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Marvel and DC's individual superheroes operate differently, however.
Marvel, the universe is more shared - even with the more individual origins many superheroes are quickly/eventually established in relation to other character (Spidey and the Fantastic Four, for instance, but more importantly here Cap, Iron Man, SHIELD and the Avengers are all nearly indistinguishable, and when you take into account SHIELD in the first place you get a whole network of shared aspects between other heroes) - so it's easier to establish multiple characters with the same origin story in a Marvel work.
In DC, the heroes are in the same universe, but when not made to team up in ensemble works are extremely isolated from others. Each mythos is self-contained and doesn't too often cross over to others unless something big is going down, and their origins are wholly separate from each other - this works in the comics, where they're already established in their own titles and ensemble works are either there to get you interested in the individual comics or geared towards those who know at least one of those characters anyway - less so in a movie where few characters are established in the first place.
With DC comics, it's much harder to establish multiple characters in the same story, and as there are few shared aspects between them having them just show up would leave the characters somewhat stilted.
edited 11th Apr '11 9:04:27 AM by KnownUnknown
Just establish that they live in a Fantasy Kitchen Sink universe and create a plot that would believably draw them all together, and there you go.
Great. So who are they?
Given the bare minimum of the setting and no information about who these characters are...
edited 11th Apr '11 6:26:16 PM by KnownUnknown
You guys are really adamant about character's backstories. Sure, it's necessary for a huge sweeping comic book universe with the benefit of decades worth of time to develop everyone, but for a two hour movie it would be more than ideal to establish everyone's personalities through their actions and interactions instead.
Yeah, the main thing with the Marvel Universe is that a great many of the characters powers are explained through either a mutation (X-Men and all the spinoffs, even Spider-Man is a non-natural mutation) or magic (either given or learned like Dr. Strange, Thor and Ghost Rider). DC comics have very individualized origins for each character, with the only common occurance being the Meta-Human origin for a few (like Black Canary).
The best thing is to split the difference and do a half-and-half as far as character origins. Martian Manhunter is a great fit to be introduced in the movie, especially since he has never done well with solo titles anyway. Aquaman is also relatively simple because he is tied into known mythological stories, and although Wonder Woman deserves her own movie the same applies to her. Batman and Superman almost don't need an introduction (everyone knows their story) but we only need to know the specifics of this continuity.
^^ It's not backstories as much as who the characters are: you might be able to get away with establishing Wonder Woman without her elaboration. Or maybe the Flash, if you don't put much interest into which Flash it is. The others? Not so much.
Because there's no real connection between them, there's got to be reason for them, and them specifically to team up before, they actually do so. Even if it's a "how did they get here" sort of thing. Otherwise you're just dropping characters into a movie and hoping they stick.
You don't have to focus on their pasts to establish their present. A small demonstration of their skills, a look at their civilian life/personality, then the catalyst to throw everyone together. Who cares how this guy is able to run fast? He just does, let his personality and actions define him.
edited 11th Apr '11 7:28:31 PM by Aleclom
Here's the thing, everybody who wants to see the movie KNOWS the scoop. Everybody else will just be happy seeing Batman and Superman with a bunch of other guys.
Just show the assets, make for some action and it'll be a wrap.
You know, I think a clever director might be able to get away with it in an opening similar to Watchmen's
^^^ Like I said, not the full origins. Just background of the character. Enough so that it's not "hey, superhero one two and three are here, time to kick ass!" Enough so the characters actually have a presence beyond being transparently dropped there so we can see fights and explosions.
That's another problem, as well -> without any prior presence for these characters, when it comes to the plot of the movie, are the characters going to be important? Are they going to have some kind of personal issue that drives them through the plot? If so, you're going to need to establish that without actually having any background about why they have this issue, which is dangerously close to giving them an Angst Ball. If not, maybe they're just there as side characters, just to fill the roster while the character that actually have a presence in the movie get their thing on. Sure... but then if you do it wrong you get backlash for wasting characters' potential. It's not so cut and dry.
edited 11th Apr '11 7:48:58 PM by KnownUnknown
I'd rather not have character conflict, I'd rather just have some action.
Simple, 2-dimensional, and just under 2 hours worth of fun and ass-kicking.
Mostly because I believe if they try what you're talking about, they'll do it wrong, so why bother askign for it?
edited 11th Apr '11 7:56:00 PM by KnownUnknown
The main conflict can be them simply trying to work as a team. They're all powerful heroes with their own ways of handling things, and up until this point they've worked alone/with a single partner (except for GL, but the Corps are designed to function as a unit). So it'll take some time to get used to each other, made even more difficult with some huge evil bearing down on them.
But then for that to be the issue you'd need time for them to establish why the members have problems working together, and for that you'd probably need to at least briefly explain their issues and why they have them, which, for everybody, would at least dominate a fair bit of the movie.
edited 11th Apr '11 8:03:44 PM by KnownUnknown
No, their personal histories don't need to come into it. Just the fact that they've never worked with other heroes. Bam, established. It's something anyone can relate to. Their individual personalities and methods can come out during their missions together before they truly learn how to work as a team.
I didn't say histories. I said issues. If they're going to have issues, they're going to need real explanation and/or reasons or be tacked on.
edited 11th Apr '11 8:10:41 PM by KnownUnknown
Yeah, but they don't each need to have separate specific issues. One issue: working as a part of a team. They're super heroes, they're used to being the ones solving every problem. It's much better to view this movie as a film about the Justice League as an entity, as opposed to a movie about six separate heroes fighting crime together.
So... when it comes to team dynamics, each of the heroes is going to have the perspective and outlook on it?
Damn, I'm generalizing... but it's still a good point. "Team dynamics" as a blanket issue for everybody?
Flash is going to have the same problem with the team as Batman is going to have the same issue as Superman is going to have the same issue as Wonder Woman? And even if they do have their own separate problems with it, where are those problems going to come from? Stock personalities?
Yeah, they're all uncomfortable with having to share responsibilities with other super powered people. They can't just run in and solve everything on the fly, they have to coordinate and plan and work together. During a couple missions, they each display their own unique ways of dealing with things (stealth = Batman, running straight in = Flash, punching stuff = Superman, etc) and have the missions fail due to how incompatible they are. So eventually they learn to play off each other's strengths to maximize their own abilities, then they truly become the Justice League.
edited 11th Apr '11 8:24:55 PM by Aleclom
It doesn't sound like the individual members would be very strong or memorable characters at all, then...
edited 11th Apr '11 8:26:54 PM by KnownUnknown
That I think would be the biggest problem in the story, not letting Character X solve everything.
But there is something to that, focusing primarily on the team: but yeah, it would likely only work at the expense of the characters themselves, which, granted, in the hands of a good writer, could be done right.
Not that I know anything about who they have working on this film.
edited 11th Apr '11 8:28:40 PM by KnownUnknown
Take a look at any number of team movies, like sports films and heist films and stuff. Their character shows through their place in the team and their interactions with others. It would be detrimental for the film to try to make them all individual characters, the main focus needs to be their relationship to the team.
edited 11th Apr '11 8:29:35 PM by Aleclom
It helps that all those characters in those movies are introduced through the movie.
Also, heist movies do focus on character: Ocean's 11 focuses on Danny and to a lesser extent Rusty, the others are supporting characters, major ones but still supporting. Sting focuses on... somebody... I think it might've been the villain, it's been a while.
Sports movies often focus on either the star player, the narrator, or the coach. Sandlot was a sort of coming of age story what focused on Smalls and had less but still major focus on Benny, for example.
You could do this movie by focusing on, say, Superman and Batman, but not so much the others, and it'd work. But yeah, at the expense of the other characters. It's kind of necessary - not to say it still couldn't end up working very well in the right hands.
edited 11th Apr '11 8:33:49 PM by KnownUnknown
It helps that there's only six core characters in the League, so regardless everyone will have an equal amount of attention more-or-less. I just think that the best way to approach it is to not think of individual characters, but the team as an entity. Sure, most movies nowadays need character-specific drama, but that's far from the only way to approach a story.
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