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‘Justice League’ Won’t Happen Unless ‘Man of Steel’ Is a Hit

DC Comics/Warner Bros.

2015 was looking to be one of the biggest years in cinema history, as the summer was set to hold ‘Star Wars – Episode 7,’ ‘The Avengers 2‘ and ‘Justice League.’ Recently there was word that we might not get ‘Episode 7′ in 2015 and now we’re hearing that Warner Brothers has yet to fully commit to ‘Justice League,’ and the only way it moves forward is if ‘Man of Steel‘ is a hit.

This comes from Variety‘s profile of WB’s president Jeff Robinov and It’s hard to say that this is a surprise, as –outside of the Batman films — DC hasn’t had a lot of luck on the big screen during the last decade of comic book movies. Other than Christopher Nolan‘s Bat-films, they’ve had Bryan Singer‘s ‘Superman Returns’ and ‘The Green Lantern,’ neither of which were well received.

Though Marvel may have been pushing through to ‘The Avengers‘ –even with the Hulk character having two movies that weren’t all that successful — at least they knew they’d have the anchor of Robert Downey Jr. for their ensemble film. For ‘Justice League’ it’s very likely that it won’t have Christian Bale in the cape and cowl (Bale has said that he’s through with the character, though as Cyndi Lauper once sang “money changes everything”), so there’s that much more work in getting audiences excited about this ensemble of superheroes. Which puts all the pressure on Zack Snyder‘s ‘Man of Steel.’

Which raises the question, how big a hit does it have to be to justify ‘Justice League?’ ‘Superman Returns’ made $200 million domestically, and is now being rebooted seven years later. But it was also a film that audiences (for the most part) rejected and the film made half of its total in the first week. ‘Batman Begins’ did a little bit better (the domestic total was $205 million), but it had much better word of mouth and it spawned ‘The Dark Knight.’ If they want to hit 2015, then this is a decision that will have to be made shortly after ‘Man of Steel’s release.

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