The Justice League movie is looking further and further away with every passing month. Script rewrites, lack of a director and an unmanageable release date seem to be casting a shadow over what I believe is a bad idea anyway.
I’ve already shared my views on what DC should have done after the massive success of the The Avengers but I’m beginning to think people at DC and Warner Bros don’t even read this blog! Since I wrote that post, I’ve had a change of heart, and I think a radical new direction is needed to both put them in competition with Marvel and distance their inevitable superhero team-up film from the brilliant Avenger‘s movie.
This is a brilliant comic book that looks into the future of the DC superheroes. The story, in a quick, abridged version, is that in the future, new, radical and amoral superheroes, some offsprings of the traditional DC heroes, are now dangerously taking the place as Earth’s defenders. Alarmed and outraged by their actions, the “traditional” DC superheroes (Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern etc.) decide to step in to sort them out.
It’s a fantastic story which brings together all the elements DC want. Lots of superheroes, including the big two (Superman and Batman), great villains and a huge, all-encompassing, blockbuster finale. It is also different enough from Marvel’s Avengers movie to work.
It will help DC get past the tricky problems they have created for themselves. Cavill’s Superman could well be contracted to star in a Justice League movie, but they have no other superheroes effectively established. This means that they have to introduce Wonder Woman, Green Lantern and Flash before their Justice League movie can really happen. Add to that the issue that they don’t have a Batman. Without Christopher Nolan behind the camera, I don’t think Bale would do the job. Furthermore, would you actually want Bale and Nolan’s Batman in the same “universe” as the Green Lantern and Superman. It just doesn’t seem to fit.
Kingdom Come sidesteps some of those issues. The first half of the film, after you have established the enemies and the threat, can be Wonder Woman collecting the already famous heroes from their new, older lives. It will act as an introduction to each, giving a very simple version of their powers and what they can do. The biggest additions will be Superman (who could be played by an aged Cavill or my personal pick, John Hamm) and an even older Batman. In the case of Batman, the problem of Bale being part of the movie is solved for you.
Kingdom Come the comic is a very complicated and sometimes alienating story which wouldn’t really fit with the big screen as a straight adaptation. You would have to make it simpler; less heroes and fewer enemies for a start, and make it much more about these heroes coming out of retirement. Do this and you have a movie that is similar enough to rival Avengers but different enough to dismiss any straight comparisons.
By making the “Justice League” movie a story set in each of the heroes futures, you can then open up the possibility of a structured prequel to Kingdom Come. We have had a glimpse of what these heroes become, why not show how they were created. It makes for a much more intriguing introduction to each of the heroes if they are already established in the public, mainstream consciousness.
This would be a very bold move but I can’t see a new, traditional Justice League movie ever working. I don’t think DC have enough time, thought or original direction with the idea to make it different enough or even close to the quality of what Marvel produced. If they do something like Kingdom Come, at least they give themselves an original, unique and fighting chance of taking Marvel on properly.
Overall, I can’t see any other way of doing Justice League than creating something like Kingdom Come. It means that casting the heroes and establishing each of them is taken care of. It creates a decent story which doesn’t really resemble The Avengers and it can also set up a new franchise, taking the opposite direction to what Marvel have done so successfully. If anyone knows someone from DC or Warner Bros, feel free to forward to this on.