Is there really a 'Justice League' film happening in 2013?
Okay, let's be logical about this.
That's the first thing I'd say regarding any rumor you hear. Think about the logic of what you're reading or, in many cases, re-reporting, and ask yourself if it makes basic sense.
For example, when The LA Times does a major profile of Jeff Robinov, who has finally been promoted to the job of president of Warner Bros. after many years of working as one of their top execs and as a very powerful agent before that, one would assume that piece has been vigorously fact-checked.
As a result, when reading that piece and looking at the passage that talks about the way Robinov wants DC superheroes to step in and replace the "Harry Potter" franchise that's wrapping up this summer, it would be easy to accept everything in those two short paragraphs as simple truth.
If you haven't read the article, let me share those paragraphs with you so we're clear what we're talking about:
His most immediate hurdle is filling the void that will be left this summer when the multibillion-dollar "Harry Potter" series shepherded by Horn ends. Robinov is betting on DC Comics characters to take center stage starting in June with the $200-million-plus production "Green Lantern."
Makes perfect sense, right?
Only… it doesn't. Not on any level. "Superman" is a legal landmine for Warner Bros., and their attention is focused right now on just making one movie with the characters that works, something they haven't been able to do in 30 years. There are all sorts of issues that are involved in which characters they can or can't use, and right now, they're just hoping they make one movie with Christopher Nolan and Zack Snyder that reminds audiences of what they love about Superman in the first place. That is a huge priority for the studio.
2012 will also see the wrap-up to Nolan's "Batman" films, and again… the studio's got a lot riding on the film, and they're taking care to give Nolan what he wants and to make him happy. He's spoken before about how he doesn't really see his version of Batman existing in a world with lots of other costumed heroes, and when you look at just the trailer for "Green Lantern," it appears that Warner is using that film to establish a very different type of comic-book universe. My guess is that "Green Lantern" is the first stepping stone on a long path to a possible "Justice League" movie down the road, but when I tell you that it won't be released in 2013, that's not guesswork. That's just a simple logistical truth.
Before they can bring Superman and Batman and Wonder Woman and The Flash and more of their iconic heroes together, they are going to have to set a tone that works for all of those characters, and then they're going to have wait for Nolan to finish with Batman so they can establish a different take on the character. Without seeing what Snyder has planned for Superman, it's impossible to guess if his film would be able to branch into a crossover film, but I can confidently say that they aren't planning to make two movies with that character within a year of each other. With either of those characters, frankly. It's just not happening.
And yet, because that showed up The LA Times, we're going to see hundreds of stories today that breathlessly announce it as a done deal. And if people would just think about the likelihood of Warner rushing into something as big as "Justice League" after already having a similar film blow up in their faces not so long ago, they'd realize that it doesn't make any sense. Before you ever see a "Justice League" film, you're going to have to see a successful screen version of "The Flash" and NBC's going to have to put a bullet in that insane "Wonder Woman" TV show they're going to spend too much money on and cancel quickly, and they're going to have to establish that some of the second tier DC characters actually work as movie characters, and so far, none of that has happened.
2013? Not a chance. Count on it.