Ever since Warner Bros. announced their intention to produce a Justice League film adaptation, movie and comic book fans alike have kept busy debating which members of the titular superhero team would actually appear in the film. Certain do-gooders are more obvious than others but, considering the Justice League roster has evolved over the years, there was room for the studio to slip in a few less-iconic players - to fill out the team. At one point, Lobo was even rumored as a possible member.
Several weeks back we published a list of rumored Justice League characters - along with how they'd each function in the film. We presented that rumored "insider information" with a grain of salt - since it was coming from untested sources. That said, today we've got a new report on the potential Justice League film roster that, on the surface, makes a bit more sense - from an outlet that has previously broken high profile comic book movie scoops. If the new report is true, it looks as though DC intends to focus on a smaller set of Justice Leaguers - instead of bringing in every single core team member for the freshman outing.
The report comes courtesy of Latino Review, who has been dropping Justice League tidbits on a relatively regular basis since the film's announcement. Industry fans should also remember that the site was responsible for claims that the storyline would follow the Apokolips/Darkseid Rising comic book arc.
That said, it's worth mentioning that the Justice League film is still very much in flux - without a confirmed director, cast members, or plot any current information (real or rumor) is still very subject to change. Meaning, even if Latino Review is correct about the roster (or any other prior Justice League news tips), the studio and writer Will Beall could already be going in a different direction.
Assuming the new report is true, how many DC heroes will audiences get to see in the 2015 team-up? Latino Review suggests that the Justice League film will feature five team members - with the possibility for a few smaller cameo-style appearances.
In this case, the core roster would include Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, and Green Lantern. Apparently, a combination of Martian Manhunter, Aquaman, or Hawkman might also be slotted-in for one or two possible cameos - with the report suggesting that Martian Manhunter would be the most likely second-stringer (given the cosmic ties to Darkseid).
Unlike that prior rumored character roster, the new report does not include any indication of which version of the iconic characters we might get to see (ex. Flash: wise-cracking Wally West or the more serious Barry Allen?) or which DC movie universe actors might return for the Justice League team-up. Assuming Henry Caville's Superman is well-received in Man of Steel, we've long expected Warner Bros. to bring him back for Justice League.
Christian Bale is still considered a long-shot, especially now that Christopher Nolan has officially announced a new non-superhero project. For months speculation has centered around the possibility of Gotham's new protector, Robin John Blake (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) filling in for Bruce Wayne in Justice League but the actor has repeatedly denied involvement. Take into account that DC may intend to reboot the Batman film franchise in 2017, it's looking increasingly likely that the Justice League Batman will have no connection to Nolan's trilogy and could act as a launching pad for the new stand-along installments.
Additionally, rumors have suggested that there might be a Wonder Woman tease in Man of Steel - though it's unclear at this point if that means an actual actress will make an appearance or we'll just see acknowledgment of the superheroine (and the shared cinematic universe) by way of a quick television report or news paper headline.
Similarly, we have no information at this point about who might play The Flash - especially given that John Wesley Shipp would be in his 60's when the film is released.
On the other hand, it's possible that Warner Bros. will bring Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) back as Green Lantern. On the surface, moviegoers who were disappointed by the Green Lantern film might be put-off by that idea but Reynolds has attributes that could make for a solid Hal Jordan (especially in an epic team-up film). Unfortunately, his performance was saddled by an underwhelming script and problematic overarching filmmaker choices for the solo outing. Still, considering that DC will likely work with a mix of old (Superman), new (Wonder Woman and The Flash), as well as possibly rebooted (Batman and Green Lantern) elements, they could be open to giving Reynolds another shot. If for no other reason than to use Justice League as a platform to reignite interest in further solo Green Lantern adventures (think Hulk in The Avengers).
If the report turns out to be true, Warner Bros. will have likely reassured some of their naysayers - since a quality Justice League film centered around five core heroes is a lot easier to imagine than the prior report (which listed seven members along with possible supporting cameos). Often times, the debate between "standalone origin stories first" and "Justice League team-up first" supporters came down to whether or not audiences would fully appreciate the personal character stories that accompany each of the heroes - stories that are a major focus in the new Man of Steel film as well as Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy.
Spending time with the characters (learning about their respective backstories) helps audiences, especially non-comic book lovers, invest in the heroes at a deeper level and it's encouraging that Warner Bros. might keep the focus a bit tighter than previously believed - allowing room for some intriguing personal drama and exploration in addition to all the epic team-up action.
Similarly, cameos for some of the less well-known but still important players make sense. Martian Manhunter and Aquaman were the focus of debate in prior character roster discussions considering they are both key players in the Justice League but are either a) less familiar to casual audiences (Martian Manhunter) or b) might be a little harder to adapt for the big screen (Aquaman). Less-substantial roles for them (or at least one of them) might be a smart way to expand the universe without alienating unfamiliar moviegoers. This isn't to say that neither character could be portrayed successfully onscreen but, it's a smart move for Warner Bros. to structure the film around their best chances for success and pull in other fan-favorites down the line.
Again, this is all just rumor and speculation at this point, with no acknowledgment from the studio beyond a release date. We'll update you as soon as we hear anything official.
Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick for more on Justice League as well as future movie, TV, and gaming news.
Justice League is scheduled for release in 2015.
Source: Latino Review
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