Let’s go ahead and assume “Man of Steel” will be a big hit. Now, DC, if you’re gonna hang with “The Avengers” and its God-money world-wide box office haul, you gotta come out with a Justice League flick. The Justice League has Superman and Batman (and presumably Ryan Reynolds as Green Lantern, which isn’t great but it’s OK).
One element is crucial. Heath Ledger obviously can’t come back from the dead to play Joker. There’s only one way you possibly do his classic “Dark Knight” performance justice. That’s right. . .
Day-Lewis plays Joker, and you know he could do it. Him or Joaquin Phoenix. Joker frees Doomsday (either entirely CGI or played by The Rock), distracting Superman and other Justice Leaguers while he, Joker, tries to blow up a stolen nuke in Gotham. Two great cities destroyed at once! Batman’s gotta stop Joker and the nuke while Superman has to defeat the unbeatable Doomsday in a straight-up brawl that causes insane destruction.
BOOM! EVERYONE’S seeing my Justice League movie, twice. You come out on the Thursday of a four-day weekend and we’re talking a record-shattering $600 million opening. All 24 screens at Century Rio. That movie makes a billion bucks in two weeks and kicks the ass of anything Marvel could ever try!*
This new guy stays as Superman. Joseph Gordon Levitt plays Batman, since he found the Batcave at the end of “Rises.” Zac Efron plays Robin, who gets killed horribly by Joker in a mid-movie scene that’ll haunt viewers forever.** James Cameron gets first shot at this, but once he (regretfully) passes, the director’s chair goes to Guillermo Del Toro.
*Unless Spider-Man teams up with the Avengers to help X-Men destroy federal Sentinel robots and Thanos. This imagined Marvel movie makes more money than “Justice League,” barely, but fans will still prefer “Justice League” because of Day-Lewis Joker.
**Or wait! How about this: Joker kills Gordon-Levitt, who I think was actually named Robin in “Rises,” right? So the craziest scene in the movie just got better. Then who comes back to avenge his protege and save Gotham? Christian Bale’s Batman. Don’t put him on the poster, though. Let it be a rumor, and market “Justice League” as though Gordon-Levitt is officially our new Batman.