I have heard countless times of the same, and sometimes annoying statements, as to why the DC cinematic universe will fail or not live up to the currently constructed juggernaut that is the Marvel cinematic universe.
While I will bring in these points in this article, I will also explain the folly that comes from these comments as well as what DC could plan to do about them. So, lets get the show on the road.
1. Boring Characters
I don't necessarily have to explain this very much. It's really just a common misconception about who these characters are. Unfortunately, the only true beneficiaries of cinematic glory have been Batman and Superman.
While Batman was rewarded with a talented filmmaker in Christopher Nolan to craft dark and complex stories about Batman, Superman hasn't had much of the same treatment. In today's world, the average audience thinks of Superman as this guy in blue who saves people, is overpowered, and someone who has no personality. It's these types of false notions that really grinds my gears because there have been countless times in comics where he was shown as more than just the "perfect" person. Kingdom Come, All-Star Superman, and countless others. He is not the most easiest person to make "human", but if done right, he could seem at times more human than any of us, compassionate, giving, and a beacon of hope. Hopefully something Batman v Superman will touch upon this.
That goes as well for the other superheroes in the DC universe, it's just very hard to fathom something like that because there haven't been many movies about these other superheros. A perfect example of this is Star-Lord, which before Guardians of the Galaxy, was a nobody. Marvel succeeded in giving the guy character, and there is nothing that is stopping DC from doing the same to it's titular characters.
2. The Absence of a "Kevin Feige" like figure.
I like to think of Marvel as the company that answers to Disney, which then answers to Kevin Feige. It's a strict and consistent machine pumping out movies that gets fans in their seats, and then let's them know when the next big movie is coming out. It's simple supply and demand, like a well oiled machine.
So why doesn't DC follow suit? Why don't they have a confined and definitive power structure? It's not because DC doesn't want to copy Marvel, because let's face it, DC and Marvel have copied each-other many times, but it's because they are formulating a plan, a plan that requires not follow their adversary, but a plan that could work and work in spades in it's own environment.
Marvel has proven they can pump out many movies, but the quality of their movies are not always positive. Sure you have your Guardians of the Galaxy, your Winter Soldier's, but every now and again you get a movie that most will agree is just kind of all right, (Won't name specifics). On the other hand, DC could take a different approach.
Here's a quote from a recent interview with a WB executive.
There is intensity and a seriousness of purpose to some of these characters. The filmmakers who are tackling these properties are making great movies about superheroes; they aren't making superhero movies. And when you are trying to make a good movie, you tackle interesting philosophies and character development. There's also humor, which is an important part.
Contrary to popular belief, DC is not dark, and is not gritty. While some may point at Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad as evidence, nobody seems to bring up shows like The Flash, Supergirl, or the the upcoming movie based on The Flash. The Flash movie will be written by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, known for their wit, humor, and light approach to films like The Lego Movie and 22 Jump Street.
So what does this have to do with anything? Well, for one, it shows DC can be diverse in it's audience, not just the ones people assume on the internet. Second, Marvel rarely takes the serious approach and seldom allows directors to show their true vision to shine through, they have a strict way of making movies, which works but is not the only way.
The Dark Knight trilogy was so great because DC laid their hands off it, helping to lend the creative imagination of a great filmmaker shine through. Recently Marvel has suffered the consequences of being too involved with their projects, like Age of Ultron, which could have been so much better without the forcefulness of some unnecessary scenes. So ultimately DC is looking to helm that same approach, allowing creative freedom with their stand-alone films and aiding Snyder with great writers like Terrio and help from Ben Affleck. They look to take a more serious and philosophical approach. Not to mention, looking to add some humor as well. Allowing more free reign could give us unique perspectives on once characterized superheros.
Will DC be perfect for making their films more serious? No. But they definitely will bring a balance to the superhero genre that many have been anticipating. Right now Marvel is controlling the superhero film genre, and fans and casual moviegoers don't have many options. Marvel is basically the monopoly of the superhero genre. But once competition arises, then new blood will be shed into the genre.
3. Many don't care for characters like Superman or Batman anymore.
Man of Steel made 668 million dollars off mixed reviews, not advertising the movie as the famous name of Superman, and being released during a tough summer season competing with other blockbusters. And if people are tired of the same characters getting movies all over again, explain why people still see Spider-Man movies, or for that matter any type of movie? Because they are fans. I still see many fans on the street sharing their love for superheros like Superman wearing their t-shirts and what not. Not many cared for Iron Man until he had a movie made about him. And then he became more popular with the release of 2 Avengers films. It's all about promotion.
4. They are too far behind.
I don't know what that has to do with anything other than toys or merchandising. The trust part between a studio and moviegoer will take time, yes, but it's not like moviegoers are hell bent on DC failing. They want good movies, so if DC makes good films they can definitely catch up. It will take time, yes, but that comes with the idea that you trust your audience in bringing open minds to their films. Something most people have, others who are lacking in spades of that. But that's just the nature of different of products, you will garner different fans.
I'm not trying to convince you that DC will succeed, but I am telling why I think it could. They have made only one film. That is not enough to name their entire universe as a failure. I will not put some poll, or ask you whether you have faith, because that's irrelevant. What I ask is to keep an open mind. Feel free to bring up anything in the comments section and debate.
Articles used: THR