December 4, 2014

Goyer's GREEN ARROW: ESCAPE FROM SUPER MAX Is The Joker Movie You Should Be Asking WB To Make

There's been a DC Comics film that's been kicking around for ages at Warner Bros. and with Suicide Squad about to go into production, I'm extremely curious why it's not being made. That would be David S. Goyer (Dark City, Batman Begins, Blade, Dark Knight, Man of Steel, Batman v Superman, Metal Gear Solid) and Justin Marks' (Jungle Book, Shadow of The Colossus) script for the prison-break movie Green Arrow: Escape From Super Max. A film that would have vigilante Oliver Queen (Green Arrow) captured by police and thrown into a supermax prison (framed for murder) alongside the likes of The Joker, Lex Luthor and The Riddler. Against his better judgement he needs the help of iconic DC villains to organize a jailbreak, so he can clear his name on the outside. An extremely cool premise to put the hero of the film into the hands of villains right?

It's co-writer Justin Marks talked to MTV back in 2008, giving us a good idea of what that original script had planned on tackling. This interview is also where the revised titled came from.

“It’s a very, very awesome prison. I majored in architecture in college, and design is how I actually started in. For ‘Super Max,’ designing that prison, it had to be the kind of thing that was a character in and of itself,” Marks said. “We’re in a world where instead of just trying to contain a guy who’s really big, you’re trying to contain a guy who can — in the case of Icicle — who can freeze things. What kind of a cell would a guy like that need in order to have his powers neutralized? So to escape from Super Max they have got to go through the most elaborate heist we’ve ever seen, involving superpowers. Because the prison itself kind of has superpowers!”

“What we wanted to do, and I think we’ll continue to do as the studio continues to push the movie forward, is to be able to [put Queen] in the center of a much bigger universe,” Marks said. “In the same way that Marvel is starting to do, when you’re in the [filmed] DC Universe [where] this world and this world and this world — they all exist in an interrelated web. It’s the kind of thing that I think absolutely is about spelling out a couple different roads for a couple different characters.”

“By the time a movie like this comes out, we will all understand origin stories. And mainstream audiences now are willing to suspend their disbelief to the point that we can believe that a world exists where superpowers exist and people dress up in costumes. So now what? Now what do we do? And I call this Superhero 2.0,” Marks said. “We do deal with his origin — he’s got a very interesting origin with a desert island and everything else — but we get to the core of Green Arrow not by showing where he starts but by pushing him into a key moment in his life where everything he has is lost, and he’s got to earn it all back. I think for audiences it’s going to be a great way to get to know a new character.”

“I see him as the Jason Bourne of superheroes, a guy who exists with his own sort of set of tricks. And I think the difference between Ollie Queen and a guy like Bruce Wayne — they’re both rich. They both have their things. But Batman is about his equipment and is about his theatricality and about his detective skills. And Green Arrow is a guy who’s really just the sort of MacGyver type,” Marks said. “In his hand, anything can be a weapon.”

I'm going give a rundown on why this project should be given new life and actually put into production. Along with why this could be the Joker film fans don't know they should be campaigning for. 

We're starting to see Warner Bros. warm up to the idea of using villains as main characters, starting with David Ayer's Suicide Squad. That film will include many DC villains including Deadshot, Captain Boomaregan, Rick Flagg, Harley Quinn, Enchantress, Amanda Waller and even a small role for the Joker himself. There's even a rumored cameo from Lex Luthor expected for the film. This could be the first-step for the studio to focus on more villain centred stories. Mainly, placing the Joker in leading role other than just villain to Batman. I have a strong feeling that the Joker is only in the film to help expand on Harley Quinn's origin and establish him being in the new cinematic universe, if just locked-up at Arkham for his scenes. 

So why should this be our Green Arrow movie? Well the TV series Arrow is sort of handling his mythology and helping build awareness for the more obscure DC hero. We know that Oliver does have some connections to the Frank Miller comics that are influencing Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Yet, every other Justice League member (Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and possibly Flash) will be getting their first on screen appearance in that film first. Where does this leave Green Arrow? 

Primed for his own introduction into DC Cinematic Universe via a hard-paced action flick like Super Max. Meaning, we don't need an origin tale for Queen and he can be thrown into the fray as an established character that's been active for years. A similar plot device that is being used for Ben Affleck's seasoned Batman. I feel like it would work, but you wouldn't have to age him as much as Zack Snyder is going for with Bruce Wayne. 

We heard that Ryan Gosling was up for a roles in Suicide Squad and Marvel's Doctor Strange, two projects he's obviously turned-down. However, I think the roguish nature of Queen and the fact this is a pretty damn crazy genre flick could interest someone like Gosling. Considering he's been playing a lot of criminal type characters recently with films like Drive, The Place Beyond The Pines, Only God Forgives. A vigilante breaking out of a high-tech prison might be something more his style. It should also be noted that Warner Bros. are paying for talent and could end-up making Gosling an offer he'll actually accept. 

Sorry to break this to Arrow fans but everyone involved with these films and shows have confirmed you won't be seeing crossovers. When Oliver Queen joins the DCU he'll be played by a different actor. That's not a theory it's bankable fact, which has been echoed by the head of Warner Bros. Studios and down the line to the Arrow showrunners. 

How can you help connect Super Max to the rest of Snyder's new DC universe? It's villains, you don't even need to have them shown on screen. The ones we kind of need to have involved are Jared Leto's Joker and Jesse Eisenberg's Lex Luthor since they are main characters of the Goyer script. It will also lend itself to include other villains from the comics (some which might seem out of place against their actual villains) into the group being put together to help breakout. The original idea of the film was to have Queen working with all types of villains (A, B, and C-levels) along with rogue heroes, which is why I feel like Black Canary might be a good fit here. 

The rest of the crew could comprise of Black Canary, notorious jailbird Dr. Pamela Lillian Isley (Poison Ivy), Cyrus Gold (Solomon Grundy), Suicide Squad member Louise Lincoln (Killer Frost) and Green Arrow villain Danny Brickwell (Brick). Making things a bit more interesting would be to have Brick secretly planning his own revenge on Oliver during the breakout, who likely put him in there. The popularity of the Arkham video games shouldn't be ignored, and that perspective could work very well here cinematically. Seeing these characters fighting their way out of a high-tech prison against guards and other prisoners. Canary wasn't involved in the original script, but that could easy be fixed/altered with rewrites. 

People are already are under the impression that The Joker will have a bigger role in Suicide Squad than he actually does. Why not give fans what they want with a story that makes a lot more sense to how the Joker really works. He uses people to obtain his own goals and then kills them, this makes him unpredictable and beyond dangerous. The Joker is way too psychotic and unstable even for the Suicide Squad, and likely isn't interested in a reduced sentence for his services. However, he would be willing not to kill his peers for a chance to escape. This could be how he returns to the streets of Gotham or get's involved in the Justice League films. Along with his first team-up with fellow supervillain Lex Luthor, and the start of their mutual hate. 

Who could be behind the framing Oliver for murder? Plenty of villains could have a grudge against Oliver Queen, but who I imagine it could be is mercenary Slade Wilson (Deathstroke). He could be a fellow inmate or the person actually behind his framing. Deathstroke, is an extremely popular villain and recently best known for his interactions with the hero on Arrow. I could see Slade end-up apart of future Suicide Squad sequels as well. I'd also love to seem some sort of complex plot that has Hugo Strange running this prison and Queen's addition to it apart of a huge bizarre experiment. 

Again, the film opens itself introduce a wide variety of villains from the DC Comics stable. The list of secondary villains that could be included in this movie is crazy long, and that's kind of the point here. This has a lot of potential to help the DCU setup a lot of these villains for future films. Similar to Suicide Squad, we don't specifically need the film to centre around a heroic figure. It can go a bit darker and hit levels of greyness with leads. These type of films are what fans should be asking for, as this gives the perfect platform for villains that might not end-up making the cut for a Justice League installment, or the other films announced in the DCU slate. 

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