TV, Film, and Entertainment News Daily

Has Warners Waited Too Long To Exploit DC’s Movie Potential?

So, we’re potentially just days away from news on how Warner Bros. plans to exploit DC Comics for all its worth, with a fuller version of those plans – or, at least, a spreadsheet – to follow next month. But I have to ask: Am I the only person who wonders if it’s too little, too late, to actually succeed?

Don’t get me wrong; In the DC/Marvel cold war that is comics, I’m much closer to the Superman/Batman camp than the opposition (Really, I’d rather call myself a conscientious objector, but that run of Paul Levitz’s Legion might disagree), but the fact remains that Marvel, for better or worse, pretty much own the superhero movie market for most mainstream moviegoers these days – Yes, Batman seems to contradict that, but Batman, in so many ways, is a freak occurrence, and shouldn’t necessarily be looked at as a signpost for the success of other DC superheroes who haven’t owned the pop cultural zeitgeist on at least two separated-by-decades occasions – and, now that they have the might of Disney behind them, are probably about to hold onto that title for a long, long time to come.

It’s not just that Disney is very good at moving into and, from that point onwards, dominating particular markets that it sets its sights on (And with the Marvel IP, now they finally have material to do that in their longtime weak spot, teen boys), although that really counts for a lot, in my book. More, it’s that Marvel has spent a lot of time, money, internet presence and bad movies (Hi there, Hulk) teaching the world that, if you’re thinking “superheroes” that aren’t any of these annoying post-modern things like Kick-Ass or Super or Hancock, then you’re thinking “Marvel” – or, perhaps, Pixar but they’re Disney too and that was a one-off so that’s alright. Somehow – and, really, I’m still not entirely sure how they actually managed this – Marvel has managed to sell the audience on not just Iron Man, but the idea that all the other movies leading up to The Avengers are essential parts of the Iron Man story. Instead of selling Iron Man, they’ve managed to sell Marvel Universe, to the point where fans are excitedly awaiting Thor and Captain America despite the fact that none of the same creators are working on them: The shared universe becomes what’s important. So, why can’t DC do that?

Well, for one thing, because they’re not the first to do it. Newness – or, in this case, the illusion of newness – is important, and it can be better to avoid something than be the second people to try it, in many cases. More importantly, audiences have already bought into one shared superhero universe – will they be willing to do so for another? More cynically, will non-comic-reading audiences really be able to tell that Green Lantern, The Flash and whatever other DCU movies are coming out aren’t part of Marvel’s plans?

There’s definitely money being left on the table for Warners, insofar as the potential licensing of DC Comics’ characters and IP goes – If nothing else, outside of movies or television, there’s got to be room for exploiting the pop cultural iconography of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman in all manner of merchandise that we haven’t seen, surely? – but then it comes to building an empire based on multiple movies about the superheroes? Marvel’s already there, and there might not be any space left for another big player.

News From Our Partners

Comments

  • Number 1 DC Fan

    This article is sheer nonsense without one ounce of credibility. Movie audiences are tired of superhero movies? Seriously? If that were the case, then superheroes would’ve died after the debacles of Richard Pryor in “Superman III” and the trainwreck that was “Superman IV: The Quest For Peace.” Get real.

    I don’t know you, but the article you’ve written is worse than pure opinion–it is ignorant in the extreme. “Green Lantern” is about to exploit the sci-fi superhero genre that both Marvel *and* Fox failed to exploit with the nonexistant “Silver Surfer” movie they wanted but failed to get off the ground. Anything Marvel does after GL is going to look like *they* are copying DC and trying to exploit WB’s success.

    And don’t even get me started on the phenomenal job Diane Nelson and Geoff Johns are doing to set up The Flash film franchise for WB to exploit. Or the terrific job that Johns and Peter Tomasi are doing to make Aquaman a big star in the DCU with their very well-received Aquaman arc in “Brightest Day” (and a rumored Aquaman-centric event in the DCU next year, too). Again, Marvel had a chance over 5 years ago to beat DC to the punch in the James Cameron undersea adventure genre with Sub-Mariner and dropped the ball. The long-awaited and now obvious effort to coordinate corporate strategy between WB and DC is a sheer joy to behold. It is so fun to watch WB corporate, Nelson and Johns setting up the next 3 big DC movies that will manage to exploit comic book superhero genres that Marvel has so far failed to do. It is also exciting to see Nelson in charge of DC Entertainment not only as the architect of the Harry Potter franchise, but also as a woman who gets to oversee development of Wonder Woman.

    Never has this been a more exciting time to be a DC fan. I think all evidence so far points to WB finally getting it right. Anyone who can’t see that is not paying attention to what’s really going on.

  • Number 1 DC Fan

    This article is sheer nonsense without one ounce of credibility. Movie audiences are tired of superhero movies? Seriously? If that were the case, then superheroes would’ve died after the debacles of Richard Pryor in “Superman III” and the trainwreck that was “Superman IV: The Quest For Peace.” Get real.

    I don’t know you, but the article you’ve written is worse than pure opinion–it is ignorant in the extreme. “Green Lantern” is about to exploit the sci-fi superhero genre that both Marvel *and* Fox failed to exploit with the nonexistant “Silver Surfer” movie they wanted but failed to get off the ground. Anything Marvel does after GL is going to look like *they* are copying DC and trying to exploit WB’s success.

    And don’t even get me started on the phenomenal job Diane Nelson and Geoff Johns are doing to set up The Flash film franchise for WB to exploit. Or the terrific job that Johns and Peter Tomasi are doing to make Aquaman a big star in the DCU with their very well-received Aquaman arc in “Brightest Day” (and a rumored Aquaman-centric event in the DCU next year, too). Again, Marvel had a chance over 5 years ago to beat DC to the punch in the James Cameron undersea adventure genre with Sub-Mariner and dropped the ball. The long-awaited and now obvious effort to coordinate corporate strategy between WB and DC is a sheer joy to behold. It is so fun to watch WB corporate, Nelson and Johns setting up the next 3 big DC movies that will manage to exploit comic book superhero genres that Marvel has so far failed to do. It is also exciting to see Nelson in charge of DC Entertainment not only as the architect of the Harry Potter franchise, but also as a woman who gets to oversee development of Wonder Woman.

    Never has this been a more exciting time to be a DC fan. I think all evidence so far points to WB finally getting it right. Anyone who can’t see that is not paying attention to what’s really going on.

  • Number 1 DC Fan

    This article is sheer nonsense without one ounce of credibility. Movie audiences are tired of superhero movies? Seriously? If that were the case, then superheroes would’ve died after the debacles of Richard Pryor in “Superman III” and the trainwreck that was “Superman IV: The Quest For Peace.” Get real.

    I don’t know you, but the article you’ve written is worse than pure opinion–it is ignorant in the extreme. “Green Lantern” is about to exploit the sci-fi superhero genre that both Marvel *and* Fox failed to exploit with the nonexistant “Silver Surfer” movie they wanted but failed to get off the ground. Anything Marvel does after GL is going to look like *they* are copying DC and trying to exploit WB’s success.

    And don’t even get me started on the phenomenal job Diane Nelson and Geoff Johns are doing to set up The Flash film franchise for WB to exploit. Or the terrific job that Johns and Peter Tomasi are doing to make Aquaman a big star in the DCU with their very well-received Aquaman arc in “Brightest Day” (and a rumored Aquaman-centric event in the DCU next year, too). Again, Marvel had a chance over 5 years ago to beat DC to the punch in the James Cameron undersea adventure genre with Sub-Mariner and dropped the ball. The long-awaited and now obvious effort to coordinate corporate strategy between WB and DC is a sheer joy to behold. It is so fun to watch WB corporate, Nelson and Johns setting up the next 3 big DC movies that will manage to exploit comic book superhero genres that Marvel has so far failed to do. It is also exciting to see Nelson in charge of DC Entertainment not only as the architect of the Harry Potter franchise, but also as a woman who gets to oversee development of Wonder Woman.

    Never has this been a more exciting time to be a DC fan. I think all evidence so far points to WB finally getting it right. Anyone who can’t see that is not paying attention to what’s really going on.

  • Number 1 DC Fan

    This article is sheer nonsense without one ounce of credibility. Movie audiences are tired of superhero movies? Seriously? If that were the case, then superheroes would’ve died after the debacles of Richard Pryor in “Superman III” and the trainwreck that was “Superman IV: The Quest For Peace.” Get real.

    I don’t know you, but the article you’ve written is worse than pure opinion–it is ignorant in the extreme. “Green Lantern” is about to exploit the sci-fi superhero genre that both Marvel *and* Fox failed to exploit with the nonexistant “Silver Surfer” movie they wanted but failed to get off the ground. Anything Marvel does after GL is going to look like *they* are copying DC and trying to exploit WB’s success.

    And don’t even get me started on the phenomenal job Diane Nelson and Geoff Johns are doing to set up The Flash film franchise for WB to exploit. Or the terrific job that Johns and Peter Tomasi are doing to make Aquaman a big star in the DCU with their very well-received Aquaman arc in “Brightest Day” (and a rumored Aquaman-centric event in the DCU next year, too). Again, Marvel had a chance over 5 years ago to beat DC to the punch in the James Cameron undersea adventure genre with Sub-Mariner and dropped the ball. The long-awaited and now obvious effort to coordinate corporate strategy between WB and DC is a sheer joy to behold. It is so fun to watch WB corporate, Nelson and Johns setting up the next 3 big DC movies that will manage to exploit comic book superhero genres that Marvel has so far failed to do. It is also exciting to see Nelson in charge of DC Entertainment not only as the architect of the Harry Potter franchise, but also as a woman who gets to oversee development of Wonder Woman.

    Never has this been a more exciting time to be a DC fan. I think all evidence so far points to WB finally getting it right. Anyone who can’t see that is not paying attention to what’s really going on.

  • Number 1 DC Fan

    This article is sheer nonsense without one ounce of credibility. Movie audiences are tired of superhero movies? Seriously? If that were the case, then superheroes would’ve died after the debacles of Richard Pryor in “Superman III” and the trainwreck that was “Superman IV: The Quest For Peace.” Get real.

    I don’t know you, but the article you’ve written is worse than pure opinion–it is ignorant in the extreme. “Green Lantern” is about to exploit the sci-fi superhero genre that both Marvel *and* Fox failed to exploit with the nonexistant “Silver Surfer” movie they wanted but failed to get off the ground. Anything Marvel does after GL is going to look like *they* are copying DC and trying to exploit WB’s success.

    And don’t even get me started on the phenomenal job Diane Nelson and Geoff Johns are doing to set up The Flash film franchise for WB to exploit. Or the terrific job that Johns and Peter Tomasi are doing to make Aquaman a big star in the DCU with their very well-received Aquaman arc in “Brightest Day” (and a rumored Aquaman-centric event in the DCU next year, too). Again, Marvel had a chance over 5 years ago to beat DC to the punch in the James Cameron undersea adventure genre with Sub-Mariner and dropped the ball. The long-awaited and now obvious effort to coordinate corporate strategy between WB and DC is a sheer joy to behold. It is so fun to watch WB corporate, Nelson and Johns setting up the next 3 big DC movies that will manage to exploit comic book superhero genres that Marvel has so far failed to do. It is also exciting to see Nelson in charge of DC Entertainment not only as the architect of the Harry Potter franchise, but also as a woman who gets to oversee development of Wonder Woman.

    Never has this been a more exciting time to be a DC fan. I think all evidence so far points to WB finally getting it right. Anyone who can’t see that is not paying attention to what’s really going on.

  • Number 1 DC Fan

    This article is sheer nonsense without one ounce of credibility. Movie audiences are tired of superhero movies? Seriously? If that were the case, then superheroes would’ve died after the debacles of Richard Pryor in “Superman III” and the trainwreck that was “Superman IV: The Quest For Peace.” Get real.

    I don’t know you, but the article you’ve written is worse than pure opinion–it is ignorant in the extreme. “Green Lantern” is about to exploit the sci-fi superhero genre that both Marvel *and* Fox failed to exploit with the nonexistant “Silver Surfer” movie they wanted but failed to get off the ground. Anything Marvel does after GL is going to look like *they* are copying DC and trying to exploit WB’s success.

    And don’t even get me started on the phenomenal job Diane Nelson and Geoff Johns are doing to set up The Flash film franchise for WB to exploit. Or the terrific job that Johns and Peter Tomasi are doing to make Aquaman a big star in the DCU with their very well-received Aquaman arc in “Brightest Day” (and a rumored Aquaman-centric event in the DCU next year, too). Again, Marvel had a chance over 5 years ago to beat DC to the punch in the James Cameron undersea adventure genre with Sub-Mariner and dropped the ball. The long-awaited and now obvious effort to coordinate corporate strategy between WB and DC is a sheer joy to behold. It is so fun to watch WB corporate, Nelson and Johns setting up the next 3 big DC movies that will manage to exploit comic book superhero genres that Marvel has so far failed to do. It is also exciting to see Nelson in charge of DC Entertainment not only as the architect of the Harry Potter franchise, but also as a woman who gets to oversee development of Wonder Woman.

    Never has this been a more exciting time to be a DC fan. I think all evidence so far points to WB finally getting it right. Anyone who can’t see that is not paying attention to what’s really going on.

  • Number 1 DC Fan

    This article is sheer nonsense without one ounce of credibility. Movie audiences are tired of superhero movies? Seriously? If that were the case, then superheroes would’ve died after the debacles of Richard Pryor in “Superman III” and the trainwreck that was “Superman IV: The Quest For Peace.” Get real.

    I don’t know you, but the article you’ve written is worse than pure opinion–it is ignorant in the extreme. “Green Lantern” is about to exploit the sci-fi superhero genre that both Marvel *and* Fox failed to exploit with the nonexistant “Silver Surfer” movie they wanted but failed to get off the ground. Anything Marvel does after GL is going to look like *they* are copying DC and trying to exploit WB’s success.

    And don’t even get me started on the phenomenal job Diane Nelson and Geoff Johns are doing to set up The Flash film franchise for WB to exploit. Or the terrific job that Johns and Peter Tomasi are doing to make Aquaman a big star in the DCU with their very well-received Aquaman arc in “Brightest Day” (and a rumored Aquaman-centric event in the DCU next year, too). Again, Marvel had a chance over 5 years ago to beat DC to the punch in the James Cameron undersea adventure genre with Sub-Mariner and dropped the ball. The long-awaited and now obvious effort to coordinate corporate strategy between WB and DC is a sheer joy to behold. It is so fun to watch WB corporate, Nelson and Johns setting up the next 3 big DC movies that will manage to exploit comic book superhero genres that Marvel has so far failed to do. It is also exciting to see Nelson in charge of DC Entertainment not only as the architect of the Harry Potter franchise, but also as a woman who gets to oversee development of Wonder Woman.

    Never has this been a more exciting time to be a DC fan. I think all evidence so far points to WB finally getting it right. Anyone who can’t see that is not paying attention to what’s really going on.

  • Number 1 DC Fan

    This article is sheer nonsense without one ounce of credibility. Movie audiences are tired of superhero movies? Seriously? If that were the case, then superheroes would’ve died after the debacles of Richard Pryor in “Superman III” and the trainwreck that was “Superman IV: The Quest For Peace.” Get real.

    I don’t know you, but the article you’ve written is worse than pure opinion–it is ignorant in the extreme. “Green Lantern” is about to exploit the sci-fi superhero genre that both Marvel *and* Fox failed to exploit with the nonexistant “Silver Surfer” movie they wanted but failed to get off the ground. Anything Marvel does after GL is going to look like *they* are copying DC and trying to exploit WB’s success.

    And don’t even get me started on the phenomenal job Diane Nelson and Geoff Johns are doing to set up The Flash film franchise for WB to exploit. Or the terrific job that Johns and Peter Tomasi are doing to make Aquaman a big star in the DCU with their very well-received Aquaman arc in “Brightest Day” (and a rumored Aquaman-centric event in the DCU next year, too). Again, Marvel had a chance over 5 years ago to beat DC to the punch in the James Cameron undersea adventure genre with Sub-Mariner and dropped the ball. The long-awaited and now obvious effort to coordinate corporate strategy between WB and DC is a sheer joy to behold. It is so fun to watch WB corporate, Nelson and Johns setting up the next 3 big DC movies that will manage to exploit comic book superhero genres that Marvel has so far failed to do. It is also exciting to see Nelson in charge of DC Entertainment not only as the architect of the Harry Potter franchise, but also as a woman who gets to oversee development of Wonder Woman.

    Never has this been a more exciting time to be a DC fan. I think all evidence so far points to WB finally getting it right. Anyone who can’t see that is not paying attention to what’s really going on.

  • Number 1 DC Fan

    This article is sheer nonsense without one ounce of credibility. Movie audiences are tired of superhero movies? Seriously? If that were the case, then superheroes would’ve died after the debacles of Richard Pryor in “Superman III” and the trainwreck that was “Superman IV: The Quest For Peace.” Get real.

    I don’t know you, but the article you’ve written is worse than pure opinion–it is ignorant in the extreme. “Green Lantern” is about to exploit the sci-fi superhero genre that both Marvel *and* Fox failed to exploit with the nonexistant “Silver Surfer” movie they wanted but failed to get off the ground. Anything Marvel does after GL is going to look like *they* are copying DC and trying to exploit WB’s success.

    And don’t even get me started on the phenomenal job Diane Nelson and Geoff Johns are doing to set up The Flash film franchise for WB to exploit. Or the terrific job that Johns and Peter Tomasi are doing to make Aquaman a big star in the DCU with their very well-received Aquaman arc in “Brightest Day” (and a rumored Aquaman-centric event in the DCU next year, too). Again, Marvel had a chance over 5 years ago to beat DC to the punch in the James Cameron undersea adventure genre with Sub-Mariner and dropped the ball. The long-awaited and now obvious effort to coordinate corporate strategy between WB and DC is a sheer joy to behold. It is so fun to watch WB corporate, Nelson and Johns setting up the next 3 big DC movies that will manage to exploit comic book superhero genres that Marvel has so far failed to do. It is also exciting to see Nelson in charge of DC Entertainment not only as the architect of the Harry Potter franchise, but also as a woman who gets to oversee development of Wonder Woman.

    Never has this been a more exciting time to be a DC fan. I think all evidence so far points to WB finally getting it right. Anyone who can’t see that is not paying attention to what’s really going on.

  • Number 1 DC Fan

    This article is sheer nonsense without one ounce of credibility. Movie audiences are tired of superhero movies? Seriously? If that were the case, then superheroes would’ve died after the debacles of Richard Pryor in “Superman III” and the trainwreck that was “Superman IV: The Quest For Peace.” Get real.

    I don’t know you, but the article you’ve written is worse than pure opinion–it is ignorant in the extreme. “Green Lantern” is about to exploit the sci-fi superhero genre that both Marvel *and* Fox failed to exploit with the nonexistant “Silver Surfer” movie they wanted but failed to get off the ground. Anything Marvel does after GL is going to look like *they* are copying DC and trying to exploit WB’s success.

    And don’t even get me started on the phenomenal job Diane Nelson and Geoff Johns are doing to set up The Flash film franchise for WB to exploit. Or the terrific job that Johns and Peter Tomasi are doing to make Aquaman a big star in the DCU with their very well-received Aquaman arc in “Brightest Day” (and a rumored Aquaman-centric event in the DCU next year, too). Again, Marvel had a chance over 5 years ago to beat DC to the punch in the James Cameron undersea adventure genre with Sub-Mariner and dropped the ball. The long-awaited and now obvious effort to coordinate corporate strategy between WB and DC is a sheer joy to behold. It is so fun to watch WB corporate, Nelson and Johns setting up the next 3 big DC movies that will manage to exploit comic book superhero genres that Marvel has so far failed to do. It is also exciting to see Nelson in charge of DC Entertainment not only as the architect of the Harry Potter franchise, but also as a woman who gets to oversee development of Wonder Woman.

    Never has this been a more exciting time to be a DC fan. I think all evidence so far points to WB finally getting it right. Anyone who can’t see that is not paying attention to what’s really going on.

  • Number 1 DC Fan

    This article is sheer nonsense without one ounce of credibility. Movie audiences are tired of superhero movies? Seriously? If that were the case, then superheroes would’ve died after the debacles of Richard Pryor in “Superman III” and the trainwreck that was “Superman IV: The Quest For Peace.” Get real.

    I don’t know you, but the article you’ve written is worse than pure opinion–it is ignorant in the extreme. “Green Lantern” is about to exploit the sci-fi superhero genre that both Marvel *and* Fox failed to exploit with the nonexistant “Silver Surfer” movie they wanted but failed to get off the ground. Anything Marvel does after GL is going to look like *they* are copying DC and trying to exploit WB’s success.

    And don’t even get me started on the phenomenal job Diane Nelson and Geoff Johns are doing to set up The Flash film franchise for WB to exploit. Or the terrific job that Johns and Peter Tomasi are doing to make Aquaman a big star in the DCU with their very well-received Aquaman arc in “Brightest Day” (and a rumored Aquaman-centric event in the DCU next year, too). Again, Marvel had a chance over 5 years ago to beat DC to the punch in the James Cameron undersea adventure genre with Sub-Mariner and dropped the ball. The long-awaited and now obvious effort to coordinate corporate strategy between WB and DC is a sheer joy to behold. It is so fun to watch WB corporate, Nelson and Johns setting up the next 3 big DC movies that will manage to exploit comic book superhero genres that Marvel has so far failed to do. It is also exciting to see Nelson in charge of DC Entertainment not only as the architect of the Harry Potter franchise, but also as a woman who gets to oversee development of Wonder Woman.

    Never has this been a more exciting time to be a DC fan. I think all evidence so far points to WB finally getting it right. Anyone who can’t see that is not paying attention to what’s really going on.

  • Edward10

    g o kill yourself you pessimistic piece of shit

  • The Internet

    That's…pretty harsh.

  • anon

    Yep. By the time WB get off their butt the cinema going audience is going to be weary of heroes.

    Know what they could do? Give audiences something Marvel is not doing. See that CGI trailer than blew everyone away? Do a good JLA story.

  • Paul

    So you're sort of saying Marvel is like Windows and DC is like Macintosh.

  • Jg

    The reason DC can't do the shared universe thing is that they dont have total control over all their own characters. Why do you think Batman and Wonder Woman havent been in “Smallville”? If they could settle all the legal issues, they could do the same thing as Marvel. Even people who arent DC fans still know all of the major characters.

  • jsf

    Yes.

    In the whole remaining history of humanity, DC will never ever be able to exploit their properties in the form of movies. They have irrevocably blown it. Forever.

    This is a really silly article.

  • Liamj88

    Kind of ironic because Marvel don't have control over the majority of their key franchises, or atleast what were key franchises when they started the movies.

    Instead of their big sellers Spider-Man and X-Men they were left with the chump change that no were bothered about (in the mainstream) and Marvel have created that mainstream buzz and attention for them.

    There is no reason why Warner Bros couldn't be making movies of Green Lantern, Flash, Green Arrow etc.

    It all likelyhood the new Green Lantern movie will set in motion the coming together of the JLA but it's just going to be seen as a copy of Marvel and we're edging ever closer to the bubble popping. Comic books movies won't hold moviegoers forever, we're at a decade as it is. Viewers will leave soon, wanting a break just like they do every other genre and franchise.

  • http://twitter.com/jonrob5000 Jonathan Roberts

    Huh? Isn't everything DC under Warner Bros? It's Marvel that are waiting to regain Spider-Man, Fantastic Four and Daredevil from different studios before they can guest.
    There's nothing but in-house marketing deciding who can feature on Smallville.

  • Ollie By Bolly

    I think the only way Warner Brothers can compete with Marvel with a shared-DC unvierse is to focus on where they have blown Marvel out of the water time and again.

    Animation.

  • glantern35

    If a movie is good, people will go see it. I've seen my share of chick flicks and they're all pretty much the same. People continue to go see them though. It's the same with super hero movies or any other genre. If you make a quality product, people will go see it. If it sucks you have nobody to blame but yourself. Next year will probably tell the tale. With Thor, Green Lantern, and Captain America all coming out, it'll be interesting to see if there is a drop off in attendance, or some type of burnout by the time Captain America hits the screen. They might be better off spreading some of this around a little bit instead of stuffing it all into the summer time frame.

  • Marc C

    DC/Warners has lots of time to cash in many many times over. Their animated projects and their decision in recent years to cancel projects to really think about them will pay off. Marvel has made mistakes too…bad FF4 flicks, Daredevil–two bad Hulk movies…hasn't really hurt them. And even if it does, just wait for another 15 years to reboot all the films/merch again.

  • geerussell

    It's never too late for a quality product. I'm ready to shell out for a ticket when/if they pull it off.

  • http://comicsthisweek.blogspot.com/ Jamiermoss

    I actually feel kind of bad for DC. With the exception of the two Batman movies they've really missed out on the big comic movie boom that's been going on for pretty much a decade. They're got Green Lantern and eventually another Batman but in the next 2-3 years Marvel has Captain America, Thor and The Avengers as well as a likely Ant-Man movie, a Punisher reboot and another Iron Man. And those are just the Marvel Studios movies, let us not forget the Spiderman/X-Men movies on the way.

  • harrytb

    Comic fails:end the run. Movie fails:millions down the tubes and heads will roll. I fear for the guys at DC comics.

  • guest

    marvel may be pumping out superhero movies, but honestly, they haven't been that great. Iron man was decent, but really isn't all that amazing storywise. Thor is gonna suck, and Im beginning to think the awesome potential of a Captain America movie is going to be filled with camp rather then a serious romp through WW2.
    Looking at the modern DC superhero movies, Mostly the Nolan batman series, it's destroyed all of the Marvel movies. They are better filmed better thought out films. Im hoping Green Lantern takes the same strides and lessons learned from Batman, keeping it serious, and get rid of the camp and cheese and reach on an emotional level. Nolans superman films will destroy marvels movies as well. DC may not be pumping out 3 movies a year, but when they do, their films are leaps and bounds ahead of the cheap looking marvel movies we're seen in recent time.

  • R Vill

    I think that with all the technology at our disposal, people are willing to watch DC films weather they realize they are in the same universe or not. As long as you have great stories and good actors to go with then I think that DC movies will do well. I don't think people will get burned out on superhero movies this time as long as the scripts are well written. Back in the 90's people stopped watching superhero movies because all the studios were making them en mass and were not writing great scripts for them. The sudios were thinking “Oh let's just pick any superhero and write any script and let's make it and put it out. The people will eat it up.” But that was not the case. People are smarter than that. Also the heroes that were being picked were heroes that very few poeple had heard of of had been forgottren about( ie The Shadow, Phantom, Steel). You've got to give the audience something to get excited about.

  • Richard Bernier

    This article seems to be based on the “Thor”, “Captain America” and “Avengers” movies all being sucessful. Right now Iron Man is the only sure thing. Spider-Man and X-Men were definitely a sucess, but ultimately when the studio cheaped out on them (not bringing Singer back for X-Men, forcing chracters on Rami just for merchandise sake) they hurt the franchise. And I know that is not Marvel/Disney's fault, but I'm not sure when they'll even get the rights back. Ghostrider, Fantastic Four and Punisher all had there potentail franchiseness (new word!) hurt by sub par films. Again, not Marvel/Disneys' fault, but it may be a little too soon for a sucessful re-boot. I lalso think Marvel has to be careful not to cheap out since they almost lost Samuel Jackson and didn't exactly handle the Ed Norton situation all that well… or Terrence Fischer for that matter. To me, there is plenty of time for DC/WB to catch up.

    I do give Marvel creidit for the directors they've chosen (Jon Favreau, Kenneth Branagh, Joss Whedon). They were all “outside of the box” choices that made a lot of sense when you think about it. Notice I didn't mention Joe Johnston as the jury is still out on that one (although he did direct Rocketeer, so who knows).

    Ultimately the Marvel Films Disney partnership is still in its infancy, so DC/WB aren't that far behind. Hopefully we'll be seeing lots of great DC and Marvel flicks (that show the proper respect for there source material and don't always feel the need to “Ultimate” things up) for some time to come.

  • Wayne Ligon

    It's certainly possible, but I'm more afraid that Time-Warner will trip over it's own feet like they've done so, so many other times with DC-related movies. Somehow, they managed to screw up a Superman movie. Then, disregarding the aberration of Heath Leger's death that led to Dark Knight making that nice pile of cash, they declare that all DC hero movies will be 'dark'. They've left money on the table for decades now, and once more they're having to play catch-up. I'll be interested in seeing what they announce, but it'll take a lot, lot more to convince me that the suits aren't going to mess up this opportunity once more.

  • Wayne Ligon

    It's certainly possible, but I'm more afraid that Time-Warner will trip over it's own feet like they've done so, so many other times with DC-related movies. Somehow, they managed to screw up a Superman movie. Then, disregarding the aberration of Heath Leger's death that led to Dark Knight making that nice pile of cash, they declare that all DC hero movies will be 'dark'. They've left money on the table for decades now, and once more they're having to play catch-up. I'll be interested in seeing what they announce, but it'll take a lot, lot more to convince me that the suits aren't going to mess up this opportunity once more.

  • your moms queef

    The DC and Warner Bros. symbols should help people(idiots) realize that Green Lantern and Flash don't have anything to do with Marvel. Also you called Kick-Ass and Super annoying AND lumped them into the same group as Hancock. You sir are a fucking moron of the highest order, now go eat some glass.

  • Anonymos

    Fuck it, gimme some manga

  • Wonkywill

    That's not actually correct. WB owns everything. The problem with the Smallville appearances is that this obnoxious heavyset woman in licensing wants to make sure that the most money can be made from advertisers and since those costs are set in advance, WB won't make money until they renegotiate. I know this is convoluted, but they won't even have Superman lift a car unless they can charge someone more money for it. That's also why Batman won't appear on Smallville, his value is too high for the money they can wring from TV media buys. Green Arrow, not so much.

    Sincerely,
    Not a Writer on Smallville

  • Andrew01g

    I think Thor and Iron Man will both quite nicely scratch that scifi-superhero itch you talk about. And this article isn't underselling Dc as much as you think. It's just that Marvel have saturated the market so that even characters much less common in popculture (Iron MAn, Thor, a lot of the X-Men cast, F4) have found their place.

    DC has only been able to build on their two icons, Superman and Batman. GL might chnage things but even then MArvel is way ahead in scheduling releases, as Flash isn't off the ground yet and i've heard nothing of an aquaman film.

  • Crballentinedesign

    I wouldn't say there's no room for them to succeed, its just all oing to be a matter of how they pull it off. WB had been very timid about releasing movie properties not named Batman or Superman. With the changing of the guard and Geoff Johns overseeing comic book movie developments and what not, they are going to take a chance on Green Lantern. If GL does well then hey'll probably be more willing to do other properties like the FLash and Wonder Woman. However if t fails horribly, you can probably kiss any kind of shared universe for DC goodbye at least for the next few years. DC may also have to present there product in a different way to get audinces excited about it, because as the writer said, superhero blockbusters while going strong at the moment,the novelty of it is starting to wear off.

  • Scotle555

    I know they are really different mediums (media?), but whomever is in control of the DCU animation should really have a hand in getting WB into the movies. Just saw Batman Under the Red Hood last night and it is great, and GL First Flight sets the bar for next year's movie. (BTW, WB, stop trying to replace Kevin Conroy as the voice of Batman. All you get is someone trying to imitate him.)

  • Ericrocksmyworld

    You lost me when you called Kick-Ass annoying, old man.

  • Jump

    There is no evidence to suggest that DC can't be just as popular with their superhero line, you seem to be suggesting that by the time they get these movies out, people would have moved on but the premise is nothing but pure speculation. There is nothing to suggest superhero films appeal is declining.
    Besides, DC puts out plenty of non-superhero stuff that's been really great, History of Violence, Road to Purdition, RED(looks like its going to be good), among others.

  • Yeti Anon

    Shared universe is not the key. Not with the movies, anyway.

    The fans who are excited about Thor and Captain America are the fans who would have been excited about those movies being in development, simply because they are comics properties. Those are the same fans who were excited about Watchmen and Batman. But when you compare Watchmen and Batman's audiences, you see that those fans aren't enough by themselves to guarantee putting butts in seats.

    The comics fans might be excited about a shared universe, but the bulk of the moviegoing public couldn't give two shits about that. They just want to be entertained.

  • andrew.T

    I think Number One DC Fan has been spending too much time at the bar with some of the other DC bar flies because he's obviously drunk and can't see straight.

    He thinks Diane Nelson is doing a phenomenal job. Yes, this is the genius who hired the blind mice to run DC.

    And I say they're blind because under their watch, Batman peed on the floor and someone forgot to clean it up.

    Yea, I have a whole lot of confidence in the braintrust running WB/DC/P(ee)P(ee).

  • Minhquan Nguyen

    Agreed. The idea that Warner Bros. and DC have waited too long and “lost their chance” is absurd. Although true that the majority Marvel films have been formidably successful, I think it should be kept in mind that a DC film done properly (e.g. “The Dark Knight”) can be enormous in its critical and financial success. In some ways, “The Dark Knight” breached and lives on in pop culture more thoroughly than any of Marvel film to date, even most recently popular Iron Man.

    As with any market, all it takes is one major success to develop a following. And in the movie industry, sometimes it just takes a moderate success to encourage developing more properties. I feel the speculation in this article is purely fanciful.

  • andrew.t

    Edit to above:

    Excuse me, Diane Nelson hired the Three Blind Mice.

    (And not just any mice to go to war with the big Mouse at Marvel).

    Sorry, those DC guys, they just can't see.

  • andrew.t

    Edit to above:

    Excuse me, Diane Nelson hired the Three Blind Mice.

    (And not just any mice to go to war with the big Mouse at Marvel).

    Sorry, those DC guys, they just can't see.

  • Kelly_009

    I guess it's a good thing that DC/WB can exploit more than superheroes.
    Human Target is out there, Sandman is in development, Fables would work on HBO, same as Preacher or Hitman; there's so many concepts in the DC stable outside of conventional superheroes that WB could use. You could make a crap load of indie projects just out of Vertigo alone (see above). And even back to the DCU, with enough creativity, they could capture a whole new generation of teen girls and magic with Zatanna.

  • kwaku

    I don't quite buy that they have sold the shared universe, at least not yet and not to the general audience. Apart from Sam Jackson and a couple of 30 second after credit shots there isn't anything connecting these movies. I don't think the majority of people actually see these movies as part of the same universe in the same way you, me and other people on this site do. Avengers will probably change that, but anyone who actually really cares about whether Green Lantern and Flash are in the same universe as Ironman and Thor already knows that they are not.

  • lead_sharp

    WB can do it in the animated output, do the issues really matter that much?

    One other thing, the Marvel movies (from Marvel 'alone' that is) currently consist of Iron Man. You may be wondering why I don't mention Iron Man 2 and the Incredible Hulk? That's because as good as (I thought anyway) they were, they still weren't as big as Iron Man (look it up on imbd and bear in mind that IM 2 cost an extra 60 mil').

    Marvel is going to plough on regardless of quality and to be honest nothing I've seen of Thor or Cap A' is all that inspiring (and before you say 'don't judge a movie on it's trailer' bear in mind that a trailer is supposed to get you excited, Thor's didn't, not for me at least).

    I'll still go and see them, but I'll be turning blue till the end of the flick.

    I also have strong feelings that the Avengers is going to tank.

  • Cforshaw67220

    This is a speculative piece that pretends to be asking a serious question, whilst hinting at a specific agenda behind it, namely that DC comics IP cannot compete with the combined might of Marvel/Disney. The truth is that this is complete balderdash. In both the short-term and the long-term, DC have every reason to feel the future is bright, as do Marvel. The suggestion has been, for the longest time, that superhero films have come about as part of a kind of unconscious pop-culture cycle, whilst completely ignoring the fact that the rise in spectacle of this nature runs parallel with the advancement of convincing special-effects.

    Further, more and more studios seem obsessed with adaptations, remakes, sequels, prequels, etc. The reason for this is that these products will come with a built-in, fanboyish audience that will often take care of a good part of the marketing for the studio. The advantage of the Marvel/DC IP is that they are part of the cultural consciousness, and – now – are largely owned by one specific group (WB and Disney) of people looking to exploit them for economic ends. In addition, those two companies can pretty much guarantee a huge return via this simple equation:

    Widely recognised IP + fanboyish audience goodwill + mass marketing + a huge amount of screens = Mucho cash!

    Notice that I don't say anything about quality of product. Whilst it is nice that some creative types put in the effort to create a genuinely entertaining product (Nolan's Batman films, for example) there are far more that see this simply as another pay-cheque, and do as they are told by producers (who, ironically, aren't directing the film because they clearly don't know how to).

    The sad truth is that the majority of superhero films are average-to-very-poor cinema: 'Superman 2' is a slapstick joke, and the two films afterwards are just horrible; all of Tim Burton's Batman films were popular, but really, really poor (though, I accept this is a personal preference), and were clearly a moody-goth version of the Adam West starring TV show; Joel Schumacher's Batman films were day-glo nightmares; 'Supergirl' was appalling; 'The Punisher' has had three films that have achieved little success in a market that embraced 'The Expendables'; the first attempt at Captain America was a joke, as was the first attempt at the Fantastic Four; 'Spawn' and 'Steel' came and went with little critical or commercial success…

    By this point we reach the current age of superhero films: 'X-Men' was a trailer for it's vastly superior sequel, and its third part and Wolverine spin-off were both extremely poor cash-ins that tried to fit too many characters into the movie; Sam Raimi's Spider-Man films worked only when Raimi was allowed to cut-loose, were full of very odd choices, and were strangely humourless (a fact highlighted by Bruce Campbell being the most entertaining thing in all three films); 'Daredevil' only worked when the superheroes were not on screen; the Hulk movies were rubbish whenever the Hulk was in them; 'Blade Trinity' ruined an entertaining, brainless movie franchise; 'The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen', 'V for Vendetta', and 'Watchmen' were all made for money and were the closest thing to an insult without making two-hours of WB's execs sticking two fingers up with a sign flashed, DEAR ALAN MOORE; 'Catwoman', 'Elektra', both 'Fantastic Four' movies, 'Ghost Rider', 'The Spirit' and 'Jonah Hex' were all routinely shunned as they appeared, and were considered to be failures.

    All of which suggests that this idea of an unstoppable rise in the popularity of comic book movies in either critical or commercial circles is just self-congratulatory gibberish promoted by people who want to believe that superheroes have some kind of deep cultural merit – the fact is that they are just repetitive, adolescent power-fantasies that end up being genuinely unsatisfying because too many avoid taking the step from the comic page, to the much more harsh surrogate-reality of cinema. The truth about why 'The Dark Knight' is a good film isn't because of Heath Ledger's performance as The Joker, but because of the ethical and psychological questions it asks of its protagonist through these other characters, but because it has genuine depth to it, but because of it feels like it could happen in our world… Could anyone say the same about Hasslehoff playing Nick Fury?

    So, to recap, Marvel have not been anywhere near as successful – in terms of critical and economic success – as people make out. Indeed, the majority of films bearing the 'Marvel' label are extremely poor. In addition, not a single one of them has had anywhere near as big an impact as the original 'Superman', or Nolan's 'The Dark Knight' – the closest that they have come is with 'Iron Man', but if the sequel is anything to go by, then it would seem that 'Iron Man' is likely to be the exception, what with the sequel having a grand total of one-and-a-half action scenes, unless you count a drunken brawl and telling the US government they cant have his “private” weapon of mass destruction.

    The fact is that Marvel have made the most films, but prostituting your IPs is not an indication of long-term success. DC, meanwhile, have released only a small number of films, but they have been of a far higher quality than Marvel's overall output, mostly because DCs IPs are arguably of a higher quality, and have managed to crossover into the mainstream in a much more significant way. Every high brow snob who considers comics a guilty pleasure will rush to DCs back catalogue, not Marvels. They will hand out copies of 'The Sandman', 'Watchmen', 'The Dark Knight Returns', 'Batman: Year One', 'All-Star Superman', 'The Invisibles', 'Preacher', 'Swamp Thing', 'Transmetropolitan', '100 Bullets', or 'Planetary'. And do you know why they are more appealing for film adaptations? Cos, generally, they are finite stories.

  • Cforshaw67220

    Also, I have to say that personally, I think DC has a lot more potential than Marvel at the moment simply because they have more recognisable characters left to exploit. Marvel has seen their real big sellers – Spidey and X-Men – come and go, and the reboots that are coming for both risk a very real danger: Will an audience who happily invested an emotional connection with Toby Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart and Famke Janssen really be happy with having to start all over again, knowing that in perhaps five years they could be going to see another all new reboot?

    The same thing doesn't apply to Superman or Batman, in this instance, simply because both franchised needed rebooting – Superman after the failure of 'Superman Returns', and Batman needed it after 'Batman and Robin'.

    There is also the question of the general movie trends at present, the current economic climate, and the availability of films over torrents.

    The general trend is that movie opening weekends now tend to veer towards a female, or mixed gender, audience. The knock-on effect here is that this audience is unlikely to choose a 'Spider-Man 3D' or '60s Swingin' X-Men' over your average dull, unoriginally titled Steve Carrell or Will Ferrell comedy vehicle, the promise of an edge of your seat slasher flick, or the latest labels and whining heavy girly norom-nocom.

    In edition, audiences are likely to go down until the economy actually stabilizes because prices keep rising despite the audience having less and less money to spend on luxury items. This trend has been established of late, with audiences over this summer having dropped to recent-record lows, and films claiming huge success mostly because of inflated prices largely brought about by 3D screenings.

    There is also the knock on effect of illegal torrents – or rather the non-effect. Generally, people who download films don't do so proportional to the films they actually watch. It is like saying that someone who gets told they have three minutes to get as much into a bag as they can in a record store is going to provide a decent insight into what they usually buy, but rather than that the person starts grabbing everything in sight because its all free. It also wont effect box office takings because there is no way to guarantee these people would go and see these films, anyway. (For example, if you are competent enough to download a copy of 'Swordfish', you probably wouldn't want to watch it because of all the unrealistic ways in which they use computers in the film.) In fact, after 'X-Men Origins: Wolverine' was released it went on to break records in its opening weekend, despite having leaked a month earlier.

    One way torrents could hurt a film, however, relates to my previous post – namely, with bad word-of-mouth. The studios don't tend to want people to get such easy access to their products because most of them know that what they have produced is a cynical attempt to get people to hand over their money after having watch something that doesn't even qualify as entertainment. That is why they value opening weekends so much – they don't value a repeat audience. Torrents, however, mean that people who might not necessarily be willing to pay to see the film get a chance to see it, and they then spread the word to friends about how bad it is. You'll notice how screeners of films like 'The Dark Knight', or 'Iron Man', don't tend to harm the film at the box office, and this is because they are awesome on the big screen. But if you saw 'Rise of the Silver Surfer', would you really then willingly pay to see it on the big screen?

  • Alex H

    I'd actually suggest that Marvel's properties being at other companies while starting up their own universe might work in their favour. Options on films run out, and normally in a liscensing situation, lets say for example, Fox might decide that they aren't going to do anything with the Daredevil license and let it revert to Marvel to be licensed out to someone else or picked back up by them later.

    Now they have to work on the basis that if they let those licenses slide, they aren't going to get them back as those properties will then be absorbed into the forming Marvel Universe. This puts pressure on studios to develop licenses that would otherwise sit in limbo for risk of losing it to a studio who would do something with it and never be in danger of having to give the money back.

    Now admittedly, this might potentially lead to more bad Marvel films, but it ensures that Marvels films are going to get made at a much faster rate than DCs. Warner Brothers have been sitting on things too much, yes there is much back patting to be done with Nolan's Batmans, but really by this point you should be looking at having Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman and Flash out there and looking to lead into a JLA film and looking into the possibility of Aquaman, Green Arrow etc Constantine was an enjoyable enough film but wasn't set up in a way to tie into a wider universe and I haven't heard much positive of Jonah Hex, really all DC have right now is a Batman franchise and a superman film they want to try to forget. At this rate we'll have Iron Fist, Runaways and Dr Strange before we have a Wonder Woman film.

  • Talmerian

    Are you high? With the ridiculous scarcity of anything even remotely good coming out of hollywood (I will no longer capitalize that name) any thing that is watchable is fine. I can't say that DCs movies will be watchable. It is certainly possible that the entire franchise will be shite. Nonetheless, it is easy to sell the public on another universe. The JLA is already part of the Zeitgeist, probably more so than the Avengers. DCE just needs to sell it. I am not confident that, as Alan Moore would say, they don't have their heads up their asses. Whatever, they should totally give it a shot.

  • David Scholes

    I don't know if, at some stage, Marvel is going to overdo it but I say bring it on!

    I'm happy to watch all the upcoming Marvel movies, especially Thor. I think there was also talk of a Dr Strange movie?

    As an Aussie science fiction writer I’ve been a Marvel Thor fan since the original Journey into Mystery of August 1962.

    If you get a chance check out some of my Marvel (mainly Odin and Thor) fan fiction. Just scroll down below my author profile and you will see over 40 fan fiction stories here:

    http://www.fanfiction.net/u/1276881/David_Scholes

  • Outlook: doubtful

    ಠ_ಠ

  • Cforshaw67220

    Alex H, the problem with what you suggest is that it leads to oversaturation and a bored audience. Whilst you will state that there is variety enough in the different characters, almost all superheroes fall into a very generic framework that audiences become contemptuous of if they experience it too often. That is one of the reasons why there wasn't a audience for a number of films bearing the 'Marvel' label (the 'Elektra's, the 'Punisher's) – we'd seen it all before, and we didn't like it the first time.

    Further, what happens when you get past the premium, grade A characters? Marvel will reach this point before DC, probably, and there is no guarantee of success because there is no real brand-recognition. Iron Fist is an unknown to most people, and it is unlikely that Doctor Strange would be invested in enough to allow whoever brought him to the screen to do a decent job. Also, Doctor Strange doesn't have the kind of brand-recognition needed to guarantee a faithful adaptation or a decent audience.

    Meanwhile, DC have taken their time and allowed directors to come to them and develop the film in a lengthy pre-production to try and ensure quality. In turn, this has led to, I believe, a higher quality of output: 'Batman Begins', 'The Dark Knight', 'A History of Violence', 'Constantine', even 'Watchmen' had more style and substance than most of Marvel's output, and I hate the 'Watchmen' movie for a lot of reasons (especially because the new ending made no sense at all), but at least I felt that there was some effort made in its creation, some depth and nuance to it, and it contained some things I hadn't seen done in a superhero film before, and it had a coherant world in which they existed.

    Compare that to Marvel, who will release a fifth 'X-Men' movie in the near future, a fourth 'Spider-Man' movie, probably a third 'Fantastic Four' movie, on top of three 'Blade' movies, two 'Hulk' movies, and two movies with Elektra in. The X-Men movie looks like it is going to either create a confusing continuity problem or just be the same shit, different decade. Spider-Man's new movie looks like it will just the same, only this time in high school. The Fantastic Four movie… Surely no-one can have any confidence in it, even if it is a reboot?

    Meanwhile, the majority of DCs properties are baggage free – recognised, but no-one really has an opinion on them.

  • batmangorilla

    All DC really has is Batman and Superman. And even with Superman they can't seem to do it right. The reason DC hasn't made any superhero movies is simply because their stories don't translate well to screen. I'm sure they've been thinking how to turn any of their heroes into a movie and it hasn't happened. Marvel did it over a decade ago with X-men and Blade.

  • Greg C

    Ummmm…

    …Who's been drinking?

  • Michael

    I agree, but most people don't know who Plastic Man, Green Arrow, Black Cannery, and a list of others are. They're trying to appeal to a mass audience. My suggestion… ditch movies. TV series:
    100 Bullets
    Y the Last Man
    Fables
    Ex Machina
    Doom Patrol (Grant Morrison)
    Animal Man (Grant Morrison)
    Sandman… how cool would that be!
    Anyways you get the idea.
    Vertigo is just a slew of TV shows waiting to happen

  • Me

    I'm sorry but I have no idea why it would be “too little/too late” and your article doesn't explain how/why timing is a factor. Just because Disney may be good at something (like traditional animation) their success isn't because they were first it's because they normally produce quality…such as their classic animated films.

    Every year movie studios pump out one film after another…comedy, drama, action, sci fi, etc. and not one single studio has the market cornered on any genre. True there are brands built such as Judd Apatow/Comedy but he's not the only successful comedy brand and his success is neither foolproof or based on timing.

    You pointed out Batman and Batmans' most recent success has nothing to do with Marvel's success or failure it's based on quality. This Highlander logic that only one can be sucessful is akin to the fanboy postings you'd read, such as 'Oh man Blackest Night is awesome! DC is going to kick Marvel's X-Men: Second Coming butt!!!”. They are mutually exclusive just like their films.

    No one will argue that WB is very late to the party for accessing their library of characters and foolishly licensed them out to producers with little to no overall creative orchestration (hello joel silver's Wonder Woman, a decade of nothing!) but Marvel did the same. It's a new world and DC will be alive in it and neither will be successful unless the quality is there. Timing/too late…not a factor in the slightest.

  • demoncat_4

    i would have to agree Warners is way to late to the party to fully exploit dc comic characters as films. for other then super man and batman. warner's really has not done all they can to be part of the thing. for they have had films planned for shazam dead. talk of both doom patrol and teen titans, and even the suicide squad script stage green lantern looks maybe it will be good. but too late for warners. plus they have tried to get wonder woman going for so long. and lets not forget swamp thing and lobo going no where. warner's is too late to the ball

  • Seanx40

    You will be happy that Conroy is back in the Superman/Batman Apocalypse dvd. So is Tim Daly. They did blow it by having Andre Brauer as Darksied. Not MIchael Ironside.

  • Capt. Funbo

    Rebooting Batman made sense. But Superman after “Superman Returns”? Come on. Routhe IS a really good Superman! Sure,it was a boring movie. Sure, it was a remake of Donner's original. But Warners could slavage the series with some good writing rather than a reboot. ((Make Superman's kid a Luthor/Brainiac plot to clone him by having abducted Lois while Supes was tricked into looking for Krypton, then manipulating both their memories to convince them their child is a product of a forgotten love affair rather than of villainous science. Of course, in the child would suddenly mature quickly, seem to die, but return as a bizarre Superman-like creature, set on destroying him. Of course, Luthor's stupid Real Estate plots would've been but a cover for his real schemes with Brainiac. Superman discovers he must destroy a prevert version of his own “son” to save the Earth. DARK ENOUGH FOR YA!!?))

    The only good thing about a Spider-Man reboot is the chance to get Mary Jane and the Green Goblin right this time. The X-Men prequel/reboot is a joke.

    And why invest any excitement in an “Avengers” movie without the promised Downey Jr./Norton showdown? Howard's being replaced (along with the old gluttony of supporting characters) made me want to skip IM2. That's where Marvel's screwing up.

    Warners could've had Chris Reeve's Superman meet Michael Keaton's Batman, but they missed their chance. They CAN and SHOULD have Reynold's Green Lantern meet Routhe's Superman and Bale's Batman, but don't hold your breath.

    When Warners adapts DC properties they need to stay true to the source. “Jonah Hex” should've been a straight out western NOT a superhero movie. That's why it failed. “Watchmen” was a good movie, but like “League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” (not DC) would've made better cable series rather than one off films.

    One last thing…

    Marvel should do a serious R-rated “Howard the Duck”. It should be more like “Barbarella” NOT “Jem Meets a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle”. DAMN!

  • http://atocom.blogspot.com Atomic Kommie Comics

    In the 1940s live-action superheroes ran amok on the silver screen.
    Tarzan (over a dozen times)
    Dick Tracy (8 times)
    The Shadow (6 times)
    RocketMan/Commando Cody (4 times)
    Flash Gordon (3 times)
    Superman, Batman, The Green Hornet, The Spider, The Lone Ranger, Chandu the Magician, The Phantom/Captain Africa, Secret Agent X-9 (twice each)
    Spy Smasher, Captain Marvel, CopperHead (in Mysterious Dr. Satan), Mandrake the Magician, Captain Midnight, Buck Rogers, Brick Bradford, Thund'a, Captain Video, and The Masked Marvel each popped up once!
    They appeared in movie serials and b-movies. (If you don't know what they are, Google them)
    They were also, by and large, profit-makers for their studios.
    The only reason they didn't do more of them was because other genres like Westerns and swashbucklers still dominated the mass market, and continued to do so until the late '60s.

    Perhaps using cable/satellite, the Net and DVD/BluRay to start off characters in today's equivalent of b-movies or serials and then, if the character sold, graduating him/her into a big budget theatrical film series would be the best way to introduce the second-stringers to the mass market or test out new approaches to the main guns without blowing $100 million at a time.

  • Hysan

    I'm actually a DC and Marvel fan, but the DC defenders are actually making the article's point. Can any of us honestly name one DC/Warners movie that was successful and didn't have Superman or Batman in it? You're speculating that Thor and the Avengers will tank, but claiming that Green Lantern and the Flash will be great? That's pointless speculation as well. Dark Knight was awesome, and so was Iron Man and Iron Man 2 – and they were box office smashes. That's fact, and the proof is out there. We have no way of knowing if any of the future movies will do well, but while Marvel does a horrible track record except for Spider-Man and Iron-Man (although I liked Norton's Hulk movie a lot), DC/Warners has a history of announcing projects only to have them die on the vine.

    I had this conversation with a friend of mine….JK Rowling's books may be rife with mistakes and editing issues, but they're OUT THERE – people have read them and they're best sellers. You can't base success on “well they have good people and good ideas.” People need to see results and a successful franchise before you can declare a winner OR a loser. So it's too soon to say if DC is doing too little too late, but you can't claim they're not dropping the ball, yet..either.

  • Mentaymente

    It`s kinda funny that the opossite seems to happen on tv. marvel hasn´t been able to produce a hit show since decades ago,with the possible exception of the x-men cartoon, whereas dc has produced some well regarded ones,like batman animated, the teen titans or smallville.

  • Buck

    I think you are right. IM2 didn't have nearly the impact the first did and I think it was because of TDK. I imagine the sequel to TDK will seem like a much bigger deal provided Nolan is involved and WB promotes it as well as they did last time. Seriously good advertising campaign.

  • http://atocom.blogspot.com Atomic Kommie Comics

    “..Marvel does a horrible track record except for Spider-Man and Iron-Man..”

    All four X-Men films (including Wolverine) made money (some more than others)
    Both Fantastic Four flicks were profitable.
    Ghost Rider made it's nut.
    All three Blade flicks were profitable.

    How's that a “horrible track record”?

  • Schnitzy Pretzelpants

    You said it.

    I am really finding the premise of most of these editorials on this site pretty thin to say the least.

    Here, I offer one for next week: “Is the increasing use of CGI in Marvel and DC films going to drive lycra and sculpted rubber costume manufacturers to bankruptcy and alcoholism?”

    SPP

  • Alex H

    I agree with you, and that's certainly the flip side to moe films coming out, especially ones which Marvel has limited creative controll over. But I don't see if as quite as one sided as you make out – I'm going to be a little fan-baiting here, but although Nolan's Batmans were great pieces of filmography, I don't think the Dark Knight as a film was necessarily anywhere near as good as people say it is as a piece of entertainment. It's certainly an interesting film, a well plotted and well acted film and generally in all ways you care to measure a very well done film – what it isn't is a great piece of entertainment – it's overlong, and discussing with friends the conclusion we got to is that watching it for the first time is actually quite a stressful experience because you get to the end of the second act at what you think is going to be boiling point and then it just carries on going.

    I'd agree that Marvel does need to take some lessons from it, and I'd suggest that a property like a Daredevil reboot should be approached using a lot of the same techniques – notably making it entirely an adult film and not having that slight wink to the silliness of the concept that you find in, for example, Iron man or Spider-man.

    I'd also say that I think that a F4 film done maturely could be very good, the previous two were done too much as popcorn fare and their Reed and Doom lacked the charisma to pull off their roles. Daredevil was also too popcorny for the subject matter. The X-men franchise seems to have gone off the rails a bit, but I still maintain that the script was mainly to blame for Wolverines problems – I thought most of the actors well chosen. I don't see anything fundementally wrong across the entire line of Marvel films that couldn't be fixed by making sure that just writer, director and actors are all of a consistant quality and making sure they stay true to the tone of the source material and don't take too many liberties (ala Wolverine's Deadpool).

    It also depends strongly on how Green Lantern turns out as to how competative DC remains – Marvel has a much wider base of marketable properties which can be considered A or B grade – ie. ones that are consistantly being published and that Marvel has the benefit that it's core universe doesn't all revolve around one inevitable team like DC does.

    At the end of the day, I watch films from both and though I read comics almost exclusively from Marvel, in terms of film I'll go to see most things if they are vaguely interesting but I think both companies have issues they need to deal with.

  • Alex H

    I'd say that the X-men Animated series is pretty much as well regarded as Batman:TAS, though for different reasons, and I wouldn't say Smallville is precisely critically acclaimed, what it is is long running and successful enough to justify its won existance. I'd say Wolverine would actually be a good property to look at doing on TV, but unfortunatly his face is now too associated with Hugh Jackman for it to work now. But yes, generally DC has had a lot more success with TV and animation in particular than Marvel and I'd suggest this is somewhere that Marvel needs to look at moving into.

  • Capt. Funbo

    Superman III did really well, as did Spider-Man 3. The problem is their successes are based on the “track record” of the films which proceeded them. I wouldn't call them good films. But I wouldn't call Wolverine a good film either. It's an age old problem of balancing profitability and quality. Nolan did it with Batman and J.J. Abrams did it with Star Trek. Third time is rarely a charm in the movie biz, so we'll see with those franchises, as well I guess…

  • DaveH

    I think a great deal depends on how Green Lantern perfoms, if it's a success then it's a go for Flash, Wonder Woman, Green Arrow and probably JLA, if it flops then we're left with Batman and another Superman revival and that's it for the forseeable future.

    It's not all rosy for Marvel either even if Thor and Cap are hits I do wonder where they can go once we've had the all-star jamboree of The Avengers. After that anything else will feel like a major backward step.

  • sononsj

    *”It also won't affect…”

    You say leaked screeners will only affect movies “like The Dark Knight or Iron Man” (ie. good movies as opposed to Rise of the Silver Surfer) but cite the fact that X-Men Origins broke records despite being leaked. Seems to me a blatant contradiction..

    My real problem though is the implication that weekend female audiences will apparently veer towards less intelligent fare than (by implication) male comic book-reading audiences. Wha? I don't understand how comic book films are inherently any better than “comedy vehicles” or “slashers” or whatever examples you bring up. And aren't comic book films usually the big blockbusters? (Even films that disappoint bring in big opening weekend dollars).

    Good points, but remember that Burton's Batman was “rebooted” immediately and no one really cared. I don't think there will be a big problem with a lack of audience investment.

  • nickmarino

    working in advertising and being around the media buy business, i totally believe this. though i don't see the point in calling out her weight (seems a bit rude to me), i do understand how licensing could easily stand in the way of content. think about it thought… it's DC/Marvel making most of their profits right now through licensing? i mean, that seems like the cash cow to me. so while it may look like bad creative business to us, that's their financial business model and asking them to break that is like telling them to start making audio books instead of comic books.

  • Ollywood

    i don't agree. lots of great movies didn't get the audience they deserved. scott pilgrim is a recent example of that. a movie needs to be good in a conventional, easy to understand way. with the price of admission sky-rocketing, general cinema-goers don't want to risk their money on something untested or different. going by the uk numbers, people seemed more willing to spend their money on the expendables or grown-ups over scott pilgrim because they knew what to expect: recognizable stars and explosions or adam sandler's brand of dumbed-down comedy respectively.

    i would say good movies do better on dvd as people view it as less of a risk. maybe i'm wrong.

  • Noone

    This is the most single, ridiculous analysis I've read.

  • Spardyman

    how is this new? marvel has been doing this in comics since the 60s. (see recent issues of said book,or continued in so so's book) they just took what worked in comics and applied it to movies

  • Mark S

    I agree. Still do movies here and there but do on tv what Marvel is doing in the movies. It would work! We've seen that from the success of Smallville.

  • e_allen_gd

    Oh give me a break. Did the general public really know anything about Iron Man (anymore than they know about Green Lantern) before that movie came out. Let's judge the movies potential as they are released and not before. And as far as I'm concerned I'd rather let each movie be separate than concluding into an Avengers or JLA movie. I can only image the fall out from the posters if the movies didn't hold up to their expectations.

  • Shaun

    Whatever… If (and I do mean IF) WB can get finally get a good Superman movie made (in Nolan I trust!) then the DC brand will finally come into its own on the big screen. That's really what it comes down to.

    Batman is (obviously) doing just fine. I'm hoping Green Lantern is good, because if it is people will turn out to see it. GL, potentially, has the chance to be unlike anything Marvel has offered up so far. An epic, cosmic adventure that could, if done right, could become the next Star Wars (so to speak). Even at Marvel's best, they've had nothing like that.

    If Supes and GL can bring in audiences, I think the pump will be primed for Flash and Wonder Woman as well. A good movie is a good movie, and that's what matters. If it's good, people will come. All of the characters I've mentioned have existed for decades and are identifable with the public. I have t-shirts with the Flash and GL chest logos, and everywhere I go someone will recognize it and say “Hey, cool Flash shirt! Where'd you get it?” or words to that effect. People know these characters. They're classics.

    No idea why WB has to make a shared DCU on the big screen anyhow. I'm fine with Nolan's Batman not existing in the same world as any of those other characters. I enjoyed most of the Justice League/JLU animated shows. I don't need a JL live-action movie. Who's to say The Avengers is going to be any good? After the very disappointing Iron Man 2 I'm not sure anymore.

    Let's see if Supes, GL, Flash and WW can all succeed first. If so, and if there's a good story and all those costumes won't look ridiculous together, only THEN think about a JL movie. I don't necessarily need to see all of those characters interacting. WB should take their time to make good movies with good stories, and not rush to hastily make a shared movie universe.

    EIther way, leave Nolan's Batman out of it completely. I like him as a loner. I wish the current Batman comics were more like Nolan's movies, actually. YMMV, of course.

  • Shaun

    No guarantee those Spidey and X-Men reboots (is X-Men: First Class even a reboot? That series has left me deeply confused) are going to succeed. Spidey 3, X3 and Wolverine all left me so disappointed that I'm not excited about either of those relaunches.

    And, seriously… ANT-MAN? Puh-leeze. It might work as Pixar animated film. Might. Oh, and how many attempts at rebooting Punisher now?

    I hope the third Iron Man, whenver that's supposed to happen, will be better than IM2 was. As it is, between that and kicking Ed Norton out, I'm not even all that excited about The Avengers now. Thor and Captain America had better be exceptional. I'm more excited for Green Lantern now.

  • Shaun

    Terrance Howard, you mean?

    Anyhow, you're right. Marvel's output has been hit and miss, and let's not forget that IM2 wasn't as well received as the first movie. No guarantees that Thor and Cap will both succeed either. The Avengers could be great, or it could be a colossal dud that could unravel the whole thing.

  • JTRobin

    Too many run-on sentences in this article, punctuated by – comments which could be sentences on their own. Instead of concise and choesive, the article comes across as just “filler”, a few salient points surrounded by hyperbole.

  • Shaun

    I'm tired of hearing people say TDK's success was only because of Ledger's death.Was it a factor? Sure. But c'mon… Batman Begins was successful and the audience for that movie actually GREW with the DVD, thanks to the great word of mouth it got. That primed the pump for the sequel, a sequel with a much more famous and popular villain than BB had.

    Then WB put together the most incredible viral marketing campaign a movie has ever enjoyed, and the hype machine went into overdrive. The anticipation was building, comic book movies were hot, and TDK was a great movie (let's not forget the near universal critical acclaim and possible Oscar talk it got).

    If nothing else, it was Ledger's PERFORMANCE that helped make the movie, not his death. Remember, if you're old enough, the hype surrounding the 1989 Batman movie. It was an OK movie (I don't think it's aged well at all) but it was Jack Nicholson's performance that everyone was talking about. People just love Joker. TDK had more going for it than just that, but Ledger's awesome work as Joker would've made TDK a monster hit regardless of whether he'd lived or not.

    Anyhow, If Nolan's guiding hand can (finally) make a good Superman movie, and if GL is good, all of this moot and DC will be established on the big screen beyond just Batman.

  • Shaun

    “Batman peed on the floor and someone forgot to clean it up.”

    What the hell does that even mean???

  • Shaun

    “You say leaked screeners will only affect movies “like The Dark Knight or Iron Man” (ie. good movies as opposed to Rise of the Silver Surfer) but cite the fact that X-Men Origins broke records despite being leaked”

    What records? It had a big opening weekend, which must be what you're referring to, but it tailed off sharply after that as I recall. It ended up being successful, but somewhat disappointing given the big opening. That was more a case of people going to it and saying “Well THAT sucked!” than the leaked movie. That said, I watched it online and I was glad I saved my money.

  • Hysan

    This is true – but the X-Men franchise has never been as huge as Spider-Man or Iron Man (although you're right, they were the other big franchise)…Daredevil and Ghost Rider were moderately successful but critically panned. Blade was a good series – I forgot about that….but Blade still isn't a household name like other characters. The other thing is, Blade was considered a horror movie genre rather than a superhero one. You don't see a lot of promotional toy or fast food tie-ins with that franchise.

    I think the horrible track record is more in terms of the scripts and the reception than anything else. Some of the Marvel movies haven't been good.

  • Hysan

    It's all pointless speculation and cloud talk until the movies actually hit the big screen.

  • Shaun

    “In turn, this has led to, I believe, a higher quality of output: 'Batman Begins', 'The Dark Knight', 'A History of Violence', 'Constantine', even 'Watchmen' ”

    You're forgetting V For Vendetta, which I thought was excellent. That said “V”, A History of Violence (also excellent), Watchmen (great book, lousy movie) and Constantine (never saw it) aren't really examples of establishing DC on screen. I mean, yeah, they sort of are, but the general public isn't going to see it that way. Also, none of those are something that can be made into a franchise. Well, Constantine could but it hasn't happened.

    “Compare that to Marvel, who will release a fifth 'X-Men' movie in the near future, a fourth 'Spider-Man' movie, probably a third 'Fantastic Four' movie, on top of three 'Blade' movies, two 'Hulk' movies, and two movies with Elektra in. The X-Men movie looks like it is going to either create a confusing continuity problem or just be the same shit, different decade.”

    Although I enjoyed the first two X-Movies a lot (esp X2), I agree with all of this. None of these are from Marvel STUDIOS, and none of them are part of Marvel's shared movie universe, but you're right about the glut of Marvel properties on the big screen. Rebooting Hulk after only a few years (though I really like the reboot), and now rebooting Spidey AND whatever the hell is going with X-Men it's all something of a mess.

    This isn't even considering whether or not Thor, Cap and The Avengers will even succeed. No guarantees there.

  • Shaun

    They have to reboot Supes… SR painted them into a terrible corner with the kid, and that weird “is this a sequel or isn't it?” storyline. WB messed up by not making an epic, cosmic Superman adventure that today' technology could make possible.

    Instead, we got a mopey Superman who stalked his ex-girlfriend, left Earth apparently weeks after promising the president of the US he wouldn't (in Superman 2, otherwise how else would he not know Lois was pregnant?), and yet another battle of wits a Luthor who was little more that small-time hood with big ambitions. YAWWWN. Let's not even get into how miscast Kate Bosworth was.

    What we needed was Luthor like he is in the comics. A rich, powerful, ruthless industrialist. We needed Brainiac. Or maybe Metallo or Parasite. Hell, let's build up to Darkseid. Superman Returns was ripoff of a 1978 relic. That 1978 movie was charming in its time, but it's not what I want out of a Superman movie now.

    Routh was OK as Supes, but he wasn't given much to do. Sadly, with a reboot needed it makes sense to go with someone else. I'll take Jon Hamm, please.

    “They CAN and SHOULD have Reynold's Green Lantern meet Routhe's Superman and Bale's Batman, but don't hold your breath.”

    Supes and GL can meet sometime, I guess, but only if there's a good reason for it. But keep Bale's/Nolan's Batman away from any other DC movies. He's a loner, and I wouldn't buy the idea of him existing in the same world as Superman or any of these other characters. Maybe The Question or Green Arrow, but not any of the super-powered characters. Thankfully, Nolan's said he has no interesting putting Batman together with Superman or the JLA.

  • Shaun

    “You're speculating that Thor and the Avengers will tank, but claiming that Green Lantern and the Flash will be great? That's pointless speculation as well. Dark Knight was awesome, and so was Iron Man and Iron Man 2″

    I thought IM2 sucked, but that's my opinion. Anyhow, who's saying the Marvel stuff will fail and the DC won't? We don't know about any of them at this point… I just know that IM2 and the Ed Norton firing have left a bad taste with me. That, and I think Thor could end up being cheesy as hell (I hope not, but still). I happen to be more excited for GL right now, but we have no idea how any of these projects will turn out.

  • Cforshaw67220

    “How's that a “horrible track record”?”

    Have you seen 'X-Men 3', 'X-Men Origins: Wolverine', 'Fantastic Four', 'Rise of the Silver Surfer', 'Ghost Rider' or 'Blade: Trinity'? They may have made a profit, but in terms of quality cinema they were appalling films.

    Besides, Marvel's attitude to their films can be summed up in their reaction to the original 'Hulk' movie, when they stated that the film was a success – because it made a ton of money in merchandising.

    Even 'Spider-Man: Go, Go Power Ranger Goblin', 'Spider-Man 3: Emo Dancin' Spidey', and 'Iron Man 2: We Already Seem To Have Run Out Of Decent Villains and Only Wrote One Actual Action Scene' were lame…

    Btw, what was with the dancing in 'Rise of the Silver Surfer' and 'Spider-Man 3'? How did anyone think that would be a sane thing to include in either of those films?

  • Cforshaw67220

    Everyone who I know who went to see 'Blade' described it as, “A proper 80s style action movie.” No-one described it as a superhero film. Given that this is a consensus reality, I agree with you that you can't really include 'Blade' as proof of the success of superhero films.

  • Cforshaw67220

    Both of them have had success in TV and animation in the past if you go back far enough, but in terms of continuing success 'Smallville' is kind of the leader in that field, and in terms of animation, the Dini-verse cartoons are hugely successful in terms of longevity. I'm sure Marvel have had other shows since, but the one Marvel TV show that always comes to mind is, of course, 'The Incredible Hulk', which, whilst dated, was still far more fun than the films that have come since. In terms of Marvel's cartoons, really, they haven't made anything as kick-ass as 'Justice League Unlimited' – that show should really be the model for all superhero cartoons. Hopefully these new shows Warren Ellis is working on might kick Marvel's cartoons up to this level.

  • Cforshaw67220

    The real problem comes with casting. Just as the Bond franchise could benefit by outright stating that 'James Bond' is also a codename to aid suspension of disbelief, you'd have to expect that there would be a maximum of two Avengers movies before actors want to move on to avoid being typecast, and producers look to recast because of age. Does Robert Downey Jr. really want to be playing Tony Stark in five-ten years time? Will Marvel still be able to afford that level of talent? The question is, when they start replacing actors, can they continue with the same level of success, because surely there is no way they can reboot a franchise as big as The Avengers every ten years and keep the same audience – I seriously doubt the Marvel zombies are capable of keeping the franchise afloat if the general public don't also get behind the films.

  • Cforshaw67220

    And how well has that model worked in keeping the comic book industry healthy?

  • hgd

    Green Lantern has the potential to be big.

    Batman 3 may flop though. Batman 2 was the apotheosis of what Chris Nolan was aiming for since the first movie and therefore has no where left to go. Besides, after the creatively disappointing “Inception” people may just become completely fed up with what Nolan is puttin' down – and decide they don't want to 'pick it up'. Clearly, Batman 3 should be designed and written by Grant Morrison, using his ideas from his run on the Batman comics. Hollywood and Nolan would never go for that because it's far too intelligent and far too creative.

    The same goes for the Superman movie in development. CLEARLY, only Grant Morrison should be designing and writing that movie. But no, Warner Bros are a bunch of cowards and WOULD NEVER DO ANYTHING THAT SMART.

    A Wonder Woman movie MAY work – but only if Joss Whedon is at the helm.

    The Flash is a non-starter. The character just doesn't resonate with anyone.

    The Martian Manhunter is far too obscure and his powers too similar to superman

    Aquaman? Bitch, please (The very worst meaning of that phrase)

    Sandman as an HBO Series: YES

    Hellblazer as an HBO Series: YES

    Swamp Thing is too 80's to work anymore

    Doom Patrol as an HBO GRANT MORRISON RUN SERIES maybe animated: would definitely work for me.

    The Invisibles: Too abstract to work in anything other than comics

    The New Gods Anime series of feature films: If done by Grant Morrison, then, yes, Absolutely.

    Fables as a TV series could work

    Blue Beetle: Bitch, Please (see above)

    The Authority: if designed and written by Warren Ellis COULD DEFINITELY WORK

    Planetary: if designed and written by Warren Ellis as an HBO SCI FI SERIES: Would DEFINITELY WORK

    Global Frequency: as an HBO Series designed and run by Warren Ellis would definitely work.

    But you see, Hollywood Executives are PROFOUNDLY STUPID PEOPLE and they don't think like us. Therefore, they would NEVER deign to even think of doing series or movies like these.

    DC is on track for several massive cluster-fucks. Enjoy.

  • Cforshaw67220

    I seem to remember that Iron Man had a popular Saturday morning cartoon around the same time as Spider-Man, X-Men, The Incredible Hulk and the Fantastic Four had cartoons – and that audience that watched back then is now the adults who have kids of their own who are familiar with these from similar cartoons and merchandise having been released today. Comics may not be as mainstream as many would hope, but the visibility of the main characters has been fairly high for about ten years due to merchandising them on everything from note-pads and mugs, to computer games and action figures. Indeed, the measure of success Marvel and DC attach to their film properties is often not just rated on how successful the film is, but how successful the merchandising is, too.

  • Cforshaw67220

    Speculation is not pointless as it points to trends and approaches taken by the potential audience when approaching these movies. If anything, it's fascinating to see the various opinions and biases that surround this topic. I wish there had been such widespread discussion back in 2005 when I wrote my dissertation on comic-book-to-film adaptations focusing on 'Spder-Man 2', as it was hard to research at that time as no-one was taking these films as seriously as they have in the last 3-4 years.

  • tada

    Thank goodness this i digital only or I'd lambast you for wasting paper.

    If you are hungery, and haven't eaten, do you say to yourself “Well, I'm hungery, but I haven't eaten in a while. I wonder if it's too late?”

    If anything, all of the risk is Marvel's. Many people learned the basics of DC heroes thanks to the Saturday morning cartoons in the 1960s, 1970s, 1980, 1990s, and 2000s. Five generations of kids know who Green Lantern and Aquaman are. Thor is probably the riskiest superhero film ever made at this point.

  • Cforshaw67220

    Btw, doesn't DC have the best property available right now – get some kids to do the voices and do an animated 'Tiny Titans'?

  • http://www.facebook.com/chris.deneen Chris Deneen

    At this point for DC to take advantage of a cross over film like Avengers they need to either give each of the big players of the group their own film to set them up, or just jump directly in to Justice League itself. If Batman were to be involved in JL in anyway they would need a complete reboot on the character Nolan's batman is set in a far to realistic world for the JL to exist.

  • Hysan

    It's honestly pointless because fandom is often fickle and what they want never jibes with what the producers are doing. Remember all the angst and annoyance at Spider-Man's organic webshooters? There are still fans who want to see Batman in grey and black tights.

    The movies are not the comics. They're an entirely different entity – if I want to see something like the comic books, I'll just read them. I personally thought Iron Man 2 was a great continuation of the themes shown in the first movie. That scene with Tony watching his dad really caught me by surprise. The one thing the DC and Marvel movies have managed to do well is give us a human element to the larger than life events. For me, that's where movies like Wolverine failed — hopefully Green Lantern will do that as well. I do want Green Lantern to be a great movie, by the way…I'm a fan of the GL series (even Guy) but haven't read the book in years…so it'll be a good way to reconnect with the characters.

  • Hunterjax1

    So many people forget some “DC” movies that, while they may not have made as much money as Iron Man, are certainly MUCH BETTER movies: A History of Violence and Road to Perdition.

    And often leave off the string of duds that Marvel has had: Hulk, FF 1 & 2, X-3, both Punisher movies, and Ghost Rider

  • BB

    Before I start let's be clear DC rules for now on TV, & animated efforts, and early movies. There is some truth to this story, but remember there are factors to consider. First, did the movies make money. Second were they any good. For Marvel many of their movies made some or a lot of money, but few where really that good. The first two X-men where I feel great. The last awful. Wolverine was not a great film . The first Spiderman was ok, the second could have been one of the best hero movies made except Rami doesn't know how to quit. The third a ok mess. The two FF films except for the Surfer wasted effort's of one of the richest comic books and shows what happens when you have the wrong people in charge. Ironman 1 was very good but only because of the acting and not because of story or anything else. The second confused! The Hulk's pretty bad. Nothing else is worth mentioning. DC's Batman is the top & perhaps most successful of all. V great. Watchmen could have been better but it can't be ignored. Superman a foolish letdown. Constantine pretty good horror. These made money. Jonah Hex brainless . Everything else who cares. Marvel may have more money with numbers but less good movies. DC has failed to use their top characters but with GL & the new changes with Warner is on track. A new Batman, Superman who is their biggest mistake will be back and who can't wait. Flash is a go. We'll see who else. Marvel starting over with FF ( thank you ). Baby X-men ( who cares ). New teen Spiderman (?). Looking forward to Thor but if you think Cap will be great I'm not a betting person but let's do it. It's true marvel has caught fire with the thought of the Avengers except that it isn't Avengers but the Ultimates. DC has backed off of the JLA which would be a mistake but it needs to be done right so lets still hope. Overall if the people hear that a movie will have Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, GL and the rest in it no one will stay away. Marvel can't beat that. Still lets just enjoy it all.

  • Seattlepsycho

    DC should go the other route and do theatrically relesed movies with a shared univers but go the animated route. The success of Justice League has proven they can do it.

  • Cforshaw67220

    Did you tell anyone it sucked, Shaun? If you did, it can help prove my point. Besides, I said screeners being leaked will only hurt films through bad word of mouth. This is for two reasons: (1) it's rare that screeners leak before a film is released; (2) people will often go and see a good film again at the cinema, if they are in a group, or will tell their friends the film is good, but might be reluctant to say where they saw it for fear of someone mentioning that a friend is downloading movies.

    Plus, I remember reading that 'X-Men Origins: Wolverine' broke records for that weekend. That one, specific weekend. Maybe the person who stated that was wrong, but if the takings were enough to classify it as “big”, it would still indicate that the film wasn't adversely effected by it leaking early, otherwise it would have had a much smaller opening weekend. One of the main reasons for this is probably because of the inflated industry numbers re: online piracy, because it is the latest scare. In truth, most people who own computers, in my experience, do not know how to download movies. It may be on the rise, but it is still a small amount. You could also question where the screeners come from, which is usually the studio themselves. If they don't want them leaking, don't send them out… Which, of course, they won't do because it may effect the amount of press coverage they get.

    Oh, and I didn't say that screeners would hurt films like 'The Dark Knight' or 'Iron Man'. What I said was: “You'll notice how screeners of films like 'The Dark Knight', or 'Iron Man', don't tend to harm the film at the box office.”

  • Cforshaw67220

    I skipped 'V for Vendetta' because it just didn't seem like the source material, to me. However, I do feel that it would be better for films to stop thinking in terms of franchising every movie, and getting back to some genuine great stand-alones, anyway. I remember a few years ago one studio did ten films for $10million (each film had that as their budget), and each was only really supposed to be a single film. The first was 'Jeepers Creepers', and whilst the others didn't do as well (so much so that I cannot name one of them) it did suggest that funding smaller projects of this kind could be beneficial. Take John Constantine for example – hire someone like Ian Hart, let him play Constantine as a scouser, and have a modest budget with a young, hungry indie director in the UK to make a low budget, atmospheric horror. If it fails, you haven't spent too much on it, anyway. If it succeeds because of the connection to DC and Alan Moore, then it could potentially make far, far more profit than 'Constantine' did. One of the things studios need to learn is that sometimes extravegance and spectacle can be their own downfall. Of course, this model would never work for something like 'The Hulk', but there are a lot of characters that could benefit in this way.

  • Cforshaw67220

    I agree with the comments about Luthor, but keep Spacey. When his Luthor's light-heartedness gave way to manic fury, like when he screams in Lois' face, he was genuinely frightening. Plus, I always thought people missed the elegance of his diabolical plan – the best way to make money is to buy up land, because it is one of the main resources people will always need: space to live. The problem with the film itself was that, for some reason, everyone involved with the film seemed to forget Superman couldn't lift a giant nation made of kryptonite above his head and throw it into space, and that it coming into existence would have probably created a tsunami that would have wiped out Metropolis. I can suspend my disbelief, but not when you violate your own rules in such a way.

  • Asr0462

    Do they really need to make anymore sh*tty superhero movies? Just reading about Green Lantern made me want to throw. DC relies to heavily on Warner Brothers; Marvel makes their own stuff now and the difference is definitely noticeable.

  • Cforshaw67220

    Watch Kenneth Branagh's 'Hamlet' – the full four hour version. I thought it was amazing, and so spectacular for what should have been a stagey Shakespeare movie. If his 'Thor' can tap into any of what he did with that, it could be something quite special.

  • Cforshaw67220

    We have seen Batman in grey and black tights in that awesome fan movie where he fought The Joker, an alien, and then a predator, and you know what, it was awesome! Plus, haven't the organic webshooters been dropped? I had an issue with them as the webshooters Peter made helped hammer home the idea that Peter was actually really smart. But a bigger issue with Raimi's 'Spider-Man' films was that they were too serious – there weren't any witty one-liners by Spider-Man that are a big part of the character.

    However, fandom isn't fickle – many fans have an opinion and stick with it, and some change their mind when they see the film, as is there right. If they continually changed back and forth then I might agree with you on that, but I have seen more consistent opinions from comic fans for good or ill than I have seen from most other people re: lots of other things. My mother changes her mind about how the front room is decorated every year – now that is fickle (and hard on my Dad, who has to redecorate it!).

    However, I agree that the movies aren't the comics. They can never be, and having spent a good part of my academic career studying how films adapt comics I am extemely interested in the ways in which each film approaches the means of adaptation because long-form serialised media being adapted for short-form, one-off media presents so many challenges you don't usually see in adapting finite novels, or short, or formulaic television series. However, so long as we get films like 'Let the Right One In', 'In the Loop' or 'Oldboy', Hollywood can do whatever it likes, and fanboys can have whatever opinion they like for me. It always leads to an interesting perspective on the process of adaptation.

  • Admiral Iagree

    I'm “hungery”

  • Hysan

    I'll probably get raked over the coals for this, but while that fan movie was entertaining at the time, it wasn't THAT great. While the Batman in the movie looked like Batman, from what little I could see, he was just a musclebound guy in tights. There was no character there. If all it took was a burly guy to play a superhero, we'd have the pro wrestlers people keep clamoring for (don't get me started on the crazy “Triple H as Thor” thread). The late Andrew Koenig as The Joker was far more interesting than the guy playing Batman. Honestly, once you get past the “huh, interesting,” factor of Batman looking like he does in the comics, there's nothing there but a brawl in an alley.

  • Kelly_009

    Most of what you've said is just too foolish for words.

  • Richard Bernier

    Yeah, Howard, not Fischer! Thanks!

  • Shaun

    Well, since WB owns DC what are they supposed to do? That'll be like saying, in a few years as the current Marvel licenses expire, that “Marvel depends to heavily on Disney.” Not like there'll be much choice in the matter.

    I wasn't hot on the GL costume that was on the Entertainment Weekly cover this summer, but they're saying that won't be the final suit. Nothing else I've heard about the movie has given me reason for concern though. Let's wait and see what happens. I'm hoping it'll be good.

  • Shaun

    “Batman 3 may flop though.”

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Honestly, dude? Look, I don't think anyone's going to expect #3 to make as much money as TDK did. That was lightning in a bottle. But the anticipation will be extremely high, and it will make tons of money. Hell, even the god-awful Spidey 3 and X3 made big bucks. Do you honestly think a Nolan Batman movie could be as bad as those two movies I just mentioned. Hell no.

    “Batman 2 was the apotheosis of what Chris Nolan was aiming for since the first movie and therefore has no where left to go.”

    Explain this statement. Batman Begins re-booted and re-established Batman. He smacked down Gotham's underworld, and the mob turned to man they clearly didn't understand. As Alfred put it in TDK, after Batman spat in the mob's face “things were always going to get worse before they get better.” Nolan raised the bar with TDK, and I can't wait to see where he takes things in the 3rd movie.

    How can you seeay there's “nowhere to go”? TDK was a fantastic middle chapter (assuming it turns out to be a trilogy). It left things hanging as far Gotham being torn apart by Joker's chaos, and Batman's willingness to be the villain in order to help save things. No doubt a new threat will emerge in #3, and we'll see how Batman can redeem himself in the public's view, and still save Gotham, while the law is gunning for him.

    “Besides, after the creatively disappointing “Inception” people may just become completely fed up with what Nolan is puttin' down”

    The “disappointing” Inception that scored 87% on Rotten Tomatoes?

    People sure seem to like it enough, Inception having been #1 for several weeks, and one of only two films this year to land in the top 10 for 10 or more weeks (and counting). He'll end up having the 2nd biggest film of the year (behind only Toy Story 3), and that's without having Batman in it. I'd say the public is FAR from “fed up with what Nolan is puttin' down.” Now if you were to say “M. Night Shyamalan,” then you'd be making sense.

  • Geek Gazette

    Marvel definitely has a leg up on DC. Most non-comic reading movie goers don't know that Superman, Batman & Wonder Woman aren't in the same universe as Spider-man. I've had people ask me if Batman was going to be in the Avengers movie.
    DC/WB sat on their hands and let the suits decide what was best for the comic book properties while Marvel spent all their time blending the creative talents for the comics and movies to keep things more consistent. Who knows the characters better than the people who draw/write their stories each month? Not the suits that's for sure.
    Marvel had some bombs during the learning process, but they realized that the best way to make their characters into movies is to get the rights back and do the movies their way. Disney has also done a find job of letting Marvel do their thing and not trying to tell them how comic books movies should be made.
    While I'm a bigger DC comics fan, they've spent too much time focused on the Smallville way of things and let Marvel take the lead on the big screen. One thing DC has done right are their animated movies, all of which are great. Now they just need to transpose that into live action films.

  • JLB

    I don't think so. Warner has a good track record with super-hero movies. If they are well-written, with high production values, and a strong cast, then I think they can compete with, if not surpass, Marvel's line of movies.

  • Spunkboyrulz

    Why does everyone pick on the Hulk movies? The first one wasn't great and the second one pretty damned good.

    If you want to talk about bad Marvel movies, how about The Punisher? There were three of them and they all were terrible.

  • MoveON

    Got to agree. I am amazed that DC can't seem to get Superman launched! It seems like a total no-brainer. Superman is such an iconic character but DC is so in love with the origin tale and Lex Luthor and Lois Lane that they can't get past them to do a follow-up movie and so much always reboot every 20 years — when they think people have forgotten the previous movie. Hey, there's 20,000 Superman comics out there and while 90% of them are about the origin, Lex Luthor and Lois Lane, that still leaves 2,000 other plots and characters!

  • Mike_o

    The problem isn't that they missed the band wagon, but rather that they might be trying a little too hard to force things.
    I think that they run the risk of alienating more fans by announcing more movies before anyone even knows if Green Lantern is going to be any good. I'm also concerned that with the success of The Dark Knight, they're going to make every movie they do darker, because they think that's what sells. Unfortunately, studio executives aren't too big on reading into material and finding out what kind of angle works best on each project. They're far more likely to think “hey, The Dark Knight made a Gazillion dollars, and it was dark, so if we make all our superhero movies dark, they'll do just as good at the box office”.

  • Cforshaw67220

    You've clearly never made a film that short, so I will forgive you what you have said. However, the characterisation was clearly there in the few moments that Batman had – such as his no-nonsense approach to The Joker – and the final shot of Batman preparing to square up against a bunch of Predators was awesome – it says so much about the character that you'd believe he could possibly win. What you mean is that the characterisation wasn't there on the level you would associate with other, more long forms of media. Clearly, you can't judge them by the same yardstick. Making short films is difficult enough as it is – if you have five minutes, then that is a minute for each of your traditional five-point narrative structure – so you have to fit more in visually to make up for the lack of time/nuance/dialogue. Therefore, musclebound guy in traditional Batman costume, no-nonsense demeanour, and the ability to kick extraterrestrial @$$ tell you everything you needed to know in that short film.

  • andrew.t

    In Widening Gyre #6, Kevin Smith rewrote the classic Batman Year One scene where Batman bursts on the scene and says something like, “You have eaten well…. None of you are safe.” to say that while Batman was making that famous speech, he was so nervous, he had a bladder spasm and peed in his pants.

  • Cforshaw67220

    “The same goes for the Superman movie in development. CLEARLY, only Grant Morrison should be designing and writing that movie. But no, Warner Bros are a bunch of cowards and WOULD NEVER DO ANYTHING THAT SMART.”

    - Dwayne McDuffie is adapting 'All-Star Superman' for the animation division, so, yes, I completely agree that WB would never let Grant Morrison's work inform any representation of Superman… Oh, and I know 80% of online text is misunderstood, so let me state for the record: I was being sarcastic.

    “A Wonder Woman movie MAY work – but only if Joss Whedon is at the helm.”

    - Yes, as he is the only writer or director to write strong female characters. (Again, sarcasm!) Seriously, though, what about Ridley Scott or James Cameron? Given they directed two films with kick ass heroines named Ellen Ripley and Sarah Conner?

    “Aquaman? Bitch, please (The very worst meaning of that phrase)”

    - WTF? A King returning to fabled Atlantis to reclaim his throne? An underwater city filled with magic and menace? The only reason Aquaman has a bad rep' is because other writers tend to have failed in capturing what could be a kick ass fantasy story.

    “Sandman as an HBO Series: YES”

    - Yes, lets ignore the fact that one location – The Dreaming – is a massive special effect that a television show budget cannot do justice with its limited budgets, and that the property is the least commercial around given that it is an anthology series that marginalizes its recurring cast for a large portion of the story, and that HBO would probably have to pay a small fortune to license the rights with no guarantee of a return, and this is… what is the opposite of a slam dunk? Crashing to the floor and facepalming as you land?

    “Hellblazer as an HBO Series: YES”

    - Might I suggest a partnership with a British indie production team and doing it as a genuinely scary one off. Maybe even model the story around something like 'The Wicker Man' – isolated locations, ancient mythology, and a Scouse John Constantine, perhaps played by Ian Hart, or one of the other many fine actors starring in kitchen sink, council estate dramas in the UK.

    “The New Gods Anime series of feature films: If done by Grant Morrison, then, yes, Absolutely.”

    - Why would Grant Morrison want to do this when his own work – especially 'We3', which is still in the pipeline at Dreamworks – is likely to provide him more satisfaction and more also with more money? Also, what you're saying doesn't add up – Grant Morrison is a comic book writer, primarily, Anime is Japanese, and the New Gods are owned by WBs, aren't they? Besides, if you are so eager for Morrison to move to moving pictures, 'Bonnyroad' is out later this year, all written by him, and starring Stephen Fry, and dealing with the same myths and poetry that helped inspire 'Seven Soldiers'.

    “Fables as a TV series could work”

    - It is already in development. It was named as being in development at the same time as 'The Walking Dead', so it could air this time next year. Or it might not get picked up. Personally, I wouldn't much care if it did or it didn't. It's the comics I love.

    “Global Frequency: as an HBO Series designed and run by Warren Ellis would definitely work.”

    - There was already a pilot, which was pretty good, and starred Michelle Forbes as Miranda Zero. It didn't get picked up, which was a small blessing really, as it would be unlikely to be too “Global” given budgetary restrictions, and if it isn't global, then it is just 'Fringe' without a clear over-arcing narrative. And, really, why would HBO pick up something that failed to get picked up for lesser channels, that they would have to license for a decent amount, and that, given that Ellis has no pedigree as a TV producer, could just as easily come off as the next wacky, low-budget SyFy show?

    “But you see, Hollywood Executives are PROFOUNDLY STUPID PEOPLE and they don't think like us. Therefore, they would NEVER deign to even think of doing series or movies like these.”

    - Most of the things you suggested were unreasonable, uneconomical, or are already happening in one form or another, or have already happened. Your argument seems solely based on the fact that you think you are smarter than every person at DC/WBs. Now, I hate to have to break it to you, but you clearly aren't.

  • Cforshaw67220

    The first 'Hulk' movie is far better than the second in terms of the cast and the script – but the action was just so, so bad it ruined large chunks of it. I do remember it sucking me in with the story of Bruce Banner, and his estranged love, and his manipulative father, and her manipulative father… If they could have just taken the Hulk out of it, it had some moments of great drama.

    Ed Noton's 'Incredible Hulk' was just a fairly formulaic Marvel action movie that had little of the dramatic tension or excellent acting of the predecessor, and whilst the action was far, far better, it was still unconvincing because up until the end of the film there is absolutely no tension because, as a comic book fan, there was nothing in the film that I felt really threatened The Hulk. I mean… a trained team sent in to stop The Hulk? Tim Roth vs. The Hulk? More soldiers vs. The Hulk? The only good bit was when Omar Little took one look at what was going down and decided he'd prefer to go find some dealers to intimidate rather than continue to be associated with the foolish shenanigans going on in this film.

    In addition, I still don't understand why having The Hulk personality is such a burden for Banner in the films or the comics – there is a lot of property damage, but no-one ever seems to die, so it never amounts to more than a temper tantrum by someone with superpowers. After the twentieth time he Hulks out, surely it'd be all:

    BANNER: Oh, did I Hulk out again last night?
    BETTY: Yep, you trashed half our neighbourhood.
    BANNER: Oh God, the humanity! How many lives must I carry on my bloodied conscience?
    BETTY: None. Though you did break the Johnson's daughters arm when you started playing patty-cake with her.

  • Mike-EL

    Are there too many cop movies? Too many sci-fis? Too many cowboys?

    There's plenty of room for everybody.

  • Mr_Wayne

    The very idea that DC/WB is “too little too late” to produce films for their characters based on some invisible timeline made by Marvel is absurd. If anything people might clamor to theaters to FINAALLY see their favorite heores and villains on the big screen.

  • Brian from Canada

    There never was a question that Superman Returns was a sequel: from the music and style of the credits, to the press cycle in which Singer called this “the true Superman III,” that was intended to revitalize an existing franchise that is well thought of rather than the kitchen sink replacement that Batman keeps suffering.

    But the comics are the problem.

    Comics are a problem because “Crisis On Infinite Earths” wiped out the man in Superman and the mad scientiest in Lex Luthor, switching them to the boy scout Superman vs evil corporate genius. And that's the version we get in the cartoons. That's the version we get in Smallville.

    And I challenge ANYONE who thinks Superman Returns pitiful to not say that they love the cartoons and the modern TV incarnation. Because that's the contradiction weakening the film, not Kate Bosworth's weak performance.

    Batman, incidentally, was EXACT to the comics' tone when Adam West did it. Tim Burton started this whole bullshit about Batman being dark from the beginning (he wasn't — it was Year One he was referring to, and Dark Knight), and all Nolan is doing is going back and saying he can do it without the stylized sets. And that's something you can track against existing products.

  • Brian from Canada

    Could someone PLEASE define for me how SPECIFICALLY they were appalling films? Because, on a technical level, they're far less appalling than the much-fawned over Lord Of The Rings trilogy (Kevin Smith nailed that one), or much of the fodder from this summer.

    Movies do not have to be all pontificating about the quality of life today. In fact, anyone who says The Dark Knight is really a reflection of the modern condition is blowing it out of their ass to justify the fact that they liked the movie. And that especially counts critics, who don't know anything about a movie other than they liked it or were paid to like it.

    Wolverine was meant to give a back story to the character. And it did. The entire focus is on Wolverine, not the side characters who exist to paint the context of Wolverine. Having it be Cyclops and Emma Frost in the cells rather than mutants x and y gives those who have seen the previous films or know the comics an opportunity to flex their knowledge about the franchise, which is what it's supposed to do.

    See The Expendables. Every major character scene has a reference somewhere to the actor's past — particularly Schwartzneggar and Stallone's scene together.

    Fantastic Four's biggest problem — like many of the comic films, incidentally — is that it wasn't able to communicate the gravity of the situation. Doom wasn't scary, period. But that's casting. Narratively, it works as a film. Silver Surfer ups the action and balances the family situation and the major crisis fighters aspect of the team that DOES exist in the comics.

    Why anyone would think Fantastic Four has to be dark and serious when it never was originally is beyond me, other than to show how stupidly moronic it is to join all the films together.

    Ghost Rider wasn't bad, but it's a tough character to do the back story for AND not get preachy or overwhelmed with demons and special effects. Blade: Trinity wasn't as bad as Blade II, and went a lot of the way into establishing Blade's not the only one out there. It felt more like Tomb Of Dracula than a Blade comic. But that was the choice of the director, and it was nowhere as weak as, say, Elektra.

    As for the dancing in both those films, FF2 used the scene to show Reed relaxing and unwinding. At a bar, he'd get drunk and spout science stuff. At a game, he'd be using science to improve it. At a club, he HAS to dance. And the flexibility is part of who he is. Whereas Peter Parker shouldn't be able to dance like that — he's too inhibited — and the suit turns him into a ladies man. Being cool is cool, but the moves make the man.

    Neither film makes it stand out of place as much as Charlie's Angels. Cameron Diaz can't dance — period — and waving your ass to the camera is just gratuitous pissing on a great concept.

  • Brian from Canada

    I wrote my graduate thesis on the adaptation on comic-to-film in 2000 just as X-Men was released. In those days, the idea of Marvel vs DC never entered into it. The idea was IF it could be done at a level that was acceptable to general audiences, the way Batman had versus Captain America, The Shadow, etc.

    Dick Tracy is the most successful adaptation of a comic book into film. Period. But it was a commercial flop as a film because audiences didn't accept it.

    And hindsight is a wonderful thing too. John Lasseter recently pointed out how Tron and Blade Runner are beloved now, but both he and Ridley Scott were considered to have sacrificed their careers to make those bombs back in the day.

  • Brian from Canada

    An equally valid comparison is the Jonah Hex animated short on Batman's Red Hood DVD vs the movie with Josh Brolin. Brolin was believable as Hex, but the 11 minute short communicated a hell of a lot more about who Hex was and why he's cool than the 90 minute theatrical feature.

  • Brian from Canada

    Honestly, WB thinks Nolan's third Batman will make more money than Dark Knight. And so do the critics, who can't wait to see if it was Ledger's death or something more. As for where it goes, that's fucking obvious for anyone who's read the issues it's based on — more villains. Batman: Begins is Year One, where Gotham loses its thugs for the freaks.

    Rotten Tomatoes is not a valid argument. Nor, really, is box office. Because, by the same token, Transformers 2 was better loved than Star Trek, but it's a lot harder to find people who think fondly of Transformers 2 these days the way they do Star Trek. TIME tells whether it was successful or not.

    Let us not forget that there were critics slammed for saying that the DVD of Dark Knight made them reconsider their praise and be more realistic. But it's the truth. Time changes opinions.

  • Brian from Canada

    Nonsense. Utter nonsense.

    DC has a shared universe — it's called Smallville. You start with Clark and then learn the DCU from there. Same with their animated series — Superman was supposed to start recruiting to fight Darkseid had the cartoon continued another year (leading into Justice League) but they still ended up using the same voice actors and style from Batman to make the link through.

    Marvel can't. Marvel had no studio connection. Lucasfilm turned Howard The Duck into the biggest joke of the 80s. Punisher couldn't make money in a limited release. Captain America was so embarrassing that it went direct-to-video. And Fantastic Four… never saw the light of day (despite actually having a somewhat decent script).

    But Fox needed cartoons. And Marvel bit. Batman was joined by X-Men and Spider-Man while Dark Horse offered Big Boy & Rusty The Boy Robot and NEC got The Tick on the air. Batman could go no further — it was owned by WB. Spider-Man was locked up in legal tangles. Big Boy was a flop. And X-Men….

    Note that of all the property licenses Fox bought (including Nick Fury, played by Hasselhoff on TV!) it was X-Men that was their best hope. Fantastic Four was also sold because its cartoon was considered decent too. And when Generation X was a ratings bomb, they turned to the main material for a big budget feature that just happened to hit with audiences.

    Why? Notable names, recognized property, decent action — and everyone knew Wolverine.

    The idea of X-Men and Fantastic Four was anathema to Fox. One could sink another. They even avoided references — Daredevil avoids mention of The Daily Bugle to avoid Columbia's deal for Spider-Man. (Smallville, on the other hand, mentions Gotham as a city even if they can't have Batman or Bruce Wayne.)

    To have a shared universe, you need to have a company willing to bet one film's success on another. To have a shared universe, you need to have actors willing to sign on to multiple features for a flat rate. To have a shared universe, you need to have directors willing to accept multiple connections.

    The cast is willing. Favreau (despite having to avoid any potential conflicts with Avengers) was willing, and one must assume Brannagh is as well. To quote Downey Jr., “I trust Marvel.” It's Marvel's idea — for ONE team, not a shared universe.

    The dream is one property that doesn't try and stuff in all the origins into the one film but rather uses individual films to build up to it. It's like having a film about Snake Eyes, then about General Hawk, then about Scarlet, then GI Joe — a different approach to an existing problem.

    Can DC catch up? Absolutely. But keep in mind two things: WB planned on doing JLA just like GI Joe and only stopped because they couldn't get the script ready before the strike. WB plans on doing like Marvel, only the Nolans hate the idea (they've already vetoed the studio's desire to introduce Robin). And while every producer is circling around the characters because they can succeed, it's all waiting on WB's idea of how to set the tone throughout.

    And that's the tough choice. Avengers already has the tone built in — separate tones for the individual characters and one for the team. Justice League doesn't because the team perception is the individual perception. Once they figure that out, they can catch up.

    Superhero movies will continue as long as one makes money. ONE. That's how it was in the early 80s and in the early 90s.

  • Shaun

    Exactly… I didn't like the Ang Lee/Eric Bana Hulk movie at all, but the one starring Ed Norton was really good. I'm sorry we probably won't see any kind of sequel to that one, and I'm also sorry Norton won't even be involved with The Avengers either. Not as good as the first Iron Man, and perhaps not even as good as the first two Spideys or X2, but that's pretty lofty company. I think it's at least as good as the first X-Men movie, and I enjoyed it a lot more than I did Iron Man 2.

    But Punisher? Ugh… They should probably just give up on that character.

  • Shaun

    “I'm also concerned that with the success of The Dark Knight, they're going to make every movie they do darker, because they think that's what sells.”

    I really don't think anyone at WB, and certainly anyone from DC who might be involved with the movies, will make the mistake of thinking that just because Batman works best as a “dark” character that they think all of their other characters should be handled the same way. Superman isn't Batman, and neither is GL or Flash. At the very least, I'm sure Chris Nolan is smart enough to realize that, so I'm not worried. If anything, I'm excited to think that maybe we'll finally get a truly great, serious, epic Superman film.

    Taking the characters seriously is the point. “Seriously” and “Dark” aren't necessarily the same thing though. Now, one of the things that makes both Nolan Bat-movies great is that they took Batman and his world seriously. No nods and winks to the audience, no one thinking a guy dressed as giant bat, or another guy running around being a homicidal clown, is silly or bizarre. Those other DC characters certainly shouldn't be as “dark” as Batman, but I hope they'll be taken just as seriously.

    I say just relax and wait to see what happens… They have actual comic writers working on GL and Flash, we know Batman's in good hands, and I think Nolan will do right by Superman too, even though he's not directing.

    Oh, and as for announcing more movies before GL comes out? How is that different from Marvel announcing how Thor, Cap and The Avengers were all on the way even before IM2 came out? We don't know if any of those are going to be good either (though I hope they will), and IM2 was pretty disappointing to a lot of people. The Ed Norton situation didn't win Marvel any points either.

    There's doubt where Marvel's concerned too, and that's not even counting how Spidey's being rebooted so soon, or what's going on with the X-Men franchise.

  • Shaun

    “Honestly, WB thinks Nolan's third Batman will make more money than Dark Knight. And so do the critics, who can't wait to see if it was Ledger's death or something more.”

    Well, I'm sure they HOPE it'll make more, but it's unrealistic to think it will. Joker's popularity, and Ledger's amazing performance (and sure, his death too) were certainly part of what made TDK the must-see movie it was. It had more going for it than just, and it would've been a hit without that I think, but as I said earlier that was lightning in a bottle. The third installment will easily surpass Batman Begins, but will fall short of TDK. It'll still be a big hit, most likely, just unlikely it'll be the monster TDK was.

    “As for where it goes, that's fucking obvious for anyone who's read the issues it's based on — more villains. Batman: Begins is Year One, where Gotham loses its thugs for the freaks.”

    I'm well aware of Year One. I have the original issues. It doesn't mean that's what Nolan will do though. You don't know for certain, and neither do I. We don't even know for certain which villain or villains he'll choose. My point is that the ending, and Batman willingly taking on the part of “villain” was a great way to end the movie and leave things hanging.

    “Rotten Tomatoes is not a valid argument. Nor, really, is box office.”

    I need to base an argument on SOMETHING, don't I? Using RT and box office is shorthand to respond to a guy's really dumb, unfounded statement that Inception was somehow “disappointing” and that people are “fed up” with Noland. Again, the RT percentage is a quick, easy to understand way to disprove his dopey rants. 87% shows that most critics, at least the ones on that site, really liked the movie. And box office? Well, c'mon… When Inception has taken in over $285 million and has been in the top 10 for the last 10 weeks (four of them at #1) it's safe to say that the public not only isn't disappointed, but certainly isn't “fed up” with Nolan. I'd say that my using some actual FACTS in my response makes for a better argument than the first guy's!

    “Because, by the same token, Transformers 2 was better loved than Star Trek,”

    Not critically though… Again, using RT shorthand, the critics universally loved Trek and mostly loathed Transformers. I can't explain the stupidity of people going to see Transformers, but it's not like Trek did poorly at the box office either.

    “TIME tells whether it was successful or not.”

    There's truth in that, but when TDK becomes the second (now third) biggest performer ever, had near universal acclaim, and nabbed an Oscar for Ledger's work (I think he'd have won even if he hadn't died, or at least been nominated), that's a pretty good start for going down in history. Even now, TDK is well ahead of everything else in this poll (I actually voted for Batman Begins, just because I think it's underappreciated). It's a well-loved movie, sold huge on DVD and Blu too, many critics were honestly surprised it didn't get a Best Picture nod. If you don't like it, that's fine. The public has spoken though, and I think it's a movie that will endure. Certainly more than, oh, the Fantastic Four movies will. For example. It transcended the label “comic book movie” and became an event movie even for people who don't normally care about comic book characters.

    “Let us not forget that there were critics slammed for saying that the DVD of Dark Knight made them reconsider their praise and be more realistic. But it's the truth. Time changes opinions.”

    Which critics, and where? I'm not doubting you, but offer up some examples. It's easy for fatigue to set in over time, and when you've seen something more than once it becomes easy to spot holes or things to criticize. I never said TDK was perfect. I don't that any movie is. It's just damned good. Even if a few critics have taken their praise down a couple notches it's not like TDK is going to suddenly be seen as a bad movie. I mean, I loved the original Star Trek TV show. Decades later, however, I find them mostly very difficult to watch. Does that mean the show is no longer a classic? Of course not. Again, I think the critics and public have spoken. At the very least, Nolan's films, I predict, will age far better than Burton's (or Schumacher's) Batman films will.

    Besides, based on what you said above, if a large grouping of critics on RT isn't a valid argument then how is a few critics reconsidering the movie later, on DVD, any more valid?

  • Millman

    They would have to chuck all that Christopher Nolan's done for Batman out the window if they were going to do that. I think moviegoers would have a hard time accepting a team oriented treatment of Batman. A shared universe might not be the best treatment for the rest of the characters anyway. “Avengers” is a shared universe, but it doesn't include the X-Men, Spider Man, Ghost Rider, or Daredevil. If it works, it will be because it works with a small enough group of characters that work well together.

    I would agree that DC could have more success exploiting their Vertigo comics. Or even a film treatment of a single graphic novel story arc like “Red Son”— not sure if mainstream audiences would be interested in an alternative universe, but I think it would work better than a JLA movie.