Ever since The Avengers proved to not only be a massive financial success, but also a textbook example of how to do a superhero film right, Warner Bros. has been extremely antsy about bringing the DC Universe to cinematic life to compete with Disney and Marvel. But it’s been met with numerous obstacles, the latest reported from Badass Digest that Will Beall’s Darkseid-centered script has been trashed.
Here are some things Warner Bros. needs to do.
1. Get your own Kevin Feige
You know how the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been so successful and integrated together very seamlessly? That’s because you had one go-to guy, and that man is Kevin Feige. If Warner Bros. wants to pull off a successful Justice League franchise, they need to have someone in charge of it who can arrange all the pieces. Christopher Nolan is already the big behind-the-scenes guy on Man of Steel, and you could do a lot worse than bringing him onboard. It’s important that the Justice League movies present a coherent vision.
2. Have a plan
Granted, there weren’t any plans for The Avengers until Iron Man proved so successful, but Marvel quickly got a plan in order once they saw it was viable. Before you could say, “Excelsior!” Marvel had an entire slate of planned films—Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger, and topping it all off with The Avengers. When Green Lantern went into production, it seemed like Warner Bros. had some semblance of a plan, but that was quickly undone once the movie flopped. So they went back to the well by allowing Nolan to close the book on his version of Batman, and now they’re trying to find some sort of middle ground with Man of Steel. Yet there’s still no real plan in place.
3. Forget your shame
Watch all the Marvel Cinematic Universe films back to back and you’ll notice something about them—not only are they great movies, but they aren’t ashamed of their roots. Between Smallville, The Dark Knight trilogy, and Arrow, it does seem like Warner Bros. is ashamed of the fact that these characters are comic book superheroes. And you can’t be, not if you want it to succeed. If Joss Whedon didn’t have a lot of affection and respect for the comics he was adapting to the big screen, The Avengers wouldn’t have worked. He didn’t try to run away from or hide the superhero aspect, he openly embraced it. And everyone loved it.
Superheroes are here to stay. Either get over yourselves and embrace it, or stay out of the way.
4. Talk to DC Comics
This is not an option. Expert consultants are nothing new. If you want to make a police procedural, you bring in a police consultant. If you want to make a medical drama, you bring in medical consultants. And if you want to make a good superhero movie, you absolutely must talk to the people who create superhero stories for a living. I know some fans may balk at this given the current state of DC Comics, but there are a number of good creators who work there (and despite my reservations about some of the writers at Marvel, when the studios consulted with those creators, the result was something incredible). And speaking of which…
5. You do still have Bruce Timm and Paul Dini’s phone number, don’t you?
Remember Batman: The Animated Series? Superman: The Animated Series? Justice League? Justice League Unlimited? What did all these shows have in common? Aside from the fact that they were awesome, the answer to that question is Bruce Timm and Paul Dini. If you want to bring the Justice League to the big screen, talk to the guys who successfully brought it to the small one.
6. Hire me
This one is self-serving, but if you want a good Justice League script, drop me a line. I’ll have it to you in a few weeks and I guarantee it will be better (and cheaper) than what you got from Beall. You’ll get a Justice League script that includes the Big Seven (Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, The Flash, Aquaman, and Martian Manhunter), it will have an intergalactic threat (either the white Martians or Starro), it’ll have explosions, characterization, superhero showdowns, and a massive climatic battle. So give me a call.