DC Should Reboot Everything with Justice League Movie

Who am I to offer DC Entertainment advice on the dawn of San Diego's Comic-Con International 2012? They and their parent company Warner Bros. likely have it all figured out, despite the lackluster performance of the Green Lantern movie, despite the impending end of the successful Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy, despite the upcoming risky reboot of the Superman franchise. Still, I'm sure they want to take Hollywood by storm with their broad lineup of superheroes and steal some of the thunder from competitor Marvel Entertainment. Rather than follow the plan laid out by Marvel and build each character movie by movie (which seemed to be the direction they were going with Green Lantern and next year's Man of Steel) culminating in a blockbuster team-up film a la The Avengers, DC should just lay all its eggs in a Justice League basket.  Starting out with a new Justice League motion picture, unhindered by any continuity of previous franchises, is the way to go.

Marvel's cast of characters needed to establish themselves first. Iron Man, Thor, Captain America never had a previous live-action hit until their successful modern age big screen debuts. Black Widow and Hawkeye were never household names and needed to be introduced in other films first. Marvel's biggest Avengers success story was the new depiction of the Hulk, a character who had already gained pop culture fame with the Lou Ferrigno and Bill Bixby television series, so the mixed reviews of the first two Hulk movies didn't matter. No one needed to see the first two Hulk films to understand Bruce Banner's storyline or to embrace the brand new portrayal by actor Mark Ruffalo. It's a lesson DC should heed -- they don't need to re-familiarize their heroes to the general public, they just need to plop them in an adventure together and start the ball rolling.


We don't need to see another origin story of how Bruce Wayne became the Caped Crusader after The Dark Knight Rises ends its anticipated box-office dominance. We don't need to be spoon-fed yet again the tale of how baby Kal-El was saved from the destruction of his doomed planet Krypton by being rocketed to Earth where he grew up to become Superman, fighting for truth and justice (and yes, his perception of the American way.) We have seen Wonder Woman before, and even the Flash, and yes, people have even heard of Aquaman.  Let's just skip the preamble and jump right to the nitty gritty meat of the story.

That should be DC's biggest challenge right now -- developing a strong story that can highlight all of their big star characters, giving each of them a moment to shine.  Multiple franchises can be born from that singular project. Lesser known characters can be introduced in such a film, laying the groundwork for even further franchise expansion.

DC has had bad luck before -- most people were saved from seeing the atrocities known as the failed Justice League of America TV show or the recent rejected David E. Kelley Wonder Woman reboot. Can they capture the success that Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy achieved on the big screen or that Smallville accomplished for a decade on television? Or will they continue to be hit and miss? Maybe the best option is to swing for the fences and go for a Justice League movie right now rather than wait...and wait...and wait...for a string of new franchise hits that might never come.

Comments