We're still two years out from the release of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and yet we're already hearing rumors about the proposed sequel, the Justice League movie, and its tangentially-related films. One such rumor indicates that we'll be seeing standalone films for Shazam, Wonder Woman, and Flash+Green Lantern, suggesting to some that those characters (plus Batman, Superman, Cyborg, and Aquaman) might make up the JLA lineup. So does that mean Martian Manhunter is out?
Not necessarily. The newest Justice League rumor not only claims that Martian Manhunter is in the mix, but that Darkseid will be the supervillain and a surprise character might make an appearance.
What's the provenance of this rumor? Well, according to The Wrap's Jeff Sneider, they got their hands on an "agency grid" for Justice League with details on which characters will be in the film.
Check it out below, courtesy of Sneider's Twitter account:
No Martian Manhunter in JUSTICE LEAGUE? Not according to this agency grid, which lists DARKSEID as the villain... pic.twitter.com/lLwFwkXLkv
— Jeff Sneider (@TheInSneider) June 12, 2014
As usual, the veracity of this information should probably be in question until we hear something more official from Warner Bros. or someone affiliated with the film. Now that we've got that out of the way, can we really expect Martian Manhunter to make an appearance in Justice League?
The green alien from Mars has been a fixture on the superteam for decades, and he was particularly important in the Justice League cartoons. That said, there's been no indication (until now) that he would be in the film, and David Goyer recently mocked the character and anyone who has heard of him.
Goyer also said the following:
"Well, he hasn’t been rebooted but he’s a mainstay in the Justice League. He can’t be ****ing called the Martian Manhunter because that’s goofy. He can be called Manhunter… The whole deal with Martian Manhunter is he’s an alien living amongst us… So he comes down to Earth and decides, unlike Superman who already exists in the world now, that he’s just going to be a homicide detective… So instead of using super powers and mind-reading and like, oh, I could figure out if the President’s lying or whatever, he just decides to disguise himself as a human homicide detective. Dare to dream!”
Yeah ... a lot of Martian Manhunter fans didn't take too kindly to that. Considering Goyer is a major behind the scenes player in the creation of the DC Cinematic Universe - and presumably a writer for Justice League - how likely is it that he would include Manhunter in the proceedings? Of course, it's possible he was just putting on a show with all that anti-Manhunter talk, but that seems a bit convoluted.
Then there's the inclusion of Darkseid, the ultimate evil in the DC universe who wants to control every living thing like some terrible cosmic dictator. Interestingly, he also heavily inspired both Thanos - the major villain in the Marvel Cinematic Universe - and Apocalypse - the presumed villain of the next X-Men film. If he's in Justice League, we could see the three most similar supervillains from comic books in major motion pictures around the same time.
It doesn't come as much of a surprise that Darkseid would feature as the big bad of Justice League, especially considering he was the rumored big bad in the previous Justice League script by Ruben Fleischer (and he was also the big bad of the first JL comic arc in the New 52). As far as bad guys go who would require the combined might of the Justice League to vanquish him, you could do far worse than Darkseid.
The other interesting character mentioned on the agency grid is Maxwell Lord. In the comics, Lord started out as a shrewd and crafty businessman who helped run the "funny" Justice League of the late '80s/early '90s, but in the 2000s he was retconned to be a villain with telepathic powers, which he used to turn Superman into a weapon. Lord was ultimately killed by Wonder Woman, which kicked off the big DC event series Infinite Crisis in 2005 (he also came back to life half a decade later, but let's ignore that for now).
It's this latter, more villainous version of Max Lord that was going to appear in George Miller's canceled Justice League movie from 2007-2008, to be played by Jay Baruchel.
Can we expect to see this villainous version of Max Lord in the upcoming Justice League movie, if the agency grid turns out to be correct? Or will he be the slimy, crafty business-type Max Lord of yore?
What say you, Screen Ranters? Do you like the sound of Martian Manhunter, Darkseid, and Max Lord being in Zack Snyder's Justice League? Drop us a line in the comments.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice hits theaters May 6th, 2016. The Justice League movie is expected to hit theaters in 2017.
Follow me on Twitter @benandrewmoore.
Source: Jeff Sneider