Thursday, 13 December 2012

Legends; Why a Justice League Film will never work.


4 years ago 'Iron Man' redefined what films inspired by graphic novels could achieve. Robert Downey Jr was superb as Tony Stark. He perfectly represented the self proclaimed "futurist" from Marvel. This film was a game changer, not just for films but for Robert Downey Jr himself who received a resurgence in his career. Now at the end of 'Iron Man', after the credits had rolled, there was one final scene. What was it? Probably just a tease at the next films villain. What we got was Samuel L. Jackson in a trench-coat telling Tony that he wasn't the only hero out there. Then he said he wanted to talk to him about 'The Avengers Initiative'....
I came here to tell you about a project, How we're gonna knock Batman off his high horse!

After 4 years and several well done films 'The Avengers' film was upon us. It was an unprecedented success. Why was it a success? Simple, Marvel invested time and a lot of money into this. They decided that they should ensure that this film series would have a cast of dozens of well known actors that would be in a cohesive world that felt real, that felt like they all were a part of. This worked because they didn't rush themselves in its execution. In the end it payed off, massively. 
So who's your favourite?, I call Hulk.

Now when you think of 'Marvel', you think of super humans, relatable characters and modern storytelling. Spiderman, Iron Man, Hulk etc. They all have relatable aspects to them that make them easy for you understand them as characters but more importantly people. That is why I think the 'Avengers' film universe works, though it is fantastical there are so many elements that ground it. Thor may be a God but really, in some aspects he simply comes from a highly advanced race. Captain America is a product of science, his abilities come from a scientific formula. The Hulk is the bi-product of a science experiment gone horribly wrong. This world is full of wonders but these can all be explained, because all of them are super humans.

 Here is where I will begin my main topic,Why a Justice League film will never work. As I explained above, the reasons that 'The Avengers' film worked are the main reasons why a 'Justice League' will not. In a world where a credible realistic Batman lives with his repertoire of rogues how can you believe that a God from another galaxy like Superman exists? This is one of the key reasons why it can't work, Nolan's 'Dark Knight' would shit a brick if he saw the 'Flash' break the sound barrier during a morning jog. However Batman is not to blame, the DC universe is in part to blame, because in my eyes it's very difficult to bring super heroes to the big screen. 'Marvel' deals with super humans, ' DC ' deals with super heroes. In my opinion 'Marvel' have super humans, ' DC ' have legends, which makes it very difficult for them to translate at times to another form of media. With case in point, Batman is not just considered a hero, but a legend. Superman is a legend because he exemplifies everything that represents the moniker of a true hero, he was the first after all. Now these two together could work well together, the right villain, the right tone, the right director. That however is where it ends for me, in my opinion Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern and Aquaman  all just too big as characters. There would be no time between them all someone would always be left out and we all know it's not going to be the Man of Steel or the Dark Knight.

When you bring legends to the big screen you better treat them with care and respect and that is not what DC and Warner Bros. are doing. They need to pull back, take a look at the bigger picture, examine how 'Man of Steel' does and create a DC universe around this franchise. Forget about the 'Dark Knight' series, it's gone and let it grow old with dignity. I think it would be a nice nod to Nolan's series if Joseph Gordon Levitt was cast as Batman but please, do not try and connect the two franchises.
There have been so many rumours about who will be directing it,a major contender for the role was Ben Affleck for a time. I would have liked his interpretation of the league as his direction in his previous projects was superb. Then it came to the villain and who do they tease at but the big, the bad, the Lord of Apokolips, Darkseid. This was, in a lot of peoples eyes a great idea, but this could not be further from the truth. Rule no.1 of graphic novel film making; Do Not open with your biggest bad, Darkseid should be teased at as the franchise builds. Look once again at 'The Avengers', at the final scene we saw Thanos, 'Marvels' Darkseid equivalent. It was a great play and that is what DC has to learn. Then there is the time frame, 'Marvel' invested fours years of film-making as well as establishing a whole universe filled with these larger than life characters. ' DC ', have no universe established and each of their legends stand alone.

Batman has ended his reign in Gotham, Green Lantern has crashed and burned and Superman has only just re-entered our orbit. Wonder Woman has failed to get back into the mainstream with her television series failing to spark any interest. Aquaman has no presence whatsoever in the world of television or cinema except for a failed television pilot. The closest thing we ever got to a live action league was the specials during the run of the television series 'Smallville'.

So close...yet so far.

In conclusion, I honestly don't know how they expect to build a strong universe with so many things not going for them as well as this really big scary fact. They want to release the Justice League film in 2015, same year as the 'Avengers' sequel and the 'Avatar' sequel. I'll end with this, good luck ' DC '.

It could work, but not for a very long time.