Zack Snyder's upcoming take on the origins of Superman, Man of Steel, is just over three months away and we've surprisingly not heard too much about it in weeks, with Warner Bros. oddly missing a chance to showcase the last son of Krypton's prowess during the Super Bowl. Reactions from recent test screenings however, are extremely positive and for fans, this will hopefully translate into a greenlight on development of not just a sequel, but of Justice League.
Not a single bit of official information regarding casting, a director, a story or even a date for Justice League has been released by Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment and instead, interested moviegoers have relied on rumors and inside scoops, slowly and inconsistently revealing bits of information, sometimes believable or downright obvious, but always completely unofficial.
After the success of The Avengers and Marvel Studios quickly confirming a lineup of six followup movies (dubbed "Phase Two"), one report had Warner Bros. attempting to directly compete in 2015 with a team-up of their own. Justice League would introduce DC's core lineup of superheroes and it would share the same summer as Disney and Marvel's The Avengers 2. Will Beall (Gangster Squad) was writing a script for said film, a script which another rumor said was so bad that no sought after director was interested in climbing aboard, resulting in studio executives tossing it away. Later we heard that very same writer signed a deal with the studio to write two screenplays for them, placing doubt on the previous other rumors. What to believe?
One "scoop" had the studio considering having Joseph Gordon-Levitt play Batman in Justice League alongside Henry Cavill's Clark Kent; another had the studio planning to do an entire Man of Steel trilogy along with a Batman reboot before launching Justice League. There's even a rumor out there stating Justice League has been delayed from a nonexistent release date to 2017.
What does this tell us? There's not a lot of real info out there and there's also not a plan in place at Warner Bros., at least not one that so many insiders claim to know about. But if there's going to be one soon, it'd be very smart to continue building from the foundations they've already set. They have a worldwide box office draw in Christian Bale's Batman, and they have a recognizable, likable leading man in Ryan Reynolds - despite the weaknesses of the shoddy film (Green Lantern) built around him - and if our anticipation pays off, they're going to have a badass new Superman as well. Justice League should be embracing these assets and building from it. It really is that $imple.
According to Latino-Review's latest Justice League report, that may be what they're doing. Their report (see below for video) claims that in response to Disney's acquisition of Star Wars and the massive success of The Avengers franchise to date, Warner Bros. is bringing Christian Bale back, for the simple reason that his films, based on a solo character and directed by Christopher Nolan, brought in over a billion dollars each on the last two installments, something Marvel was only able to achieve (so far) with a team-up.
Chris Nolan is producing (and provided the story for) Man of Steel so even though he's always said he wants his Batman universe to live on its own and that it wouldn't continue with him, he is involved in another DC property for the studio and was integral in bringing Snyder aboard. There's no way their ideas end with one Superman movie.
It's something we've talked about multiple times on the Screen Rant Underground podcast (here, here and here), jokingly stating Warner Bros. should pay whatever amount of money required to bring Bale and Nolan back. Perhaps it's already been done, and we all have to wait for Man of Steel to debut in June before foll0w up announcements are made. It'd be prime time for Warner Bros. to take advantage of Comic-Con to make an announcement of epic proportions, a la Marvel Studios' unveiling of The Avengers cast.
Man of Steel hits theaters June 14, 2013 and Justice League debuts sometime in the future.