Marvel, Warner Bros.
With the Marvel Studio’s The Avengers being a financial and critical success, could this prompt DC Comics to create a Justice League movie??
—Mrs. Abby C., via the inbox
You’d think that between Batman’s utility belt, Wonder Woman’s invisible jet and Superman’s icy breath of righteousness, the Justice League would be able to get something done on a big screen—especially given that The Avengers just hoovered up an obscene billion dollars in box office income.
But no. For years, Warner Bros. has struggled to bring their own answers to Iron Man and Hulk to the big screen. Here’s why you won’t be seeing such an august lineup in 2013:
Various factors have conspired to kill a live-action JLA movie, and not just in the past 12 months. This is a boondoggle that, for years, had actual script writers working on it, real actors attached to it, a director signed on to it.
The most credible attempt to bring together the world’s greatest superheroes in live-action form started in 2007. Warner Bros. hired a couple of screenwriters to draw up a story, and the studio liked it. Mad Max director George Miller agreed to direct the project; things looked pretty sunny for comic book fans worldwide. There was even a nice, fat, reported budget of something like $220 million.
The following year, when shooting was supposed to start, Warner put the show on hold because, it said, it wanted to tinker with the script. Thing is, the writer’s strike was on, so no tinkering could occur, and the options for the cast lapsed.
What kind of cast, you ask? How about Adam Brody as the Flash, and rapper/actor Common as Green Lantern? How about—wait for it—Armie Hammer as Batman? Really. Yes. This, according to reports at the time, was going to happen.
But between then and now, Warner’s attitude toward a single JLA movie has, apparently, changed. The studio indicated it wanted to keep all of its heroes separate for a few years before reconsidering a conglomerate à la Avengers. By 2010, the news was official: The JLA project, as it was, had been canceled.
Though there have been rumors that Warner Bros. has been talking about a fresh stab at a JLA, no concrete announcements have emerged. I reached out to several contacts at Warner Bros. to ask whether anything has changed, but the studio was silent on the matter. (The president of DC Entertainment has said that the comic book house has no plans of developing an ensemble movie, either.)
All that said, there is hope: The Hollywood Reporter‘s Borys Kit seem to think that a JLA movie could happen, and sooner than you think.
“Don’t be surprised,” he wrote recently, “if Warners—and [Dark Knight director Christopher] Nolan—take on a Justice League movie soon.”
Is it too late to get Armie Hammer in a leotard?