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Justice League Will Be Separate From Superman, Batman Movies

When Warner Bros.’ planned Justice League movie opens in 2013, don’t expect to see Henry Cavill’s Superman standing alongside the other superheroes.

That’s because, as with director George Miller’s aborted 2008 project, the newly restarted Justice League will exist apart from the solo movies, with different actors filling key roles. (Miller’s version was to have D.J. Cotrona instead of Brandon Routh as Superman, and Armie Hammer instead of Christian Bale as Batman.)

Although some suspected the same approach would be used this time, it was confirmed today by Zack Snyder at the U.K. premiere of Sucker Punch. When asked by HeyYouGuys how his upcoming Superman reboot will fit into Justice League, the director replied, “It doesn’t. Like what Chris Nolan is doing and what I’m doing with Superman, what they’ll do with Justice League will be its own thing with its own Batman and own Superman. We’ll be over here with our movie and they’ll kinda get to do it twice, which is kinda cool.”

Although no mention is made of director Martin Campbell’s Green Lantern, it seems unlikely that Ryan Reynolds would appear in Justice League while Cavill, and whoever’s cast in the post-Dark Knight Rises Batman reboot, would not.

The approach is, of course, the polar opposite of Marvel’s, where scripts are tweaked and epilogues shot to weave a tighter big-screen universe and build toward the 2012 premiere of The Avengers. The Warner Bros. method gives more freedom to directors and screenwriters — it’s difficult to imagine Nolan reworking a script to include a Green Arrow cameo — while using Justice League as a launching pad for potential solo movies (incoming Warner Bros. President Jeff Robinov specifically mentioned The Flash and Wonder Woman).


  • Anonymous

    Ehn. That’s not as interesting.

  • JimmyG

    Not a cool story, bro.

  • Geistbusters

    Lame. The way Marvel is doing it is the way it should be done. I can just hear people saying, “Wait. That isn’t Batman! Bale is the Batman!” It’s going to come off as WB being cheap. Super Hero movies have enough trouble with their cheesy past without having a second string cast confusing people. I think it’s a bad move.

  • Eightiesologist

    Ummmm what? I get the Batman situation because Nolan’s world just doesn’t easily slide into the same world of Green Lantern and Superman, but Nolan will be done with his story by the time JLA hits. But two actors playing Superman at the same time (and possibly two Hal Jordans and two Wonder Women, etc.) is baffling. Casual fans will be confused and hard core fans will just compare and criticize. I know it’s a problem of logistics, but this as a solution is just a total head-scratcher.

  • Scud

    This is a terrible, terrible idea.

  • KrakenAttack

    I’d rather get a completely CGI movie like the DCUO game trailer. A live action Justice League film set apart from the other live action iterations of the characters would just cause too much confusion amongst non-comic fans, too much criticism from comic fans and waste too much money.

  • Shift

    Honestly, I kinda feel DC should take a page from Marvel’s book and try to create a continuity for the films once the Nolan films are done. Fans are really excited to see how they combine four or five different films into once massive team film. And frankly it works in the favor of the team film, because you can establish everyone before the group film. This helps us avoid a lot of exposition for everyone’s story to be told. We can just be introduced to the group as a team.

  • Bclewis6593

    All this will be irrelevent if Green Lantern and Superman bombs. Then the chances of this JLA movie even happening will be slim to none.

  • Chinger

    I don’t see this as a wrong way of doing it as much as a different way. I’ve seen enough different Batman and Superman comics to know that there are always different takes on a character and that you don’t have to spit on one to praise the other. Bale’s Batman is definitely not the same as Keaton’s Batman, and Nicholson and Ledger’s Joker characters couldn’t be more different, but those are all really good roles that will stand the test of time. Just like the Superman in the Doomsday series wasn’t the same guy we saw in The Dark Knight Returns. We can have ten different guys drawing and writing Wolverine, and I for one like the idea. I didn’t see anything all that special in the latest Superman, at least nothing that would make me say that no one else should touch the role. Besides, the way Marvel is doing it is nearly impossible. They’ve apparently already changed the Hulk, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they lost one or two other aspects of it before they actually get the damn thing off the ground. It’s going to cost them hundreds of millions of dollars, and I’ll be surprised if they don’t have to push back the release date they currently have set. DC and WB are smart to take the simple route: one film at a time, with its own cast and writers. I’d rather see a few of those than wait 6 freaking years for some all-encompassing ultimate superhero film. The buildup is almost guaranteeing a letdown.

  • 2000filmfan

    People want to these characters but the actors may cost too much.

    I guess someone may say this eventually but this is probably all about the budget. Oscar winner Christian Bale (after three Batman movies), increasingly sought after Ryan Reynolds (if Lantern explodes as planned), and Cahill (if Superman explodes) will cost mega millions before the cameras are even rolling. Basically being unknown Hemsworth and B-list Evans were a steal that allowed Marvel to spend generously on Whedon, Downey, Jackson, Ruffalo, and Johansson only. All are popular but none require Tom cruise dollars to get them to sign.

    Sounds like Warner’s is trying to get their JLA franchise the cheapest way they can but Jeff Robinov seems to be assuming audiences wont identify and form emotional relationships with the actors the same way they do with every other film that’s ever been made.

  • AudioComics

    Speaking of Green Arrow…what happened to Goyer’s “SuperMax” idea? I thought the premise had a lot of promise.

  • Video Beagle

    I don’t think Synder knows what he’s talking about.
    Given Sucker Punch, he really should be showing WB he’s a team player.

  • demoncat_4

    as long as the justice legue film at least has wonder woman and flash along with maybe green arrow. and latern. plus even with some other actors as bats. and supes. as long the film still means maybe supes, bats, and wonder woman are teamed up in live action warners can do justice leque the way they see fit.even if its separate from bats and supes solo film.s

  • Miguel Pires

    Good. It will avoid movies becoming 2-hour trailers for other movies (a la Iron Man 2) and avoid the tirany of obcessive continuity. We will soon see Marvel’s approach collapse (IM2 was already a PoS do to this.)

  • Farson89

    I can see audiences being confused and annoyed by this, especially once the Avengers movie is out, it seems illogical to not go down the route Marvel is showing can be done.

  • Dawnell_do

    This is gonna be confusing and annoying as hell. DC/WB need to make a better plan, maybe a Superman/Batman movie first.

  • JMC

    Confusion – oh yeah, it’s so true. Just the other day when I was at JB Hifi I saw a guy have a total meltdown when he was confronted with DVDs of The Adventures of Superman, Lois and Clark, Superman Movies 1 – 4, Superman Returns, and all the animated cartoons.

    Then another guy went apeshit when he saw that Batman, Batman Returns, Batman Forever, Batman and Robin, Batman Begins and Dark Knight were played by other actors as well.

    It’s a serious problem that we need to deal with as this could become an epidemic on a global scale. I call it Superherconfusionchosis brought on by Fanboyswhobitchandwhinechosis.

  • Mikeo

    Might be kind of cool if they used the movie as a way to set up the larger DCU. I would love to see Crimefighters (Batman, Green Arrow other normal humans) team up to take down the adventurers (superman, Green Lantern, Flash other superpowered heroes) only to unite for the 3rd act against a threat they can’t face alone.

  • Dark Spark

    Its not a matter of having different actors portray the characters over time in some instances 2 decades or more; its the fact that they are going to cram all these seperate versions on the characters down out throats within a small time frame.
    Rebooting Batman brought us an interesting (yet somewhat lackluster in my opinion) new version of the mythos. Soon we will have a new Superman with Snyder and another rebooted Batman. Then more new versions in a stand alone team based movie that no one will have any real investment in seeing because in the off chance something huge happens (like a death) it wont translate any further it won’t hold any meaning because oh wait that character has a solo movie coming out in 2 years.

  • Anonymous

    The real reason they’re doing it this way is because they won’t wait until they have a full cast of characters like Marvel is doing. And yes, people will comment on the fact…

    …But it won’t be a big deal. Especially if the movie is good. If they focus on the superheroes in their costumed identities there would be little conflict with the rest (eg. you don’t get to see who plays Batman.)

    I do think it’s a great way to introduce other characters who could get their own movies eg. Martian Manhunter (he would work great even as a non-superhero film: alien stranded on Earth, must deal with humanity and the loss of his own people.)

  • Sephy

    So wait, DC said the reason they wouldnt allow Batman or Wonder Woman to appear on Smallville is because they didnt want to confuse their audience with multiple people playing one character but then they say they’re perfectly fine with doing the exact same thing for movies?

    Considering you’re building some of your big players right now in their own franchises, redoing it all for a new movie sounds like utter crap especially when Marvel is doing it right.

  • Mrmister

    I like this approach by DC. For mulitiple reasons.
    Whenever the question of “Why are there diffrent
    Batman or differnet Superman, different Green
    Lantern, etc.”, the answer is simple.

    The Multiverse.

    Marvel connecting all there main movies makes far more sense.
    Once Iron Man gained positive word, the idea of a sequels became
    official. What happens in most sequels? The introduction of more
    characters. Hmm… what characters can we put in next Iron Man movie?
    Not Spidey. Not Wolverine. Not the FF. we not have film rights to
    Cap? Yeah. We can set it up for his own movie. Premier it next
    summer. Definite July release, with 4th of July and all. Who else do we
    have film rights to? Thor. Yeah, people loved Lord of the Rings/ Harry Porter.
    He can our Conan. With a hammer.

    Now, with DC/WB, there wasn’t as an organic planning process due to the fact
    that Batman Begins was not a sure fire hit prior to release.
    The studio was nervous after the Schumacker films.
    The idea of building to a JLA movie wasn’t in the cards.
    They were just hoping to make enough money and get a decent
    amount of good reviews to justify green lighting a sequel.

    The idea of the films being standalone is a HUGE burden lifted off the shoulders
    of the film makers. No need worry about whether Bales’ Batman was
    aware of Cavills’ Supes, if Batman ever hob nobbed with Luthor, did Hector Hammond
    ever work at Star Labs in Metropolis or was his research ever funded
    by Luthor, etc.

    That’s all well and good for comics. Atleast those who have been “invited
    to the party” at Club Continutity.

    Like what has been a big selling point for comics the last 2 decades,
    the films will need to be sold through the creators names attached
    the projects.

    In 90’s, artists sold most cape comics.
    In the past 10 years, writers have dictated what superhero comics
    In the assembley line of superhero films to come, Superman won’t sell
    himself. “Big Name Directors’ Superman” will.

  • Scud

    Exactly, casual viewers aren’t gonna know what the hell is going on.

  • Scud

    What reason would they have to fight?

  • Kelly

    Fine by me.
    There’s nothing I hate more than the solo films being forced pieces on a map to a team movie.
    It killed Iron Man 2 (and forced Favreau to walk) and it’s made it that Thor and Captain America can’t stand alone as films, themselves. Why should GL 2 be concerned about what happened in Synder’s Superman so that a new Batman or JLA makes sense?
    Screw that. I don’t want a headache over comic book movie continuity. Marvel’s doing what they’re doing because their characters require introduction. That’s not necessary for an all-star team like the JLA, who everyone and their great-grandchildren know about.

    When I read JLA, I don’t really care about what’s happening in Superman, Batman, or Green Lantern. They’re a team of individuals who showed up to the same crisis and decided working as a group paid off in dividends.

  • JMC

    It’s nice that you care so much about these apparently confused casual viewers.

  • JMC

    See the problem with your logic is that you’re assuming the general public is as anal retentive and disturbed as a large majority of fanboys out there. Here’s a newsflash – they aren’t. They don’t care about being “invested” in continuity or Universe crossovers etc. They just want to go out, see a movie and be entertained.

    You need to stop projecting your own fanboy angst onto the general public – spend a bit of time out there with normal people. They’re more concerned with paying the mortgage than potentially having two Supermen up on screen.

    And on a sidenote – slap yourself on the side of the head for whinging about potentially “cramming” all these superhero movie together in a short span of time. Take a breath and think about how fortunate you are that you’re living in a time when they are not only making them, but actually giving them the budget they deserve! Personally after reading comics for 33 years I think that this is a golden age for our community.

  • Farson89

    It won’t necessarily confuse them, but I’d find it pretty weird for two movies starring the same character but with different actors and continuities to come out in quick succession, it’s be a bit jarring.

  • Wyatt


  • Kal El

    NONE of it sounds promising … but i wouldnt hold my breath if i was a reader of this site with half a brain.

    Remember Batman VS Superman coming DEFINITLY in 2004?
    OR Jack black as Green lantern in 03?

    How bout that Wedon WonderWoman film by Joel SIlver set in the 40s due in 2002?

    Warner Bros can kiss my a$$

  • October44

    If your going to do it. It should be done right. keep original actors. or it takes away from the films magic. If money is an issue. Pay em up. It will only make that much more money.

  • October44

    agree. It there going to do it. They need to do it right. Or it will always be talked about what they didnt do right.

  • Vovo

    I guess having fans than divided over which actor portrayed a better Superman, solo movie versus JL, for example is what WB is looking for? I’m sorry but that does not make any sense to me. Why make it more complicated than it has to be?

  • ashley luey

    wow. this movie will be such a disapointment then. i hate how they choose different actors all the time, cant they just stick with the ones they’ve got? ryan reynolds as green lantern, henry cavill as superman, and christian bale as batman?