Between moving to a new apartment, preparing for an addition to the Marshall family, and working out the details of some fun upcoming projects on the professional side of things, I’ve gotten a little behind in posting excerpts of my recent work. Back when everyone was buzzing about a potential “Justice League” movie that may or may not be in the works (and was rumored to have Ben Affleck as a director), I devoted that week’s “Adapt This” column at IFC.com to the story I think the studio should look to for inspiration when it comes to DC’s premiere superhero team.
The relaunch of DC’s universe brought with it a brand new Justice League, and I’ve enjoyed seeing the individual heroes come together in this rebooted world more than I expected. The credit for that rests on the shoulders of Justice League: Origin creators Geoff Johns and Jim Lee, who made the first big arc of the Justice League series a memorable one. And it’s a very adaptation-friendly story, too.
I’m fairly certain that last quality isn’t an accident, either — so it made sense to recommend Justice League: Origin as a good starting point for any future “Justice League” movie.
Here’s an excerpt from my column:
The first story arc of the new Justice League series assumes some familiarity with the characters who make up the team but still offers a bit of context for their place in the world — something a live-action movie would do well to mimic. On top of that, the story also illustrates the particular set of skills each character brings to the group and why “a guy dressed like a bat” can be just as important as the Man of Steel when the chips are down. In this way, Justice League: Origin simultaneously introduces the characters to a newcomers and establishes how they relate to each other, covering two of the biggest requirements for a live-action, superhero team-up movie.
While the story in Justice League: Origin follows the standard team-up formula, having the individual heroes fight amongst each other before eventually teaming up to take on the big bad guy they can’t defeat individually, “The Avengers” proved that you don’t need an overly-complex plot to make a good superhero team-up movie. If you cast the characters well, then you can put them in a scene together and watch the sparks fly. With Origin, there’s a compelling narrative that manages to give all of the heroes equal time while also splitting them up in various groupings to show how different characters play off each other (similar to what was done in “The Avengers” so well).
You can read the rest of the column at IFC.com.