The comic book world knew that a successful reboot of Superman in Zack Snyder's Man of Steel would raise even more questions (and excitement) concerning the rest of DC's heroes, on their way to a live-action team-up to rival Marvel's The Avengers. And unsurprisingly, early success for the film brought rumors of a sequel being filmed and released for next year, with Justice League following in 2015.
Snyder has since claimed that's not the case, but that holds little hope of stopping the speculation. Man of Steel star Henry Cavill has once again given his thoughts on just how difficult it may be to get a team-up film, and advises that fans might not want to hold their breath just yet.
Speaking on the potential for Justice League with Peter Travers for ABC News, Cavill aimed his replies directly at those assuming that Warner Bros. and DC Comics have adopted Marvel's strategy, and are already planning the next 'phase' of films. Marvel may have had a road map in place from the very beginning, but as far as Cavill sees it, there's no such rush for Superman and his Super Friends:
“Justice League could be great if done correctly. It’s a very tough one to do because the DC Comics heroes are all godlike in their power so in the real-world setting we’re telling our story in it’s going to be tough to achieve that and it has to be done very delicately and with a lot of thought. So it won’t be right away, certainly not, or I hope it's not anyway. It may take some time building other movies and other characters and then introduce them together in one way or another.”
“I think it would be great to do but I don’t think it’s around the corner.”
All things considered, it's no surprise to see these sentiments from Cavill; the Man of Steel star has already explained how he sees a Justice League team-up being earned, and why a Superman/Batman film is especially attractive to him. That being said, after missing the chance to play both Superman and James Bond in the past - and his star already on the rise - Cavill isn't likely to count his chickens before they've hatched.
Both he and Snyder have claimed that their take on Superman requires a direct sequel before feeling like a Justice League movie would make sense from a story perspective, so until we hear different, that's the plan WB is assumed to be following. Snyder most certainly built the world of Man of Steel to leave doors open for other League members, but that's a far cry from a concrete plan.
While we can't disagree with Cavill's belief that standalone films would help establish DC's heroes before being called upon to face a larger enemy, that hinges on the belief that what worked for Marvel will work for DC. And as we've explained in the past, the two studios have shown there is little common ground they share. Not that following Marvel's plan wouldn't work, but with so much at stake, we can certainly understand Cavill's hesitancy to set anything in stone.
Warner Bros. and DC are clearly not in any hurry (and neither are Snyder or Cavill) so at this point, we'd recommend that fans follow the studio's lead. The action-packed and commercially successful Man of Steel has left the door wide open for a direct sequel, which, if also seen as WB's summer box office titan, would likely arrive no earlier than 2015. Even if Justice League was the very next step beyond Superman - and not an attempt to reboot Batman beforehand - that team-up film would come even later, pushed back by any potential Wonder Woman, Flash, or Aquaman origin story. As Cavill put it: not around the corner.
As for the difficulty of achieving a super-powered, godlike team of crime-fighters, we'd say Man of Steel succeeded in combining fantastic action with a grounded tone - a feat claimed to be the biggest hurdle for Justice League by some. With that feat out of the way, Warner Bros. seems to be taking their cues from the tortoise, not the hare.
What do you think of Cavill's concerns of a world filled with godlike heroes? Is that a risky proposition, or par for the course? We all hope for a Justice League film to be well-made if it ever is developed, but would you be willing to wait the necessary years to follow Marvel's plan? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.
Source: ABC News (via ComicBook.com)