I’m tired of speculating. It’s time I tell Warner Bros. exactly how I want the Justice League movie franchise to go down.
We all want a Justice League movie, even Joss Whedon. But we don’t want a bad Justice League movie, so fellow comic book movie enthusiast, Josh Griffin, and I decided to write out exactly what we want in a multi-movie JL franchise.
Below you’ll find the casting and plot for each movie (in order) that we believe would set up an epic Justice League movie. If you want the simple version, skip to the bottom where we just list out our picks for casting, directors, and the order of the movies.
Here we go.
So, we already started things off with Man of Steel, which set Superman up as Earth’s mightiest hero. We like Henry Cavill and want to keep his version of Superman, but that doesn’t mean we want to carry the same serious tone over to the other Justice League movies. We need someone fun…a comic relief if you will.
That’s why the next movie should be The Flash.
A movie about the fastest man alive coming after a movie about the strongest man (I say man loosely) alive makes perfect sense, and we’ve waited long enough to see Flash return to the big screen.
My pick for portraying Flash is Jacob Zachar, the young actor from the hit show, Greek (Spitter!). I like this actor for the part because we need a young, witty hero to balance out the Justice League lineup.
The Flash starts with hapless Barry Allen trying hard to balance his job as a young police scientist and making his fiance, Iris, happy. The problem is that Barry can’t seem to be on time for anything, causing everything important to him to fall through the cracks.
After a freak accident in the laboratory, Barry acquires unbelievable speed. He is immediately thrilled by his new powers that allow him to juggle his career and love life with ease.
Eventually, Barry shoots higher and decides to model himself as his childhood hero, Jay Garrick, who was the original “Flash” in a popular comic book.
Becoming a superhero turns out to be more than even he can handle when an obsessive fan, Thawne, tries to replicate Barry’s powers and become a speedster as well. With speed powers of his own, Thawne plans to dethrone Barry as “The Flash” by using his biggest weakness, Iris, against him.
In the end, Barry establishes himself as the one and only “Flash,” but receives an unexpected visit from Hermes, the god of speed, a last-minute cameo.
That’s because the next movie in the lineup is Wonder Woman.
My pick for playing the Amazon demigod is Olivia Wilde, and my characterization of her would be a cold and powerful figure who learns compassion and love through her time on Earth. We decided “New 52″ would be a great resource to pull a fresh take on the superheroine.
In Wonder Woman, we are introduced to Diana, a lone woman travelling the earth to learn more about the humans that live there. During her travels, she sees people hurting and in danger, but does nothing to help them.
She is a powerful God of a woman, but looks down on the suffering “mortals” here on Earth. Her origin is explained alongside the present story, as we learn she’s a powerful Amazonian from Themyscira, an island protected by the gods of greek mythology.
Hermes entrusts Diana with a mission to protect Zola, a young woman pregnant with the child of Zeus. Zola’s life is in danger from Hera, Zeus’s jealous wife. Diana soon realizes, however, that she is also an illegitimate child of Zeus, causing her to allow Hera to hand Zola over to Hades.
Disgusted with herself, Diana chooses to exile herself to Earth in an attempt to escape her birthright. It’s during her travels that she falls in love with Steve Trevor, a fighter pilot during WWII.
At the height of the war, Diana sees the carnage and considers it beneath her. Her love for Steve changes her, however, and she realizes she must save Zola from Hades.
Knowing this is a suicide mission, Diana returns to Themyscira to challenge her sisters for the battle armor she needs to save Zola. She acquires the armor, tiara, lasso, and handcuffs. She also takes up a new name for her new persona and calls herself Wonder Woman, per something Steve said about her.
But it’s too late. Zola is gone, with only her child surviving. Diana saves the child and returns to the mortal world, devoting herself to protecting her new home. Upon returning, however, she discovers that a long time has passed and she is in present-day Earth.
[Side Note: the sequel to Man of Steel would most likely take place after this movie. Our hope is that it introduces Lex Luthor, who would be played by Billy Zane *fingers crossed*]
Time fast forwards, and we see Diana as the ambassador to the World Assembly. At the end of the movie, she meets Senator Carter, who is leaving for a mission to Mars. When asked if he needs protection, Carter tells Diana that he is taking a “green lantern” with him.
Green Lantern Corps would be much less of an origin story than the rest of the Justice League movies. Instead, we’re thrust right into the action, as we’re introduced to John Stewart, a rookie green lantern played by Lee Thomspon Young (Famous Jett Jackson).
John Stewart is a young, but sure of himself, marine corps veteran that has just finished his training on Oa to become a full-fledged Green Lantern. Thanks to his background as an architect, John is extremely creative and has plenty of willpower.
For his first mission, John is tasked with accompanying Senator Carter to Mars to discover if there is life there. The purpose of the mission is for John to learn how to become more than a soldier, as he struggles with the multiple roles that go along with being a Lantern.
On Mars, the team discovers the mission is a lot more complicated. The life they’ve found is not native, but rather a rogue faction of “Manhunters” trying to break into a mysterious temple.
[Side note: Manhunters are the robotic corps that were replaced with Green Lanters by the Guardians. If that's confusing, just think of them as a powerful robot army.]
Atrocitus, an alien whose galaxy was wiped out by Manhunters, is trying to sieze a power source there that would allow him to enact revenge on the Guardians of the Universe.
Obviously, this one gets into more of the “space opera” territory, but that’s honestly how you do Green Lantern correctly. The reason we chose Atrocitus as the villain is because he later becomes the leader of the Red Lanterns, allowing Warner Bros. to start introducing the other “color rings” in later movies, which everyone wants to see.
At the end of the movie, we discover that the life on Mars is the Martian Manhunter, whom John hands over to Amanda Waller, the representative for the mission. Meanwhile, Carter deviously stumbles upon the true secret lying on Mars: a relentless army of shapeshifting aliens known as the Appelliax. The end reveals Carter to be one of them, as he discovered them as an astronaut years earlier and has been pretending to be human ever since.
This leads to the next movie, which starts with a familiar figure investigating strange aliens sabotaging space monitoring technology in Metropolis.
That’s right. The lead in to a full fledged Justice League movie just has to be Superman/Batman.
But wait? Who would be Batman? Christian Bale? Joseph Gordon Levitt? No and NO. It’s simple…we reboot the Batman. By having him team up with Superman, we have a semi-original reboot that takes the emphasis off the character we already know.
We don’t need a backstory, just a new version of the dark knight, and don’t tell me seeing the two most iconic superheroes of all time isn’t something people will pay to see.
So, who will play Batman? Michael Fassbender. His time as Magneto will be over by the time this movie goes into production.
This version of Batman has to be drastically different from the Chris Nolan movies. Why? Because in order for Batman to justify his role alongside Superman, he has to be the world’s greatest detective. He needs to be an unforgiving genius that is a step ahead of everyone. That version of Batman is a force that even Superman will reckon.
Put simply, we need Kevin Conroy’s Batman, not Bale’s.
In this teamup movie, Superman and Batman’s greatest foes come up with a plan to eliminate “the World’s Finest,” using their weaknesses against them.
With Strange’s help, Luthor builds a Kryptonite suit that will allow him to weaken and crush Superman. Luthor uses his public persona to out Batman as Bruce Wayne.
Realizing they’re each others’ only hope, the two reluctantly join together to stop Strange and Luthor’s ultimate plan, which is world domination.
Though they’re not technically “friends,” Bruce and Clark form a respect for each other. In the end, Superman and Batman go their separate ways, with Batman warning Superman that aliens have already invaded Earth and that they may need to help each other out yet again.
Superman remarks that if there is a threat, they both may need some help, leading us directly into Justice League.
In Justice League, each of our heroes try to face the Appelliax head on, but fail miserably. Since being awakened, the aliens have studied each of the heroes and have been a step ahead all along.
Also, Superman and Batman realize that Senator Carter pushed for nuclear disarmament in an attempt to rid the world of the only weapons they could use against the aliens.
Before hope is lost, however, Martian Manhunter, played by Isaiah Mustafa (Old Spice Guy!), calls out to each of our heroes telepathically, and they find him imprisoned by the U.S. government. He explains what’s really going on, and the heroes join forces to stop the invasion and make us drop our jaws.
In the end, we learn that after the Appelliax had been awakened during Green Lantern Corps, they signaled their leader, who instructed them to plan for an invasion of Earth. This villain is revealed to be Darkseid, who now has his sights set on Earth.
And there you have it. A cast, a unifying plot, and a reason for all of these characters to unite as the “World’s Greatest Superheroes.”
To sum up, here is pretty much everything we want:
Man of Steel: Henry Cavill
-Villain: General Zod
-Director: Zach Snyder
The Flash: Jacob Zachar
-Director: Brad Bird
Wonder Woman: Olivia Wilde
-Director: Chris Columbus
Green Lantern Corps: Lee Thompson Young
-Director: Joseph Kosinski
Superman/Batman: Henry Cavill and Michael Fassbender
-Villains: Lex Luthor (Billy Zane) and Hugo Strange (Jude Law)
-Director: Zach Snyder
Justice League: Isaiah Mustafa as Martian Manhunter
-Villain: Senator Carter (Gabriel Macht)
-Director: Zach Snyder
Do you have anything to add or subtract from our ideal wish list? Let us know in the comments.
Jon Negroni is the author of the Pixar Theory and other movie-related conspiracies. For more of his odd opinions you might care about, check out jonnegroni.com