Recently, during an interview conducted by the LA Times with new, Warner Bros. Motion Picture Group President, Jeff Robinov, he mentioned that he plans to have a "Justice League" film released by 2013. Along with this news, Robinov also explained that Warner Bros. plans to reinvent, or reboot Batman after Christopher Nolan's third and final film, The Dark Knight Rises. This news comes with both positives and negatives.
First, the positives. On one hand, it is very ambitious for Warner Bros. to shoot for a 2013 release of a "Justice League" film, especially considering all the trouble they have had getting superhero films produced over the last few years. Other then the Batman films, both, Superman and Green Lantern took a tremendous amount of time to get into production. Not to mention the struggle it has been to get Wonder Woman on any size screen (A Wonder Woman television series is underway at the moment). However, Robinov seems very confident that the studio can make this happen, and it has me quite excited. Especially in the case of Batman. I was, and still am, a little concerned about the direction that Warner Bros. plans to take Batman after Christopher Nolan and company leave the franchise. With Robinov explaining that Christopher Nolan, and wife/producing partner, Emma Thomas will be involved with the production is good news. With Nolan involved, and given the amount of influence he has at Warner Bros., he may be able to keep the character somewhat "grounded" and maintain the high standard of quality that we have become accustomed to within the Batman franchise over the last few years. A "Justice League" film also be an excellent way to introduce the new Batman, without giving him an origin film. Because even with Nolan involved, his more rooted-in-realism take on the character will obviously have to be tweaked in order for Batman to share the screen with characters who maintain superpowers.
Now onto the negatives. Well firstly, 2013 is not a practical date, it is nearly impossible. How could Warner Bros. expect to release a "Justice League" film with Batman and Superman being released in late 2012. Also, it is assumed that The Flash and Wonder Woman would also round out the team, along with Green Lantern, and neither one of them have a film in production. They are in development, but not in production. Another downside to this news, is that this is clearly a business decision. Robinov obviously wants to have an answer to Marvel's "The Avengers", which is slated to release in 2012. And it's decisions like these that make most of the superhero films released year to year, an absolute waste. Now, I'm not one to tell Warner Bros. how to run a company, but they should be looking to further develop each individual franchise before the even consider making a "Justice League" film. The Batman franchise is going to be without the creative team its' had for the last three films, the success of Superman will not be known until December of 2012, The Flash and Wonder Woman are without films, and Green Lantern's film will release later this year. Also, how far do they take it? Do they start producing Hawkman, Martian Manhunter, and Green Arrow as well? I am eager to see a "Justice League" film, but one that further push Warner Bros.'s DC Comics properties forward in a positive direction, rather than shoving something out there to milk the cash cow.
Another downfall of this news, is the reminder of the end of Nolan's run on Batman. Yes we all knew that this was going to be the final Batman film helmed by director, Christopher Nolan but this news reassures that after The Dark Knight Rises, the Batman franchise is going to most likely change, drastically. It's also safe to assume that Christian Bale will exit with Nolan after the third film, leaving an unoccupied cape and cowl.
Ultimately, this news gives us more questions than answers. Warner Bros. seemed to have a smart approach to how they planned on introducing more DC characters to the film audiences, but Robinov suddenly has me a little concerned. Yes, its good to know that Warner Bros. has plans for Batman after Christopher Nolan, but I'm not so sure about those plans. I'm worried that Warner Bros. is going to start treating their superheroes like MGM treated the James Bond character. Instead of making a series of well-produced films, they are going to start cranking out film after film and turn it into a 20 plus film franchise. Nonetheless, this news is both exciting and concerning. What are your thoughts?
Posted by Zach