With Christopher Nolan’s “Dark Knight” trilogy now over and both the director and star having publicly walked away from the franchise — apparently for good — Warner Bros. only has one potential “Justice League” lead-up movie in the pipeline, the Nolan-produced, Zack Snyder-directed “Man of Steel,” which promises a grittier take on the Superman mythos.
In the past, Snyder has said that his version of the Last Son of Krypton will have nothing to do with the Superman that appears in any “Justice League” adaptation, leaving fans scratching their heads in bewilderment over Warner Bros.’ possible game plan.
Since then, though, it looks like the studio chiefs might have changed their minds a little.
The latest rumors claim that “Man of Steel” will follow the “Iron Man” playbook, dropping hints at a larger universe, possibly even during a post-credits sequence.
Speaking with the New York Post about “Man of Steel,” even Snyder vaguely implied there might be something to the rumors. When asked directly if his grounded take on Superman would be integrated into the “Justice League” universe, the director said, “Um, how can I answer that? I can’t really say anything to that, because that’s a big spoiler. I will say, yeah, they (Warner Bros.) trust me to keep them on course.”
For DC fans waiting for their favorite characters to have a moment in the sun, this is no doubt exciting news. But the rumors don’t stop there.
In November, HitFix’s Drew McWeeny reported that Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who played John Blake in this summer’s “The Dark Knight Rises,” will “absolutely” return as the new Batman in “Justice League.”
What’s more, McWeeny said, Gordon-Levitt might even suit up as the Caped Crusader before then in a new Batman movie to help set the stage for 2015’s big event.
Gordon-Levitt’s reps denied the rumors “entirely,” but that hasn’t silenced Internet speculation.
From the studio’s standpoint, it would make perfect sense to tie “Justice League” to Nolan’s multi-billion-dollar Batman movies. Even though Nolan stepped away, the open-ended conclusion of last summer’s “The Dark Knight Rises” leaves plenty of room for another director to take over without having to reboot the franchise completely.
The big question, though, is would fans be open to the idea of a “Justice League” movie without Bruce Wayne?
The year 2015 is still a long way off, but if all of these rumors pan out, it could be a very interesting year for blockbuster movies — and a very divisive one for diehard fans of the Star Wars and DC universes.
Following the huge success of “The Avengers,” though, audiences shouldn’t be surprised if the Marvel blueprint becomes the new standard for major movie franchises. For better or worse.
A native of Utah Valley and a devoted cinephile, Jeff is currently studying humanities and history at Brigham Young University.
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