So the big news this week as that Batman and Superman will finally be in a film together, leading up to a launch of a Justice League film. Apparently using “The Dark Knight Returns” as inspiration for the source material, it’s leading up to the summer of 2015 potentially being an epic one for summer blockbusters. An Avengers sequel, this film and the Star Wars reboot will lead what could be a stellar summer at the box office.
Man of Steel 2 has now become the most interesting film of that year for me, especially considering it’s a jump off point for a Justice League film. DC and Warner Bros are looking at Marvel’s success in creating a combined universe and want it for themselves, of course, and if you’re a DC fan I imagine it’s genuinely exciting to be able to have your own version of Avengers to be stoked for.
But here’s the thing: I’m not sure if it’s a good idea or not.
I had this same conversation with a friend of mine who’s a big DC Comics head right after it was announced. He was stoked because while he enjoyed Avengers and the Marvel films apparently some people in comics are only one brand or the other. I can understand that, of course, but since I’m not a comic book kind of guy it doesn’t matter all that much to me.
But what does bother me about a potential Justice League film is that the build up to it is going to be rushed at best or awful at worst. Why? Because we don’t have individual movies for most of the original members of the JLA, at least the ones you’d go all cinematic for. If Wikipedia is right you’re looking at the following characters for the film: Superman, Batman, Aquaman, Flash, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter, and Wonder Woman.
All in that’s about as many main characters as Avengers had but you’ve only got two actors set up for what will probably be your Justice League film. Between Henry Cavill and Ryan Reynolds (if he comes back as Green Lantern, not a certainty by the way) you have five main roles you need to cast (and cast now) before you get that film underway. That’s a lot of characters and potentially a number of films if they duplicate the Marvel formula, or a number to introduce outright in the Justice League film if they go that right.
The beauty of the Marvel Universe was that it was slow and organic before it led to Joss Whedon’s blockbuster. There was a proper build to it that spanned a ton of movies first. It wasn’t Iron Man 2, Thor and then everyone comes on board for Avengers. Unless a Justice League film is slated for sometime between 2017-20 or so that’s a lot of work to do before you do the big DC team up film. Crazy enough we could be looking at Avengers 3 before we see Justice League of America, if you think about it like that.
The other problem I see down the road affecting the film is that so far there isn’t a big, breakout star able to be more than just a guy in tights. That’s the one thing Robert Downey Jr. doesn’t get credit for when it comes to the Marvel Universe; without him deciding to just make Iron Man into his bitch the entire multi-billion dollar cinematic empire doesn’t happen.
Normally that would be Christian Bale but he’s not coming back. Bale is done as Batman after the Nolan trilogy, thus necessitating a new Batman, and that’ll be a difficult task. Bale was note perfect in the role, of course, and would be the big movie star that would be a massive boost for Man of Steel 2 and the films resulting from it.
When it comes to replacing an actor like Bale it’ll be difficult because anyone who takes the role could be perceived as a lesser choice unless it’s a comparable star to Bale. Batman is a tough character to get right on film and whomever takes over from Bale will have a big Batsuit to fill.
Should we be excited for Batman and Superman in a film with potentially a Justice League film to follow? Of course. We’re in a golden age for comic book films and eventually that’ll close out. At this point we should pump the brakes a little first, though.
What do you think? Let me know your thoughts below.
A Movie A Week – The Challenge
This Week’s DVD – The Breakfast Club
When the tributes died down following his death I think people began to take an honest look at John Hughes and his directorial career. Hughes was the ultimate hit and miss director … when he made something good it stood the test of time. When he missed … people tended to forget and just watch again any number of the classics he did make. The Breakfast Club happens to be one of them.
It’s a simple premise: five people fulfilled the traditional archetypes of high school life are all stuck at Saturday School for a variety of offenses. They spend the day learning about one another and that they’re not all that different after all. Throw in an epic soundtrack and one of the great cinematic putdowns of all time and you have a film that’s iconic in so many ways.
The story is cliché and we’ve seen it tons of times, of course, but what makes the film special is that it does it so well. That’s the one thing we forget about the film; Hughes took a story type we’ve seen an immense amount of times and turned it into something unforgettable because of how well it was done. It remains a great film, not just a great 80s film, because it’s not a product of its time.
That’s the key to the film; it’s written well but not stuck in the 80s for its relevance. It doesn’t feel like an 80s film because it was designed to be a film about people, not the times.
What Looks Good This Weekend, and I Don’t Mean the $2 Pints of Bass Ale and community college co-eds with low standards at the Alumni Club
The Wolverine – Logan goes to Japan to get in general action film shenanigans
See it – So far it looks quite good. But so did X-Men Origins and thus this is a tepid recommendation.
The To-Do List – Aubrey Plaza wants to get her whore on before she goes to college. Shenanigans ensue.
Skip it – You know how bad this looks? When the green band trailer is substantially better (and funnier) than the red-band it’s never a good sign for an R-rated sex comedy.
Scott “Kubryk” Sawitz brings his trademarked irreverence and offensive hilarity to Twitter in 140 characters or less. Follow him @ScottSawitz .
Tags: John Hughes, Monday Morning Critic, the breakfast club