel will be in theaters on June 14, 2013.
Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.
Source: Batman on Film
Header Image Fan Art by "Belgerles"