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Will Warner Bros. 'Justice League' Be "Dark & Mature"? Pathological Exaggerator Mark Millar Says Yes

The Playlist By Edward Davis | The Playlist June 7, 2012 at 4:50PM

If J.J Abrams, Christopher Nolan, Damon Lindelof and Ridley Scott are viewed as being on the secretive side about revealing plot details and information regarding their unreleased, often still-in-development movies, one then must consider comic book writer Mark Millar to be on the exact opposite end of the spectrum. While not exactly in the movie business like the four aforementioned artists, several of Millar's comics  (such as "Supercrooks" and "Nemesis") are in development at various studios and production companies. Seemingly very enthusiastic to be a part of the Hollywood process, Millar is very amenable to telling you pretty much whatever you want to know about any of his projects in development, going as far as to make wild casting announcements (like when we said Johnny Depp and Brad Pitt were being approached for "Nemesis") and generally claiming unrealistic start dates to any project under the sun (all of them).
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Hired over a year ago (with the news just surfacing this week), Beall is an interesting choice. A former LAPD anti-gang officer and homicide detective (no joke), Beall is the author of "L.A. Rex," a 2006 crime drama that earned comparisons to the work of legendary crime writers Richard Price and James Ellroy. He's also the former Los Angeles Times Op-Ed pages writer on police issues (here's one example) -- it's no wonder he was pegged by Warner Bros. to write the LAPD noir, "Gangster Squad" (he also wrote a version of "Lethal Weapon 5" and "Logan's Run" for the studio).

And so, while the idea of several adult males running around in superhero costumes feels less implausible thanks to Joss Whedon's tonally well-managed "The Avengers," the use of words like "dark and mature" in reference to superhero films, is generally reserved for the likes of Christoper Nolan films. But Beall could just be the man for the job. "Gangster Squad" like "Justice League" does have to juggle several characters (there's at least 11 well-known actors in the former with major parts) and the man does know gritty and real from experience. "This city is so wild in every sense of the word that to try and craft spectacular fiction about it, I feel like you do find yourself struggling with... the city refuses to be upstaged," Beall said in 2007 video interview about "L.A. Rex," which you can watch below.

While Marvel's gamble of four individual films leading up to one super-hero team-up was seen as a very risky endeavor (until it was successfully pulled off by Whedon and his team), one now struggles to conceive how managing the stories, egos and plot lines of several super hero characters could be calculated and calibrated any other way. With Zack Snyder already noting that his "Man Of Steel" Superman film will not lead into the "Justice League" film and neither will Nolan's films, it will be incredibly fascinating to see if Beall, Warner Bros. and whatever director they hire can pull off a supergroup superhero film that has no runway leading up to its launch.

This article is related to: Mark Millar, Justice League, Will Beall, Warner Bros.


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