Producer Dan Lin on the JUSTICE LEAGUE Movie, SUICIDE SQUAD, and Stephen King’s IT

     December 22, 2009

Justice League, Suicide Squad and Stephen Kings It.jpg

Over the past few days I’ve been posting “7 Days with Producer Dan Lin”.  As I explained in the previous articles, I spoke at length with the Sherlock Holmes producer about not only his latest film, but everything he has in development.  Since the conversation ran so long, I’ve decided to break up the interview into many smaller parts.  I’ve already posted what he said about the Lego movie and Gangster Squad, as well as his thoughts on the Terminator Salvation ending and what’s up with future movies, and yesterday was about the Bone and Tom and Jerry movies.  For today’s article, I’ve got him talking about the Justice League movie, Suicide Squad, Hiding in Time, The Chaser and Stephen King’s It.

Want to know more…hit the jump:

Let’s start with the easy stuff first:  According to Lin, Dave Kajganich is turning in a draft of It over Christmas and Hiding in Time and The Chaser are scripts he expects in the new year – but they’re both in deeper development.  When I asked Lin what deeper development meant, he said “scripts that need some more work.”

Justice League image DC comics (4).jpgWhen I asked about Justice League, Lin confirmed what we all knew: its on-hold right now.  He also said “it seems like they’re (Warner Bros.) building to Justice League instead of going with the team movie first and doing individual movies after that.”

He also confirmed what I’d been hearing about WB’s plans for their DC superhero movies and that’s “they’re unveiling their DC strategy in January”.  Meaning, we’re probably going to hear what other DC characters are getting movies very soon!

And while Justice League might be stalled right now, he sounded more optimistic about Suicide Squad.  He said, “that’s a different kind of superhero movie. For us that’s a super villain movie. It’s almost Dirty Dozen set in the world of supervillains. That’s the only one for me that’s on the front burner.”  Meaning, it’s his only superhero property that’s moving forward.

Here’s our full conversation about Justice League, Suicide Squad and Stephen King’s It.  Look for more with Dan Lin tomorrow night.


Collider: You’re listed also for Justice League Mortal.

Dan Lin: It’s the dream project.

Right, that’s why I’m sort of saving it. It’s like the punch at the end.

Justice League image DC comics (2).jpgDan Lin: Yeah. I mean it’s…I’ll say it’s the reason I started my company. You know, I thought that was the ultimate project. I was a fan-boy for me to work with all those characters together on a team and kind of the themes of that movie. That’s my dream. It’s on-hold right now as DC sorts out its strategy but as you’ve talked to Alan Horn and Jeff Robinov it seems like they’re building to Justice League instead of going with the team movie first and doing individual movies after that.

Well it’s interesting because Marvel, they’re making Avengers. It’s right on their drawing board. They’re not backing away. And it’s probably the most challenging project they’re going to make, trying to factor in all these people. It does seem like the superhero….it seems like Marvel has done an amazing job with their superhero movies. And, for me, DC, Warner Brothers I’m sort of perplexed and they’ve talked about redoing things at Warner Brothers about how they’re not making more superhero movies. They’re obviously doing Green Lantern. Saying that, are there certain superhero movies that you are interested in bringing to the screen….because I know they did a whole shakeup at Warner Brothers with people letting go of projects and other people coming onboard.

Suicide Squad comic book (2).jpgDan Lin: Right. The only one right now as you probably know, they’re unveiling their DC strategy in January so you’ll hear more about that and they’ll speak about that in the new year. The only other one besides Justice League that I’m working on is the Suicide Squad. I don’t know if you know that DC comic.


Dan Lin: Okay. So that’s a different kind of superhero movie. For us that’s a super villain movie. It’s almost Dirty Dozen set in the world of supervillains. That’s the only one for me that’s on the front burner.

There’s a lot of partnership movies coming out next year. There’s A-Team, Expendables, The Losers-based on a comic book. Are you finding it that it’s almost easier to pitch comic book movies right now with the success of almost every comic book movie doing so well?

Dan Lin: It’s certainly helpful. I would say what is easier in general is to pitch something with source material. So the first layer is it’s easier to set something out with source material so it’s something tangible that executives and even producers can discuss. The next layer is if they have a fan base. So, that’s certainly comic books would qualify as that. And I would say the next layer on that if we’re looking at this like a cake-the next layer would be a real brand name. So not only do they have a fan base like Bone but I’d say Justice League is the next layer up where I’m in the street….you talk about Batman Superman that’s really well known. So those are the 3 things that really factor in. Is it easier to set with a comic book? Yes, for sure. Because now the business model has been proven, but just like any other comic book movies there’s glut of them in the market place now. So the question now is how do you differentiate the comic book you bring to the studio or even the comic book movie you bring to the studio makes it different. Because you mentioned Losers comic book, Avengers comic book, you know even in the Justice League comic book even in the area of team movies there are already a lot of comic books. You have to figure how do you differentiate yours.

Justice League image DC comics (1).jpgWell do you think for fans of Justice League who have been waiting for that project, do you think that DC might sort of copy, and I know you might not know yet, but do you think there’s a chance they might copy the Marvel route and say who do we want in Justice League let’s make single movies and build towards it and sort go in that direction?

Dan Lin: I don’t know for sure, but as a fan it feels like that’s what they’re doing as I watch their movies being laid out.

Do you think there’s ever going to be a Wonder Woman movie?

Dan Lin: Don’t know. I just asked Joel Silver that at lunch the other day.

I always ask him that, but he sort of like we’re working on it or whatever.

Dan Lin: I don’t know. Just as an outside observer I know they talk about it as a movie and also a TV show. I don’t know if they’ve figured out which way to go or is it better to put her in a team movie first and then have her come off that. Truth is, I don’t know.

Yeah, I’m very curious if they’re ever going to get that going. You’re also attached to It, Hiding in Time and The Chaser.  Any quick updates?

Dan Lin:  All scripts that we’re expecting in the New Year It is probably the next script that I’m expecting actually over Christmas. Dave Kajganich is writing it. And the other two those are all deeper development.

What does deeper development mean?

Dan Lin: Meaning scripts that need some more work.

Stephen King It.jpg

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