In an effort to compete with the much adored and very well received Marvel Cinematic Universe, DC Comics and Warner Brothers will be releasing ten films in addition to the already released Man of Steel, by the year 2020. A lot of fans are hesitant, and many have good reason to be as Man of Steel made a lot of controversial decisions with the characters, and next year's Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice looks to be making several big changes to characters as well. However, is it possible that director Zack Snyder got some things right? Of course. Using Man of Steel and the little information we have for BvS and 2016's Suicide Squad, we're going to look at the pro's and con's of the Dc Cinematic Universe.
The most exciting thing about DC's upcoming movies is the cast. While Marvel's initial strategy was to cast mostly unknown lead actors (who are now nearly all household names), many of DC's actors are already established actors such as Will Smith (Floyd Lawton/Deadshot), Ben Affleck (Bruce Wayne/Batman), and Jared Leto (the Joker). In Man of Steel, the three most prominent actors (pictured above) gave the three strongest performances in the entire film. Amy Adams defined Lois Lane for today's world as strong and independent, while also staying true to the comic character. Kevin Costner and Russell Crowe played Superman's adopted father and and biological father, respectively, and both gave strong performances that felt real to the audience, and the characters were written in a very relatable manner. Also, to any Game of Thrones fans, who isn't excited to see this?
Another exciting aspect is the visual elements in these movies. Krytpon was gorgeous in Man of Steel and promo art for [Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice](tag:711870) shows promise.
The Batmobile, as well as Batman's costume are both very appealing, and that is important considering that the last Batman movie was only 3 years ago. And while some controversial decisions have been made with characters, Batman will have to be altered to keep this universe seperate from the Dark Knight Trilogy.
The most exciting part of the upcoming movie slate is that they are willing to take risks with characters, even if the risks don't always pay off. It is important that the filmmakers keep their world distinct and feeling fresh, while ultimately staying true to the characters' source.
The Cons (That We Can Fix)
While Man of Steel did some things right, some elements of it didn't sit well with fans. However, the good news is that many of these can be easily fixed. The first of these issues is Superman's general character. Man of Steel was full of Christ imagery, and while there was nothing inherently wrong with that, it's caused the movie to feel more like a Shakespearean tragedy than a superhero film. Now that Kal-El has discovered himself and Clark Kent has created his secret identity, he should become a more relatable figure as Superman, the way that people know him as. What's worrisome is the way that he appears in the BvS trailer and many of the stills.
The idea of a god-like Superman commanding soldiers with his insignia that kneel before him is dangerous for this film and franchise for several reasons. The first is that rather than making Superman evolve into a charismatic hero we know him as, they are simply alienating him from fans, and the world that he exists in. Also, considering how recently the video game "Injustice: Gods Among Us" came out, this story may feel recycled to some. Perhaps by the end of Batamn v Superman, Superman may have evolved more into the familiar hero we enjoy, and that version of the character will be featured in the Justice League movies.
This picture from the set of Suicide Squad is awesome, but it also ruined part of the movie for me. Imagine going into a theater to watch a movie that is essentially a spy ensemble film with cool supervillains, and then unexpectedly, Batman shows up. It doesn't get much better than that, does it? What if Ben Affleck's role in this movie was a surprise? How much more rewarding would his small cameo role be? But this, as well as a majority of the leaked set photos from Suicide Squad are damaging the hype for the movie. Director David Ayer claims that there are still more surprises that haven't been leaked, but I find it hard to believe that Batman isn't the biggest surprise. At least with BvS, we still truly have very little to no idea of the main plot besides that Batman and Superman will fight. And that's awesome.
The (Seemingly) Unfixables
Besides for the grim characterization of Superman, another gripe that fans found with Man of Steel was that it was colorless. I found it interesting how when outdoors on Krypton or for a few of the scenes in the Arctic, the film was at its visual best, but in Smallville and Metropolis, everything transformed into different shades of gray. What's tragic about this is that all other DC movies will have to take place in this colorless world, if they truly want to make the universe feel coherent.
This promo for Suicide Squad feels just as colorful as many seems from Man of Steel. That's awful because when 2017's The Flash comes out, either the upbeat character of Barry Allen will have to be altered to fit into this very serious world, or the tone of this movie won't be able to be coherent with the rest of the franchise.
The only issue with this picture is that wig, but I'm nearly positive we'll see a bald head at some point in the movie.
Like every franchise, there will be positives and negatives to DC's upcoming movies. If Snyder and company are able to transform this universe into a more inviting one, and refrain from alienating our childhood heroes. The reason that Marvel's films are so successful is that they are fun and inviting and that can be done while telling the serious, high-stakes, and realistic stories that Snyder is trying to tell. And the reason that finding this balance between fun and realistic is so important is because we go see these movies to escape our reality into a better, more exciting one. We see these movies to remember what it was like to tie a cape around ourselves and pretend to fly.
We see these movies to be superheroes, not to fear them.