The Brave and the Bold

Three years ago, I wrote about my opinions on several planned movies featuring DC superheroes. A lot have changed since then and I’m now going write another overview of the projects featuring DC superheroes and my opinions of it. With all the attention on Marvel’s Thor, Captain America and the Avengers next year, I think this is a good time to take a look at our folks in DC.

Superman


After the ‘not-so-satisfying-enough’ reception of Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns (a quasi sequel to Superman II), Warner decided to reboot it and aimed for a darker take on the character ala Batman Begins. I was opposed to the idea because making Superman darker is not necessarily the best way to make a good movie. A more accurate word would be ‘mature’ or ‘character driven’. Brandon Routh’s Superman did have angst in him but the movie was sadly let down by the lack of a formidable threat (I like Lex Luthor but creating a continent for real estate??? seriously??).

The story has it that director Christopher Nolan and writer David Goyer were taking a break from writing the third Batman movie and talked about Superman. Goyer told Nolan of the way he would approach a Superman movie to make him more relevant to modern times and go into what he is as a man. Nolan loved his idea and helped him pitch it to Warner Bros. They accepted it and the rest was history. Set to be released in 2012, the tentatively titled ‘Man of Steel‘ is a movie project produced by Nolan, written by Goyer and directed by Watchmen’s Zack Snyder. It features a cast of Henry Cavill as Superman, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Kevin Costner and Diane Lane as Jonathan and Martha Kent with Michael Shannon as villain General Zod.

Many have complained about Zod being the villain again but come on! – 1) Joker and Two Face was in more than one Batman movie 2) General Zod could provide some Kryptonian mythology which is an opportunity to explore Superman’s origin without making this movie a straightforward origin story.

Speaking of origin story, there have been various rumored plot over the internet but the one that I really liked the most involved “Clark Kent as a journalist travelling around the world, including getting caught in the middle of a West African civil war, contemplating whether he should become Superman or not. He then traveled back to Smallville and comes face to face with his secret destiny.”

Batman


The Dark Knight Rises is the final part of the Batman saga that director Christopher Nolan wants to tell. Nolan’s Batman story is basically a one long origin story so expect the end of TDKR to be about Bruce Wayne transforming himself into the Batman we all know and love. Christian Bale will return as Batman and is now hunted both by the Gotham police and his past with the League of Shadows from the first movie. This is hinted by the casting of Josh Pence as the young Ra’s Al Ghul in a flashback and Marion Cotilllard who, despite the recent story of her playing a Wayne enterprise board member, I think will be revealed as Talia Al Ghul towards the end of the movie and double crosses him.

Another adversary that Batman will face is Bane, played by Tom Hardy. We still don’t know whether he is related to the League of Shadows but expect him to beat the living shit out of Batman. In the comic, Bane is infamous for breaking Batman’s back and put him on a temporary retirement. Although I don’t think Batman’s back would be broken in this movie, I do think he would get some kind major ass whooping from Bane. This would probably have an impact on Batman’s ability to save Gotham on his own. With the Gotham police against him (except for Commissioner Gordon), Batman probably will have to form an uneasy alliance with someone outside the law – a thief called Catwoman played by Anne Hathaway.

So what happens after Nolan finishes his Batman saga? A Reboot.

I predicted this three years ago because I saw it as the only way they could incorporate a version of Batman that is compatible with a Justice League universe. So it seems that Warner/DC stole read my mind read my blog post logically had the same idea. So should they make a rebooted Batman movie so soon? Hell no! But should they instead reboot Batman through a Justice League movie? Sure!

But like what Marvel is doing with the Avengers, I think Warner/DC should do the same and start building the DC universe to prepare themselves for an eventual Justice League movie. And they should start with the Green Lantern movie…

Green Lantern

Three years ago, I was highly anticipating this movie because of the things I heard about the script which described it as an epic space opera superhero movie. Although I supported Bradley Cooper as the Green Lantern, I wasn’t dissatisfied with the eventual casting of Ryan Reynolds. I remember calling Green Lantern DC’s answer to Iron Man and when the first trailer came, I was right…..in a bad way. I was disappointed because of the poor attempt at humour, chick flick type banter between the leads and special effects – basically a poor attempt of an Iron Man type of movie. 

And then the much longer trailer showed up and blew me away. NOW THIS IS WHAT I WAS PROMISED ABOUT YEARS AGO! An epic Space Opera Superhero movie!

It’s clear that they are now selling on the otherworldly premise of the movie and I think this movie should be the building block to an eventual Justice League movie. The world of Green Lantern is vast and fantastical so it would be really easy to incorporate the rest of the Justice League heroes into the universe laid out in this movie. I’m not expecting a Justice League reference in this movie (it’s too late for that) but drop it in the sequel (yes, a sequel is already in development). OR they can start laying down the Justice League foundation with….

The Flash

A movie starring the Flash is currently in development by the same people who wrote the Green Lantern movie (Greg Berlanti, Michael Green & Marc Guggenheim). So fingers crossed that they’ll set this movie in the same universe as the Green Lantern movie (IF they’re not planning it…then I suggest you buy tickets to Green Lantern movie so the it can make lots of money which will convince Warner/DC to ride the Green Lantern bandwagon by making Flash associated with Green Lantern).

The Flash will focus on Barry Allen, a police forensic scientist who got exposed to a bunch of ‘lightning striked chemicals’ and now has super speed ability. The writer has described the upcoming movie as a balance between a crime movie and a superhero movie. There was also a hint of elements of alternate universe which is a reference to the famous storyline of Barry Allen meeting an alternate version the Flash (Jay Garrick) that set up the whole multiverse thing going on at DC.

As for the casting? I say Bradley Cooper because I wanted him to be the Green Lantern. Since Ryan Reynolds (who I REALLY wanted to be Flash) got that gig, I suggest giving Flash to Cooper. Him being the Flash was a popular internet rumour and even Ryan Reynolds recently said that he wanted Bradley Cooper as the Flash. But sadly, Bradley Cooper is a bit reluctant to take on the role.

Justice League

And finally, the big daddy! A Justice League movie is in development but how should they approach this big movie?!! Here’s my opininon:

Christopher Nolan as a producer

No, I’m not saying that the Justice League movie should be dark and realistic. I just think that Christopher Nolan could be sort of act as a quality control to the project. I think Warner would be happy to have Nolan be on top of things because of the huge success of The Dark Knight and Inception. It also adds some credibility to the project.

 Rebooted Batman introduced in this film

Rather than make another standalone film, a rebooted Batman would be introduced in the Justice League movie. Just like how Wolverine was the anchor in the first X-men film, the Justice League film could be anchored by a storyline following Batman’s introduction to other superheroes like him and his eventual realization on the benefit of working together. As for casting….why not give another shot at Armie Hammer (the Winklevoss twins in Social Network) because he was close to playing Batman in the previously scrapped Justice League project.

Henry Cavill as Superman

As much as I liked Christian Bale as Batman, I don’t want him to play Batman in the Justice League movie. It would be wrong to see him in a fantastical Justice League movie after being used to seeing him in three realistic Batman movies. However, I do want to see Henry Cavill as Superman in a JL movie. Despite what Zack Snyder said about his Superman being its own thing, I want them to stick with Henry Cavill for Justice League. I didn’t like how they wanted to recast Brandon Routh and I certainly don’t want them to recast Cavill.

Green Lantern and the Flash

Use the world introduced in Green Lantern as a starting point, then build it up with Green Lantern 2 and The Flash movie.

Wonder Woman

It wouldn’t be Justice League without Wonder Woman. I’m not sure if they have time to slot in a Wonder Woman movie before Justice League so I think they should introduce her in there.

So what do we have?

There is a big threat to earth that not one superhero can handle. Batman is investigating something in Gotham that led to this big global threat. Batman’s investigation led him to meet other superheroes such as Superman, Green Lantern and the Flash. Martian Manhunter is introduced as someone related to this big threat. Wonder Woman’s Amazon land is under threat and is forced to unite with the superheroes from the world of men. Superman tries to unite everyone, Wonder Woman doesn’t trust men, Green Lantern prefers to do things with Green Lantern corp, Martian Manhunter is unfamiliar with human customs, the Flash is…well…confused by all this shit AND Batman doesn’t want to be associated with these idiots. They all unite eventually and save the day. Justice League is born. Batman says he’ll just be a part time member but he respects them nonetheless.

Of course, all of this depends heavily on the success of the upcoming Green Lantern movie. I hope that 1) It’s a damn enjoyable good movie 2) Makes lots of money. Then have other things fall into place such as Flash, Superman and Green Lantern sequel to set up the Justice League movie.

IF they could make this work and do it right, I’ll assure you that a Justice League movie will totally be bigger than the Avengers. I love Marvel and they have more cooler characters but I always see DC as having more prestige and much more iconic. There is something about Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman that taps into a universally recognized archetype.

You might enjoy my previous post on DC films back in 2008: http://trylobyte.wordpress.com/2008/08/29/worlds-finest/

PS: Whatever happened to that Green Arrow movie?? and no love for Aquaman??

World’s Finest

Warner Bros. is relaunching/rebooting/reintroducing the Superman franchise that will be much more darker than the previous movies. “We’re going to try to go dark to the extent that the characters allow it,” says Jeff Robinov, the president of Warner Bros. Pictures Group, who has definitely been inspired by how The Dark Knight, a dark take on Batman, has been making lots of money. I don’t think a dark Superman movie would guarantee a successful movie. I think the right word is ‘mature’ but I guess that’s what the Warner guys meant by ‘dark’ anyway…I hope :-P . Relaunching the Superman franchise is just part of a larger plan involving the adaptation of other DC superheroes.

What Marvel is doing with their superheroes is giving Warner Bros. & DC a wake up call. Marvel has a great long term plan for their superhero franchise: Iron Man & Incredible Hulk (2008), Iron Man 2 (2010), Thor (2010), Captain America (2011) and finally The Avengers (2011), where the aforementioned superheroes unite (as hinted at the end of Iron Man and Incredible Hulk).

Meanwhile Warner/DC has been busy developing projects like…’Batman vs Superman’ or ‘Justice League’ :roll: I like Justice League but the project was simply rushed. Thankfully, they scrapped that and is now planning to follow the Marvel way; introducing individual characters in each movie, let them have their 2 hours of fame and then hopefully team them up for a Justice League movie.

Click ‘More’ to read about some of the superheroes that Warner/DC will probably adapt in the next three years:

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