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Kevin Feige Offers Warner Bros. Advice on Justice League Movie

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Kevin Feige was the mastermind behind bringing the Marvel Universe to the big screen, and his initial dream of having individual films set up a future ensemble superhero movie paid off big in The Avengers. That’s why it makes sense the Marvel Studios president would be a good person to give Warner Bros. advice on how to make the same magic happen with DC characters and Justice League.

“I’m sure they have smart people over there who have a plan and know what they’re doing. Man of Steel looks like it’s going to be awesome and obviously Dark Knight is awesome. I don’t know,” Feige told Collider when asked about Warner Bros.’ troubles with Justice League. “It’s what I say all the time and have said over the years, which is, have confidence in the characters, believe in the source material, don’t be afraid to stay true to all of the elements of the characters no matter how seemingly silly or crazy they are.”

He continued, “I don’t know, I think the Marvel characters have a bit of a leg up for all the reasons that Marvel fans are aware of in terms of the emotional complexity of the characters and the flawed nature of the characters. Those are obviously the elements we want to accentuate amongst all the action.”

Feige also acknowledged that the idea of bringing preexisting characters together to form a superhero team came from Justice League originally. As he said, “Justice League was first.”

“I think there have been a lot of great DC stories and there are a lot of great DC characters, and if they focus on those things the audience will be interested,” Feige said. “It was a very unique model that we were lucky enough to be able to do — introducing each individual hero before introducing The Avengers. That, to me, is what was always interesting about The Avengers. … The Avengers was cool because they were preexisting characters that teamed up for a big event. I think that’s why Justice League was cool, Justice League was first. That’s what they did first in comic form.”

Warner Bros. is reportedly still trying to get Justice League in theaters by 2015.

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Comments

  • percane

    i’m curious now. what WAS the first super hero team? the earliest i can find is the All-Winners Squad, which was essentially the invaders (captain america, namor, etc) and came out in 1946. is there an older one?

  • Edward

    Like Marvel has trusted their source material, with a director that called Captain America’s uniform “pajamas”, a six foot plus Wolverine, calling the Asguardians “aliens”, Hawkeye as a SHIELD agent, and upcoming Falcon in some pseudo army gear and having an African-Americans playing white characters?

  • shutup

    Source material doesn’t mean it’s fact for fact. It’s the basic parts of these things.
    And to clarify: Asguardians are never outright called aliens and like the most recent batman trilogy, they complied some of their best ideas and work from some odd 75 years or so of comics and did some awesome stuff with it.
    Africian-American SHEILD agent (sam jackson?): the Ultimate universe has black nick fury. Also a lot of the designs for the functional Capt. America uniforms are from that same line. As the idea that Hawkeye is an agent of SHEILD.

  • http://twitter.com/DerrickJohnson_ MC Clap Yo Handz

    Yeah, it seems like DC is always playing catch up and their strategy is to be “edgy and dark”. They should just stick with what they know .

  • The Moish

    The Justice Society of America first appeared in All Star Comics #3 (Winter 1940).

  • kneelB4zod

    After the crapfest that was IM3, maybe he should keep his advice to himself (unless it’s “hire Joss Whedon”)

  • Red Robin

    His advise about staying close to the source material is key here. Remember what happened when they went off the rails with Catwoman?

  • Guest

    The Justice Society of America easily predates that; November of 1940 in All-Star Comics #3.

  • Geekitout

    I think the first super hero team was Seven Soldiers of Victory: Green Arrow and Speedy, the Crimson Avenger and Wing, The Vigilante, The Shining Knight, and The Star-Spangled Kid and Stripesy. Yeah, there’s more than seven here but some of em are sidekicks and dont count in the total

  • badthingus

    They actually more than you apparently. Hawkeye as a SHIELD agent, Falcon in the military and Nick Fury being black are DIRECT adaptations of The Ultimates. The Asgardians being aliens goes back to The Might Thor #491 in 1995.

  • http://twitter.com/Outside_85 Outside_85

    I really dislike when obvious Marvel-fans/supporters/employees say their universe has so much more emotional complexity than DC does because the Marvel characters aren’t perfect. Yeah, that would be true, if all of DC was encompassed by Superman, but it isn’t.

  • Gabriel

    I honestly don’t think any of that is really that important in the “big picture” (pun somewhat intended).

  • JC

    What was wrong with Iron Man 3? It was one of the best of the IM movies and almost as good as Avengers!

  • Adam Walters

    But they have to make a movie first, before they can reboot it.
    buh dum chh! I’ll be here all week.

  • rigmutton

    To be fair, what he said was that fans were aware of the characters’ complexity, not that Marvel had a lock on that characteristic. All told, it seemed to me like his comments were very respectful towards DC, and I think someone has to really want to see snark to find it there.

  • Eward

    I’m angry about everything!
    If a word of the (often contradictory) comic book continuity is ignored I will be furious. Unless I don’t like it..then you were a slave to the source material and should have known it would not translate well to film.
    I am the reason that fanboys have such a bad representation. I haaaaate eeeeeverything!!! I am so pathetic and sexually frustrated. Aaaaaah!!!!

    I bet Falcon doesnt even talk to birds!!!!!!! what!!!!!! Why!!!!!!! Someone at the SDCC is going to get a piece of my mind!!!!!!

  • Brian Lewis

    Warners/DC’s plans for a JL movie depend on Man of Steel. If it doesn’t make Batman level money there’s really no point in going forward.

  • http://twitter.com/deadend Michael Peterson

    But DC doesn’t trust in their characters. It’s why they did a full reboot in the comics.
    Even Superman can have emotional depth and have great stories. I doubt Man of Steel will be one as it is another one playing up the Jesus complex and the insulting to adopted children about Superman’s “real home and REAL parents.”

  • MrMGU

    There we go! Someone who actually read the piece. Thank you.

  • Jon

    A classy response to a tricky question that could have backfired so many ways.

  • Jon

    Wow, you completely misunderstood his point. I’d elaborate, but something tells me I’d be wasting my time. Call it a hunch. :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/lead.sharp Lead Sharp

    If you want the characters you love, read the comics.

    Just enjoy the films for what they are, the best that can be done in the time and energy given.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rob.felber.5 Rob Felber

    The full reboot served several purposes Michael. It allowed them to start fresh and clean up a lot of old continuity. Marvel has done the same in many ways with Iron Man and the Punisher no longer tied to the Vietnam War. The full reboot also got people excited, and gave the entire industry a shot in the arm. Sales have been up since the reboot and Marvel is doing their own “reboot” in a more staged fashion. Call it what you want, but DC succeeded in what they attempted. They increased sales not only for themselves, but for all publishers, and they got people excited about the industry again. Ask any comic book retailer how they feel about the DC reboot from a business standpoint. They also take risks on new genres like War, Horror, Sci-Fi, Fantasy. Sure, those titles struggle, but at least they try instead of dumping 2 issues of all their top selling titles every month.

  • john dole

    dont let shane black write or direct your movies, he’ll make a mockery of your franchise.

  • Superman

    Ironic that Feige says all of this stuff about respecting the source material after he told Newsarama how terrible the Mandarin is as a character.

  • DrJohnnyDiablo

    It ‘s already been said, but I just wanted say it again. DC ‘s Justice Society of America was the very first comic book superhero team. The Seven Soldiers of Victory debuted about a year later.

  • Savonti

    Nice call on the Asgardians thing, I did not know that.

    I’ll have to give that a read.

  • Savonti

    I’m not willing to comment on the new Superman movie (I’ve tried not to look into it much) I do agree that it feels as if DC doesn’t trust their characters.

    Superman Returns spent 2 hours pandering to the fans of Donner’s movies.

    Batman…well look, to keep this on topic I’ll just say while Nolan made some very entertaining movies, there was little that screamed BATMAN to me personally.

    Green Lantern was a, just a mess all around. Also while Hal Jordan was “my” green lantern*, they should have went with John Stewart.

    Beyond that, DC/Warner Brothers and they could have beat the Avengers to the punch but they were afraid of the financial loss. I get that, we are all aware of “Batman and Robin”. But it seems like if they could stop arguing over what they want these characters to be (on the big screen) and let them be what they are, then we would be treated to a bunch of really cool DC superhero movies.

    *To be clear “my” Green Lantern as in the one who I grew up with.

  • Savonti

    Yeah that bugged me as well.

    I’d love to say more but won’t spoil anything for those who haven’t seen it.

    I just, didn’t agree with the direction.

  • http://www.facebook.com/leon.bright.iii Leon Bright

    Step right up for stupid fanboy comments folks!

    “But DC doesn’t trust in their characters. It’s why they did a full reboot in the comics.”

    Yes! You’re absolutely right! Whenever a company reboots their line of characters it’s because they don’t trust them. Marvel doesn’t trust their characters either then, because they’ve done it. In fact ALL of the BIG comic companies have. SMH.

    “Even Superman can have emotional depth and have great stories. I doubt Man of Steel will be one as it is another one playing up the Jesus complex…”

    WTH are you babbling about? Have you actually seen the trailers? NONE of them showed anything even remotely exuding a “Jesus complex”. Stop reaching for something that isn’t there, you’ll hurt your arm… or your brain. Either way..

    “and the insulting to adopted children about Superman’s ‘real home and REAL parents.'”

    I’m not gonna ask… I just wish that you and everyone like you would just lose internet access every time you think of making a comment.

  • guest also

    Seven Soldiers of Victory or Law’s Legionnaires appeared in Winter 1941.

  • guest also

    Your ridiculously snarky remark aside, the new 52 reboot is not like any other…it’s a complete betrayal of the core of many of their characters.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Greg-Phillips/45100401 Greg Phillips

    Personally, I found it more entertaining than any Mandarin comic book I’ve ever read.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Greg-Phillips/45100401 Greg Phillips

    LOL “betrayal”

  • http://www.facebook.com/joshua.robinson.9400 Joshua Robinson

    Based on previous DC movies, animated as well as live-action – DC should play to their strengths and stick to making their movies animated. Marvel’s money is on live-action.

    DC has them beat animated but they can’t compete with Marvel when it comes to making live-action movies. My opinion may change after the ‘Man of Steel’ movie comes out.

  • Hypestyles

    Don’t include Batman in the first film. Avoid the worries about using Bale or not Bale, etc. In fairness, the original Justice League comics did not have Batman and Superman for several years.

  • theamusingspidorman

    Everyone is assuming the JLA movie will have the core characters, the heavyweights, as did THE AVENGERS. Why??? Wouldn’t it be more shrewd to have the second & third tier of members to helm what seems to be a movie that has the bigshots in a tizzy? Atom. Hawkman. Aquaman. Power Girl. Blue Beetle. Metamorpho. These characters aren’t likely to have any standalone movies of their own; Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash & Green Lantern have or will. This line-up is varied & balanced. Martian Manhunter would be a nice addition, but 7 is a bit top-heavy & Power Girl fills the niche that J’onn would fill, more or less. Personally, I think a movie with those characters would be more interesting & fun than the Old Guard with which we’ve been saturated enough over the years. It sure wouldn’t hurt the sales of any books which carry these characters. Let the heavy hitters make appearances in any sequels & I’m including Green Arrow, Black Canary, Martian Manhunter & anybody else you want to root for down the road. Who sez the roster must remain faithful, much less rigid??? Mix it up as movies progress & keep the audience anticipating the next one in this manner–Marvel sure isn’t going to monkey w/ their group, I’ll bet. I’ve not seen it yet, but I have IM3 simply because their stories came first & THE AVENGERS is just a buffet of leftovers from yesterday. I’m sure it’s good as I’ve heard nary a condescending remark, but again, to quote Bernie Taupin & Elton John: “Yes, I’ve seen that movie, too.” I want something that I’ve NOT seen–AVENGERS 2 had me @ Thanos because this opens up the realm for Mar-Vell & Warlock, characters which always stood out for me. & speaking of which, one word: Killraven.

  • http://www.facebook.com/bruce.savini Bruce A. Savini

    Edward, you do know the talking to birds bit for Falcon was a recent add on by Geoff Johns when he wrote the Avengers, don’t you?

  • chien_clean

    well you read shitty books

  • darthtigris
  • Michael Mah’moud

    even Superman has character complexities believe it or not, Superman Birthright, Superman for all seasons, Smallville, All Star Superman, a lot of New 52 comics like Grant Morrison Action Comics, Geoff Johns Justice League, etc. Superman is just often stereotyped of being too powerful, non relatable and perfect, same goes for all Superhero characters. It’s not that they’re perfect, or don’t have emotional complexity it’s that some comics give off the wrong stereotype.

  • Craywulf

    Who says that Warner Bros isn’t making a Justice League film? Why does it have to be released in 2015?

  • http://twitter.com/Abjay121 Abhishek Kr. Jha

    You Know there are two ways of looking at it , I mean I read Comics (It’s tough to find Marvel comics in India but I read whatever I can find or Buy online and a store in one of the More Known Markets in the City )and was Slightly dissapointed at what they did with Mandarin and that too after roping in an actor of Sir Ben Kingsley’s Class but My Brother has never read comics nor seen Iron Man 1 & 2 and enjoyed the Twist & Honestly a lot of my friends Did , I watched it a second time and was really able to understand it . Even though I would have loved that they would have kept the Mandarin the comic book way , Shane Black must be lauded for the bold step he took because it could have potentially caused the Movie to Bomb . I think the target here was to Attract new fans to the Movies like my Brother who have not read comics and they succeeded in it . Sometimes it is nice to be served something that you do not expect .

  • Cam “Omake”

    No it wouldn’t be true, because Superman is a fucking brilliant character.

  • Cam “Omake”

    Because making a movie about a bunch of C-listers isn’t going to draw in big bucks at the box office. Establishing Superman and Batman individually in their own movies and then using them as the main attractions of the Justice League movie WILL draw in big bucks at the box office. The Avengers proved this is true, and frankly it wasn’t even that great of a film (in my opinion).

    And by the way, if you just read my entire comment and agreed up until the last sentence, I am truly sorry.

  • Dan Trudeau

    Speaking as an adopting father, I think you’re projecting.
    “Can’t I just keep pretending to be your son?”
    “You are my son.”
    I haven’t teared up during a trailer before but that hit home.

  • http://twitter.com/voteDC Gary Jones

    All that has changed with Iron Man’s origin in the comics is the location. Even the person who takes him hostage, Wong Chu, remains in place.

    The Punisher still started out in Vietnam. That hasn’t changed. He’s been deaged however, first by becoming an ‘Avenging Angel’ and most recently after the *SHUDDERS* Franken-Castle storyline by the Bloodstone (from the character Ulysses Bloodstone).

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100005578209965 Melanie Berlas

    DC needs to grow a pair and get better producers, writers, actors, and get off their asses to make these movies. They have a huge list of potential superhero movies that they could make successful if they stopped trying to compare themselves to Marvel. It both infuriates and vexes me because DC actually has the better stories and superheroes. Though I loved “The Avengers” movie, I would prefer an excellent “Superman”, “Justice League”, “Aquaman”, “Green Arrow”, “Wonder Woman”, or “Teen Titans” movie to anything that Disney/Marvel could put out. It’s disappointing because everyone I know, who is a DC Universe fan (regardless of their gender) agrees with me.

  • http://www.facebook.com/christian.dunn3 Christian Dunn

    It’s not about whether or not DC trusts their characters, it’s about the recognition of the characters. We all know the characters because we read the comics or watch the animated movies. But how many people outside of that circle know who Martian Manhunter is? The Flash has become a more recognizable character due to shows like The Big Bang Theory. The Green Lantern movie bombed so you would have to have a new Green lantern and really promote it. Aquaman is the brunt of jokes even for people who don’t read comics. The way to start building the JL universe is to start with the characters that have brand recognition already, Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman. A worlds finest that introduces Wonder Woman half way through the movie, then have her directly play a role in defeating the antagonist in the film. Once that is established, you attract the audience back for the JL movie, because they now have characters they know and want to see again. MM, GL, Flash, AM, would all be, for lack of the better term, supporting characters until they are established. Making movies is about making money. In order to make money, they should stick with characters who are already branded in the main stream. Characters who have proven they can make money at the box office. And by doing that, we would get closer to a JL movie and continuity for DC over all.

  • Scott

    I think there’s a core concept that these stories must adhere to, but everything else they can invent for the movie. Like the Ultimate Universe.

    DC seems to have a harder time “humanizing” their characters for movies, with the exception of Batman. Their method for humanizing Superman in the prior movie was making him lonely. Green Lantern was, all things considered, pretty true to the source material, but there was very little “humanity” in it for me to connect with. Starting the movie with a bunch of exposition didn’t help either.

  • http://twitter.com/deadend Michael Peterson

    Gosh, you are full of shit.

    They rebooted every character except Batman and Green Lantern. You know.. the two books that were doing just fine.

    Have you seen the trailers? Or actually have any understanding of subtext? As it’s pretty clear it’s another movie that has Jor-El acting as space daddy/god stand in and Superman as a christ figure. At least from that horrible first trailer.

    You are a terrible and sad human being who flips the fuck out over a comment that isn’t involving someone heaping praise on a movie.

  • http://twitter.com/deadend Michael Peterson

    They had that line in one of the trailers? I didn’t see that mix then. That is how it should be. A lot of the bad Superman stuff likes to have him say his real name is “Kal El” and it bugs me.
    I do hope that Superman keeps things earthy.

  • TrackerLV

    He has good points. Fundamentally the dynamics with Marvel films and SC are polar opposites. Marvel got fed up with the movie studios and approached their movies from the stance of; as a comic book company, “how can we bring the comics to life?” WB on the other hand is a movie company that comes at these films as a parent company that has a comic subsidiary. They seem to look to take those properties and try and conform them to their movie making formula.

    I’m hoping they see Marvel’s success and are taking a different aprouch with Man of Steel. One thing I do disagree with is that I honestly think DC has much more to offer in a cinematic universe. They just need to put people in charge who understand the source material and what comics fans love about it. Once THAT hits the screen non-comic readers love the exact same things about the stories and characters. They just aren’t exposed to it until it hits theaters.

  • B Walker

    I must be from the old school or something. I am a fan of both DC and Marvel. I have seen all of the releases from both sides. There have been great movies, and there have been not so great movies. Like Wolverine bad, Catwoman (Halle Barry) Bad, Incredible Hulk (Eric Bana) Bad, The Punisher (All of Them) Bad. But those are the few black marks in my opinion. I would like to see movies come out to introduce the DC characters. Man of Steel looks like it will be great. But we as fans deserve more than a film before we are introduced to the entire team of characters. And I would like to add that Kevin’s comments read to be very respectful and of good taste. I found nothing he said to be putting down the DC fans or films.