The stories and comics in the DC universe have always been inspiring to me and I’m sure I can say the same about their tenacious fans. The movies however – are great, always have been and always will be la la la la la la.
Sometimes I attempt to convince myself that even though Batman vs Superman, Suicide Squad, Green Lantern, Superman Returns, Daredevil, Catwoman, Superman 3, Batman and Robin and Batman Forever all sucked, DC movies are still a fantastic adventure.
Ok, I lied. Batman vs Superman was actually awesome, shut up I don’t care what you think.
And Daredevil isn’t DC but it still sucked. Haha, take that Marvel.
As a DC fan, I thoroughly enjoy watching these movies. I don’t just mean the ones I mentioned, I mean all DC movies that ever existed. It might be because I feel I can relate to both Batman and Superman – in a totally non-narcissistic way of course. I relate to them because they’re both seen as outsiders and are often misunderstood.
Many DC movies, although they weren’t terrible, aren’t usually the best, most successful films ever made – especially when competing with Marvel. However, The Dark Knight Trilogy (*All Hail Christopher Nolan*) is an exception (I wonder if Christopher Nolan was an Adam West fan.)
The upcoming film The Flash has already gone through three directors, a full script rewrite and they were supposed to have started shooting by now. Ben Afleck, scheduled to write and direct the solo Batman movie, has also dropped out of this role due to not having the freedom to create the movie he really wanted. It would have been too much for him to make a good quality story in the time constraints he was given.
Based on these unfortunate facts the future of DC is looking pretty grim.
You’re probably thinking so far I haven’t made the title of this article very convincing.
What DC is doing, though, is trying new things. It’s trying new ways of filmmaking.
The most recent Star Wars installment Rogue One, recreated old characters using mostly convincing CGI causing audiences to say, “Yeah I can see that’s fake, but you know what, let’s give them a free pass on this one, they’ll probably have it perfected by the time episode VIII comes out.”
In a way, DC is doing something similar. The reason why the franchise may not be doing so well is because they’re combining these new ways with the old motif of the superhero genre, which seems to be a dying medium….or is it?
Like Marvel’s Avengers universe, DC has spent the last several years developing the Justice League franchise. Most of the films so far have not had many great reviews by critics, however they’re still attracting large audiences and have kept plenty of devoted fans. It’s something people know will be familiar when they walk into the theatre and whether they walk out having enjoyed it or not, they gave it a go, which is what I’m hoping will continue to happen with future DC films.
Marvel seems to be pretty successful with The Avengers, but at the moment Justice League seems to be doing quite poorly.
This may be because DC, even though it’s taking awhile, are still finding their feet (which should include not letting Zack Snyder into the director’s chair ever again).
They’re testing out the waters. They’re failing – but they’re failing forward. They’re making Lex Luthor a psychopath rather than a calm, collected, logical thinking, smart villain. They’re making a bunch of villains too villainy, yet too whiney to be likeable. They’re making Batman a dark and bitter, taking-the-law-into-his-own-hands, do-gooder with mummy issues – wait, that’s actually kinda accurate to the comics.
Marvel may be more popular right now, but unlike DC they’re not really taking any risks. This means their stories and themes are arguably not as unique as DC. Because of this, Marvel is somewhat bland which is why a lot of DC fans are still giving DC films a chance.
DC is is definitely taking risks – many of which are in the wrong direction – but regardless of this fact, I take off my hat to them.
They may be taking a while to catch momentum and be successful, but sometimes it takes 100 failures before 1 success changes the world. Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton and Thomas Edison were all known for being great inventors, however, they failed hundreds of times before anything actually worked.
Maybe I shouldn’t compare the current Justice League franchise to extraordinary inventors that changed the course of history. What if these failures are the beginning of something great, rather than ‘has-been’ filmmakers trying to recreate the ‘has-been’ superhero genre?
Wonder Woman is up next. Popular opinion of Batman V Superman is generally pretty negative, but I would say regardless of that fact most people could agree Wonder Woman was the best part of that film. If Patty Jenkins (Director of Wonder Woman) is able to take that amazing character and expand on this greatness in its own film then I have high hopes.
This new franchise has the potential to be great. It has the potential to be it’s own awesome thing – not in the shadow of The Avengers.
While some might say it’s pointless to invest in a failing franchise, I say it’s worth it because of the chance of what may develop in the end.
A TEDx Talk titled The surprising habits of original thinkers by Adam Grant, talks about successful new products / trends being brought about by people who aren’t even sure if their idea is going to work. Their failures and terrible track records prohibited investors to take any interest in them, yet in the end they were successful because they either did something different or improved on the idea of someone else and perfected it.
As of now, DC is basically doing neither… on the outside. What we don’t see may in fact be following this unstable, rocky process to success.
It could work. Let’s see.
…..unless Wonder Woman blows then I give up and so should they.
No more Mr. Ice Guy” – Mr Freeze, (Batman and Robin)