Another thing worth noting is that if you have a Wonder Woman movie, that's where her origin gets told, not in B v. S or JL. Ditto the Flash/GL flick, which will hopefully be wise enough to skip a lengthy origin element ala The Incredible Hulk and take some advantage of the Ryan Reynolds Green Lantern and the new TV show Flash. Batman v Superman can reintroduce the tweaked Batman, and offer an initially adversarial relationship with the Man of Steel, which will help distract from this being another dang Lex Luthor as ultimate villain film. Maybe we'll get a Lexcorp brewed Bizarro or something to spice up that old standard. Liberally sprinkle cameos and lead into first JLA film, which could be heavy on character interaction and light on exposition. Allow the other movies to stand alone. The current Superman has already been kind of ruined for kids, so maybe offer them Captain Marvel, a character who's been in some stage of preproduction since, like, the '90s. Got to be enough material lying around to push something out. The Rock is supposed to be attached to a DC movie, his busy schedule means he'd work best as a stunt villain, and he's been associated with Black Adam for the better part of a decade. Maybe Shazam stands alone, or maybe an awareness of his movie being far along in the pipeline was why he was used in the animated film War to prime him for League movie membership?
Then another rumor, this time from for Variety and current TheWrap writer Jeff Sneider, claiming J'Onn J'Onzz was up for casting in Justice League. Like virtually every other character confirmed as appearing in the movie, J'Onzz was introduced in live action to a wide audience via Smallville, and was used extensively there, because it makes friggin' sense. Man of Steel turned Superman into a hot mess of poor decision making skills, and Batman is so not the right choice to play mentor to a Kryptonian. The Manhunter is also a space guy and extremely stealthy, a more obviously useful combination to offer information about Max Lord or Darkseid than, say Cyborg. There was also an interesting follow-up tweet from Umberto Gonzalez, reporter from occasional scoopers/often B.S.ers Latino-Review...
No Martian Manhunter in JUSTICE LEAGUE? Not according to this agency grid, which lists DARKSEID as the villain... pic.twitter.com/lLwFwkXLkv— Jeff Sneider (@TheInSneider) June 12, 2014
Hopefully, if this is remotely accurate, Cumberbatch would be playing Darkseid or Maxwell Lord, since I think he'd be a terrible choice to play Martian Manhunter. This reopens the door to discuss the movies' casting issues. To date, Gal Gadot has never carried a movie or impressed anyone as Wonder Woman, but she's expected to play the Amazing Amazon in her own feature. Most recently, we are near confirmation on Jason Momoa playing Namor, the tall dark and handsome half-breed avenging son of the seven seas, with his arched eyebrows, barbaric intensity, and hot temper. No wait, he's playing the most famous ripoff of the Sub-Mariner, Aquaman, who spent his first thirty years in comics as the more mild-mannered, helpful, distinctly Aryan DC answer to one of proto-Marvel's most popular anti-heroes. Momoa has done fine work playing variations on Namor, but he's no Aquaman. Throwing Cumberbatch at the Manhunter would be another huge misstep, because a not dissimilar actor will be playing a not dissimilar character in 2015's Avengers: Age of Ultron. Click To Enlarge
Jason Momoa meet Benedict Cumberbatch & Marion Cotillard. Y'all got a lot in common.— Umberto Gonzalez (@elmayimbe) June 14, 2014
Throughout the Silver & Bronze Ages, Martian Manhunter was an amiable alien detective who was super-strong, could fly, created string winds with his powerful lungs, and could spin up a mean drill. The Vision was always a grim robot who fired an energy beam from his brow and "flew" by becoming immaterial, and his control of personal density also allowed him to pass through objects or become diamond hard, often in conjunction as a vicious offensive attack. A lot of J'Onn J'Onzz's personality and m.o. in the modern era can be traced directly back to "Victor Shade," who will be played by Paul Bettany next summer. This would inspire some rather unfavorable comparison for a johnny-come-lately Benedict Cumberbatch. No wonder David Goyer wanted to turn the Manhunter into Sil.
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Speaking of Goyer, BatFleck's writer/director buddy Kevin Smith had some words to say about the contempt expressed by the man providing the story to Batman v Superman. On the Hollywood Babble-On podcast, Smith said, "...You’re going to make comments like that, and you’re the person who is responsible for introducing Wonder Woman. That’s why there’s a lot of cats upset online. And then beyond just the icky girl stuff or whatever, the like ‘oh nerd stuff,’ the thing that I found really troubling too was the Martian Manhunter thing as well... that idea could never work, because it’s only existed for what like forty or fifty years, tried and true. These things are all make pretend anyway. It’s a comic book. Why couldn’t there be a Martian Manhunter? ...I don’t think David Goyer reads comic books whatsoever man."
Here's one of the things that gives me hope. The story to Batman v Superman is credited to David S. Goyer and Zack Snyder, but the screenplay is being written by Argo's Chris Terrio, and I don't think we know who's writing Justice League. Further, Kevin Tsujihara took over Warner Brothers in early 2013, too late to "save" Man of Steel, but not the successive films. Tsujihara used to work with Paul Levitz, and has a noted consideration for the DC super-heroes. I'm not excited about this line-up of films yet, but at least there's some potential for quality there. If noting else though, the Vision is one of my favorite Avengers, and might end up being enough of a parallel to the Martian Manhunter I know that I can take solace there if he's mishandled by Warners.