Forget The Dark Knight and Iron Man — the big comic-book adaptation everyone’s talking about this week is Justice League of America, the superhero extravaganza that’s supposedly starting production in a matter of weeks. Questions and speculation surround the project, specifically the rumored involvement (or non-involvement) of Christian Bale and Brandon Routh, who already play JLA anchors Batman and Superman in their own film franchises. Yesterday, Moviehole and IESB claimed to clear up some of the Justice League mysteries.
First, from Moviehole, comes word that Bale and Routh will not be on board for Justice League of America. No sources are named, but in Bale’s case, naming a source really isn’t necessary; earlier this week, he flat-out told IESB that he wouldn’t be participating and hadn’t been asked. Direct from the hilariously terse IESB report:
Q: Are you doing Justice League after TDK?
IESB: Have you been approached for Justice League?
According to Moviehole, Justice League director George Miller “has some ideas who he’d like to cast as Batman and Superman but naturally, they mightn’t be the same faces the WB want…within the next month we should start seeing a few announcements about the movie.”
So what gives? Sure, it’s better for Warner Bros.’ existing franchises if they don’t go inserting their stars willy-nilly in other projects, but what’s the point of doing a Justice League with a different Batman and/or Superman than moviegoers are accustomed to seeing? Heading back to IESB, we learn that this decision might make perfect sense. According to one of those ever-popular sources with the funny names, JLA will be a motion-capture film, along the lines of The Polar Express and Beowulf.
As the IESB article points out, this would explain the production rush, as so-called “mo-cap” films tend to sit in the pipeline longer than traditional movies, and even if the studio gets started as early as we’ve been hearing, it probably wouldn’t be ready for release until the summer of 2010. It would also free up Warners to cast a new Superman and Batman without stepping on the capes of Routh and Bale.
Just to recap, all we’ve really learned from this is that Christian Bale says he won’t be playing Batman in the Justice League movie, and everything else is just more rumor and speculation. But we can’t have a day without at least one news item about a superhero movie here, can we?