It’s a box office battle of epic proportions. After the success of Marvel’s The Avengers (which made over 1 billion dollars worldwide), Warner Bros. has been chomping at the bit to release their own super hero stuffed movie filled with the popular characters from DC comics. But before yesterday, that kind of movie would have been pretty much impossible. The reason? Warner Bros. contract with the co-creator of Superman, Joe Shuster, has been causing all kinds of problems. The Shuster estate signed a contract in 1992 giving the rights of the Superman character over to Warner Bros. But then a judge called that contract into question and threw it out in court. As of yesterday, that agreement is back on – which allows for Man of Steel and any future movies featuring Superman to be released without conflict.
Now that a resolution has been found for that fight, another one is set to begin. The WB is fast tracking the production of the Justice League movie in order to have it ready for 2015, the same year that The Avengers 2 is set to be released. While I’m sure that they will be some months apart to prevent comic book movie overload, it still pits DC against Marvel in the battle for a paying audience. And it’s not just for a summer that the superheros will be pitted against each other. The Justice League has a plan to follow a model similar to the one that worked so well for The Avengers. But their idea is to do it the opposite way, starting with the big ensemble movie and moving into solo projects.
While there is nothing concrete just yet for the Justice League, as can be expected there are all sorts of rumors floating around. The biggest is that Armie Hammer is in talks to become Batman/Bruce Wayne in the re-boot, since Christian Bale and Christopher Nolan have finished with their trilogy. Besides the Bat, the Justice League is comprised of Green Lantern (who might also get a re-boot after Ryan Reynold’s poorly received performance), Wonder Woman, Aquaman, the Flash, and other assorted superheroes. It is up in the air whether or not Henry Cavill, who is playing Superman/Clark Kent in Man of Steel, will also be included in the League or if he will be replaced by another actor. I suppose the answer to that question depends on the tone of the Justice League movie. Will it be as fun as The Avengers or will it share Man of Steel‘s more serious tone? The script is being written by Will Beall, who is known for his work on Gangster Squad and the television show Castle. While Gangster Squad looks more on the grave side (the film chronicles the LAPD’s fight against the Mob), Castle is known for it’s humor (and it features a former star from the Joss Whedon run show of Firefly – Nathan Fillion). So at this point it could go either way. Considering DC seems to want to distance itself from Marvel, all while stealing their idea for a franchise in the first place, they might not want to have the same humor and action combination.
But before we are treated to the Justice League, we have a bunch of fun solo Avengers movies to keep us entertained. Marvel Phase 2 is starting up which means movies from Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, and Ant-Man. The Ant-Man movie is going to be released November 16, 2015 which means that it will be after The Avengers 2 premieres (set for May 1, 2015). But production on Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier are already under way. In fact, on the heels of the DC announcement we Marvel fans were given the gift of official summaries. First up is Iron Man 3, which is set to premiere a trailer soon and will be coming to theaters May 3, 2013:
Marvel Studios’ “Iron Man 3” pits brash-but-brilliant industrialist Tony Stark/Iron Man against an enemy whose reach knows no bounds. When Stark finds his personal world destroyed at his enemy’s hands, he embarks on a harrowing quest to find those responsible. This journey, at every turn, will test his mettle. With his back against the wall, Stark is left to survive by his own devices, relying on his ingenuity and instincts to protect those closest to him. As he fights his way back, Stark discovers the answer to the question that has secretly haunted him: does the man make the suit or does the suit make the man?
Hopefully we’ll get a little more information along with the preview, because that synopsis is a little vague. It does seem to point to the rumor of the Extremis plot, where Tony Stark might be injected with a nanotechnology serum which allows his to become one with his suit (essentially a cyborg – a human with robotic parts). Apparently they are some of the better stories in the comics, and taking Tony Stark back to basics (like in the first Iron Man) would be a good thing.
The next movie is Thor: The Dark World, with a start date of November 8th, 2013. Here’s the scoop:
Marvel’s “Thor: The Dark World” continues the big-screen adventures of Thor, the Mighty Avenger, as he battles to save Earth and all the Nine Realms from a shadowy enemy that predates the universe itself. In the aftermath of Marvel’s “Thor” and “Marvel’s The Avengers,” Thor fights to restore order across the cosmos…but an ancient race led by the vengeful Malekith returns to plunge the universe back into darkness. Faced with an enemy that even Odin and Asgard cannot withstand, Thor must embark on his most perilous and personal journey yet, one that will reunite him with Jane Foster and force him to sacrifice everything to save us all.
There’s not really anything new in this one, we already heard about the dark elves (or “the shadowy enemy that predates the universe itself” as they’re called above) played by Christopher Eccleston (Malekith the Accursed) and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Algrim the Strong). It does seem to confirm the rumor that all the Nine Realms will be featured within the film, which should be pretty cool to see. But in all honesty I’m excited to see everything that Marvel is doing, because everything they have done so far has exceeded my wildest nerdy dreams. Let’s hope they can continue that tradition even with the competition from DC.
What do you think about the Justice League movie and the way DC is handling their superheroes? How do you feel about the official synopses for Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World? Comment below and be sure to check back here at Reel Movie Nation for all the latest news!
COMIC BOOK MOVIE CALENDAR
- Iron Man 3 – May 3, 2013
- Thor: The Dark World – November 8, 2013
- Captain America: The Winter Soldier – April 4, 2014
- Guardians of the Galaxy – August 1, 2014
- The Avengers 2 – May 1, 2015
- Ant-Man – November 6, 2015
- Justice League – 2015