'Justice League' Definitely Planned For 2013; WB Plans To Reinvent Batman After 'The Dark Knight Rises'

Last night there was a minor furor when an LA Times profile of new Warner Bros. motion picture group president Jeff Robinov mentioned plans to release a Justice League film in 2013. There was little more than the title and the year — no other details. Now we've got just a bit more information, not least being a confirmation that, yes, a Justice League script is in development. And, in what might be bigger if not surprising news, there is confirmation that The Dark Knight Rises is an endpoint to Batman's story as it currently exists on film, and WB will reboot the character afterward.

In a piece following up on the profile published yesterday, the LA Times directly addresses WB's plans for various hero franchises. The key fact is that Jeff Robinov really does want a team movie — Justice League — "on the big screen in 2013." And he says a script is in the works, along with the Flash script that has been in development for some time and a Wonder Woman script. (I've had independent confirmation that the film is in development, too.)

Though there is no confirmation of the roster for the team film, it is reasonable to expect that we'll see Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern and the Flash in the movie.

But this piece also confirms that Christopher Nolan is going to be done with Batman after The Dark Knight Rises, and presumably Christian Bale will go with him. So where does that leave Batman? The new WB leader says,

We have the third Batman, but then we'll have to reinvent Batman...Chris Nolan and [producing partner and wife] Emma Thomas will be producing it, so it will be a conversation with them about what the next phase is.

Is it reasonable to assume that Justice League could be a launching pad for the post-Nolan/Bale Batman? Certainly, and it is good to hear that Christopher Nolan will have some involvement. This bodes well in some ways for The Dark Knight Rises — if WB is already planning to reboot the character after that film, then Christopher Nolan is likely free to do whatever he wants with it, and can exit the Batman franchise in grandiose fashion.

And yet it still seems wildly ambitious that WB could have a Justice League film in theaters for 2013. We know the Jeff Robinov regime will be very different from the Alan Horn regime at Warner Bros., but it is difficult to set aside the fact that the studio has had a hell of a time getting superhero films made in the last few years. Superman has taken a long time, and Flash and Wonder Woman movies have long been in development as well. If we're really going to see this slate of films hit, then I'm quite curious to see how Jeff Robinov's leadership will push them forward without simply shoving something out the door.