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Bluebeast said on August 2nd, 2012 at 11:01 am

You absolutely read my mind on how to do this (especially with Zatanna in the seventh slot). But I’d rather have someone like Brainiac or Despero controlling the Starro spores.

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As much as I love Starro, or Darkseid or whoever, I feel maybe the big threat in a JL movie shouldn’t be a space baddie, just to set it apart a little more from The Avengers. That said, Starro’s method of invasion is different enough that it might work anyway, and conveniently allows for all the “Who would win?” hero vs hero battles you can ask for.

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You could always use one of the other movies to introduce a second female Leaguer (a la Black Widow in Iron Man 2.) Maybe throw Zatanna or Black Canary into the Flash sequel where she and Wally can bond over being legacy heroes.

A Zatanna movie would be badass though (though I would say she should already know Batman to be a real thing in the JL movie.)

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Yep, Starro would be a great choice, and I know next to nothing about him. Can’t go wrong with the epic visuals a rampaging space starfish would undoubtedly conjure.

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The Unstoppable Gravy Express said on August 2nd, 2012 at 11:40 am

What, no Supergirl reboot? :-)

Or perhaps Power Girl?

Or go REALLY crazy and have the Green Lantern reboot now feature… JANE Stewart (Gabrielle Union)!

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Kid Kyoto said on August 2nd, 2012 at 12:09 pm

If Batman and Superman were not available due to licenses or whatever, could Batgirl/Supergirl or Huntress/Power Girl take their place?

Doing the JLA as all 2nd generation heroes (Wally, Jon Stewart, etc) would be cool and different.

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Starro is just not a believable threat, unless you go for a whole “Body Snatchers” horror vibe. Luthor is specific to Superman, having him as a JL villain would only work if you go with a Legion of Doom anti-League (Luthor, Grodd, Sinestro, Circe, Dent (Joker would be too-over-the-top)).

And I think you need to lead off with a Wonder Woman movie to convince the comicbook movie fanbase that a JL movie is doable.

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Tenken347 said on August 2nd, 2012 at 1:12 pm

Starro is a very good choice for a villain, I think. I think it’s very important that whoever you choose for your villain, it has to be somebody that can’t just be punched into submission, because ultimately that winds up being a Superman movie, not a Justice League movie. Darkseid’s great fighting Superman, but why does the Flash really need to be there? Starro works, as do villains like Despero or Krona. Somebody who’s more than just tough, somebody who has to be confronted from multiple angles.

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DistantFred said on August 2nd, 2012 at 1:43 pm

The biggest problem your plan has is that it does stuff like assume DC/Warner would do something like acknowledge Wally’s existence. There’s no room for a Wally in the New52, and there’s not going to be room for him in spin off media either. Especially since the Warner movie plan seems to largely pare things down to the bare minimum of the character to get the movie going. It’s why Robin has only been in two of the seven Batman movies made in the last 25 years, despite Batman having been created a year prior to him. It’s why Superman movies can’t get away from Luthor or Zod as antagonists. Stuff like second generation heroes is seen as too complex for movie audiences.

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If J’onn J’onnz is your connective tissue, why not go the full Morrison?

White Martian invasion as your villains. A whole army of guys with all of Supermans powers plus shapeshifting and intangibility.

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You may well be right about Zatanna being the best option for a second female Leaguer; I started trying to come up with other choices, but didn’t have much luck. Black Canary doesn’t strike me as powerful enough, several other likely prospects (Huntress, Oracle) would be problematic due to their Bat-family connections, and then you start wading into the seriously obscure (Starfire, Katana, Vixen).

But if you’re going to bring in Zatanna, there should also be a story reason, and that says to me that the JL movie villain should not, in fact, be Starro. Rather, by bringing in Zatanna, you lay groundwork for the JL’s adversary to be the DCU version of Morgan Le Fay, with Mordred along as enforcer. (This also works well with the Batman-as-myth idea, because while the League can fight Morgan’s well enough hand-to-hand, Morgan’s superior strategic skills will prevail till Bats shows up to out-manipulate her.)

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SilverHammerMan said on August 2nd, 2012 at 2:23 pm

I don’t know about Starro as the villain, yeah he’s (it’s?) a classic, but I thought his gimmick was that he mindcontrolled heroes and made them fight, which is really something that I have zero interest in seeing. Maybe Vandal Savage? Then at the end for your by-now-obligatory sequel hook you reveal that he was made immortal by Darkseid or something.
Also, how would you want to portray the Flash’s powers on-screen? I’ve tried to come up with something myself but I just can’t think of a way to do them that doesn’t involve painful and gratuitous slo-mo.
What sort of tone would you go for for the movies? I feel like going the full Marvel light and fun route would seem unoriginal, so my thinking is something sort of along the lines of James Bond, before they cast Daniel Craig, got ashamed of what they were and started ripping off the Bourne series or course. Like maybe DC’s movies would be a tiny bit more serious and “mature” than Marvel’s.

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The “Batman Is A Myth” hook is really good… gives him a sort of superhuman appeal which is needed when in the company of actual superhumans.

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Kristopher A said on August 2nd, 2012 at 2:40 pm

With Starro, you could conceivably do something similar to Marvel, but also different: Instead of just setting up the next Marvel movie coming down the line (Iron Man really set up Iron Man 2, Iron Man 2 set up Thor, etc…), you can actually start setting up the JLA movie from the beginning. Show key players in the movie end up being under the influence of a Starro, drop hints about odd meteorites dropping from the sky via an overheard newsreport or some such thing.

Superman arrives in the middle of the JLA movie right after Green Lantern and Flash get taken over, and now he, WW, and Aquaman take those two down and cure them of the Starro. Or alternatively, build up that Superman is in the universe with little clippings in the other movies as well, have him appear and reveal that he was one of the first to be captured: He’s always investigating things from space (never know what might fall out of the sky, right?) and Starro intends to use him as their ace in the hole to subvert the planet quietly. I mean, who wouldn’t trust Superman?

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I’m assuming everybody here has seen Young Justice, which is at present both the best cartoon airing, and the best dc universe thing that I’ve ever seen, and it just finished a big starro plot, although it was vandal savage using a mix of starro, psychic powers, and magic to control leaguers to do something! Cribbing it might be a good idea

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My biggest problem with Zantanna is that whenever you have a magic character on a team it almost always seems like the rest of the characters are there until the wizard can magic away the problem.

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SilverHammerMan said on August 2nd, 2012 at 2:51 pm

I’m still trying to think of a good female Leaguer other than Wonder Woman. Other than Zatanna and Hawkgirl (Why exactly don’t you think she’d work?) I can’t think of anyone.
Cheetah or whatever her name is has always sucked and while Black Canary is cool, she’s a bit too close to being a normal human, so having her on the team with Batman detracts from his uniqueness. Can anyone think of some suitable Ladies of the League?

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SilverHammerMan – Fire and Ice might be a decent tandem. Not exactly A, B, or even C list, but could lead to some awesome effects.

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I think all the movie ideas here so far suffer from the same problem: for the foreseeable future, they’d look too deriviative of Marvel. “OK, so the one girl in the group is now the mythological figure?” “The guy bringing them all together is a good alien rather than SLJ with an eyepatch?” “The invading aliens are body snatchers [or Martians]?” “The ugly evil alien overlord is gray now, not purple?” Maybe you could do that 10 years after Marvel’s current movie continuity has ended – maybe – but not until then.

Instead, if I was trying to create a unique DC cinematic universe, I’d make it clear from the very start that they lived in a superhero universe. Downplay origins, and/or make it clear from the start that the existence of superpowers isn’t surprising in and of itself, and play up legacy characters. The Flash, obviously. Kyle Rayner or John Stewart can be the main character of the Green Lantern movie, with a small role for Hal Jordan. They’ve been making Cyborg an A-list character since New 52, and he works well in team and shared universe situations.

Then, for your JLA movie: Kingdom Come.

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Needs more Wonder Twins.

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“Instead, if I was trying to create a unique DC cinematic universe, I’d make it clear from the very start that they lived in a superhero universe.”

You’ve got something there. Hell, in Avengers/JLA there’s a distinction made between the more cynical Marvel U and the more reverent, celebratory (of heroes) DCU.

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SilverHammerMan said on August 2nd, 2012 at 4:29 pm

I’m with you right up until Kingdom Come: The Movie.
I think part/most of what makes Kingdom Come good is that we know these characters and we know that it’s deconstructing the comic book Dark Age. It’s a terrible starting point for a movie. I could see it working in a few years, after the characters have been established and it could work as a last hurrah when the superhero genre finally starts to fall out of favor, it is not an ideal starting point for a franchise that is is no doubt being lined up as the new annual cash infusion, replacing The Dark Knight and Harry Potter for WB.
I do agree with you about the need for a unique threat though, it’s got to be something other than a generic alien invasion I think because it’ll just be too close to the Avengers.

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Black Rabbit said on August 2nd, 2012 at 4:39 pm

Black Canary is just fine on a movie JL. (If Avengers can have Black Widow and Hawkeye, why not BC?) She’d be a great personality counter to both the more serious members (Bats, WW, GL if they go with John) as well as to the smart-mouths/horndogs (which would probably be Flash and GL, if they stick with Hal). Plus, she actually has a metahuman power, and would be a LOT easier to write for/cast than Wondy. To top it all off, she’s an OG League founder (and you could use her for some legacy-hero world-building by making her the second BC). If I was to pick an alternative, though, I’d absolutely go with Vixen – cool, cinematic, easy to understand powers, great design and casting possibilites, geek credibility, and of course, she’s a beautiful minority female.

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Black Rabbit said on August 2nd, 2012 at 4:41 pm

Edit: please replace “minority female” with “multi-cultural female” – she’s African, not African-American.

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Black Rabbit said on August 2nd, 2012 at 4:44 pm

I absolutely love the idea of a shapeshifting J’onn as the Agent Coulson of the DC movieverse, btw.

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I pretty much had the same idea when it comes to rebooting DC movies. I could see them doing at least two movies a year in a five year cycle, every five years doing a Justice League movie.

I would start with Flash to both test the waters and set the tone of the universe, and have Hal Jordan show up at the end to show that this is a shared universe, as well as, as you said, have J’onn be in each movie in some fashion. Flash would be the only “origin” movie, after that, each movie would take place essentially 10 years into the DC Universe. The JLA would have already been formed.

After Flash, it’d go…

Wonder Woman
Worlds Finest (A Batman/Superman team up needs to happen before a JLA movie)
Aquaman
Brave and the Bold (I plan to have the Flash/Green Lantern relationship to be a major factor in this universe)
Green Lantern (Would feature Hal and John and set the stage for Kyle)
The Flash 2 (Which would have Wally taking over the mantle at the end)
JLA (Wally would be the central character)

next cycle…

A new Superman movie (Which would also feature Supergirl and a non-Steel John Henry Irons)
Wonder Woman 2
The Flash 3
new Batman (which would also have Nightwing and Batgirl and introduce Damian)
Green Lantern 2 (with Kyle as the main Lantern)
Aquaman 2
Green Arrow (I would use both Ollie and Connor)
JLA 2 (Which would have Kyle joining in place of John, and the Injustice League as the villians)

third cycle

Brave and the Bold 2
New Batman and Robin Red Hood adaptation)
Wonder Woman 3
New Superman (introducing the Legion)
Green Lantern 3 (Blackest Night adaptation)
Aquaman 3
Titans
Green Arrow 2
JLA 3 (which would add Connor Hawke and John Henry Irons to the League and bring in Darkseid)

Also, they could do a series of short films focusing on characters like Zatanna, Plastic Man, Blue Beetle, Batgirl, Supergirl, The Question, Deadman, etc. Just to establish a bigger universe of heroes and villains.

Yeah, clearly I’ve thought way too much about this.

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Just in case my previous comment was unclear, I’m not thinking of the Flash, GL and Cyborg being the only pre-JLA movies. Those are just examples of how I’d do it. Legacies seem particularly well-suited to a shared universe. (I like MGK’s idea of not putting so much emphasis on Batman and Superman outside their own movies. No one needs to be told who they are.)

Another storyline that would be good for the JLA movie is the DCAU storyline where Thanagar invades. It’s still aliens and they’re still invading, but it seems to me like a much smarter, non-deriviative one. Or you could even go nuts and try to do the Crisis, although you’d have to streamline the story a ton.

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SilverHammerMan said on August 2nd, 2012 at 5:20 pm

Black Canary does have a great history and character, but I still don’t think she’d fit. She’s not an A-lister, so she’s immediately out of place on a team that’s actually supposed to be “all of the best ones on a team!!!!111!!!1!” and more importantly I stand by it detracting from Batman. It’s okay for the Avengers to have Black Widow and Hawkeye because they’ve also got Captain America and in general the team is a roughly even split in terms of power levels, with juggernauts like the Hulk and Thor, moving done to Iron Man and finally the more finesse based Cap, Hawkeye and Widow. With the JLA though, they’re whole deal is that they’re essentially gods, they’re all ludicrously powerful and they fight massive threats. The fact that Batman is able to stand shoulder to shoulder with them while still being a regular dude is important and only works if he’s the only regular one there. I do think Black Canary can work in the JLA and could work in a movie, but for the first one I really think Batman should be the only low level hero.
As for her Canary Cry, sure it’s a superpower, but Black Canary has never really been a power based character, she’s way more about punching the shit out of people, her superpower barely comes into play, and for that reason I don’t really think of her as someone with a major power.

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John 2.0 said on August 2nd, 2012 at 5:45 pm

Another vote for Vixen. Introduce her in the GL reboot with John and girlfriend/supermodel/superhero. She’s more-or-less a blank slate for the movies, but she’s got a really cool power-set, and the mystical nature of her abilities set her apart from the other heroes.

Vixen could serve the same purpose to the plot as Black Widow in the Avengers: She’s the one who can get into places the others can’t, due to her social standing and connections (of course, Bruce Wayne could get in there too, but no one knows he’s Batman). And the use of her enhanced smell/vision/hearing would make her a fordable detective.

I love MGK’s “Cult of Starro” riff in his ‘Why I should write LoSH,’ it would work just as well here.

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Anticorium said on August 2nd, 2012 at 6:13 pm

“and hopefully at this point we do not have to explain why Aquaman is actually totally badass”

Alas, you do have to explain it, because if you let the billions of people who don’t love Aquaman try to figure it out on their own it’ll look a lot like this.

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My idea for this was to actually have Aquaman go all Namor and be the villain (who was actually goaded into war with the surface world by Lex Luthor and Ares), but this is better.

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Pantsless Pete said on August 2nd, 2012 at 7:36 pm

Aquaman’s problem is you do need to explain why he’s badass. Every single iteration of the character for the past thirty odd years has had to spend time explaining why he’s badass and it got worse since the internet got a hold of him. At this point we should perhaps consider that he’s not actually a bad ass and embrace that he’s a bit of a joke, ala The Brave and the Bold.

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Ah, but B:tBatB showed that he can be a joke AND a bad-ass.

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Alexi Sargeant said on August 2nd, 2012 at 9:20 pm

Building to a Legion of Doom is an excellent idea, either in the first JLA movie (only works if the DC cinematic universe is very explicitly a superhero universe from the beginning, obviously) or the second (more likely, though kinda predictable). I feel like the Legion and its Vader-helmet swamp headquarters is the thing the public remembers most from the Superfriends cartoon (besides Aquaman being lame-ified) and I say why not embrace that? DC’s comics and animation have been homaging the Legion of Doom for years, though almost never by that name (and you wouldn’t have to say “Legion of Doom” in the film either, though do throw in a smug Lex responding to “how many of you are there?” with a sneering “we are Legion.”) It’s always fun to see DC’s villains work together (with the requisite intermittent backstabbing of course) partially because Whedon-esque snarky dialogue makes more sense among them than among the courteous and mythic League heavy hitters.

Anyway, I’m imaging scenes now of Lex showing up at various eye-catching locations (mountain sanctuary, Gorilla City, abandoned Gotham greenhouse, Mediterranean island, etc.) and, in a series of intercut conversations, recruiting Vandal Savage, Gorilla Grodd, Poison Ivy, Circe, and so on to be part of his Legion. Could be a really memorable pre-title sequence.

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MarvinAndroid said on August 2nd, 2012 at 9:28 pm

Why does there need to be a Justice League movie, aside from the fact that there was an Avengers movie? I feel like you could have a series of single-character movies, then a tie-in cartoon TV series. It’s been a few years since the last Justice League movie, and DC really needs to start working to grab a new generation of comic fans. Why not make some popular movies, then turn that popularity into a kid-hit TV series? They might make less money than a big JL movie, but they’re also less risky and with luck will build a Justice League fanbase for the future.

Of course, that would require that DC recognize the need to sell comics to children at some point.

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SilverHammerMan said on August 2nd, 2012 at 9:37 pm

Ah, but you’re assuming that smart business people realize that planning for the future can be just as important as a cashgrab. The past decade or so has shown us that DC certainly doesn’t grasp the idea of “bringing in a new audience” and I doubt WB really cares enough about the comics to bother with something other than a cashgrab.

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Someday, I will be in charge of Hollywood. On that glorious day, I will greenlight a romantic comedy, in the style of a Doris Day/Rock Hudson film, about the courtship of Ralph and Sue Dibny.

Also there would be a Blue Beetle movie. This is why no one wants to put me in charge of Hollywood.

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I agree with about 75%

Aquaman CAN be a bad ass, but in a movie it’s a serious uphill battle to make people believe. He SHOULD be there, but like as part of something else (probably a Wonder Woman movie – Princess of the Island of the Amazons and King of the Seven Seas could work). I like the idea of a Zatanna movie – lots of weird and wonderful.

Batman is mentioned in all the movies as a myth really works well. When J’onn brings them together (all but Supes and Bats) admits he looked but couldn’t find Bats – or even if he was real.

I don’t know that Starro is right, but it should definetly be a global thread with Superman reappearing after the battle is started, to lead and slow the attack, but not stop it. In fact, they start to lose badly enough to be captured.

THAT is when Batman should show up – with every last hero that’s ever been in the Justice League Unlimited THERE I SAID IT! Seriously, the final battle has to so balls to the wall with heroes that fanboys have to by the BlueRay and go frame by frame just to get them all!

But that’s me…

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JCHandsom said on August 3rd, 2012 at 12:22 am

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it once more; if you’re gonna make a Justice League movie you have to “Ant-Man”(tm) Aquaman until you’ve done the movie. That is, wait until after your movie about a superhero team up has made a billion dollars to start adding the weird, hard to believe aspects of comics (like a man who can grow and shrink, or in this case Aquaman not being lame).

I’m not saying NEVER make an Aquaman film, but don’t put up such a big hurdle to jump before you even get to the end goal.

I mean come on MGK, you’re gonna trust Aquaman to the people who failed with “Green Lantern” and “Superman Returns*”?

*Not so much a failure as a disappointment, but you get my point.

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JesseBaker said on August 3rd, 2012 at 3:07 am

You lost me with your bullshit screaming for Hal to lose his role as the movie Green Lantern to John Stewart. Ain’t going to fucking happen because NO ONE gives a fuck about Stewart.

If you need a person of color in the League, just fucking use Vixen or fucking use Black Lightiong or even Cyborg!

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Mark Temporis said on August 3rd, 2012 at 4:55 am

I kinda liked the gender-swap John Stewart to Jane Stewart. I guess you could do it to Jordan too; my mom’s name is Hal.

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My vision of a Justice League movie always involved using Starro and Despero, with Starro being more a force of nature that Despero harnesses for his own ends.

I have no problem with a Legion of Doom/Injustice Gang plot, as it’s doubtful that Marvel will ever do a Masters of Evil plot.

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Power Girl. Mmmm.

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“You lost me with your bullshit screaming for Hal to lose his role as the movie Green Lantern to John Stewart. Ain’t going to fucking happen because NO ONE gives a fuck about Stewart. ”

Eh, I’d be fine with Stewart. Then again, I personally don’t give a f*ck about Hal Jordan, so maybe I’m the wrong guy to listen to.

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Walter Kovacs said on August 3rd, 2012 at 11:28 am

Here’s some ideas for build up:

Superman – Make Brainiac the villain it at least one of the movies before the League film. Use the bottle cities to basically show how expansive the universe is, and you can even put in some references. (i.e. Odin’s treasure room containing the Guantlet and the Eye)

Green Lantern – A similar ability to show off the vastness of the universe. If they don’t go the reboot route, show the ‘fall of Sinestro’. You set it mostly in space as Hal and Sinestro are dealing with Korugar and the rebellion forces (before Hal realizes that Sinestro is a despot, etc). Having it set mostly in space not only makes it more interesting (and removes the crappier parts of the original movie, and makes the main villain compelling) but it also sets up Hal’s personality leading into the ensemble.

Wonder Woman – Thor is the perfect template. You do the whole Steve Trevor introducing her to Man’s World thing, and thus she’s the ‘not entirely aware of how the world works’ character on the team.

Batman – They could go with waiting to reintroduce Batman in that movie, or doing a new movie before hand. Eitehr way, in order for Batman to fit into a world with a Justice League, it will automatically make it very different from the Nolanverse. You pretty much NEED to include a fantastical enemy in the movie. Even if Croc or Clayface or Grundy is just there as a dragon for the real baddie, having them there automatically establishes that “this Batman exists in a world where people have super powers”.

The important part is building towards the ensemble of personalities and having a tonally consistent universe. In the Avengers, the big thing was Thor being Sci Fi instead of magic based Fantasy, thus making him consistent with the rest of the Avengers, who are all Sci Fi based (super serum, gamma rays, power armor, etc). So, in terms of consistency, if you have Aquaman and Wonder Woman … you can sort of minimize the magic stuff (throwaway lines about how “you can accept an alien that looks human, but not another race of human looking people existing on earth?”) and just don’t bring in Ares as a villain (they can worship the greek gods without having them show up in the movie). You may also want to leave out Circe as the Wonder Woman villain unless you go the ‘sufficiently advanced tech = magic’ route.

Personality wise:

You have Batman, smartest guy in the room, a few dry one liners, mostly serious. You have Superman, one fashioned, but he’s in tune with what is going on in the world by virtue of his day job. Wonder Woman has the Thor role of being sort of naive to the way of man’s world. Hal is worldly now that he’s spent quite a bit of time as a space cop, but is a bit out of the loop as far as the world is. He’s not so much unaware like Wonder Woman, but instead sort of out of practice since he’s been dealing with different species for a while. Flash might be your most grounded guy, but it depends on how they handle his movie. They could make it mostly grounded where he’s still new at his powers and it’s a CSI turned into super-cop. If they bring in the time travel stuff, he can be another sort of ‘weirdly out of touch’ guy. They can easily make the Justice League into a bunch of misfits. The rich orphan, the last son of krypton, the last son of mars, the lone amazon in man’s world, the king of ocean on land, the space cop on Earth, and the guy that runs through time … all are sort of weird and unmoored, and unique, etc.

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Kid Kyoto said on August 3rd, 2012 at 11:59 am

How about instead of Aquaman they use Mera? Replace a blond dude with a reputation as a joke with a hawt red-headed mer-woman with more cinematic powers. Give her a missing husband she is eventually reunited with and people will actually be cheering that Aquaman is back.

Or y’know, give up on Aqua as a long-lost cause and move on.

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Bluebeast said on August 3rd, 2012 at 12:26 pm

Actually despite my earlier post that Zatanna would be great I think Canary would be good to have also putting the roster at 8. Play her up as a legacy character in the vein of Silk Spectre in that she’s reluctant to follow in her mom’s footsteps. I also pictures this Batman as already breaking his partnership with Robin and being uninterested in team ups again but reluctantly taking in Canary as a new protege. Also I’d think it would be cool to give her Connor Hawke’s photographic reflexes powers to differentiate her powers from Bats a bit.

As far as villains go I’d say use Brainiac/Starro in the first Legion with Luthor, Black Adam, Joker, Giganta, Mirror Master, Shade, Grodd and Deathstroke in the second and Darkseid with the remnants of the League and Legion teaming up reluctantly in the third (maybe split that one into two parts so the Fourth World Gods can have appropriate screen time).

Also I feel like the Phantom Stranger would be a cooler link between the movies than J’onn.

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“Also I feel like the Phantom Stranger would be a cooler link between the movies than J’onn.”

Damn it…now I want a Phantom Stranger movie.

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Jesse, I know a lot of people for whom John Stewart is the real GL. Either kids who grew up with the DCAU or their parents who watched it with them.

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ThatNickGuy said on August 3rd, 2012 at 2:10 pm

I would actually take Superman and Batman’s roles one step further:

Have them appear pretty early in the movie. Put them front and centre of the promos so movie-goers will see “HOLY SHIT, SUPERMAN AND BATMAN IN THE SAME MOVIE?!”

And then, very early in the movie, you hit them hard with this:

They’re possessed by Starro. And in fact, unlike Avengers, you have Starro successfully possess a great deal of people very early in the movie. Destroy all hope right off the bat.

Now, The League (comprised of the ones who had solo movies or made appearances like J’onn) don’t just have to deal with Starro, but a possessed Superman and the possessed brain of Batman. This leads to a great moment, like J’onn or Wonder Woman vs. Superman and show how they can go toe-to-toe with the Man of Steel.

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I’m wondering why Hawkgirl wouldn’t work, unless it’s because even if you imagine with all your might a hot woman carrying a mace and then add CGI wings, the CGI wings make her look ridiculous? Is that why?

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DistantFred said on August 3rd, 2012 at 8:14 pm

Okay, Bluebeast has had a truly INSPIRED idea in swapping J’onn out for the Phantom Stranger, because damn if the Phantom Stranger isn’t perfect for the role of linking together seemingly unconnected stories.

Plus, that opens up the possibility for a Martian Manhunter movie, which is a whole lot more doable than I think is given credit for. It’s frankly, probably an easier project than Aquaman.

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philippos42 said on August 3rd, 2012 at 11:57 pm

JesseBaker, how many people really care about Hal Jordan? The ring is the power set, not “test pilot guy.” All the GL’s are different anyway:
Hal – test pilot, weird relationship with Carol
Guy – ex-social worker, brain damage victim
John – architect (was he a Marine in the TV version?)
Kyle – comic-book artist
Jennie-Lynn – orphan, photographer, hot chick, legacy

Oh, and Alan Scott was a railroad engineer originally, and his ring is different, too.

I still think GL is too silly to begin with, but it really doesn’t matter who has the ring. That’s the beauty of the concept.

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philippos42 said on August 4th, 2012 at 12:28 am

Hm. Maybe…

Between umpteen versions of Batman & Superman, the tv Wonder Woman, Super Friends, Super Powers, Batman: Brave and the Bold, Justice League/JLU, and Smallville, we don’t need to do origins, we know who these guys are.

Use that. Use the fact that these are familiar trademarks to jump right in the middle.

When you step back and look at it, rewriting an origin is pretty weird. “I want to prove I’m a good writer by copying some old story much of my audience already knows”?

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Brian T. said on August 4th, 2012 at 1:34 am

I dunno… I don’t think the general public (i.e., people who haven’t been reading comic books at least since the Nineties) would be too into the idea of a sentient race of humanoids with practically all of the commonly used superpowers living on Mars.

About the only time the Martian Manhunter made any sense to me was when somebody tried to retcon the matter transporter that brought him to earth into being a time machine. I’m okay with Mars having intelligent life at some point long before we started sending sample collecting robots there. But I’m not so into the classic Silver Age “I can’t go home! Even though Hawkman, Green Lantern or Wonder Woman could just give me a ride since they have adventures in outer space on a regular basis!” version of the character.

… maybe if the Martians were established as really being from some other planet, but then that would offend fans of the character…

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As a JLI fan I take offense to the idea that the JLA can’t be done without the big three. They did just fine with no Superman, minimal Batman, and just enough Wonder Woman to call it a cameo.

Plus, if you absolutely HAVE to put them in the League then they’re well known enough that they don’t need origin movies. At the most you do a World’s Finest/Trinity/Brave and the Bold/whatever team-up for the purposes of establishing connections to a larger DCU.

And please get a decent Green Lantern character and actor this time. ANYONE else would do.

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Brian T. said on August 4th, 2012 at 2:27 am

I’m digging the idea of using Black Canary, but I would prefer to keep it simple: she’s an amazing martial artist and spy/saboteur-type who occasionally uses her sonic scream power instead of carrying a gun.

I used to be a huge DC fan until a couple of reboots ago, but the problem with a lot of DC characters is that they’re only cool to people who started reading about them when they were young. Or people who read Silver Age comics “ironically.”

Starro is one of those characters that the general public would have a hard time taking seriously. Despero can be a legitimate threat, but his crappy Silver Age name works against him (see also: Sinestro).

The Phantom Stranger is awesome, but his name kind of sucks. It sounds to me like something from an old radio serial, but I could see it not making sense to people who don’t know as much about comics as we do. See also: Deathstroke the Terminator. Great character, unfortunate name that would seem really stupid to a lot of people. Also, the fedora might not work for modern audiences…

I agree that it would be really hard to make the general public like Aquaman–mostly because he was so dang useless in the old Super Friends cartoons and that’s the version most people still know best. Aquaman just doesn’t really work unless you’re either a big Peter David fan or you have fond memories of his old pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths adventures.

Somebody mentioned Hawkgirl… I loved Hawkman and Hawkwoman as a kid back in the Eighties, but I was really glad about the Hawkworld reboot because it came along right around when I started wondering about the effectiveness of their crime fighting methods. Other than somehow being able to hit somebody with a studded mace without seriously injuring them, Hawkman really wasn’t good for much most of the time.

It’s not so much the wings as having your only well-known superpower being flight when a bunch of other superheroes can fly faster than him and do a bunch of other stuff. Which may explain why Johns gave him a bunch of dumb new powers, but anyway…

A guy who flies at, say, 120 m.p.h. and uses pre-gunpowder weapons mostly because they look cool just isn’t as impressive as a guy with a power ring. Or a guy who can run faster than him. Or the guy who talks to fish.

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I guess I would do

Supes
Bats
Wonder Woman
Flash
Green Lantern.

Keep it really simple. Instead of bringing a bunch of characters, focus on the main 5, make them compelling in a way that DC movies have been unable to do, and differentiate this group from the Avengers – the Starro idea is good. You can do a surreal cosmic thing with the JLA without it being too weird. Whedon’s space invasion of NYC was a little out in left field for me, but for the JLA, that sort of thing works.

Then again, I don’t dig the JLA. I’m more of an Azrael/Nightwing fan.

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I like it. Zatanna’s always been a good addition to a superman-based team since his major weakness is, um, her major strength. So you’re kind of covering all your bases by teaming them up, and I think the only reason they don’t get teamed up more is the massive stylistic/thematic incongruities. But we can manifest those as social/organisational issues, just like with Captain America and Iron Man, thus also allowing a dramatic finally-we-can-work-together moment that stops them being unbeatable too early in the movie.

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…..also if somebody does not cast Emma Stone as Zatanna soon I may actually explode.

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SilverHammerMan said on August 4th, 2012 at 10:46 am

Brian, I think the beauty of the Martians-as-shapeshifters is that they don’t have to be humanoid aliens. Yeah, J’onn J’onzz looks like a green human for the most part, but that’s because it’s how he chooses to look for the people on Earth, the natural Martian form could be whatever, it could be a weird tentacle-beast or a sentient frog, it doesn’t particularly matter.
I’m totally with you on the transporter also being a time machine though. It gets rid of some of the goofiness and raised questions and allows for some survivor’s guilt that differs from Superman’s in that Supes never new his home, J’onn grew up there and had a life, only to have it lost forever. It could work as a good contrast.

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Ha! I wrote something similar in the comments somewhere. Even down to J’onn playing the Coulson role. Probably a John Seavey article.

Here’s how I’d change it. Start with (depending on how Man of Steel turns out) Superman. If Man of Steel works out, it’s the sequel. If it doesn’t, a soft reboot. Then Wonder Woman. She’s the real start of the JL series. Then JL. JL is say three years after WW, and it’s all about how superheroes are coming out of the woodwork. We’d have cameos of bunches of fan favorites. It’s establishing that there are super heroes everywhere without having to explain all these origins. Enter the founders: Green Lantern (John Stewart version), the Flash, Aquaman, and Vixen (inspired choice from the commenters). They are rounded up by J’onn, who doesn’t reveal his true identity until later on – or perhaps now, so as to not ruin Batman’s reveal. J’onn reveals that behind this explosion of superheroes is a sinister force, seeking to essentially make metahumans weapons of the state (a la Civil War). He wants to create a task force of good that will create a shining example that all heroes stand up to…while also uncovering the evil underfoot. Halfway through the movie, evil makes its move. And boy is the move big. Using a Stamford-esque incident, the world governments turn on their heroes. Suddenly loads of the heroes are revealed to be government agents, rounding up the actual heroes in one fell swoop. The JL are caught in a trap that they cannot escape – J’onn, captured and tortured, has revealed their weaknesses. It is at this point that he is revealed as a martian. Maybe. Possibly also one of the characters has a relationship with a government hero and that reveals their particular secret. Just when everything looks to go to shit, Batman comes and saves the day.

Who’s behind all this? Lex Luthor. And with the exception of the JL, who’ve gone into hiding, his plan has worked masterfully. Superman is off planet, chasing a bogus alien invasion. Diana is defending Themyscira from a global invasion force made up of the world’s most despotic nations (since her message is essentially dangerous to their continued rule). The JL (now including Batman), full of discord for both J’onn’s reveal (he hid his real identity, he had dossiers on all of them) make a Hail Mary play: free all the superheroes and call back Superman.

The JL get caught and it looks like it’s the end. The twist: they freed the superheroes. And then they sent them to Themyscira. Diana is on her way. But it might not be soon enough for our heroes, when Big Blue comes in and together they bust shit up. (This is one point that I’m still unsure about…Superman’s sudden arrival can deflate the efforts and roles of the JL).

Superman and Wonder Woman sequel. Maybe a Batman and another hero to build up for JL sequel, which will be very much like the animated universe’s JL Unlimited.

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Go straight to Batman versus Superman. (Someone is obviously setting them up.) Batman recruits the League. He’s the Great Detective. We see him track down the Flash, Aquaman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern in whatever order is most compelling. Have a good reason why Clark Kent is not immediately outed as Superman that ties into the plot.

The Wonder Woman problem: have her be out of her time as well. She’s a 1940s hero like Captain America. She’s naturally ageless. (The sexual tension will be between Wonder Woman and Aquaman. Namor him up just a bit. Flash and Green Dogwelder — if not John Stewart — just don’t get it.)

The first climactic fight will be JLA minus Superman versus Superman. Batman realizes Superman isn’t the droid he’s looking for, big character moments as they learn to “trust but verify”.

They work as a team, and find the *real* threat. Insert villain here. Maybe they rescue the Martian Manhunter.

The next movie is the Justice League movie. If Batman versus Superman had a science fiction gimmick, the second movie should have a supernatural theme. The Big Two have their origins in death, after all. Then they could work in Black Lanterns, the Phantom Stranger, Zatanna, John Constantine, Swamp Thing, whatever the hell they want.

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DistantFred said on August 4th, 2012 at 1:29 pm

Brian T. – Yeah, at this point it basically has to be assumed that the teleporter has to also be a time machine… but that, if anything, makes it easier to make the badguy in his movie another Martian. Like Malefic or Blanx.

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More thoughts …

Try to cast Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Batman if you can. Don’t bother explaining his origin. That works on two levels; either you assume this follows Nolan’s Batman trilogy and this is Batman II or you just figure that Batman’s origin has been explained enough times that everyone knows it and there’s no point in wasting another movie on it.

I sort of like the idea of someone gathering the team but I’d rather it wasn’t Martian Manhunter or Phantom Stranger. Use Maxwell Lord, Amanda Waller (the Wall, not the twig), King Faraday, or even Snapper Carr (if you want to go really old-school). Then reveal the character as an agent of Starro who just wanted all of Earth’s greatest defenders in one place. From there its Starro-controlled heroes vs free heroes (who sort of have to be the underdogs power-wise). If you don’t think Starro can carry the movie (and it totally can) then have it working with Brainiac or someone.

But don’t use Darksied; that will just invite comparisons with the end of the Avengers movie.

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Scavenger said on August 7th, 2012 at 2:03 pm

I think you can get Aquaman to bad ass real easily if you go the way Priest intro’d Panther…focus on the KING aspect, not the hero. (which is pretty much, iirc, what the JL cartoon did).

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Halloween Jack said on August 8th, 2012 at 3:46 pm

A few things about this.

1) Do not, I repeat, do not feel bound by the comics, not just the specific plotlines but the characters in general. The movies aren’t a “spin-off” of the comics; they are orders of magnitude more lucrative, and popular, and the tail needs to stop wagging the dog. Major clue: the Batman movies weren’t successful in spite of kicking comics continuity to the curb, but because of it.

2) Pursuant to #1, Green Lantern is a black woman. Four GLs from Earth, and they’re all dudes? Who dealt that mess of a sausage fest? If you’re going to reboot, reboot big or go home. Ryan Reynolds will get other parts, I’m sure.

3) No Starro, except as a punchline. Compare the big bads from the first two Star Trek films, or consider Dust Bunny Galactus from the second FF movie. Even if Thanos does show up in Avengers 2, bring in Darkseid and show everyone who’s the original and who’s the wannabe.

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Love the ideas, MGK, but there is one thing missing: A Nightwing flick, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt! I know I’m like the umpteenth person to mention this idea, but still. JGL! Nightwing! Just sayin’. Think it could be awesome.

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