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Warner Bros. plans to shoot Justice League next year and release the film in summer 2015. The studio can move along with the development of the film, based on the conglomerate of DC Comics heroes, as it recently resolved some courtroom drama.
WB won a legal fight for the rights to Superman, a battle that had it lost, the studio would have either had to wait until after 2013 or entered new negotiations with estates of Man of Steel co-creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.
Making Justice League without one member of the group sounds simple enough, but it’s a whole different story with the character in question being Superman. He’s only member to enjoy massive box-office success aside from Batman, and WB can’t hinge hopes for the film on the Caped Crusader alone – even with audiences rushing to see the films of Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Trilogy.
Movies based on Wonder Woman and Flash have been “lingering in development,” as the Los Angeles Times puts it, for a while, and there’s no room for error since the Ryan Reynolds-led Green Lantern tanked last summer. One marketable hero lacks the clout necessary for big numbers at the box office, but more heroes could equal more numbers for Justice League.
Warner Bros. plans to give the heroes their own franchises after the film hits, a reversal of how Marvel handled its Avengers franchise. Interestingly, a 2015 release — assuming it’s over the summer — would pit Justice League against The Avengers 2.
Expect the director conversation to heat up in the coming weeks as WB gears to begin filming at some point next year.