ByKit Simpson Browne, writer at
Writer-at-large. Bad jokes aplenty. Can be gently prodded on Twitter at @kitsb1
Kit Simpson Browne

Now, a lot has already been written over the years about the long-standing rivalry between DC and Marvel - a bristling business battle that has, nonetheless, largely been overshadowed by the eternal accompanying fan debate over which comic-book company is the greater.

Over the years, though, the balance of power in that fight has shifted - with DC's early dominance being largely overthrown by Marvel in the '60s and '70s, before the emergence of DC and Warner Bros.' movie arm (and Marvel's financial difficulties) in the '80s and '90s pulled the advantage back towards Superman and pals.

Since 2008, though, and the rise of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, not even the immense success of Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight series could disguise the fact that - in purely business terms, at least - the momentum was very much Marvel's once again.

Could That All Be About to Change, Though?

Tony isn't sure, it seems...
Tony isn't sure, it seems...

After all, we're about to see DC introduce a Cinematic Universe of its very own - with Man of Steel leading into Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which in turn leads into Suicide Squad, which in turn...well, you get the idea.

Which, from the sounds of it, may well have gotten (DC parent company) Warner Bros. President Greg Silverman all over-excited, since from the sounds of his latest comments, he genuinely seems to believe that DC's new cinematic output is set to blow away its MCU competition.

Or, at least, that's the distinct impression he gave in a recent interview with THR, in which he essentially seemed determined to say (without actually saying it):

"DC's Movies Are Going to Be Better Than Marvel's"

"Come at me, Feige!"
"Come at me, Feige!"

Yup, that's right. Asked how he's planning on differentiating the new DC Cinematic Universe from what Marvel is doing, Silverman revealed:

"We have a great strategy for the DC films, which is to take these beloved characters and put them in the hands of master filmmakers and make sure they all coordinate with each other. You'll see the difference when you see Batman v. Superman, Suicide Squad, Justice League and all the things that we are working on."

Now, "you'll see the difference," after a reference to "beloved characters" and "master filmmakers coordinating with each other" seems an awful lot like a thinly veiled dig at Marvel - one focusing on the traditionaly greater name-recognition of DC's 'Big Three' heroes, as well as Joss Whedon's recent complaints about Marvel's 'studio system' way of doing things. But all in all, that's just friendly competition, right?

Whoa there Tony - cool your jets...
Whoa there Tony - cool your jets...

Perhaps. Silverman, though, continued to poke at Marvel in his following comments, discussing the darkness of DC's characters, and seemingly arguing that their competition is too lightweight by comparison:

"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."

Which, as a response to a question about widespread fan criticism of Batman v Superman's trailer being too dark, sure seems a whole lot more about what everyone else is doing...

Is That All Actually an Attack on Marvel, Though?

Oh, Tony...
Oh, Tony...

Well, perhaps, and perhaps not.

On the one hand, it'd be great to think that the rivalry between DC and Marvel (and the accompanying one between parent company's Warner Bros. and Disney) is actually a whole lot more friendly than the recent brinkmanship over the clashing release dates of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Captain America: Civil War might suggest. If so, then it'd seem safe to assume that Silverman's comments are actually not loaded at all, and that he's actually just super-enthusiastic about his upcoming movie slate.

On the other hand, though, there's been every suggestion of late that the two companies are still very much at odds with one another. The hiring by Warner Bros. of Patty Jenkins, whose relationship with Marvel is seemingly fraught after her departure from Thor 2 at a late stage - to direct Wonder Woman seemed pointed, despite her obvious talent, as does the defiantly dark and gritty tone the DC Cinematic Universe is taking.

Similarly, interview's like Silverman's, in which he made it pretty darned clear that he was contrasting his company's movie output with that of Marvel's, do little to clear the air...

"Oh, it's on."
"Oh, it's on."

That being said, though, with Marvel having already grabbed a whole lot of the most prominent superhero-suitable actors and directors around, as well as staked out the middle ground of light-hearted (yet serious) superhero action, there would seem to be an argument that DC and Warners have to be pretty aggressive when it comes to differentiate the difference between their new Cinematic Universe and the MCU.

Or, in other words? Silverman's comments sure do sound like fightin' words - but they might be a hell of a lot more pragmatic than they initially sound...

What do you think, though?


Who's Cinematic Universe will be better - DC's or Marvel's?

via THR


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