Sure, The Avengers being really awesome probably had a lot to do with the fact that it’s now the third most money-making movie of all time. But, more than that, the film probably has Marvel’s long term planning to thank for its extreme level of success. Instead of just making a movie about a team of superheroes, Marvel first introduced each member of the team in their own films, they dropped hints about the fact that they would all be coming together at some point, and, when it was all said and done, The Avengers finally premiered after six years of build-up and anticipation. That’s pretty unprecedented.
Seeing as they own DC Comics, Warner Bros also has a fairly impressive stable of superheroes at their command. And they’ve even managed to leverage their properties into a bunch of successful animated television shows in the past. But, in recent years, the only character they’ve had any real success with in the live-action feature format is Batman. They’re not even close to doing something with DC’s premier superhero team, The Justice League, that could be on par with what Marvel did with The Avengers.
The last time they tried was back in 2008. A Justice League movie was in the works that was to be directed by George Miller (Mad Max) from a script penned by Kieran and Michele Mulroney (Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows). It would have starred names like Adam Brody as The Flash, Megan Gale as Wonder Woman, and Armie Hammer as Batman. That would have been a standalone movie that didn’t have any build or tie-ins, however, and eventually it got scrapped due to financial concerns and difficulties surrounding the writers’ strike.
That was four years ago, and so far Warner Bros has still failed to come up with any sort of big screen strategy that might have a chance of competing with the stuff being put out by Marvel Studios. Or have they? Variety has a new report that indicates that the studio has at least some sort of plan in place, and that they’ve secretly been putting the pieces for a Justice League movie together for some time now. The big news is that Gangster Squad writer Will Beall has been working on a Justice League script.
In addition to that, comes reiteration that Green Lantern writers Marc Guggenheim and Michael Green have been tasked with writing The Flash, and the revelation that another one of the writers who worked on Green Lantern, Michael Goldenberg, has been hired to write Wonder Woman.
Is this the beginning of Warner’s plan to finally tie all of their DC heroes together into one big superhero extravaganza that might smash all of the new box office records set by The Avengers? Maybe, and maybe not. But at least it’s confirmation that they’ve finally wised up to the fact that they need to start fast-tracking more super hero projects if they want to stay competitive during the summer blockbuster season. If these Flash, Wonder Woman, and Justice League movies are able to deliver, then there could be some halcyon days coming up for fans of superhero films.
Then again, if these writers’ skills were accurately represented by what their committee effort was able to produce with Green Lantern, maybe the DC heroes would be better off sticking to animation. Whichever way it turns out, at least we still have another Christopher Nolan Batman movie to look forward to.