Justice Who? Justice League, That’s Who!

Okay, so with the mega success of “The Avengers,” it’s only natural that DC would want to try and cash in with their own super hero team-up movie, “The Justice League.” With a bevy of disappointing movies and their global cash cow ending, DC needs something to keep moviegoers and fan boys flocking to the theaters.  DC is treading on thin ice right now, so if done correctly “The Justice League” could be their golden ticket to redemption. If it isn’t done right it could send them falling through the ice.

Thanks to some nudging from fellow nerds, the Illumi-Nerdi, (check them out on Twitter here and their blog here) I have decided to give my two cents on the matter. Below I gave my opinion on the right story, the format of the movie, my fantasy casting for the movie and director choice. Of course, most of what I say may fall upon Hollywood’s deaf ears but it’s still fun to talk about anyway. So, let’s get this party started in here and as always I’d love to hear everyone’s opinions on the matter. There may be actors that are better suited for certain characters that I missed.

Plot/Format:

I’ll start this off on how I think “The Justice League” should be handled. DC shouldn’t try to go the way of Marvel.  At this juncture it would put them too far behind in the race with Marvel and open them up to fan boy criticism for playing monkey see, monkey do. I think if DC was smart they should do a trilogy in the same fashion as “Lord of the Rings;” one monstrous story broken up into three parts. Not only would this allow them to thoroughly set up their main players, but also allow them to put out a movie once a year for three years. DC would be competitive with Marvel and possibly even put them ahead in the race for comic dominance.  This would also help set DC apart and if “The Justice League” ends up being anywhere near the hit that “The Avengers” was, then this could be their fresh start to begin their solo movies.

I cannot tell a lie, I’ve always had more of a Marvel preference in my comic reading, so I can’t necessarily reference any specific story line to use.  It should definitely be the establishment of the Justice League but I don’t think it needs to be the origin stories of each character.  Most people already know the origins of Batman and Superman from their multiple incarnations and after his most recent movie outing, most are familiar with Green Lantern, so right there are three out of your six main players. Wonder Woman, Martian Man Hunter, Flash and dare I say, Aquaman (gulp), could all be introduced and developed throughout the three installments.  There should be a threat that no one hero can’t defeat alone. Darkseid could be cool and probably the best choice, but if it isn’t handled right he would be too much like Thanos. Lex Luthor could be an okay way to go and could be the catalyst for Darkseid coming to Earth, but using Luthor as the main villain would be too repetitive.  While there are a bevy of baddies to pull from, there are very few that really pose a threat worthy of multiple heroes.

Fantasy Casting:

Superman:

With “Man of Steel” still almost a year away from making its debut on the big screen, it’s hard for me to say whether or not Henry Cavill will make his mark as Superman. So, while the verdict is still out on Cavill I would have to say that I’d like to see Brandon Routh back. It’s a shame that critics used “Superman Returns” as their personal dumping ground. The movie deserves more credit than it gets and while I wanted to see old Supes do some more fighting; I still hold this movie in a special place in my heart. Routh did such an amazing job of embodying all the characteristics of Superman. His mannerisms were spot on; he perfectly portrayed clumsy Clark Kent and had the perfect doe eyes. Wait, I didn’t say that. Strike that last comment from the record. So, until Cavill proves he has what it takes to don the cape and red briefs, Routh is the obvious choice.

Batman:

Like Superman, Batman is an extremely vital character and as Val Kilmer and George Clooney have proven, not anyone can fill Batman’s cape and cowl. Over the years I’ve definitely grown fond of Christian Bale as the Dark Knight and despite his interesting, slightly comical, vocal choice he did a great job at playing Bruce Wayne and Batman, but as the song goes, we don’t always get what we want. My pick comes from a good friend’s suggestion. At first I thought he was a little off but after thinking about it more I have to agree the Ryan Gosling could be good choice for Batman. After a movie like “Drive” Gosling has proved that he can be very stoic and dark, really dark actually and kick major butt. Darken up his hair and Gosling could definitely pull off the cape and cowl. I certainly wouldn’t want to meet him in an elevator.

Green Lantern:

I’ll admit that I enjoyed Ryan Reynolds as the Green Lantern, but I believe I have an actor that could better pull off the perfect comical butt-kicker Hal Jordan. I’m not sure if a lot of people will be familiar with him but Jensen Ackles would be my fantasy pick for the Green Lantern. Hopefully fellow fans of “Supernatural” can get behind me on this one. Ackles’ Dean Winchester is pretty much the embodiment of Hal Jordan. He’s a jokester and a smart ass, but when the proverbial poop hits the fan, he’s ready to throw down. That’s the type of character Ackles has played for the last nine years, so it’d be easy for him to slip on the ring of power and hit the ground running.

Martian Manhunter:

I think it’s obvious that Martian Manhunter would be motion capture much like the Silver Surfer in “Fantastic Four,” so the most important part of casting this character is the voice. Martian Manhunter or J’onn as he’s referred to by his teammates is a very stoic character. He’s a true blue, err, should I say green hero without a sense of humor. My choice for the voice would have to be Laurence Fishburne.  I know, I know, he was already the Silver Surfer and that may make things weird, but wouldn’t the majority of us like to forget the “Fantastic Four?” If Ryan Reynolds can jump from comic character to comic character, then why can’t everyone else? Fishburne’s voice just commands such a presence that he would have to be the obvious choice.

Wonder Woman:

Wonder Woman is another tough choice because she’s an equal mixture of hotness and butt kicker. My pick for her would have to go to Jessica Biel. She’s proved herself as a femme fatale in many of her movies and it’s obvious that she has the assets to pull of the role.  If Biel was given the chance to strap on the red, white and blue costume, she would send the bad guys running and have the fan boys drooling. What self-respecting nerd wouldn’t want Jessica Biel to tie them up with that golden lasso of truth? If you disagree with me, then you most likely need psychiatric help.

Flash:

DC had the right idea with their original casting of Adam Brody as the Flash. He would be a slightly younger version of the character but I think he would be able to bring a solid balance of snarky and seriousness.  There’s no doubt that in an epic super hero movie there is bound to be some casualties among the wreckage, and Brody’s stint on the likes of “Gilmore Girls” and “The OC” have allowed him to hone his sulking abilities. Now when say a love interest, family member or teammate – here’s hoping Aquaman – takes the long dirt nap he’ll be ready to flash those puppy dog eyes and shed those crocodile tears like a pro.

Aquaman:

I think that everyone can agree that Aquaman is a ridiculous comic book character. How he has survived all these years is completely beyond me. His greatest super power is to be the butt of everyone’s jokes and unless the battle is under water he’s pretty useless. I thought that he would be the hardest for me to pick and you’re going to think I’m crazy, but the perfect casting choice would be Owen Wilson. While I’m not a fan of his and I can’t help but stare at his nose, his role in “Behind Enemy Lines” did prove that he could handle a hero role. I think the obvious choice would be to have Aquaman fall to one of the bad guys. This would be perfect for two reasons: the group would then have a reason to band together to become the Justice League and Owen Wilson/Aquaman wouldn’t be in the movie anymore. Don’t give me that look, you were thinking it, I’m just saying it.

Director:

Now that I have my cast out of the way it’s time to throw out a couple of contenders for director. “The Avengers” proved that the super hero team-up movies are possible, but of course Marvel has their claws deep into Joss Whedon, so there’s no hope there.  So, come along with me and let’s discuss who has the directing chops to pull of “The Justice League.”

Christopher Nolan:

After what he did with Batman Nolan would have to be the most obvious choice for directing “The Justice League.” He would be able to wipe the slate clean on most, if not all of DC’s bombs, and create a massive super hero world. The only roadblock that I could foresee would be whether or not Nolan could suspend reality enough to create something more fantastical. Batman is a character that could be based in reality to some extent, but a man of steel or an intergalactic guardian can’t. After everything he’s done Batman and non-Batman related Nolan would be my top pick to helm “The Justice League.”

Darren Aronofsky:

Alright, Aronofsky is probably a bit of out of the box thinking for a director, but I feel that man has an epic in him just begging to be released. I think he could make something that would be massive in scale, but still be beautiful. “Black Swan” and “The Fountain” both showed that Aronofsky can weave a tale that is beyond our grasp but still make it accessible. He could definitely pull off the conflicting tones between Batman and Superman and seamlessly blend them together.

Zack Snyder:

Some people who know me may be surprised that I picked Zack Snyder due to my love hate relationship with him. Next year will be Snyder’s true test whether or not he can handle a main stream comic. The leaked trailers definitely show some promise, but it definitely helps to have the likes of Christopher Nolan looking over your shoulder.  I wasn’t a huge fan of “The Watchmen” but despite its multiple flaws, Snyder still did a great job of being pretty faithful to the source material and successfully orchestrating a diverse group of heroes. I think my biggest hesitation with picking him would be seeing slow motion fights every other second.  We’ll just have to wait until next year to see how he holds up.

Peter Jackson:

A big reason that I picked Peter Jackson was due to the format I think would fit the DC team-up movie. He has proven with “The Lord of the Rings” that he can handle a massive story and equally develop a fairly large cast. I also think that Jackson can handle just about any genre. His mix of zany humor in “The Frighteners” or “Dead Alive” and seriousness in “King Kong” or “LOTR” would help bring the perfect balance of “The Justice League.” Seriously, can you think of any one better suited for this movie?

Edgar Wright:

Alright, so I made this choice on the same merits as Jackson and Aronofsky, but I’d have to say that Edgar Wright mixes action and humor like no other. Since “Shawn of the Dead” made its debut in the states, audiences have fallen in love with Edgar Wright’s filmmaking style. He was able to lull you into a false sense of ease and then put you flat on your ass. “Hot Fuzz” is another perfect example of action and comedy mixed together. It’s unfortunate that Marvel is pretty close to getting their mitts into Wright, so DC needs to act fast if they’re going to snatch him up for themselves.

Well, that’s all I have for now, so I hope you have a great day and as always feel free to leave your comments below. I love a good nerd debate. So, may the nerd be with you.

–  Joe D.

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3 responses to “Justice Who? Justice League, That’s Who!

  1. I enjoy this! Good call on the 3-part epic, that SHOULD be the way to go, if they are smart enough. My only disagreement here is the Aquaman choice. I know he’s a dumb character, but I also think he’s underrated. He CAN be pretty hardcore, what with having killer whales rip bad guys apart and such. My point is: You have to approach him like you would Melodrama. If he’s displayed with complete confidence and seriousness, he will be taken that way. If you give him the ‘silly’ actor, he will remain a joke. If they want to keep this character afloat (no pun intended), they can’t open themselves up for the masses to ridicule him that much more. I don’t have a good actor choice off the top of my head, but I think he needs to be taken far more seriously than someone like Wilson.

  2. Wow you’ve clearly given this alot of thought and I especially love the idea of casting Owen Wilson as Aquaman. Sadly I have to disagree with the trilogy proposition though. Whilst it may have worked with X-Men I feel the idea of introducing the JLA without origin stories could serve to isolate viewership to just the comic book fans. Besides I think Marvel has now set a president on how successful all-star features should be developed that may prove difficult to break away from.

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