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Et tu Warner? an opinion by Sean Stoltey

Well here we go again.  Warner Bros. has seen the amazing and unanticipated success of the Avengers and is going full steam ahead with plans for a Justice League movie.  I would really love to see a great Justice League movie.  Which is why I have to say: “Stop WB.  Just stop it right now.”  

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.  

The suits at Warner need to stop thinking the problem is anything but them.  Since they obviously cannot change their mindset when it comes to comic book movies, they should take themselves out of the equation.  Since the money to be made from producing AND distributing a film is often incalculable, they’d never license out their characters as Marvel used to.  They can only make a certain percentage in such a deal, and this is a business and it would not make sense for them to take that step.  Even though it might make the most sense to an outside observer that is also not a Time-Warner shareholder. So here is what I think they really should be doing.  

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 mean a cgi suit isn’t awesome
and sexy?” said poor Ryan Reynolds.

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.

Sean Stoltey, writer, raconteur and retired rabble rouser, hails originally from California’s Central Coast but currently resides in Southern California’s BEAUTIFUL–San Fernando Valley. Screenwriter, Comic Book author, these are things he does because he’s too poor to be a Producer or Publisher.
Sean has been reading comics, watching movies, reading books and selling his soul (or at least his hearing) to Rock’n’Roll for as long as he can remember. He has been discussing and arguing about these things for almost as long. 
So now he has come here to throw his opinions in your face as well and hope that, even if you don’t agree, hopefully you will enjoy them. For the record: Kirk was the greatest Enterprise Captain, Han was the only one that shot, Led Zeppelin was the greatest Rock band to walk the Earth and Keith Richards is the coolest undead person to walk the Earth. Coolest living people are my sons and my Mom and Dad. My Dad F—in’ rocks, and my Mom can kick your ass.
You can ask Sean anything at contact him via twitter @WWest3001 or boring old e-mail at



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About Joseph Timmons (9626 Articles)
I am the Father of 5 and a "Would Be Philosopher of Idiocy" - Author and Writer for several Blogs and Online Magazine. Review Journalist, Musician and Audio Buff. Follow Me and I'm Sure to Entertain.

2 Comments on Et tu Warner? an opinion by Sean Stoltey

  1. What can be said that hasn't already been said? The people in charge of WB's comicbook-to-film (there isn't one but there should be) division are out of touch with the moviegoers/fans/general population. However DC comics are also painfully out of touch with their own selves (DCnP.U.) so what can we dyed in the wool DC fanboys do except fall in love with all the great Marvel stuff happening now and in the foreseeable future.

  2. I agree (obviously) it was especially disheartening to see the creative failure of Green Lantern knowing that Geoff Johns, who had made me like GL comics again, was involved in it's making. I feel like maybe his then recent promotion at Warner/DC made him much less likely to tell the executives (his new direct bosses) that what they were doing is wrong. Maybe he's just past his moment though, I haven't been enjoying his writing too much in the comics either.

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