So in a all bad things come in threes, we’ve had today the 1) cancellation of Young Justice 2) the CW passing on Wonder Woman for the Fall 2013 Season and now 3) Shake-ups at Warner Bros. with word coming down that there will be no Justice League movie unless the Man of Steel, the rebooting of the Superman movie franchise it a hit. In an article on Marc Robinov, head of WB Films, Variety reports:
Further out, the studio’s planning a “Justice League” tentpole — encompassing DC Comics mainstays Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, the Flash and the Green Lantern — on the order of Marvel’s “The Avengers.” Will Beall is scripting but no director has been attached yet.
Stakes are high for “Man of Steel.” Other than Nolan’s Batpics, Warners has not been able to effectively exploit the DC library. Its 2011 “Green Lantern” underperformed, and a “Justice League” film wouldn’t likely be in theaters before 2015, as Warner’s top brass has indicated that they are awaiting the results of “Man of Steel,” which opens June 14, before moving further ahead.
Why the cold feet? Well, it could be that scripter Will Beall, once seen as a hot property based on his script for is now seen Gangster Squad, is probably not quite as hot since that movie bombed hard. And let’s face it; there hasn’t been a superhero win on the big screen for DC IP outside of Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy. If Man of Steel isn’t a hit, there may be a sense that nothing can be.
There may be, however, a positive sign today as well with Kevin Tsujihara being named CEO of Warner Bros. Entertainment a surprise apparently to Robinov. The good news is that Tsujihara has worked closely with DC in the past.
It’s now been 3 years since DC Entertainment unit of Warner Bros. was formed and next month marks three years since the management team for that unit was named ” to fully and respectfully integrate DC’s brand and characters, not only as key content drivers in the film division, but across all of the businesses of Warner Bros. and Time Warner.”
While there have been some hits - CW’s Arrow and their games - there have been so key missteps such as the big budget flop Green Lantern. And then there are the set backs of today. Meanwhile Marvel’s film franchise at both its own studios and at Fox with the upcoming X-Men sequel seem to move forward easily.
Maybe Tshujihara will be a catalyst to make things move as easily for DC.
Earlier this week on Twitter I joked that once the Red Sox won the World Series, I changed my “I hope it happens before I die” wish to seeing Wonder Woman on the big screen, or even the small screen in a live action production.
Doesn’t seem that funny today.