Warner Brothers have slowly been putting their comic book movies in order. The central engine for this was the creation last year of DC Entertainment as a division centred around DC Comics. Cinematical concisely describes the process since then:
This monolith of movie production was set up in order to usher in more DC character franchises, and one of their first steps was to “recall” all characters like Wonder Woman and The Flash who had been in ongoing development under producers like Joel Silver. There was apparently no unity in the way things were being done, and DC Entertainment was going to change that. Well, that was almost a year ago. We’ve only seen The Green Lantern become a reality, though Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer brought Superman and Batman 3 back into the game.
Well DCE have had their big strategy meeting some time ago and we’ve been waiting for “The Big Announcement” (TM) of their new movie strategy. When pushed on the timescale for this Geoff Johns, DCE creative mandarin, told people to ask him again at this year’s San Diego convention. The big elephant in the room for Warners is the end of the Harry Potter franchise and there is logical need for something to succeed it – a series of DC movie would fit that bill.
There had been a JLA film, Justice League Mortal, in the works prior to DCE’s formation. It was to have been directed by George Miller, produced by Dan Lin, and shot in Australia. It was fully cast and appeared to be close to filming. However, that stalled and Lin commented in December 2009 that…
You know, I thought that was the ultimate project. I was a fan-boy for me to work with all those characters together on a team and kind of the themes of that movie. That’s my dream. It’s on-hold right now as DC sorts out its strategy but as you’ve talked to Alan Horn and Jeff Robinov it seems like they’re building to Justice League instead of going with the team movie first and doing individual movies after that.
A few more details emerged about the 2011 strategy during an investor briefing by Warner Brothers chairman and CEO Barry Meyer. Heat Vision reports that the Green Lantern movie is scheduled for 17th June 2011 release date, a month before the last Harry Potter film. At the same event it was announced that a Green Lantern cartoon series based partially on the movie will launch in the fall of 2011.
Heat Vision further reports that,
Meyer particularly highlighted that DC Comics characters are key parts of Warner’s future, mentioning a July 20, 2012 release date for the latest Batman film by Christopher Nolan and a holiday season 2012 Superman film.
He added that the studio is also “nearing” a greenlight for a Flash movie, with films featuring Wonder Woman, Aquaman and Mad magazine characters also in development.
No mention of a specific Justice League film, but the announcement that six of the seven foundering members (minus J’onn J’onzz) have movies in production/development would seem to support the idea that DCE are going down the Avengers route – i.e. set up a series of films about each character and then bring them together in a single film.
I’d have thought that a 2012 Batman film is a fairly done deal, Nolan has the pipeline set for those and they’re a known quantity. A Superman film for the same year is interesting – the road to Superman: Returns was notoriously treacherous and long. What excites me is the 2013 could be the year of the Brave and the Bold we could see Green Lantern II and a Flash film.