Justice League

Justice League movie

Quick question: what do you have going on in your life for, oh, like the next six years? You’re free? Awesome, because Hollywood has just changed that for you in a big, big way. You’re busy now. Yes, for the next six years. With yesterday’s announcement of Warner Bros.’ extensive DC Comics-centric release schedule — which starts in 2016 and goes like a freight train all the way up until 2020 — the superhero movies landscape has ballooned out to almost unfathomable levels. Remember when Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice seemed like a distant dream? Just wait until you hear how long you have to wait for your Green Lantern reboot (hint: it’s a long time). Get out your day planners, people (okay, fine, your phones), and let’s plan out our next six years of superheroic movie-going madness. Print it out. Stick it on your fridge. Tell your friends. And buckle up.

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The Rock in Fast & Furious 6

After months of speculation and giddy, delightful wishes and hopeful tweets from the man himself, Dwayne Johnson has officially revealed his role in the DC Movie Universe via Twitter. (and reported on by Variety). While it’s been known for some time that he would play some part in that evolving franchise, it took time to pinpoint exactly where he would land. He wasn’t to be a villain in Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice, he wasn’t to be their Aquaman and he vehemently denied he would be Green Lantern. Instead, he is indeed in a standalone Shazam movie, as he has consistently teased on social media and practically confirmed back in July — but at the time he didn’t divulge whether he would play the title superhero or the villain, Black Adam. You can’t blame the man. Johnson’s a guy of simple tastes. He loves pro wrestling, lifting at the gym, being one of the nicest guys in Hollywood and reading the “Shazam” comic books. So the likelihood that he would play one of the lead roles in Shazam has been big news for his Twitter feed. And today is no different, as he went online to Tweet that we should all “kneel at his feet or get crushed by his boot.”

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dwayne johnson in tooth fairy

We’re likely to get the official announcement this weekend at Comic-Con, but the cat is peeking out the bag regarding a DC Comics superhero role for Dwayne Johnson. He hinted in a recent interview with Total Film that he has finally found the character for him, and without naming names he basically revealed that character is Shazam. “Just say the word,” he not-so-cryptically said at the end of the conversation, which is a pretty good giveaway considering Shazam, aka Captain Marvel, becomes his super-powered self when a kid named Billy Batson exclaims the word “Shazam.” He also reverts to his younger self by saying it again. Johnson also noted that his secret role has the powers of Superman, and Shazam certainly has those. In fact, he was believed to be modeled after the more famous DC hero when Captain Marvel debuted in the pages of competitors Fawcett Comics. Presumably Shazam, a movie already slated for 2016 with Peter Segal (Grudge Match) producing and possibly directing, will be a part of the Justice League mega-franchise that Warner Bros. is building (to be kicked off/continued in 2016 with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice). That could be chalked up to producers truly believing that Johnson is the opposite of kryptonite for troubled franchises — which Justice League has been before even getting off the ground. Shazam has been part of the team at times, yet he’s not one of the core JL characters that we tend to think of as being a member. […]

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Justice League movie

It’s news we all saw coming, but the fact that it’s finally happening, after so many years of hemming and hawing, it just doesn’t seem like it can be true. A Justice League movie is actually going to happen, and it’s not just Warner Bros. messing with us. We’ve been burned before by DC Comics and it stung, but this time it seems like the wounds are finally going to heal. After the one-two punch of Man of Steel and 2016’s upcoming and much anticipated Batman vs. Superman (or whatever it is that they’re going to call it), Zack Snyder will once again be back in the director’s chair in 2017 to helm Justice League. With confirmation that Batman vs. Superman will indeed be a direct lead-in to the Justice League movie, we’ll of course see Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck and Gal Gadot back in their roles as Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, respectively. With the studio recently casting theatre actor Ray Fisher as Cyborg for Batman vs. Superman, the man who suffers a brutal laboratory accident that leaves him with a mostly metallic, cyborg body, they’ve got another hero checked off their list already. Warner Bros. is keeping a tight lid on exactly who’s making the cut to join their ultra exclusive version of the Justice League, but the usual suspects (the original lineup) also include Aquaman, Flash, Martian Manhunter and Green Lantern.

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Gal Gadot

Fast & Furious actress Gal Gadot is already nailing down the boldness she’ll be expected to impart in her role as Wonder Woman in Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel sequel, as she’s straight up dropping big info on her role as the iconic Amazonian; at least so far as cash and contracts are concerned. Via Batman-News, in a story reported on Good Evening With Gai Pines, a show in Gadot’s native Israel, we learn that Warner Bros will be ponying up $300,000 for her first appearance alongside Henry Cavill’s Superman and Ben Affleck’s Batman. What’s more, we get a solid starting date for filming, with Gadot saying the Man of Steel sequel gets rolling in May of this year. As noted previously by Variety, the film’s release date has been pushed to May 6, 2016.

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rejectrecap082413

This will go down in non-history as the week fanboys told Hollywood to argo fu… Actually, the fanboys are apparently doing more than just complaining and burning the Hollywood sign in effigy this time. There’s a petition on Change.org with more than 30,000 signatures. Just imagine if in this increasingly (faux) democratic entertainment industry that the public managed to pull enough sway to actually cancel a major studio casting choice. I presume Warner Bros. would pass on the bill in the form of a mandated crowdfunding campaign in which every signer of that petition has to pledge at least a buck towards buying Ben Affleck out of the presumably already filed contract they’ve made for him to do not only Man of Steel 2 but a number of other Justice League franchise films. Ten bucks if they want a souvenir t-shirt. Well, that portrayal, if nobody stops it, is two years down the line. Let’s focus on all the great, positively reviewed new films opening this weekend, like The World’s End, Short Term 12, You’re Next, Drinking Buddies and The Trials of Muhammad Ali (not yet reviewed), plus some expanding favorites all making this the best new movie weekend of the year. And in between showtimes as we spend the next two days in the cinema, let’s review all the other non-Bat-news and features FSR has covered since the last Reject Recap. Below you’ll find goodies on The Avengers, the Marx Brothers, Smokey and the Bandit and other awesome things […]

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Batman Beyond

The heat of Comic-Con might already be getting to people because there’s a rumor going around that Warners is considering tapping into Batman Beyond for their post-Nolan reboot of the character. That’s according to Bill Ramey at Batman On Film, who is hearing “some whispers” that a movie version of the future-set animated show where Bruce Wayne passes the utility belt to teenager Terry McGinnis is “on the table” as a potential direction to take the character. The only problem is that there’s no way it’s going to happen. Full stop. It’s possible that it’s out there in a no-idea-is-a-bad-idea way, but if Warners is serious about Justice League, they’ll quickly shove Batman Beyond off the table. Ramey disagrees with that point, saying, “If you don’t think a solo Batman film series based on Batman Beyond would mesh with a [DC Universe] on film — if there ever is one — you’d be wrong. The ‘in his prime’ Bruce Wayne Batman could potentially be in a team-up film, while the aged and retired Bruce Wayne Batman would be the version of the same character in the Beyond solo films. Think ‘non-linear’ — same Batman, different time periods.” It’s not that the worlds don’t mesh; it’s that they don’t mesh easily. I love the wishful thinking, but there’s no chance a studio could (or would want to) sell “It’s Batman, but not Batman,” to general audiences.

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Henry Cavill Clark Kent

In perhaps the first indication of level-headed thinking at the studio, Henry Cavill is claiming that Warners isn’t going to rush into Justice League. Until now, all public information (including rumors) indicated that the studio was testing the waters to see how much interest there would be in an attempt for them to have a delicious Avengers-style cake without following the slow cooker recipe. This was all before the litmus test of Man of Steel, but even though it’s been a big success, the star is indicating that the horses haven’t left the stable quite yet for a team-up flick. In an interview with ABC News (via Variety), Cavill said, “Justice League could be great if done correctly. It’s a very tough one to do because the DC comic heroes are all god-like in their power. So in this real world universe, real-world setting we’re telling our story in, it’s going to be tough to achieve that. It has to be done very delicately with a lot of thought. So, it won’t be right away. I hope it’s not, anyway. It may take some time of building up other movies and other characters and introducing them together in one way or another.” Imagine that. An actor who understands the nature of the narrative difficulty and the need to build things with purpose instead of throwing a mess of superheroes together and shouting, “Hey! We thought that’s what you people wanted!”.

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Zack Snyder

This probably comes as no surprise, but according to Variety, the Justice League movie over at Warners will depend on Man of Steel‘s box office performance. It’s encouraging (if not obvious) though, because it’s the first sign of level-headedness the studio has displayed regarding the superhero omnibus project. Before this, they’ve talked a big game all while planning to follow the Marvel method without laying any popular, systematic groundwork. Without Christian Bale, the branding game on Batman changes a bit (although there’s no denying the character’s ability to draw a crowd), and it’s not clear if anyone at all cares to see Green Lantern back on the big screen, so slow-playing the potential 2015 release until Zack Snyder’s Superman movie has a chance to succeed or fail is a smart move. The only question at this point is how much success Man of Steel will need in order to get Warners to pull out the giant check book (seriously, it’s comically large) and push Justice League out the door. How much will it have to earn worldwide? $600m? $800m? Does it have to cross the $1b mark or break records? The original Iron Man earned $585m, but it also wasn’t the sole launching pad for a giant, caped ensemble event movie. It had help where Man of Steel doesn’t, so it’ll be interesting to see following the latter’s release whether Warners will go ahead and place their big gamble on the table. But barring all the smart business, do you even want to see […]

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mnad_gollum

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s the thing that makes you feel better about the world after a long, tough day. And lets just all agree that it’s been a long, tough day for so many people. So a little escapism is in order. Hobbit Wizardry – We begin tonight with a shout out to our friend Eric Vespe, best known as “Quint” from Ain’t It Cool News. That’s pertinent information, because this excellent article he wrote about Peter Jackson and The Hobbit for Popular Mechanics includes his real name in the byline. It looks like everyone’s using their real name lately. The article is excellent, even if it is dealing in-trade with one of the more disappointing films of the year, according to some.

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Darkseid

The fine folks over at Latino-Review, who are either doing a stellar job of reporting or leading every movie fan down the garden path, have announced that an inside source has revealed the plot to Justice League will come from a comic source familiar to readers. They proclaimed earlier that Darkseid would be the big bad for the flick, and now the word is that writer Will Beall will draw from the 1980 issues #183-185 to craft the tale for the moving picture. The plot for the three comics from Gerry Conway sees Darkseid (an absurdly powerful being from another planet) attempting to replace Earth with his home world without finding a proper place to relocate the place we all live.

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Darkseid

So who is this Darkseid anyway? What are his hobbies? Who are his inspirations? Why does he spell his name like a stout German lager? All of these questions and more should be answered if the (often highly reliable) team over at Latino Review is right about the villain’s appearance in the forthcoming Justice League movie set for 2015.* No doubt DC and Warners will want to introduce him to the world as we get closer to the release date, and even if they don’t want to, comic book fans will definitely be staking out the set for a glimpse of a costume for which to ridicule into oblivion. The thing about Darkseid is that he represents the filmmakers (who have yet to be named) going big. As big as their gamble on making an omnibus superhero flick 1) just because Avengers destroyed the box office and 2) without thoroughly-introduced cinematic heroes. He’s just about as iconic as it gets — an alien force of evil from the planet Apokolips that’s one of the toughest foes the team has ever faced. He’s immortal, invulnerable and a genius to boot. Good luck with that, Batman. In a way, that makes sense. If you’ve got Superman and Friends getting together for 2 whole hours, you’ve got to give them someone who takes a while to take down. That could be a villain like Darkseid or one who could raise an army large enough to keep them busy. It’s also kind of cool […]

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Dark Knight Rises Poster - Gordon-Levitt

For those of you clamoring for a Robin movie after the underwhelming ending of The Dark Knight Rises, your dreams may have just been dashed. However, a new dream may have arrived as its replacement: Joseph Gordin-Levitt as our new Batman. That’s right, boring cop John Blake may takeover as the cape crusader. This news comes as one of first pieces of casting rumors for the upcoming Justice League movie, and while we should never take those rumblings too seriously, Hitfix’s Drew McWeeny seems pretty confident in his exclusive. McWeeny says, according to his sources, Levitt will “absolutely” be playing Batman in the Justice League picture. That’s not all, as Warners Bros. is apparently locking down deals not only with Levitt, but with one other actor from Nolan’s Batman universe. More than likely, it’s Lucius Fox providing the team with gadgetry and such or Alfred to help pick Blake up when he’s down.

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Man of Steel

“We approach the film as a single endeavor,” he says. “There are a lot of gears that have to turn in the world of commerce and the world of the mythology we create to facilitate more adventures for this character. We’ll see what happens.” That’s Zack Snyder telling the New York Post about the kind of loose coordination that goes into planning Man of Steel and two following Superman movies, but he could just as well have been talking about the Justice League universe itself (although that film seems a bit more definite). Warners has made no secret that it plans a Marvel-style omnibus for 2015, but right now, Supes is the only speeding bullet in the chamber with no concrete plans to bring Wonder Woman, Flash, a rebooted Batman, a rebooted Green Lantern, Aquaman or Elongated Man to the big screen before the big event.

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Justice League Alex Ross

Development has really been heating up the over that Justice League movie. A few months ago, Gangster Squad writer Will Beall was hired to handle script duties, there was word Warner Bros. was eying Ben Affleck to direct, and then we got a director short list including the Wachowskis, Ruben Fleischer, and, who could forget, Brett Ratner. Today the project became even more real, thanks to a resolved legal dispute. The Los Angeles Times is reporting the studio is gearing up fast for a 2013 shoot and a 2015 release, which would pit the film up against The Avengers 2. After that, mostly depending on whether the film’s a hit or not, Warners would then follow up the film with a reboot of Batman and solo films following whatever heroes they decide to put in the movie. So if any of you have been holding your breath for a Hawkman movie, then perhaps your big dream may finally come true.

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Batman Detective Comics

According to Batman On Film, there is a rumor floating around that Justice League will be used as a launching pad for a rebooted Batman franchise. It may be a rumor, but it feels like common sense. Warners has got Man of Steel next year, but the next time we’ll see superheroes from them is in 2014 when LEGO versions hit screens thanks to Phil Lord and Chris Miller. It’s seems unlikely that they’d want to – or even be able to – mobilize a Batman reboot so soon after Christopher Nolan‘s franchise closed out, and with the omnibus superhero movie in their sites, it seems inevitable that we’ll see Bruce Wayne (or someone) as The Dark Knight playing well with others before we get to see him on his own again. The question is whether that’s a good call. It’s hard to say. If Warners is echoing Marvel‘s method of success, they’re doing so without laying all the of right groundwork that aided The Avengers in becoming such a massive smash. Plus, by investing so much in one film, it could mean sabotaging individual superhero projects if Justice League doesn’t take off like they want it to. Beyond focus group polling, how would the studio even know which characters were working the best in the film, which were connecting with audiences, which deserve their own properties? The only character that is immune is Batman. If Man of Steel falls flat, it will be two in a row for Superman, calling even the most iconic hero […]

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Another day, another quick jolt of comic book news to keep us pumping. This time, however, it’s DC that’s lighting the wires up. Variety reports that Warner Bros. has “approached” Ben Affleck to direct their highly anticipated Justice League film. “Multiple sources” have told the Variety newshounds that Affleck is expected to “discuss the project with studio brass in the coming days.” The stupid reportedly considers Affleck, who has emerged as a talented and energetic director, to be high on their “list of filmmakers who can be trusted with prime properties,” thanks to his work on both The Town and the upcoming Argo. Adding beef to this story is the reveal that, of the list of possible candidates that WB is considering (and that list has not yet been revealed), Affleck is the only one who has been allowed to read Will Beall‘s script for the project.

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The Flash

With Batman in the bag and Superman on the way, Warner Bros. is still in the kind of long-term trouble a superhero team understands all too well. Like a group of heroes blindsided by a syndicate of villains that pulled off a world domination ploy, Warners is scrambling to come up with a plan to challenge Marvel Studio’s $1.5 billion The Avengers world take-over. We all know what that plan is: assemble the Justice League movie. We also know the big question Warners is frantically facing right now is how they’re going to do that. The studio can balk at mimicking a competitor’s model all they want, but the way to get everyday non-comic reading people to really care about a Justice League movie is to roll out the individual hero projects first. Warner Brothers can’t assume people want a Justice League movie simply because everyone knows who Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman are, or that post-The Avengers there is a guaranteed appetite for superhero mega-mixes. For a team-up flick to have maximum impact – i.e. maximum box office returns – without sacrificing integrity or quality, Warners needs to build a demand. The only way to do that is construct a road paved with exciting, entertaining, excellent movies (give or take an Iron Man 2 or two) that compound anticipation and audience faith.

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Pacific Rim

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a collection of all the things you’ll be talking about tomorrow with your friends. Assuming you have friends. We hope you do. If not, we’ll be your friend. We begin this evening with the first image from Guillermo Del Toro’s Pacific Rim, featuring Idris Elba looking badass in a suit that, if our guess is right, allows him to control giant robots or something. Everything about this film makes it a giant, sloppy, wet orgy for nerds. We cannot wait.

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The LA Times did a big profile on new Warner Bros. president Jeff Robinov. They talk about a few things in it, from his managerial style to controversial decisions he has made such as passing on Slumdog Millionaire and refusing to work with David Fincher. But what is most interesting about the piece is that it slips in some pretty major news about the direction of Warner’s big, tentpole DC Comics properties. According to Rubinov, he wants both new Superman and Batman films to come out in 2012, and then he’s aiming for a Justice League movie to come out in 2013. There’s even mention of spinning off Flash and Wonder Woman films after that. We already know that the Superman movie is being overseen by Christopher Nolan and is going to be directed by Zack Snyder, and the Batman movie is Nolan’s next directorial effort The Dark Knight Rises, but will these be the same characters that appear in the Justice League movie? Superman doesn’t get a mention, so it seems like the answer for Snyder’s character is yes, but post Dark Knight Rises Batman will be getting a reboot. Much like with the Superman project, Robinov has gotten Nolan on board to oversee the character’s new direction. If you add in this year’s Green Lantern, it’s looking like Warner Bros. finally has the proper leadership in place to give Marvel’s recent spate of film adaptations a run for it’s money. With this news and the announcement of all […]

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