The dawn of the superhero movie

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Various Batman and Superman action figures and memorabilia display the long history of the two characters, soon to star in a movie together. (Photo by Elliott Miller)
Various Batman and Superman action figures and memorabilia display the long history of the two characters, soon to star in a movie together. (Photo by Elliott Miller)

Comic book fans at Comic-Con screamed in excitement on July 20 when Warner Bros. announced plans to release a Batman vs. Superman film in 2015. Details from the announcement suggest that the yet-to-be-titled “Man of Steel” sequel will pit Batman and Superman against each other on philosophical and political grounds, based on Frank Miller’s popular 1986 comic book series, “The Dark Knight Returns.”

WIth the recent success of “The Dark Knight” trilogy and Marvel’s “The Avengers,” it looks like the age of superhero movies is just beginning. The news of the upcoming Batman vs. Superman movie has launched discussions online of a possible Justice League film, which some the Hollywood Reporter says could be released as early as 2017.

Darren Franich of Entertainment Weekly says Warner Bros. is hoping to use the Batman vs. Superman film as a springboard to launch a Justice League movie.

“Warner Bros. has made it clear that they hope to build a whole connected cinematic universe of films on the foundation of ‘Man of Steel,’ with loose plans for a Justice League film in the distance,” Franich said. “Beginning that process (is) a Batman/Superman movie.”

This isn’t the first time the “Justice League” —  is a team of superheroes that typically includes Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Lantern and others — has been the topic of movie rumors. Similar rumors circulated in 2011 around the time Warner released “The Green Lantern.” Poor critical response to that movie, however, quickly silenced “Justice League” film rumors.

Now, whispers of a “Justice League” movie are back thanks to strong performances by other DC Comics’ superheroes. While Batman and Superman are scheduled to battle it out on the big screen in 2015, other DC superheroes are being featured in a television series on the CW.

The Green Arrow — not to be confused with the Green Lantern — is the main character of the CW’s currently-running, popular show “Arrow.” Warner Bros. announced to the Television Critics Association on July 30 that the Flash is scheduled to hit the screen on CW. According to Forbes.com. Warner Bros. also has a Wonder Woman television project on hold.

According to Forbes’ Mark Huges, the CW’s superhero shows have the potential to spin off into movies.

“If (they’re) a success, the show(s) will provide the opportunity to spin off … character(s) into movies — Justice League, for example,” Hughes said.

Batman and Superman action figures in their Justice League animated series suits. (Photo by Elliott Miller)
Batman and Superman action figures in their Justice League animated series suits. (Photo by Elliott Miller)

BYU students have mixed opinions about the possibilities of a Justice League movie.

“Hopefully they can do it and do it right,” said Andrew Alberro, a senior Asian studies major from Leesburg, Va. “Who wouldn’t want to see The Flash and Green Lantern teaming up with Batman and Superman?”

Other students have doubts that a Justice League movie would be well-made. Matthew Bahr, a senior Italian major from Suwanee, Ga., said he feels a “Justice League” movie would be too hard to pull off.

“I think that the DC universe’s work has been too dark and too intense to pull off … a huge all-star style movie like Marvel did,” Bahr said. “Just take Aquaman alone. How are you ever going to do a gritty, Christopher Nolan style movie of Aquaman?”

Warner Bros. has announced no definitive plans for a “Justice League” film, so only time will tell how these predictions and rumors pan out. Even if a “Justice League” movie doesn’t come out, CW programs and the Batman vs. Superman film are making it possible for fans to see even more of their favorite DC superheroes on television and in movies during the coming years.

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