A Justice League movie has been brought one step closer to development after Warner Bros. won its long-lasting legal battle over the rights to use the Superman franchise. The Los Angeles Times reports that the studio expects to shoot the superhero teams’ cinematic live-action debut next year with hopes of releasing it in 2015, which would pit it directly against Marvel’s sequel to global blockbuster (and third-highest selling film of all time), The Avengers.
Doing so is a dangerous game for Warner Bros., which announced back in July that The Dark Knight Rises and Man of Steel would be the only DC films released in the next three years, with Warner Bros. planning to release spin off individual superhero films after “Justice League”.
A consequence of this is that the lesser known members of the Justice League won’t star in solo movies beforehand, which may have helped them gain recognition, and the plot of the Justice League film won’t be related to any films before it aside from Man of Steel. It’s unlikely that the world of the “Dark Knight” trilogy will be involved due to the minds behind in each project, with Christopher Nolan, director of the trilogy and producer of Man of Steel, declining a request from Warner Bros.to produce the film earlier in the year.
This is in stark contrast to Marvel’s approach, which planned as far back as 2005 for The Avengers to be an end product of the five superhero films that preceded it, all with interwoven plots and various characters, a plan which worked greatly to its favour. Marvel intends to use that formula again with Avengers 2, which will be the culmination of at least Iron Man 3, which is expected to be released in the US on May 3, 2013 and Thor: The Dark World, which has a tentative US release date of November 8, 2013.
No actors or directors have been announced for the Justice League film, with only Will Beall, screenwriter of the upcoming film Gangster Squad, confirmed to write. Warner have a lot of work to do if they want their superhero team-up to compete against the Avengers sequel, but hopefully they pull it off as competition inspires innovation, and with the characters in the league they have the potential to make something truly fantastic.