Oh, Hollywood, Hollywood, Hollywood. What are we going to do with you?
DC apparently just had to scrap its “terrible” script for the Justice League movie. Mark Millar, a consultant on some Marvel properties, crows that the film can’t be made. The characters are too old, they’re irrelevant, and their godlike powers (as opposed to the more moderately powered Marvel heroes) make them logistically impossible to portray on screen.
Yeah, that’s right, a Justice League movie can’t be made – unless you have an ounce of talent.
Look, you have here a team consisting of:
1) A virtuous hero raised by decent ordinary folk on a farm in Midwest corn country;
2) A self-made billionaire genius whose parents were slaughtered in front of him in a big east coast city;
3) A beautiful, fascinating noblewoman from an advanced but bizarre civilization who doesn’t believe in our ways but is stuck here and is trying her best to make our home hers; and
4) A couple other less important characters (choose any two from dozens of DC universe possibilities).
In other words, you have:
1) The moral backbone of America;
2) The cosmopolitan entrepreneurial genius of America;
3) The exotic immigrant from aristocratic Europe; and
4) Comic relief.
If you can’t make that movie, get out of the storytelling business.
Here’s how I would do it. Open on a shot of a burned-down barn. Voice over of an older male voice:
We always knew you were different, son, but we never realized how much.
Images of destroyed tractors, dead farm animals.
We didn’t realize what kind of power you had. It’s not your fault. But now that we know, things have to change. I’m afraid you just don’t have the luxury of being a boy any longer. I’m sorry to say it, but in this life we don’t get to choose what happens to us. We have to live the life God gives us as best he shows us how. So you’re going to have to become a man – starting now.
You have to decide now what kind of man you’re going to be. With your power, the kind of man you choose to be might matter more than anything else that happens in the world during your lifetime. Your mother and I have been talking about it and – well, to us it all seems to boil down to three things.
You need to make up your mind that you’re going to be an honest man. But that’s not enough. If you’re strong, you can’t just leave the weak and the helpless to fend for themselves. So you need to be a man who stands up for everyone. And there’s one more thing. If you do stand up for folks, some of those folks are going to want you to just go ahead and take over, and run the whole show. To rule them. No one could stop you if you did. But that’s not how we do things in this country. People have to be free to live their own lives, to stand or fall in their own ways.
Truth. Justice. The American way. I want you to make up your mind right now that you’re going to be the kind of man who stands for those things. What do you say, Clark?
We see a boy. He’s about eight. Without hesitation he says:
Cut to a police station. We see a sergeant talking to someone but we can’t see whom:
Listen, I know you don’t want to hear this right now. That’s okay. For right now you don’t have to do anything. Just listen and remember it. Believe me, soon you’ll be glad to know it.
I’ve seen a lot of people killed. Shot, stabbed, hit by cars, you name it. One time I saw a guy’s chest blown clean open by a shotgun at point blank range. I’ve seen a lot of death. And when you see death, well . . . it makes you wonder what it all means. If anything’s worth doing. If it isn’t all just a waste.
Right now you’re in shock. You probably don’t feel much at all, except like crap. Am I right? Well, pretty soon the shock’s going to go away. And then there’ll be grief, and anger. And then that will fade, too. And your parents are still going to be dead. And sooner or later you’re going to wonder whether anything means anything.
I want you to remember that it does. Life is worth it. But you have to make it mean something. You have to make it count. You have to leave your mark. That’s what I do. Every time I put a bad guy away, every time I break up a fight or get a woman to a shelter – hell, every time I fill out one of those friggin’ reports, I’m leaving a mark. “Jim Gordon was here.”
You hear what I’m saying, kid? You leave your mark. You focus everything on that, and I promise you, you won’t wonder whether it’s worth it. You’ll know.
We see a boy. He’s about eight. He’s staring into the distance. We hear the cop’s voice:
Oh, hey. One other thing and I’ll leave you alone. This isn’t the last time you’re going to meet bad guys. It sucks, but take it from me, bad guys are everywhere. Don’t you run from them. You fight back tooth and nail. And don’t go soft on them afterwards, either. When people go rotten, the best thing you can do for them is break those bastards, break them as hard as you can. You hear me?
He turns, looks at the sergeant.
This is not hard. Come on, Hollywood, do your job.