Opinion: Change My Mind 6

Change My Mind: Young Justice Can't Exist Live Action

Good Wednesday to you all Young Justice fans! Today, I am filling in for Ariel Horn (our usual opinion piece author). I've been covering superhero shows for half a decade now and been a fan for at least three decades! Our biggest flagship site is which is a live action show that exists in the Arrowverse (a group of shows that air on The CW network and share a universe with large crossovers). While I love the live action feel, I've been thinking on what makes Young Justice particularly special and I think that some of the very narrative devices that allow Young Justice to be so special, preclude it from ever being in a true live action format. Come along with me while I try and share my thoughts on the magic of Young Justice in animated form:

  1. Time Jumps are Essential: Other live-action shows have certainly done time jumps. Battlestar Galactica (the Syfy remake) did some of the best time jumps I've ever seen on live action tv. That said, Young Justice season 1 to season 2 would be a disaster in the real world. Unless you are willing to wait the five years it would take to age the actors appropriately you are simply out of luck. The difference in appearance for a 24 year old to a 29 year old is significantly less than if you went from 13 to 18 years old.
  2. Character Evolution: An added benefit of the time jumps is we get character evolutions and the ability to back fill story or plot points. One of the biggest problems I have with Titans is how old Robin is. We know we are on the cusp of Dick becoming Nightwing but seeing Robin as old as he is, just never sat right with me. The Young Justice evolution from Robin to Nightwing is significantly better. We were able to watch and *laugh* with Dick when he was Robin and see his concerns for taking the lead of the team. Now we get to see a real leader with a maturity on par with Batman.
  3. Voice Actor Benefits: Finally, while it can be regrettable sometimes, characters that might be lost due to actor availability can remain with new voice actors. How sad would we all be if we lost Dick Grayaon because a live action actor wasn't available for a new season. Some live-action shows or even movies have replaced characters before. A prime example would be Rachael Dawes from Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. Katie Holmes played the character in the first movie and Maggie Gyllenhaal played the part in the second movie. Audiences seemed to accept the change pretty easily but, imagine if it were the lead of the franchise, like Batman himself (a problem the current DCEU Movie Universe is facing). The time jumps allow for new voice actors to come in and voice older versions of the characters. This lets the viewer enjoy all the great work the first actor did and not lose that emotional connection with the character.

Now, I know this is "Change My Mind", but I am going to break our own rules a little bit for a very selfish reason that I hope you can overlook. Young Justice has had a LOT of success with its fan-base and storytelling and I think that The DC Universe is finally looking at Young Justice as a way to tell a successful generational DC story. Very specifically, DC Universe's new show coming in August, Stargirl, is taking a lot of direction from Young Justice's success. Stargirl is going to be a generational show much like Young Justice. This time, the Justice Society of America will train and welcome a new generation of heroes lead by Courtney Whitmore (Brec Bassinger). Even some of Young Justice's characters are appearing like Sportsmaster, Tigress, and Stargirl (duh). While I still believe that Young Justice could never exist as a live action show, Stargirl might be the closest thing we could ever imagine! If you are interested in learning more about Stargirl, head over to our sister site (please excuse the shameful self promotion).

Do you think Young Justice could exist as a live action show? Who would you cast as your favorite characters? Let me know in the comments below and try to change my mind! Have a topic you want to discuss? Head on over to our forum!

Eric Johnston
Author: Eric JohnstonWebsite: https://youngjustice.tvEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Executive Editor/Owner
About the Author
Eric is the primary author for He has been covering Young Justice show since 2018, but been a fan since the show debuted. "Totally feeling the 'aster."

You have no rights to post comments