During the writers’ strike that shook up Hollywood late last year into early this year, one of the larger stories was Warner Bros.’ treatment of George Miller‘s Justice League: Immortal, a project which has since then been tabled for the foreseeable future.
The main problem that WB encountered, of which the Justice League movie became a part of, was finding a tent pole film for the summer of 2009; basically, a large film, normally from a franchise or possible franchise, that will make money throughout the whole of the summer.
Since Justice League’s tabling, a few contenders have arisen from the geek library. Thanks to some information from IESB, as well as other circulating news stories, I’ll take a look at what we may be seeing on the big screen from Warner Bros. come 2009.
Supermax: Green Arrow
A while ago Latino Review showcased their thoughts on a script by Justin Marks for a David Goyer movie entitled Supermax: Green Arrow, a film where Oliver Queen — the Green Arrow — is sent to prison. The movie would depict him trying to escape, and dealing with the inmates, many of whom he had put there, or helped put there in his role as the Green Arrow.
According to IESB, it looks like the film has been renamed to just Green Arrow, which suggests to me that there will be at least a measure of Green Arrow in the film, compared to the almost complete absence LR had reported. Sanchez adds that the executives at WB are looking at Green Arrow, and the following movie, as possible contenders to join Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins, the only other film WB has for the tent pole position.
The second film that WB is looking at is Billy Batson and the Legend of Shazam. Focusing on the character of Billy Batson, who when he chants the famous word “Shazam” gains extraordinary power, becomes a man, and is then Captain Marvel. And according to director Peter Segal, they will be holding very closely to the original origin.
“There’ve been several incarnations [of the origin story],” Segal said in an interview while promoting his upcoming Get Smart film. “And there’s a new incarnation about how Billy has to win the approval of the individual gods before he can gain their powers, and that’s a completely different take from the original. So, once again, we’re staying very faithful to the source material, and we’re just continuing to work and try to make the script as good as it can be.”
There is a third film that is being thrown around for contention as a 2009 tent pole film, and that is a film version of the 60’s Hanna-Barbera cartoon Jonny Quest. Robert Sanchez from IESB notes that he was read and enjoyed the first draft of the script for a Jonny Quest film, and that the script has been turned in to WB, where it has gained a lot of favorable attention.
An additional factoid worth looking at is the possibility that Peter Segal, director of the upcoming Get Smart movie and director for the aforementioned Shazam movie, has read the recent draft from Dan Mazeau, and is up to date on the project. Apparently a few years ago Segal was attached to a Jonny Quest project, and Segal suggested that he would like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as Roger “Race” Bannon, Jonny’s bodyguard. Funnily enough, Johnson has also been tied to the role of Black Adam, a villain out of the Shazam franchise.
Another film that has been rumored for a long time is Green Lantern, and according to Devin Faraci over at CHUD, who spoke with Donald De Line, producer for Observe and Report, De Line is also the producer on Green Lantern for WB.
Now De Line confirmed that Jack Black was no longer attached to the film, and that any film he has to do with will not be comedic. It’ll be an origin story of Hal Jordan — the way it should be — and will focus a lot on the heroics and fearlessness bound up within the Hal Jordan character.
As of writing this, they are waiting on a first draft from Greg Berlanti, and it sounds like that might be heading De Line’s way soon.
Basically, there is absolutely nothing confirmed about any of these films, except that they exist in concept. With any luck though, 2009 will see us get Jonny Quest and Green Arrow to make up for what will, most likely, be a massively disappointing Terminator movie.