Warner Bros. president Alan Horn is retiring this week after 12 years as the man with final say on every studio project. Jeff Robinov will succeed Horn, and the LA Times profile of the apparently awkward studio executive confirms what we knew about WB’s tentpole strategy in a post-Harry Potter world: fill the void with DC Comics superheroes. The specifics of that superhero slate might surprise you. The LA Times writes: “[Robinov is] aiming to release new Batman and Superman films in 2012 and Justice League, a teaming of DC’s top heroes, in 2013.”
We’re well aware of The Dark Knight Rises (July 20, 2012) and the Superman reboot (December 2012), but it’s news to us if there are even tentative plans to release Justice League in two years. A discussion of whether or not it’s even feasible after the jump. [Update: Warner Bros. president Jeff Robinov has confirmed to Hero Complex that the studio plans to release a Justice League movie in 2013.]
In addition to the aforementioned Batman and Superman movies, Warner Bros. has Green Lantern coming on June 17. Plus, the studio is actively developing individual projects around The Flash, Wonder Woman, and Aquaman, which accounts for most of the key players. There was a rumor last year that Christopher Nolan was in line to direct Justice League. Although almost certainly untrue, one imagines that if the studio wanted to get the project going again, they’d turn to Mr. Nolan.
More recently, though, The Dark Knight Rises producer Charles Roven publicly denounced the idea that Superman and Batman don’t share the same universe: “That may be in somebody’s mind but right now the Batman lives in his world and the Superman lives in his world.”
The George Miller-directed Justice League: Mortal had a troubled development period before Warner Bros. pulled the plug in early 2008. It would be very optimistic to suppose they could resuscitate the project with a two-year turnaround. But surely a Justice League movie is a goal over at WB headquarters — likely to strike while the superhero iron is still hot, too. 2013 just sounds like a bit of a reach.
Yet I doubt the LA Times reporter pulled the notion out of thin air. If Robinov did mention something about a Justice League move in 2013 — well, now you know. Expect casting announcements soon?