Caffeinated Clint – 20/10/07


A League Of Their Own

Man, what a web this weave weaves….
Last week I received what I believed to be several pages from the “Justice League” script.

This is the original report, that I yanked about an hour after it went online….

Just returned from doing a TV interview – hope you yankies understand my brash, strong Aussie accent – to find a fat envelope on the dusty doormat. Inside? Several pages from the “Justice League” script – clearly marked [removed]. Yep, this here tree was cut down so [removed] effects guys would know what they’re working with.
So what are they working with? Well, not a lot. Not to say the film reads terrible, it doesn’t, it’s just that it reads more like a Saturday Morning ‘Superfriends’ cartoon than anything else – like, say, something that’ll appeal to the over twenties crowd – and basically, WETA need only look at the old cartoons to seek inspiration for their whizbang dressings. Having said that, maybe that’s exactly what they’re going for – a family-friendly toon-esque romp; like say “The Rocketeer” or “Sky High”.
The film introduces the main characters very quickly – as if they’re a 42-minute TV show and have to get it done quickly. You don’t get to know much about any of our central heroes before they all unite.
The film opens with John Stewart/The Green Lantern leaving space for the beachy surroundings of what’s described in the brief as being a “San Diego” like town – its there that he’ll have to rescue a Submarine crew (I don’t think I’ll give away the finer aspects of the sequences – just to say they could look impressive) from something with “a lot of arms”. We’re next introduced to Aquaman, who spots the leviathan battering a lighthouse. A large-scale skirmish occurs between the sea hero and the sea villain. Then, Wonder Woman is introduced – but not before Superman, in a mid-air fight, crashes her scene. Next, The Flash gets his big intro scene…. Rescuing plainclothes detective Ben Chyre from a ‘ticking’ bear – something ‘the Trickster’ has cooked up. The Flash has a bit of fun with a news crew – says something so fast that they’re unable to use it on air – which might evoke a laugh or two.
We’re introduced to our villain, Max Lord, as he watches a monitor where[what appears to be] Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman etc are ‘’terrorizing a building full of homeless people. Destroying the arches and pulling the supports down…” We then learn that Lord has captured a team of superheroes already – “ULTRAMAN, SUPERWOMAN, OWLMAN, JOHNNY QUICK and POWER RING…” – who he plans to use for his own devious mission : pit them against the “Justice League”.
We see the “Hall of Justice” being built – on the outskirts of space – by the team themselves; as well as many “construction robots”. Seems Wayne Industries is footing the bill for it.
Within a couple of minutes, alarm bells ring and the team er, suit up for action. The alarm bells have signalled for a visitor from Mars…. Martian Manhunter, who naturally the team presume is evil at first. The visitor informs the gang that their world is “at an end” and so begins their plight to destroy Lord and the OMACs.
Look, the film seems pretty underwhelming, sure, but what I think might’ve been their motivation here is to distance themselves from any of the “Superman” or “Batman” films already in existence – which is something the fans will be thankful for – and as this is merely light and fluffy cartoon adventure-stuff, without any of the dark undertones of those other films (largely “Batman”), they’ve definitely succeeded in that. This will definitely appeal to a much younger crowd than those that say, loved “Batman Begins” – it’ll be one the twelve-years-olds go ga-ga for. In fact, Batman doesn’t even seem to have much of a part to play here – not the pages I read anyway; it’s almost as if he’s a secondary character or Warner have told the producers they can only use a “bit of him” – and definitely isn’t the same Caped Crusader we’ve seen on the screens for the past couple of years. In fact, if this is anyone’s movie it’s The Flash’s… he gets most of the gags, a lot of the action, and seems to have quite a few more scenes- again, in the pages I read – than the others. If the character is cast right – I believe Adam Brody (“the OC”) is the favourite at this stage – he could be the break-out character here…. the one the twelve-year olds want on a T-Shirt.
So all-in-all, “Justice League” won’t be our film – and when I say ‘our’ I mean, commonly anyone considered of adult age – but it will probably be right up the kids’ alley. It’s essentially a live-action version of “Superfriends” – in terms of pace, story and set-up.

So anyway…. Mr “Justice League” himself, Robert from IESB did some checking around and discovered that it was fake – or rather, that his sources believed it to be fake. A contact at Warner bros told us he wasn’t sure either. And both suggested we just take it down – before we were thrown in movie-site jail. So we did.

Then, overnight, we received word – as did IESB – that the pages may have indeed been legit – according to some, the pages are fresh; new re-write notes that the effects guys are doing some conceptual stuff off of. So after wiping egg from my face for a day, believing I’d been well and truly duped, I apologised to the original scooper – who, mind you, we still haven’t been able to really check out – and promised him we’d run it again… if even here, with an explanation why it was originally taken down.

Here’s some of the emails we received :

‘’Just to let you know that Movie Hole’s Justice League of America report that said was FAKE… isn’t. Well, not entirely – it may be a bit out of date but its indeed part of an earlier draft of the film that some of the effects companies have been using to do preliminary conceptual shots. I don’t know whether you took it down at the request of IESB, or Warner Bros – but if it’s the former, there was no need, it sounds like the real document to me. Also, you’re right, The Flash is the star of the show. I think he’ll be the spin-off they go with first.”

“frighteningly similar to some recent sides I’ve seen – and it too mentioned some of those more obscure characters that you mentioned other sites didn’t believe we’re in the film. I think you had something there Clint – sorry to say you just missed out on a couple of hundred hits baby. And they’re saying Batman might have already been cast so that might explain why [name removed] couldn’t get an audition”.

‘’Clint, you yanked your article down – because IESB debunked it, but then they went ahead and ran their script review anyway? Did your source even allow you to pass the script on? Did you agree to let IESB steal your thunder? You’re way too trusting by the sounds…. And because of that, this script could be fake too. Maybe”.

“Clint. It could be real – if only because someone I know has read it [name removed] and says it is pretty lame and, as you described, just like a cartoon”.

So there it is. Is it bullshit? I dunno – and if it is, someone really needs to remove their hand from it and get a life because they’ve just typed up a fifth of a film script for kicks… and that’s rather sad. On the other hand, if it is real…. It’s pretty shitty stuff.

But you know what? I could not give really give a shit. I’m about as interested in comic books movies as the guy that dresses up as a Ghostbuster every year for Comic Con is about sex.

I have no idea who is who in the comic world, nor did any of the secondary characters in this supposed “JLA” script mean anything to me. I just couldn’t care less. I enjoy superhero movies…. But I definitely do run my life around them, or spend my weekly wage on comics, that’s for sure. In fact, I don’t believe I’ve ever bought a comic.

I hear all those people claiming that so-and-so is in the script and that ain’t right, or that so-and-so should be in the script, but it means nothing to me. I know that I should probably be more of a nerd than I am, running a website and all, but the truth is fellas… I’d rather sink a few beers on the weekend than invade the DC Comics stand at my local comic book. So in other words, I’m not the best person to tell you whether or not this script is any good or not…. Or rather, whether it’s loyal to the “Justice League” series. I kinda remember the cartoon show as a kid, but I couldn’t tell you much about it – it was a big white building, right?

So there you have it. A “Justice League” script – or part of – floated our way this week. Is it fan-fiction? I dunno. Is it real? I dunno. Do I give a shit? Does Paris Hilton go in for a regular AIDS check?

Seriously folks, get out…. Enjoy the sunshine…. Stop worrying about a film that’s still months away from being in front of the cameras. And if the colour of Superman’s undies is lighter than it would usually be… who gives a fuck?

Josh at nailed it on the head when he said the “Maybe the script will be brilliant, maybe the cast will be stacked with completely unknown (and very cheap) but incredibly talented actors. Great. But this is a superhero movie and if we’re going to throw all these great, iconic characters into a pot then fans are going to expect something massive.Let’s get something straight: Justice League is not some complicated, Shakespearean superhero allegory. It’s not a deep, relationship movie about the bonds of brotherhood and family. That’s just not a part of this property. There’s one reason and one reason only for it to exist: To deliver an orgy of incredible superpowers. There’s no other reason for anyone to buy a ticket for it. We want to watch The Flash racing Superman! Wonder Woman deflecting bullets! Aquaman calling the creatures of the deep into battle! I want to see Martian Manhunter levitate Aquaman’s whales and throw them at his enemies like giant, squirting torpedoes!! If we can’t really get all of that, then what’s the point in doing it? JLA should be a superhero, superpower orgasm… or why bother?”

But for those that are interested – a few spotty kids just sat up! – here’s what we know about the film so far.

The Facts
1. Batman and Superman won’t be played by Christian Bale or Brandon Routh as this film is going to be set in a different universe.

Gregory Noveck, of DC Comics, tells that “I think part of it is that the character is larger than the actor. If you look at Batman, Superman and Justice League as separate franchises, if all of a sudden you have Brandon in it but you don’t have Christian, then what movie is it? I think you have to have it stand on its own. I’m just speculating, but if I’m the director of this movie, I don’t want to have to be too careful of another director’s iteration of a character. If I use his actor, then I’m kind of beholden to it. What if George Miller hired Brandon and Christian, but he wanted Brandon to really play Superman tougher and wanted Christian to show more humanity, then all of a sudden you’re entering very strange creative territory. The same is true of using Tom Welling. I think ultimately it’s a better movie if you have different actors to keep the iterations of the characters distinct. The example I’ve been using is, is it the Mike Mignolia Batman versus the Frank Miller Batman? It’s still Batman, they’re just different versions of it. I think when we start to open up the films with that kind of lens, where you can say, “These are all Superman, but they’re different versions” – even from Tom Welling to Brandon Routh, right? – that’s pretty cool.”

2. That George Miller is directing. Which is a dead-on indication, if you ask me, that the film is going to be aimed at littlies. His last film? Warners “Happy Feet”.

3. That a number of actors tested for roles over the weekend – they include Theresa Palmer (and why the fuck did they use “Wolf Creek” as the title she’s most known for? She merely did a walk-on part in it; she had a bigger part in “The Grudge 2” and “December Boys”; she had a lead role in “2:37”); Joseph Cross (“Running with Scissors”), Adam Brody (“The OC”) and half the cast of “Friday Night Lights”. Interestingly enough, Aint it Cool says that they were all testing for the parts of The Flash and Wonder Woman. Does this mean Superman and Batman have already been cast?

4. That whoever is cast in the parts will be young – young enough so that they can age over three pictures.

5. It’ll film in Sydney next February.

6. That Clint doesn’t have a friggin’ clue how Owlman is.

As of October 20, 2008, that’s all we know. And until we know more, there is NO NEED TO COMPLAIN.

And listen, when it comes to printing rumours or could-be-real/might-be-not scripts….

Its an interesting game trying to pick what’s legit and what’s fake in terms of rumours – but its all part of the game of running a movie ‘news and rumours’ site… you have to expect that some of those rumours are going to be bogus. I mean, we could simply be a ‘movie news’ sites and only run whatever the trades have confirmed… but what would be the use of that? Wouldn’t you people rather read some rumours too?

OK, so most online rumours don’t pan out…
– remember Eric Bana being up for 007?
– Natalie Portman as Indy’s daughter in “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”?
– Steven Seagal playing Genghis Khan
– The Rock stepping in for Schwarzenegger in a “Predator 3”
– Val Kilmer having a cameo in “Mission : Impossible 3”
– Joss Whedon directing a “Sailor Moon” movie
– Katie Holmes, the frontrunner for “Wonder Woman”?
– Jason Biggs being part of the “Kill Bill” cast
– Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis teaming up for Quentin Tarantino’s “Inglorious Bastards”?
– “Jaws 5” a direct-to-DVD sequel?

But some do…
– remember Christian Bale being touted as Batman?
– Karl Urban as ‘Bones’ in “Star Trek”
– George Miller to direct “Justice League” movie
– Warner doing a direct-to-video “Lost Boys 2”
– Ian Holm rumoured for Bilbo in “Lord of the Rings”
– Anthony Michael Hall being in “The Dark Knight”
– Len Wiseman leaving “Escape from New York”
– Justin Long as McClane’s sidekick in “Die Hard 4”?
– Keith Richards doing a cameo in “Pirates” sequel
– Edward Norton up for WIll Graham in “Red Dragon”

If not for ‘rumours’, the film community of the web would be a pretty uninteresting place to hang out…. Don’t ya think? And heck, it’s fun reading!

Anyway, whatever does happen with “Justice League” just try and enjoy it! And if you do find yourself complaining about the casting decisions to the point where you can’t sleep…. Try and get yourself laid. I’m sure some Chinese massage parlour chickie can help peel you out of your Spider-man costume for the 2 minutes it’s going to take to launch your rocket.