Now that Warner Bros. Pictures is legally able to keep using the character of Superman, plans for the long-awaited Justice League movie are about to move faster than a speeding bullet.
As a result of yesterday's major legal victory for the studio, in which a judge ruled that the heirs of Superman co-creator Joseph Shuster were not able to win back the rights to the character, a source has told the Los Angeles Times that Warner Bros. plans to accelerate the timetable for getting the DC superhero team onto the screen.
If the studio had lost the case, it would not have been able to produce any movies, comics or TV shows featuring key elements of the Superman mythology after 2013 unless it negotiated a new deal with the estates of Shuster and Jerry Siegel, Superman's other "father."
With that in mind, the studio has been hesitant about ramping up the development of the Justice League movie, in which Supes would of course be a major character. But now that the path is clear, the studio intends to begin casting and finding a director (a script has already been written). If all goes well, production should begin next year and the movie will be in theaters in the summer of 2015—where it will go head to head with The Avengers 2 for a real clash of the titans.
But now the work begins: Who will get this thing on the screen, and which actors/heroes will appear in it? With Christopher Nolan and Ben Affleck both passing on being involved, Warner Bros. has to find someone who can deliver the epic goods.
As for the actors, it's presumed that Henry Cavill will play Superman after making his debut next year in Man of Steel. As for Batman, Wonder Woman, the Flash, Green Lantern and whoever else makes up the team ... it's all yet to be determined.
One thing's for sure, though: If Justice League is a hit, the characters will spin off into their own movies. It's the exact opposite of the Marvel strategy of individual movies leading to one big team-up, but if works, we'll be seeing the DC Universe on the screen for years to come.
Who should direct Justice League, and who should be in it? The speculation starts now!