Warner Brothers is hedging its bets when it comes to jumping into the deep end of the comic book adaptation pool with their planned Justice League film. The studio has placed the project on hold until it sees how their upcoming Superman film Man Of Steel does at the box office.
Word of this is actually buried deep in a Variety piece about the state of the studio following the appointment of a new CEO for Warner Brothers Entertainment over studio president Jeff Robinov.
Further out, the studio’s planning a “Justice League” tentpole — encompassing DC Comics mainstays Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, the Flash and the Green Lantern — on the order of Marvel’s “The Avengers.” Will Beall is scripting but no director has been attached yet.
Stakes are high for “Man of Steel.” Other than Nolan’s Batpics, Warners has not been able to effectively exploit the DC library. Its 2011 “Green Lantern” underperformed, and a “Justice League” film wouldn’t likely be in theaters before 2015, as Warner’s top brass has indicated that they are awaiting the results of “Man of Steel,” which opens June 14, before moving further ahead.
Presumably, this means that the hunt for a director for the project has been suspended, and until that is resumed and completed, no further casting or pre-production work can be done.
Frustrating to be sure, but perhaps a bit understandable if one just looks strictly at the balance sheet. Currently, the studio has a number of high profile, and high budgeted, films in the pipeline. In addition to Man Of Steel, this year sees Bryan Singer’s fairy tale redux Jack The Giant Killer, Guillermo del Toro’s giant robots and monsters action fest Pacific Rim and the second of the three installments of Peter Jackson’s Hobbit films. Next year brings the third Hobbit film, Doug Liman’s science-fiction war film All You Need Is Kill and the Lego movie.
But personally, I think that the studio is just wasting valuable time. While everything released so far about Man Of Steel has not been met with universal acclaim, there is still an overall vibe of positive anticipation for the film. And whether or not that it will actually have a direct connection to Justice League, I think that people are anxious to see Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and more team up the same way that they got to see Marvel’s superheroes do in The Avengers. I know that I am. Hopefully we won’t have to wait too much longer.