Holy about-faces, Batman!
Warner Bros. secretly signed “Gangster Squad” screenwriter Will Beall last year to write a “Justice League” movie as an answer to the anticipated success of rival Marvel Studios’ “The Avengers,” which was then in production, Variety is reporting.
The movie would unite DC Comics’ heavyweight superheroes — including Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, the Flash and Green Lantern — into one mega-franchise in “The Avengers” mode.
That would mark a sea change for Warner Bros., which previously focused on developing individual superhero franchises. Director Christopher Nolan, who wields enormous influence at the studio from the success of his first two Batman movies, has reportedly advocated keeping the Caped Crusader separate given the gritty realistic tone of those movies.
It also would likely be difficult to get Christian Bale back under the cowl: the star told the Daily News in January that the upcoming “The Dark Knight Rises” would be his last superhero movie for a long time.
Whatever the original plan, the superhero landscape forever changed with the enormous box-office success of “The Avengers,” which unites Marvels’ Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and Hulk franchises into one mega-franchise that has grossed more than $550 million domestically to date.
Warner, however, has a huge advantage over Marvel: It’s the parent company of DC Comics and has movie rights locked up for all of the publishers’ marquee characters. Marvel, on the other hand, had licensed some of its A-list heroes like Spider-Man to other studios before the company decided to go into the movie business for itself with 2008’s “Iron Man.”
Beall has yet to submit his “Justice League” script, according to Variety, since he has been busy with several projects for the studio, including a reboot of the “Lethal Weapon” franchise.