It seems like Warner Bros is about to unleash a major barrage of DC Comic superheroes onto the big screen, most of which will be under the tent-pole of the proposed Justice League film that is once again apparently back on the table.
Projects like Justice League, to be penned by Castle and Gangster Squad writer, Will Beall and a Wonder Woman solo film penned by Green Lantern co-writer, Michael Goldenberg are the latest on tap. They now join titles previously known to be in development like The Flash, Aquaman, Green Arrow, Lobo, The Suicide Squad, and Shazam.
The studio has attempted numerous times to make a live-action Justice League film into a reality, but have always run into roadblocks such as the Writers Guild strike of 2007, or the underwhelming performance of last year's Green Lantern. However, the whole thing about Marvel's The Avengers raking-in what is at this point, nearly one and half BILLION dollars might have been the catalyst to get things moving when it comes to an array of superhero films with a connected universe.
Is this a smart move? Or is Warner about to spoil the party?
While Warner may have their Superman locked-in with upcoming Man of Steel star, Henry Cavill, there is the issue of key members like Batman and Green Lantern.
Even now, the studio is left scratching their heads about what to do with its greatest comic book success, Batman, as star, Christian Bale and director, Christopher Nolan look to be walking off into the sunset after The Dark Knight Rises is all said and done next month.
Additionally, its recent failure with Green Lantern also leaves them with a vexing dilemma, since they do have a bankable star in Ryan Reynolds at their disposal to return for a sequel. Would his version of the iconic hero be marketable enough to bring into this new DC Comics movieverse? Or do they simply reboot with a less costly star that would also divorce the new films from the failure of last year's film?
However, their biggest risk lies in spoiling the already-crowded superhero genre altogether with this ambitious list of titles. Even a second-tier character like Green Arrow is at risk for over-exposure with not only a film, but the live-action TV series, Arrow heading to the CW this Fall. -- And that's not even counting the various animated shows.
The general consensus among fans seems to be cautiously optimistic. Clearly, they need a Joss Whedon-type visionary to play puppetmaster with these franchises and bring them all together. That's going to require getting some people with both a passion for the source material and the business sense to make it marketable to the uninitiated; a task that's easier said than done.