Now that Marvel is reaping the rewards of years of planning and given us the ultimate super hero team up movie, naturally everyone is looking for DC to get in on this. DC however isn’t in a great position to get a Justice League out in the next few years, but let’s assume they decide to go ahead and try to compete in the same general time frame as Avengers 2. Where to begin…
A) Batman. This is the trickiest thing about getting this movie to work so let’s start here.
Obviously the Nolan Batman would not work in this context at all so that is out of the question. The next theatrical Batman should probably be a little lighter in tone anyway since we’ve had years of the dark and broody way. Surely though any attempt to reboot Batman this soon will not be received well. Spider-Man is getting a lot of flak for rebooting after five years, just imagine if Batman was rebooted only a couple years after the Nolan trilogy.
So then do you just recast Batman and throw him into Justice League as his first movie? I think that route is almost equally problematic. As unpopular as I know it is my solution would be to just not include Batman at all. Batman is by far my favorite super hero so it does pain me to say, but he’s already had more movies than any other hero, it’s time to give some screen time to someone else. Besides, I don’t think Batman works particularly well in the Justice League anyway, he is so outclassed by his teammates that we really don’t get to see most of the things that make Batman so great.
I know that Batman is a proven money making character though so it’s a tough sell, but it is the best course I think.
B) Superman. Using Henry Cavil seems fairly obvious, assuming that the new movie is good, which I do. I don’t really feel like Superman has ever gotten a really great movie like he deserves, but a movie of this scope with him as the front man would be a perfect fit.
C) Wonder Woman. She’s never gotten a theatrical film, which is absolutely criminal. The potential for a great movie is there though and this is what they should focus on immediately if they want a good set up for Justice League. The animated movie from a few years ago is an excellent blue print for how her lead-in movie should look. Casting will be of critical importance, but I don’t have any great ideas about it. My gut tells me to go with a strong relatively unknown, but my mind is open to possibly using an established star here as a draw.
D) Green Lantern. Using John Stewart is a no brainer for me both for the sake of diversity and the fact that Hal Jordan was recently butchered on the big screen. The question is whether or not he should be rebooted, I don’t think that is necessary. Green Lantern to me is sort of the opposite of Batman in that he works better in a larger universe than a singularly focused film. So just throw him in there as an intergalactic police officer, not much backstory is necessary.
E) The rest of the team. Filling out the rest of the spots is the biggest task remaining.
I think The Flash would work quite well, preferably with a lead in movie. He’s quite familiar for someone who hasn’t had a movie, and he works great in this context.
Black Canary would be a solid pick I think in light of how awesome Black Widow was, she could be used similarly. Plus another female balances the team well. No lead-in movie is necessary.
Martian Manhunter I think could translate quite well to film with his unique powers, and we haven’t really seen a hero like him in a film before.
I think Aqua Man should be avoided for now, it’s just a hard task to sell him as cool to general audiences, and that would be a task best suited for later if the franchise were to continue.
Cyborg is just boring.
So then my cast is Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, The Flash, Black Canary, and Martian Manhunter. That’s a solid core of six who are varied and interesting. Only two lead-in movies (Wonder Woman and The Flash) other than the already made Superman movie are necessary.
As for a villain, Darkseid would be just great, powerful and menacing enough to come across as a threat worthy of such a super heroic team up. Assuming Thanos is the villain for Avengers 2 though it might seem derivative if Avengers comes first. This might be helped somewhat if you give him someone more grounded to work with, someone like a Lex Luthor. I don’t know enough about the new Superman reboot to know if that casting would be a good match though.
My ideas may be very different from yours, so let’s see.