Warner Brothers desperately wants to turn their superhero properties owned through DC Entertainment into big, popular movies much in the same way that Marvel Studios has done over the last few years. There has been some speculation that next summer’s Superman franchise reboot Man Of Steel might be the first step in that plan, functioning in some way as a set up for Warners’ Justice League film on the boards for 2015.
But what if we have already seen some of the set up and we just didn’t know it at the time?
That’s the implication of a new report from Drew McWeeny over at Hit Fix stating that Joseph Gordon-Levitt is already set to appear in Justice League as Batman. McWeeny reports from unnamed studio sources that the studio is in the process of finalizing a deal with the actor. McWeeny goes on to speculate that since the studio has been watching how Marvel has grown their franchises, they may want to bring in Gordon-Levitt and “at least one other actor from the Nolan films to do… something” for Man Of Steel.
Might we see some sort of tag scene like we do with Marvel’s movies? That would certainly jibe with Man Of Steel director Zach Snyder’s statement over the weekend where he came very close to actually confirming that his film will indeed connect to Justice League.
(Spoilers for this past summer’s The Dark Knight Rises follows)
When we last saw Gordon-Levitt’s character in The Dark Knight Rises, he was in a position to take over the mantle of Batman from a retiring Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale). Fans speculated if the studio would continue the series with Gordon-Levitt’s police officer John “Robin” Blake at the helm. Batman trilogy director Christopher Nolan had stated that his version of Batman exists in a universe where there were no other superheroes. Furthermore, Nolan has also said that he was done with the franchise, having told the stories he wanted to tell.
But what if Warners isn’t done with the version of Gotham City and its heroes and villains that Nolan built? If Warners was looking for a base upon which to build an interconnected series of franchises, using a pre-existing one versus starting from scratch is certainly appealing. And I suppose it could be said that at the time the stories in Nolan’s Batman movies happen there were no other superheroes, so some coming along afterwards would still be no contradiction with Nolan’s thoughts about his films. Ultimately, the characters and concepts are the studio’s to do with what they want.
There are some potential drawbacks to this approach though, the biggest being will either fans or the general public accept anyone else other than Bruice Wayne under Batman’s cowl?
Now McWeeny usually has good sources so I would treat this as a bit more probable than the usual rumor about films that haven’t even begun production. It would suck if this just turned out something floated out to fans to stir up interest in the DVD and blu-ray release of The Dark Knight Rises next Tuesday. Maybe we’ll find out more as it gets closer to Man Of Steel’s release next summer.