The phenomenal success of "The Avengers" proves there is strength in numbers, at least for the Marvel Comics superhero universe. But what about the DC Comics heroes?
With their own, already established "Justice League" and characters just as beloved as the Marvel ones (think Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, et al), you can't help but ask the basics: could it happen, who might be in it, and when will it come out.
"Justice League" movie apparently in the works
Warner Bros. has reportedly called on screenwriter Will Beall to pen the screenplay for the superhero extravaganza. The "Gangster Squad" writer has also worked on the playful detective series "Castle," starring Nathan Fillion, darling of fans of the Whedonverse, so who knows if casting might include a certain impossibly handsome actor made for superherodom.
With the cast of characters pretty open -- there's been heavy superhero rotation in the Justice League over the years -- giving this actor/writer combo an opening could prove very successful.
Who may be included
While Wonder Woman, Batman, and Superman are pretty much Justice League staples, the other superheroes have come and gone over various iterations. Looking at the box office failure of "The Green Lantern," it's pretty uncertain if he'd been joining the lineup; if he did, it probably won't be with Ryan Reynolds reprising the role.
"Wonder Woman" is in the works and being written by "Green Lantern" writer Michael Goldenberg, while "The Flash," a sometimes League member, is still viable, if being rethought. Most intriguingly, it is rumored that an Aquaman film is in the works, likely after "Wonder Woman" and "The Flash."
As Aquaman hasn't really ever had the big-screen treatment, it could prove a fresh boon to the concept of the Justice League, and provide a new, yet established, character to the mix. Of course, a bad Aquaman movie could be horrendous, as the "Fairly Oddparents" spoof "Wet Willie" implies. Careful crafting and incredible effects would make the difference.
It might be a while
The careful world-building of the Marvel universe character by character, the thoughtful casting, and then the choice of an exceptional director for "The Avengers" formed the basis for the film's unbelievable success. If DC Comics -- and by extension, Warner Bros. -- wants the same level of fan appreciation, then it certainly has a roadmap.
The jumping-off point will likely be the Superman reboot "Man of Steel" in 2013. Batman movie "The Dark Knight Rises" debuts this summer, so there's a possibility Christian Bale could reprise the Caped Crusader as well, depending how the explosive Christopher Nolan trilogy ends.
Given that the Wonder Woman and Superman projects are still in their early stages and other, less iconic heroes might need individual introduction, much like the Robert Downey Jr. incarnation of Marvel's "Iron Man," it's probably too early to be popping your popcorn just yet. Way too early.
If properly done, unrushed, and well-established, a "Justice League" movie could potentially unseat "The Avengers" juggernaut. After all, Batman movie "The Dark Knight" is the second-highest-grossing superhero movie of all time, so imagine what a whole team of DC heroes could do squaring up against Marvel's epic crossover.
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