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Friday, February 23, 2007

JLA: The Movie

From Newsarama:

As comic book movies have proliferated over the past few years, comic fans have begun to wonder – when will we start seeing the team-based films? As Marvel’s X-Men films have shown, putting more than one super-powered character into a film can work…but what about the icons joining up?

Possibly sooner than expected.

According to Variety Warner Bros. is looking to produce a Justice League movie, and has hired Kiernan and Michele Mulroney to pen the script. After rumors of a possible Batman vs. Superman film this is the first actual news that the studio is looking to make a feature based on more than one hero.

As the trade reported/speculated, such a film would certainly include some blend of DC Comics’ iconic heroes, rather than wholly B-listers.

"The Justice League of America has been a perennial favorite for generations of fans, and we believe their appeal to film audiences will be as strong and diverse as the characters themselves," Warner President of production Jeff Robinov said in announcing the hiring of the Mulroneys.

As Variety mentioned, and fans will surely begin to discuss, such a film has many complicating issues inherent, such as cast – will Warner Bros, if they include Superman and Batman in the mix, cast Brandon Routh and Christian Bale – their current Superman and Batman, or will they re-cast the roles for this project (as each approach would come with budgetary considerations)? Will the film version of the Justice League be connected to the heroes’ solo films? Where does the film take place in the heroes’ lives, and the team's timeline? How will a Justice League film coordinate among all of the production teams working on the various individual properties?

While the Justice League has starred in a handful of their own animated television series over the years, the idea has been tested out in a live action manner, in Warners’ Smallville, which has featured a growing list of other young heroes (Green Arrow, Cyborg, Flash, Aquaman, along with a young Superman) in guest appearances, which culminated in the episode entitled “Justice.”

If the potential problems can be hammered out, the inclusion of a Justice League film franchise would add a major player to Warner Bros. superhero film slate, which already has a Batman sequel set for a 2008 release, and a Superman sequel for 2009, with Wonder Woman trying to get off the starting blocks.

And of course, the Justice League may not be the only team in town – Marvel has previously announced their intent to produce a film based on it’s premiere super-team, The Avengers. Although, Marvel has said it would like to see an Avengers film occur after Iron Man, Thor and Captain America have their own individual film franchises launched.

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