It was not a very good day for DC comics yesterday. Not only did their editor in chief and executive editor engage in a humiliating display of Kool-Aid fueled happy talk with enough papering over to remodel Versailles, but a whole new round of enthusiasm-sapping rumors about the Justice League movie made the rounds. The word this time: Will Beall’s script sucks and has to be scrapped before a decent director can be hired. Juicy rumors abound:
Some sources seem to think the whole movie is going to fall apart and never happen, while some believe that Warner Bros will keep moving forward, unwilling to lose the superhero arms race. Beall's script supposedly includes Darkseid and a heavy cosmic threat. But the script has been half-baked from the beginning, with reports saying that heroes (beyond the core five of Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash and Green Lantern) have been cut and added from the proceedings seemingly at studio executive will.
JUSTICE LEAGUE’s fate is now tied to MAN OF STEEL, from the erratic Zack Snyder, and no one at the studio seems too gung ho about that—some are now wondering if the Justice League movie will even be made.
And just to add insult to injury, earlier in the week Mark Millar was engaging in championship level concern trolling about the Justice League movie.
In case you don’t know, “concern trolling” is when your worst enemy undercuts you by sympathetically pointing out your flaws and fretting about them. In this case Millar has had a mad on against DC for many years—to be fair, the feeling is entirely mutual—and his new gig as the movie consultant for Fox’s mini-Marvel stable of the X-men, Wolverine, Fantastic Four, and Deadpool gives him a great platform to zing DC’s movie efforts. While professing to love the DC characters, he still worries “I actually think the big problem for them is the characters are just too out of date,” he told SciFi Now. “The characters were created 75 years ago, even the newest major character was created 68 years ago, so they’re in a really weird time.
“Now the stuff I grew up with… I adored the DC stuff growing up but really, how do you do a movie about Green Lantern,” Millar continued. “His power is that he manifests green plasma from his imagination and uses them as weapons against someone? Even that in itself if you just imagine then watching a fight scene with a guy who’s like a hundred feet away making plasma manifestations fight someone – it’s not exactly raucous, getting up close and personal.”
Burn! After conjuring painful memories of that awful Green Lantern movie that still makes Barry Meyer wake up in a cold sweat, Millar concludes with words that are probably echoing in every WB execs head as we speak: “The actual logistics of each member of the Justice League is disastrous, and you put them all together and I think you get an excellent way of losing $200 million.”
Oh Mark Millar. Couldn’t you say the same thing about Mr Fantastic and the Invisible Woman? It’s true the WB blew it badly when they had Joss Whedon on board and drove him away. But are you really telling me that a WELL-DONE movie with the same belief in its characters as THE AVENGERS starring BATMAN, SUPERMAN and WONDER WOMAN couldn’t be a huge hit?
I mean…come on now. Audiences like decently made superhero movies. As Amazing Spider-Man showed, they even like a decently made superhero movie that they saw a few years before and already own on DVD!
Isn’t the problem that WB doesn’t know how to make a decent superhero movie? (And didn’t Millar once beg the studio to let him write a Superman movie?)
Warner Bros is falling way behind in the superhero arms race. It isn’t even a shit or get off the pot choice… they need to find the pot. Or let Christopher Nolan or Thomas Tull or somebody find it.
Stay the course, Warner Bros! Make that movie! If you can just pretend to be excited about it….maybe someone else can get excited too.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.