Marvel’s The Avengers hit theaters early this summer, shattering box office records, becoming the third highest grossing movie of all time, and winning over the hearts of every patron who went to witness the awe-inspiring, action spectacle. The Marvel movie train does not stop there, however, for sequels to Captain America, Iron Man, and Thor are well on their way, along with Guardians of the Galaxy, all which build up to The Avengers 2 (written and directed by Joss Whedon). How does DC fair compared to this movie giant? The sad truth is: not so well.
Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Trilogy did wonders for the comic book and movie universes respectively. The director’s take on Batman was revolutionary, causing writers and directors to reevaluate how to approach superheroic films. Unfortunately, other films coming from DC do not seem to have the same impact as the Nolan franchise. Green Lantern was a bust, and Man of Steel could either be a visual masterpiece, or another flop. Making matters worse, DC has stated that there will be no more films until 2015.
Speculation has led many to believe that DC wishes to create a Justice League movie, spinning off their other superhero films from this focal point. It sounds good on paper, sure, but it does not seem like the right course of action for the studio. Marvel has spent its time, effort, and money establishing the origins of its characters, giving audiences time to understand the heroes before throwing them into the fold of the team-up film. Not only did they build character, but the films leading up to The Avengers added to the anticipation, generating more hype.
The Avengers also set the bar very, very high for superhero films. Justice League, being a superhero team, would have to follow in The Avengers footsteps, and it would ultimately fail. Throwing random heroes into a team and pitting them against an army of villains would most likely confuse audiences, who would not have an understanding of these heroes nor would they care about the conflict at hand. The action in The Avengers set a precedent for this genre, and there would be absolutely no way that Justice League would be able to match it, while also trying to set up character origins and basic plot. It just does not seem feasible.
DC should concentrate on creating a better movie franchise before jumping into the superhero team-up. That is not to say that a Justice League film would turn out bad, but it needs time to linger. It needs to weigh in the minds of the audience. It needs to be talked about, debated, imagined. But before that can happen, people need to care, and they cannot do that if there is nothing in front of them to care about.