Op-Ed: Let Frank Miller Direct The ‘Justice League’ Movie!

DC Entertainment and Warner Brothers don’t know what they’re doing with the next phase in the superhero film franchises. So why not go completely nuts with it and let Miller direct one of them?

 Bleeding Cool got in some good digs at anonymous report involving a pair of DC/WB marketing flacks going undercover in a comic shop to take the pulse of the funnybook-reading community about the next stage of big budget, DC features. If the report is accurate, it points to one, some marketing professionals who really need to go back and do a little bit of research before heading out into the field to interact with the natives, and two, DC/WB has no idea, no authorial voice or overall vision for their superhero films. (get more info on all the “Justice League” movie rumors by heading over to MTV Splashpage!)

One of the questions involved a hypothetical scenario where Frank Miller would be tapped to direct the long-in-development “Justice League” movie, and that was met with the usual eye-rolling and Rich Johnston’s request to his message board commenters–who he describes as “becoming a byword in some places for unreasonable, offensive behaviour”–to make their voices known about this last tidbit (stay classy, Rich).

And what if Miller was in charge of a “Justice League” movie? If someone handed the mind behind “All-Star Batman and Robin” and the increasingly prickly set of squared off, let’s say eccentric politic positions behind “Holy Terror” $200 million and change to make a big-screen work with DC’s heaviest hitters, what’s the worst that could happen? Seriously, we’ve seen his big screen love-letter to a work that defined him professionally as a comic creator with “The Spirit” and for all its many faults, “boring” was not one of them (incoherent, nuts, filled with clashing, often confused symbolism, sure, but never, ever boring).

And frankly, I’d love to see the fevered vision of Frank Miller committed to hammering his own brand of id-fueled storytelling into a PG-13 product. Reading that last line over, it sounds like I’m trying to create some kind of torture scenario for the typically unfettered imagination of Miller, but I think given a budget, a clock, and some no-nonsense suits behind him, Miller might be able to deliver a big, bombastic version of the Justice League that we’ve never seen on the screen before. There’s something especially potent about his unironic disdain for the League (versus, say Mark Millar’s wholly ironic, and kind of exhausting posturing when it comes to superheroes–I think Miller just finds a more interesting political subtext while Millar is obsessed with the d*** jokes).

What if we got to see a big screen interpretation of the yellow room scene from “ASBAR?” Or his gnarly, bitter version of Batman versus the morally confused Superman (neither of these approaches is necessarily one that I’d love reading about on the regular, but it would be fascinating as a one-off from Miller). And sex! Miller would definitely bring sexuality to the weirdly chaste, sometimes almost asexual version of the DCU. What could the man behind the warrior goddess prostitutes of “Sin City” do with the relationship between Wonder Woman and Superman?

Look, this would never happen. Miller’s still in director jail for “The Spirit,” and I’m wondering if he’d even be interested in the headache. But the promise of someone with a distinctive voice and vision for the characters taking the reins as opposed to the nebulous approach of “we need to get someone, anyone” that seems to have marked the stop and start efforts to get “Justice League” to the big screen would be far preferable.