Doug Liman has been bouncing around an awful lot lately. In the last couple of years he’s been attached to two different comic book films, for two different studios, and he walked away from both. Those two films were the WB’s Justice League Dark and Fox’s Gambit. The director, who’s given us films like The Bourne Identity, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, and Edge of Tomorrow, seems to only want to be committed to projects where his creativity won’t be hindered, and you’ve got to respect him for that.
At the time of his departure from Justice League Dark, last May, WB’s DC Entertainment branch was like a chicken without a head. They were still scrambling to course-correct after Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad did serious damage to the perception of the DCU brand, and they were amidst the hijacking of Zack Snyder’s Justice League while praying that Wonder Woman would be a hit the following month. Liman likely saw all of that and said, “No thanks. I’m out!”
But the times they are a-changing over at DC, and with a new regime in place, Liman may actually be open to returning to Justice League Dark. See, the new powers-that-be over at WB/DC have been making it clear for months that they want to return to being a filmmaker-driven studio. It appears they took no pleasure in doing all of the meddling they’ve been up to, and they’re ready to take a step back. They want their role to be advisory in nature, the way it was with Wonder Woman (which ended up being the most well-received DC film since 2008’s The Dark Knight), with Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns merely there to lend a helping hand and make sure things stay true to DC’s ideals.
Like they told Vulture a few months back, they want their next wave of directors to have ample amounts of creative freedom by loosening up how interconnected their shared universe is. As our Editor-in-Chief Mario-Francisco Robles reported yesterday, that’s an idea The Batman director Matt Reeves is taking very seriously. A situation like this could very easily pave the way for someone like Liman to step back in.
Here’s what the director told ScreenRant about the prospect of returning to Justice League Dark:
“I would be open to it. I have a very kind of contrarian approach to how I make things and I don’t want to do them the way other people have done them. Because obviously there’s some things – you can be original and artsy and not… Part of the reason cliches exist is because they’re satisfying to the audience so my challenge as a filmmaker has always been to do something that’s really original and still totally satisfying on a big commercial level, which I feel we’ve done with Impulse and I’d be really interested in doing that within the DC world if the right piece of material comes along.”
What do you think? Would you like to see Liman return to Justice League Dark? Or are you more keen to see what he, Cruise, and Blunt can come up with for Edge of Tomorrow 2? Sound off in the Comments below!