Have DC’s upcoming movies become Must See?
When the first Avengers movie was announced it sounded like an impossible dream. Too many characters with too much baggage crammed into one movie could never work, not without doing some of the characters a disservice. But then it came out and against all odds was actually good. In fact it was better than good. It was one point five billion dollars good.
So of course DC and Warner Bros wanted in.
And why shouldn’t they? They’ve got their own stable of superheroes, three of which are the most recognisable names in the genre. Those heroes, just like those that make up The Avengers, have their own gang, or league if you prefer. It is time to shove them all together and make some sweet Super Team money.
Marvel took their time on The Avengers. They introduced each of the major players separately in their own movies, giving the audience a chance to get to know exactly who each character was and what they stood for. In those stand alone stories they set up threads and maneuvered pieces that would all (somewhat) smoothly lead into The Avengers. It was a patient approach that paid dividends in the end.
It looked like Warner Brothers had adopted the same approach, but now it’s clear they are trying something different. They released Man of Steel to set up their new universe from which The Justice League will soon spring. It was to be their first stand alone film, and everyone expected each of the other Justice League members to get their own films soon after. Unfortunately, Man of Steel wasn’t received all that warmly by fans who cried foul at Superman’s wanton destruction of Metropolis and the film’s grim and gritty tone. This reaction may have changed Warner’s plans because the next film, a Man of Steel sequel, suddenly bumped the main character into second billing. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice has seemingly gone from being a Superman film to a film that is in all but title a Justice League movie. The film features Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Cyborg, Aquaman, Lex Luthor, Alfred Pennyworth, and Lois Lane. Those roles are all confirmed. It is also rumoured to include The Flash (though not the one from the TV show), Robin (the female Robin, Carrie Kelly), and Doomsday. That is a crazy amount of characters for a film that is supposed to revolve around the one.
It doesn’t sound like a Superman movie. It doesn’t even sound like a Batman and Superman team up movie. It sounds like a mad dash scramble to get all of the relevant characters together and in a film so Warner Bros can get to The Justice League sooner, without doing the sufficient groundwork. It sounds like a two hour prologue to film that won’t be out for years.
It sounds insane.
Which is why I can’t help but be really, really interested in the upcoming DC flicks.
Every bit of news that comes out sounds like a wild internet rumour, until it’s confirmed as fact. Just look at the cast lists for Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (by the way Warner Brothers, no one will call the film that) and Suicide Squad. The internet blew up when it was announced Ben Affleck will be playing Batman. But look at him:
Dude’s got the chin.
Then they hired Gal Gadot for Wonder Woman. Gadot is a model but has done a little acting in the later Fast and Furious films. People once again freaked out. “She doesn’t look right” “She can’t act” “blah blah boobs blah blah”.
They’ve muted the colours for that promo pic slightly, but she still looks boss if you ask me. As for Gadot’s acting ability, only time will tell.
Last week saw Warner release the first image of Aquaman.
So they cast Rob Zombie apparently… oh, it’s Jason Momoa. Looking exactly as you’d expect him to look as Aquaman. The tattoo on the one shoulder kind of makes it look like he could only afford the armor for the one side, and just had the other side drawn on hoping that would fool his enemies or something…
The rest of the casting for this film isn’t all that noteworthy, except for the central villain Lex Luthor who is to be played by Jesse Eisenberg. That’s an unusual choice for the role. To go that young. It’s attention grabbing casting that gets more interesting when you consider how much younger he is than all of the heroes. When looking at most blockbusters the young versus old dynamic usually equates to young (the target audience) = hero, and older = villain. Here they are flipping that idea. I’m looking forward to seeing what they do with it.
Then there is the casting in Suicide Squad (which would have been even crazier if Oprah was cast as Amanda Waller as originally rumoured)
First up is Will Smith as Deadshot. It’s only really odd casting if you think about how minor a villain Deadshot is. He’s barely C-list. And yet he is going to be played by one of the biggest movie stars in the world. The fact he’s changed race doesn’t matter one bit. That’s all good. It’s just surprising that a surly dude with a death wish who is pretty good with a pistol is now the guy who hangs out with Jazzy Jeff.
But the big surprise is The Joker (which is another reason it is surprising Smith has signed on for this as he will more than likely be overshadowed by this character’s towering presence). The Justice League Universe’s version of the biggest, most popular super-villain of all time will be introduced in a film that doesn’t even feature Batman. That’s a ballsy move. Plus he’s being played by the lead singer of 30 Seconds to Mars.
And finally there is Captain Boomerang played by Jai Courtney. The casting isn’t odd, I just can’t believe this guy is going to be in a film…
The casting for both of those movies is interesting, especially when it comes to the villains. When it comes to Joker the other thing worth considering is what his role in the film means to the larger universe. What this more than likely means is that we are coming to this universe after it has all kicked off. The Joker and Harley Quinn (to be played by Margot Robbie) have already been in action and are now locked up. Which means Batman has been operating, and his age suggests he’s probably been at it a while. Origin stories are not the name of the game here. Warner Brothers are looking to jump in at the deep end, right where the action is.
It was presumed Warner Brothers would just follow the game plan to success Marvel had already laid out. But they are ignoring it completely. They aren’t playing by the rules. It seems a little dangerous. Which is why I’m actually excited about these films. They are taking serious risks. Young villains, older heroes. Characters turning up already established. Batfleck.
They could have just swapped out the Marvel characters for their own and followed the formula exactly and no one would’ve blamed them. But they haven’t done that. They are taking steps to make their universe uniquely their own. Those steps might take them to creative and box office gold, or they may take them right off a cliff. And not all of the Justice League can fly.
Either way, success or failure, Warner Brothers have got my complete attention.