Faster than a Hollywood agent on speed! More powerful than an el loco plot twist! Able to leap tall contracts in a single bound! It’s the Superman franchise! While movies starring the big blue boy scout are usually guaranteed money-makers (Including Superman Returns, believe it or not), it’s been a massive case of hit and miss for other comic book movies from that stable to earn some critical acclaim and cash on the big screen.
I’m looking at you Green Lantern. With Man of Steel rebooting Superman in June, Warner Bros now has a chance to build their own slate of hero movies, one that could rival the Avengers from the house of mouse. And it seems, that may be the plan now.
Speaking to EW Magazine via InsideMovies, Warner Bros. Pictures Group president Jeff Robininov hinted that the studio might be following the method set out by Marvel, to introduce several characters in solo films, before they all meet up for the inevitable Justice League feature film. And that could all be thanks to the universe that MOS director Zack Snyder and producer Christopher Nolan are creating for the last son of Krypton:
I think you’ll see that, going forward, anything can live in this world. [Nolan’s] Batman was deliberately and smartly positioned as a stand-alone. The world they lived in was very isolated without any knowledge of any other superheroes. What Zack and Chris have done with this film is allow you to really introduce other characters into the same world.
We’ll announce something in the next several weeks that will hopefully position the DC characters and the movies we’re going to be making.
I honestly don’t blame DC for aping Marvel with this approach, if it’s true. It’s the right way to go about things, and it also allows filmmakers to focus on the character at hand, instead of making them battle it out for precious screen time in an ensemble flick. Which most likely means that Man of Steel will at least see a vague hint to other heroes, perhaps an errant newspaper headline or a mention on the news of a strange vigilante being cited in Gotham. One thing that the movie won’t do though, is throw a reference so blindingly obvious at viewers, that it’ll force them to wear prescription plot-hole spectacles for the rest of their life, according to MOS writer David Goyer:
One of the things we dealt with on the Batman films is, Chris dislikes it when you plan something, when you say, ‘I’m going to follow this up in the next film. He’s always said put everything you have into this film and then worry about the next film later. That gives the film its own integrity as opposed to being part of an overall plan. So of course the comic book fans, it’s hard not to think about [crossovers] but I, having done three Batman films and worked in that way, it’s definitely the approach we took with Man of Steel.
So does that mean that we’ll see a Nolan’s Batman return in a future movie? According to Robinov, that trilogy of movies stands alone, and Nolan currently has no hand whatsoever in the proposed Justice League movie. Sort of:
They do. Or they did. Where we go in the future is a whole other conversation.
While The Dark Knight Rises certainly left the door open for a return of sorts which I won’t spoil here, I don’t want to see that happen. Christopher Nolan directed a complete trilogy here, with a definitive beginning, middle and end. Seeing Christian Bale announce that he’s no longer Batman…again, and then returning as Batman…again, would just water that set of films down. In fact, you don’t even need him. By now, everyone knows who Bruce Wayne is, everyone is familiar with his origin and everyone knows that he has the power of infinite money and throat cancer.
There’s a lot of potential for solo movies starring members of the Justice League. Lets just hope that DC has learnt from their mistakes and goes forward with a sense of purpose in the world of celluloid capes and tights.
Last Updated: April 12, 2013