Why? Because the Justice League is DC Comics’ original superhero team. Superman. Batman. Aquaman. Green Lantern. Wonder Woman. The Flash. Martian Manhunter. In the comics, they’re all members of the Justice League of America. Three have big-screen backstories — Batman, Green Lantern, and Superman — and even those appear to be changing. Christian Bale has no plans to reprise the role of the Caped Crusader; Ryan Reynolds’ Green Lantern bombed at the box office.
“I don’t think Time Warner Inc (NYSE:TWX) has developed the Justice League well enough. Disney had done Hulk, Captain America, and Thor movies almost as advertising for The Avengers,” wrote Foolish investor lsr18 in response to a story I wrote about Time Warner Inc (NYSE:TWX)’s fast-tracking Man of Steel 2.
Fair point. No investor should want to see Time Warner Inc (NYSE:TWX) wasting capital on a quixotic quest to match or even one-up the competition.
Following Marvel’s formula for The Avengers at DC puts Justice League in 2017 or later, the culmination of a seven-film series in which each character gets ample solo time on screen. Right now, we have one if you only count Man of Steel, or two if you draw from The Dark Knight Rises and cast Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Batman.
That leaves at least five films to shoot and show between now and 2015. Only the insane (or suicidal) would try to squeeze all that in between now and then, right? Not necessarily. Arrow offers DC and Warner a way.
The bull’s-eye isn’t as far away as you think
For those unfamiliar, Arrow is a TV adaptation of the DC Comics character Green Arrow, in which star Stephen Amell plays Oliver Queen, a bow-wielding vigilante who seeks justice for the oppressed in his hometown of Starling City. Viewers like the concept. At one point, the show was doing better for Warner’s CW Network than the hit show The Vampire Diaries. Final numbers show Arrow as the network’s second-ranked show of the fall season.
A second season kicks off in the fall, and with it the opportunity to introduce new DC characters. Last season brought The Huntress, another vigilante, as well as the villains Deathstroke and China White. All signs point to appearances from Black Canary (i.e., GA’s love interest) and Speedy (i.e., his on-again, off-again partner) soon enough.