Rumours about the upcoming Justice League movie are not hard to come by, however accurate, verifiable details seem to be very few and far between. You won’t find me blogging on every “development” as a) I don’t have the time, b) I don’t have the inclination, and c) I just don’t believe 90% of what’s circulating. However, rumours are flying fast so I thought I’d run up a quick summery.
The movie is currently undergoing casting. There was a massive call in mid-October where director George Miller saw 35-40 actors and actresses. Aint’ It Cool News had a rumour that this was just for Wonder Woman and Flash actors with the Flash cast specifically young.
While we don’t know who was cast, if indeed a decision has been made, we certainly seem to have a solid idea of who attended the auditions. The smart money seems to be on a cast of relative unknown for an ensemble piece rather than a focus on any particular big name star. My guess is that the real contenders are keeping quiet and have been sworn to secrecy.
Voice From Krypton has a very nice interview with Gregory Noveck, DC’s Senior-VP Creative Affairs, whose job it is to coordinate DC’s presence in Hollywood and to manage the Company’s response to licensees’ activities. In the interview he comments that they’re looking for a late 20s Superman rather than a 19-year old as had been previously reported (Superman’s canonical age use to be given as 29). He also shot down the idea of casting one of the existing Clark Kent actors (Welling or Roath) as the JLA Superman saying that it better for to use different actors as it reduces creative conflicts between interpretations and keeps the brand identities unique.
The biggest clamour for casting details is about who has been seen interviewing for the Wonder Woman position. (This of course has nothing to do with a lot of us geeks wanting an excuse to post up pictures of pretty girls.) The list of names banded around (in no order) includes Megan Gale, Minka Kelly, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Teresa Palmer, Shannyn Sossamon and Christina Milan. Jessica Beil was mentioned by Variety as in negotiations, but EW said she declined the role.
Its hard to judge the contenders on their acting ability as I’ve barely heard of any of them. However, based on looks alone, Gale and Kelly are the obvious ones you’d look at and go: Wonder Woman. Palmer has slightly more name recognition at the moment due to the current buzz about December Boys and that may be the swing factor. Okay, she does have blond hair, but that can be dyed.
The possibility that interests me the most is Sossamon. She doesn’t quite have the perfect, good girl image that the other ladies have, but she would stop Diana appearing too soft – remember Wonder Woman is as much a classical warrior as she is an ambassador of peace. The rumour is that she impressed the Mulroneys.
And on top of all that Joel Silver’s Wonder Woman film (the one Joss Whedon was once attached to) is officially on-hold until after Justice League has been released. The timing of the announcement is unfortunate as Warners were under examination for negative comments about female lead characters from a Production exec. They were even forced them to make an official rebuttal.
In the same Voices of Krypton interview mentioned above, Gerg Noveck, commented that the script was “phenomenal.” When asked if it really that good he answered:
It is, and that very rarely happens in Hollywood on a movie of this scale, and when it does you have no choice but to say, “We’d better catch lightning in a bottle and go!” All of a sudden, six months later, who knows what’s going to happen? You want to hold on to those writers, you’ve got massive interest from directors, you land someone like George Miller, so you go.
It certainly understandable that Warners would want to green light and prioritise a strong script given that DC has had so many false starts with their films lately and there are of course the looming issues with the Screen Writers Guilds. Noveck also commended the Mulroneys as character writers and said of the script.
The movie is action-packed, there’s a ton of stuff, but it’s not like the typical Hollywood blockbuster where it’s, like, “Oh, big action sequence. And why do we care?” I think part of the reason that so many responded so strongly to the script is because you just have these wonderful interactions between the characters. And this apart from the plot, which is strong and makes sense and tracks and people, when they see the movie, will be able to say, “Okay, I totally understand how all this can happen within this world.” I think part of the reason you go is that you want to see Superman and Batman have a conversation. And what is that conversation? You want to see how all of these men react when Wonder Woman first walks on screen. If you’re a normal, red-blooded male or even a Martian-blooded mail, what does it mean to be confronted by this goddess?
A second “leaked” script has now been reported by Moviehole. The first rumour plot involved a variant of the Batman OMAC/Brother Eye storyline from Infinite Crisis (always sounded too wish fulfilment to me), while the new rumour seems to suggest an opening and generational aspect that doesn’t necessarily preclude the first rumour.
More concrete news
Oz tax breaks
One of the factors that made Superman Returns marginally profitable was a series of tax breaks from the Australian Government – “an Australian film” can claim back a percentage of its production costs from the government. Well The Australian has a story where George Miller comments on the situation for upcoming films. There seems to move to make sure that the tax breaks are only given to real Australian films. Personally I find it hard to see how a US owned media giant producing a film about the Justice League of America could claim to be Australian even for tax reasons. (via Superhero Hype)
The IMDB is listing a few more crew members in place. Hugh Bateup and Damein Drew as listed as Art Directors. Drew role held that role on Superman Returns, and both of them worked on the Matrix franchise.
Green Lantern and Flash films
The separate Green Lantern and Flash proto-franchises have received a shot in the arm with the announcement of new directors with David Dobkin (Shanghai Knights, Wedding Crashers) for the Flash and Greg Berlanti for Green Lantern. The Flash is quoted as being a spin-off from Miller’s JLA, the Lantern film is more uncertain as the news I read made it look like an entirely separate franchise.
Berlanti is interesting as he was a co-creator of “Jack & Bobby”, the Kennedy drama series that was also co-created by Justice League comicbook writer Brad Meltzer. The Lantern film will by Marc Guggenheim and Michael Green and Berlanti will do the screenplay. They’re a very writer heavy and comicbook savvy mob so the script should be okay. Its just Berlanti’s relative inexperience as a director that could cause problems. Hal is expected to be the hero. My guess would be that it would mean a different GL (John?) in the JLA film.