Monday, March 4, 2013

Christian Bale to join the Justice League?

So far I've been pretty quiet about any news regarding DC's Justice League movie that is in production over at Warner Bros., primarily because there's been nothing worth talking about.  Other than WB setting a tentative Summer 2015 release date, there's nothing known about the film, and for that matter, it seems WB doesn't know what they want to do with it either.

It was reported last year that Gangster Squad screenwriter, Will Beall, was hired to write a draft of Justice League for WB, but since, WB has discarded the script and are now actively searching a new avenue.  It was believed that Beall's script was to not have any real connection to the other DC Comics based films, like The Dark Knight trilogy and the upcoming Man of Steel, but starting around Christmas, that started to sound like the route WB was wanting to go with word that they were so happy with Man of Steel that they wanted to take the realistic tone and style of that film and use it for a Justice League movie with Man of Steel's Superman, Henry Cavill, reprising his role.

Immediately around that time, rumors began swirling that WB was wanting to bring back Joseph Gordon-Levitt's character, John Blake from The Dark Knight Rises, and have him carry on the mantle of the Batman, fighting alongside the Justice League, alongside a retooled, more serious version of Ryan Reynold's Green Lantern, however that rumor was quickly squashed with WB stating that they were waiting to see how Man of Steel performed with critics and audiences before they made a decision.

This brings us to now, with the latest bit of information scooped by Latino Review pretty much squashing Warner Bros. own comments about waiting, and that they are in fact wanting to use both The Dark Knight trilogy and Man of Steel as the structural foundation for either Justice League, or a film version of World's Finest (Batman/Superman team-up).  Not only that, but Latino Review is reporting that The Dark Knight trilogy director, Christopher Nolan, will produce, with Man of Steel director, Zack Snyder, directing, but here's the real kicker, not only would Henry Cavill reprise his Superman role, but so would Christian Bale as Batman.

Now, if you have not seen The Dark Knight Rises, I'm giving you a fair SPOILER ALERT before I go any further...

Okay, still with me?  The biggest surprises for me are the ideas that:  A.) Nolan would agree to his version of Batman playing alongside other costumed superheroes after he's been so outspoken about his Batman existing in a world where there are no other heroes, B.) Bale's Batman would return to the cape and cowl after faking Bruce Wanye's death and giving up the hero lifestyle at the end of The Dark Knight Rises so he could live happily ever after, and C.) The fact that last Summer, Christopher Nolan was saying that The Dark Knight Rises was it for his version of Batman, there would be no more.  For all of the reasons listed above, this leads me to doubting Latino Review's report, however one must always take into account their almost perfect track record at scooping big news stories before they break.  Need anyone be reminded that they were the first ones who found out Heath Ledger was playing the Joker, or that they were the first to announce Brandon Routh's casting as Superman in Superman Returns, or the first to announce that J.J. Abrams was directing Star Wars: Episode VII.  So what if they're right once more?

Honestly, Latino Review's track record is the reason that almost every movie news website has been reporting this story.  The odds are actually in their favor that this may be true, and if so, then this would be quite possibly the biggest superhero movie news in quite sometime.

Personally, if you ask me, this is the best thing that could happen in regards to a Justice League/World's Finest movie.  While I am not one hundred percent sold on Man of Steel, there is no denying the fact that the movie, having been written by The Dark Knight trilogy writer, David Goyer, and produced by Christopher Nolan, makes the film look very similar to the realistic style and tone of Nolan's Batman movies.  This is a striking similarity that more than lends credence to this idea.  However, many fans are questioning why Nolan would change his stance on not only continuing his Batman story, but also the idea that his Batman would now interact with super powered beings, something that Nolan shied away from.

My only thought is that after working on Man of Steel, Nolan's possibly rethought his idea that his Batman could not exist in a world with other heroes, and that he's come around to the idea that his Batman should continue on with this new Superman that he's helped shepherd to the screen.  I can't say for sure, but what I can say is that, if true, this will not only heighten my anticipation for both Man of Steel and Justice League, but might also right some of my complaints with the ending of The Dark Knight Rises.

I was not a fan of the ending of the The Dark Knight Rises.  I did not like the fact that Bruce Wayne would give up the cape and cowl.  If you've ever picked up a Batman comic book, you'd realize that being Batman is who Bruce Wayne is.  Batman is a compulsion for him, he will always feel guilty for his parent's deaths and he will always feel the need to rid the world of evil for that very reason.  The ending to that film just did not ring true to what I know of the real Bruce Wayne from the comics.  What continuing his story could do is show that Bruce Wayne may have left Gotham, but he hasn't left crime fighting entirely, especially if a big enough threat came along that forced him to come back out of retirement and join forces with the likes of Superman to ensure that the world is saved.

But what about Joseph Gordon-Levitt's John Blake?  Well, they could assume the idea of what happened in the comic books with Batman, Inc., where Bruce Wayne left another person as Batman in Gotham, and he spent his time traveling the globe and working on making Batman a global threat to where there were no more shadows where evil could hide.  But not only would this right some of my complaints with the last Batman movie, but this would also allow DC and WB to explore the fertile ground that is Batman and Superman's friendship for the very first time on the silver screen.

In the comics, Batman and Superman have been the best of friends for decades now.  It's arguable whether or not there is another character in the DC universe that knows Batman as well as Superman does, and vice versa.  This is a relationship that we've never been able to see explored on film before, and nothing would excite me more than seeing this rapport played out between two great actors.  This relationship would separate Justice League/World's Finest from Marvel's The Avengers and make it it's own thing.  For all of the creative reasons listed, I think that's reason enough to think why this might be true, but I would have to say the biggest reason I feel that Latino Review's report has legs is the sheer financial impact that this could have.

 Business wise, the idea of Christian Bale's Batman teaming up with Henry Cavill's Superman, especially if Man of Steel is a hit, is akin to Marvel gathering all of their hit properties together and doing The AvengersThe Dark Knight trilogy has been among one of the highest grossing movie franchises of the past decade, and if Cavill's Superman strikes it rich at the box office as well, then Justice League/World's Finest just became a guaranteed success.  I can bet you that WB has been thinking about this ever since last Summer when The Avengers was so huge, and it wouldn't surprise me if they haven't been courting Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale this whole time and the two just finally caved, possibly for some of the creative reasons I've mentioned above, or simply because the pay was too much to pass up.  This is Hollywood after all.

Bottom line is, though, this should all still strictly be considered rumor, seeing as how WB probably wont make any official announcement until they do see the success of Man of Steel, at least that's my opinion.  However, it would not surprise if WB didn't already have a vague deal with Nolan and Bale in place, to where they'd be ready to go if WB gives it the greenlight.  While Latino Review was only speculating when they said that they'd be willing to bet that writer David Goyer would write this Justice League/World's Finest movie, it is very likely as well, seeing his association to both franchises.  Maybe he cracked how to make his and Nolan's Batman work alongside superpowered Superman?  As I said, this is all still rumor, but it's a rumor that I wouldn't be surprised to see revealed to be true.  As for now, all we can do is hope.

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