Warner Bros. Slates 'Justice League' Movie for 2015
Production Will Start Next Year
Published: 10/19/2012, Last Updated: 10/22/2012 06:28am
One day after a key victory in its long-running battle with the heirs of Superman creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Schuster (see "Warners Wins Another Round in Superman Case"), Warner Bros. studio is already planning its superhero movie future by slating a Justice League movie for release in 2015. Warner Bros., which "controls" DC Comics lags well behind rival studio Disney, which has successfully exploited the movie potential of its comic book publishing arm Marvel Comics, in spite of the fact that Disney does not even have the movie rights to two of Marvel’s most popular franchises, Spider-Man and the X-Men. Despite this impediment Disney’s Marvel Studios has dominated the movie superhero genre, while Warner Bros. has been stymied by the failure of its attempt to create a Green Lantern franchise and uncertainty over whether it would be able to retain the rights to Superman.
Warner Bros. lone superhero success has been Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, though the studio has high hopes for Zack Snyder’s The Man of Steel, which Nolan is producing and which is due out next summer. Now that the court has at least temporarily denied the Schuster family’s claims to Superman rights, Warner Bros. can proceed on preliminary work on a Superman sequel, but the studio’s main focus, according to a report in the L.A. Times, appears to be on a Justice League movie that will start production next year for a 2015 debut. According to The Times, Warner Bros. has a Justice League script that it likes and just needs to find a director and begin the casting process.
The Times also reports that Warner Bros. is endeavoring to get Nolan to produce the Justice League movie, though so far the director has not agreed to take the job. Obviously a key task for Warner Bros. is to retool its one proven cinematic franchise Batman, though it will certainly be difficult for the director (and cast) of the next Batman film to match the stellar work of Nolan and company on the Batman trilogy that ended this summer with The Dark Knight Rises.
By putting off the retooling of the Batman franchise until after a Justice League movie, Warner Bros. could introduce a new Batman actor (and perhaps even a director) and gain some sort of public acceptance in a context that would not completely depend on how the public perceives the new Dark Knight. Slating a Justice League movie for 2015 precludes a Marvel Studios’ approach that introduces the main characters in a superhero team-up movie in individual films before putting them together in an ensemble film. There simply isn’t time to develop, shoot, and release films based on Wonder Woman or the Flash or any of the other long-gestating DC Comics properties on the Warner Bros. lot before 2015.
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