Tag Archives: DC comics

How To Make A Decent Justice League of America Movie

18 Feb

How To Make A Decent Justice League of America Movie
by SimplyKyle 2/13/13

jla1 header

It is inevitable. A Justice League movie will eventually make it to the big screen but many wonder how anyone expects to pull such a feat off. With the success of Marvel’s The Avengers and all the individual hero movies that led up to it, it’s a wonder why DC has not jumped on the opportunity to make their own superhero team movie. I mean it took them long enough to start hinting at the possibility, not committing to anything of course, just saying that the potential for the possibility might be there if they feel like it maybe someday.

I have a few suggestions to make it a successful movie and not just a rushed, capitalize-on-the-superhero-trend-while-you-can, poorly written, piece of garbage which is highly likely if not handled properly. After all, anyone could throw a JLA movie together with the common knowledge of the characters from the comics and ride on the coattails of the success of Christopher Nolan’s Batman films (as people will compare all future DC movies to)

It would take careful planning and years of rewrites to stitch together and compose an elegantly written and believable (in the comic movie universe sense) story that could do such an influential comic book identity justice (no pun intended).

Even the Avengers had aspects that could have been worked out better if they had gone into the first Iron Man (or Hulk movie) with definite plans to make an Avengers film, but that idea was a distant dream in the beginning. Given the time and money, building a Justice League movie should be something that can be produced fairly easily. Set aside contract issues, licensing, and all other real world stuff that causes problems in film making that the average person seems to forget about when their favorite characters have flaws and the film isn’t how they would have done it.

It’s not a perfect world and movies are fantasy (gasp) and they are made by people who encounter real world issues (gasp again) when making something. The same way that in theory running away and working on a tropical island sounds great but the haunting student loans and inability to uproot yourself holds you back. Sometime movie companies run out of money, or schedules don’t fit, or deadlines approach, or contracts don’t work out. I’m sure every producer would love to make the perfect movie every time but if that were the case a new movie would only premier every ten years instead of every friday. Hell, if that were the case and companies only put out “perfect movies” we wouldn’t have 6 Fast and the Furious films, or even one of the Scary Movie films.

In an ideal world, they’d have Christian Bale’s Batman, Man of Steel‘s Henry Cavill as Superman, Smallville‘s Giancarlo Esposito as Martian Manhunter, Rooney Mara as Wonder Woman (because why not), Ryan Reynolds as Green Lantern (just to save time on redoing the movie), and Aquaman would somehow not be made fun of.

But as this is unlikely to ever happen so let’s get real shall we.

Obviously the movie would have to include; Superman, Batman, Wonder woman, Flash, Aquaman, Martian Manhunter, Green Lantern. Although I worry that with the apparent success of the new show Arrow, Warner Bros will likely try to fit in Green Arrow, aka Batman with a bow. Regardless this is about how I would make it, just keep in mind that Warner Bros will probably try and fit him in just like Hawkeye was tossed in the mix of The Avengers.

Anyway let me break it down…

What needs to be done

The JLA characters are so huge that they would each need solo movies that generated buzz and interest to reel people in for such a huge undertaking of the movie.

Marvel did this with The Avengers. It took years but Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America: The First Avenger were great movies by themselves before they started producing The Avengers. (I am aware of the mixed feelings of the two Hulk movies, each showed a very different type of Hulk, a character that really didn’t get good representation until the team up movie.)

If DC wanted to attempt make a JLA movie work, they would have to recoup from their failed Superman Returns and the mediocre Green Lantern. Besides Nolan’s Batman trilogy there is no huge character from Justice League and there is no way Nolan’s universe or that Batman would ever exist in a Justice League movie if they made it now.

And face it, Batman can’t carry the Justice League movie on his own. He’s teamed up with some of the most overly powerful beings in comic book history and a movie featuring them needs to be so epic that Batman (no matter how cool he is in the Dark Knight) would look like an ant up against a giant. For instance, if it were Batman vs Doomsday, he would certainly lose, Batman vs. Anti-Monitor, he loses, Batman vs Spaceman X…you get the picture. It can almost be certain that the Batman we have come to love the past few years will have to be redone to fit in any Justice League movie universe.

So, they would have to introduce each member of the Justice League in their own solo movie that would be worthy of adding up to warrant a Justice League movie.

Superman really is the key component in making a successful Justice League flick and first they have to nail a Superman movie. There has yet to be one. It looks like Man of Steel is going to be pretty awesome and will be the Superman they use in any potential JLA movie. I know some people may argue that the original Superman movie was great but let’s be real here. It was cool for comic geeks back in the 70s, but that Superman could not hold a candle to today’s cinematic demand of superhero expectations. Let’s work on getting Superman to actual punch a guy into space first (or throw a punch in a movie for that matter) before we try and get him to head up the Justice League on the big screen.


But say they use Man of Steel‘s Superman and the 2011 Green Lantern as the characters for JLA movie, they still need to make a Flash, Wonder woman, Martian Manhunter, new Batman, and even an Aquaman movie.

Estimate two a year, if they were  all even in development yet, puts us about three years out. Most of them are not likely even being considered, nor developed, so we are closer to five or six years minimum form a JLA movie in order for it to be done right. They can’t nix a Batman redux because the Batman in JLA will be so vastly different from Christian Bale’s Batman. And if they just assume everybody knows Batman from Nolan’s films then the audience will be wildly disappointed when they go in thinking of that one and see whatever version of Batty shows up in the JLA movie.


How they should approach it

First off, they’ll have to acknowledge the existence of the other super powered beings existing in each movie for it to make sense that they team up. Not necessarily in the sense that The Avengers had Samuel Jackson go around and yell at people until they decided to work together, but in the sense that if there’s a guy who can fly and shoot laser, you’d be damn certain the guy who can talk to fish knows about that red tight wearing guy from Metropolis.

This is one reason Spiderman as we knew him could not be in the Avenger’s movie, New York only seemed to acknowledge the one guy in tights when he battled Doc Ock. Same goes for the X-men not helping out in the Chitauri invasion. In their movies it was an international debate about mutant registration, but not once was this mutant menace mentioned during Tony Stark’s press conference or federal trial.

Of course, this could all be resolved they way they do in comics by throwing alternate universes into the mix (something X-men Days of Future Past may be playing with) but in a society that allows multiple seasons of Jersey Shore and only one of Firefly, theoretical physics may not pacify their desire for explanation, in what is a fictional cinematic world to being with.

We should be able to just say “because we fucking said so, it’s a goddamn movie” and leave it at that. But as internet debates have shown us, apparently everybody who has ever seen a superhero movies wonders why they aren’t all canon to each other and will nitpick all their inconsistencies and why they are terrible, despite making millions of dollars in the box office (as well as fitting in a way to horribly insult your mother).


So as I stated, each member would have to have a worthy solo film.

superman-man-of-steel-close-ups-of-new-outfitThe upcoming Man of Steel version should be used to begin the JLA series. He’ll have to have a struggling, dark, and gritty past with initial protest or hesitation of trust from earth only to be redeemed by saving the earth or a large population from a great threat. I’ll entrust Man of Steel to do a decent enough job to create a usable, modern cinema friendly and appealing Superman.

Will be probably the toughest to redo. As I stated earlier, the Batman we have seen represented by Christian Bale the past few years would be ideal, but would not fit in any conceivable universe they would base an upcoming JLA movie in that includes other superheroes never mentioned in The Dark Knight trilogy. Unless of course it is based years after and Batman has to return to team up with the JLA as being the first “super-hero” the world had seen publicly, which led to the rise in super powered heroes and villains in years after. This could open up the Joseph-Gordon Levitt’s Batman/Nightwing character that The Dark Knight Rises alludes to at the end. You know what, that may work easiest instead of trying to remake a Batman that moviegoers can love that they won’t keep comparing to The Dark Knight’s version (the recent Amazing Spiderman remake comes to mind). They could make it a darker Batman but any darker than what we’ve seen and the screen would just be black. I’ll revisit how to attempt another (inevitable) re-imagining of Batman at a later date.

Wonder Woman
Wonder Woman
Not to keep relating the JLA to the Avengers (let’s be honest one is pretty much the other companies version of the other) but a Wonder Woman movie would probably have to be much like the Thor movie was, only it would not directly lead into the final team up movie (I leave that to Martian Manhunter later). This movie will have to take place on a magical island inhabited by gorgeous Amazonian women who have the powers of gods. Wonder Woman’s character would have to be curious of the lives of regular humans and ventures to our normal world and inadvertently saves someone and gets labeled as a hero. She would be sought after by military officials and would continue to protect humans, whom she has grown fond of, from danger. This intervening with normal people will upset her homeland friends and they will give her an ultimatum, she can either return or choose to live amongst the humans never being allowed to live in her homeland again. For good measure you obviously have to throw in a normal man who she falls in love with but he doesn’t know her secret. Hopefully this would stand a better chance at getting produced than the two failed attempts at Wonder Woman tv shows.

FlashHonestly, he probably doesn’t need his own movie. He could easily be slipped into one or more of the other movies like with Hawkeye in Marvel series. Because when you get down to it, he’s a guy who runs really fast. Yes, I know he has been known to phase through things and mess with time but how much can we fit into 2 ½ hours that doesn’t seem like we’re pulling things out of our ass?

aquamanAs much as I hate to say it, he warrants his own movie more than Flash because of the sigma around him. He would really need to be made a bad ass similar to how he is in the New 52. One of the top priorities would have to be getting the outfit right because orange and green, scaly tights can be very unflattering very quickly. I would suggest having his origin explain how he gained his powers from a meteor (tied to Superman) and he gets the aquatic powers because it lands in the water he is swimming in at the time. Obviously his friend who was with him will go evil and have similar powers and will be the main person he fights, symbolizing his struggle with himself as he battles the changes he is going through and the consequences of having his powers and how easily he could be turned to a darker side.

Green Lantern
Green LanternWill need to be redone because we’ll have to take each member seriously (also we need to get Ryan Reynolds out of the green tights and start making that damn Deadpool movie already!) I see this being the second to last movie released before the JLA movie, it would help begin tying the cosmic space themes to the way the JLA movie will have to incorporate. I think to separate this new Green Lantern from the Ryan Reynolds version, you would need to go the John Stewart Green Lantern route and make him an African-American character (because honestly the JLA needs to diversify). The origin can be tweaked to have the alien, Abin Sur, give John the ring which makes him Green Lantern. The reason behind Abin Sur’s being near earth is his tracking an alien being that is nowhere near the size of Parallax in the recent movie, it can’t be so earth shattering yet. This alien is a tough bad guy who is actually just a scout for the main bad guy in the JLA movie that Martian Manhunter will be tracking. Throughout this movie there will be a scientist, Dr. Saul Erdel, that Green Lantern knows who is trying to reach out to aliens and inadvertently calls the bad guy that Green Lantern  must battle.

Martian Manhunter
martian manhunterWould have to be the last movie before the JLA movie. It would flow as a report being documented by Martian Manhunter who has been away from his home world for many years in search of an evil entity that attacked his people. Once he finds one of the villain’s minions (the bad guy from Green Lantern film) he gets a trace on where the evil entity is. He too will pick up Dr. Saul Erdel’s signal that draws the evil to Earth and he will make his way to warn Earth of the danger that is coming, arriving after Green Lantern defeats the minion (so he’ll also show up at the end of that movie to tie it in, showing that both movies were happening in roughly the same time frame). We’ll end on Martian Manhunter explaining that he has learned of other powered individuals on Earth that can help protect the planet from destruction.

What it would be about

The evil entity that the JLA will ultimately be battling will be revealed to be Darkseid, probably one of the most powerful bad asses to walk in the DC Universe.


In the JLA movie, Martian Manhunter and Green Lantern will be trying to convince the rest of the team to work together for the oncoming evil. Obviously, Superman will be first on board. Flash and Aquaman will be easily recruited, while Batman will likely want to work alone and would take more persuading and Wonder Woman tries to resist as she gave up using her powers to be with the man she loves (lame I know, but probably appealing to girls. maybe?).

Darkseid will be able to sense the powerful beings on earth and one mystical place that he first discovers is Wonder Woman’s homeland. He first attacks there and many of the Amazonian woman are killed, this will ultimately spark Wonder Woman to join the JLA.

Darkseid will be able to convert anyone into an evil minion of his if they are weak-willed and he can over come them. This will quickly create an army that will cause a problem for the JLA. After his initial resistance, Batman will show up with a device that can temporarily stop Darkseid’s hold over humans which will make it easier for the JLA. With their combined intellect and powers they will wage war against Darkseid’s evil, while trying to protect the innocent humans under his control.


The movie will span the globe as the JLA tries to manage the worldwide attack as evil spreads like a plague. Eventually, good will triumph evil but only after we believe the JLA may lose, perhaps some of the members fall under Darkseid’s control? I have several ways they may manage to defeat Darkseid but its tough to say which would do justice for the Justice League of America (pun very much intended).

So hopefully Hollywood understand what their up against by taking on such a task of a Justice League movie. They have to realize the magnitude of the project and can hopefully take a few tips from my opinion (and I wouldn’t be opposed to helping write the scripts). Time will only tell, either the DC movies will triumph and we’ll see the movie in the next five years or they will become total flops at the box office and a mutli-million dollar budget Justice League of America movie will never see the light of day. We could always hold out hope for a Justice League of Antarctica movie

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