Posted on Wednesday, March 30th, 2011 by Russ Fischer
A few years back when George Miller was developing a Justice League film he cast it with actors that had no ties to other DC comics movies. Granted, there were fewer DC movies then, but that Justice League wouldn’t have featured Brandon Routh as Superman or Christian Bale as Batman. If it had been made, Superman would have been played by D.J. Cotrona while Armie Hammer would have been Batman.
We’ve been hearing now that new WB president Jeff Robinov wants to have a Justice League film in theaters for 2013, and with the scarce information available we’ve assumed that the George Miller approach had been abandoned in favor of Marvel’s development path for The Avengers. In other words, we thought that Henry Cavill would be Superman, Ryan Reynolds would be Green Lantern, and so forth. But now Superman director Zack Snyder says that isn’t the case.
HeyUGuys spoke to the director on the red carpet for the UK premiere of Sucker Punch, and he said,
Asked how his Superman film fits in with Justice League, he said,
It doesn’t. Like what Chris Nolan is doing and what I’m doing with Superman, what they’ll do with Justice League will be it’s own thing with it’s own Batman and own Superman. We’ll be over here with our movie and they kinda get to do it twice which is kinda cool.
Jeff Robinov had previously said that developing a new Wonder Woman film while the TV series might be ongoing shouldn’t be a problem, because there was already the precedent of Smallville being on the air when Superman Returns was released.
So we’re back to the question that was raised when George Miller was doing the aborted Justice League: will audiences be confused or irritated by having the same character played by different actors in feature films? Or is that, as Zack Snyder says, a kind of cool thing, because we’ll get to see multiple takes on the characters? If you don’t like one version, maybe the other will be more appealing. Plus, they could do old-school crossovers and eventually have a movie version of Crisis on Infinite Earths.
A related question is whether WB and DC might use Justice League to launch new film takes on heroes like Wonder Woman and The Flash — if those characters are in the team film, will those actors go on to star in standalone films, or will we really end up with parallel hero franchises from the same studio?