JUSTICE LEAGUE’s Future Dependent On MAN OF STEEL’s Box Office

JusticeLeagueWarner 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.

About Rich Drees 6800 Articles
A film fan since he first saw that Rebel Blockade Runner fleeing the massive Imperial Star Destroyer at the tender age of 8 and a veteran freelance journalist with twenty years experience writing about film and pop culture.
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JohnWayne Colwell
January 29, 2013 9:59 am

Yeah this is not good news–this is not we have a great JUSTICE LEAGUE story to tell–which kind of makes me want to see them scrap it

Craig Cirelli
January 29, 2013 10:09 am

Ya but who’s worried about MOS’s box office numbers? It’s going to be massive.

Joe Nazzaro
January 29, 2013 10:14 am

I’m glad they scrapped their original title: DC Avengers.

JohnWayne Colwell
January 29, 2013 10:14 am

SUPERMAN RETURNS is what has them worried-always a concern the boy scout will not translate well or easily to this time period

JohnWayne Colwell
January 29, 2013 10:15 am

Also there hasnt been a SUPERMAN sucess at the box office since 1981!

Craig Cirelli
January 29, 2013 10:19 am

That’s typical studio-suit mentality, numbers guys. Audiences will attend a solid movie, especially a summer blockbuster. Look at The Avengers – that movie should have been a train wreck, but it was done so well and drew massive crowds.

JohnWayne Colwell
January 29, 2013 10:24 am

Yeah but they had time to plan it out–this JL movie seems like AVENGERS did well and we have no more Nolan movies–lets roll!

Damon Casantini
January 29, 2013 10:40 am

It’s funny because storyline wise DC has traditionally been better, they just don’t seem to be able to translate that into film in a positive way. It’s like they just fall over themselves to make crap.

William Gatevackes
January 29, 2013 10:49 am

Snarky comment: At least this time they pulled the plug before sets were built and parts were cast.

William Gatevackes
January 29, 2013 11:00 am

FBOL Comic Book Film Editor Comment: A) I wonder if this has anything to do with Warners naming a new head honcho yesterday. Could be either a new era of fiscal responsibility or maybe just Jeff Robinov is showing his distain over not getting hired by tightening the screws on the projects he has control of. Or none of the above. Either way, this is a shocking change from a company that was crowing about a Green Lantern sequel when the first one was disappointing at the box office.

JohnWayne Colwell
January 29, 2013 11:10 am

Yah just not what I wanted to hear and then no Warners commercials for the Super Bowl—bad day for the WB!