Warner Bros. may, or may not, be making Justice League. Much depends on the success of the upcoming Man of Steel. But even if that movie is a massive hit, making a Justice League movie shouldn’t be in the cards for a while. Here’s why.
The Real Money Is In Vertigo
DC has been doing gangbusters in the comic book movie gold rush, but most of it isn’t from the DCU. Instead, it’s been movies like Constantine, A History Of Violence, V For Vendetta, Watchmen, and so on.
So, why try to shift gears? The solo superhero movies DC has produced, outside of Batman, have been sparse and generally seen as awful. However you feel about the movies listed above, you’ve got to admit, they’re a lot better than Steel and Catwoman.
The DC Universe Does Better Artistically With Standalone Movies
The Superman franchise brought comic book adaptations from utter cheese to big-budget film spectaculars. 1989’s Batman defined the ’90s blockbuster for better or worse and was one of the biggest pop culture events of its day. The Dark Knight was so popular and its snubbing at the Oscars for major categories actually forced a change in Academy rules.
That’s a pretty strong history, right there. Why risk it with an Avengers cash-in?
There Are Plenty Of Other Teams To Use
And if we want to build a persistent DCU in film, and want to have a team… why start with the Justice League?
Bringing a team like the Suicide Squad or the Teen Titans to the screen would actually make more sense. True, they don’t have the “marketability” of a Wonder Woman or a Superman, but it would give DC and Warner Brothers more creative latitude. Consider that the Marvel curse was broken by Blade, of all things.
The Rest Of The Team Isn’t As Marketable As Warner Bros. Thinks
That doesn’t mean people don’t recognize Wonder Woman or Green Lantern, but they don’t care about them. Warner Bros. has struggled for years to launch a Wonder Woman TV show, and Green Lantern’s movie, while it has its virtues, was hardly what you call a hit.
The solution to this is not to stuff them into a team movie. It’s to build them up gradually.
A Justice League Movie Needs More Time
The Avengers was not built in a day. It’s the culmination of Marvel constructing a very specific production process built around its intellectual property. It’s also a director-focused process; while no director at Marvel Studios has had final cut, they’ve been selected because they’re proven, talented, and have a specific voice.
DC doesn’t currently have a process like this built at Warner Bros., and to have a movie that grosses as much as The Avengers will need it. That’s going to require a couple of dry runs.
So, let’s not rush into a Justice League movie. Besides, is it so wrong to want to see a Suicide Squad movie first?