When Warner Bros.' planned Justice League movie opens in 2013, don't expect to see Henry Cavill's Superman standing alongside the other superheroes.
That's because, as with director George Miller's aborted 2008 project, the newly restarted Justice League will exist apart from the solo movies, with different actors filling key roles. (Miller's version was to have D.J. Cotrona instead of Brandon Routh as Superman, and Armie Hammer instead of Christian Bale as Batman.)
Although some suspected the same approach would be used this time, it was confirmed today by Zack Snyder at the U.K. premiere of Sucker Punch. When asked by HeyYouGuys how his upcoming Superman reboot will fit into Justice League, the director replied, "It doesn’t. Like what Chris Nolan is doing and what I’m doing with Superman, what they’ll do with Justice League will be its own thing with its own Batman and own Superman. We’ll be over here with our movie and they’ll kinda get to do it twice, which is kinda cool."
Although no mention is made of director Martin Campbell's Green Lantern, it seems unlikely that Ryan Reynolds would appear in Justice League while Cavill, and whoever's cast in the post-Dark Knight Rises Batman reboot, would not.
The approach is, of course, the polar opposite of Marvel's, where scripts are tweaked and epilogues shot to weave a tighter big-screen universe and build toward the 2012 premiere of The Avengers. The Warner Bros. method gives more freedom to directors and screenwriters -- it's difficult to imagine Nolan reworking a script to include a Green Arrow cameo -- while using Justice League as a launching pad for potential solo movies (incoming Warner Bros. President Jeff Robinov specifically mentioned The Flash and Wonder Woman).