EDITORIAL: Ten Things I Want To See In The JUSTICE LEAGUE Movie
With Warner Bros. finally moving ahead with a Justice League film (which may be released in 2015), comic book fans' expectations have been sky-high. Hit the jump to find out what I most want to see concerning DC Comics' answer to Marvel's The Avengers.
To many comic book fans, a live action Justice League film has merely been a dream. Lately, however, Warner Bros. have been interested in finally getting the project off the ground. After hiring Gangster Squad writer Will Beall to pen the script last year, it was recently reported that WB were eyeing Ben Affleck (The Town) to direct the DC Comics team up film. Due to conflicting reports, it's currently unknown whether or not Affleck would be interested in directing the movie. If he passes (which wouldn't be surprising), then there are other directors who should be considered (click here to check out my editorial on who should direct Justice League). We should (hopefully) be hearing more news on the ambitious project soon.
As a lifelong Justice League fan (I watched the animated series as a youngling), I don't think there's a movie that I'm anticipating more than the first big screen team up of Batman, Superman, and many other DC heroes. And naturally, there would be a lot of things that I would want to see in the movie. Below are ten things that I most want to see concerning what could be the biggest comic book movie to date.
1. Feature A Darker/More Grounded Tone.
One of the best things about The Dark Knight Trilogy is its use of a darker/realistic tone to accompany its story. Next year's Man Of Steel looks to have a similar tone (though obviously not as realistic). From what I can see, this tone can work very well for a DC Cinematic Universe. While clearly it shouldn't be as realistic as Chris Nolan's Batman, Justice League needs a similar amount of believability. Plus, a darker tone could help make DC's films stand out from Marvel Studios' more family-friendly fare.
Comic book writer Mark Millar recently state that the Justice League script was "dark and mature", which of course hasn't been officially confirmed yet. Though, Ben Affleck (whose films are usually dark in tone) being Warner Bros.' current top choice could give us a hint as to what the movie's tone will be.
2. Don't Be As Colorful As The Avengers.
As a continuation from #1, I'd like to stress the fact that Justice League needs to be very, very different from The Avengers. In addition to a darker tone, JL shouldn't feel as comic book-y or light-hearted as Joss Whedon's masterpiece. While Avengers was full of colorful set pieces, a grittier tone for Justice League would be a much better fit. Also, while The Avengers worked perfectly as a blend of action and comedy, I don't see the same working well for Justice League. I would focus more on the drama/serious aspect, with occasional moments of humor coming from The Flash and Green Lantern.
3. Focus On Continuity Begun By Man Of Steel And Green Lantern.
It's been rumored that Man Of Steel will be the starting point for a DC Movie Universe, similar to how Iron Man was for the MCU. While it hasn't been officially confirmed, I don't think WB are stupid enough to market two different Supermen at once. Unless Man Of Steel underperforms at the box office (which would be surprising), I can see the studio wanting to bring back Henry Cavill to don the red and blue suit for a much bigger movie. Cavill seems to be the perfect choice for Superman, based on the little we've seen of him. So if he turns in an excellent performance (I expect no less), he needs to reprise the role for a Justice League movie.
As for whether or not the Green Lantern character needs to be rebooted, I'm all for Ryan Reynolds coming back. While the Green Lantern movie was disappointing, it wasn't as terrible as many make it out to be. Reynolds was one of the best things about the movie, turning in a very solid performance as Hal Jordan. He was just working with a mediocre script and needed proper directing, both of which can be fixed in Justice League. I wouldn't try making another Lantern movie until you find what works with the character in JL and make him far more likable to the audience (similar to Hulk in The Avengers).
4. Don't Include Cyborg As A Part Of The Lineup.
Cyborg was included as a part of the original Justice League lineup in DC Comics' "New 52" reboot last year. While I don't dislike the character, I have trouble identifying him as a major Justice League member (let alone an original member). I better see him as a part of Teen Titans (probably because I grew up watching the Teen Titans TV series). There are many things that I would take from The New 52's Justice League, but Cyborg is not one of them.
5. Include The Proper Villain(s).
A superhero movie is always complete with the proper villain(s). While The Avengers' Loki was an incredible adversary, his Chitauri army wasn't as much of a threat to Earth's Mightiest Heroes as they should've been (the way they all went down Phantom Menace-style at the end was just distasteful). For Justice League, a truly powerful enemy is needed to bring together the World's Finest Heroes to defend the planet. An alien invasion has already been done in Avengers, so Justice League needs to choose something else. Darkseid would work, so long as he isn't extremely similar to Marvel's Thanos. Perhaps even Lex Luthor's Injustice League could be a good choice. But it has to be a unique choice, and one that'd make sense that it would take many powerful heroes to defeat the villain(s).
6. Take Inspiration From Both "The New 52" And The Justice League Animated Series.
There are plenty of influences that Justice League could use, but two primary sources should be Geoff Johns' first New 52 story arc and the Justice League animated series which aired several years ago. The origin arc for Johns' Justice League isn't perfect, but there are several elements that I would use in a movie (such as Aquaman using sharks to attack enemies, Batman fighting Superman, etc). It gets the basic story down well, with nearly every character (minus Wonder Woman and occasionally Superman) being written well. A tweaked and more expanded version of the story would make an excellent movie.
Another source of inspiration that Justice League should use is the animated series, which aired 2001-2006. The series depicts the characters, their interactions, and the storytelling perfectly. To this day, the DC Animated Universe' take on the League is the definitive version. Taking more than a few cues from the series (even adapting full episodes) would be a very wise decision by WB.
7. Properly Develop Each Character.
Perhaps the most remarkable accomplishment for Marvel's The Avengers (other than the incredible action scenes) was Joss Whedon's ability to properly develop each and every major character, of which there were many. It certainly isn't an easy thing to do. Justice League needs to do the same thing. Don't rush anything. Don't bite off more than you can chew. Don't include more than 6-7 members of the League (I would personally prefer to see the original comic book line-up: Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern/Hal Jordan, Flash/Barry Allen, Aquaman and Martian Manhunter) . The Justice League director (whoever it ends up being) should be able to work with ensemble casts and can allow all the characters some time to breathe and to be well developed.
8. Don't Introduce Green Arrow Right Away.
Arrow is one of the better League members, and while I'd love to see Oliver Queen appear in a sequel, I think it would be a wise decision not to include to Emerald Archer in the Justice League's first movie due to the fact that Hawkeye (another archer) was included in The Avengers. Seeing Arrow in the first Justice League movie would lead to audiences getting a been there, done that feeling, which should be avoided as much as possible.
9. Don't Make A S.H.I.E.L.D.-Like Organization Form The Team.
In The Avengers, S.H.I.E.L.D. formed the superhero team when they saw that a universal threat has arrived. In order to keep itself further from Avengers, Justice League shouldn't be formed by any group in the government. I'd prefer if some members met in the middle of the same battle (for example, Superman fighting someone while Batman and/or Green Lantern arrive in Metropolis).
10. Don't Rush The Movie's Development.
This is the thing I most want to see. When it was finally revealed that Justice League had a writer, many were concerned that Warner Bros. were rushing the film just to cash in on The Avengers' huge success. I hope that's not the case. Just as Avengers took years to develop, Justice League needs to be developed over a certain space of time. It's an extremely ambitious project, and one that Warner Bros. can not afford to ruin.
Well, those are the things that I, a die-hard Justice League fan, would like to see in Warner Bros.' planned film adaptation. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.
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