The bulk of the DC Comics news this week revolves around the “Justice League” film which DC Entertainment and Warner Brothers intends to produce, at least for the moment. The NY POST has an interview with “MAN OF STEEL” director Zack Synder about re-inventing Superman for the film, which included an intense work out routine for star Henry Cavill. When asked if this film, which hits theaters June 14th, 2013, has any connection to a “Justice League” film, Synder was coy: “I don’t know how Justice League is going to be handled. Honestly, I don’t. But Man of Steel exists, and Superman is in it. I don’t know how you’d move forward without acknowledging that.” This seems to suggest that while “GREEN LANTERN” flopping in 2011 plus Ryan Reynolds’ busy schedule may prevent him reprising his role as Hal Jordan, it is possible (or probable) that Cavill will reprise his role as Superman for a team film should things go well. Naturally, considering the under performance of “SUPERMAN RETURNS” in 2006, that is a large “if”. The first trailer which hit the web was not met with much buzz, so a bit of pressure awaits this next one which is expected to premiere before “THE HOBBIT”. While DC and WB have denied attempting to build a film universe much like Marvel Studios did from “IRON MAN” in 2008 to “AVENGERS” this summer, this could be a ruse to avoid giving spoilers away. Most actors for big comic book franchise films sign contracts for more than one film, which could make it more economical to have Cavill return for a group film.
However, the bigger rumor revolves around who may play Batman in this theoretical “Justice League” film. Io9 have reported that WB brass are looking to lift from their abolished 2006-2008 attempt at a League film by re-casting Armie Hammer as Batman as then director George Miller had done. That incarnation of a “Justice League” film had been cast, with set and costumes all designed and filming set for Australia when a collection of disasters (tax law changes and the writer’s strike) abolished it. An even juicier and perhaps probable rumor from HitFix is that Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who played John Blake in “THE DARK KNIGHT RISES” could wind up playing the Dark Knight himself. With Chris Nolan’s final Batman film hitting DVD and blu-ray soon, that film ended with the option of continuing the legacy with Gordon-Levitt’s character behind the cowl. While Nolan has not agreed to have anything to do with “Justice League”, he is producing “MAN OF STEEL” and it may be easier and more successful for WB to attempt to keep his “universe” alive. In an interview for “LINCOLN”, Gordon-Levitt stated he would be willing to appear in “Justice League” if the script and director were “right for him”. The oddity is that while Gordon-Levitt is hardly a teenager – he’s 31 years old this year – he is often cast in younger roles due to his ageless appearance, and thus it may be difficult for audiences to accept him in the role. Die hard fans will be ravenous for a Batman who is neither Bruce Wayne, Dick Grayson or even Jean-Paul Valley. On the other hand, while it may have been difficult to imagine the Christian Bale incarnation of Wayne teaming up with aliens, goddesses, and speedsters to fight over the top threats, it may be easier to imagine a different, younger Batman doing so. Joseph Gordon-Levitt has been in quite a few notable films in his own right, and WB could see this as the time to build him up.
As a final tidbit, Cosmic Book News posted an image of Henry Cavill seen together with Gina Carano. Carano is best known for appearing as “Crush” in the 2008 remake of “AMERICAN GLADIATORS”, but has appeared as a stunt woman and as an actress in a few low rent action pieces, such as “HAYWIRE”. Naturally, the website wondered if she had been courted to appear as Wonder Woman in a “Justice League” film. The role of the Amazonian princess is hardly an easy one to fill, and one wonders if casting someone best known for stunts than acting is an ideal choice. Adrianne Palicki (“FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS”) was cast in the role for an ill fated pilot of a “WONDER WOMAN” show on NBC, and “AMAZON” for The CW is in the early stages of production.
The bottom line is that assuming all things went to plan, “Justice League” wouldn’t hit theaters until 2015, and a great deal of things can happen. Should “MAN OF STEEL” fail to make audiences believe a man can fly, will this team flick’s production fold once more? Stay tuned!