Five Reasons A JUSTICE LEAGUE Movie Can Improve Upon THE AVENGERS

Five Reasons A JUSTICE LEAGUE Movie Can Improve Upon THE AVENGERS

Five ways a Justice League movie could be better than The Avengers.

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By VERISIMILITUDE - 4/29/2012
Living here in the UK, April 26th was a fairly momentous day for any comic book fan. It's genuinely hard to fathom how such a massive undertaking such as Whedon's superhero marathon ever actually came to fruition. With such a rich history of failed attempts at various adaptions, this was perhaps the one that seemed the most unlikely to happen.

And yet it has...it's proved to the masses that a bunch of seemingly ridiculous costumed superheros can be just as exciting as Harry Potter & Luke Skywalker. Perhaps more importantly, it's proved to the studio execs that there is momentum in superhero flicks, that they can lead on to something even greater...an amalgamation of franchises that, aside from the near infinite lucrative gain, can open the doors to the untapped adaptions.

Whedon's epic was a film that certainly lived up to the hype. I was grinnng from ear to ear, watching my childhood heroes finally come to life & finally seeing the Hulk become the smashing force he always should have been. This is how excited I wanted to feel when I came out deeply disappointed by Superman Returns. Despite being neither a core Marvel or Dc fan, my preference has always leaned towards the big blue boy. Superman has always inspired me.... so SR was most definitely a bitter pill to swallow. Yet, if watching the Avengers Assemble (twice) has proved anything to me, it's that the idea of a Justice League movie is now far more... approachable.

It was once thought almost absurd to imagine both the man of steel & the dark knight sharing the same screen space. To the average movie goer, the very notion would be the appetiser to a SNL parody sketch. Yet, here we are in 2012, with a green monster, a Norse god, an iron man & a paretic super soldier sharing the limelight. & it's going to be the most successful film this year... mark my words. But was it the perfect comic book movie?

Not by any stretch of the imagination. I adored the Avengers... I will be seeing many times again in the coming weeks. It was an incredibly well contracted, thrill of a ride movie. However, it had it's faults... as does any film. Nothing that ruined the experience for me at all... but in retrospect, these faults not only reminded me tha a sequel could be even more accomplished... but that, with the right director & writers involved, a Justice League movie could be a far more epic & maybe deeper movie than I previously anticipated.

And to explain this, here's my top five reasons why a JUSTICE LEAGUE movie can improve upon the AVENGERS.

1) THE HISTORY OF THE CHARACTERS: There is no doubt in my anyones mind that both DC & Marvel have a rich tapestry of characters. Many have commented on the relatabity of Marvels top stream characters, such as Iron man & Spiderman... the common man using his grey matter to win against the odds or gain superhuman powers. They are very much today's Everyman... & that's accessible. Yet the regal, almost historic backstory to DC's finest, I believe, could make this film far more sprawling with the right direction. Think of Wonderwoman with the Amazonian backstory (I.e Thor) mixed with the Martian Manhunters tragic destiny. Combine this with Superman's link to his past & Batmans very "human" angle... You have what the Avengers have... just an a far more epic, sprawling scale.

2) LEARNING FROM MISSED OPPURTUNITIES: You know, as great as Avengers was, I was expecting a little bit more character analysis. Yes, they had their misunderstandings & their heart to hearts... but take Caps relationship with Banner... That could have been far more expanded. Starks relations with Banner. Yes, they had a lot to fit in & they did an admirable, amazing job... but this is where JL could soar. Bruce & Clark, Superman & Batmans misgivings towards each others approach? The simmering tension between Wonerwoman/ Diana & Kalel? The lone Martian & the Closed, Dark knight? The story arcs are endless..... which leads me onto my next point....

3) USING VILLIANS EFFECTIVELY: Hiddleston was perfect as Loki... He brought just the right amount of darkness, yet a sly, wry wink to the screen with the evilness of his character. Yet, in my opinion, the character was slightly misjudged in this film... nothing to do with the performance, simply how he was wrote. He seemed one tone for such a rich, intregal character... I adored the battles he ensued in... all of them. But one, in particular, right at the end, fell somewhat flat for me. DC have the opportunity to make their foes truly something to behold. Darkeseid.... coming to conquer the Earth... Almost anilhiating Superman... combining forces with Lex Luthor. Mongul, ruler of worlds. Brainiac, bringing the power of Krypton to earth. It just need the right direction.....

4) JUDGING WHO "GETS" THE JUSTICE LEAGUE: Whedon was simply the right choice for Avengers. He understood the intricacies of the relationships between these "lost souls". He knew what beats to use when & if he had to. Yes, there was definite room for improvement. The film sometimes looked somewhat... flat, small on scale, in some of the more sombre character moments. What it made up for in scale with the battles & the set pieces... It somewhat missed an opportunity to give a... stylised look, if you will. With the right director, JL could not only be a grand, sprawling epic... but it could have a style all of it's own. The darkness of Gotham, the grandness of Metropolis... mixed with the opera of Mars & Krypton. Trust me... with the most gifted, passionate director... this could be a masterpiece. Zack Snyder & Chris Nolan seem a juicy proposition... as do the casting of Christian Bale & Henry Cavill... which leads me to my last point....

5) MASTER CASTING: If Avengers proved anything absolutely perfectly, it was that Marvel hold a stroke of genius when it comes to casting. Each individual film,( which, coincedntially, I don't believe DC need ) has had a sublime lead. Evans was stoic & heroic, Hemsworth was godly, egotistical yet approachable & Downey was... well, himself. The important thing is that they embodied their characters to the enth degree. Here's where I believe DC could really excel with the right direction. I have faith Cavill will have the regal heroism yet humbleness of Superman in nex years MOS... & if they can't involve Bale with JL, then there's a whole host of prolific actors who embody Wayne... The same goes for the rest of the cast of characters. Christina Hendricks as Wonder Woman? The list is infinite.

The key is though...These characters can be made to work...you just need the right people to believe in them.
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25 Comments
Ethic - 4/29/2012, 7:01 AM
Great points.
I doubt we'll be seeing a Justice League film any time soon, and to be honest I don't want one.
Personally I'd just like to see each character get their own story told, give real depth to their personalities, and then when their own lives and tests are well established, consider bringing them together.
Not big on the mixed universes in films myself. It has its moments, but meh.

Loved Avengers though, but I agree about the lack of real character analysis on a scale that would be preferable. They had great interaction, but it rarely carried any real weight.
But hey, it's a crazy task and it did well enough.
DukeAcureds - 4/29/2012, 7:11 AM
You can see why Whedon called it a War film. It jumps right in and just keeps going. There wasn't really much character-based scenes in there and anything in there would be squeezed, uncomfortably between the cation popcorn fest that it was.
However, I thought that the character were well drawn and spot on. They all had more depth in this film than in previous films (with the exception of the Hulk. Ang Lee nailed that)
DukeAcureds - 4/29/2012, 7:13 AM
However I think a Justice League film should try to do a better job at standing on it's own two feet. The Avengers didn't really work as a self-contained piece. Serenity did. The Avengers didn't.
DukeAcureds - 4/29/2012, 7:16 AM
Although on third thought, what was with Widow's traumatic reactions to the Hulk and howcome it was suddenly resolved for the climax.
jessepostal - 4/29/2012, 8:16 AM
the avengers doesn't work as a standalone movie? I don't think it really has to. Wasn't that part of the point of making the five movies leading up to it? To give all these characters life so the avengers wouldn't have to spend much time on teaching you what makes these characters tick?
Tainted87 - 4/29/2012, 10:18 AM
I will read this article Friday
nowtheresaBATman - 4/29/2012, 11:02 AM
"Christina Hendricks as WW?"

I can't begin to imagine how ridiculous her fat ass would look in those star-spangled bottoms. Seriously- Can you imagine her trying to run? Her breastplate would have to be made out of pure amazonian armor(for real) just to keep her jumbo tits from knocking her the F out.

She's cosplay WW porn material only :)
superotherside - 4/29/2012, 11:14 AM
Actually I agree. Although I would get Peter Jackson to do this film. :D
RobGrizzly - 4/29/2012, 11:31 AM
I will return to this article after I've seen the movie, but as of now, my gut instinct tells me I might agree, simply because I've always thought The Justice League is a cooler, more powerful team than the Avengers.
SuperWarrior - 4/29/2012, 11:49 AM
The odds of a Justice League movie happening in this century is very slim with seeing how 2013 Warner Bros will lose the copyrights to Superman due to the termination contract already filed by the both the Siegel and Shuster estate.This means that Dc comics will be limited on what they can do with Superman when it comes to his alien background.

The judge in the earlier hearing has already awarded the Siegel family with a portion of the copyrights to Superman and now it will be the Shuster family getting the other half of the copyrights to the character.It doesn't matter how much Warner Bros and Dc comics are disgusted by the termination contracts that came their way from the family, all the papers are legal and binding.

In other words it doesn't matter what kind of deal the two creators of Superman made with Dc comics in the 1930's when it comes to the new law in the copyrights contracts.After 30 years Authors,Writers,Music Artist,Heirs who have filed their termination contracts after the new law was in place (the latest to file the papers was in 2011) will all regain the rights back to their creation thanks to the new things added in the copyrights to protect the rights of those who have created or inherited those profit making creations.

When the termination contract comes into play here, this will void any deals that Dc comics made with the creators of Superman to keep him forever.They might still own if they're lucky the 52 Superman but not his origin,original red tights look,Krypton,Lois Lane,Clark Kent or any part of his background.Even the other portions of the copyrights that will be awarded to the two families.
SuperWarrior - 4/29/2012, 11:53 AM
Best case scenario for Dc comics and Warner Bros is that they get to keep their new version of Superman from the 52 books but they'll have to stomach the possibility of the Siegel and Shuster estate shopping to sell the first rights to another comic book publisher of the 1930's Superman and now dealing with a new competition.

Warner Bros just might win a suit against the families lawyer but it doesn't change their situation at all in the end if they can't convince the Siegel and Shuster family to give up their rights to Superman for a giant sum of money.
golden123 - 4/29/2012, 1:17 PM
What is the point of putting multiple periods after each sentence? Honestly, it's annoying to read. By the way, you're not supposed to start a sentence with a coordinating conjunction.
golden123 - 4/29/2012, 1:29 PM
I'm not getting youir first point. "Think of Wonderwoman with the Amazonian backstory (I.e Thor) mixed with the Martian Manhunters tragic destiny." I don't understand that comment. What would it each characters backstory half to do with the film. If they included the backstory in a the Justice League film, then I can follow your train of thought. If they use villains connected to certain characters origins like the White Martians, General Zod, Ra's Al Ghul, or Ares, then I understand. I don't really see the connection between the grandness of a character's origin and the epicness of a crossover that doesn't include the backstory.

Christina Hendricks as Wonder Woman is a scary thought.
Zarog - 4/29/2012, 2:13 PM
I know a lot of people are saying that the Avengers was just a war piece without enough character development, but considering they cut 30+ minutes of film, I would really like to see the extended cut. Whedon's already said that several of the scenes that were cut were very character driven.

As for a JL movie, well, I think they could do it, but I think they would have to set the universe up a bit. Martian Manhunter, Aquaman, Green Lantern, and Flash aren't exactly well-known in their origins. If it were me, here's what I would do.
2011- Green Lantern (Just keep it going, no reason to reboot)
2012- Nothing. TDKR will finish off this version of Batman
2013- Man of Steel. If it's done well it will help really launch the JL universe.
2014- Flash. Do the movie well, and people will see it. It doesn't have to flop if you get the right people working on it.
2015- Green Lantern 2. Just work on the Sinestro plot, I guess.
2016- Man of Steel 2 and a new Batman film. Batman will be fine, and as long as MoS is good, Superman will be fine.
2017- Flash 2. Wonder Woman.
2018- World's Finest and Green Lantern 3. That's right, use the 2 bigs to draw the first people.
2019- Justice League. Use only Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Superman, Flash, and Batman. Aquaman and Martian Manhunter can be saved for a JL2 because of their relative difficulty to understand/film well.
95 - 4/29/2012, 3:49 PM
I don't like to think about DC for very long. Depresses me, actually. After TDKR, I don't think DC has anything to interest me. Except for maybe DC-Online. I'd like to see JLA in IMAX, and it could happen, but... How long will their Cinematic Universe last? How many story arc events/phases do they have to sustain our interests before it gets old?
Knightrider - 4/29/2012, 3:53 PM
@3D Sorry I am not quite sure what your point is? I must stress I am not having a go just you last comment about story arcs etc seems a little off. Are you saying Marvel has vast amounts to draw on in terms of a cinematic universe when compared to DC? I think the movie universes can be completely self sustaining and I guess in terms of lasting that is only limited to imagination. Again must stress that is what I got from your comment if wrong I am sorry.
95 - 4/29/2012, 5:56 PM
@Knightrider

I just happen to know more about Marvel's universe-scale events (such as Skrull-Kree War, Annihilation Wave, Civil War, etc.). That's why I was asking what exactly DC has. Kingdom Come? Crisis on Infinite Earths? Neither interests me. I like DC for it's standalone stuff. Batman: Year One, etc.

Anyways, it appears that DC operates differently. Are they THAT involved?

As for this article's point, I agree that JLA could be super epic. But I'm just not sure about the longevity of a cinematic universe for DC. They don't really have a Kevin Feige or Disney behind them. Zack Snyder, Christopher Nolan, and WB all have many other films they could make billions off of. DC needs an icon (Steve Jobs) guiding them. Bruce Timm's work single-handedly interested me in superheroes.
Knightrider - 4/29/2012, 8:12 PM
@3D Thanks for the clear up, both companies have had some great story arcs, some good some bad, and I have to agree I prefer standalone titles, not really a fan of the team up comics such as Avengers or Justice League. Although Avengers was a great movie, and I think JL could be too.

Agree to that DC needs a head guy, thought we would have had more of a figure head when DC Entertainment was launched, but no such luck.

In terms of some good DC arcs, Blackest Night in my opinion was a really good read, Kingdom Come is also very good, but doubt that could work as a movie. I guess for a JLA movie, just do what the Avengers did, which if being honest was to have a very basic plot and not really have much character development, but in exchange we still got excellent dialogue between characters, each character getting plenty of screen time and some awesome action sequences.
EdgyOutsider - 4/29/2012, 10:08 PM
I have yet to see The Avengers but I personally feel that Justice League could and would not improve on anything that The Avengers did. I know that really is a douche statement because of the fact I have yet to see it but I feel it's true, I just think a Justice League couldn't work and if it did, I wouldn't work like The Avengers.
GreenHalJordan - 4/30/2012, 7:30 AM
I like Zarog's idea, but heres what I think should happen:

2011-Green Lantern
2012- TDKR (he is right, its not gonna be the batman we see for JLA)
2012-MOS (acts as the "iron man" for the movie since he is one of the most popular characters)
2014-Green Lantern 2 and Flash (now you have 3 members down)
2015-Batman Reboot
2016-MOS 2 and Wonder Woman
2017-Flash 2. Green Lantern 3. Worlds Finest
2018- JLA, but still add in Martain Manhunter/Aquaman into the mix the way that Marvel added Hawkeye and Black Widow (have martian mahunter be the one who discovers the threat or have his planet destroyed. or have atlantis overtaken and aquaman helps defeat the new atlantean army and regain his throne.
Tainted87 - 5/4/2012, 6:35 PM
Joss Whedon hit this one out of the park. Just got back and truly, I feel it is the best superhero movie I have ever seen.

The characters in the Justice League are a bit different, however. The biggest difference I can think of is that they really aren't controlled or policed by any government. Yes, there's Checkmate, there's the Suicide Squad, there's Cadmus, but they're unimportant and had nothing to do with the Justice League during the Silver Age. There's no SHIELD.

They would have to come together for a purpose, and make the conscious decision to work together. Hal and Barry are pretty happy-go-lucky pals; Kal is so good-natured that he'd welcome any help; Ray and Carter are pretty uptight but get along just fine (with each other); Diana couldn't be bothered with anyone dragging their feet.... so that leaves J'onn, Bruce, and Arthur.

Bruce has already been established. Everyone knows who Batman is, and most audiences know him as a loner who doesn't know how to trust anyone. J'onn is something of a predator: watching, hiding, pretending - but he does desire companionship. Arthur already has his kingdom under the sea, and therefore would work in a cameo capacity - the Earth is threatened so it's time to act.

Here's the thing, and I'm still not TOO wild about it... but Darkseid and Thanos are somewhat similar characters - as in on the big screen minimized by the adaptation, they are alike. To use the same approach for the Justice League would be dull and unfortunate. Instead of Loki, you'd have Intergang reporting to Apokalips.

Personality-wise:
Iron Man = Hal
Captain America = Kal
Thor = Wonder Woman (and Aquaman, and Hawkman)
Banner = Atom

Ironically, what would set the Justice League apart from the Avengers is Batman. Truly, I think the Justice League movie has a LONG way to go, especially considering how fresh the Avengers is - anything comparable would be mimicry.
chrisblaze54 - 5/6/2012, 6:31 PM
No way do you need sequels and trilogies to the solo movies before JLA, guys. Only Iron Man got a sequel before Avengers, and even that wasn't necessary. One movie for Supes, Flash OR WW, MAYBE a GL sequel (for timing purposes to remain relevant), and you either reboot Batman or BEG Bale to do JLA. You have this movie in 5 years easy. Then, you spinoff the way X-Men did. Done and done. :)
KungFuGee - 5/8/2012, 8:11 AM
If the Avengers worked, and it DID, then a JL movie would also be successful. To think that all the characters would need a solo movie before a JL movie seems misguided. They have three of the main characters already primed. The Watchmen - which to me looked like a bastard child of the JL and the x-men (I still enjoyed it though) - came out of nowhere. There were no solo character films to precede the film, the comics themselves were not widely known outside of comic fanboys/girls and the movie did OK - actually Watchmen left a lot of people wanting more of the story and character background. It is very easy to tell a characters story in the midst of a film and is done all the time. The movie will work, they just have to decide to make it. Whatever the hesitation is with DC, they are missing out on tons of revenue and I am missing out on seeing great stories on the big screen.
uman347 - 5/8/2012, 6:47 PM
I think that a Justice League movie should not be done the same way that Avengers was done,I think that WB and DC should come up with thier own way to bring the JLA together somehow, or do what they did with the new 52 and start with a stand alone JLA movie that starts off with the JLA already established (like an X-Men 2 type feeling I suppose)and then have other movies about the characters (Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, ect) that takes place 5 or so years before , or just something diffrent, I LOVED the Avengers, I didnt have any problems with it at all, IMO it is as perfect as it possibly could have been, but Marvel and DC are diffrent and they should do things in thier own way IMO
WeAreHolograms - 5/29/2012, 6:28 PM
Here is what you do

Make

Man of Steel: Zack Snyder darker superman more realistic story

Green Latern: Not a reboot kill off Ryan Reynolds some how and replace him with John Stewart. Nothing personal against ryan Reynolds he was actually good in the first film and had a bad script,but his schedule is busy and John stewart would be perfect for a justice league unlimited style live action

Flash: Zachary Levi his own movie should come out 2014

Wonder Woman: Also 2014 this would be tough because making the Lasso of truth and invisible jet serious,but it can be done some how

If Batman is rebooted make it a separate universe than Nolan's focused on batman

Bring Nolans to write the script and have Snyder and Nolan work together on a Justice League Unlimited style movie

Use Christian Bale Batman, Henry Cavill Superman, Zachary Levi Flash, John Stewart as phil lamar (would be epic), unsure on wonder woman casting

It is darker but still PG13 and has a concrete story which I believe most marvel movies do not as of recently

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