Why a Justice League movie is destined to fail


Let’s compare the number of films Marvel has released in last year vs the number of films DC has released in last year? Is obvious that you can remember way more modern films based on Marvel comics than on DC. Marvel tried and they failed many times with a lot of their superheroes but they keep releasing films and finally manage to craft their art with this new wave of Marvel hero films starting with Iron Man (2008).

These new films that Marvel has released (Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Hulk)  are actually good, decent films. I mean the characters are well-developed and also they are incredibly well adapted to the big screen, the films are entertaining and you can really relate to these heroes

And what about DC? well… Nolan’s overhyped Dark Knight Trilogy was enough to battle all these Marvel superheroes films alone, but now its over, The Man of Steel is the next in line, but , Superman can’t battle alone The Avengers as Batman did. Batman is gone now, Superman alone and DC is pretty much screwed.

But now let’s think this trough Ok? After all those films that Marvel has release, hero film after hero film for this last decade. I’m afraid that there’s no room for DC heroes anymore and from now on DC heroes are pretty screwed on screen.

And these are my reasons why DC heroes are destined to fail in film from now on:

1) Marvel already owns the superhero film genre which is something that they have been exploiting for the last ten years that I’m afraid that real soon people will start to get a little bit tired of superhero films, specially films that introduce a new hero right from the beginning; so right now is a little too late to start releasing films about all the super heroes that you have.

2) And most importantly. With the exception of Batman, DC heroes do not work as well in the big screen as Marvel heroes, and this is the reason why: DC heroes are not as relatable to the audience as Marvel heroes are. Contrary to DC heroes, Marvel heroes are charismatic but the most important thing about them is that, it’s really easy to relate to them (Spider Man, Hulk, Iron Man, Wolverine, even villains like Magneto) everybody can relate with at least one of them in some kind of way.  Almost any teenager can relate to Spider-Man specially nerdy boys, I’m sure that you know someone who behaves like Tony Stark and really relates to him. Anyone who considers himself as a social recluse can relate to any of the X-Men or to Hulk. And this happens because Marvel heroes are imperfect, that’s what makes them relatable and that’s what audiences want.

DC heroes on the other hand, they’re not really that relatable and some of them are just too perfect that you can even consider them they are considered as gods in their universe, Hardly anyone can relate to Superman or Green Latern or Aquaman or Martian Manhunter. But my point is that those heroes just don’t have that same effect and they will not be that interesting in the big screen to watch. And that’s why I think that in an enviroment where Marvel’s imperfect and charismatic heroes rule, there’s no room for DC superheroes and they are basically destined to fail.


And the reasons behind it are

THE PLOT

I can see the plot of Justice League playing out in one of two ways. The first, and most probable, is that WB will stick to a safe formula instead of innovation. The film will focus on Batman and Superman and… not much else. Batman and Superman are DC’s most well known and loved characters, so they will put them at the forefront of the film and push everybody else to the side. Sure, Flash may have a badass moment or two, and Green Lantern’s comments will be funny, but other than that, they will be cardboard cutouts there only to enhance to scale of the film. The bulk of the character development will focus on Superman and Batman’s differing views of how to lead the team, attack the enemy, the importance of Earth, self sacrifice, ect, ect, ect. The rest of the crew (save maybe Wonder Woman becoming a romantic interest) will have almost no sway in the events that are going on and will only be there to increase the CGI fireworks show at the end. Which begs the question: Wouldn’t a Superman/Batman team-up be a much better option at this point? At least until they get the universe up and running properly.

Option B is that they try to include everything. Every character’s background (in some way or another), their personal development, the villain’s development, their team relationship, the people they care for, and more. And this will obviously be a disaster. To pull this off, they’d need a genius/madman to write it and a time window of 4-5 hours. It just can’t be done.

6. LACK OF CONVICTION

When Marvel decided to commit to its vision of an onscreen shared universe, they knew there would be no stopping that train. And yet, they went full steam ahead setting the first major plot points in Iron Man 2, even with their two riskiest films (Thor and Cap) on the horizon. If any of these movies flopped, the universe could come crumbling down. But they stuck by their guns. Hell, when Joss and pals first started filming Avengers, Captain America’s first movie wasn’t even released yet and here he was competing for the most screen time of all the characters. The point is: Marvel took a gamble and stuck by it, and all their hard work paid off big time.

The folks over at Warner don’t seem so confident in themselves. They hope to recreate the success of The Avengers without putting in any on the risks or work. One of the reasons we haven’t gotten any major news about the film is because they’re waiting to see how Man of Steel plays out. They want to know how interested people are with Superman so they can decide how much of the film he should take up. The hesitation about the fate of Green Lantern (To retcon, or not to retcon…) proves this fact more. One of the reasons they’re holding off on the solo movies is to see who people like more in JLA. Warner Brothers can’t just change the plays as they happen and hope for the best, they need to construct a plan with a solid base and buildup and then stick to it. Otherwise the universe becomes a jumbled mess of retconed events and dead plot threads.


5. Lack of foundation

If marijuana is a gateway drug, then Marvel Studios must have been higher than Tony Stark after he first tested the altitude limits of the Iron Man suit off the response of the film. Iron Man earned a 94% Rotten Tomatoes score – identical to that of The Dark Knight – and also went on to earn over $585 million worldwide. Iron Man’s success proved that Marvel Studios could flourish with characters not named Peter Parker, and laid the groundwork for the films that would ultimately comprise the Marvel Cinematic Universe. That universe was the foundation that would generate the audience buy-in that was necessary for The Avengers to be the box office behemoth that it was.

By comparison, a Justice League of America film would have no such foundation. Assuming the screenplay for the film includes the original seven members of the Justice League, only three members have had recent films: Superman, Batman, and Green Lantern. Unfortunately, none of those films are likely to factor in a JLA movie at all. Superman last appeared on screens in 2006′s Superman Returns. Although it was financially successful, Warner Bros. did not feel it warranted an investment in a sequel with President of Production Jeff Robinov stating in 2008, “Superman Returns didn’t quite work as a film in the way we wanted it to.” Being that Batman retired at the end of The Dark Knight Trilogy, Christopher Nolan’s interpretation of Batman will not be part of a JLA film either. Finally, Green Lantern was such a critical and commercial flop that Warner Bros. will probably cut ties with Ryan Reynolds’ take on Hal Jordan also.

4. No Star Power

With no audience familiarity with the characters as they would appear in a JLA film or the actors who portray them, audience buy-in becomes extremely difficult and will rely heavily on marketing. This lack of any real star power makes marketing the film difficult

3. Who is the Leader

Superman is clearly the leader of the Justice League, but for marketing purposes that may not work. Unless Henry Cavill can do what Robert Downey, Jr. did with his take on Iron Man, Warner Bros. will need an actor with whom they can market the film. The director of the Justice League film will have immense pressure to wisely cast the League member roles. Since there will be no test solo runs like there were for Eric Bana and Edward Norton who were ultimately replaced in The Avengers, the casting will be a one shot attempt. The results of miscasting have been seen in flops like Fantastic Four and Green Lantern. If the marketing department ultimately determines that having Cavill as the face of the film won’t work,  the next logical character to use to sell the film will be Batman which is practically impossible to find an actor who could be hyped and prepared to step into Batman’s shoes

2. The Batman Dilemma

The issue with finding an actor to portray Batman is only the start of the problems. As the Joker told Batman himself: “You’ve changed things, forever. There’s no going back.” The Dark Knight Trilogy pushed the Batman character ahead light years from where Joel Schumacher had him. There is no denying that any future take on Batman will be inferior to Nolan’s vision. Batman’s role in the Justice League is pivotal, and so he cannot be written out or minimized in the script. Because a recent take on the Caped Crusader was so groundbreaking, even a decent take on the character in a Justice League film may leave fans underwhelmed.

1. NO SOLO MOVIES

Other than next year’s Man of Steel, WB/DC will have no solo movies to introduce the characters and lead into the JL movie. This raises two major problems right off the bat. The first is that we will have no previous introduction to any character in this version of the DCU other than Superman. While some, like Batman, have had enough time in the spotlight for the general public to know the character; the likes of Wonder Woman and The Flash have never been in any movie to date. And while The Flash’s back-story could be lazily explained in exposition, (“I got struck by lightning, I have superpowers.”) A character like Wonder Woman can’t strive off her name alone and needs a proper, and carefully handled, introduction; as opposed to: “Hey, I’m Wonder Woman. By the way, the Greek gods exist, Zeus is my father, I come from an ancient island of warrior women that have developed super strength over time and my whip is magic! What’s your story, Batman?” The same applies to Aquaman, and his Atlantian history, if WB chooses to bring him in.

So I don’t know what the hell is DC going to do now, a rushed Justice League film is destined to fail and we all know that.

There’s only one thing that I know DC could do, to completely kick Marvel in the balls and reinvent the whole comic book film genre forever. I will summarize this in just one word … Vertigo…

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2 thoughts on “Why a Justice League movie is destined to fail

  1. Arron Haywood January 28, 2014 at 9:24 pm Reply

    You sir are a complete tool

  2. haydencarpenter February 24, 2014 at 12:13 am Reply

    The justice league movie isn’t scheduled to come out until 2017 so they have 3 years to make movies. Plus the only ones people really pay attention to are wonder woman flash and green arrow. While there isn’t a MOVIE about green arrow there is a game. Not to mention the fact that there are tons of DC shows that have appeared on Cartoon Network. Also, who says Christopher Nolan can’t be batman again? Plus their are SEVERAL other actors who can play batman. Also, why won’t superman being the leader work? You only have 3 legitimate reasons. Come up with better ones and I might agree

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