Geekwatch: Justice League, Spider-Man and Iron Man 3
Welcome back to Geekwatch, your weekly guide to the nerdier end of the entertainment spectrum. This week we tackle the big questions: is a JLA film a good idea? Will it be curtains for Gwen Stacey and we take a sneak peek at the sneak peek of the sneak peek for Iron Man 3:
A superhero face off of epic proportions is in the offing after Warner Bros. confirmed that it planned to unleash their long-anticipated Justice League movie in 2015, the same year that Marvel has slated for the release of The Avengers 2.
The announcement comes off the back of the studio’s legal victory over the heirs of Superman co-creator Joe Shuster, the resolution to a long-running courtroom battle over the rights to the Man of Steel which had delayed any work on future films. But now that they’ve been given the green light it looks like Warner Bros. are fast tracking the development of a major movie based on DC’s premier superhero team. A script from Gangster Squad scribe Will Beall is all but in place already and the studio are now looking attach a director with shooting set to get underway early next year.
Given the astronomical success of The Avengers – the film has made more than a billion dollars worldwide - it’s no surprise to see Warner Bros. follow suit by attempting to unite DC’s stable of superheroes in an all conquering on screen adventure. But is it a good idea? I’m not so sure...
For starters it’s hard to shake the feeling that they’re going about it the wrong way. Lest we forget the assembly of Marvel’s Avengers didn’t happen by accident, it was a carefully stage-managed process in which each character was given their own origin story in their own standalone movie before teaming up to take on the box office en masse. The same luxury can’t be afforded to the JLA especially given the tight timeframe the studio have placed on the production. As a result it looks like audiences are going to be thrust head first into the franchise with spin off movies to follow 2015’s tentpole release.
Marvel also benefitted from something of a clean slate when it came to their own ensemble adventure. Characters like Iron Man, Captain America and Thor were relatively unknown to mainstream audiences and so offered the studio a blank canvas on which to work. Compare that to Warner Bros./DC who are soon set to release their third take on Superman (one of the Justice League’s big hitters) and who’ve just said goodbye to another member of the roster after a critically acclaimed Batman trio from Christopher Nolan.
Finally, the gritty tone Warner Bros. seem to have adopted for their superhero output also seems at odds with a JLA movie. After all can you imagine Christian Bale’s Batman or Henry Cavill’s muted Man of Steel rubbing shoulders with a shape-shifting Martian and an Amazonian princess with an invisible plane and a magic lasso? No, me neither.
All of which leaves us at a bit of an impasse, so either Beall is going to have to do one hell of a job on the script or the studio has an ace up their sleeves to ensure that the summer of 2015 isn’t an unmitigated disaster. I suspect that ace might turn out to be DC’s oft-explored Multiverse. After all there’s no rule that says the JLA movie has to dovetail with Nolan’s Batman or Snyder’s Man of Steel. Instead, a standalone franchise, which exists in an entirely separate realm to their other silver screen wares could give the studio the best of both worlds. It’s a trick that comic book publishers have peddled for years and would give Warner Bros’ the opportunity to reboot the characters at their disposal without compromising the integrity of the projects that are already in production.
Will Gwen Stacey make it out of the Spidey sequel alive?
Last week, we brought you news that Shaleine Woodley was set to sign as Mary Jane Watson for the upcoming sequel to Sony’s Amazing Spider-Man. It was the start of a busy week for The Descendants star who also looks set to star as the heroine in Neil Burger’s Divergent the first adaptation of Veronica Roth’s wildly successful teen novels and a potential challenger to The Hunger Games’.
The casting also revealed some more details about MJ’s involvement in the upcoming Spidey sequel with The Hollywood Reporter stating:
“Woodley initially had scheduling issues as an obstacle to the dealmaking, having had offers to play both Mary Jane and the Divergent lead. But the Mary Jane role is proving to be only a very small part in Amazing Spider-Man 2 but blossoms into an integral lead for the planned third movie as the studio seeks to build to the classic ‘Death of Gwen Stacy’ story.”
As true believers will no doubt know, the storyline’s comic book equivalent sees the webslinger accidentally kill Gwen whilst trying to save her. If Webb’s franchise follows suit then it’s a bold and dark direction to take the character in; it also suggests that Sony think they can get at least a trilogy out of a reboot that got a mixed reception on its release earlier this year.
Marvel has released a teaser trailer for the upcoming trailer for Iron Man 3. The upcoming threequel, which sees Robert Downey Jr. test his mettle against Ben Kingsley’s Mandarin, is set to land in cinemas next spring. The 17 second primer offers us a quick ogle at Iron Man’s fancy new armour as well as a passing glimpse of Pepper Potts who looks every inch the damsel in distress. But aside from that it doesn’t tell us much, except for confirming the fact that we now live in a world where there are trailers for trailers.
Do you think a JLA movie is a good idea? And what are your thoughts on Gwen’s death and that Iron Man primer? Why not jump to the comments section below and let us know.
- Daniel Bettridge –