For this posting, I originally was going to finish up my list for my most anticipated movies of 2016 by combining number two and one into one article. That post will be written and put up later today. However, there is a more pressing issue that I wanted to write about that I recently read. I wanted to take this opportunity to report and give an opinion on what I was reporting. In an effort to expand this page to more than simple lists and reviews, I was report on an article I read from The Week (which is a magazine, this article is from the UK website). I will leave the link for the article at the bottom of the page if you would like to read for yourself.
The article states that the officials from Warner Brothers and DC Comics are concerned about the response that they are receiving from initial viewings of their upcoming movie Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice. According to the article, the viewings have been internal ones which have had muted reactions at the film. These responses (or lack of any) have now worried the studio about their planned set up of their DC Universe. With this movie supposedly leading up to the first part of The Justice League, the muted response to their build-up would be highly concerning when attempting to compete with the Marvel Universe. Potentially, the studio may switch out the solo Batman film that is being directed by Ben Affleck with The Justice League: Part One in order to better build up the Justice League. What does this mean?
Firstly, I am not overly surprised about the reported reactions of the early screenings of the movie. This movie has had me worried since the announcement of it being made. What may be hurting this movie is that audiences know how rushed Warner Brothers and DC Comics are to create a shared universe with their superheroes. The massive success of Marvel is the sole reason why they rushing this process. However, the problem is that Marvel actually set up their solo heroes before clustering them into a movie together. Meanwhile, Warner Brothers and DC are slapping together their heroes into one single movie with only one of them (Superman) receiving a proper background. Affleck’s Batman is somewhat based off of Bale’s Batman from Nolan’s trilogy (I think), but that is not good enough for the purposes of a share universe. If it was Christian Bale’s Batman in this movie, then it would not be an issue. However, it simply feels rushed to skip over a solo movie that introduces a new actor as the Caped Crusader. Also, the origin story of Superman was not a complete success to begin with. Met with mixed reviews from critics and fans alike, Man of Steel does not present a Superman that is ready to be meshed with an established cinematic character in Batman. Henry Cavill deserved a solo sequel to prepare both he and the character to be leading the DC comic book world into a shared universe. That is not to mention the introduction of Wonder Woman and Aquaman that are also included in this movie. In order for the shared universe to work, Warner Brothers has to work on establishing these solo characters on their own. Four major characters cannot be clustered into one movie without audiences feeling the studio’s sense of rush.
The fatal flaw in Warner Brothers’ planned universe is the lack of patience with the craft. As mentioned in the previous paragraph, characters are being rushed to a shared film in order to produce a Justice League movie. The characters are not the only thing that is being rushed due to this impatience. Development of a cohesive plot that will weave through the collective franchises. Marvel may not be perfect with this, at least their continuous plot line connects all of the characters together. DC seems to be rushing a plot device in order to compete with Marvel. The problem is that DC would be able to compete without rushing a Justice League movie out in a couple of years. Fans have been clamoring to see DC characters in their own solo films, which would make hundreds of millions of dollars on their own. DC should use fans’ impatience to their advantage by utilizing a slow burn to set up a shared universe with three to four solo movies. These movies could be a Man of Steel sequel, a solo Batman film, a Wonder Woman solo film, and an Aquaman origin story. Those four movies (along with Suicide Squad) would have some connecting piece that appears in all of the films. For Marvel, it was S.H.I.E.L.D and their recruitment/tracing of the future Avengers. Not only would those four movies (or any variation of character build up) set up a shared universe, it would test the waters for how fans would receive the characters, directors, actors, etc. Instead of thrusting the man who directed Man of Steel into the fire of crafting a movie that needs to be amazing, Warner Brothers can select a director based off of what had the most success. No offense to Zack Snyder, but none of his movies have been complete successes. I have enjoyed some of his films, but his filmography does not hold a gem or a collectively loved movie. If DC and Warner Brothers remained calm in their planning process, perhaps they could have created something similar to Marvel. Currently, it is clear to everybody that they are in “catch-up” mode.
Thus far, the marketing for Dawn of Justice has been less than stellar. Their last trailer that was released has been well received, the one before that panned as bad. Too much was shown, questionable decisions seemed to have been made, why does Doomsday look like that? For some reason, Warner Brothers has struggled to market this movie correctly. The ironic thing is that their marketing for Suicide Squad has been brilliant. The first teaser created anticipation and the second one blew people away. How can the same studio market one movie perfectly while the other one with mixed success? Plus, the better marketing should go to the movie that has been anticipated by the masses since the rumor was hinted at by movie reporters. Included in those failures is backing off their initial release to Marvel. Marvel’s successes have been impressive, however, Iron Man and Captain American do not compete with Batman and Superman. DC has the two most popular characters in comic book lore and they backed away from Marvel. It demonstrates lack of confidence in their movie. I could be in the minority with this thought, but the opening weekend match-up between Dawn of Justice and Captain America: Civil War would have been won by DC. The total earnings would have depended on the quality of each of the films might, which Marvel might have beat DC out. Still, opening weekend would have gone to the two more popular characters. Iron Man and Captain American are only as popular as they due to the movies. Warner Brothers not only rushed this movie into production, but also backed away from a challenge that they probably could have won.
Personally, I think their apparent emergency plan is the smart move. If reactions are being as tepid as reported, then Warner Brothers and DC need to adjust their plan. See how Suicide Squad does critically and money wise, then produce and release the two solo movies that are next in line to be made: Wonder Woman and the solo Batman film. This will allow Warner Brothers to examine how the fans are receiving their style of cinema for their universe. Once those reactions are finalized, then decide on who to handle Justice League. Zack Snyder can still be in contention to direct it, but it should not be set in stone. There should at least be a discussion about Ben Affleck or David Ayer directing the two movies (depending on their success with their movies). If Dawn of Justice is going to be a flop in terms of quality, it is not the end of the world. DC can still salvage their rushed mess by resetting and allowing the proper process to take over. Marvel would not have seen their successes if their solo movies did not effectively establish their universe. Not all of their origins story have been great, but they were all effective. DC should mimic that process. Some expect a comic book movie die off, but that is only if the quality begins to fade. As long as the DC movies that come out are effective and good, then the money to be made will be there for them. They simply need to methodical and ensure quality over quantity.
What do you all think of this report? What should Warner Brothers and DC Comics do with their share universe? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below. The link for the article is here > http://www.theweek.co.uk/61058/batman-v-superman-is-warner-preparing-for-a-super-sized-flop. Read it and see what you think about it. If you have enjoyed this post, go to my page on Moviepilot to read my other stuff. You can find me at moviepilot.com/talkmoviestome. Follow me on Twitter for more direct conversations if you would like @talkmoviestome. Thank you all for reading. Share this with your friends if you liked it and I hope that you will return for other posts.