<i>Justice League</i> Troubles, Superman Success Could Delay <i>Batman</i>?

Although the conclusion of Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy was left open to interpretation, Warner Bros. has left little doubt about the future of the franchise, with studio President Jeff Robinov discussing plans to "reinvent" the DC Comics hero more than a year before The Dark Knight Rises arrived in theaters.

Exactly when, and how, that reinvention would take place have been the subjects of much speculation, though, with some suggesting Warner Bros. would use its long-developing Justice League movie, reportedly targeted for 2015, as a platform to introduce the new Batman, along with lesser-known heroes like The Flash and Wonder Woman.

Last week, however, another rumor surfaced contending that Justice League is in trouble again, with the studio scrapping Will Beall's script and starting from scratch. Now another report suggests delays to the ensemble film could push back the Batman relaunch indefinitely.

According to an anonymous source quoted by the fan site Batman-On-Film, Warner Bros. executives are nervous about Justice League, and are concerned how its blockbuster Batman franchise might be affected if the ensemble film should bomb. The same source asserts the box-office performance of Man of Steel plays a role in those plans beyond merely helping to determine whether Justice League moves forward.

“If Superman is huge, then they’ve bought themselves some time and will have a franchise to hang their hat on for seven, eight years," the source is quoted as saying. "The need for Batman won’t be as great, and [the reboot] of that franchise can wait until the Superman trilogy is done.” If all of that comes to pass, it's estimated we may not see a new Batman film until 2019.

It's important to remember that this is all conjecture. Warner Bros. has not yet made any official announcements about the future of Justice League. The studio's next big superhero movie, Man of Steel, debuts June 14, so don't be surprised if more concrete information about Justice League arrives in time for Comic-Con International.

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