Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Will Justice League ever see broad daylight?

It's a shame. A tragedy. What was supposed to have been released in the next few years, at this point, might be released in the next millenium the way things are going.

You know what I'm talking about.

The Justice League of America.

At one point, DC Comics was going to have one film released a year. Batman Begins came out in 2005 and it was a much needed reboot for the franchise. Superman returned to the big screen in the 2006 film, Superman Returns. Wonder Woman was supposed to have come out in 2007 but producers never found a script that they liked and Joss Whedon left the project.

Variety has the latest update on the quest to get Justice League: Mortal to the big screen.
Warner Bros. is working on a deal that would reteam Larry and Andy Wachowski and producer Joel Silver, but in different terms than the $180 million “Speed Racer,” which lost a fortune at the box office.

The trio will produce “Ninja Assassin,” a $50 million action pic directed by James McTeigue, but will collect a share of the gross when the film breaks even. And the studio is likely to revisit a gross deal it made a long time ago for director George Miller to direct “Justice League,” expected to go into production soon.

Several studio executives say conversations about summer tentpoles routinely start with demands that talent accept such break-even deals. And it’s not difficult for studios to make the case that what they are demanding is all that onerous.
Justice League will see daylight but at this point, it's all a matter of when.

Would it be nice if it were the same cast used as in the Batman and Superman films. It sure would. It would give the films a sort of continuity. This is where it works for Marvel Studios.

Marvel, now they they have an in-house studio, waited until they got their rights back for many of their characters, especially the Avengers. This summer alone, they released Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk. Last year saw Ghost Rider, Spider-Man 3, and Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. The year before that, X-Men: The Last Stand.

Daredevil would have been a lot better in 2003 had they released the R-rated director's cut. Maybe we would have seen a sequel by now? I've read that Marvel's waiting to get their rights back to where they can make a darker film.

Even though things got messed up in the third film of the series, Spider-Man worked. Would it have been nice to see Empire State University mentioned in the other Marvel films? It would but Sony wouldn't have any of it despite it being a Marvel property.

In the next few years, Marvel or another studio with the license will release:
2009 - Wolverine
2010 - Iron Man 2, Thor
2011 - Captain America, The Avengers

In addition, all the following have been optioned by Marvel in recent years. Unless otherwise noted, they will be released by Marvel with Paramount distributing:
Ant-Man - Edgar Wright is attached as a director and plans to use both Hank Pym and Scott Lang as Ant-Man. I don't know yet as to which character is being used in The Avengers but I'm waiting to see. Scott Lang is the father of Cassie Lang, who is Stature in the Young Avengers series.
Black Panther - in development since 1992! The latest update on this is that John Singleton has been approached to direct but it is on Marvel's slate of 10 films that Paramount will be distributing.
Daredevil 2 - 20th Century Fox / Marvel Studios (more likely Marvel when they get the rights back)
Doctor Strange - development since the mid-80s. Latest update has Guillermo Del Toro directing the film.
Ghost Rider 2 - Columbia Pictures
The Hands of Shang-Chi - Marvel Studios
Luke Cage - John Singleton is attached as a director. Tyrese Gibson is not yet attached but is interested in the role. There really have not been any updates since 2006 though.
Magneto - 20th Century Fox. David Goyer is attached as a director.
Nick Fury - announced by Marvel in 2006 that it would make a Nick Fury film. My guess is that it will be an Ultimate version of Fury and with Samuel L. Jackson in the role.
Runaways - announced last month that Brian K. Vaughan is writing a script.
Namor: The Sub-Mariner - Marvel Studios. Could be Universal-helmed but I doubt that. Variety reported that Jonathan Mostow is directing and re-writing David Self's screenplay for this. This was announced in 2006 but so far there has been no news as far as casting or things of that nature.
Silver Surfer - 20th Century Fox. J. Michael Straczynski was hired to write the script. Update from last summer's Comic Con.
Venom: Lethal Protector - Columbia Pictures. Marvel is moving forward with a spin-off film. It's unknown if Topher will reprise the role.

You can't really make a Namor film without the Fantastic Four though.

Time will tell but it would be nice if DC would get with it. Here's what their slate is looking like.

Wonder Woman - As of April 2008, Joel Silver hired Matthew Jennison and Brent Strickland to write a film that doesn't depict Wonder Woman's origins but the history of Paradise Island.
Superman: Man of Steel - On schedule for release in 2010.
Green Lantern - As of early 2007, Greg Berlanti was signed on as a director and word has it that this would be the Hal Jordan version of the Green Lantern. It's scheduled for a 2010 release.
The Flash - in development. Ryan Reynolds would like to play Wally West. As of this past October, David Dobkin is signed on to direct for a 2008 release but I don't see this one being released in 2008.

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