Page 3 of 4
5. Justice League Can't Be All About Superman/Batman If You Need To Introduce Other Characters
The other really obvious problem right now is that every single person on the planet knows who Superman and Batman are - either from their respective movie blockbusters or one of the dozens of iterations before then. Others characters may not be as well known to the public at large as much as they're starting to get more known thanks to various cartoons and such. If a Justice League movie is really going to work and get audiences excited about the group dynamic, it can't just be a movie that focuses entirely on Batman and Superman. They have to make Green Lantern, The Flash, Wonder Woman and others just as strong and interesting so that the audience doesn't get bored when Batman and Superman aren't on screen, which may in fact be the toughest challenge for a mainstream Justice League movie, because it will be trying to appeal to millions of moviegoers who may know little to nothing about those other characters.
One Solution: Easy. Just don't make the movie about Superman/Batman and in fact, you have a great blueprint in the first six-issue storyline by Geoff Johns and Jim Lee in the current run of "Justice League" that could be adapted fairly easily for a movie. David Goyer is a very creative writer in his own right with lots of experience writing comics, but there's been many great Justice League comics that helped build the kind of dynamics you need to make a movie work, so hopefully they won't be ignored.
6. How Many Characters Will Be Enough for a Justice League Movie That Satisfies Comic Book Fans?
It would be so much easier to just include the Big 5 in a Justice League movie—Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern and Flash—and there were rumors earlier this year that would be the case. But what about Aquaman, who really is the fifth member of the original Justice League, as much as he gets flack for having lame powers compared to the others? Or Hawkman and Martian Manhunter and Green Arrow, all important characters to the Justice League mythos? They may not matter to moviegoers, but certainly the comic book fans driving the first wave of excitement for the idea of a Justice League movie will want more than just the Big 5 or 6. You can't inundate fans with a lot of new characters in the first movie, but you also have to create a threat big enough that having more heroes to face it will allow for a movie as big or bigger than Man of Steel as well.
One Solution: The easy answer is to go with the Big 6, but then have Marvel-style cameos or Easter eggs of some of the other characters, and then hope a Justice League movie would do well enough to warrant a sequel with more characters… but let's try to have at least Aquaman in there. This is a character with a lot of great history and the recent Geoff Johns run has proven that there's enough meat to the character that an Aquaman movie could be kind of cool, so let's not ignore him in favor of others.
7. Are We Even READY for a Justice League Movie Yet?
There's been so much talk about this Justice League movie ever since rumors circulated that Warner Bros. wants to have one ready for 2015, although nothing's really moved forward on that and the success of Man of Steel ultimately makes it wiser to make a sequel to that movie first. The reason why Marvel's The Avengers worked so well is that they had four other movies leading up to it introducing Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man and then introducing the likes of Chris Hemsworth as Thor and Chris Evans as Captain America. If those two non-Iron Man movies weren't made, would audiences have appreciated the chemistry when they all finally came together? Probably not. Right now we have Henry Cavill as Superman and potentially Ryan Reynolds (see below) and that's it. As mentioned above, that means that a Justice League movie would have to introduce everyone else and while there have been screenplays in development, it certainly doesn't seem like there's one ready to go and in shooting shape just yet.
Even Henry Cavill seems to think that holding off on a Justice League movie might be a good idea and he's probably right.
One Solution: Marvel's The Avengers worked for a reason and part of it was that they spent the time getting the individual characters right before bringing them together. "The Dark Knight" helped redefine Batman and Man of Steel did the same for Superman. Maybe getting at least one more solo movie out there is necessary, but let's have that one ready within a year of any "Man of Steel" sequel and let's stop dragging our feet.