EDITORIAL: And There Came A Day..

EDITORIAL: And There Came A Day..

This is an extensive editorial about what came before The Avengers, what Warner Bros./DC needs to do, and critique about a potential Justice League movie.

And there came a day, a day unlike any other, when Earth's mightiest heroes and heroines found themselves united against a common threat. On that day, the Avengers were born—to fight the foes no single super hero could withstand! Through the years, their roster has prospered, changing many times, but their glory has never been denied! Heed the call, then—for now, the Avengers Assemble! – The infamous Avengers prologue from the 1970’s.

It’s been a while since I last made an article on this site. About one year I believe, and during that year a lot has changed and more is about to change from now on. After Marvel Studios release their epic superhero ensemble The Avengers. And with its world wide release on May 4th, I am one of the lucky ones being able to see it already tonight. So in honor of this immense chapter in comicbookmovie history I wanted to make an editorial about Marvel Studios and it's rival DC. I want to share my feelings on the former Marvel movies, what WB/DC needs to do and their faults. And hopefully find out what you, the true fans, think as well.

Now, what Marvel has done is completely unprecedented in the industry, to cite Joss Whedon. What Marvel Studios have done has not been done before and it’s a giant leap for the movie industry and comicbook industry as a whole. And it all began with two movies back in 2008.
It was the same year that The Dark Knight reigned supreme, though it was definitely Batman’s year, it would also introduce a rebooted Hulk and the origin story of Iron-Man.
Two years later the sequel of Iron-Man came out with mixed reviews, and though it was not as exciting as the first, Iron-Man 2 certainly made our appetite grow in terms of a shared universe within the movies. Then Thor and Captain America arrived in 2011 and then there was absolutely no doubt about where this was going. And even for being a somewhat DC fanatic, I rejoiced though I was skeptical about how they would work, I was intrigued and excited!

The best Marvel movie to date is Iron-Man but in my favorite is Thor. Natalie Portman was cute and weird in a very good way. How Hemsworth portrayed the role convinced me within minutes. Hopkins as always is great, but perhaps the greatest role in the movie was Tom Hiddleston’s Loki; mad, saddening and intriguing. The effects were great, and Åsgard shined like a beacon among the stars. But it had faults like the artificial battle with the Destroyer, when he received Mjølnir was corny; lying down just raising his arm, and especially how Jane Foster worded “Oh! My! God!” afterwards. But the charm was undeniably there, more so than Tony Starks first adventure.
I was perhaps most skeptical to Thor as this is a character I know very well from fairy tales and school. To my surprise I really enjoyed Thor Odinson’s adventure among the stars. I still think he should’ve had a Scandinavian accent. Why do English talking actors who portray Russians also speak English with a Russian accent? Whatever you might feel on that certain subject, Thor successfully introduced another aspect to Marvel Cinematic Universe and accomplished everything it set out to do by showing us that earth is not alone in this magnificent universe.

Captain America: The First Avenger was a pivotal film. It established arguably the most patriotic superhero of all time, and after its turn at the box office was done, it would also demonstrate Steve Rogers to be one of the most acceptable heroes.
I believe it was on Hero Complex that I had the pleasure of asking director Joe Johnston about Captain America’s relevance today and how he would work as several non-americans believe him to be a jingoistic character. I was worried about the, excuse the phrasing: “America! Fuck yeah!” theme but Johnston assured:
“He is not meant to be a figure of propaganda. His spirit and who he is as a man is universal and crossed all borders and nationalities. In other words, he's not UNIQUELY American...more about his spirit.”

While Steve Rogers is a character born in the United States, he is a hero for all of us.
In the aftermath there is no hesitation to say that Joe Johnston succeeded. However the film was not without its faults. Red Skull was too generic, not real adversary, it became more of a World War 2 picture in the second half of the movie and the pace subsided. But for being the piece that truly connected them all as a precursor to the Avengers, it certainly did its job, and it did it well.

The Avengers is certainly one of the most anticipated comicbookmovies of all time. Will the movie perhaps influence its main competitors to join the game?

I read on Wednesday an article by Josh Wilding on Comicbookmovie regarding Stan Lee’s input on the matter. Regarding the legends feeling on seeing the characters assemble on the big screen, Mr. Lee said:
"I never imagined I’d see any of my characters become movies. But this was a logical thing to do.
It was smart. I’m amazed that DC didn’t beat us to it with the Justice League. But you’ve got to hand it to Marvel."

This brought up, of course, a lot of passionate comments. And I would like to voice my opinion on the matter.
I think it’s a shame that Warner Bros. and DC have not been able to produce the same results as Marvel Studios. Both Superman and
Batman have gotten their respective movies. From Richard Donner’s epic Superman to Tim Burton’s Batman; they were pioneers in the superhero film franchise. Batman experienced some tough years during the 90’s on screen, and there has not been a decent Superman movie since Superman 2. Finally in the 00’s Batman was rescued and redeemed by Christopher Nolan, and now Superman is returning to his truly deserved glory through the mind of Zack Snyder. Though I am extremely happy to see both Wayne and Kent, I can’t help but wonder why it is that this duo of legends always keep reappearing, and why they don’t simply make Wonder Woman and Flash as well.

It is hard to not recognize Superman and Batman for what they are. They are arguably the most iconic and well known superheroes of all time. I can also understand from a brand related point of view that both are great money makers. It is after all pretty hard to not come across anyone who hasn’t heard of the dark knight or man of steel. Also, I think that the risk that goes into these two characters are certainly less than trying to establish some new characters that don’t have the same amount of worldwide recognition. And as the most of us, I am pretty cross with this arrangement.

Justice League could easily become a one of the greats and revolutionary films like their Marvel counterpart, but when?

Last year it was 33 years ago that the great and late Christopher Reeve made us all believe a man could fly. And we finally got a third member of DC's great five on the big screen: we got Green Lantern. Unfortunately it was not the film it was supposed to be. And even worse than that: it took entire 22 years before we got a different character from the cornerstone of DC Comics on screen. Why couldn’t they get Hal Jordan out sooner? What the hell is going on?
An incredible feat is that Marvel Studios has now introduced three new characters to the big screen, and in less than 4 years. These three characters are the arguably the best of the best has to offer, their holy trinity. And what Marvel Studios has done in 4 years, WB/DC has not been able to do in 33 years! It’s completely ridiculous to think that they have not released a Wonder Woman film in all this time! An overcurious fact is that Wonder Woman should’ve probably been out before a Green Lantern film but for now it seems Superman and Batman are the only characters thatWB/DC has been able to introduce successfully to the public.

Warner Bros. should've started doing what Marvel is doing years ago. Joss Whedon is directing the epic picture but who could direct the heroes of Justice League? And do the Marvelites want a DC teamup movie?

On a recent question regarding what advice Joss Whedon would give Warner Brothers on a possible Justice League film, Whedon answered:
“Call me. No, seriously, it's enormously difficult to take very disparate characters and make them work. And DC has a harder time of it than Marvel because their characters are from a bygone era where characters were bigger than we were. Marvel really cracked the code in terms of them being just like us. I think you need to use that as your base.”

I disagree with his choice of wording “disparate characters”. What makes Avengers so great is that they are different. Avengers have a playboy rock’n’roll philanthropist, a gamma radiation professor that turns into a behemoth when angered, a conservative super soldier frozen in time, and finally a god of thunder from space. These characters could not be further apart, yet they work great on the screen as reviews have shown. Are not these characters just as disparate as a DC’s great five?
Whedon has labelled the Avengers team as outcasts in interviews, and said they are not friends to begin with. Why should this be a greater problem for DC’s equivalent? I also disagree with the premise that DC’s characters are from a bygone era where the individuals were bigger than we were. Steve Rogers are definitely from the bygone era by the same token but he is still relevant.
Sure, Justice League has some characters which truly are bigger than life; the speedster, the space knight, the amazon, the dark knight and the brightly clad alien guardian. Three of them are from the Golden Age of comics. However Hal Jordan and Barry Allen come from the Silver Age and are somewhat more modern than their contemporaries.
Superman is finally getting a reboot and introduced more modern. Batman has always been cool because he is, after all, human who embodies the darker side of righteousness.

Green Lantern was commercially and critically a failure but anyone who has read Hal Jordan’s adventure know him to not be a perfect man at all, he has perhaps most faults of the five. Barry Allen is fast but he is never fast enough, and that takes its toll on his conscience and search for justice. Diana is more in the category of Superman but if Superman can be made relevant again, and Thor can be a success, then why not the warrior/ambassador from Themyscira?
Audience wants conflict, human emotions, a grand story, interesting characters and effects and most importantly a great story to experience. And we comicbook-fans know that DC has that and more.
Marvel and DC have different characters, and that’s why they are Marvel and DC. What works for Marvel won’t necessarily work for DC but it’s hard not to see some form of possibility of it translating as well on the big screen. DC(WB) needs to be bold as Marvel has been, more daring and invest more in this. We are well aware that it's all about the money. Iron-Man, Spider-Man, Batman and Superman are gigantic rainmakers, and there are more characters that has the potential to be a sound investment on-screen, if only done right.

Green Lantern could’ve been DC’s Iron-Man but the writers did not have clue what they were doing. They should’ve followed the storyline closer to Emerald Dawn or Secret Origin, not featuring Parallax and making Sinestro(the brightest light in the film was Mark Strong) turn bad for no apparent reason. They should’ve let true fans of the saga write, let DC choose true writers to make this wonderful universe come to life. Thor showed us that you can be bold and as long you including some humour, some lovable characters, it will most likely work. Producers and writers must not be afraid of showing the audience the real mythology, because more often than less the audience will enjoy it since over 50 years of stories has defined a magical legacy with amazing stories. And as long you stay true to the material, with some slightly changes, people will like it.

Sidenote: Green Lantern disappointed me to no end as you might understand. However, WB/DC might learn from this mistake.
Reboot it and then finally give Hal Jordan the much now deserved redemption he needs.

It truly took a great director to save Batman , and nobody denies that Batman has been redeemed from the horrible Schumacher. Christopher Nolan was the director we deserved and needed (yeah yeah!).
Zack Snyder, director of The Watchmen and 300 is now handling the last son of krypton’s newest adventure onscreen. I have great hopes for Superman's newest film, as I am sure many will join me in saying.
What WB/DC needs is a director in the likes of Christopher Nolan. Something of a visionary like Joss Whedon to bring forth these iconic characters to life. Maybe Peter Jackson, or even Christopher Nolan himself could do this. What is certain is that if someone can bring the Avengers to life then there must be someone out there who can do the same for JLA.

After The Dark Knight Rises, Avengers and Amazing Spider-Man has done its part, it will be interesting to see what WB/DC does. Avengers are an experiment bound for success. And hopefully it will ignite a revolution at WB/DC. And just maybe Man of Steel will include some easter eggs, maybe a potential new Batman will, as it is after all certain that WB/DC keeps on releasing those two.

Whatever our feelings, if we are a Marvelite or DCist, we all can agree with Stan Lee; we gotta hand it to Marvel for this incredible chapter in comicbookmovie history, for this is truly the greatest ensemble of superheroes the world has ever seen on the silver screen.
Now I am off to the premiere in Oslo!

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pro346 - 4/27/2012, 6:52 AM
Batman beyond....get clint Eastwood to play Bruce Wayne!
ThreeBigTacos - 4/27/2012, 7:26 AM
What happened? I thought this was on the front page a few minutes ago... any who-

Great read! You've expressed everything in both a logical and unbiased manor. DC/WB really do need to 'step up' so to speak. I can't honestly say a Justice League movie would work, but maybe a World's Finest? Trinity? Something more tangible than some of the Justice League's heroes. Would they need to set up each member their own movie? Or even perhaps just save some of the less wanted characters (Aquaman, Martian Manhunter) and introduce them during the Justice League movie? My main thought is how the audience would probably find it harder to believe in JL than Avengers.

Iron Man- Genius Playboy in a home made suit of armor that the military today is trying to issue out (albeit very bulky and not able to fly ... yet...).

VS. Batman- Genius Billionaire who is a martial arts master and detective- running around in a bat suit.

Thor- Headstrong son of Odin: Asgardian King - based on actual myth

VS. Superman- An alien who was lucky enough to land on a planet with similar looking creatures, who gains powers from the sun.

Captain America- Genetically enhanced soldier, who (ok this part is really far fetched...) was a frozen for 70 years.

Vs. Wonder Woman- Princess warrior from the amazon... lasso of truth...

I could go on and on, especially how the very idea of Hulk or Flash are completely ridiculous both in the way they get their powers and so on...

All in all, I would be interested in seeing how Justice League would work. These are very large 'idols' who themselves are all from different made up and real locations, but there in itself lies another issue: they were all made to be larger than life, and almost flawless; it's something I sincerely hope that is handled correctly or DC can just throw in the towel with a JL film.
MrPagBrewster - 4/27/2012, 7:34 AM
NO JUSTICE LEAGUE!!! WB is not ready.
MrPagBrewster - 4/27/2012, 7:37 AM
And fanboys always pull the "lasso of truth" card. This isn't the 70's tv show or the 80's comics. Wonder Woman uses a regular ultra-strength lasso now, no magical truth telling powers. And absolutely no invisible jet.

And why was this taken off the front page???
Berger45 - 4/27/2012, 9:11 AM
This is one of the best articles I've read in a decent while! You have some very valid points! Why the hell isn't this on the main?!?
Angelus - 4/27/2012, 9:22 AM
Thanks for the comments guys!
In regards to the question of the front page: I guess my work wasn't good enough.
Corpse - 4/27/2012, 9:30 AM
Great article! I would really like it if Trinity came out first and then establishing a rebooted Green Lantern and Flash, followed with a Justice League.I have a strong belief that Warner Bros will take up the fist fight, if you know what I mean!
I am looking forward as hell to Avengers!

And what are you guys talking about? The article is on the frontpage?
FrankLeeGitnit - 4/27/2012, 9:44 AM

It would be a waste of energy... and time... They wouldn't do it right....

What would kill would be a Batman/Superman movie helmed by Nolan.....

Of course they wouldn't be friends at the beginning... so forth and so on...

That's no only possible... It's possible in the next 2-3 years... which a Justice League movie would not...
shadow314 - 4/27/2012, 9:48 AM
Unfortunately, it will be at least 20 years before Justice League ever gets on the screen if they take the same path Marvel took.

There have been no foreshadowing of a justice league movie at all. Nolan refuses to allow a shared universe and he tries to ground his movies in relatity so much that Batman can't even throw a kick. So they would have to reboot him... AGAIN.

There is nothing to suggest Man of Steel will hint at more heroes. So they will have to weight until the second one for that.

Green Lantern completely failed. 100% complete failure.

DC/WB is at square ZERO right now. Hell, at this point, it would probably be easier to just put the Justice League in a movie without setting it up like MArvel did. By the time JL shows up on screen, Avengers 3 will be over with and it wil lbe time to reboot all of Marvel.
marknjoanna - 4/27/2012, 9:55 AM
if dc sells to marvel then we would get a jla movie. so i say sell dc sell
Kolossus - 4/27/2012, 10:01 AM
For me, purchasing a subscription to DC Comics has meant never having to buy toilet paper again. DC should just focus on their Civil War ripoff and leave film alone.
Coldblood6 - 4/27/2012, 10:01 AM
I am a die-hard MARVEL fan and honestly have little interest in a JLA movie but nolan is the wrong person to to this. He doesn't understand comicbook fantasy. The last thing anyone wants is a JLA grounded in reality.
marknjoanna - 4/27/2012, 10:02 AM
he said onr thing right tho.dc needed green lantern to hit like iron man and it missed by a bit.if i was dc i would try and rebound with a flash movie.and put all you got into it dc cause if you miss its superman/batman for another 20 years.grow some and go for it dc
SuperPickle - 4/27/2012, 10:06 AM
Great article. I wish DC/WB would stop screwing things up. Marvel's fan base is religious in depth and expanding because they respect their people. WB just respects profits and they're stumbling severely over the gap between ideas and execution. Green Lantern was a much better movie than the critics and Marvel fanboys suggest, but it was no Iron Man or Dark Knight. It should have been and could have been but WB's interference ruined it. Warner Brothers just can't get their shit straight and it's really pissing me off because they could be. Whedon's assessment of DC's heroes being bigger than us compared to Marvel's is wrong. It's become that way because of the amount of acceptance and love given by Marvel's dedicated fan base to their respective characters as well as the undue hatred directed at DC's properties. Whedon is a Marvel fanboy and a damn good director. The problem isn't in the characters and their larger-than-life status as Whedon assumes. It's with the fan base and support the characters have. WB just can't wrap their heads around a serious CBM if it's not Batman. They do that successfully and there's no difference between Iron Man and Batman, Thor and Superman, etc.

Let's all remember, Batman was the FIRST superhero. Superman was the SECOND ever. All superheroes since have been inspired by or ripped off directly from those two.

Don't get me wrong, Marvel has made some AWESOME movies lately. But they've essentially been "shotgunning"it and throwing buckshot at the market. Let's not forget Ghost Rider, Punisher: War Zone, Ghost Rider: SOV, and Daredevil. Utter commercial failures. Superman Returns may have sucked, but was somewhat of a commercial success. Even GL made money after international release.

Why WB can't get their shit together is anybody's guess. But Marvel is kicking the dogshit out of them at the box office.
pintoman - 4/27/2012, 10:12 AM
The Avengers has never been done before. Taking characters from four separate franchises and bringing them into one film (which appears as though it will be a success).

Things will be different and I imagine that DC will suddenly have a vision of how to get theirs going—copy the Avengers formula or attempt to at least reverse it by doing the team up film first.
NeoBaggins - 4/27/2012, 10:12 AM
Luckily I'm not checking for a JLA movie. it would be nice, but I'd be dead or disinterested in CBMs by the time it came out. And I'm not really a fan of plopping down a JLA movie out of nowhere. The Marvel hero build up films is the way to go and that takes time. Green Lantern was key in realizing that and the producer [frick]ed that all up.

Start casting the Bats reboot, pray MOS is as good as it looks, then team Bats and Supes up in World's Finest. The two characters would lay waste to any super hero team on their own as far as drawing an audience. Bats and Supes could form the team over the next film or two leading up to a climactic JLA film. Instead of solo hero films leading up, the World's Finest sequels could be recruitment films that introduce at least two or three characters at a time.

That way I can live to see it.
Booter - 4/27/2012, 10:22 AM
After Avengers make a bazillion $ at the BO, WB/DC is almost certainly going to find a way to make their JL movie. I am definitely not saying that in a good way! I see the WB throwing some half assed mess of a film together and slapping the name Justice League on it for the sake of making money. I believe one of the main differences between the WB and Marvel Studios is the fact that Marvel Studios only make movies about the heroes that they have at their disposal. They don't make movies from other genres because it's not really an option for them. Their films have to be great because if they aren't people will stop watching them and they'll be out of business. Not that the WB can necessarily afford to throw out a stink nugget like GL, but even when they do they can rest a little easier knowing that they have their latest chick flick coming out 2 weeks later to pick up the slack. The WB needs someone like Feige who knows and loves the DC universe to quarterback their DC films if they hope to achieve anything close to what Marvel has.
6of13 - 4/27/2012, 10:28 AM
Nice editorial. I wonder if they make a movie featuring the Justice League that if it might just be called Justice League so as to imply the league are heroes for the entire planet?

DC/WB definitely need a committed director. Anyone know if WB have the equivalent of Kevin Feige. Because if they don't, I suggest that they find a creative/producer who can be behind ALL the DC films, just like Feige.

On a side note: I had this idea for a Lobo film where he is a bounty hunter and is sent by his employer who in turn has been contracted by Darkseid to find someone of relevance whom Lobo finds on Earth. That way they can set up Apokolips, Warworld etc so that if a Justice League movie comes it easier because the concept of Darkseid, Mongol and all the other big bads out there is already established. I think a Lobo movie should take some inspiration from Hellboy, and in particular Hellboy 2. A Lobo movie could be a little like MIB meets Hellboy? Unbeknowst to most humans, a small contigment of aliens are living on Earth (like the troll market in Hellboy 2).
KidDynamo0 - 4/27/2012, 10:34 AM
In reference to the Wonder Woman not getting her own movie by now, we talked about this on our latest episode of The Nerdpocalypse podcast. Link: http://www.thenerdpocalypse.com/2012/04/the-nerdpocalypse-podcast-episode-33/

Fast forward to 1:24:22 in for that conversation.
Berger45 - 4/27/2012, 10:36 AM
Not a lot that can put aside their differences and admit they want a good JLA or Trinity here. Marvelites are as crazy as DC fanatics. My favorite characters are almost all Marvel but I'd kill to see an epic JLA or Trinity.
crimsoncrusader - 4/27/2012, 10:51 AM
Superb article. The only thing I disagree on is rebooting Green Lantern. That movie failed mainly because of the lackluster story/script. If that can be rectified in a sequel, people will come and see it. There's no question about it. And correct me if I'm wrong but isn't Geoff Johns the eqivalent to Feige in terms of DC's Creative Dept? I'm not sure but if he is, maybe he has a thing or two up his sleeve?
Equivocal - 4/27/2012, 11:08 AM
how many movies are there with batman ??

how many movies are there with supes ???

I agree with Wheddon, DC jla are a bunch of disparate character that will be hard to bring them together to the screen,
why ?
a fictional city gotham
an alien from kryton
a godess from a non existen island to humans
a guy with wings and a maze
GL, well we know him...
a guy that all he does is run faster than anybody else
and a whole bunch more, and on top of that, even in the comics, these characters are none relatable to regular readers, unlike the character in Marvel, like spiderman !
elessarundomiel2382 - 4/27/2012, 11:15 AM
Im sure if DC ran its own film company they wouldve done all their characters long ago. Although they are all larger than life, you need to do stories that ground them in reality.

For Wonder Woman you need to use the same formula they used in Thor (Focus on her family dynamics) and her desire to know about the world of men. Diana starts of reckless and accidently frees the imprisoned Ares. Ares and his mythical minions take the world of men by storm. Diana secretly wins the tournament (key point tournament needs to look like Spartacus).

Green Lantern didnt work cause they went straight in using Parallax as the villain and Yellow Lantern Sinestro reveal. They shouldve kept it to just Hector Hammond and maybe Black Hand. While Hal and Sinestro become more like Jedi Master and Apprentice. Hal was never afraid nor cocky they got his personality wrong. Hal was the most fearless hero of all. Nathan Fillion wouldve done the character justice.

Flash needs to have a CSI type of feel. The TV series worked in some ways, make Barry's faults to be his tardiness, over thinking things makes him always late. And even after he receives his powers he just takes it as an opportunity to think of more things. His faults is that of his inability to prioritise. get Michael Rosenbaum to play him.

The current issues of Aquaman as well as the TV Pilot of Mercy Reef works well at introducing Arthur Curry. His reluctance to follow his destiny coming out of fear of the unknown and of responsibility. Atlantis doesnt want him and creatures of the depths wants to kill him.
elessarundomiel2382 - 4/27/2012, 11:17 AM
If anyone can bring the justice League to the screen, there is only one man, Joss Whedon
BuzzKiller - 4/27/2012, 11:38 AM
If they're smart,do not reboot Batman,everyone knows his origin by now,we don't need to "meet" Bruce Wayne again. Get a decent actor to do the roll,have him and Superman in a movie within 1 1/2 to no more than 2 years after the Superman reboot. In their movie,have them meet and introduce to the audience a couple of the other Justice League(Flash and Aquaman) just to get some back story,however center the movie on Bats and Supe and their relationship. Later that year come out with a Wonder Woman movie,and at the end have her meet Superman and Batman. then a couple years later there is your JLA movie. 5 to 6 years. One could only hope....
Scorpio9 - 4/27/2012, 11:53 AM
Very nicely written and thought out article. All DC vs. Marvel conversations (flame wars) aside, I believe that putting a JLA movie together is completely possible...especially now that a workable formula has been established. Whether or not it was their intention at the release of Iron man, I wouldn't be surprised if sometime prior to that release Marvel studio execs looked at the challenge of putting together an Avengers film and asked themselves- "Okay, we know where we want to go, now how do we get there?"
The answer: The studio had to go "ALL IN" with the plan while taking into account that the individual movies might suffer a tad while setting up the payoff, hopefully doing well enough on their own to make the gamble worth it...and it would appear the they got it right. Let's face it, in either case ( Avengers or JLA), the challenge isn't in presenting the characters shown in the comics because they are for the most part hugely different than your average human! The challenge is in "reverse engineering" the events and story lines that over the years have made them successful on the written page. Both Marvel and D.C. have a wealth of compelling story lines to choose from, but thus far only Marvel has had the stones to go ALL IN on staying the course after mapping out their destination. I really do believe that a JLA movie is achievable given the same opportunity and drive. Either way, we're in for a great summer!

Party on lads!

Vadakin - 4/27/2012, 11:53 AM
As someone who has written treatments for both Wonder Woman and Justice League, I have something to say. First though, a shameless plug...

If I Was Making Wonder Woman:

If I Was Making Justice League:

Wonder Woman isn't a hard movie to make. Embrace the mythology. Keep the Lasso Of Truth, the Greek myth origins and all that. Tell an ancient myth in a modern setting. Let her fight gods and monsters.

Justice League...I think it needs a different approach to what Marvel did. I always equate Marvel with Shakespeare and DC with Homer. They are very different. DC characters are larger than life. You can relate to Marvel characters but DC characters are the ones you look up to. Embrace the larger than life feel of DC. Create a situation so dire, so bleak and hopeless that the worlds heroes have no choice but to come together to put things right.

In my Justice League treatment, which I linked to above, I start the film with Superman being killed by Doomsday and Darkseid invading Earth at his funeral. Six months later, Darkseid is in full control of the planet, the rest of the heroes have been driven underground. There is no hope, no sense that things might get better. When Superman is brought back to life, he realises that he can't save the world by himself so he starts recruiting. It's almost like Seven Samurai in some ways. Play it absolutely straight like a Lord of the Rings film. They aren't defending the planet from an invasion, the invasion is over and Earth lost. Instead it's a resistance movement. You can introduce themes such as free will vs fate, which ties into the anti-life equation and also into Batman being the odd one out.

It's almost literally hell on Earth that the heroes have to contend with. In an alternate reality, Warner Brothers knows I exist and are putting my Justice League film on screen and it's the most spectacular thing anyone has ever seen...of course in another alternate reality I'm living in a plastic bag, whistling show tunes to my mangy cat, Snuffles.
ISleepNow - 4/27/2012, 12:07 PM
Right questions but the wrong answers
Fire the bonehead execs that are holding the studio back and hire some good directors but No Joss Whedon!
EdgyOutsider - 4/27/2012, 12:09 PM
And there came a day where this article showed how articles should be done. In detail, to the point but still entertaining. Non biased.

As for the whole Justice League thing goes, unless they can truely come up with something special for Green Lantern, Flash and Wonder Woman I truely think a Justice League film won't come true. Not trying to be disrespectful to DC fans but that's just how I feel. I mean especially if they were to bring Aquaman to the big screen it would have to be something special to not be a bad or trashy film.
Vadakin - 4/27/2012, 12:35 PM
@TommyMonaghan Actually Superman was first. 1938. Batman came out a year later in 1939 and was created because of the success of Superman.
HeyVanity - 4/27/2012, 12:49 PM
You misunderstood Whedon's quote. "Disparate characters" refers to all of the characters in the Avengers, as well as the Justice League. There is nothing to disagree with there. He is simply saying that it is no easy feat making it all work on screen. Just because he succeeded does not mean that it was easy.

Also, he is not saying that it would be harder to make the characters of the Justice League work TOGETHER on screen, but rather, to make them work AT ALL on screen. Regardless of what company you remain loyal to, you must realize the fact that DC characters are simply not as relatable as Marvel characters tend to be, and Marvel's success over the years can be directly attributed to that. This is not a slight to DC in any way, but an observation that, in general, their characters are gods in their world, while most of Marvel's heroes are far more human, experiencing very relatable, human problems.
Nemeres - 4/27/2012, 1:12 PM
Good one. I have to say, though, that I wouldn' say the way GL was brought into development was the "wrong" way. It was actually a case of a fan of the property (Berlanti) taking initiative and believing that a good film could be made out of that hero. I read most of the 1st draft of that movie's script, and while it was pretty flawed and it wasn't quite there yet, it showed great potential, and was miles better than the actual movie. The rewrites they did actually hurt instead of help.

I think Thor marked a "before" and "after", not because of how good it was, but because if you can make a movie about Thor - a film about the Norse god of the freaking Thunder - that holds people's interest and does well at the b.o., that proves nothing is impossible. NOTHING. People can no longer say "oh, you can't make a film out of Superman, he's too unrelatable". Excuse me, more so than Thor? Nuh-uh. If Thor works, Wonder Woman can work too. And Green Lantern, and Flash, and even effing Aquaman.

WB should be painfully ashamed of themselves. Marvel has shown how incompetent they are, and it's there for everyone to see.
113 - 4/27/2012, 1:15 PM
I think they should reboot Green Lantern with John Stewart as the title-character. I know Hal Jordan is beloved but to be honest we're in a generation that grew up watching Justice League and Justice League Unlimited animated series and those series had John Stewart in the lead.

Hal Jordan was dead for 20 years! and yes I know Geoff Johns resurrected him in 2005-2006, but there wasn't that emotional connection to Hal amongst younger fans (people in the teens, 20s, and even 30s) as there was to John Stewart. We watched John and Hawkgirl have trials and tribulations and eventually get romantically involved, we've watched him fail, we've watched him triumph.

John Stewart is our GL and why DC/WB didn't see this I'll never get. The same in true for the Flash. We grew up with Wally West as our Flash, not Barry Allen. Barry Allen was also dead for 20 years, why base a new movies franchise (and even in the new 52), why go back to these specific personalities when the younger generation has grown up with different heroes and is emotionally connected to those heroes.

DC/WB just do not know what they are doing, there is no leadership steering the organization in the right direction. We all thought having Geoff Johns working closely on GL would mean it would be great, well to be honest, I think he probably shouldn't quit his day job. I just don't think he's the right man to bring these characters together on the big screen.

DC/WB just needs a strategy and we've been waiting 10 years for them to come up with a simple, straight-forward strategy and have the balls to implement it.
CorndogBurglar - 4/27/2012, 1:18 PM
@ Tommy

Vadakin is correct. Superman was created in 1932 and sold to DC in 1938. Batman was 2nd, being released in 1939.

Also, all those movies you listed as failures were not MARVEL movies. Sure they are Marvel characters, but they were not done by Marvel Studios.

I have no doubt whatsoever that if Marvel had made them, or make new ones in the future, that they would be much more successful.

DC does not have the luxury of having their own movie studio. Instead they have to answer to WB in the end.

Marvel lucked out by allowing Disney to buy them, because Disney has a history of buying companies and then allowing them to continue running like normal. WB wants to have the final say in DC's stuff, which is why we'll more than likely never see DC do what Marvel is doing. And its unfortunate.
SuperDan89 - 4/27/2012, 1:27 PM
Brilliant article which I mostly agree. The only thing hurting DC on the silver screen is DC aka WB and the execs pandering and not knowing how the hell to carry a 'good' idea.

You can't blame Marvel for getting their shiznaz together and producing these films, yes some could say its over saturating the market BUT they carried it through to great effect with The Avengers. Although I am a big fan of Marvel (X-Men FTW), my personal favs will always be DC, which were arguably the first to make a 'serious' big budget flick, this was of course a little thing called Superman: The Movie, a legendary film which I believe still holds up today.

Shame, and this is for both to be fair, it is the execs who run the show and not the fans, they are in it for the money after all....still if I were in the big seat making a JL film, I'd probably run up a budget so high, it would make Avatar's look like a TV movie ;)
WarnerBrother - 4/27/2012, 1:51 PM
Even if The Avengers racks up a ton of money, I'm not sure it will make WB change it's plans.Way I see it,WB sees DC characters as,in the words of Geoff Johns,"bigger then their's". So far the only Marvel Studios character that has made over 200 million at the Box office is Ironman.Sure the Avengers will get into the same range,but the WB execs will look at that as proof that The Avengers will go only as far as Ironman and Robert Downey JR can take them,not as proof that all Marvel characters are so dominant.

Most likely,after Man of Steel,WB will try The Flash to see if the can make a non Superman or Batman DC flick that works.If The Flash is a success,they will go for Wonder Woman and maybe Green Lantern again.As they try to develop these characters they will keep making Superman and Batman films.I don't see them making the jump to a JLA film for at least 5 to 7 years.
WarnerBrother - 4/27/2012, 4:10 PM

I also think John Stewart should be the next Green Lantern.However it would have
been impossible to have introduced him without showing Hal Jordan first.Would
Abin Sur have given his ring to John? Simply put,Hal's origin is way more iconic then Stewart's.Same goes for The Flash.You can't have Wally West pop up as The Flash without talking about Barry Allen first. I'd have no problem if they killed him off and had Wally replace him.

Don't be so hard on Geoff Johns.Sure he is Chief creative officer for DC Entertainment,but he still has to answer to Diane Nelson, a person who by her own admission was not a comic book fan and was appointed to her position based on her work with the Harry Potter films.
superotherside - 4/27/2012, 4:58 PM
Angelus Good write up. For Justice League I would like Peter Jackson to direct.
ahhmynuts - 4/27/2012, 10:48 PM
i wonder if the reason why fiege is so hesitant to use joss' avengers sequel option is because joss' willingness to join the other side and make a justice league movie. if joss really has his heart set on a justice league movie like he pretty much said and DC decides pull the trigger and fiege signs off on his avengers sequel option, will whedon be in it(avengers 2) 100%? or will whedon be too overwhelmed with both projects the avengers 2 doesnt do very well. can he handle potentially two of the biggest movies of all time?just a thought...
because i mean why wait to use his contract option?
its a no brainer this movie is going to break all time records.
SuperDan89 - 4/28/2012, 5:06 AM
Remember Joss Whedon has said before he is a DC fan, he was in line to bring Wonder Woman to the big screen for YEARS. He has proven is worth with The Avengers and if he wans to come to DC to direct then I'd welcome it. It's the execs who need to wake the hell up.
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