Warner Hungry for Justice League

As the Nicolas Cage comic-book vehicle Ghost Rider continues to blaze a hot trail at the box office this weekend, studio suits around town are furiously trying to greenlight more live-action superhero movies. Industry trades reported this morning that Warner Bros. is putting the pieces together for a live-action adaptation of DC Comics’ Justice League of America. The movie, which will feature the dream team of Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman and the Flash, will be penned by Michele and Kieran Mulroney, who also wrote Mr. and Mrs. Smith. F.Y.I., Kieran is actor Dermot Mulroney’s (My Best Friend’s Wedding, The Family Stone, Zodiac, Hair High) brother.

“The Justice League of America has been a perennial favorite for generations of fans, and we believe their appeal to film audiences will be as strong and diverse as the characters themselves,” noted eff Robinov, Warner Bros. president of production, in a Daily Variety piece today.

Creator Gardner Fox first introduced the team in The Brave and the Bold comic book in 1960. The original line-up included Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern, Aquaman and the Martian Manhunter. Other crime-fighters that have joined the League I nclude Green Arrow, Atom, Hawkman, Black Canary, Captain Marvel, Plastic Man and Zatanna. The concept was first explored in the Super Friends animated series (1972-1985) and inspired Cartoon Network’s much-praised adaptation Justice League (2001-2004) and Justice League Unlimited (2004-2006), overseen by Bruce Timm, Glen Murakami, James Tucker, Rich Fogel, Paul Dini and Sander Schwartz to name a few.

One detail that is bound to spark numerous discussions at this week’s Comic-Con in New York City is how the project will handle the casting of Batman and Superman. Will Christian Bale and Brandon Routh be asked to reprise their modern roles as the brooding heroes? Meanwhile, fans have already started the sequel countdown for director Chris Nolan’s The Dark Knight (set for 2008) and Bryan Singer’s follow-up to Superman Returns (slated for 2009).