A JUSTICE LEAGUE movie we could believe in!
The New 52 has given us a new and improved Justice League. A modern League that added its own layer to the mythos of the DC Universe. With the success of Man of Steel a shared universe has begun but will it be successful? I want to give you my opinion on whether a Justice League film will work or not. To understand this we will start from the beginning and we won’t even start in the DC universe.
Five years ago Iron Man redefined what films inspired by graphic novels could achieve. Robert Downey Jr was superb as Tony Stark. He perfectly represented the self proclaimed “futurist” from Marvel. This film was a game changer, not just for films but for Robert Downey Jr himself who received a resurgence in his career. Now at the end of Iron Man, after the credits had rolled, there was one final scene. What was it? Probably just a tease at the next films villain. What we got was Samuel L. Jackson in a trench-coat telling Tony that he wasn’t the only hero out there. Then he said he wanted to talk to him about The Avengers Initiative….
After five years and several well done films The Avengers film was upon us. It was an unprecedented success. Why was it a success? Simple, Marvel invested time and a lot of money into this. They decided that they should ensure that this film series would have a cast of dozens of well known actors that would be in a cohesive world that felt real, that felt like they all were a part of. This worked because they didn’t rush themselves in its execution. In the end it paid off, massively.
Now when you think of Marvel, you think of super humans, relatable characters and modern storytelling. Spiderman, Iron Man, Hulk etc. They all have relatable aspects to them that make them easy for you understand them as characters but more importantly people. That is why I think the Avengers film universe works, though it is fantastical there are so many elements that ground it. Thor may be a God but really, in some aspects he simply comes from a highly advanced race. Captain America is a product of science, his abilities come from a scientific formula. The Hulk is the bi-product of a science experiment gone horribly wrong. This world is full of wonders but these can all be explained, because all of them are super humans.
Here is where I will begin my main topic,Why a Justice League film will never work. As I explained above, the reasons that The Avengers film worked are the main reasons why a Justice League will not. In a world where a credible realistic Batman lives with his repertoire of rogues how can you believe that a God from another galaxy like Superman exists? This is one of the key reasons why it can’t work, Nolan’s Dark Knight would shit a brick if he saw the Flash break the sound barrier during a morning jog. However Batman is not to blame, the DC universe is in part to blame, because in my eyes it’s very difficult to bring super heroes to the big screen. Marvel deals with super humans, DC deals with super heroes. In my opinion Marvel have super humans, DC have legends, which makes it very difficult for them to translate at times to another form of media. With case in point, Batman is not just considered a hero, but a legend. Superman is a legend because he exemplifies everything that represents the moniker of a true hero, he was the first after all. Now these two together could work well together, the right villain, the right tone, the right director. That however is where it ends for me, in my opinion Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern and Aquaman all just too big as characters. There would be no time between them all someone would always be left out and we all know it’s not going to be the Man of Steel or the Dark Knight.
There have been so many rumours about who will be directing it,a major contender for the role was Ben Affleck for a time, but we all know how that turned out, Batfleck anyone? I would have liked his interpretation of the league as his direction in his previous projects was superb. Then it came to the villain and who do they tease at but the big, the bad, the Lord of Apokolips, Darkseid. This was, in a lot of peoples eyes a great idea, but this could not be further from the truth. Rule no.1 Do Not open with your biggest bad, Darkseid should be teased at as the franchise builds. Look once again at The Avengers, at the final scene we saw Thanos, Marvels Darkseid equivalent. It was a great play and that is what DC has to learn. Then there is the time frame, Marvel invested five years of film-making as well as establishing a whole universe filled with these larger than life characters. DC, has a young universe, barely established and each of their legends stand alone.
Batman has ended his reign in Gotham, Green Lantern has crashed and burned and Superman has only just re-entered our orbit. Yes Man of Steel was successful but it wasn’t perfect, well I thought it was close to perfect as it was the Superman film I wanted to see but that’s beside the point. Unfortunately Wonder Woman has failed to get back into the mainstream with her television series failing to spark any interest, luckily her New 52 series has gone from strength to strength. Aquaman has no presence whatsoever in the world of television or cinema except for a failed television pilot and yet he, like Wonder Woman, has seen a huge surge in popularity sine the New 52 began. The closest thing we ever got to a live action league was the specials during the run of the television series Smallville which were great but they still left me craving a visceral, character driven story for a live action Justice League.
With Justice League War, the latest animation from Warner Bros. coming out in early 2014, DC now has the perfect precursor to a live action treatment of the Justice League. With the right people behind it, Geoff Johns, Paul Dini and Scott Snyder as consultants or as a collaborative to help out with the screenplay and the treatment of the characters. With that I’ll conclude the Justice League need a focused, smart creative team behind them, what do you think, who do you want behind the Justice League film? Comment below, check out my blog to see more on the subject and stay tuned for more geek news, reviews and features.