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Peter T Chattaway

Justice League

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SDG   

To the best of my knowledge, Superman has never, ever been miscast in a production that actually made it to the screen, big or small. From serial actor Kirk Alyn to Christopher Reeve to Brandon Routh, from TV's George Reeves to Dean Cain and even Tom Welling (who technically wasn't Superman, but Clark Kent), every actor credibly plays the same character. (The only notable portrayal I'm aware of that I haven't seen was the 1980s TV series "Superboy" starring somebody named John Haymes Newton.)

The closest we came to a disastrous miscasting was Tim Burton's subversive choice of Nicolas Cage for the ill-fated Superman Lives, which eventually morphed into Bryan Singer's Superman Returns. (Cage was better cast as Johnny Blaze in Ghost Rider, but it sucked anyway.)

Christiansen. Is. Wrong. Wrong Wrong Wrong. As wrong as Cage. Anyone who even thinks Haydenson might be an outside possibility has no business touching this property. This could be the end of Superman's perfect record.

Edited by SDG

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Hmmm, yeah, it looks like that 1990s TV-movie (clips below presented in more-or-less chronological order) didn't include Superman (or Batman):

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Will Australia get 'Justice League?'

The Aussie screen biz is hotly debating "Happy Feet" producer George Miller's campaign to get his $200 million superhero blockbuster "Justice League Mortal" classified as an Australian film and therefore eligible for the new 40% film producer offset.

Those in Miller's corner include the companies and contractors due to work on the on-again, off-again Warner Bros. film and subsequent projects that would flow from an expansive implementation of the offset.

Those opposed include filmmakers eager to ensure the rebate is used to nurture more modestly budgeted Aussie films, which, they say, would minimize the taxpayer burden. This group does not want to see a repeat of what it feels are the misuses that led to the winding back of the 10BA tax scheme in the 1980s.

Miller, an Oz native, is threatening to shoot "Justice League" and a slate of other projects in New Zealand or Canada. . . .

Warners developed the comicbook adaptation originally titled "Justice League of America." The film features DC Comics characters headquartered in a cave outside Happy Harbor, Rhode Island, including the Flash, Superman and Wonder Woman (to be portrayed by Aussie model Megan Gale).

Late last year, the film was re-titled "Justice League Mortal" and was due to go into production this month at Miller's new joint venture with Omnilab in Sydney, but it was suspended mid-January because the studio was unhappy with the script and frustrated by uncertainty about its eligibility for the offset. . . .

Miller also is threatening to shoot his planned sequels to "Happy Feet" and "Mad Max" elsewhere, even though both projects should easily pass the FFC's Australian test because they were created in Oz.

Variety, March 28

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Jeez. Seriously? This is becoming a total mess. Yeah, the TV-pilot left out superman and Batman, and had a horribly miscast series of actors. I don't mind that they drew from all eras of the league, but no one was really right in the roles. Seriously, compared to that pilot? Daredevil and Ghost Rider are absolute classics of modern cinema.

I am thinking I will pass on this one (and it is rare that I pass on a comic book movie-I own G-Men from Hell) and just wait for Watchmen.

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I'm confident that the Christensen rumor is incorrect, and other than that, there has been nothing said about this film that points to a horrible movie. Would I rather actors in their 30's than in their 20's for these roles? Yes, but I understand that they are thinking franchise. The script sounds good, and I think Miller has the chops to do something good with it. The clips Peter posted are not from this film or from anything connected with this film (but thanks for posting them, Peter - I'd never seen that).

Don't give up hope!

Look at the excellent treatments of the League that have come out just in the past few years - the animated series was good, and there have been many high-profile graphic novels that have done great things with the League. I still think they can make something good of this movie.

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CrimsonLine wrote:

: The script sounds good . . .

Based on...?

: Look at the excellent treatments of the League that have come out just in the past few years - the animated series was good, and there have been many high-profile graphic novels that have done great things with the League.

Um, well, sure, but in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the Batman comics were very interesting and the Batman animated series was pretty good (or so I hear), and the Batman movies still sucked. (The only Batman movie I liked prior to the Nolan-Bale era was Batman: Mask of the Phantasm -- the animated one. I never saw the TV series, but the movie spin-off certainly "got" the character in a way that Tim Burton never even came close to doing. (The Schumacher films came later, and no, they didn't "get" the character either.))

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SDG   
the animated series was good

The animated series WERE good -- according to Wikipedia (contra IMDb.com) "Justice League" and "Justice League Unlimited" were two separate series, and both rocked. I missed them in broadcast but caught up with them recently on DVD with my three middle kids, and (after a shaky start) the writing, especially the plotting, was really, really strong.

Um, well, sure, but in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the Batman comics were very interesting and the Batman animated series was pretty good (or so I hear), and the Batman movies still sucked.

Sadly true.

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You know, truth be told, I would rather have a Booster Gold/Blue Beetle action comedy than a Justice League film. I cannot see how this is going to work. Honestly though, I favor the Giffin/DeMatties Justice League over the traditional DC Heavy Hitters team.

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SDG   
Suderman says Peter and Jeffrey are overreacting.

And completely misses the point: It isn't a question of "star power," it's a question of WRONG. I don't care if they cast unknowns, stars or someone in between. I do care if they MISCAST well-established characters. Johnny Depp or Will Smith or Orlando Bloom or Tom Cruise as Superman would be just as wrong as Hayden Christiansen. HE ISN'T SUPERMAN. PERIOD.

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CrimsonLine wrote:

: The script sounds good . . .

Based on...?

Based on plot summaries I've read, but it was a while ago and I can't come up with the links to it at the moment.

: Look at the excellent treatments of the League that have come out just in the past few years - the animated series was good, and there have been many high-profile graphic novels that have done great things with the League.

Um, well, sure, but in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the Batman comics were very interesting and the Batman animated series was pretty good (or so I hear), and the Batman movies still sucked. (The only Batman movie I liked prior to the Nolan-Bale era was Batman: Mask of the Phantasm -- the animated one. I never saw the TV series, but the movie spin-off certainly "got" the character in a way that Tim Burton never even came close to doing. (The Schumacher films came later, and no, they didn't "get" the character either.))

The question is, do you think George Miller is the kind of guy who'd "get" the League?

the animated series was good

The animated series WERE good -- according to Wikipedia (contra IMDb.com) "Justice League" and "Justice League Unlimited" were two separate series, and both rocked. I missed them in broadcast but caught up with them recently on DVD with my three middle kids, and (after a shaky start) the writing, especially the plotting, was really, really strong.

Are they two separate series? They shared writers, directors, animation style sheets, producers, characters, and plotlines. I'd say they were one series, retitled mid-run.

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BadIdea   

The Bruce Timm, Paul Dini version of the DC heroes worked. They got the characters, and they got how to tell good stories with them.

The movie business, unfortunately, is never going to do a good job on something like this. Too much market research and lawyers and executives all stirring the pot.

The most recent Batman films are probably the best one can expect from film superheroes though, so I'm not saying it's impossible to produce that sort of quality. But with these producers? These agent-driven casting rumors?

No way.

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To the best of my knowledge, Superman has never, ever been miscast in a production that actually made it to the screen, big or small. From serial actor Kirk Alyn to Christopher Reeve to Brandon Routh, from TV's George Reeves to Dean Cain and even Tom Welling (who technically wasn't Superman, but Clark Kent), every actor credibly plays the same character. (The only notable portrayal I'm aware of that I haven't seen was the 1980s TV series "Superboy" starring somebody named John Haymes Newton.)

Hmmm, how about the 1975 televised version of the musical It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's Superman, with Lesley Ann Warren as Lois Lane and David Wilson as Clark Kent and Superman? (As I watch this, I have only watched the first 10 minutes or so.)

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6207000440194915447

The closest we came to a disastrous miscasting was Tim Burton's subversive choice of Nicolas Cage for the ill-fated Superman Lives, which eventually morphed into Bryan Singer's Superman Returns.

FWIW, link to the post in the Superman Returns thread which depicts what Cage's Superman might have looked like.

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Producer Dan Lin on the JUSTICE LEAGUE Movie, SUICIDE SQUAD, and Stephen King’s IT

When I I asked about Justice League, Lin confirmed what we all knew: its on-hold right now. He also said “it seems like they’re (Warner Bros.) building to Justice League instead of going with the team movie first and doing individual movies after that.”

He also confirmed what I’d been hearing about WB’s plans for their DC superhero movies and that’s “they’re unveiling their DC strategy in January”. Meaning, we’re probably going to hear what other DC characters are getting movies very soon!

Collider.com, December 22

- - -

In other words, it sounds like Warner/DC is going to follow the template set by Marvel and their recent spate of Avengers films (including the already-produced Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk, as well as the upcoming Thor and Captain America movies).

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I think I am a little more intrigued by the Suicide Squad...a team comprised of villains who were given the option of working their debt to society off by serving it...although, since I can only see CCH Pounder as Amanda Waller, I am not sure if I trust Hollywood to do this right.

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Chris Nolan to direct?

I have a very, very hard time believing this rumour, if only because Nolan has been absolutely insistent on making his Batman movies as reality-based and demystified as possible. (Ra's al Ghul as a guy with a shadowy organization? Sure, why not. Ra's al Ghul as someone who continually rejuvenates his body using "the Lazarus Pit"? Uh, no.) I can't for the life of me see how Nolan's Batman movies -- which I love -- would fit in the same universe as, say, super-powered extra-terrestrials (never mind Superman, what about the entire universe implicit in the Green Lantern stories?).

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And it begs the question, would Nolan use Christian Bale as Batman in the JLA universe (as is happening with Robert Downey Jr. in The Avengers)? Or would this be so different a universe (as PTC says) that a different actor be chosen to play the character. Bale has said he wouldn't do another Batman without Nolan, but I wonder if Nolan would use another actor than Bale?

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Warner Bros.' 'misunderstood' executive Jeff Robinov to soon enter spotlight as studio president

His most immediate hurdle is filling the void that will be left this summer when the multibillion-dollar "Harry Potter" series shepherded by Horn ends. Robinov is betting on DC Comics characters to take center stage starting in June with the $200-million-plus production "Green Lantern."

He's then aiming to release new "Batman" and "Superman" films in 2012 and "Justice League," a teaming of DC's top heroes, in 2013. . . .

Los Angeles Times, March 28

Is there really a 'Justice League' film happening in 2013?

Makes perfect sense, right?

Only… it doesn't. Not on any level. "Superman" is a legal landmine for Warner Bros., and their attention is focused right now on just making one movie with the characters that works, something they haven't been able to do in 30 years. There are all sorts of issues that are involved in which characters they can or can't use, and right now, they're just hoping they make one movie with Christopher Nolan and Zack Snyder that reminds audiences of what they love about Superman in the first place. That is a huge priority for the studio.

2012 will also see the wrap-up to Nolan's "Batman" films, and again… the studio's got a lot riding on the film, and they're taking care to give Nolan what he wants and to make him happy. He's spoken before about how he doesn't really see his version of Batman existing in a world with lots of other costumed heroes, and when you look at just the trailer for "Green Lantern," it appears that Warner is using that film to establish a very different type of comic-book universe. My guess is that "Green Lantern" is the first stepping stone on a long path to a possible "Justice League" movie down the road, but when I tell you that it won't be released in 2013, that's not guesswork. That's just a simple logistical truth. . . .

Drew McWeeny, Hitfix, March 29

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I still think they should go with the mid-80s Justice League International and make it a superhero action comedy.

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