Considering the speed with which Hollywood usually cashes in on a smash hit, we were frankly a little surprised that it took a full month for the staggering opening weekend of The Avengers to get the long-gestating film version of DC’s equivalent all-star superhero franchise going. But as Variety reports, it’s not that it just happened, it’s that it just broke — Warner Brothers, which holds the film rights to the DC characters, put screenwriter Will Beall (who penned the forthcoming Gangster Squad) on the job of writing a film version of Justice League last year, a “top-secret hire” which, according to the industry paper, “was more in anticipation of — rather than a reaction to—the box office success of The Avengers.” So the Justice League movie is happening — but filling it with superheroes will be easier said than done. Who should play them? We’ve got some ideas after the jump — and we’d love to hear yours.
Warners has tried before to bring the group (which, for those of us of a certain age and cartoon-watching disposition, has always been and will always be the Super Friends, thank you very much) to the screen, with George Miller (of the Mad Max and Babe films) directing and a cast that included Adam Brody and a pre-Social Network Armie Hammer. Hammer was set to play Bruce Wayne/Batman, which /film notes would mean that the Justice League film would not take place in the same world as Christopher Nolan’s (and Christian Bale’s).
And there you have the main difference between The Avengers and Justice League: Avengers was the product of four years of careful preparation, from Iron Man forward, with the characters established separately and their eventual assembling teased out in each picture. But Warner’s DC properties are in no such condition: Bale’s Batman presumably won’t be involved, last year’s Green Lantern tanked, and though the Superman reboot Man of Steel is still in production, we don’t have the highest hopes (considering it’s the work of Sucker Punch director Zack Snyder). What they’re going to have to do, it seems, is wipe the slate clean. And if that’s the case, hey, we’ve all got some ideas about how to cast a Justice League movie, right?
There have been numerous iterations of the group, from the original team created back in 1960, new recruits added in the 1970s and 1980s, various offshoots in the 1990s and 2000s, and the reboot last year. We’re gonna go ahead and assume that the reboot team is most likely to be the film’s, since it’s got most of your name heroes. And thus, our suggestions for casting the Justice League movie:
It’s not all that surprising that Snyder went with an unknown for Man of Steel — if you haven’t noticed, there’s a serious shortage of solid, interesting, young leading men in Hollywood these days (which is part of why so many people wanted Jon Hamm, by his own admission too long in the tooth, to play the role). Andrew Garfield could probably pull it off, but he’s already attached to Spider-Man; Hunger Games star Josh Hutcherson is a possibility, but he’s all of 19 and looks it. Our pick, truth be told, is kind of a predictable one: Tom Welling played Clark Kent for ten years on TV’s Smallville, and did it well. If Justice League does end up disconnected from Man of Steel, casting Welling may be the closest thing Warner Brothers has to an Avengers-style connection to their film.