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1 Move That Could Make DC's 'Justice League' Movie a Winner

Warner has hired filmmaker Zack Snyder to make Justice League, which follows on the heels of 2016's Batman vs. Superman.

Time Warner's (NYSE: TWX  ) DC Entertainment has signed Man of Steel director Zack Snyder to direct the Justice League movie, which appears on track for a 2017 release. Does fast-tracking amount to a good strategy for DC and Warner investors? What, if any, difference would involving the DC television universe make?

Host Ellen Bowman puts these questions to Fool analysts Nathan Alderman and Tim Beyers in this  episode of 1-Up On Wall Street, The Motley Fool's web show in which we talk about the big-money names behind your favorite movies, toys, video games, comics, and more.

Nathan says that Snyder's effort on Man of Steel deserved the mixed reviews it received, and history shows that viewers tend to keep the prior entry in mind when making the decision to buy a theater ticket for the sequel.

Look at the X-Men movies, Nathan says. Moviegoers didn't show up for X-Men: First Class in the sorts of numbers that they had for prior films in the series, no doubt influenced by poor reviews and lukewarm audience reception to X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Warner's Man of Steel rates only a bit better among viewers tracked at Rotten Tomatoes.

Tim says there's no doubt risk to the strategy, but Warner also has a long history with filming franchises on a concurrent schedule. Fast-tracking to a Justice League movie amounts to reversing Walt Disney's (NYSE: DIS  ) strategy with its Marvel properties, whereby Batman vs. Superman and then Justice League act as platforms for spinning off into solo films starring popular DC Comics characters.

Nathan says that's a huge and perhaps unnecessary risk. Yet he and Tim agree that using DC's proven television properties -- Arrow, and soon to come, The Flash -- could enrich the DC Cinematic Universe, boost ratings for The CW network, and create pent-up demand for the Justice League movie in a manner similar to how Marvel's Agents of SHIELD has boosted Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Fans and investors should be on the lookout for news about this sort of cross-media cooperation as we get closer to San Diego Comic-Con.

Now it's your turn to weigh in. How do you expect Snyder's Justice League movie to pay off for Time Warner? Would you weave the DC TV universe into the narrative? Click the video to watch as Ellen puts Nathan and Tim on the spot, and then be sure to follow us on Twitter for more segments and regular geek news updates!

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  • Report this Comment On May 05, 2014, at 7:11 AM, drewarevalo64 wrote:

    Television is a superior storytelling tool in comparison to cinema. WB knows this. Green Arrow has his own show on CW, and it's been a huge success, the highest rated CW program in 5 years. Now it's well on it's way to a 3rd season. A Flash spin-off is coming soon and it's more than likely to be a hit. We're approaching the summer and there's roughly 2 years between now and the opening day to the Man of Steel sequel. WB should introduce all the DC heroes and villains on TV, instead of going through the unnecessary trouble of making movie after movie. Give Wonderwoman, Green Lantern, Aquaman, and all other heroes and villains to be featured in the Justice League film, their own tv series each, then integrate them onto the big screen in the Man of Steel sequel. The extensive amount of airtime will be more than enough to provide a very strong origin story for each hero and villain leading up to May 6, 2016. Such a tactic is far more intelligent than producing a dozen stand-alone movies like Marvel did. WB can totally pull it off. They will find massive success doing it this way, and those Marvel guys will be on antidepressants for the rest of their lives. If WB takes this approach, we can have ourselves a Justice League vs Avengers film by 2020. Forward this to every comment thread related to DC vs. Marvel.

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Tim Beyers

Tim Beyers first began writing for the Fool in 2003. Today, he's an analyst for Motley Fool Rule Breakers and Motley Fool Supernova. At, he covers disruptive ideas in technology and entertainment, though you'll most often find him writing and talking about the business of comics. Find him online at or send email to For more insights, follow Tim on Google+ and Twitter.

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