From the same link....
The last time anyone saw
double up on the big screen was when Krypton's favourite son ended up repeatedly whacking himself over the head in 1983's pretty execrable
III. Thankfully, there are no plans for a repeat in Zack Snyder's forthcoming Man of Steel, but it's looking more and more like we'll be getting double helpings of the character in cinemas before too long. Following a court victory over rights to
, Warner Bros this week revealed it will release the long-gestating Justice League movie in cinemas in summer 2015 – coincidentally, the same year that other superhero ensemble combo, The Avengers, are due for a second outing in cinemas.
For the uninitiated, the comic-book take on the Justice League features
, Batman and Wonder Woman, along with assorted minor characters. Warner could plump for the Marvel Studios approach and cast Henry Cavill, the British actor signed to portray Supes in Man of Steel, just as Robert Downey Jr and Chris Hemsworth portrayed Iron Man and Thor in both standalone movies and The Avengers. But even though Justice League is a film that has only really been greenlit due to the $1.5bn success of Joss Whedon's superhero epic, I think and hope studio execs will go for a different approach.
First of all, there's the problem of Snyder and Christopher Nolan's "real-world" approach to
for Man of Steel. Out next year, the latest attempt to return Kal-El to cinemas is brought to you by the team behind Nolan's recent Batman trilogy, though the latter is taking a back seat in favour of Watchmen director Snyder. While co-writer David S Goyer was recently at pains to deny the idea that we'll be getting a "dark"
, he's been happy to confirm that the new film posits a more realistic take on the world's best-known superhero. A teaser trailer showed a bearded Clark Kent thumbing lifts and doing manual labour somewhere rugged and freezing in north America, and the new
outfit is a distinctly muted affair, minus the famous red underpants on the outside. It all points towards an origins story in which the big blue boy scout is – like Nolan's Batman – the only superhero in his world, rather than the inhabitant of a more fantastical universe in which lycra-cladded, super-powered crimefighters lurk around every corner. Since that's exactly the kind of world the Justice League is likely to be dead set on saving, it makes sense for the latter film to feature a more traditional version of the character.
Another reason we might be better off seeing two cinematic versions of
(and eventually Batman) is that Warner faces a completely different set of circumstances to that of rival Marvel. The latter's advantage when delivering its highly successful series of interconnected comic book movies – most of them about relatively little-known characters such as Iron Man, Thor and Captain America – was that nobody had previously seen these figures on screen in any sort of respected cinematic iterations, if at all. It was therefore possible to deliver a five-year plan in which all appeared in their own origins movie(s) before teaming up for The Avengers. Faced with the task of aping such success with the DC Comics properties to which it owns the rights, Warner Bros is doomed to fail.
is about to be re-established via a risky new reboot, and Batman has just finished a successful run in a deeply iconoclastic trilogy which does not even feature characters with traditional superpowers. In the highly unlikely event that Christian Bale's caped crusader were to suddenly appear in the Justice League's orbiting spaceship control room alongside a green-skinned chap from Mars (Justice League member The Martian Manhunter), an alien with seemingly infinite powers (
) and a warrior princess with a magic lasso that forces anyone caught in it not to tell porkies (Wonder Woman), we might be entitled to ask a few questions. Warner needs to bite the bullet and accept that its Justice League should feature all-new versions of all of the above.
Finally, time is running out. With Justice League set to arrive in 2015, there simply isn't time to integrate Warners' previous versions of Batman and
with the new ensemble outing. Warner would have to reboot Batman as part of the new team, with knock-on consequences for the hero's next outing. Again, it makes far more sense to keep the two versions of the caped crusader separate and reap the potential rewards from the success of both versions.
There is, of course, a caveat: frankly, I remain doubtful that it makes any sense to bring Justice League to the big screen at all right now. Nevertheless, if Warner must deliver the movie, it ought to do so without destroying any chance of its members appearing in strong solo outings for the next decade or so. In the absence of any other options, the campaign to keep big-screen Batman and
separate from their ensemble outings starts here.
I'll leave you with the other major comic book movie news this week, in which Marvel's plans for future Iron Man and Thor movies – in contrast to those of Warner – continue to roll along smoothly. Here are the official plot synopses for Iron Man III and Thor: The Dark World. Will those films keep the studio at the top of the superhero tree? Or are you one of the few who believes Warner can trump the success of The Avengers with a barnstorming Justice League flick?
That's an interesting conundrum. Two versions of SUpes and Batman? How will the public react to such a thought?