Is the JUSTICE LEAGUE Movie in Trouble? Will Beal’s Script Reportedly Tossed Out

     February 7, 2013


Ever since Marvel stuck their landing with the $1.5 billion grossing Phase One-capper The Avengers, a number of other studios have been making moves to try and mimic the studio’s “Cinematic Universe” model.  One of the most notable reactions to The Avengers came by way of the announcement that Warner Bros. was going to finally try to mount their Justice League movie for a 2015 release.  When a major update on Justice League first broke last summer, we learned that WB had enlisted scribe Will Beall (Gangster Squad) to tackle the screenplay.

The studio has yet to nab a director since then, and a few weeks ago we learned that WB was waiting to see how Man of Steel does this summer before giving Justice League a greenlight.  Now it appears that WB is having an even harder time with JL than we previously thought, as a new report claims that Beall’s script is being entirely tossed out.  Hit the jump for more.

justice-league-movieOver at Badass Digest, Devin is hearing from multiple sources that Beall’s script has been scrapped.  Apparently each of his sources claim that the script is “terrible,” with some even saying that the quality of the screenplay is the reason why WB has been unable to land a good director (this isn’t hard to believe seeing as how Beall’s script for Gangster Sqaud was quite disappointing).  We previously heard that Beall’s story involves the villain Darkseid and “a heavy cosmic threat,” with Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, and Green Lantern set as the film’s primary heroes, but if his script is indeed being thrown out, that could mean a wholly new story and/or different characters.

I’ve been unconvinced that Justice League could make the 2015 release date for a while now, and if Badass Digest’s report does indeed turn out to be true, it seems unlikely that the film could hit theaters in just two years.  A new script will have to be written, a director will have to be found (who will have his own input on the screenplay), a prolonged casting process will need to take place, and then there’s the lengthy production and post-production schedule to take into account.

Though this recent development is certainly disconcerting, it’s been clear for a some time that Warner Bros. isn’t entirely sure how to approach Justice League.  Marvel threw the gauntlet down hard with The Avengers, so the DC superhero team-up film is feeling the pressure.  Maybe this development isn’t such a bad thing, though.  I’d rather have a high-quality Justice League movie in 2016 or 2017 rather than a rushed, subpar Justice League movie in 2015.  We should hear more regarding the film soon as we approach the June 14th release of Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel.


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  • bjemmi

    This movie does not need to be made. If it is made it will immediately be compared to The Avengers and fail miserably. What Marvel did with Phase 1 was one of the greatest accomplishments in the history of cinema, and DC just cant keep up. A Justice League movie is unfilmable at this present time. Not until The Avengers 1, 2, and 3 are long gone. Sorry to break it to you DC

    • myround0

      If they make it and stay close to the characters they will be fine. My guess is just like more things coming out of Hollywood, they want to put their spin on things. I would suggest you have Green Lantern do a cameo in either the Superman movie, or the Flash. And make it John Stewart…You have to have him bring futuristic cosmo type weaponary. Flash show show more of what his unlimited speed and power can do. For the Justice league movie, you need a real credible villain. I like Lex, and he could assembly a cast of merry men…

    • William Lumpkin

      Ha, it’s like Mark Millar recently said, these characters are too out dated to work in any medium other than comics (except Batman). Marvel (and Disney) are so lucky that Stan Lee and Jack Kirby had the foresight to create characters who’s origins are intertwined with science and technology.

      Iron Man’s a guy in a man-sized mech, the Hulk a genetically mutated Mr Hyde, Captain America a genetically engineered super mensch…hell, even ye old Norse legend Thor got a techno remake and Lee and Kirby’s futurist ideals are paying off hugely now for Marvel Studios who have the luxury of introducing movie goers to characters who have powers and abilities which aren’t as foreign and comic booky as “magic imagination rings” and “glowing truth ropes”. Of the JLA’s big seven only the Flash’s origin is science based and that’s about as “science” as magical lightning connecting you to the magical Speed Force can get.

      Man of Steel will get crap reviews (because Zack Snyder is directing!), it’ll do well in it’s first two weeks but will ultimately end up a box office failure (just like Snyder’s last three film and WB’s last attempt at a DC Cinematic Universe, Green Lanterns).

      Warner Bros should just stick to making Batman movies, after all that’s the only viable character they have in their stable of 1930s duds.

      • Andrew

        Bit harsh on Zack Snyder there,…i loved Watchmen although i don’t know how it performed at the box office takings-wise.
        As for his Man of Steel,i reckon it’s gonna do pretty well.

  • Generalzar

    Sigh…just hire a director first. Or hire…John Logan to write the screenplay!

  • Mavro

    You want JUSTICE LEAGUE to be your major billion dollar tentpole but then you hire a scribe like Will Beal to write it. No offense to him, I haven’t seen GANGSTER SQUAD, but he doesn’t have a track record is all I’m saying.

    You get what you pay for. Either hire a visionary director with a take who can work hand in hand with a writer or invest in an A-list writer to give you something amazing to build off of. I don’t know how THE WOLVERINE is going to turn out but at least they had Christopher McQuarrie write the first draft. That’s how you get guys like Aranofsky and Mangold interested (the Hugh Jackman connection helped).

    • Grayden

      Basically, this. Rarely will you get a no-name writer to churn out a decent script. I always question why studios hire these no-namers to write a script for these hopefully AAA titles. You’re just gonna pay more money to have it re-written anyways. No, you pay the money to get someone with experience to do it and do it well the first time around. Shit, this is DC, get Goyer to do it. The guy CAN write. Sync him with a visual director or a damn good storyteller who can work on the story with Goyer and that’s how you make DC work.

  • junierizzle

    Give this to Del Toro. My God why does Hollywood make it so difficult. He can write and direct and design. It would be a masterpiece in terms of visuals and story-telling.

  • ooft

    Um, I still don’t get why DC wants to mimic the Avengers’ success when there’s like so little content that came before… Superman a’ight, Batman appearance is still unconfirmed since Bale doesn’t wanna do it and I am sure that JGL has better offers right now…. what about the rest? The Green Lantern was awful, Wonder Woman never made it to the big screen either… I mean, Marvel had like a decade of crappy movies before they got it right. Anybody remember Elektra, Daredevil, Fantastic Four? Ouch. I am glad that these movies never were considered for an Avengers tie-in. Either DC should do it with diligence and care or not at all. And the Bat and Supes isn’t enough for a Justice League movie, they rather should try to develop more possible tie-in movies before they’re going all-in and ultimately fail so that the franchise becomes super-toxic and all investors lose interest….

    • qwerty

      well, elektra, daredevil, and FF were all just co-produced with Fox. iron man was the first true marvel production.

  • TK

    The smart thing to do is enlist the people who made the DC animated stuff work. Get Bruce Timm and Paul Dini to write it. Or at least to do a story treatment.

    • Theo

      Yes! Thank you! That would rock.

      • Mekt_Ranzz

        Agreed. This is probably the only shot DC has to make a good JLA film. The DC animated universe is fantastic.

    • wes

      THIS!! They understand the characters, and have proven there ability time and time again.
      I would like Aquaman and Hal Jordan however.

    • Rockslide

      Agreed. I’d even be willing to go further and let Timm direct it. That would be very interesting.

  • FoonZeeS

    How do you let a guy with pretty much no writing credits to his name write your penultimate super hero movie when the competition has Joss Whedon at the helm?

    • Snarky

      What’s the ultimate superhero movie for Warner Brothers supposed to be?

  • Ged

    And DC Elseworld’s Kingdom Come would be THE perfect ending to Justice League…

  • Doug

    Yeah, Gangster Squad wasn’t that great, so I’m happy about this. Also, the story that they were supposedly going to adapt sounded ridiculously lame. The latest incarnation of the Justice League by Geoff Johns and Jim Lee is tailor-made to be a movie – just adapt that. All the major players are in it and the story is set in the past where they’re all new at the hero game. It would work. Either that or do what everyone else is saying – get Timm and Dini on this now.

  • Sean

    I have no faith in WB in regards to this project. It’s been a train wreck from the beginning. They obviously decided to move forward simply due to the success of The Avengers., but they didn’t want to do any of the hard work of universe-building which Marvel did so well. Then they hired a screenwriter who doesn’t have a proven record. They keep waffling on whether Man of Steel is set in this universe, and said they won’t move forward until they see how that film works. Each of these decisions in it’s own unique way totally undermines my faith in WB.

    At this point in time I’m most interested in this film because that will almost certainly mean someone will write a book or make a documentary chronicling the history of the project. They’ve been talking about this project for years, and it keeps falling apart.

    • TotesMcGotes


  • Nomis1700

    While I was quite looking forward to a JLA film I think I’m quite happy that they canceled it (though, still waiting for an official statement) I’d rather see them focussing on MOS’s sequel. MOS is shaping up to be really good and I don’t like to see that getting rushed in the future. I do like the idea of a shared universe, especially with Batman, but doing them all in one seems a little too quick as of yet.
    If WB gets the right people to work on it and has good scripts, their movies won’t fail. I think, after the hopefully massive success of MOS, they should give Goyer/Nolan/Snyder enough time to work on the sequel (praise to the Lord that that will happen) and get other people to focus on another superhero other than Green Lantern or Batman. Maybe a shot at the Flash? Though, I would prefer a movie of Wonder Woman but that might be a bit to tricky/risky. Also love Aquaman but that could be a more expensive movie than The Flash. They shouldn’t worry about the VFX and stuff, they really have to focus on the script. I think they certainly wouldn’t want another Green Lantern…

  • NFP

    Bjemmi, Marvel Phase 1 being pulled off was the greatest accomplishment in cinematic history?!!!?!! You are totally entitled to your own opinion, but that had me crack up!

    I enjoyed everything Disney/Marvel did to lead up to The Avengers, and enjoyed an own them all. One could argue that keeping all the actors and tone of the Harry Potter through 8 movies was more impressive, let alone the nearly 100 years of motion pictures history you are obviously over looking.

    Thanks for the laughs though!

    • Jesus

      Except the Harry Potter films didn’t maintain the same tone throughout, and even if they had it’s far less impressive when you consider the last three were all directed and written by the same guys, with that director also helming the 5th film. Nevermind that the first four films were incredibly sporadic and disparate in quality (the Chris Columbus ones being very childish, Azkaban being one of the best, and the fourth being one of the worst). How is that keeping a tone? The Avengers comment was dumb, but holding up the incredibly fractured Harry Potter saga is even dumber.

      • Shaun

        The HP films are up and down, but generally better than you give them credit for. They are an accomplishment on a number levels, given that it’s the #1 film series of all time, they managed to adapt all seven books and keep the same kids in the lead roles (and the only role they had to recast was due to a death), the series maintained its popularity throughout and they generally maintained a high level of quality throughout the entire series. All of that is pretty amazing.

        But then, they also had their template already laid out for them: Seven of the most beloved books ever. So in that respect, how hard could it be? It would take a moron to foul those up.

        Anyhow, it should be stated that the “childish” Columbus films were keeping in line with the first two books. Those books really are children’s books, and the movies are very faithful to the texts. The films got darker with each entry, again matching the books.

    • Shaun

      Well, he said it was “one of” the greatest accomplishments.

      It might be overstating things a bit, but Marvel Studios, taking control of their own properties and doing it in-house (prior to the Disney purchase of Marvel, at least), and having the ridiculous success they’ve had so far, culminating in an unprecedented meeting of superheroes on screen is still a pretty big accomplishment.

      Clearly, WB/DC haven’t been able to duplicate it. If it weren’t for Batman, they’d have nothing to show for their efforts.

  • Alan B

    Oh no: I was waiting for the scene where Bruce Wayne’s shoe-shine boy gets killed, thereby spurring Batman into action. Or an action script where the villain doesn’t even know who the heroes are for the first two acts: that’s solid writing, right?

  • rodeo jeff

    This whole thing will not work even if MOS works then they have to keep it within that universe wich looks like it has a serious tone, i mean the avengers movie did not take it’s self to seriously.

  • George Jetson

    Okay two things. 1. Why is every so focused on following Marvel’s EXACT blueprint when it comes to this kind of movie? Why not take a whole new direction and just start the movie with all the heroes all ready knowing of each other? I don’t think that will be that damaging to the movie seeing as how Batman Superman and Wonder Woman are 3 of the most famous heroes ever. They do it in the series all the time. Speaking of which…

    2. Why don’t they just get the folks who wrote Justice League Unlimited and Young Justice to do the script? Aside from Christopher Nolan they seem to be the only folks that can generate quality stories nowdays. GET TO IT FOLKS IT’S NOT THAT COMPLICATED!

    • Anti-Norton

      Marvel’s blueprint made $1.5Billion worldwide.
      Consider DC’s prized asset, Batman (DKR), failed head to head with the Avengers.
      To spend $200+Million on JLA, WB/DC has to make money.

  • Kriptonianknight

    I like the idea of doing Justice League and then break all the characters off into their own franchise on the conditions that Superman succeeds and the casting is done right. But I would love to see them do a Batman/Superman trilogy. If done right, it could be the best superhero movie of all time!

    • tom

      this was my idea all along. i don’t think there’s a really high demand for characters other than Batman and Superman. these two are all you need. plus, there’s such a wonderful dynamic between the two characters that would create some intense drama. on the one hand, you have a normal guy, driven to extremes by emotional pain. then on the other hand, you basically have a god, who protects the earth because it’s the right thing to do. the two characters clash in the comics ALL THE TIME. maybe you do a standalone movie for each, just setting them up in the same world. each would cameo in the other guy’s movie. then you team them up to fight someone huge, then in another movie you have them fight each other. WB could laugh all the way to 2 billion at the BO

      • Cactus19

        Plus you have the whole idea neither of them will kill someone so even with them fighting each other, they have the same ethics, they realize it, and take down a big baddie. Emotional rejoice everywhere.

  • Shaun

    Well, he said it was \"one of\" the greatest accomplishments.

    It might be overstating things a bit, but Marvel Studios, taking control of their own properties and doing it in-house (prior to the Disney purchase of Marvel, at least), and having the ridiculous success they\’ve had so far, culminating in an unprecedented meeting of superheroes on screen is still a pretty big accomplishment.

    Clearly, WB/DC haven\’t been able to duplicate it. If it weren\’t for Batman, they\’d have nothing to show for their efforts.

  • PhillB

    This movie should be totally scrapped.

  • daveyboy

    The Justice League Movie was doomed once they released Green Lantern. It was their one shot to propose the idea of movies for DC characters that aren’t cultural icons like Superman. If they had made a good Green Lantern, it would have opened the door for the other lesser known JL characters, and we would have already seen a Flash movie by now. That’s why I laughed when they announced a Justice League movie…look at Marvel, they had to prove themselves first before Avengers came out! DC you blew it, and just because a new Superman movie performs well(which it will) doesn’t mean there is a demand.

    • sense 11

      agreed, Green Lantern really did ruin everything but I still have hope

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  • sense 11

    they can take as long as they want as long as they do a good job

    I want a good Justice League movie not Superman Returns

  • mundfick

    Obviously a lot of folks are concerned about the direction WB will take with their stock super heroes. First they should forget everything Nolan did. Forget trying to root any of this in the real world or trying to mimic the success of the Avengers. Do something fabulously original. Go maximum ultra-fantasy all-CGI, like a photographic comic book in motion. Make it a trippy full-throttle sci-fi. Hire and cast all new blood (casting for motion capture only). Make it a three-parter from the get go. Be adventurous and daring. Don’t hold anything back.

  • mundfick

    Obviously a lot of folks are concerned about the direction WB will take with their stock super heroes. First they should forget everything Nolan did. Forget trying to root any of this in the real world or trying to mimic the success of the Avengers. Do something fabulously original. Go maximum ultra-fantasy all-CGI, like a photographic comic book in motion. Make it a trippy full-throttle sci-fi. Hire and cast all new blood (casting for motion capture only). Make it a three-parter from the get go. Be adventurous and daring. Don\’t hold anything back.

  • chrstphr

    2 words: MARVEL ZOMBIES

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  • terry

    I have a sneaky suspicion that once the studio heads saw the rough cuts of Man Of Steel they said, “f*** that!” No money for the JL.
    Besides, didn’t we have a bunch of X-Men movies? Please!

  • Craig Danvers

    Millar is a joke, and anyone agreeing with him. How he said it would mean Batman was outdated, Sherlock Holmes, and any literary character that is, what, 30 years old. It would mean Dracula and vampires are outdated, zombies and werewolves, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and so on. If you have a good writer and a good director, and good actors, good movie can be made. With Millar’s logic in place, then there’s only a small window at any given time for a character to be viable for screen, or to be relevant. If people don’t like a character Italy not be the character but the person who has the problem.

  • Whatchuptu

    I think to do it right, they’ve got to create a universe for this characters to coexist…occasionally dropping breadcrumbs which later lead to a much bigger story arch….or ‘The Marvel treatment’.

    The Dark Knight trilogy…showed us a different side of the bat, but didn’t touch on Batman being much of a detective/scientist. Which I think he’d need to be for a Justice League movie as I’m assuming the threat would come from outer space and I’m imagining him being a detective analyzing alien d.n.a, finding a weakness and formalizing sometime of plan for the team to take the threat down. But I don’t think audiences need to see another solo bat reboot just yet.

    2013: The Man of Steel has just been given the ‘Nolanesk’ treatment through Synder. So fingers crossed it’s successful so they can build off this.

    I wouldn’t touch the Green Lantern for some time as it’s still pretty raw in most people’s memories. I’d use John Stewart incarnation of the Green Lantern with the military background for a Justice League movie > so no solo outing for him yet.

    2016: For me the Flash would be the next logical choice for a solo film with Captain Cold as the villain. I’m imagining a jewel heist/ Premium Rush style film (cat and mouse). Loads of science fiction as Barry Allen is a scientist. Would also be cool if at the end he is visited by a future time traveling version of himself (who’s figured out how to use his super speed for time travel) that warns him of impending interstellar threat, dying in his own arms and asking him to seek out the lanterns for help. (breadcrumb 1).

    2017: Wonder Woman solo outing done right, swords and sandals warrior (Xena treatment), strong sexy and driven. Loads of magic and superstition for her to develop into the naïve nature she has. Her villains are rather corny so I’d probably go with Ares as a potential villain. She’d ultimately beat him but be tricked into exiling herself in the process. Perhaps washing up on the beach in man’s world at the end of the film or being helped ashore whilst unconscious by an unseen Aqua friend (Arthur a.k.a Aquaman) (breadcrumb 2).

    2018: Man of Steel 2. Supes has finally been accepted as the cities champion, but is also haunted by strange dreams or perhaps psychic projections from another alien life form who is calling for help. Meanwhile a huge company by the name of Lexcorp has a talented scientist working on cyber-enhancement, however the scientist is only motivated by saving his son who suffers from a rare muscle disease. The technology is stolen and Superman must face a ruthless new villain called Metallo a cyber-enhanced criminal who uses Superman’s weakness against him. With the help of a mysterious stranger who is sending him psychic guidance Superman finally defeats Metallo. The technology is returned and used to help the crippled young man walk again (intro Cyborg breadcrumb 3). (Breadcrumb 4) Superman seeks out his mysterious psychic helper rescuing the trapped life form who is only known as J’onn J’onzz, superman learns of an ancient evil (responsible for the death of J’onn’s people) making its way towards earth.

    2018: The Green Lantern. Major John Stewart is leading his team of navy seals on a convert mission in South America to take down a corrupt official Vandal Savage who is using his position run a multimillion diamond trade. Just as his team begins the operation they are ambushed, stuck in the crossfire in a small village, in a seemingly no win situation a cosmic force intervenes saving John. Intrusted with an all powerful weapon, a ring that can materialize whatever the wearer thinks. John is given the task of taking down the immortal Savage who intends to use the diamonds to flood the stock market and plunge the World into famine, sickness and War. Defeating Savage and imprisoning him in an inescapable prison, John saves the village, and frees his team. (Breadcrumb 5 in the credits) Suddenly John is alerted to rustling in the surrounding jungle, bursting at lightning fast speed out of the jungle a red and yellow figure is darting towards him using his ring he traps what appears to be a man in a green orb. ‘Wow, neat trick. Hi, I’m the Flash… can you let me out of this thing?’

    2019: Detective Comics: The Batman. A mysterious series of murders has the city of Gotham in hysteria. A rookie detective is on the case but is out of her depth as ties to the mob and an insane criminal mastermind become apparent. With the help of a shadowy vigilantly who masquerades as a bat the two begin to unravel the mystery which has connections to both of their troubled pasts. Villains: Calendar Man and the Black Mask.

    2020: The Justice League –Gods among men. Fate brings together a group of the world’s mightiest heroes as a seemingly unstoppable force threatens Earth. But, can they put there differences aside and find out why Earth has been targeted and defeat the threat before it’s too late?
    Heroes: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, J’onn J’onzz, The Flash and the Green Lantern
    Cameos: Arthur (Aquaman), Lex Luther, Lois Lane,
    Villain: Brainiac

    I kind of went overboard ha ha, but if they have an overall vision similar to this and invest time, talented writers and directors…they could really pull this off.

    Notice I’ve steered clear of the 2015 date…as there is just too much happening then!

    I’d also expect a collection of Warner Bro’s animated shorts, kind of like the Animatrix to be brought out and provide a bit of extra backstory.

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