Warner Bros., for those who don’t know, owns DC Comics and has for many years. So while Marvel had to find studios (before they became one) to turn their characters into movies, DC has always been part of one and neither they nor the studio has really taken advantage of it in some time. For some reason the lesson of Christopher Nolan’s Batman movies has not sunk in at the place that made them. They allowed a film maker with a clear vision that was perfectly appropriate to the subject to make the movie he wanted to make. So instead of say, finding someone whose sensibilities lend themselves to Superman and letting them make the movie they want they announce a “darker, edgier” take on Superman. Which is exactly the opposite of what Superman is. Now they are planning a “darker, edgier” take on the Justice League. Seriously? The Avengers certainly had high stakes, dark moments and the whole world in peril, but it was NOT a dark film. In fact, it was a whole lot of fun. So, Warner Brothers, if you want to copy the success of Marvel Studios’ Avengers movie, you have to copy the mindset behind it.
|Joss Whedon and Chris Hemsworth
on the set of “The Avengers”
Yes, Marvel had a clear agenda and a list of things they wanted to include in their film. They have done this on every one of their movies. However, they find directors that have an affinity for the character, that understand what is asked of them and find the way to make it their own AND exactly what the studio is asking of them. More than that though, the people at Marvel films want to make great movies about their great characters. Warner seems to suffer from the mentality that everything must be changed to fit a “hit summer tentpole movie” formula. Despite the fact that Dark Knight was absolutely not that sort of thing.
Get someone to be the Executive Producer over the DC catalog. Basically, DC/Warner’s version of Kevin Feige. Then they can oversee it all and get the right Producers for each corner of the DCU and they can be the buffer between the suits and the filmmakers. Find producers that understand the properties and what makes them work. Get completely out of their way. Let those producers find directors that have an affinity for the specific character or concept and a vision of how to make it work within the context of a film. Yes, you can make Batman seem somewhat realistic and down to Earth. You cannot do the same thing with Superman, Green Lantern, the Flash or Wonder Woman. Embrace what makes them special, don’t tear them apart to try to copy Batman and make yourselves more comfortable. Grab the core of the character and build off of that. Personally, I’d love to see a Flash movie that starts with Wally West and embraces the legacy aspect of that character. Of course, never mind what madness the suits at Warner would inflict upon us; the powers that be (currently) at DC will never let that happen. They seem to have become allergic to the concept of legacy at DC unless it has a Green ring or a Bat symbol. That’s a rant for another day though.
What do you folks think? Am I off my rocker, or am I onto something here? Should we just shut our pie holes until we see what they do with Superman next year? Let me know.
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