Although they got off to a late start, DC is slowly making strides with their own cinematic universe. While the whole thing kicked off with Man of Steel in 2013, moviegoers will return to this world in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and later entries will include two Justice League movies as well as solo films like Wonder Woman, Aquaman and Green Lantern. DC announced most of their upcoming slate back in October, but as with all film plans, these are subject to change, especially if more projects are added to the list. In fact, Warner Bros. may be implementing plans to bring one of DC’s lesser-known teams to the big screen sooner rather than later: the Legion of Superheroes.
Bleeding Cool is reporting a scoop from anonymous sources that say Warner Bros. is working on a Legion of Superheroes movie for the near future. Described as The Avengers meets Guardians of the Galaxy, it will be set in the “far future” with its main characters spread across a galaxy, and will have a lighter tone compared to the other DC films – seemingly giving it something in common with Shazam. The article points out that while the movie hasn’t been greenlit yet, it is in “serious development.”
It’s worth noting that news of a Legion of Superheroes movie was first rumored last year shortly before Warner Bros. announced the DC film slate – but until today there wasn’t any news regarding its progress. Looking to Guardians of the Galaxy for inspiration is a wise choice, not just because it was a box office hit, but because these heroes are much better suited being lighthearted and fun rather than dark and brooding.
Where this movie would fit in the schedule of DC films coming up is unclear. Starting in 2016, Warner Bros. will be releasing two DC films per year until 2020. Additionally, there are more solo Batman and Superman movies in the works, so if those plans stay the same, we could have as many as three DCCU entries coming out per year in the near future. On the other hand, if development on Legion of Superheroes stalls or runs into unforeseen obstacles, it could end up being one of the post-2020 entries. Unless Warner Bros. are absolutely confident they can deliver a good product during the latter half of this decade, it might be more prudent to save the Legion for own version of “Phase 2.”
First introduced in 1958, the Legion of Superheroes comics follow a team of teenage superheroes living in the 31st century. Although their ranks have grown over the years, some of the more notable members include Cosmic Boy, Saturn Girl, Lightning Lad, Brainiac 5, Chameleon Boy and many others.The team also has access to time travel technology, which has allowed them to team up with the present-day DC heroes in the past – including Superman back when he began his superhero career as Superboy (at least in the Silver Age of Comics). This movie would be the Legion’s second live-action appearance following their guest spot on the 2008 Smallville episode “Legion.”
Given the long history and extensive roster, rivaling the X-Men, Legion it could easily exist as a franchise outside of the other connected DC films. X-Men has been successful outside of the Marvel cinematic umbrella given they have such a rich and varied history. With enough characters to play with for many movies to come, Legion could easily follow this template.
It may be awhile until we get official confirmation on whether this Legion of Superheroes project is really happening, but the DCCU will be back on the big screen within the next year when Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice comes out on March 25, 2016.