So apparently there was this big super hero movie that came out last month and it was a kind of a big success. With all of the critical acclaim and box office bucks that Marvel Studios’ The Avengers has received, speculation has begun on what DC Comics and movie partner Warner Bros’ next move will be. The highly anticipated The Dark Knight Rises comes out next month, bringing the Christian Bale/Christopher Nolan-infused Batman saga to a close. Undoubtedly somewhere down the road there will be another Batman movie. And next summer will witness the reboot of Superman in Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel. In the meantime however there has been talk about many different DC Comics properties being translated to the big screen: Wonder Woman, a Green Lantern reboot/sequel and of course The Justice League; DC’s premier superhero team.
Marvel was crazy lucky with how their world-building films (Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and kind of The Incredible Hulk) leading to one big superhero blockbuster extravaganza. More important than luck however, was meticulous planning. Iron Man came out in 2008, giving Marvel four years to carefully put all of their pieces in place for The Avengers.
At the moment, a Justice League movie doesn’t have that kind of groundwork laid out. Warner Bros. track record in superhero films for the past decade is incredibly spotty. Besides Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, their superhero movies have been uninspired, half-assed attempt translations (I’m looking at you Superman Returns, Watchmen and Green Lantern.) DC/Warner Bros. doesn’t have any kind of world-building potential at the moment. Christian Bale and Christopher Nolan will be gone; leaving audiences unfamiliar with whoever will play Batman in the years to come. And even though no one will probably miss Ryan Reynolds as Green Lantern, if they were to replace him it would just add to the lack of cohesion and order that DC properties have.
So if DC and Warner Bros. want to be smart, they’ll use Man of Steel as a launching point for future films and franchises. From there they could drop hints and Easter eggs as to where the larger story is headed. If they’re smart they will make sure the story is just as compelling as the action by hiring the right kind of writers, directors and actors.
Then again they could just try to have a Justice League movie in two years without any introduction to characters or actors, solidifying DC Comics’ defeat at the hand of the Mighty Marvel Machine. As big of a DC fan I am, I am sadly more inclined to believe that the latter will happen. Well, here’s to The Dark Knight Rises, then.