'Justice League' Has a Screenwriter, So I Guess WB Is Making That Again

June 6, 2012

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Green Lantern bombed, the last attempt at a Wonder Woman looked like this, Christian Bale is through with growling, and Superman remains a question mark Zack Snyder is constructing in thrilling slow-motion. But with Avengers proving superhero team-ups to be ridiculously big business, Warner Bros. is going to see if they can't get their own supergroup going with the heroes of the DC Comics universe.

The studio has reportedly hired on Will Beall--writer of Gangster Squad and the upcoming remakes of Logan's Run and Lethal Weapon--to provide a script for Justice League, a film that would amass the Warner-owned pasture of DC superheroes into a single story--much like Avengers, but presumably without all the costly tedium of planning out a cohesive world for all the characters to exist in before coming together. Still, Warner has shown some foresight with the project: according to Variety, Beall was hired on in secret last year, "in anticipation of -- rather than a reaction to -- the box office success of The Avengers." So good job deducing that The Avengers would be successful, Warner Bros.

As you may recall, the studio tried this a few years ago with George Miller directing and a young cast that included Adam Brody as Flash and Armie Hammer as Batman. Budget issues and the writers strike forced that attempt into collapse, but when Jeff Robinov took over as Warner's film president last year, he vowed to get the project back on track in the most contrarian way possible: in the opposite style of Marvel, he wants to introduce most of the superheroes all at once, delivering unto audiences the awkward experience of a first day of school where we'd meet everyone at once and strain to remember everyone's name and whether or not they can fly. With the hiring of a screenwriter--and with the Warner-produced Magic Mike proving the studio effective at gathering a bunch of generic-looking muscular guys to put on goofy costumes--it looks like he might actually follow through on that claim.

In lieu of The Avengers' memorable "We have a Hulk," I guess we should be ready for: "We have a Hawkman. Hawkman? Oh, he's like this relatively big guy, bird wings, hawk mask, kind of dresses like a colorful leather-daddy? He's got a mace? We have that guy."

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