EDITORIAL: Making A Successful Justice League Adaptation

Now that it looks as if Man Of Steel is a financial success, DC and Warner Bro’s are looking towards creating a live action Justice League movie in the near future. Hear Mr Sunday’s thoughts on adapting the film after the jump!

Editorial Opinion

You can watch video embedded below or check out the article transcribed from it below that. Please bear in mind this was created before Man Of Steel hit cinemas and that the video is infinitely better. And by infinitely I mean marginally. Enjoy.

Regardless of when it’s going to happen it’s inevitable that at some point in the near future we’ll be seeing a Justice League film adaptation. The continuing popularity and financial success of comic book to film adaptations assures this and like any pop culture corner stone franchise, fans will flock to see it regardless of the final product.

The Justice League is a hot property, it brings together the most iconic DC characters to battle against all manner of earth and universe based threats, combining the unique skills of each member. From Batman’s intellect, to Superman’s god like powers, from The Flash’s ability to run up behind someone and slap them on the back of the head to the Green Lanterns ability to…make an assortment of hammers to hit people with. People want to see this done, but not only that they want to see it done RIGHT. At this point it’s unlikely that we’ll get origin movies for all members like it was for most of The Avengers, so if that’s the case, what would be some of the ways that could make Justice League a successful movie?

Start With An Established Team
We don’t necessarily need to see a movie that takes the first seventy minutes to painstakingly introduce every character to each other. I don’t need to see Batman meet Aquaman for the first time, they can sort out a best friend secret handshake off screen. The first episode of Star Trek wasn’t Kirk gathering up his crew in a pick-up truck, before making their way to the Enterprise. Probably. And Star Wars just starts in the middle of a space battle. It’s just BAM, here’s your villain, here’s you princess, these are some robots. People can make the leap in their minds that things exist before they’ve seen them. When I see a tree that I’ve never seen before I don’t go WOW! Is that a fully formed tree that just appeared right now? I don’t understand? What’s it’s origin story? I can make the leap automatically in my head that before just now, that tree was a smaller tree, and before that it was some kind of nut or tree egg. Full disclosure, I don’t know much about trees.

Allow The Character’s Actions To Demonstrate Who They Are
You can establish Superman as being the leader by having him guide discussion and call the shots in combat, you can establish wonder woman as a fierce Amazonian warrior by demonstrating her lust for battle, you can establish Green Lantern as the smart arse by having him make fun of Batman for just being an insane person in a bat costume. No one needs to specifically point out “SUPERMAN IS THE LEADER” and “CYBORG IS THE TECHNOLOGY GUY”. Unnecessary. At a pinch, if they wanted to establish each character in a more subtle but obvious way, and I’m not a massive fan of this but it can work, is by having a new member of the team introduced at the beginning and have them be our window in, so that they can ask the obvious questions like hey what’s the deal with J’onn, is he sick? Does he know that his cape collar is seriously restricting his peripheral vision? And why is his name John he looks more like a Glaaarb? That’s essential Ellen Page’s character in Inception, or Will Smith in the first Men in Black. Or Tommy Lee Jones in Men In Black 2. Or Will Smith in Hancock. Or Will Smith in Bad Boys 2. Or Will Smith in Ali. Oh dear, I appear to have fallen into that common trap of just naming Will Smith films. Legend of Bagger Vance.

Choose Your Villain Wisely
There’s a highly likely chance that we’ll be seeing Darkseid as the first Justice League villain. But maybe it would be wise to go up against a different kind of villain or villains. Don’t get me wrong Darkseid’s great, he’s a real son of a bitch with many fine capabilities such as matching Superman’s strength as well having an intellect beyond that of Batman. Unfortunately however, we’ll see a similar villain in Thanos in The Avengers 2, which of course will draw comparison. Unfair comparison I might add, Thanos is actually inspired by Darkseid but that’s neither here nor there. So why not do something different, have them go up against something we haven’t seen before, for example possibly The White Martians disguised as a super team as seen in Grant Morrison’s JLA arch, or the Crime Syndicate of America, most recently featured in the animated film Crisis On Two Earth’s. The Legion of Doom might also be a good fit, but there are probably a few too many characters to introduce the first time round. Plus they’d have to include a twenty minute discussion about who let the gorilla on the team.

Pick The Appropriate Tone
Tone is everything. That’s not true. Tone is some things…I guess. Let’s just say tone is important. DC needs to be very careful when selecting a tone as it will obviously carry on into different films, spin offs, tie in comics and novelisation’s such as Batman Forever that exist only to be mocked. Green Lantern made this mistake with its inconsistent tone that I doubt will carry over into quite frankly anything. The Amazing Spider-man is another major comic book movie that falls victim to this. It wanted to be dark and gritty and grounded like The Dark Knight with its sombre tone and mechanical web shooters, but the inclusion of the seven foot tall CGI lizard monster flies in the face of that. Man of Steel however will be no doubt pave the way and it’s looking as if we’re going to be seeing a more realistic take, relatively speaking of course, on this comic book universe compared to that of Marvel.

Know Your Batman
The Batman seen in the Justice League is a very different kettle of bats to what’s been seen previously on film. The Batman of the Justice League is on an entirely different level, he’s gone toe to toe with Superman on multiple occasions, took down an entire team of super powered Martians saving the Justice League and destroyed Darkseid’s physical form. Sure he was sling shotted through time in the process, but hey, swings and roundabouts. The Justice League Batman makes the combined intellect of the Keaton though to Bale Batmen look like a bag of hammers. This is a man whose skills make him good enough to join a team among gods. He’s the most dangerous man on the planet and his character should reflect that. So basically, don’t sit him in front of a computer on a space station with a headset whilst everyone else does the heavy lifting.

Just Don’t Make It
Maybe the best thing DC could do right now is just not make this film. Realistically most people are turning up to see two things, possibly three depending on who you’re talking to. Your Batman and your Superman. So why not just scrap the whole idea and go with a Batman/Superman film as teased in the popular Will Smith film I Am Legend. It’s not like DC couldn’t come back to the Justice League in a few years anyways but this way they’d probably make at least the same amount of money, if not more by putting Batman and Superman in the title. If they wanted to the follow up films could see them introduce new characters a step at a time, starting with Wonder Woman and The Flash and whoever then going on from there. Nobody has really employed this strategy yet and but it could absolutely work. And if they started with Batman and Superman DC wouldn’t be drawing the comparison that they’re aping the successful strategy Marvel have employed. Plus there isn’t a person on the planet who wouldn’t want to see these Batman and Superman come together in a solid live action film. We could finally even see some form of Batman/Superman fisticuffs, something fans have been clamouring to see for years.

I could go on about what I feel would make a successful adaptation, especially now that we’re post Man Of Steel, but I want to hear your opinions about what would make a good Justice League movie. So I ask you, person reading this, what would make a stand-out Justice League film? What villains would you use, which characters would you introduce first and what general direction do you think DC should take? Leave a comment below letting us know your thoughts. And remember, be nice to each other. Thanks everyone, take care.

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