Sunday, May 6, 2012

What If Warner Bros. Were As Smart As Disney?

In 2013, a Superman reboot entitled Man of Steel is set to be released. It's directed by Zack Snyder of Dawn of the Dead, 300, and Watchmen fame, written by David S. Goyer who helped Christopher Nolan pen the first two installments of his Dark Knight Saga, and produced and "grandfathered" by Christopher Nolan himself. It's also been announced that Nolan and Goyer will cooperate similarly on a Batman reboot to be released in 2015, The Dark Knight Rises being the last in Christopher Nolan's personal Bat-verse.

2011's Green Lantern was...lackluster, to be sure, but Ang Lee's atrocious Hulk and Louis Leterrier's mediocre The Incredible Hulk, didn't stop Marvel. Cleverly, they managed to move forward with the Hulk's story while only half acknowledging the existence of the first film. Warner Brothers could easily do something similar simply by recasting Hal Jordan if they didn't want to risk a pseudo-sequel along the lines of The Incredible Hulk.

Back in 2007, following the release of Superman Returns and Batman Begins, Joss Whedon was attached to direct a Wonder Woman adaptation to match the recently executed reboots of the other two chief Justice League properties. Eventually the project fell through. But, given the astounding success Joss Whedon brought Marvel's The Avengers, I have no doubt that Warner Brothers are looking at that Wonder Woman idea again (with or without Whedon himself), to coincide this time with the re-reboots coming in the next couple of years.

Clearly, Warner Brothers is within striking distance of following in Marvel's footsteps and bringing the Justice League together for the first time on the big screen. More than that, doing so under the oversight of Christopher Nolan.

After Man of Steel and the first film in the rebooted Batman franchise, the next step would be Wonder Woman and, if they attempted to follow in Marvel's Incredible Hulk footsteps, a Green Lantern pseudo-sequel (likely introducing the Sinestro Corps War). This is all the set-up needed for a Justice League film, potentially slated for release in Summer 2016. Justice League would introduce The Flash and Martian Manhunter in similar fashion to how The Avengers treated Black Widow and Hawkeye. The League's first villain would be Lex Luthor, as set up in Man of Steel à la Loki in Thor and The Avengers.

Justice League's success would pave the way for a Superman sequel in which he returns to Metropolis to fight another of his famous villains. Say, Metallo, or a Metallo-Parasite team-up. Brainiac might be the best choice. (Unless he's to be used as the Justice League 2 villain, as you'll see.) The Batman sequel would pit the Caped Crusader against a more serious of his villains than he faced in the first film. Perhaps, And, if they've learned anything from Nolan, the Batman sequel would not introduce Robin. Wonder Woman would probably not get a sequel. If a Green Lantern pseudo-sequel wasn't released before Justice League introducing the Sinestro Corps War, it would be now. The Flash and Martian Manhunter would get their own origin story prequels as well.

Leading to Justice League 2, which would either pick up where the Green Lantern pseudo-sequel left off with the Sinestro Corps War (if they went that route), or, if not, likely introduce Brainiac as the League's first major cosmic villain. This is very similar to what Marvel plans to do with the Avengers. The first film was just the team's origin story. In the sequel they will be forced to take their place on a more cosmic stage, facing off against Thanos. Brainiac is a good DC analogue for such a scheme. Justice League 2 would also introduce Aquaman, prepping him for a solo film of his own, though probably not his origin story.

After Justice League 2, Superman 3 would feature whatever major villain the Man of Tomorrow hasn't faced yet, or the return of Lex Luthor. Probably enough time would have passed in between The Dark Knight and the release of Batman 3 to attempt a post-Heath Ledger Joker. If all went well with Justice League 2, now is when they would start releasing solo films for more minor characters, just like Marvel is now doing for Black Widow, Hawkeye, and Nick Fury. I already mentioned Aquaman. We would likely see a Green Arrow film, also featuring Black Canary and maybe The Atom. There would also need to be a Green Lantern 3 to follow up with the Sinestro Corps War, assuming Justice League 2 didn't already do that. There's room for one more sequel. That would probably be whichever of Wonder Woman, The Flash, or Martian Manhunter made the most money.

Please let me see this movie.
Then follows Justice League 3 (adding Plastic Man, and maybe Hawkman and Hawkgirl, to the mix, though maybe not), in which our heroes would square off against their greatest enemy, Darkseid.

To sum up:
Man of Steel - Summer 2013
Batman (and it will probably be called that) - Summer 2015
Wonder Woman - Christmas 2015
Justice League - Summer 2016
Superman 2 (perhaps Man of Tomorrow) - Christmas 2016
The Flash - Spring 2017
Batman 2 - Summer 2017
Manhunter - Christmas 2017
Green Lantern 2ish - Spring 2018
Justice League 2 - Summer 2018
Aquaman - Christmas 2018
Green Arrow - Spring 2019
Superman 3 (maybe Last Son) - Summer 2019
Green Lantern 3ish - Christmas 2019
Wonder Woman/The Flash/Manhunter 2 - Spring 2020
Batman 3 - Summer 2020
The Atom - Christmas 2020
Justice League 3 - Spring 2021
But none of this will ever happen, because Warner Brothers will never see this post, and will never understand that I'm smarter than any of them. As a friend recently pointed out, if anything, they're most likely to make a Robin spin-off of the Batman reboot. Pathetic. Pull it together guys.

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