If you’ve been following the development of Justice League for the big screen for any amount of time, you well know it’s been a rocky road for DC. From the failure to launch with George Miller several years ago to the foot dragging of the latest iteration, Warner Bros. has just never had a good handle on this merging of properties.
Apparently it’s worse than we thought though, as Devin at BAD is reporting that the latest screenplay –the script from Will Beall that was apparently commissioned before even The Avengers hit it big– is a moment away from being trashed outright. Apparently it’s so bad that it’s scaring off directors, which is not hard to believe if you saw Gangster Squad, the last Beall-scripted WB film.
Even through the revelations of the general story and the villain, as well as the final line-up of the team, there’s been hints and whispers that WB executives were making big decisions by comission in the absence of a strong director at the project’s center. It’s not difficult to imagine the disaster looming if the script is so bad that they can’t attach a director to take control of the thing, and if a bunch of suits are having to argue the merits of a guy in a bird suit vs. a dude who can talk to fish. Their continually reported hesitance to really get this thing in gear before Man Of Steel has a strong opening weekend behind is only more indication that nobody really knows what they’re doing.
I’ve long said that it’s foolish to compare Marvel and DC as film properties, as one is a studio driven by a set of visionary producers and strong filmmakers, while the other is an asset in the arsenal of a company that has not –up until now anyway– needed more than one massive superhero franchise. The priorities have always been different, and this isn’t the comic industry- the rivalry between the two is a construct of the fans carried over from the page into a different business environment where it doesn’t really apply. That is until the Harry Potter dough dried up and WB has found itself with a wealth of IPs that they’ve failed to cultivate, all while Marvel has gotten their shit together, set the tone, and broken the ground on how to do this thing. Now WB has a model they’re expected to follow, and they’re scrambling like a herd of panicked suits to do so.
Breathe Warner Bros. Breathe and get your shit together.