With another small blast of casting announced, Warner Bros, Zack Snyder, and the production team for DC movie adaptation decided to let the cat out of the bag now. The next movie released after the untitled sequel to Man of Steel, will be a 'Justice League' movie. Last week, we posted on the site regarding Ray Fisher's casting as Cyborg. Since, there have been rumors gaining traction that Jason Momoa has also been cast, (Aquaman maybe?) these dribbling nibbles of hero casting for the second film have all pointed in a 'team-up' film direction, but today we have an official announcement. Further, they have confirmed that Zack Snyder will continue on as director in what is shaping up to be a Joss Whedon-like role for Warner Bros. DC films.
It seems very interesting that Warner Bros. still seems to be operating with a linear string of films. I suppose Warner Bros. may be gun shy to announce a full schedule of planned film ideas up through the next decade, the Warner Bros. super-heros have been mixed results on screen. While Donner Superman and Nolan Batman were critical and financial win-falls they've had numerous high profile mis-steps. Superman's franchise turned toxic from the time Richard Pryor was cast in a role originally scripted for Brianiac. Burton's Batman put purple makeup on Tommy Lee Jones and nipples on the Batsuit before the Nolan reboot. Superman Returns and Green Lantern were big-budget, CGI fest floppish movies. To be honest, while I love Man of Steel, the critical reaction was mixed and Zack Snyder is a very divisive figure.
So, I can see why there is less of a web of spin-off's being promoted right now. They have placed a lot of eggs into the Man of Steel sequel basket that could very easily break in their face. The last time Ben Affleck was in a superhero movie… well… we shant even mention it. Jesse Eisenberg, while a great actor, made waves when cast as Lex Luthor. With Gal Gadot, Ray Fisher, and Jason Momoa (maybe, probably, Aquaman?) getting being added to the production, Warner Bros. has some chips on the table with this film. This is all also without considering that Disney and Warner Bros. are still playing chicken over the May 6, 2016 release date. If Mickey Mouse cannibalizes Bug Bunny's box office too much, this second movie could border on not even being profitable. A cinical mind would see Marvel/Disney offering up Captain America 3 as a sacrifical lamb just to be the IED to Warner Bros. superhero universe. The Marvel brand will keep ticking. A barely or not profitable Man of Steel sequel will make all of this mute in the time of a weekend.
Back to the 'Justice League' annoucement. There is currently no release date given for this third planned film, however, given the production schedule of the second film we would probably looking at 2018-2019. We know almost for certain that Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and Cyborg will be a part of this 'Justice League' film, but which of the other tent-pole members will we see?
Typically, the Justice League is pictured with Green Lantern, The Flash, Aquaman, The Martian Manhunter, and Cyborg as the core group. There has been no indication that Ryan Reynold's will return as Hal Jordan, so will we be hearing from The Lantern Corps in this next movie? Will Grant Gustin hop from television to film as Barry Allen? Is Aquaman cool enough again to show up in a movie? Is J'onn J'onzz too obscure and difficult to conceptualize to do live action? Hopefully these and many other questions will be answered as the Man of Steel's production kicks into full gear and we march towards 2016 and beyond.
Editor's Update: It appears that there is some confirmation as to when the 'Justice League' film will release and for now its planned for May 5, 2017. It is also been mentioned that the two films could be filming back to back and that an official announcement for the 'Justice League' film will occur at Comic Con International in July.
Posted by Bob Holt