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Christian Bale All But Guarantees Joseph Gordon-Levitt Will Be Starring In The Justice League Movie

By Joanna Robinson | Trade News | July 2, 2013 | Comments ()


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In a recent interview with "Entertainment Weekly," Christian Bale officially confirmed what we'd long suspected. That he will not, in fact, be donning the cowl for a Justice League movie. He said (graciously) "We were incredibly fortunate to get to make three [Batman films]. That's enough. Let's not get greedy." When asked directly about the Justice League, he said, "I have no information, no knowledge about anything. I've literally not had a conversation with a living soul. I understand that they may be making a Justice League movie, that's it...It's a torch that should be handed from one actor to another. So I enjoy looking forward to what somebody else will come up with."

I mean, I think the "may be making" question was blown out of the water after Henry Cavill's Man Of Steel sped its way to becoming the second highest grossing film of the year. (Surpassed only by the Avengers-assisted Iron Man 3.) So who will play The Caped Crusader? I feel like they laid that out pretty plainly at the close of Nolan's final Batman film. Who was literally rising at the end of The Dark Knight Rises? Oh. You know.
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You can call him Nightwing if you like, but I'll be absolutely gobsmacked if the new Justice League franchise doesn't try to make some connection to the universe Nolan created. So I look forward to this inevitable summer franchise. All 500 days of it.

[via EW]



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  • Mongoose Maelstrom

    Putting Nightwing in the Justice League movie is a terrible idea but not as bad as JGL as Batman. All ties to the horrible finale of the otherwise great Dark Knight trilogy need to be left if the dust.

  • I liked Man of Steel more than most people, I gather. That aside, I still think a Justice League movie is beyond stupid. I really don't know anyone who cares about Green Lantern, Flash, Aqua Man or Martian Manhunter. Maybe Wonder Woman, but even then, she's pretty low on the interest totem pole. On the other hand - everyone loves Superman and especially Batman. To the point where we keep seeing sub-par to just good Superman movies (Superman Returns was actually a hit). The idea of Superman and Batman in a movie together has been making people nuts since the late 80's. Why is Warner Brothers trying to force the issue here? Just go where the money is and make a World's Finest movie with just Superman and Batman. See if that makes a billion and THEN let them establish a Justice League. How is this so complicated?

  • dammitdamian

    Does anyone actually WANT a Justice League movie? I don't get the allure of it. I loved The Avengers, but man... I can't help but DC copying this idea is a very bad, bad, bad idea.

  • God I hope they make it JGL Batman. I always wondered what a Batman without the decade of training around the world and zero of the budget would be like. Imagine the hilarity when he crashes the Tumbler and realizes it's the only one he's got, or cracks his cowl and has to put it together with ducktape. One of those pointy ears, being held on by ducktape. Adorable.

  • Long_Pig_Tailor

    I just always assumed, much like 90% of the movie's plot points were glossed over (I think we all know them at this point), that there was some kind of separate, intact Batman fortune kicking around that JGL would've had access to. It is literally the only way Bruce being completely cool with Bane annihilating the Wayne fortune would make sense.

  • That is a great idea for a standalone set of movies. However, the JLA has always depended on the kindness of the Wayne billions for things like headquarters and supersonic jets and stuff

  • Rocabarra

    Question #1: How do I get myself into that Oldman/Bale/Gordon-Levitt sandwich pictured above?

    Question #2: No seriously. How?

  • Slim

    Yes. This.

  • Three_nineteen

    So, you think if there had been no Avengers, Iron Man 3 would not have done as well? I don't understand that. 1 and 2 did pretty well for themselves.

  • Yes without a doubt there was an "Avengers" bump. It's rare that a third part of trilogy does better than, much less surpass the the previous movies' totals the way Iron Man 3 has. Avengers brought a lot of people to a superhero movie who would not have seen one before.

  • Three_nineteen

    Well, let's check Box Office Mojo to test that hypothesis. Here are some popular trilogies and their box office takes in millions. I excluded Star Wars because of the multiple releases:

    X-Men: 157, 215, 234
    Spider-Man: 404, 374, 337
    Nolan's Batman: 237, 535, 448
    LOTR: 316, 343, 378
    Back to the Future: 211, 118, 88
    Alien: 81, 85, 55
    Rocky: 117, 85, 125
    Terminator: 38, 205, 150
    Die Hard: 83, 118, 100
    Toy Story: 193, 246, 415
    Lethal Weapon: 65, 147, 145
    Jason Bourne: 121, 176, 227
    Star Trek: 82, 79, 76

    So, Back to the Future, Spider-man, and Alien have the 3rd movie as the lowest grossing. Bourne, Toy Story, Rocky, LOTR, and X-men have the 3rd movie as the highest grossing. Two trilogies - Nolan's Batman and Terminator with the 3rd movie beating the original, but making less than the 2nd. That's 8 out of 13 trilogies where the 3rd movie isn't the lowest grossing one. 3 other trilogies - Die Hard, Lethal Weapon, and Star Trek - have 3rd movies grosses within spitting distance of the 2nd movie. If you count those as evenish for fun, that makes 10 out of 13 trilogies where the 3rd movie meets or exceeds the take of the first two movies.

    "It's rare that a third part of trilogy does better than" the first two movies seems to fail as a hypothesis.

    I do kind of understand the Iron Man 3 comment now - I didn't realize that it did so much better than the first one. I think it would have beat the 1st movie's take on its own, though.

    ETA: Thought of 2 more.

    Mission Impossible: 181, 215, 134
    Transformers: 319, 402, 352

    So one more on either side of the ledger.

  • You forgot to adjust for inflation. Adjusted numbers on some of your movies and other popular franchises:
    X-Men 281, 283, 284
    Spider-Man 551, 477, 388
    Batman (Nolan) 254, 589, 457
    Batman (Burton) 499, 311, 335
    Rocky: 437, 269, 335
    Terminator: 90, 386, 198
    Oceans 11: 254, 159, 139
    Matrix: 268, 370, 183
    Mission Impossible: 325, 317, 162
    Transformers: 368, 427, 351
    Star Trek (orig) 260, 213, 180
    Star Trek (NG): 143, 164, 116

    source: http://www.boxofficemojo.com/f...

  • Long_Pig_Tailor

    Agreed. Whenever I discuss the whole Marvel Universe thing, I talk about it as if it's a TV series. The Avengers constituted basically a season finale for the mega-franchise, which means Iron Man 3 becomes a season premiere. It's functionally first in seeing what comes next for the whole thing, whereas without the Avengers, etc., it would've just been the "last" Iron Man movie. Still would've done well, no doubt, but it is fundamentally a pretty unique animal.

  • That's assuming you have seen the other movies leading up to the Avengers. For most of the audience that was fresh to the Avengers, IM3 acted as a first sequel to the Avengers, and box office-wise it's performed about on par with a sequel (it'll make back half of Avengers box office).

  • Long_Pig_Tailor

    That's really the beauty of it. It's working in multiple ways, and every way in which it does work has been successful. I'll be interested to see if the momentum keeps up once we hit the "filler" of this season (that is, Cap and Thor).

  • BendinIntheWind

    Sure, call him Nightwing. Just don't call him Robin again.

  • psemophile

    I don't think the world is ready for a Justice League film.
    What everyone wants is dark'n'gritty but we all know a JL film is going to be nothing less than a Clash of the Titans but with more epic. I'd rather have them not make this film than screw up and make a Man Of Steel-level sub-par film.

  • Long_Pig_Tailor

    I think the biggest issue is this mistake DC has made in believing that the goal actually is dark and gritty. It is not, not even a little bit. The buzz word is "realistic" or "believable", the idea that what you're seeing, however much it features a freaking god, or an indestructible alien with laser eyes or a borderline-psychopathic billionaire with vengeance boner, could maybe actually be a thing which happens. And that? That's a completely respectable idea that is probably the only reason comic book movies are viable right now.

    The thing of it is, DC isn't getting the right idea. They're hung up on their one major success and thinking it somehow has something to do with specifically all its Nolan-ness, the darkness and grittiness. Which it doesn't, really. Playing it straight was valuable, but the exact degree of darkness Nolan went for isn't strictly necessary. And it's Batman, so basically anybody who made a Batman movie and played it seriously would've been similarly-- if not equally-- successful with it. DC needs to look beyond Nolan, and beyond the superficial of the Avengers and get the memo-- go for something believable, but have some fucking fun with it. If every MCU movie were the level of serious darkness that the DKT and MoS are, you'd have been seeing diminishing returns by the time you hit your Justice League movie because nobody actually wants to deal with that many hours of unceasing grimness.

    Batman would more than fulfill a DC movie universe's darkness needs. Superman can be inspiring. Green Lantern and Flash can probably split the difference on fun. Aquaman can... be present. Wonder Woman should maybe be left alone until they can poach Joss Whedon. It's entirely doable, but DC needs to get at least one damn original idea before they go charging into this JL thing.

  • psemophile

    I think Zack Snyder can handle Wonder Woman if he doesn't go wonky. And I completely agree with your comment.

  • toblerone

    I thought James Bond / Daniel Craig was taking over?

    Since Skyfall pretty much turned the Bond franchise into Batman.

  • Mrs. Julien

    I believe you meant to say "Home Alone".

  • AudioSuede

    It would be physically and thematically impossible for Nolan's Batman to exist in the same world as Superman, or any of the other JLA members for that matter. Also, I love JGL, but he would make a terrible Batman. He doesn't have the angst or the intimidation necessary to pull it off.

    As much as DC wants desperately to be Marvel and make a series of movies leading up to a big new blockbuster franchise, they should leave Batman until the actual JLA movie, and give him a brand new interpretation.

  • Bouj

    This is a good idea. Literally the LAST thing we need is a new Batman origin story. We all know how Wayne becomes the Batman. Just bring Wayne into the MoS series in a cameo or intro Batman in JLA. Establish he's been operating in Gotham since before the Zod incident in Metropolis. I think it was Goyer, but it might have been Snyder, who said Superman's revelation to the world sets in motion others revealing themselves. Superman's the 1st to reveal publically, but he wasn't the 1st to be there. The other DC heroes are around. But Batman isn't really a superhero, he's a guy with great R&D and loads of money.
    Wayne doesn't need the space alien to pop up to give him the courage to reveal himself.

  • Fredo

    Agreed. They're putting the cart before the horse if they think that the individual successes of MoS + TDK equal JLA. Batman and Superman are 2 of the biggest superhero franchises. That doesn't necessarily mean we're interested in a JLA franchise.

    Even if that's the case, they got to lay the foundation. How about they work on viable Wonder Woman and Flash movies and a reboot of Green Lantern (with Anthony Mackie as John Stewart) before they think that a JLA movie can work?

  • Green Lantern

    I'm gonna echo Dave and Bouj. Bale and Nolan gave us a great version of Batman, but that needs to stay within its own scope of things. Let's have a separate Batman character for the "MoS"/"JL" film series, shall we? It's easier that way.

  • Bouj

    This is what I keep telling my buddy when we discuss the DC movies: the ultimate goal is to make Superman and Batman movies. Those characters make money. Maybe JLA happens, maybe they reboot Green Lantern or do Wonder Woman, but no matter what, they WILL make new Batman movies (and Superman movies). And it's almost certain neither Bale or Nolan want to make Batman movies forever. So better to find a new Batman for a new series.
    Bale & Nolan aren't Whedon & RDJ. It never seemed like they would want to be in the Superhero Movie business forever. Hell, RDJ doesn't want to do it forever. He's only coming back for the tentpoles.
    Just reboot Batman and be make sure the actor isn't doing a bad Bale impersonation.

  • Batesian

    I was dissed by Green Lantern? Damn, that's cold.

  • Bouj

    Goyer & Nolan have both said that the Dark Knight Trilogy exists in a separate universe from MoS. The Bruce Wayne of MoS isn't the Bale Batman, it's another Batman. If they want to use some of the same actors, that's fine, but people need to realize the guy who wrote both is saying it's two separate continuities.

  • Long_Pig_Tailor

    That just makes it inexplicable to me that they went so ridiculously dark with MoS, then. I can find MoS's tone acceptable when you're trying to make Justice League happen and want Nolan's Dark Knight to fit, but without it? Then Jesus fuck, would one bright color or non-cockhammer Pa Kent have killed them?

  • Batesian

    Really? Given how WB has run things the past few... well, since pretty much always... I expect they'll go for another character reboot unconnected with Nolan's trilogy.

  • Repo

    Or maybe Bale is angling for the Iron Man payday. He watched RDJ get 50 million for Avengers and god only knows how much for the Avengers 2 and 3 contract. Maybe it's time to leverage the big boy paydays to put the cowl back on.

  • Wow. Integrity in Hollywood. WTF, Bale?

  • E Robb

    I dunno. Weren't they trying to cast Armie Hammer as Batman for the Justice League movie?

  • I think that was like 12 Justice League iterations ago. That version is long gone.

  • E Robb

    That version was still after The Dark Knight Rises, which means they had already given up on the idea of using the Nolanverse.

  • NateMan

    That's not even a little bit funny. Less so if true. I mean, he's not awful. But he's got nowhere near the required gravitas for Batman.

  • AudioSuede

    I don't know. I think The Lone Ranger looks terrible, but he showed flashes of darkness in The Social Network, and he's clearly got the physical build. Plus it would put him and Superman in roughly the same physical age range. He might not be my first choice, but the more I think about it, the more I think Armie Hammer could make a pretty solid Batman.

  • My preference is to leave the Dark Knight Trilogy alone. It's perfect as is. In my mind, John Blake will watch over Gotham as Batman forever, or for about 20 years when he's tragically killed, forcing Bruce to come out of retirement again. Let me have that Warner Bros.

    Having said that, I'm all for more Batman. I'm not sure if it was just a meaningless wink to the fans, but the satellite Superman and Zod crash into in Man of Steel has the Wayne Enterprises logo on it. So Bruce Wayne/Batman exists in that universe. I like Joseph Gordon Levitt so much that I wouldn't mind casting him as Bruce. If that's too confusing for people since he was John Blake in Rises then find someone else. From there you can reboot Batman on his own and set up a Justice League movie.

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