With Guardians of the Galaxy raking in unseemly amounts of cash, rather unexpectedly (even by Marvel’s estimation), it just might become one of those movies that changes the way Hollywood works. The sort of movie that everyone has to react to in order to stay in business. Whereas The Dark Knight made genre movies darker, Guardians of the Galaxy might just make them lighter, stranger, and more likely to be set in space.
Case in point: this new rumor from Latino Review (via Coming Soon) that Warner Bros. is developing a Legion of Superheroes movie in the wake of Guardians of the Galaxy‘s success. An adaptation of the series has never seriously been on their radar before, although it did inspire a popular animated series and was once of of DC Comics’ flagship, best-selling titles. The series takes place in the 31st Century, where a group of teenagers has taken inspiration from 21st Century superheroes – particularly Superman – to use their abilities to save lives and enact positive social reform.
It’s a great idea for a movie, if Warner Bros. is serious about it. It’s just a rumor for now though. Latino Review has been famously wrong on many occasions, and even if they’re right, it’s too early to say whether the film will actually get off the ground. Supposedly Warner Bros. is sending the project out to screenwriters and looking to see who comes up with the most viable take on the series. If someone does, great, let’s shoot this sucker. If someone doesn’t, then Legion of Superheroes could every easily end up shelved or in development limbo, just like Guillermo del Toro’s long-gestating Justice League Dark, which promised to unite the DC Universe’s many magical characters on the big screen.
If it is true, however, perhaps the most exciting news would be that Warner Bros. is seriously considering letting some of their superhero movies be “fun” again, and not just brooding, grim ‘n’ gritty reboots like Batman Begins and Man of Steel. There’s a place for that, but if the superhero genre is going to remain commercially viable for years to come, studios throughout Hollywood will need to embrace the diversity of the genre. We can have dark films, light films, grounded films, fantastical films… a whole “legion” of superhero movies, if you will, to entertain us for years to come.