My treatment for a Justice League film
Opening scene: Luthor and the Injustice Gang are throwing down their showdown with the Justice League. Luthor’s backed up by second stringers: Shade, Cheetah, Ultrahumanite, etc. They lose and go to jail.
Next 15 to 20 minutes is the League rounding up stragglers of the Injustice Gang, shutting down Luthor’s operation for good. Three scenes say of paired heroes taking down single crooks and associated gang members. At the end of the second scene, the heroes return to the Watchtower and we get a glimpse of the League’s orbital space station. In each scene is a figure watching in the shadows, the same figure. Neither the League nor the villains are aware of this shadowed figure. Each scene, the shadowed figure leaves via some strange oscillating special effect. (In the Watchtower scene, we trade Green Lanterns: Hal for John Stewart. We have to have Hal because he got his own movie. We need John because we need a black on the team. Hal gets called away by the Guardians but introduces John as his replacement. This makes John the rookie and thus we can get scenes in with Flash jostling the rookie.)
Air Force One streaks over Metropolis, flanked by jets from some unknown power. American F-22s shoot down the escorting fighters and take up positions on her flanks. A super-high tech supersonic transport bearing US markings takes up position right over Air Force One and docks with it in flight. A tube locks onto the top of the plane and a hole is burned in and SEALs board Air Force One. There’s a firefight between the SEALs and some unknown uniformed troops. The SEALs win. One of them makes it to the President and says, “SEAL team one. We’re here to rescue you, Mr. President.”
Cut to: A familiar figure in red and blue streaks over Metropolis.
Cut to the crowd:
“Look — up in the sky!”
“It’s a bird!”
“It’s a plane!”
“No — it’s ULTRAMAN!”
Ultraman flies onto the scene at high speed and takes out the US fighters with heat vision. He rips the supersonic transport loose from Air Force One and backhands it out of control and boards through the hole — it flies into a skyscraper and explodes. He tears a seat free and tosses it up into the hole and patches the hole by melting it with his heat vision and cooling it with his breath.
A pointless firefight ensues. The SEALs buy time for their last guys to prepare a super high tech looking sonic cannon to protect the President. Ultraman slowly kills his way to the last SEALs who fire the high tech gizmo at Ultraman. He’s staggered for like a whole second and then advances on the gun, places a hand on it and crushes it. He lifts the last SEAL with his other hand and breaks his neck. “Please return to your seat, Mr. President,” he says. The President, terrified, nods and goes back to his seat.
More Crime Syndicate fighters replace the downed jets on the flanks of Air Force One as Ultraman flies off.
Cut to: Washington D.C.
Ultraman looks out over the city and then burrows his way with superspeed underground. He comes up underneath the Pentagon. He burns random people to ash with his heat vision, letting most of them run away. He kills anyone stupid enough to try to stand and fight or just melts their weapons leaving their hands covered in molten metal watching them scream. He makes his way to the office of the Joint Chiefs. An Army general objects. Ultraman incinerates him. He also incinerates the senior Navy admiral in the room (since the SEALs made the attempt.) “There was an attempt to liberate the President today from our protection. I don’t know if you were in on it and I don’t care. But if it happens again, I will be back and I will be angry.”
Ultraman flies straight up through several floors and out into the night sky over D.C. The full moon is visible in the background.
Cut to: The moon.
We see a base that we know isn’t the Watchtower (cause we’ve already seen it) on the surface of the moon but it looks much like the Watchtower, including the classic round table with costumed figures sitting around it. A Zeta tube opens and Ultraman walks in and takes a seat.
“Trouble?” Superwoman chides.
“Nothing I couldn’t handle.” Ultraman says.
The oscillating effect occurs again but this time in plain view and the figure from the shadows becomes completely visible. It’s Owlman.
Owlman explains very quickly the basics. He’s found a means of inter-dimensional travel. There’s another world with counterparts of theirs but their counterparts work for justice, not themselves. The Crime Syndicate lays out a plan to invade this world and take it for their own. (In quickly describing the Justice League members and their powers, Owlman effectively relates characters like Black Canary to the audience and communicates that the Crime Syndicate are evil versions of the Justice Leaguers.) “This one — the Flash — is their speedster.” “Oh, like me,” Jonny Quick says. That sort of thing.
Crime Syndicate and troops and six legged combat walkers and uberweapon/macguffin take Washington D.C. defeating a couple of second stringer heroes trying to back up the armed forces. They capture the President and the Vice President and go on national TV demanding the Justice League surrender on the White House lawn in 24 hours or they will start incinerating American cities with thermonuclear weapons starting with Memphis, Tennessee. Their troops surround the White House.
“Why Memphis?” Power Ring says.
“Why not?” Owlman says.
The League meets and decides to fight.
Battle in D.C. Heroes are defeated/driven off by the Syndicate and their uberweapon/macguffin. Heroes look like they might have had a chance against the Syndicate even with their backup troops but not with the backup troops and the macguffin.
Heroes retreat realizing they can’t win until they find a defence against the macguffin. John is knocked out and taken prisoner.
Syndicate raids D.C. to show their power. We get in some nice scenes here that are reversals of usual DC heroes’ behaviour to use in the trailers. Example: Shadowed city at night, criminals against police. Birdarangs fly through the air and knock the guns out of the SWAT guys’ hands. Criminals get away as Owlman stomps the SWAT guys into the dirt. That sort of thing. Everyone gets to know each villain’s name and powers and can figure out which Leaguer they are basically a mirror of.
Heroes figure out possible way to deal with macguffin.
Luthor escapes prison while everyone is distracted. He has the opportunity to bring one of the second stringers with him but doesn’t saying something like “I don’t reward failure.”
League splits into two teams: one to rescue John and one to counter the macguffin.
Superwoman and Owlman are in bed together — even though Superwoman is married to Ultraman. Owlman gets a priority transmission and answers it, sans costume. It’s Luthor. Luthor does the whole “I am Lex Luthor, the most brilliant criminal genius of this world. I believe we have a mutual enemy.” speech. Owlman hangs up on him. Superwoman asks who it was and Owlman says “Some loser” and they get back to sex.
Syndicate figures out League’s plan to deal with macguffin. League conducts raid or op to get components to counter macguffin. Syndicate fails to stop them.
Team to liberate John succeeds. Reveals it was part of Batman’s plan all along as the ring has recorded details of the Syndicate’s powers and defences even while off of Stewart’s hand.
Heroes return to D.C. to fight the Syndicate. Plan to defeat the macguffin the way they planned fails. They improvise a defence and defeat the macguffin. The League faces off in a fair fight against the Syndicate and they win the day.
A grateful President awards medals to the Justice League and announces they are officially recognized as deputized citizens by the federal government.
Cultists surround a grave in a graveyard. Ritual takes place. Cultists leave except high priest who keeps going alone. High priest sacrifices pregnant woman. Her blood seeps into the earth. High priest leaves without looking back. Ground rumbles. Ground shakes. Ground gives way.
A lone hugely muscled pale forearm bursts out of the ground. We can see the tombstone now: Solomon Grundy. Grundy breaks free from his grave. He doesn’t seem aware, doesn’t seem conscious. He staggers forward. He walks. He walks. He walks. He walks. He walks.
Scene changes. He’s still walking. The sun passes overhead into night. Night to day. Day to night.
Grundy trudging through the swamp. He stops.
The familiar skull headed fortress rises from the swamp. Grundy looks up; he seems more awake and aware now. We look up as he looks up. The doors open and there’s the classic Legion villains from Superfriends sans the second stringers who went to jail earlier in the movie. Luthor (in powered armour for the first time) speaks: “Welcome, Solomon Grundy. Welcome to the Legion of Doom.”