COMICS PORTAL: Snyder Directing Justice League Film!

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As reported by site head honcho Stephen Schleicher recently, Zack Snyder has been chosen to direct a Justice League movie, which will follow the unofficially named movie Batman vs. Superman.

Of course, Snyder directed both Watchmen and Man of Steel, which featured DC characters, and those who have learned what he had in mind for BvS have said they like what he has in mind. Apparently, so did Warner Bros./DC.

About a year ago, I wrote what I’d like to see in a Justice League movie, which you can check out at this link.

Since I enjoyed both of Snyder’s DC-related motion pictures quite a lot, I was thrilled with the news.

I have a background in both publicity and news, so I wasn’t at all surprised to see the formal announcement come out on a Sunday night. Mondays are often slow news days for both news organizations and websites. I’ve seen this story get a LOT more coverage today than it would have, say, on a Friday. Smart move!

WHAT WE KNOW

The announcement didn’t contain a release date, but most people are speculating that the film will arrive in theaters in 2018, although Hollywood Reporter thinks it could still happen in 2017.

Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman are considered “sure things” to appear, and that makes sense. Since Cyborg was recently cast for BvS, it also stands to reason that he’ll be in the JL film.

“It will be a further expansion of this universe,” said a Warner exec. “Superman vs. Batman will lead into Justice League.”

The script for the JL film is still in development, although BvS is set to begin filming next month. Also, JL reportedly will start shooting once BvS is done, which could help speed up its release.

WHAT WE DON’T KNOW

Batman, Superman, Marvel, DC Comics, Warner Bros., Watchmen, Man of Steel, New 52, Christopher Reeve, ArrowBeyond the four likely stars, there’s only conjecture as to just what other characters will appear. Could the Arrow from the successful CW program be seen? What about Black Canary from the same series? There are many people convinced that Ryan Reynolds will be seen again as Green Lantern, although I doubt that will be the case. John Stewart would be a better choice than Hal Jordan, seems to me, a la Justice League Unlimited.

There’s also a lot of guessing having to do with just who the League would be up against. The Secret Society of Super Villains? Brainiac? The Crime Syndicate? At this point, it’s anyone’s guess, but it is fun to imagine the possibilities!

What about a headquarters? One in Detroit, or a satellite in space? With Bruce Wayne footing the bill, who knows!

Given Superman’s armor in MOS, it’s also possible that the uniforms worn by the League will resemble those in DC’s New 52. On the other hand, they could be redesigns created especially for the big screen.

REACTIONS ARE MIXED, OF COURSE

I’ve often noted in the column that Marvel nearly all the time gets the benefit of the doubt in their film choices while DC does not. And that’s true regarding this announcement as well.

One of my friends online said that Zack Snyder is “no Joss Whedon,” and we can look for comparisons between DC and Marvel in the theater going forward. There are extremes on both sides, some who won’t like anything Marvel does while others won’t give DC any consideration at all. But I highly recommend that people not judge ANY film before actually seeing any footage!

Frankly, I had my problems with the first Avengers film, so I’d prefer Mr. Snyder anyway. I remember how some folks were going to see Avengers just to see the heroes on the movie screen together for the first time. I wonder how many of them will go to JL as well!

In the press, the response has been very positive. Let’s face it – more movies to review and talk about, especially ones with established fan bases, are good for their business! The interesting part for me will be seeing the reviews of JL when the film debuts!

THE INTERESTING CONCEPT OF A TRILOGY

One of the things Mr. Schleicher suggested in Sunday’s news item was that BvS and JL would be part of a movie trilogy. I hadn’t considered that before!

Despite what some folks who didn’t like Man of Steel say, that movie did make a good amount of money around the world. It’s like DC’s New 52 in that it’s a structure that can be expanded upon, and something of a more realistic take. (If you want to see remakes of the previous Superman movies with Christopher Reeve, just buy the DVDs! Personally, I want to see something that’s more current!)

What I hope the idea of a trilogy encourages is planning ahead, especially when it comes to plot. Each film can have a satisfying story that makes fans and moviegoers alike happy, but then build on that previous movie to shift into something else from there. Again, I’d suggest going through some classic League stories and updating them for today’s audiences, just like the Nolans did with the Batman films. I still love those!

Regardless, this news is great for the comics industry. Again, each movie or TV show is a commercial that could bring new fans into local shops, and that’s ALWAYS a great idea!