EDITORIALS

Rumor: Justice League on the Way Sans Batman and Superman

by
August 6, 2010
Source: ComicBookMovie

DC Comics

This rumor is a bit crazy and we're only acknowledging it simply because it concerns a likely path that DC Entertainment could take eventually, but these rumored developments surrounding this potential project could spawn some interesting discussion. So without further adieu, ComicBookMovie.com (who have had some decent inside information regarding certain comic book flicks) is reporting Warner Bros has given the greenlight to a Justice League movie. They acknowledge that the film is in extremely early stages but apparently it's been decided the team will exclude two of the biggest superheroes: Superman and Batman.

So making up the DC Comics ensemble superhero team would be Green Lantern, The Flash, Wonder Woman, Aquaman and Martian Manhunter. This seems sketchy for all sorts of reasons right off the bat. First of all, even though two of those superheroes are getting their own feature films in the next couple years or so, I seriously doubt the studio is going to make a decision to greenlight a movie like this without more of the pieces in place and without a solid debut from Green Lantern and eventually The Flash.

In addition, it seems like Justice League would mark the introduction of the rest of the heroes, so Aquaman, Martian Manhunter and even Wonder Woman wouldn't be getting their own feature films at the start (which just seems stupid to me). But apparently actors are "quietly being pursued" to take on the roles of the other four superheroes (Ryan Reynolds is obviously already Green Lantern). This seems bogus if only because when Marvel planned The Avengers, they weren't already seeing actors to play Thor or Captain America, and the original dates for release for those individual movies followed by The Avengers didn't meet their original release date timeline.

I don't doubt that actors are being considered for The Flash since that's a flick actually moving forward (with Green Lantern writers Greg Berlanti, Michael Green and Marc Guggenheim writing the script). But with how well Avengers is trending with comic and movie fans alike, I can't see DC Entertainment avoiding capitalizing on making individual films at least for Wonder Woman and Aquaman (which will obviously be a huge film directed by James Cameron and starring Vincent Chase). Martian Manhunter on the other hand could probably be worked into the franchise much like Nick Fury or Natasha Romanoff in Marvel's Universe.

But as shaky as this rumor feels, it does seem to play to the idea that Batman (at least in the form that Christopher Nolan has crafted him) simply does not fit in with the world of Justice League. Nolan's cinematic version of The Caped Crusader is too grounded, gritty and completely lacking the fantastical elements that the rest of the superheroes embody. In addition, with Nolan and his brother Jonathan working on a new Superman incarnation, it's easy to understand how The Big Blue Boy Scout wouldn't fit in with Justice League anymore too. Or maybe Warner Bros is anticipating losing the rights to the character (which could happen in 2012 if the studio doesn't get a new film featuring The Last Son of Krypton off the ground before then). However, the exclusion of these two key heroes doesn't jive with what we heard about DC Entertainment's approach to their cinematic universe and presumed lead-in to Justice League.

There's no doubt that it's far too early to have any solid developments, and let's not forget that the plan for The Avengers was mostly contingent on and came to fruition because of the breakout success of Iron Man. So I think that if Justice League is really in the cards, WB is going to wait to see the box office receipts for Green Lantern before any real development happens. But, let's keep in mind that Marvel announced The Avengers in 2008, but it's not hitting theaters until 2012. Therefore, it will be at least four years (Green Lantern doesn't come out until next year and a date hasn't even been set for The Flash) before Justice League could hit the big screen. However, I think this rumor raises an interesting question: Would you want to see a Justice League movie without Batman and/or Superman?

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  • Chris H.
    I don't think it would really feel right without Batman and Superman. They have one shot to get the Justice League off on the right foot and they better plan it out extremely carefully. They should take note of Marvel's careful construction of the Avengers. Of course DC apologists are always quick to say, "what note? DC movies are vastly superior", yet only Nolan's Batman franchise ever comes to their mind. I'm sure they would love nothing more than to have Nolan direct the Justice League... actually that sounds pretty cool. They could manage without Batman, since I've seen many instances where he is either a behind-the-scenes player or not involved at all. Superman, on the other hand, is the clear commander of the group. He needs to be there.
  • Quad
    I think it's a great idea actually. Rather than filming a movie that's obviously focused on their two strongest heroes, they have a potential here to make a seriously gritty and true origin story of all these characters. It could be raw, brutal, and courageous at the same time. Who knows, they could probably elude to the fact that they aren't complete with the two icons, sure... but if it was done properly, I think it could bode well as an interesting introduction. You're thinking too popcorn flick, too action packed with supers flying effortlessly throughout the sky, Ethan. Iron Man films on steroids. This could be like The Watchmen... without the 70s throwback. I honestly believe The Avengers won't be all that fascinating. I expect too much commotion and an absentminded story driven solely on the idea that they need these supers on screen 24/7. Too early to tell, but I wouldn't write it off.
  • http://www.lacuria.com Carlos Subero
    ComicBookMovie.com also once said that Britney Spears would be Mystique in Xmen First Class. You cant believe any of what they say dude...
  • http://www.firstshowing.net Ethan Anderton
    @ #3, Carlos Subero, Yeah, we know they don't have the best track record, but they have inside sources somewhere and they have gotten a few interesting and accurate scoops before. But that's why I decided to spin this more as a "what if" to spark some discussion more than anything. That's why I made sure to scrutinize it very carefully and decided to see what fans thought. So maybe you should toss in your two cents.
  • John
    Nolan's Batman is the best super hero by far. But he will fall in comparison to other superhero's in the DC world.He would seem odd and strange compared to The Flash and Wonder Woman or Green Lantern. Like an Emo kid amongst a bunch of preppy ones. Excluding him is a good move to keep other franchises powerful. Superman on the other hand could enter but since there is no current movie to base him off of (the most recent being SUPERMAN RETURNS) I have no personal opinion. Since Nolan is making THE MAN OF STEEL we should have a base to either shun or bring Superman to the film.
  • deadpool72
    stupid idea,thats like having a avengers movie without captain america & thor.
  • DRM
    "Justice League: Year One" was a fantastic storyline from the comics that re-told the origin of the Justice League, and that didn't have Batman or Superman as members either. So the concept by itself could work. As a fan though, it'd break my heart to see a Justice League movie without Superman in it. Batman I can live without, but missing the chance to see Superman stand alongside the other iconic members of the Justice League in a major feature film would just be tragic. Also let's not forget the last time they tried to do "The Justice League" without Bats or Supes: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Justice_League_of_America_%28TV_movie%29
  • steve
    The whole batman is too dark and moody to fit into a justice league movie is little off. In the comics he is dark and moody and doesnt like to team. And in the justice league cartoon he is the same way. His banter with some of the more playful characters(flash) or clashing with the do it by the book characters(superman) would be great
  • Ultim8
    Wouldn't work! I'm a HUGE fanboy and I hope that THIS rumour doesn't come to fruition. Superman AND Batman were co-founders of the League, along with Wonder Woman. @#7. Batman is an incredibly important member of the League. As the ONLY non-Super he helps keep them all 'Grounded'. God. I'm such a Geek! Sorry.
  • Ultim8
    @#7 again. You ARE right about the prior attempt at a League movie. I didn't realise something could Suck AND Blow at the same time!
  • DRM
    Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman were NOT co-founders of the League, as shown in "Justice League: Year One" which I mentioned. And the League has plenty of human members, including Green Arrow and Green Lantern. Green Lantern got his power ring in his adult life, but he's just as human and grounded as Batman. Likely more so, since he's not a multi-billionaire.
  • Ajax
    Well, in the early days of the Justice League comic, Superman and Batman usually were absent due to "other missions", so it's not unfathomable. Plus, since they already are such big properties in the publics mind, they will automatically dominate the film. While they are important to the League now, I can envision why they would be out. But this is only a rumor, so I won't really think about it.
  • Xerxex
    Nolan's Batman won't work in a Justice League film.
  • LW
    ... maybe the JLI or JSA instead? :S ((Justice League International & Justice Society of America respectively))
  • http://twitter.com/justincresswell justin
    Seems to me that 1 - this is an early rumor and 2 - introducing the other characters without Superman and Batman, or at least bringing them in later - even at the tail end of a first JLA film - seems like a workable idea. Superman and Batman need no introduction to general audiences, yet do seem to need a cinematic refresh to fit into the concept of a JLA franchise. I'm guessing they let the Nolan Batman arc play out, bring Green Lantern and Flash along, reboot Superman and figure out what to do with Wonder Woman and the rest. Even if it seems reactive to Marvel, DC has no choice but to get the JLA and the other big stars in their universe into the movies.
  • Hattori Hanzo
    And I thought replacing Ed Norton for The Avengers was going to be the biggest super hero movie mistake of the year. The Justice League without Superman and Batman would be like The Beatles without Lennon and McCartney. Just don't see it happening.
  • jasonmd2020
    "Or maybe Warner Bros is anticipating losing the rights to the character (which could happen in 2012 if the studio doesn't get a new film featuring The Last Son of Krypton off the ground before then)." How is this possible if Warner Media own D.C. comics?
  • Jimmy Love
    I would prefer a JL Movie with Bats and Sups but if they had to do it without them, I would still Go see That, But the way things are looking for the DC camp I wouldn't hold my breath.
  • Hawk
    No Batman or Superman? What's the point... Anyway, I'm sick of this superhero money grab nonsense.
  • what
    Batman could play the role as Nick Fury does searching for the members of the team. And Superman just can't be out of it. C'mon, he is the boss!
  • Dreckent
    It can work but you have to stop being afraid of the comics books...Just watch this trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H7Nf-m6WGl4 The problem is you have the ongoing-but-soon-to-end "realistc" approach of Nolans Batman. In my opinion they should wait for the actual saga to finish and then start the other movies (flash, superman and a new batman) with a "fantasy-friendly" style and story.
  • Krishna Shenoi
    I have a vision of Marvel fans claiming that "DC copied Marvel! They made an ensemble superhero flick 'Justice League' after 'The Avengers'!" And a lot of space online will be used up in debating and comparing the two; and more sequels will exhaust more words and space. Oh wait, I have a more vivid vision: 'The Avengers', being the first of its kind, will do well at the box office, even though it probably will be a dumb 'Fantastic Four'-ish film, though people won't admit at first. Over time, like 'Iron Man 2', people will see its mediocrity. Anyways, so the box office figures of 'The Avengers' will be huge, exciting producers who can't tell their hands from their legs to make more sequels and prequels... and eventually, the follow-ups will suffer from sequelitis (and prequelitis (?)... remember, you heard that word first here :D ) and then there'll be reboots all over. And what's worse, DC would release their 'Justice League' film, and the same would follow. Yep, I know this is a dumb, pessimistic, biased assumption, but I hate the idea of group superhero films. By the by, I'd like a Justice League movie without Batman in it. Cause they'll obviously fuck up what we love about Nolan's masterpieces. And more than these group supe flicks, I await the new 'Superman' reboot. Oh, and Alex, I love your website, I totally do. It's my prime source of film info. I love how it's so up to date, and I love how you opine in your articles. But, no offense, I immensely disliked you cinematic discussion on the Superman we don't know we need or whatever that was. As much as you think Superman is too goody (or gay, as my friends say), you can't change a legendary story. How would you expect fans to react to such horrifically profound changes to the story? It's like saying, "We think Batman is too dark... so I think we should have a reboot. Scrap the parents' murder plot. Let's have his father be the Joker and his mother be Poison Ivy. The story is about his arguments with his mom and dad." Seriously it seemed so. End of rude, pessimistic rant. (I wonder if I can delete comments on this article if I get hate responses) :)
  • cooper
    this is pretty funny cuz i called this a while ago when Flash, Wonder Woman, and Aquaman movies were announced/speculated and some people thought i was crazy for thinking about a Justice League movie but obviously i wasn't completely wrong http://www.firstshowing.net/2010/05/27/dc-rumblings-flash-wonder-woman-aquaman-in-the-works/ COMMENT #13...CHECK IT OUT!!
  • lamar
    Would I WANT to see a JL movie with Bats or Supes...HECK NO!! That is the dumbest idea I've heard all year. I'd go see it anyway, but I would be complaining the whole time unless they had something awesome.
  • bo
    how is it possible they lose the rights to Superman? I thought they owned DC Comics.
  • DoomCanoe
    if anyone hasn't seen Blur's cinimatic trailer for the game DC Universe you need to check it out this is not only how a JL movie should be, but how almost every super hero movie should be seriously its amazing http://ps3.ign.com/dor/objects/755358/dc-universe-online/videos/dcuo_blur_trl_072410.html
  • L
    Big mistake, I can understand the Batman thing, since he wanted to keep away from the league for a longtime, but Superman? really?
  • Hattori Hanzo
    A Justice League movie without Batman and Superman would be like The Beatles without John Lennon and Pacl McCartney; just won't work.
  • http://firstshowing.net Number6
    Sorry but its unfair to say CBM "don't have the best track record". They report rumors sure, but always tag them a such just like this site and many others. Over the last while they have established themselves I feel. I'm not saying I believe this necessarily, but there is no need to speak about them like they have no credibility. And no, I am not a "plant", I just like the site. ..even though I admit that at times these stories do seem to be pulled out of thin air!
  • drewja713
    I don't really mind batman not being in this movie because ya he doesn't seem to fit the justice league team because of how nolan created him, I agree, but superman I think should still be in it because he's the leader dude! Hopefully this movie is good!
  • TRUE BLUE SPIDER-MAN FAN
    TWO WORDS .....EPIC FAIL !!! By the time JLA comes about we would already have a GL movie...and possible Flash and Wonder Woman movie in 2012 so who needs that much of an origin story for Aquaman (LAME) and MM Hunter (Bleh)....you simply cant do a JLA movie without Supes and Bats. AVENGERS GONNA WHUP THAT A** !!!
  • Ross
    I think superman should be in even if it was delayed to facilitate. WB have to get that sorted anyway. I do like the way the guys with superpowers are intimidated by batman in the comics but throwing batarangs against seriously super powered enemies won't work so they'd have to be careful how they'd include batman or leave him out altogether
  • Nitrium
    I could see how the movie would be INTERESTING without Supes simply because he's like this invincible machine that no one can stop, but nuh-uh! I'm putting my feet down. I am NOT going to see a JUSTICE LEAGUE!! movie without Superman ffs! >.<
  • jesse r
    Thats like me saying hey lets go see the movie Shrek and not having the two main characters, Shrek and Donkey! Now come on!!!!! Im not gonna see a JLA movie without the two best known heroes!
  • Iggypop
    it's actually an acceptable idea. i mean at least the writers and producers of this movie if ever this premise happens can concentrate on the other members of JL and can distribute much easier the stories on each. but i hope they can come out with the Flash and perhaps a Wonder Woman w/ Aquaman before they can make JLA movie...
  • Collin
    Didn't both Batman and Superman help found the league? What is this going to be? An in-season episode where they are off-world fighting and leave the Wonder Twins to watch the Hall of Justice? Good grief, just scrape the idea if you not going to do it right. I rather see more DC Animated projects anyway for real fans anywhere. They seem to be ones getting the job done as far as authenticity compared to the canons. Also, the reason why people can't see Batman in a JL movie is because they are thinking of Nolan's Batman. I'm sorry to say but his concept of Batman is basic. I don't even consider a believable version as compared to the comic. I guess it is difficult to find an actor that is physically gifted enough that can act as well but until they do all versions of Batman pretty much suck if you compare them to the comics. The man is suppose to be jumping from rooftop to rooftop, swinging in the Gotham night, doing backflips and etc. All movie versions seem as though they were trying to go for updated version of Darth Vader. Stagnant, slow moving and awkwardness seem to be Nolan's concept of Batman. Though I hate to say it they would be better off if they used CGI.
  • zubzwank
    On the cover of Brave and Bold #28 (May 1960), the very first Justice League story, these 5 heroes fight Starro the Conquerer: Wonder Woman, Flash, Aquaman, Martian Manhunter and Green Lantern. 'Nuff said.

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