The Impact of ‘Man of Steel’ on WB’s Future & The Possibility of Justice League, Wonder Woman, & Aquaman Films
There’s a lot riding on the success of Man of Steel. Ever since Marvel’s Phase 1 performed so brilliantly we nerds have been looking to Warner Bros. – the home of DC‘s characters’ film rights – for their answer. Marvel and Disney have proven it’s possible to not only build a franchise around one character, but multiple characters! Featured in multiple films over several years leading into one giant, billion dollar earning, mega-movie. Why can’t WB do that?
That’s a question a lot of people, whether they be in boardrooms or on message boards, have been asking. Turns out, they’ve been trying but the financing just hasn’t been there. WB has been a bit of a slump since popular franchises like Harry Potter, Lords of the Rings, and The Dark Knight have dried up. And with promising films like Pacific Rim, Godzilla and Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar, there’s hope, but none of those films could spark a franchise to rival anything like The Avengers.
Which brings us back to Man of Steel and its $100 million projected earnings for the opening weekend. Raking in that kind of money could do a lot of good for a studio suffering under the financial loss of recent films Jack and the Giant Slayer and Gangster Squad. Even the still in theatres Hangover III, while not bombing, is on course to be the lowest earning of the comedy franchise. A box office smash like Man of Steel could be the much needed shot in the arm to start WB’s engines on long floundering projects like a Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and finally, a Justice League movie.
The Wrap has learned from a WB insider their plan is to follow Man of Steel with another Superman movie, something we know is true since the Man of Steel sequel has already been given the green light. Then Justice League, likely from Zack Snyder and David S. Goyer as well, and from there they’ll branch into movies based on other characters like Wonder Woman and Aquaman. Slightly different, but not completely unlike the approach of Marvel and Disney.
So, bastards, does this have us looking forward to a Justice League movie around, say, 2017? 2020? I don’t know, at this point, I feel as if we’ve been discussing a Justice League move since ’89 when Tim Burton’s Batman released. Like everyone, I’m eagerly awaiting Man of Steel. And more importantly, where WB plans to go next. What do you think their next move should be if Man of Steel’s a smash hit?
Personally, I think a couple other solo pictures would be the smarter move. Sure, it’s exactly what Marvel did, but fuck it, it worked didn’t it? I’m dying for a Wonder Woman movie. Come on! She’s the only member of DC’s “supposed” holy trinity to never get a movie. It’s about damn time! And I know everyone likes to knock Aquaman, but considering where we are technology wise an underwater epic could be, well, just that, epic.