Death Sentences 3: ‘JLA’ and Why We’re Scared

This has nothing to do with Star Wars or the Knights but its potential importance is so epic, I thought it worthy of mention.

There’s few things the Jedi and Sith agree on. But one thing that me and Obi Wan-Ker do see eye to eye on is our love of DC COMICS.

jla

In case you’ve been living under a rock (and knowing our fans, it wouldn’t surprise me if you have been) Warner Bros and George Miller are in the process of putting a JUSTICE LEAGUE of AMERICA film together for a 2009 release.

That should be great news to fans of DC. But believe me, it ain’t. I’m scared and here’s why:

I think its fair to say that Superhero movies of late have been double-ordinary to say the least. There have been the odd exceptions: Batman Begins, Hellboy, Hulk, Spiderman 2, X-Men 2, to name a few. But the majority have reeked: Fantastic Four, Daredevil, Ghost Rider, Spiderman 3, X-Men 3, Elektra, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, etc, etc. The main perpetrator of this mediocity has been Marvel Comics as they rush to get their characters up on screen and beat DC to market. Thankfully, DC has exercised a little more caution and consideration with regards to how their characters are translated to screen. ‘Batman Begins’ demonstrates a great transition from Comic Book to Screen. Admitedly, ‘Superman Returns’ had its fair share of problems. Most notably, Director Bryan Singer and his incredibly boring script. But I digress.

Seems DC and parent company Warners are not being too hasty in getting the likes of Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern or Martian Manhunter into cinemas. Both Wonder Woman and Flash have been in development for a number of years. A Green Lantern movie has been green-lit but no development beyond that has been forthcoming. Which is what worries me so much about JLA and the potential damage it could do to DC’s future big screen prospects.

Why, given DC’s seemingly cautious approach to big screen adaptations are they rushing ahead with JLA? Surely it would better suit audiences to have solid Batman, Superman, Flash, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern franchises up and running before overwhelming the public with JLA. Why waste half a JLA movie with establishing the origins of its characters when that can easily be done within their own respective films? Why potentially ruin the cinematic future of certain characters by cramming them into a JLA movie and not giving them each the screen time they deserve?

For reasons that elude me, it has been publicly stated by George Miller that Christian Bale (Batman Begins) and Brandon Routh (Superman Returns) will not be reprising their roles as Batman and Superman in the JLA film. What the Hell? How does that make sense? As if audiences won’t already be bombarded with having to come to grips with all these new characters, they now have to figure out why Christian Bale is Batman in one movie but not Batman in JLA. Do they share continuity? Is it a different character? What the Hell is going on?

Also, the afore mentioned future ‘Green Lantern’ movie is to focus on the character of Hal Jordan who has been a Green Lantern since the comic book was re-launched in 1960. Brilliant news.

haljordan.jpg

Yet Miller has cast rapper Common (‘Common’. Great name…not) in the role of the JLA Green Lantern, John Stewart. In the GL comics John Stewart is Hal Jordan’s backup/partner. Both are Green Lanterns but Hal is DC’s main one who has his own comic book. Surely for the sake of cinematic continuity Hal Jordan should be the Green Lantern of Miller’s Justice League! This smacks of racial political correctness and it’s pathetic.

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I know these characters. I read DC comics and even I’m confused! As one forum poster said of the JLA movie: “I wish this thing would just fuck off!” I agree. I love DC characters. They have a rich and colourful history and deserve a quality transition to cinema. Surely DC and Warners have learnt the horrible lesson taught by the abortion of ‘Batman and Robin’. I fear history is going to soon repeat itself.

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2 Responses to “Death Sentences 3: ‘JLA’ and Why We’re Scared”

  1. BrettSnelgrove Says:

    I think the JLA movie will be more like FF (kind friendly) than it’s batman or superman counterpart. They have spent a lot of time building an audience thru the animated TV show and probably want to capitalise on that audience. Get ready to be disappointed.

  2. suburbanknights Says:

    Oh I’m ready. The one thing that really pisses me off as a GL fan in particular is DC’s overuse of John Stewart as their public face of Green Lantern. To those who read comics Hal Jordan is the main GL. Has been for decades. For short periods John Stewart, Guy Gardner and Kyle Rayner have shared the spotlight but by in large its always been Hal. After the massive success of DC’s ‘Green Lantern: Rebirth’ and subsequent success of Hal’s own GL book you would think that they would want to promote Hal as the #1 GL. Yet they persist in using John Stewart, who has never had his own book (bar a short run in GL during the mid 80s and a shortly lived GL spin-off, ‘Mosaic’), as their main GL in mainstream media (JLA cartoon, JLA comic, JLA toys, etc). As a Hal fan I find it damn annoying. Its reverse discrimination. John Stewart is used because he’s not white. That’s it. Its lame, lame, lame!

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