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.
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.
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.
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?