Zack Snyder gets all my respect. He really does. The guy took run of the mill car commercials, then suddenly made the leap to adapting some of the biggest names in the moviegoing consciousness. If you haven't seen it, his remake of George A Romero's Dawn of the Dead could be his best work. Since then, he's developed a reputation as a director who doesn't look before he leaps, letting his enthusiasm for a fictional property get ahead of the logical temperance required from big budget filmmakers. Just look at how 300 and Watchmen have been remembered.
Batman v Superman
This reputation has dogged Snyder right through his attempt to make a mature and "sensible" Superman film in the form of Man of Steel. Even as we approach the release of Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice, many audience members are expecting another muddled effort in Snyder paying his respects from some of the biggest names in comic books. The trailer for [Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice](tag:711870) does however show off an admirable departure from the aesthetic of Man of Steel, and I'd be lying if I said hardcore fans weren't excited. Prospects are just about hopeful for the release of Batman vs Superman, but there are these few details that endanger the first real thrust into the DC Cinematic Universe.
Now, I don't want to get into pitching DC efforts against Marvel, but the latter has definitely garnered a reputation for playing fast and loose with certain storylines. Just look at the anger Iron Man 3 was met with for brushing over the Extremis and Mandarin stories. While it does anger some fans, this approach may be the key to much of Marvel's success. Should Zack Snyder follow suit if he wants a pleasing reception for Batman vs Superman? Looking at the iconography of Dawn of Justice alone, you could be forgiven for thinking this movie is based directly off Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns.
I've referenced the prospects of adapting Miller's comic here, Here's the thing. Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns is designed as a post-silver age story, with the characters of Batman and Superman having known each other for much time. Each man has tolerated the other for years at the point where the story takes place, and the situations Miller fabricates are what let them cut loose. It's aimed at readers with the knowledge of Batman and Superman as established characters. The upcoming Dawn of Justice is using this exact same vibe, but seemingly as an origins story that will kick off further stories down the line. Is this really the right way to approach such a tumultuous story so early on?
A uniform tone and the DC mandate
I'm not here to mock the alleged "no jokes" rule as part of the DC mandate that worked as a guideline for filmmakers about to work in the DCCU. The rumor has been disproved by DC execs since, and come on, how could David Ayer's Suicide Squad possibly make it through its run time with no jokes? It's quotes like this from president of creative development at Warner Bros, Greg Silverman that keep me apprehensive.
Sure, the difference between movies about superheroes and superhero movies is an admirable, if slightly arbitrary distinction to make, but it's an ideology in approaching the creation of a cinematic universe that could foster homogeny after Batman vs Superman. I'll maintain that the moment Marvel managed to latch on to something special was when people started complaining about the first images of Thor. His look seemingly didn't fit with the established MCU, and in the long run, that's exactly what's worked out for them. An eclectic style, and disparate products coming together nonetheless is what Marvel enjoys. Now the images of Jason Momoa as Aquaman seem to fit with the established iconography of Man of Steel, but is that really what DC needs to garner good will from audiences they haven't even won over yet?
Of course, I only want the best for Batman vs Superman, and look forward to seeing what happens with the formation of a DC Cinematic Universe. These risks are things that just seem to haunt Zack Snyder and Warner Bros at every turn, and whether these movies can survive them, only Batman vs Superman can say. What are your hopes and fears for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice? Write a post about it here on MoviePilot, vote in our poll, or leave a comment below!