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Warner Bros. may be taking a very serious approach to its interconnected DC movie universe. According to HitFix, several sources contend that boils down to one rule for the projects in development: “No jokes.”
While no cause was given, the website theorizes the largely negative response to 2011’s Green Lantern, and the success of the Batman franchise, certainly could have something to do with it. Critics of Man of Steel will undoubtedly find such a mandate believable, even if the Zack Snyder film did contain a little humor.
Yet, even HitFix’s Drew McWeeny expresses skepticism, noting, “Even in the most serious of mainstream movies, some of the most memorable moments are those points where they let off steam, where a laugh is used to punctuate.”
One of the biggest complaints levied against Warner Bros.’ DC releases is that they come off as dour and, often, hopeless, but Marvel has hit upon the seemingly perfect blend of drama and humor, with characters who crack wise, even as the story is at its darkest point.
Although Warner Bros. has been well served by darker fare like Christopher Nolan’s Batman movies — there’s a “Why so serious?” crack lurking somewhere — and Man of Steel, which, for all of its detractors, grossed $668 million worldwide, it remains to be seen whether a relatively humorless approach would suit the ensemble Justice League or Shazam, a property that tends to work better with a lighter tone.There of course is also the possibility that the DC movies would become monotonous in their grimness, leading movie-goers to pass them up in favor of something a bit more fun.