DC Comics legendaries Jim Lee and Geoff Johns have become so much more than key comic book talents. Lee was the stalwart for the DC Universe Online video game and Johns is currently the Chief Creative Officer of DC Entertainment, intimately involved with their upcoming feature films.
Both figures will take part in a special Superman panel at the Hero Complex Film Festival next month, a panel that will feature director Richard Donner as they discuss Superman and Superman II. What's more interesting about this panel is that they're teasing what is described as “bombshell announcements about the future of Superman and the entire DC Universe.”
Since this is film festival panel, this may refer to an announcement regarding Zack Snyder's Man of Steel movie or at the very least, major news regarding the comics line. We've seen plenty of casting announcements lately as Snyder collects the main characters to tell his story, so expect this announcement to be something different than another casting announcement for his Superman reboot.
The more intriguing part of the statement is the "entire DC Universe" mention. Again sticking with film in mind, this could mean something related to the Justice League movie will be announced. Justice League was heavily rumored last year to be a special part of Warner Bros.' panel at last year's Comic-Con. Ultimately the Warner Bros. panel passed with no mention of Justice League, and Marvel Studios and The Avengers stole the show. While there will be film-related surprises at the event, expect WB to showcase their major film announcements at Comic-Con want to win this year's Con.
For a long time now, there's been studio interest in a Justice League feature film which would collect DC's flagship characters for a big budget team-up adventure. They even put together a cast for one such attempt years ago with George Miller's Justice League: Mortal but it never came to fruition. Now, more than ever, with The Avengers already having entered production, Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment need to do something on their end to compete. And that's exactly what they're doing (at some point in the near future).
Back in March, Justice League was finally confirmed by Warner Bros. President, Jeff Robinov. It doesn't have an official release date yet, but expect it to enter production next year for their desired 2013 release. 2012 is busy with Snyder's Man of Steel and Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises and 2011 is busy with the production schedules of these two films.
While the future of the Batman franchise after Nolan's third movie may be the question on most fans' minds, especially in regards to how the character will fit into Justice League if Christian Bale is done after this movie, this announcement I expect, has to do with whether or not Henry Cavill will reprise the role of Superman in Justice League, which he will. Obviously.
Immediately following the Justice League "announcement," Snyder became subject to questions about his Man of Steel leading star, Henry Cavill, taking part in it. He said "it doesn't" relate and that the Justice League movie will be its own separate thing apart from his potential Superman series and Nolan's Batman universe.
A big-budget Justice League movie with an entirely new cast doesn't make sense. You don't spend all this time and money finding the right person to play the most iconic superhero of all time in a tentpole motion picture, just to cast another actor to also play Superman at the same time in another film. It's confusing, it's not authentic, it's a tougher sell and it's not a good way to compete with The Avengers, which features all of its main character actors reprising their roles.
Perhaps this touted announcement from Jim Lee and Geoff Johns isn't actually that big, and it's more likely these sorts of things may be saved for San Diego Comic-Con come July, but the official Hero Complex Film Festival website (go there to buy your tickets!) says the following:
"Ticket includes access to a DC Entertainment Panel with Geoff Johns and Jim Lee, discussing major new plans for the DC Universe and the future of characters beyond the page."
And guess what film comes out next month, just days after this panel? DC Entertainment's Green Lantern.
You heard it here first. I'm calling it now. Ryan Reynolds and Henry Cavill will star in Justice League. While that's unlikely the news to come from the Hero Complex Film Festival, it will certainly be at Comic-Con after Green Lantern proves itself at the box office. Maybe they'll all come out on stage at Comic-Con like The Avengers cast did last year at the Marvel Studios panel and fans will lose their minds.
What comic-related announcement do you predict this could be?
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Source: Hero Complex