Superhero fans worldwide are getting seriously excited for #SuicideSquad, released this week. After the controversial reception of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, moviegoers are desperately hoping that the DC Extended Universe is about to see a real hit. Luckily, the trailers have been excellent, ranking among the best the superhero genre has ever produced.
However, despite universal optimism, it is still too soon to tell. The review embargo only lifts at noon Eastern/9 a.m. Pacific time on Tuesday, August 2. A delayed embargo like that is usually an indication that the studio isn't confident how the film is going to be received.
At the World Premiere, though, director David Ayer got, shall we say, a little too excited:
Traditionally, DC and #Marvel are seen as bitter opponents. If you go to any superhero Facebook group, it won't take long before a DC fan fumes against Marvel, or a Marvel fan launches a tirade against DC. This is especially the case among film fans, where DC - owned by Warner Bros. - has a strong history of top-rate superhero movies, but relative newcomer Marvel Studios launched the tremendously successful concept of a Cinematic Universe back in 2008.
A Not-So Bitter Rivalry?
Ironically, the two studios probably aren't as opposed to one another as the fans. Over in the comics, writers and artists switch between the companies all the time, and it's not uncommon for either company to copy a character, concept, or marketing approach from their rival. But - aside from being fairly unprofessional - David Ayer's comment risks stirring up the fan-war, suggesting there's real hostility between the studios.
Although the quote's going all over the Internet, it's worth noting that David Ayer is already backpedalling.
David Ayer's explanation is 100% accurate. In the excitement of Suicide Squad's World Premiere, he got "caught up in the moment" and repeated a comment from the crowd. I don't believe for one second that he meant it, nor do I believe that - if he were to relive the experience - he'd make the same comment.
Healthy Competition is Good for the Fans
The truth is that, while Marvel Studios and DC Film are rivals, they work in the same genre. If either studio makes a film of poor quality, then they risk damaging the whole superhero genre - and, unwittingly, harming their competition. It's in Marvel's best interest for DC films to do well, and it's in DC's best interest for Marvel films to do well. For moviegoers, we should really want both studios to do well. A strong DC forces Marvel Studios to keep improving in quality; a strong Marvel Studios forces DC to keep upping the ante. I want both the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the DC Extended Universe to flourish.
It's worth noting that even Marvel Entertainment's Chief Creative Officer doesn't seem too bothered:
Don't take David Ayer's comments too seriously. In the heat of the moment, he said something that he now regrets. For me, the real shame is that - right now - the World Premiere of Suicide Squad, a film I couldn't be more excited about, is being overshadowed by a throwaway comment. My dear hope is that David Ayer's words will be forgotten in the sheer excitement of watching Suicide Squad.
Are you looking forward to Suicide Squad? Let me know in the comments!