One of the reasons George Miller's movie version of Justice League was derailed had to do with the fact that the Australian government denied the production an important tax break that would have made shooting there fiscally viable. As a result, Miller threatened to take JL, Happy Feet 2 and other productions out of country. Now, however, word has come out that the director will get said tax break for Happy Feet 2 and that production will start in January. Given how the situation has changed, however, odds are this won't make a difference in terms of Justice League gearing up. Due to the success of The Dark Knight, Warners has shifted gears to focus on solo superhero films with a potential Justice League further on in the horizon. No doubt Marvel's success with Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk, and for the forthcoming Thor, Captain America and The Avengers has played some influence as well.
While reporting that Brad Pitt is looking to team up with director George Miller on a space-set version of The Odyssey, Variety also mentioned the fact that Miller remains attached as director to Justice League. Of course, given Warner Brothers' intention to shoot Green Lantern next year, reboot the Superman franchise and the fervent hope that Christopher Nolan will agree to helm a third Batman film, it would seem that Justice League is a number of years away...The new issue of Entertainment Weekly goes behind the scenes of J.J. Abrams' new take on Star Trek. In that interview, he briefly mentions the fact he had written a draft for the oft-aborted Superman revival project that preceded Superman Returns. Laughing, Abrams said of that effort -- designed to be the first chapter in a trilogy that postulated, among other things, that Krypton survived and Lex Luthor was a Kryptonian -- "It was not well received by the Internet community," he says.
From everything that's been gathered, the Justice League film is pretty much finished until the individual characters have been explored in their own films (at least that's the latest). But what muddies the waters a bit is the fact that on September 5th, Daily Variety wrote about producer Dan Lin, saying, "He's lead producer on Guy Richie's Sherlock Holmes, which begins shooting with Robert Downey, Jr. in October, and is waiting for WB's marching orders on Justice League." Okay, so far, so dead. But today - while reporting that Lin would serve as producer of the scifi film Karma Coalition -- Variety stated, "Lin is producing a number of pics for the studio, including superhero film Justice League." Just makes one wonder what the status of the film really is.
The big news about the Justice League movie -- actually, the only real news about the Justice League movie -- is that the production may be moving from Australia to either New Zealand or Canada due to Australia's Film Finance Corporation deciding that the production would not meet the standards of being issued a significant tax rebate because it's not Australian enough (which is likely the reason that the title was changed from Justice League of America to the dopey Justice League: Mortal).
"Babe wasn't an Australian story, Happy Feet is not an Australian story, Moulin Rouge is not an Australian story," Miller told the media. "That kind of thinking dooms us to make very, very msall films that not even Australians want to see. You need the gravitational pull of these big blockbusters to sustain production, to build the talent pool. A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the Australian film industry is being frittered away because of very lazy thinking. If that's going to be the final decision, they're throwing away hundreds of millions of dollars of investment that the rest of the world is competing for and, much more significantly, highly skilled creative jobs. It feels to me like I'm not fighting for this film. I'm fighting for the Australian film industry."
Australia's The Advertiser has its own theory: "He could be fighting for his own job with rumours he was hired partly because of his ability to deliver the rebate. If so, his head could be on the chopping block along with the rest of the B-list cast."
According to aint-it-cool-news.com, the previously rumored Megan Gale has been 100% cast as Wonder Woman in the Justice League movie. There's no way to be sure, of course, but at least this seems like a positive indication that the project is still moving forward. Given the Writer's strike and all of those (sometimes ridiculous) rumors that had flooded the net, there was concern that the project had been aborted. Hopefully further word will be coming soon from Warners.
Over at iesb.net came word that actor Armie Hammer had been cast in the role of Batman/Bruce Wayne. Most of his previous acting credits have been as a guest starring actor in a number of network TV series, among them Arrested Development, Veronica Mars and Desperate Housewives. One confusing aspect of his casting is the fact that the approach was supposedly going to be that the members of the Justice League had been teaming up for several years by the time the adventure of the film takes place. Hammer, however, is only 20 years old -- younger than the character was in Batman Begins. As with Megan Gale, the studio has had no comment.
Just last week Variety was raising a concern that without the ability for rewrites due to the Writer's Strike, the movie version of Justice League would have to be postponded. According to a report that surfaced today at iesb.net, that's not the case at all. "The WGA is not slowing down the WB and its plan to get Justice League on track," notes the site. "WB sources tell IESB that the cast will be announced this week. They tell the IESB that unlike the story ran by the trades, casting is 100% locked. The cast has been chosen and sworn to secrecy, but official confirmation will happen sometime this week. There have been many names associated with the Justice League throughout the last few months that it would make anybody's head spin. Looks like this will all come to an end by the end of this weeknd. "
One of the reported reasons that Warner Bros. has thrown its corporate weight behind Justice League the way that it has is because the studio feels like it serves as the perfect means to introduce audiences to characters beyond Superman and Batman, so that they can star in their own films. For projects such as long-gestating Wonder Woman and The Flash, this could be good news. Most interesting of all is that it seems Warners isn't even waiting for Justice League to go into production, let alone reach theatres, before putting individual hero projects into development.
Earlier today, MTV announced movement on The Flash, with Wedding Crashers and Fred Claus director David Dobkin coming aboard. "Dobkin’s film won’t be the character’s first appearance in cinemas, of course, with the Flash a major part of the upcoming Justice League of America film," notes MTV. "But while fans wait for JLA story and casting announcements with bated breath, Dobkin can’t help but hold his – confirming that his movie will exist in the same universe as the upcoming flick as a direct spin-off. Which made his next comment all the more revelatory: Asked which version of the Flash would be the hero of his flick, Dobkin didn’t hesitate. 'Wally West,' he said." Which, of course, confirms the notion that Barry Allen's Flash will die in JL, and be replaced by Wally West. Added MTV, "Asked about his vision for the Flash, Dobkin teased us with a somewhat melancholy tagline: 'You can’t outrun yourself.'"
This evening, the news got even more interesting with Variety's announcement that Green Lantern has gone into development. Noted the trade, "Warner Bros. has set Greg Berlanti to direct Green Lantern, a live-action take on the DC Comics superhero. Berlanti will write the script with Marc Guggenheim and Michael Green. Donald De Line will produce; Andrew Haas is exec producer. Berlanti hopes to make the jump to big-budget fantasy fare after serving as writer and exec producer on character-driven TV series Dirty Sexy Money, Brothers & Sisters, Everwood, Jack & Bobby and Dawson's Creek. He previously directed 2000 feature The Broken Hearts Club... Warner Bros. and DC Comics assigned the project to De Line, who is currently in Morocco shooting Body of Lies, the Ridley Scott-directed WB drama that stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe. Guggenheim, who works with Berlanti as a writer-producer on Brothers & Sisters, wrote the Marvel comicbooks Amazing Spider-Man, Wolverine and Blade. Green, the Heroes co-exec producer who worked with Berlanti on Everwood and Jack & Bobby, wrote the DC Comics title Superman/Batman and was a writer-producer on Smallville."
The real question is whether or not this film will focus on Hal Jordan or, as reportedly is the case in Justice League, John Stewart (rumored to be played by the rapper Common). One early rumor was that Jordan would appear in the film to pass the ring on to Stewart. If true, it means the Green Lantern film could be a prequel that tells Jordan's story. Then again, there are several Green Lanterns on earth at the same time in the comics, so why couldn't there be two GLs in the movies? To pull it off logically, there would probably have to be a cameo by the actor playing John Stewart in Justice League.
The story for a Wonder Woman film isn't quite so positive. While promoting Fred Claus, producer Joel Silver acknowledged that his production of Wonder Woman was put on the back burner. "They're going to make the Justice League movie, and we're kind of pausing on Wonder Woman now," he said. "Let them go ahead and do that picture [first]. And if that comes together, Wonder Woman will be a part of that story. And then we'll see where we go from there. But we struggled with it for a while. I hope that we can solve it and make it one day."
A unifying force in the DC Tooniverse since the debut of Batman: The Animated Series right through the forthcoming Justice League: New Frontier, has been vocal casting director Andrea Romano, who has labored to find just the right voice for each character being brought to life from the comics' pages. In this interview, Andrea discusses the four actors she has cast in the role of Superman: Tim Daly (Superman: The Animated Series), George Newbern (Justice League, Justice League Unlimited), Adam Baldwin (Superman: Doomsday) and Kyle MacLachlan (Justice League: New Frontier).
CHECK OUT OUR DEDICATED JUSTICE LEAGUE PAGE BY CLICKING HERE.
A new voice has entered the Justice League rumor sweepstakes in the form of the site news.lalate.com, which is claiming that there will be an important announcement on the subject on Monday. Offers the site, "lalate exclusively can report that sources are suggesting that the cast of the Justice League movie will be announced Monday in one of two Hollywood trade publications [Variety or The Hollywood Reporter]. Sources suggest the cast has been decided, but do not know themselves [presumably the sources themselves and not the actors] and everyone will find out the cast when that publication hits newsstands this coming Monday." A little worrisome about the report in terms of its legitimacy is that they also mention that the JL movie, as well as the sequel to Superman Returns and future seasons of Smallville, could be derailed by the lawsuit brought against Warners by the estate of Jerry Siegel seeking a copyright reversal on the Superman character. While this could happen down the road, the way it was reported by lalate makes it sound as though it's breaking news, and the source they're citing are fairly old.
Over at iesb.net, Robert Sanchez reports, "Despite recent reports that Aussie actress Teresa Palmer has scored the role of Wonder Woman in the upcoming Justice League Of America film, it is runway queen Megan Gale who is actually short-listed for the role that Jessica Beal passed on, industry sources say. Certainly Gale has been spotted paying visits to Fox Studios in recent weeks, which is where the George Miller-directed film will be shot. An announcement on the Wonder Woman role is expected next Tuesday. However, Gale's dark beauty does have more in common with Lynda Carter, who was such a hit in the Wonder Woman TV series. Go Megan!" One downside, according to Sanchez, is the fact that she has done nude modeling in the past, which could be a problem if Warners feels it would tarnish the image of Wonder Woman.