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Here's a Thought, Zack Snyder

By Dustin Rowles | DC Movies | June 23, 2016 |

By Dustin Rowles | DC Movies | June 23, 2016 |

There have been a number of reports from Justice League set visits this week, more than a year before the movie will actually be released. Lifting the embargo on the set visits this early, of course, suggests that DC is trying to reverse public opinion on their movies. From those set visits, I’ve seen words like “Marvel” and “fun” being thrown around, suggesting that the gambit may have worked. Then again, thanks to Kyle Buchanan, we know that some of these set visit reports came from blogger fanboys like these:

In other words, take those set visit reports with a sticky, sticky grain of salt, because many of them were written by man-children impressed with Ben Affleck because he once had sex with Jennifer Lopez.

Out of those set reports also came a few interesting tidbits, like the fact that the villain will be a CGI creation, Steppenwolf. Also, Screenrant managed to get a synopsis of Justice League, which will be a stand-alone film (contrary to earlier reports that it would be two movies).

“Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy. Together, Batman and Wonder Woman work quickly to find and recruit a team of metahumans to stand against this newly awakened threat. But despite the formation of this unprecedented league of heroes—Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash—it may already be too late to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions.

“It may already be too late to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions.”

As someone who appreciates comic-book movies only if they actually work as good movies (See, e.g., Winter Soldier, Iron Man, Deadpool), therein lies my concerns. It looks as though Justice League will resort to the old-standby: a catastrophic assault on the planet.


Must we, again? Because I don’t really have much interest in watching whatever character development Zack Snyder can muster in the first two acts completely fall apart in a third act that will be nothing but stylistic violence, explosions, flash cuts, and bad one-liners. Must we always threaten the entire planet? Aren’t there smaller-scale reasons to bring the gang back together, something other than a massive CGI creation with a Death-Star like weakness in his chest plate?

Here’s a better idea: You’ve got Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg, and The Flash, which means you’ve got several superheroes with different sets of talents. Let’s put those talents to use in a caper movie. I’m talking about an Ocean’s 11 style heist flick. Superman is near dead, a bad guy has a kryptonite ring hidden in the Legion of Doom’s headquarters, an underground bunker in the ocean, and he plans to use it to put the nail in Superman’s coffin. The only people who can stop him are a ragtag team of superheroes. They can use their particular talents to sneak into the ocean bunker during a Legion of Doom meeting, break into the safe, steal the kryptonite, and replace it with an explosive that will detonate, killing everyone inside the Legion of Doom.

It could be fun, sexy and suspenseful, and maybe Aquaman and Cyborg sacrifice their lives to help the plan come to fruition when one has to stay behind to prevent the Penguin from alerting the rest of the villains of the impending explosion. Maybe the plan is endangered when Harley Quinn seduces Batman and plays double agent. There are a lot of possibilities here, an opportunity to mix Out of Sight, Bond, The Sting, and an Oceans movie with superheroes to make a slick, fun caper film that doesn’t have to involve eight superheroes trying to defeat a succession of skyscraper-sized villains through sheer brute force.

Let them use their wits. Their wiles. Their gadgets. And maybe even their shirtlessness to pull off the ultimate superhero caper.

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Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.