In the latest episode of the Screen Rant Underground podcast, our editors were asked to weigh-in on the lack of official information available for DC's Justice League film - set to hit theaters in 2015. Three years is a long time, especially if the studio can piggyback off of potential Man of Steel success; however, the lack of concrete details has left many moviegoers concerned that the only thing DC knows for sure is they'd like to make Avengers-calliber money - as fast as possible.
Thankfully, small details have been slipping through unofficial cracks and, together, they're beginning to paint an encouraging picture. After news broke that the Justice League would likely go toe-to-toe with iconic, and formidable, DC bad guy Darkseid, we're now getting possible word of how the supervillain could kick-off the Justice League movie story.
The potential scoop comes (again) from Latino Review, who typically have a reliable track record when it comes to exclusives. Regular readers will remember that the site was responsible for reporting that Darkseid would serve as the film's primary antagonist and this latest bit of information certainly helps support their previous claim.
According to their report, Justice League scribe Will Beall has been drawing heavily from Gerry Conway’s 1980 Justice League of America and Justice Society of America team-up in Justice League of America issues 183 - 185.
As we mentioned in our discussion of Darkseid as a potential Justice League movie villain, the character is known for manipulating events (and people) behind the scenes - in pursuit of his own long-term ambitions. Issues 183 - 185 would definitely provide a lot of assets for Darkseid (and Beall) to use - too many for a single movie - and could serve as a strong foundation for further adventures down the line. While there is a lot of overarching story material in the Justice League 183 - 185 arc, including New Genesis (home to the New Gods), the Injustice Society, the Justice Society of America, and Metron (a time-traveling immortal), Latino Review's script report specifically mentions Darkseid's attempt to destroy Earth and replace it with his home planet, Apokolips (a rival to New Genesis).
Check out the covers below (click to enlarge):
It's easy to imagine that setup, one that we essentially saw play-out this summer in Transformers: Dark of the Moon, could serve an epic and visually striking debut for the Justice League - not to mention provide monumental stakes that only a team of super-powered do-gooders could overcome. In addition, a complex primary challenge - save Earth from a giant weapon of mass destruction and takedown one of DC's most powerful villains would provide a range of globe (if not galaxy)-trotting objectives that could make use of the range of available abilities and weakness in the Justice League team itself.
As mentioned, the storyline also includes a LOT of additional content, characters, locales, and plot beats that we imagine Beall is either simplifying, combining, or outright cutting, in order to tighten the storyline into a satisfying single-movie progression. Plus, much of the storyline takes place in space (especially New Genesis) not on Earth - something that the filmmakers will almost-definitely change.
Warner Bros.' learned a hard lesson with Green Lantern - which is often criticized for throwing way too many zany aliens, intergalactic locales, and heavy-handed exposition into a single film. Not to mention, stakes are even higher for Justice League, and DC has their work cut out for them, since they've elected to release a team-up film first (before most of the primary players enjoy standalone origin adventures).
It's also worth noting that, as is the case with any movie this early in development, Beall could dramatically shift the plot away from the Justice League 183 - 185 source material - leaving only small remnants of the original concept. There are a number of major factors that Warner Bros. is going to be watching before they commit entirely to a singular Justice League direction - most notably the reception of their upcoming Man of Steel film. For months we've been saying that much of the Justice League production will be a response to either positive or negative momentum following Zack Snyder's Superman movie. If reactions are negative, it's possible they could try and use Nolan's Batman franchise to anchor Justice League - which would likely mean major script changes.
Another factor that could alter the Justice League storyline is similarities between DC's potential choice of Darkseid and the eventual showdown between The Avengers and Thanos. As regular readers remember, The Avengers 2 debuts the same year as Justice League - and the burden to do something new is on DC - as too many similarities would cause casual moviegoers (the ones who helped Marvel bring in 1.5 billion at the global box office) to think that Justice League ripped-off The Avengers (even though Thanos came along after Darkseid in comic book history). Viewers might be able to overlook similarities in the villains themselves but Marvel's Avengers 2 features a plot that is reminiscent of DC's Justice League 183 - 185 storyline, expect DC to make some large alterations.
Of course, at this point, the report is unofficial - and Beall could be working on an entirely different plot for the film. Still, there's no doubt that if anything can provide reason for a Justice League team-up, it's an Earth-destroying campaign led by one of DC's wickedest baddies.
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