MY DREAM JUSTICE LEAGUE MOVIE FRANCHISE
I think about this a lot. A lot. Because of all the rumors and my undying love for the DCU (except for when they ruin things which they like to do) I have been concocting a DCU Movie Franchise plan that I think would work best.
What they need to do:
1. Make a cohesive DC Universe. The Marvel movies feel like they belong to the same universe. Each DC movie will need to have a similar style and “taste” that will be able to link them together. Cameos and Easter Eggs also help.
2. Cast Well. Marvel’s casting is very strong in the sense that the actors very much embody their characters. Both Physically and in personality. Robert Downey Jr. basically IS Tony Stark anyway so they lucked out there. Chris Evans really looks like the golden boy that Steve Rogers is and really nailed the character. Thor/Chris Hemsworth did too. So they need to avoid casting big names that’ll move tickets, they need to cast smart. (we don’t need another Ryan Reynolds debacle)
3. Be ICONIC. The DC heroes are the most iconic characters in comic books. Don’t just use the modern interpretations of the characters, do actual work and actual research to understand WHO these characters are and create the best possible interpretation of that character. There’s no need to be too different from the comics. Comic book fans HATE that and you’ll probably just confuse the masses.
4. Be SMART. Look at what has failed and what has succeeded. LEARN FROM YOUR MISTAKES! Green Lantern? Fail. Dark Knight Trilogy? Win. DC Animated Universe? Win.
1.Superman. The DCU needs a strong character to build around and Superman is the strongest character DC has. He is who they should and could build around. Man of Steel comes out next summer. Can it be the movie to launch this new franchise? I’m not sure. I’ve got some hope in it being a good movie, but I’m afraid that we’ll get too much Zack Snyder in there and it’ll be very stylized and would be hard to mesh the other films with. But this is what I would do if they wanted to start from scrap:
I’d like to see a Superman movie with Luthorand Brainiac. Both of Superman’s biggest villains in the story, establishing who Superman is, who Lois is and the Superman mythology with an actual threat that has potential for future stories.
2. Batman. DC’s other biggest character and their greatest box office success. The Batman franchise will be rebooted. That’s a fact. I’d like to see it rebooted before the justice league but who knows.
I’d like to see a Batman movie with the same tone as Arkham City. It’s still gritty and bad-ass with the same taste and comic-book quality as the Animated Series and the comics. For the first movie, we could get the Joker. A good Joker story with a different vibe could be a great introduction to the new Batman Universe. It doesn’t need to be purely an origin story because we know who Batman is. A brief introduction to the origin is all we need. And the Joker would have to be pretty different from the Heath Ledger Joker, but that wouldn’t be too difficult to achieve.
3. World’s Finest. The Superman/Batman movie we all want. Luthor teams up with the Joker. The story has been told a few times before, so there’s source material and the World’s Finest animated movie was really, really good. It would be a good stepping stone to get the two big names onto the same screen and establish the characters as Friends.
4. Superman and Batman Sequels. Iron Man got 2 movies in before the Avengers so maybe we could squeeze in a sequel. For Superman, I’d like to see him go up against Bizarro, Parasite, or Metallo (or all three) manipulated by Luthor to destroy Superman. And I’d love to see the Riddler in a Batman sequel!
5. Green Lantern Reboot. There’s no reason to do a sequel to the Green Lantern. I don’t think enough people want more. In order to make a good Green Lantern movie they need to stick with who works best as a villain. And that’s Sinestro. I know they were setting up Sinestro for the sequel but they fucked that up. So a Green Lantern movie with Abin Sur, Sinestro’s treachery, and all that would be a very very cool movie!
Now as for the Green Lantern himself. I love Hal Jordan. He’s my favorite, he’s the most iconic Green Lantern and he’s got the origin story that could really build the movie as long as they get his character right. BUT for diversity’s sake and the fact that a lot of people do still recognize John Stewart as Green Lantern, they could get away with using John Stewart. But that’s tricky because John’s origin relies almost entirely upon Hal Jordan’s existence. It’d be very difficult to use John Stewart as the Green Lantern without a real origin story unless they want to concoct a brand new, patch
work story for him. I’m NOT saying that a black superhero couldn’t sell tickets. I think we do need a black superhero movie (coughblackpantherpleasecough), but if they wanted to use John Stewart then they should wait, introduce John as the GL in Justice League and then do a spin off without delving into his origins too much.
6. The Flash. A Flash movie is DESPERATELY needed. I may be biased because he’s my favorite but he’s got the look, the powers, and the personality to sell tickets. He’s a cool character! They would need to use Barry Allen, he’s just the smarter candidate to build the franchise around. I’d like to see a movie featuring the Rogues. Use Captain Cold, Mirror Master, Heat Wave, and Weather Wizard. There’s no need for Boomerang or Trickster or the Top. Barry’s job is essentially a CSI which would be easy to work around story wise, especially if they play the Rogues as a sort of gang or mob.
For casting, The Flash needs to embody the hope and optimism around Superheroes. Barry Allen is a decent guy who tries really hard to do the right thing. He’s funny and smart but not the player that Wally West was portrayed as in JLU. A lot of people seem to think that Bradley Cooper would be a good choice. The idea disgusts me. I liked Bradley Cooper in Hangover 1 and Limitless, but he plays the suave slimy douchey guy very well. And that’s NOT the flash. He also doesn’t really have that Midwestern boy look.
7. WONDER WOMAN. Please. We need a Wonder Woman movie. She’s the strongest female character in comics. If done right, she could have a great movie. She’s got the mythology and the personality of a box office hit. I’d like to see the Cheetah AND Ares. Get Diana off the island with Steve Trevor to stop Barbara Minerva who has resurrected Ares to become the Cheetah and is attempting to bathe the world in blood through war. Have Wonder Woman fight ares’ henchmen, the cheetah, and the big guy himself and you have a movie.
8. Aquaman. Hear me out. While an Aquaman movie could be tricky, I think it could be done. It is probably NOT necessary to the Justice League Franchise, but I’d like to see it. Get the right actor and the right script and you could have a badass Aquaman having a grudge match with Black Manta! Get Mera in there too. Using Geoff John’s Aquaman as a template, an Aquaman movie is doable.
9. THE JUSTICE LEAGUE. I have 2 ideas for a Justice League movie.
9a. THE WHITE MARTIANS. Taking cues from the Justice League cartoon and Grant Morrison’s JLA you could do a cool story of an alien invasion from Mars unleashed upon earth that unites the League, and introduces the Martian Manhunter. It could also launch John Stewart and Aquaman if they don’t get individual movies. The Alien invasion is the easiest way to unite the league, especially white martian style.
9b. THE LEGION OF DOOM. A nerd’s greatest fantasy come to the big screen. Taking cues from Alex Ross and Jim Krueger’s JUSTICE, and the animated Justice League: Doom, we could have an awesome movie of the formation of the Legion of Doom under Luthor’s manipulation to eliminate their collective foes and destroy them and only in uniting together can they stop the Legion’s plan. Use all the villains from the original movies (Joker/Riddler, Luthor (and bizarro), cheetah, Sinestro, Captain cold, and Black Manta). This would be a pretty cool movie but it wouldn’t be an ideal place to introduce the Martian Manhunter, Aquaman if they don’t do an individual movie, or John Stewart if they decide to use him. But it could be a really cool sequel too.
10. Sequels and Spin Offs. From the Justice League you could build sequels and spin offs. Aquaman, Green Lantern, and Martian Manhunter could spin off from the JL depending on the route taken. You could also throw easter egg guest appearances by Green Arrow, Zatanna, Hawkman, and the Atom if they wanted to expand the movie-verse and have a spring board to use.
11. ANIMATION. The other idea I had. What’s the one thing that DC never fails at? Animation. Their animated universe and animated movies are always top quality. A big budget feature length Justice League movie in regular animation or CGI could be amazing. With potential for movie and television spin offs.
It’s a doable project if they play it smart. But knowing DC and Warner Brother’s. They probably won’t.
Casting wise I still stick with my original picks:
Henry Cavill as Superman
Michael Fassbener as Batman
Megan Gale as Wonder Woman
Nathan Fillion as Green Lantern (Hal Jordan)
Scott Porter as The Flash
Paul Walker as Aquaman
Carl Lumbly as Martian Manhunter