EDITORIAL: Can a Justice League Movie Work?
Will Warner Brothers be able to pull if off?
News broke this week that Warner Brothers is indeed developing a script for production of a Justice League movie. With the record breaking ticket sales of the Avengers this summer it didn't take a far leap to think that another studio would try and create another big screen team-up. Joss Whedon (Avengers Director) is on record as saying he thought it would be hard to bring the iconic DC team to the big screen due to the fact the heroes were created in a bygone era. But could Warner Brothers actually pull it off?
First of all we have to look at the characters themselves, and for the point of this article we will use the big original main six of the Justice League: Aquaman, Batman, Superman, The Flash, Wonder Woman, and Green Lantern. Warner Brothers has already said previously when they were working on a Justice League script and that the movie would be a standalone story not related to the other films with different actors playing the characters than we have seen before. Hence no Christian Bale as Batman or Ryan Reynolds as Green Lantern. To me this is a good thing. The reason why is that the DC characters really are icons, they simply don't need to use the same actors to recoginize who the characters are. You can't meet a person on the Earth who sees a bold red triangle of an "S" and doesn't immediately know that the character is Superman. Same goes for most people when they see the pointy ears of Batman, the lasso of Wonder Woman, the ring of Green Lantern, the orange shirt of Aquaman, or the yellow lightning bolt and the red suit of the Flash. People simply know these characters as they have been around for so long. The other aspect of having a storyline separate from the movies is that it avoids a problem that has always been a big issue in the DC Universe and that is in how all these characters fit together in one world. Just in the past few years in the comics this problem has tried to be addressed in the storylines of Crisis on Infinite Earths, the Green Lantern War, and even in the relaunch last year of the New 52.
A movie with these characters alone with different actors and no outside stories to tie in wouldn't be burdened by what we have seen in other films. Think about it, as great of a character as Batman is (No offense to Marvel but Batman is my personal favorite superhero) would he really need to exist if Superman was on Earth? Couldn't in one or two nights Superman simply dedicate himself to cleaning up the streets of Gotham and be much more efficient at it than Batman? A Justice League movie would not have to be burdened with these sorts of questions, simply make the enemy larger than life and put the heroes against it. Invasion of Darkseid perhaps? (Please! Please!) Not so much back-story would be needed, simply here is the problem and here is the heroes fighting to fix it. Arguably the Avengers needed the back-story of all the other movies to set up the characters along with their weaknesses so that the general public could relate to what they were seeing on the screen. For the Justice League, people already are very familiar with the characters, just plunge right into the story.
In fact in the Justice League cartoons DC managed to hit a great balance point for all the characters to work together. If Warner Brothers follows a similar approach to a full motion picture they can have success. The question is will they? Only time will tell.
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