No New DC Comics Movies For "At Least 3 Years" Besides Batman and Superman Films

Illustration for article titled No New DC Comics Movies For At Least 3 Years Besides Batman and Superman Films

Marvel Entertainment is coming off a string of successful films, culminating in The Avengers — but meanwhile, its counterpart DC Entertainment can't get a non-Batman, non-Superman film off the ground. A new article in the L.A. Times reports that it will be "at least three years" before another DC movie hits our screens, besides this month's The Dark Knight Rises and next year's Man of Steel.


None of the other DC projects in the works has "a producer, director or cast," says the Times. Meanwhile, Marvel is set to put out a couple movies a year in 2013 and 2014. Warner Bros. reorganized DC Comics into DC Entertainment a few years ago, and many people predicted a fast track for movie projects — especially after DC Entertainment moved to L.A. But DC Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns has played no role in the Nolan Batman films or Man of Steel, according to the Times. That makes Green Lantern the one big-screen product of this venture.


Christopher Nolan made it clear last weekend that he's not going to be involved in a Justice League movie — which didn't seem especially newsworthy, since Nolan's involvement in a JLA film always seemed highly unlikely. But according to the Times' sources, this came as a crushing blow to Warner Bros., which had been hoping to rope Nolan in to the Justice League picture, hopefully hitting screens in 2015. The DC strategy will be the opposite of Marvel's — launch a Justice League film, and then spin off all the League members into their own solo films.

(What this will mean for Henry Cavill's Superman is unclear — would he be in a Justice League film and then more solo films, or would the League launch a new Superman as well as new versions of all the other heroes?)

But now that Nolan's officially said no to the League, DC has to find a new creative partner to launch its counterpart to the Avengers. Talking to the Times, Warner Bros.' Jeff Robinov sounds a hopeful note, saying he hopes they'll be able to announce "the plan for the next DC movies" in the next month or so.

[L.A. Times]


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Green Lantern aside, I suspect the failure to develop a Superman/Batman movie was the thing that really threw a spanner into the works as far as a "DC movie universe" went. Batman Begins and Superman Returns were clearly intended as parallel projects, with the plan being an inevitable "versus" crossover movie a few years down the line. (In fact, this is probably something WB had started to consider in the '90s, when Burton's Superman Lives was in development — hence all the references to Metropolis and Superman in the Schumacher Batman movies.) But Superman was a disappointment, and Dark Knight exploded into something larger than even the studio had anticipated — something bigger, at any rate, than a DC Comics movie. Without a solid Supes/Bats foundation to build on, Warners was reduced to looking at other properties, like Green Lantern, as the Iron Man-like starting point for a new comics-based multi-platform franchise. That failed too, so effectively the studio is back to round one, presumably relying on Man of Steel as a reboot/relaunch of all of its comic book properties. If that flops, they can always do an all-new JLA with new versions of the established characters played by different actors... though Bale's version of the character is so iconic I don't know how the audience will react to another actor in the part.

I'm still pretty dubious about the prospect of a JLA movie. In the comics and the movies, the Marvel characters are recognizably human-scaled, and tend to get more interesting when you put two or more of them together in a situation. The DC characters, on the other hand, are so iconic, so godlike, that I don't know how they'd work together without losing some of that aura. Of course, we're all veteran comics readers and we're used to seeing Superman and Batman working together with their other super-colleagues. But part of the mystique of the Donner Superman or the Nolan Batman flicks is that they are alone in their respective worlds. The "universe" aspect of the DC characters is something that's largely untested.