The L.A. Times has just released a profile on Jeff Rubinov, the new president of Warner Bros. following the departure of Alan Horn. It’s a short profile, mostly detailing Rubinov’s social awkwardness and his professional quirks, such as a refusal to work with David Fincher, who clashed with Rubinov (and everybody else?) during the making of both “Zodiac” and “The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button,” while also honoring his good ideas, such as his suggestion to use the Batmobile in “Batman Begins” and his hands-on approach to the “Sherlock Holmes” films.
What is confirmed in the piece is Warner Bros.’ decision on how they’ll keep their blockbuster machine running once the “Harry Potter” franchise shutters its doors this summer. The answer, of course, is superheroes, with “The Dark Knight Rises” and a new “Superman” film slated for 2012. We would assume the WB was also developing “The Flash” or another “Green Lantern” but imagine our surprise when the article only mentioned one other superhero film, slated for 2013: “Justice League.”
With only a passing reference, it could just be the speculative rumblings of one reporter. But “Justice League” would be a massive project, and with writers already assigned to a second “Green Lantern” picture and a “Flash” adaptation, we wonder why there hasn’t been any movement on a new “JL” script. Could they be resurrecting the super-ambitious “Justice League: Mortal” project that director George Miller worked on with screenwriters Kieran and Michele Mulroney?
Not likely, we’re guessing. Christian Bale has gone on record saying “The Dark Knight Rises” would be his last go-round as Batman. And while they could always bring back Armie Hammer, who was cast as Batman in “Justice League: Mortal,” Christopher Nolan, who is serving as a producer on the next “Superman,” has already ruled out Batman and Superman meeting other costumed crimefighters in his own films, but in future WB crimefighter films? Could be. Fox has successfully reapproached the “X-Men” series by kicking back the setting to ‘First Class’ a few decades and re-casting (and saving coin) in the process. It’s not out of the question for WB to consider a mega-team up of their comic icons in movie “The Avengers” style — but with a lot of new faces — but there are a few things to consider.
Firstly, in 2013, the Superman rights will be owned wholly by both the Siegel and Shuster heirs meaning a WB is gonna have to pay a hefty chunk of change if they want to use Superman in any movies again — are they really going to fork over all that cash if he’s only going to play a fraction of a role in a film? And we don’t buy that it would land in theaters just one year after “The Dark Knight Rises” folds and “Superman” reboots. We could easily see WB prepping “Green Lantern 2” or “The Flash” first before figuring out a way to get “Justice League” moving but we’re sure it’s on their development slate somewhere — 2013 just seems a touch early. And we can say this pretty certainty, whenever it happens, David Fincher won’t be directing (as least as long as Robinov is around).