Sunday, March 03, 2013

Latino Review: "Justice League" Still Planned, Nolan In Charge of DC Universe, Batman NOT Rebooting (UPDATED!)

UPDATE I: Just about the only other guy in the geek-o-sphere as well-informed (or better) than Latino Review's crew is Jeremy "Mr. Beaks" Smith of AICN; and he's chimed in on the story with what sounds like a soft-confirm of LR's reporting: Warner Bros. is willing to empty the bank if it'll get Henry Cavill's Superman and Christian Bale's Batman into a Nolanverse-canon "Justice League" directed by Zack Snyder and produced by the Nolans.

UPDATE II: Forbes.com chimes in, claiming that Latino Review's reporting lines up with a lot of their own. Interesting difference: They stop short of specifying "Justice League" as the project being talked-up, instead describing a team-up film "possibly/probably" featuring other characters. Call me jaded, but chickening-out on a full-blown DC Universe and just doing "Batman Meets Superman" ("this will be a test - see if people are 'ready' yet...") would be a VERY Warner Bros. move, at this juncture.

Continued after jump:

I maybe sounded a little too negative in the original post, but just to be clear: Bale/Nolan being back on makes me sigh for no other reason than, frankly... as much as I really did ADORE "Begins" and "Dark Knight;" I was effectively 'over' Nolan's Batman about an hour before "Rises" had wrapped up. That being said... I can't stress enough just how good the buzz coming out of "Man of Steel" is. If it's really that good, then who knows - maybe this "cocktail" of Nolan the Stern, Joyless Manager and Snyder the Perpetually-Adolescent Firebrand is some kind of special magic.

I just keep going back to ONE thing, though: Think of the most "out-there" DC Universe thing you might hope to see in a movie and ask yourself... "Is Christopher Nolan likely to say YES to this? OR to not water it down into 'realistic' slurry?"

Anyway, original post follows:

Latino Review are the guys for Hollywood scoops-that-aren't-really-just-press-leaks right now, and their batting average is pretty high especially with Warner Bros. movies. So when they say something is in the works, it generally is - whether it makes it to the finish line or not.

They're latest possible scoop doesn't concern stories or characters, but rather business dealings: While Warners is known to have scuttled the current "Justice League" pre-production (re: looking for actors and a director for a now-junked script by Will Beale); it's now an open secret that "industry people" - Warner executives, investors and some higher-level licensing-partners) have seen Zack Snyder's "Man of Steel" and are jumping up and down over it. I don't have LR's sources by any means, but I'm hearing much the same - at least in terms of "huge action, probably a massive hit."

According to LR, what Warners has chosen to take away from this apparent good news is confirmation of something they've believed all along: That Christopher Nolan is the magic-ingredient that makes the DCU "work" onscreen. More details/rumors/claims in the video...



Bullet Points:

This is partially a "panic-reaction" on Warner Bros. part to Whedon re-signing for "Avengers 2" and agreeing to shepherd the next phase(s) of Marvel's slate.

Christopher Nolan "godfathering" production of future DC Universe movies.

Snyder being courted to both produce and direct "Justice League" based on "MoS" performance.

Christian Bale being sought  Dumptruck full of money being sought to get Christian Bale back into Bat-Kevlar, thus making "League," "MoS" and future DCU movies canonical with Nolan's Batman trilogy.

"League" may or may not still be on schedule for head-to-head with "Avengers 2," other DCU movies may come in the meantime.

Egh.

For a lot of people, I'm sure this all sounds pretty great. Me? I've never hoped a Latino Review scoop was WRONG more than this. Nolan is a hell of a director/producer, but everyone has their limits and blindspots. I find it entirely plausible that Zack Snyder has made a great Superman movie, but I find it equally plausible that he's done so despite working under a producer who could not be more wrong for that or any other DCU project that isn't Nolan's own drastic reworking of Batman. (Yes, I've heard/gleaned a few tiny bits about "Mos" story/script versus it's visuals. No, I'm not judging or speaking on it now because it's way too miniscule and hearsay-ish, even for gossip.)

I like Nolan, I love his movies, but my opinion remains unchanged that he should have as little to do with DC movies as humanly possible at this point. Putting him "in charge" of the whole thing is akin to making me the lead developer on Madden 2014.

As for Bale... I understand why they want him back, it makes business sense. But retroactive-canon or not, his (and Nolan's) version of Batman can only look ridiculous sharing space with even a "gritty" Superman (to say nothing of Flash or Wonder Woman - though since this is a Nolan project, I'd half expect Wonder Woman to either not even show up or only be onhand to take dictation...) and that's by design of Nolan's movies. I sincerely can't picture a likely scenario whereby Bale-as-Batman wouldn't both drag down any crossover he's present in and lessen Nolan's films by association - just what were all these other metahumans doing that one time a doughy muscleman/dandy in a gas mask was threatening a whole region with a nuke, again?

But... whatever. If this goes through, I'm sure a whole bunch of people will be thrilled and if nothing else it'll be perversely-interesting to see the (presumably continuing) unashamedly comic-esque Marvel slate paired-off against more "gritty realism" from the DC camp. The cash disparity will also be interesting: Marvel is the cheapest studio in town, while Warners is betting on the draw of big names (at least within the genre) for this and that means shelling out big coin for the likes of Bale (and don't think the Nolan Bros. aren't looking for a big payday to grin and bear more funnybook projects, too) to show up. They were willing to dump over $200 Million trying to make "Green Lantern" work - who knows what kind of "Waterworld"/"Avatar"-level spending will go down here?