I’m typically a huge Marvel fanboy. In fact, I prefer almost any title from the House of Ideas over DC’s plethora of caped good doers, especially after their recent reboot. BUT… I think we can all admit that comic book movies are pretty damn awesome, and with The Avengers recent display of box office heroics, there’s one other team that seems curiously absent: The Justice League. I know there are a few potential obstacles in the way, especially with Warner Bros.’ god awful Green Lantern fresh in everyone’s minds, but all of that can be ameliorated if TDKR becomes the best superhero flick of all time. Yep… like that’s gonna be hard, right?
While Marvel has the market pinned in terms of relatively light hearted fare, which have helped them pry open the lucrative family market, DC offers their own cinematic tales as a darker, grittier alternative (again, ignore Green Lantern). And you know what? People love that s**t.
Do you remember seeing The Dark Knight for the first time? That was the summer of 2008, right after Iron Man blew everyone away with its realistic setting and Robert Downey Jr.’s incredibly narcissistic portrayal of the Shellhead. No one expected Nolan’s latest Bat flick to improve on the genre, let alone defeat Tony Stark as the cool kid on the block. Well… just to prove everyone wrong, TDKR became the best CBM (comic book movie) of all time and easily one of the most hauntingly captivating films of the last decade. It was for that reason, and so much more (ahem… The Joker… ahem), that it became the box office behemoth we all love and cherish.
Warner Brothers tried to build upon that good will with other cinematic ventures, but they’ve all fallen short. Jonah Hex was a misshaped mess and their attempt to bring Hal Jordan to the silver screen failed with a very underwhelming Ryan Reynolds. At this point, any DC hero besides Batman seems entirely irrelevant, at least in the movie-verse.
That’s why The Dark Knight Rises needs to beat The Avengers. Warner Bros. has no more good will left in it’s old “Trust us, we made The Dark Knight” marketing strategy and quite frankly, nobody’s interested in their superhero flicks (besides Batman… and I suppose the upcoming Man of Steel). I honestly fear that unless TDKR offers a satisfying conclusion to Nolan’s Batverse, while simultaneously beating Earth’s Mightiest Heroes at the box office, the WB might abandon all hopes of bringing the JL to the big screen.
I want The Dark Knight Rises to own this summer’s box office, I want it to reinvigorate Warner Brother’s lapsed enthusiasm, and I want Nolan’s gritty superhero verse to expand beyond DC’s two biggest names… I want a god damn Justice League movie!