Mar 05 2013

Attempting to Rectify a Nolan/Snyder, Cavill/Bale Justice League Film

Published by at 11:00 am under Editorials,Movies

batman superman2

There’s a rumor going around right now that Christopher Nolan might not be done with Batman after all. Well, at least in some capacity.

The idea is that the next Batman/Superman films will in fact just be a film, singular. A team-up venture. The obvious implication is that it would be laying the groundwork for a Justice League film, if it wasn’t a Justice League film itself.

DC has some catching up to do if they want to match the coordination of Marvel’s Avengers. They will have to do a JLA film at some point to compete, but is this the way to do it?

The concept being presented is that Henry Cavill and Christian Bale would both return as Superman/Batman, with Nolan producing and Zack Snyder possibly directing.

Would this work? Could this work? Well, that depends on many, many factors.

man of steel1

First, will Man of Steel be any good? The trailer looks good, the costume looks good, I like Zack Snyder when he’s not directing his own material (ie. Sucker Punch). What could go wrong?

Well, plenty. Superman hasn’t been in a truly good film since the Christopher Reeve days 30 years ago, and even those movies might be a bit worse than we believe them to be with nostalgia clouding our judgment. Superman Returns was a well-intentioned failure, and though Man of Steel certainly looks better it’s anyone’s guess as to what the final product will look like. Superman is simply a hard character to render effectively on film.

And then there’s the clash of the universes. I had this same question when it came to the relatively science-based worlds of Iron Man, Captain America and the Hulk colliding with that of Thor. But by emphatically stating that these were not actual “gods,” but simply rather aliens with superpowers that happened to look exactly like humans, they made it fit, and Thor and his adopted brother didn’t feel out of place in the film. The pieces all worked together like a well-oiled machine, despite their differing points of origin.

avengers movie

Like Nolan’s Batman universe, Man of Steel seems to be taking Superman seriously as well. These aren’t the relatively lighthearted films of Marvel, filled with jokes and smiles all around. As such, I can see the two films working together in tandem at least in terms of tone. Obviously is would ruffle a few feathers of those who are a fan of Nolan’s “realistic” universe of heroes and villains, which would have to be invaded by aliens for a team-up or JLA film to work. But that said, I think it could be done.

The next question involves what to do with the other characters. Would JGL’s Robin return? He probably could in some capacity, though I wouldn’t imagine him getting much screen time. But what about the other members of the JLA?

Green Lantern has to be scrapped completely. The Ryan Reynolds interpretation perhaps wasn’t as egregiously awful as everyone said, but it was pretty bad, and certainly does not fit into the Nolanverse, or any potential Nolansnyderverse either.

Green Lantern

Rather, I think they could do some reverse engineering here, the opposite of what The Avengers did. Perhaps in this new film, or maybe in the next one, they could introduce characters like Green Lantern, the Flash, Green Arrow and Wonder Woman, then after the film airs, give them their own spin-offs. It would allow Nolan to essentially handpick the actors for the roles, and he wouldn’t have to rely on other directors making quality films that fit into his universe before the JLA comes together.

Of course, all of this could just be a rumor and Nolan is truly done with DC after all. I’d love to see him keep making original films like Inception and The Prestige, but I don’t think he needs to abandon his most popular franchise altogether.

What do you think of these rumors? Could a Nolan-led JLA assembly work?





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8 responses so far

  • Tim

    Snyder/Nolan overseeing JLA development? Quite possible, particularly if WB is happy with the early cut of MoS. However, it’s a stretch to buy into Cavill/Bale as returining.

    As much as I’d like to see this happen, it feels almost too good to be true.

    That said, I don’t think it would be impossible to align the two film franchises in such a way. Your example of Thor is a valid one.

  • Carmelo

    First of all, Man of Steel doesn’t look that good to me. The visual tone seems all wrong for Superman. Also, the events of The Dark Knight series make little sense, if they take place in a world where someone like Superman exists (He could have stopped Bane and Co. in about 5 minutes).

    The Green Lantern movie was Cinematic poop, and should be forgot about. (Ang Lee’s Hulk style)

    I know every one (except me) thinks that Christopher Nolan’s Batman was the definitive version of the character. But the problem of meshing his version of Batman to a larger hero universe, is that The Dark Knight series at it’s essence wasn’t a superhero story. Nolan’s Batman would have been the same movie if the main characters name was James Bond.

    A JLA Movie should start from scratch and not try to emulate the current DC films style. They should hire Brad Bird to direct/oversee the JL project and they should go for a lighter tone. As a matter of fact they should use the JL Animated show as the template for both the roster and the tone of the movie.

    Just one humble fans opinion

  • Emilio

    We are missing the point that in the story some elements can be fantastic yet realistic. Superman can be portrayed as a normal human being, with emotions, feelings, fears and insecurities as any other human, yet with superpowers (isn’t it what we got in Superman II?). Also, I can see Bale’s Batman coexisting with a god-like figure because some things can change, discoveries can happen, science can evolve and we humans adapt to it. Why can the Justice League start in a world grounded with reality and then evolve to a world with fantastic elements?
    Also, we’re watching the JLA in the wrong way, there are three potential super heroes we like to see more about: Batman, Nightwing and Catwoman (more Hathaway and Gordon-Levitt won’t displease anyone) and they can be part of a JLA movie, since they have already teamed up in TDKR. Recast Green Lantern and ignore his origin story (like Hulk in The Avengers), put a superhero cameo on Man of Steel (like Hankeye on Thor) and you have enough characters for the movie to be call Justice League.
    So, my Justice League would include Batman, Superman, Nightwing, Catwoman, Green Lantern and maybe Green Arrow, dosing the fantastic elements with the real world we’ve seen.

  • Ceiynt

    I don’t understand why Hollywood thinks superhero movies need an origins story. Justice League. Batman/Superman/Wonderwoman/whoever, go beat up Apok or something. No origin needed, just awesome action and entertaining story.

  • Mark

    If I were Nolan I would high tail it as from superhero movies as possible. If he doesn’t it will be his legacy instead of the true cinematic gems he could bring us if he wasn’t focused on making DC successful. Half the reason they shitty superhero movies get made is because the writers and producers are too chained to the source material and the fanboy vision of what needs to be in the movies. When Nolan walks in everyone just shuts up and lets the magic happen because they trust him, there are other good ideas out there too, just trust them.

    http://www.cracked.com/blog/the-4-biggest-missed-opportunities-in-fiction_p2/

    this article by the ever brilliant Dan O’brien has the perfect way to handle superman movies, but it could never be done because the studio would never allow it, DC would never allow it, and the fanboys would never allow it.

  • Emilio

    Hey people, and what about a JL movie working like the Tower of Babel series? Batman and Superman doesn’t need to be friends in a movie for it to work. We can also have the League of Shadows working in the background, with a new head, (The Riddler or Lex Luthor).
    Also, I’m with you, Mark, we don’t need to see the same content of the comic book on screen, we need reinterpretations of them.

  • dom

    eveyone shut up

  • Tom

    I think it is very possible if done properly.

    The Dark Knight Trilogy were some of the Best films to hit the big screen. All three were high ranking as far as profit so there is no reason not to atleast try to continue with other movies. Man of Steel looks great, but I am skeptical. If it turns out like Batman Begins ( or better) then that will be a good indicator of where to go.

    Also to Carmelo’s Point ( comment above). It is Niave to think with superman and batman living in the same universe, that it makes little sense. For one, they are both orgin stories, so we can assume they started around the same time, ( maybe batman first?). Secondly, They both feel obligated to their cities, and are probably already filled to the brim with villains. I think starting the franchise as 2-3 orgin stories would be a great movtivator. We don’t need 7 films to introduce Flash, GLantern, Hawk Girl, Wonderwoman, etc. Like the Author said, make JLA a trilogy ( like avengers) and give each hero a spin off later on.

    I DO wish there was a way to have apperances of Batman in the superman movie ( vice versa) like they did in the comics/ animated series. IF (big if) christian bale returns for another batman, maybe it will happen? Seeing as how LATE DC is getting into the game, I assume Superman will be the “Kick-Start” to JLA like Ironman was to Avengers.

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