Warner Bros. has a potential goldmine with the DC Comics license, but their attempts at moving forward on superhero projects have stalled. Films featuring The Flash and Wonder Woman are stuck in development hell, and the recent script for Justice League had to be scrapped. So it’s all going to fall on the broad shoulders of Superman. In a recent interview, Warner Bros. president Jeff Robinov says that Zack Snyder‘s Man of Steel is “setting the tone for what the movies are going to be like going forward. In that, it’s definitely a first step.”
Hit the jump for more including a dismissal of a recent rumor regarding Christopher Nolan and Justice League.
Speaking to EW, Robinov says that the self-contained world of The Dark Knight trilogy will be left behind, and Man of Steel will begin to open up a DC Movie Universe:
“I think you’ll see that, going forward, anything can live in this world,” he said. “[Nolan’s] Batman was deliberately and smartly positioned as a stand-alone. The world they lived in was very isolated without any knowledge of any other superheroes. What Zack and Chris have done with this film is allow you to really introduce other characters into the same world.”
Man of Steel screenwriter David Goyer explains:
“One of the things we dealt with on the Batman films is, Chris dislikes it when you plan something, when you say, ‘I’m going to follow this up in the next film,” Goyer tells EW. “He’s always said put everything you have into this film and then worry about the next film later. That gives the film it’s own integrity as opposed to being part of an overall plan. So of course the comic book fans, it’s hard not to think about [crossovers] but I, having done three Batman films and worked in that way, it’s definitely the approach we took with Man of Steel.”
But when it comes to tying back to The Dark Knight trilogy, Robinov sounds like it could be completely separate from the inevitable Batman reboot or any other super hero movies that may want to reference it:
“They do. Or they did,” [Emphasis EW] with a change of tense that should rouse the attention of fanboys everywhere. “Where we go in the future is a whole other conversation.”
I’ll leave you to speculate on what he meant. Personally, I think those movies are completely left behind along with every other DC movie such as Superman Returns and Green Lantern. This should be a clean slate starting from Man of Steel.
Robinov also completely blew apart the rumor that Nolan was producing Justice League and would get Christian Bale back to play Batman:
“No, no it’s not.” (Nolan’s reps, who have previously declined to comment on that rumor, also confirmed Robinov’s statement and told EW that he definitely wasn’t involved with Justice League. Nolan is currently busy prepping his sci-fi film Interstellar.)
But the question still remains: Is Justice League in the near future, or is Warner Bros. changing their strategy and going with the Marvel approach of building individual movies to get to the big crossover? Says Robinov:
“We’ll announce something in the next several weeks that will hopefully position the DC characters and the movies we’re going to be making,” Robinov said.
Hopefully, that movie will involve going with individual movies rather than jumping ahead to Justice League. Yes, Warners will be accused to copying Marvel, but if it isn’t broke, why fix it? If the studio tries to move from Man of Steel, then they need to explain at least four characters: Batman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, and The Flash. Aquaman, Martian Manhunter, and Hawkgirl could also conceivably be in the mix. That’s a lot of characters, and even if you’re already familiar with some of the Justice League members, they still need space to develop their own personalities before being tossed into a team dynamic. Since movies for Batman and Green Lantern are still too recent, I’m crossing my fingers for the announcement of fast tracking Wonder Woman and The Flash.