So you wanna make a Justice League movie (head over to MTV Splashpage for more scoops!). Fine, knock yourselves out. We’ll go see it – BUT here’s the big query – WHICH Justice League will you be filming? Oh there be a bevy to choose from. But which line-up? And who to play whom?
Here’s the thingy: "The Avengers" stomped the Dark Knight’s butt. It pains me to say this but 'tis true. Joss Whedon, nerd bard extraordinaires’ action-thrilled romp through Manhattan bested Christopher Nolan’s final chapter of the city of Gotham and the Caped Crusader. But you don’t me to tell you that. Nor does Warner Brothers need to be reminded BUT remind them they shall be whenever Marvel does anything new. Plus with the Green Lantern movie tanking – dat smarts!
So to combat the Avengers sequel, a Justice League movie has been green lit. Speculations abound! Will Ryan Reynolds be Green Lantern? Joseph Gordon Levitt as Batman? John Wesley Shipp as the Flash (look it up)? None of the casting matters. Not even announcing that British dude playing Superman would spark any interest in casting, when the important part is just which incarnation of the league are we talking here?
Nope, not these guys!
First and foremost let’s wipe Marvin and Wendy and the Wonder Twins out of brains. Those clowns are part of the Superfriends and we shall leave them there. The Silver Age is a no-go because no one is going to care about Starro the Conqueror (except me – killer starfish from outer space? I’m in! ) and we can cut the 80’s Detroit Justice League because nobody NOBODY cares about Vibe. I don’t care what’s happening in the new 52, if Vibe is a character somebody is slumming.
Nope, not these guys!
I can completely get behind Mark Waid’s "Justice League: Year One" but the lack of heavy hitters like Batman, Supes, and Wonder Woman might not appeal to the gazillion cooks at Warner Bros. who will no doubt be sticking their faces into the mix. “Where are all the capes? Harumph!” Though I bet someone will see humor with Aquaman speaking softly. Sound carries underwater, get it?
Yeah, they're pretty cool...
Now if the folks at DC Entertainment get in on the action we could have a serious contender if we go with the Justice League animated series. This team had it all – capes, power rings, speedsters, martians and Hawkgirl! And Hawkgirl betrays them! Plot point! Idea machine get going! Plus using the John Stewart Green Lantern (solving our Reynolds problem – ahem) adds that fun buzzword: diversity. Not that Martians aren’t diverse enough. They are, you know, cuz they’re shape-changers. Doy.
BUT if there were any executive with the stones, NAY, the Parallax-killing will power to make J. M. DeMatteis and Keith Giffen’s "Justice League International" then we have an Avengers contender. Why? Well the humor for starters. This is where "The Avengers" took "The Dark Knight Rises". There was some humor, little bit, mostly sly observations but the Avengers allowed the funny. Joss Whedon’s wheelhouse is adventure drama laced with comedy. Look at "Firefly", look at every episode if you haven’t already and if you HAVEN’T – the hell is the matter with you?
These the ones -- JLI all the way, baby!
"JLI" was a comic I read and re-read constantly. There was no brooding Green Lantern, nope this was Guy freakin’ Gardner, a Lantern Corps member who went toe to toe with Lobo for crying out loud. Batman is team leader and he’s a brooding maniac with no patience which just makes him hilarious. Captain Marvel’s the caped flying powerhouse but that’s easily switched with Superman. In fact, many of the characters are easily swapped with the bigguns but it is a moral imperative to keep Blue Beetle and Booster Gold. Their comic relief is sacrosanct! Blue Beetle is basically a funny Iron Man (funni-er, I said it) and Booster Gold is your time traveler. Everyone likes a time traveler. And instead of Nick Fury you’ve got Maxwell Lord, but instead of a spy he’s an executive with will bending mental abilities who bankrolls the League BUT HE ENDS UP A BAD GUY. Sha-bam.
Forget casting, if the story is good the film will cast itself. The trick is not worry about continuity and just create a new one. Alright, fine, if you want me to pick someone to play a league member then I nominate myself to play Plastic Man. No, not for THAT reason. Sickos.
Steven Smith has always thought the Wonder Twins were silly, if you like this column you’ll love his podcast Going Off Track – we promise, and he sincerely hopes Warner Bros. follows his advice cuz a JLA flick could be sick.