Ya know, for a movie that’s about the first superhero group in comic book history, it’s surprising how little information has come out about The Justice League. I understand that DC and Warner Bros. are probably waiting to see how Man of Steel performs in a few months, but would it kill them to give us the official line-up? Yeah, I know we can pretty much assume the majority of the characters, but throw us a bone for cryin’ out loud! Will Beall already has a script, not sure which draft at this point (please let there have been multiple drafts!), but we know that he’s written something and one would have to assume that includes the team roster, right? Right? Then again, Gangster Squad (written by Beall) hasn’t been doing as well as previously thought, so maybe the studio is rethinking the script they have from him?
Yeah, I know, this is all speculation, but it’s all I’ve got. The fact of the matter is I don’t know and you don’t know what’s going on with The Justice League at this point.
The Latino Review, however, seems to have an idea though. In fact, they even appear to know the official lineup for the movie. Wanna know what it is? Well they’re reporting that the lineup will consist of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, and Green Lantern with possible/probable supporting roles/cameos for Martian Manhunter and Aquaman. And, really, did anyone see Hawkman as a possibility? Unless we see some kind of silhouette in the sky and the SCREECH of a hawk, explaining Carter Hall on top of the rest of the cast would either be padding or the X-Men syndrome of having to include as many heroes as possible. It’s confusing and helps absolutely no one.
So let’s talk about the main cast. Yep, that seems about right. If you were gonna ask any John or Jane Doe off the street to name the members of the Justice League, odds are these are the five they’d most likely name, though Aquaman would probably get thrown in there because everyone likes to make the obligatory “Aquaman is useless” joke. If Warner Bros. announced this as the movie’s main cast, I would be just fine with it. Primarily because it’s a reduced number of heroes, which gives us more time to get to know them in the midst of a two-hour movie that ostensibly has to introduce Wonder Woman and The Flash, reintroduce Batman and Green Lantern, and remind us of Superman. By just focusing on the five characters, there’s a better chance we the audience will be rooting for them as people rather than as “the good guys.”
Speculating again (like ya do), I’d say Flash is our audience surrogate. Hell, you could start the movie with Barry Allen (we all know it’s Barry…grumble, grumble…Wally West) becoming The Flash. Yes, it’s a bit corny with the chemical spill and the lightning, but hey that’s what you get from The Silver Age. Maybe he’s watching a news feed of Diana of Themyscira appearing at the United Nations, introducing the world to the Amazons and Wonder Woman. He gets distracted and BAM! a superhero is made! Done and done. Moving on. Having Diana start the movie as an ambassador also gives the movie the advantage of skipping over a great deal of her origin in favor of getting down to brass tacks. The Amazons are considering rejoining the world of mankind after witnessing the heroics of Superman in whatever way they do (I think Hippolyta had a magic mirror in the original comics). That and a timely visit from presumed dead pilot Steve Trevor (if we’re gonna go there, then let’s go there) and Diana is there to observe and report back to her mother in due time. And, of course, something happens that causes Diana to save a person or a group of people or whatever. Ya know, hero stuff. Or, as an alternative, Superman is at the UN when she arrives. He goes to save the day somewhere and she follows to help, showing the world her skills as a hero. Team-up concluded. Batman is Batman. He’ll show up when he needs to.
Where it gets interesting is in the use of Green Lantern. If what The Latino Review says is true, which is debatable at best, then there’s a good reason to sideline the Martian Manhunter. If you have a cosmic villain headed towards Earth, then why not have Green Lantern bring the news home? Hal’s out patrolling the cosmos of Sector 2814 when he and some other Lanterns encounters Darkseid’s elite or The Guardians recall him back to Oa and inform him that he needs to return to Earth to protect his planet again. Probably makes more sense for Hal to encounter the elite and rush off to Earth or else we get into the whole, “Why didn’t you just bring the whole corps with you, Hal?” Better that he didn’t quite think it through and just reacted on gut instinct, which is what Hal does. In regards to side-lining Aquaman…eh, makes sense. Like Hawkman, explaining Aquaman and the whole Atlantis stuff is just time-consuming and could definitely be the focus of either the hero’s own movie or a part of the plot of Justice League 2 – presuming there is one.
This is all my way of saying that I hope the report is true. For Justice League, less is more. Warner Bros and DC can’t afford to bombard the audience with too many heroes when they’re banking on building several franchises off of one movie. Better to play it safe with a smaller cast of heroes, get us invested, and build from there. This is workable, so fingers crossed that this ends up being true.