Friday 26th December 2014,
Comic Booked

Comics Portal: Suggestions for the Justice League Movie

Wayne Hall 10/22/2012 Features, Reviews

Now that the lawsuit over Superman has been settled, Warner Bros. is moving ahead with a Justice League feature film, as reported here at Comic Booked.

Since we have some time to consider how to move forward, what’s the best thing to do? Fortunately, I have a few ideas I’d like them to consider. (You are listening, right, Warner Bros.?)

The first thing I would suggest is, DO NOT mimic Marvel. “Let Marvel be Marvel, ” I say. So I think DC should travel their own course. (Also, I can hear the most rabid Marvel fans saying, “They’re just copying Marvel!”)

It appears that Warner Bros. is going to start out with the “team” film, then continue to spin-off characters from there. I like that strategy because it gives movie-goers a chance to sample the DC characters before a commitment is made to invest millions of dollars into him or her. Maybe that long-awaited Wonder Woman film could take place! Yeah!

I’m glad that Ant-Man is getting his own film, but as much as I like the character, I don’t think that movie will be all that successful. After all, Ant-Man has worn multiple costumes and had many different identities in attempts to make him more popular. I hope I’m wrong, but decades of appearances in comics and animated shows (He was actually the leader of the Avengers in one short-lived cartoon.) haven’t helped. We’ll see.

My next suggestion is to pull a “Nolan” and go back over various Justice League incarnations and see what would work on the big screen. (I’m referring to how Christopher Nolan and company sat down and pored over Batman stories, mixing some of the best stories they read together into a great trio of feature films.)

DC Comics, Wonder Woman, Justice League, Marvel, Warner Bros., Bruce Timm, Paul Dini, Christopher Nolan, Adam West, Batman, SupermanThere have been many wonderful versions of the team that could be integrated. Thinking specifically about comics, I’d consider elements of various Grant Morrison stories, ones I’ve always thought would translate to the local theater very well. Be sure to include the big guns!

I’m also a big fan of the “New 52″ Justice League, so they could use some of the revamped heroes and villains into a movie. For instance, I’ve never been more interested in Cheetah than I am now with the current storyline taking place in the comic.

However, as much as I adored it, I would NOT recommend the Giffen/DeMatteis/Maguire League. If this were a cartoon, yeah, I think it would work. But if the JLA isn’t truly serious when they hit the big screen, I think folks will harken back to the Adam West Batman in the 60s, and I don’t think that will appeal to as many people as a darker, more adventurous movie would. (I still love pulling out hardcovers of this book and diving in sometimes! They were great fun!)

I know some people will not like this next suggestion, but I am such a huge fan of Bruce Timm and Paul Dini that I don’t see how their DC Comics-related offerings can be overlooked. Some of the very best animated episodes (heck, shows) I’ve ever seen came from them. A lot of what that “dynamic duo” has done still lives on, like their reboot of Mr. Freeze. He’s never been as interesting as he was under their watchful eyes.

In fact, if you haven’t seen the animated Justice League or Justice League Unlimited yet, I very highly recommend you check them out. I think you’ll really enjoy them! I sure did!

I’ve always felt that Marvel and DC approach their characters differently. Marvel tends to take average people and give them powers while DC tends to have more “heroic” and iconic men and women. Even if Superman didn’t have his powers, he’d be a hero, for instance. I’m not sure that applies to many of the Marvel longjohns folks!

Anyway, I’m glad that the blending of comics and movies continues! It’s a good thing for all of us fans as the industry moves forward! Stay tuned for more news about the film as it becomes available here at Comic Booked!

DC Comics, Wonder Woman, Justice League, Marvel, Warner Bros., Bruce Timm, Paul Dini, Christopher Nolan, Adam West, Batman, Superman

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About The Author

Wayne Hall is the host for the weekly "Wayne's Comics" podcast.

  1. @undefined 10/23/2012 at 4:16 am

    I always thought that the court of owls arc would make one hell of a movie and the way the whole bat family was brought together in issue 9 reminds me of how all the marvel characters were brought in with the Avengers movie … with Scott Snyder everything seemed natural and unforced , even when you look at characters like Jonah Hex and his encounter with the court of owls it looked very natural … I realize Snyder might not have written all these comics but he built a focal point around which numerous characters could orbit and I think he is the right person to write a script for the movie .

  2. NicholasFurious 10/23/2012 at 3:12 pm

    Yes! I couldn't agree more Scott Snyder has done such an incredible job of making New 52 something brilliant. I was so against the whole New 52 thing until I read Scott Snyder's Batman. It change everything. I gave so many different books a chance.

  3. kcassidy 10/23/2012 at 5:55 pm

    With a JLA movie, they need to dive in strong. Don't worry about the character's origins – you want people to get to know who they are and want to learn about their origins. To that end, do not do a JLA origin movie. Have the team around for a bit. A catastrophe occurs (something classic like Starro or Despero for old-school fans, but don't use the Legion of Doom style – too many character-specific villains) and the league arrives. Make it so people WANT to learn more – the mystery, etc. The main characters of Supes, Bats, and Wonder Woman are well known, GL and Flash are known… so don't dwell on backstory. Go strong and go hard. (And for a sequel… Amazo.)

  4. @Lemzilla 12/03/2012 at 3:07 pm

    This is going to be a long hard row to hoe without movies to set it up. Too many incarnations of the Big Three to easily streamline, GL's underwhelming debut and no prior audience investment into say, Flash or Martian Manhunter make getting a winning script with a visionary director paramount to any JLA movie's success.

    If Zach Snyder whiffs on "Man of Steel", odds drop further that JLA will ever get made. Also, going up against a Godzilla like "Avengers 2" is suicide. The momentum Marvel will have going into A2 after IM, Cap and Thor sequels plus opening a new vein with "Guardians of the Galaxy" will be tremendous. Trying to open a competing and untried franchise in this window is pretty gutsy or pretty stupid.

    If DC ever hopes to copy Marvel's movie success, they're going to have to do it the old fashioned way. Make good movies. Superman hasn't been good since Christopher Reeve first couldn't find a phone booth. Nolan's Batman is excellent but hardly a team player. Will we ever see a relevant Wonder Woman besides Lynda Carter? Ryan Reynolds was a disappointment but more believable as a space cop than Blake Lively was as a test pilot. Maybe take a page from Marvel and focus on some lesser known (Blade anyone?) cult favorites (Mr. Miracle? Animal Man? Ralph Dibney?) in smaller films to build the canon up a bit.

    I would love to see a great JLA movie but I'm just not seeing it happen any time soon at this rate. Lastly, the one thing DC should do to make a winning JLA movie but can't? Get Robert Downey Jr. to play Maxwell Lord.

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