Warner Bros. really needs to get their act together with this whole Justice League movie fiasco. The more recent rumors claim that the whole project is in trouble after Will Beall's script failed to pass muster, and there's still no director attached despite a supposed 2015 release date. What are they going to do to compete with The Avengers 2, Star Wars: Episode VII and Josh Trank's Fantastic Four reboot? It looks like they're bringing in the big guns.
A new report from from Latino Review scoopster El Mayimbe now claims that Christopher Nolan, the director who reinvented the Batman franchise, has been put in charge of all DC Superhero movies at Warner Bros., and plans to produce the Justice League movie along with his Man of Steel director Zack Snyder, who would be the studio's leading choice to direct the superhero team-up. These rumors stand to a certain amount of reason: Nolan already has enormous control over Warner Bros.' two biggest superhero franchise characters – Batman and Superman – so it only makes sense to keep it that way for the foreseeable future. And Snyder's always seemed like a potential candidate for the Justice League movie, especially now that we hear that Man of Steel might actually be a really good movie.
But the biggest part of this rumor is that Christian Bale could be back as Batman for the Justice League movie, pulled out of retirement and into the DCU proper. This seems less likely than the Nolan/Snyder rumors, but would also be something Warner Bros. would most likely love to happen. The possibility of restarting the Batman movie franchise with an all-new cast and take on the character was always a daunting prospect for the studio, who don't want the next wave of their cash cow to pale in comparison to the acclaimed trilogy by Christopher Nolan. Surely they'd want Christian Bale back as the character he helped to reinvent. The big question right now is… would he do it?
El Mayimbe and everyone else who's been paying attention is quick to remember that Christian Bale left the possibility open in an interview with Empire Magazine last year. Quoth the Bale: "If Chris came to me with a script and said, 'You know what? There is another story' then I would love the challenge of making a fourth one work."
Is this the best course of action for the Justice League movie? We couldn't say, but it's certainly the easiest one as far as Warner Bros. is concerned. If their big 2015 summer tentpole can be a team-up between two enormous franchises, rather than one potential franchise with a bunch of new supporting characters, and arguably the most iconic superhero in the world with an entirely new actor in the role, they're going to take that opportunity. But right now, as always, remember that this is just a rumor. A "likely" rumor, perhaps, but just a rumor… for now.
William Bibbiani is the editor of CraveOnline's Film Channel, co-host of The B-Movies Podcast, co-star of The Trailer Hitch, and the writer of The Test of Time. Follow him on Twitter at @WilliamBibbiani.