24 Jul 2013

Far From The World's Finest

I have had little faith in Warner Bros and DC to actually make films based on their characters. At least, the characters who don't dress up like a bat. Those that do get made tend to be terrible. And Man of Steel recently proved that, not only is Superman not immune to the lack of quality, but the ghost of the Richard Donner films still well and truly haunts that particular franchise. Above all else, I have long maintained that a Justice League movie will never happen. DC has yet to make a sequel to any non-Batman or Superman property (the most recent Superman sequel occurring 25 years ago), and in recent history, that's only three additional films (Catwoman, Green Lantern, Jonah Hex). And despite an insistence in the wake of the success of the Avengers that a Justice League movie would be made to compete with the sequel, the only thing the companies have given us is delay.

And so it is again. At San Diego on the weekend, Zack Synder announced that the Man of Steel sequel greenlit before the initial film was even released will in fact be a World's Finest film, though that title was not used or confirmed. But the sequel, which will see the return of Henry Cavill as Kal-El, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Laurence Fishburne as that angry guy in the office, and Diane Lane as DC's latest damsel in distress, will also feature an as of yet uncast Bruce Wayne, AKA Batman. Christopher Nolan will return as an executive producer, but it was made clear that Christan Bale will not be reprising the role of Wayne, nor will the Dark Knight trilogy be part of this new DCCU.

This Superman/Batman adventure will be released in the summer of 2015, to go up against Avengers: Age of Ultron. As such, the announcement is paired with the details that a Flash film will be released in 2016, and the Justice League movie has been moved back to 2017, continuing the trend of setting a release date far enough away to hype the project without ever actually having to work on it. I full expect it to be pushed back to 2020 after the release of World's Finest, in favour of a Batman-centric film.

I started this post with the scene from Jurassic Park in which Ian Malcolm berates Hammond for creating the park in the manner he did, and his argument I feel holds true for DC and Warner Bros' attempts to make superhero films. They've seen what others (Marvel) have done, and they want a piece. They make these plans, these big announcements, and constantly have to go back on them because they don't think things through. Marvel sat down, well before Iron Man was made, and laid out a plan. Who, what, when. A detailed road map to follow through Phase One, then did the same thing with Phase Two, and are now doing the same with Phase Three. Years in advance. DC keeps throwing dates and characters at the wall, and shouting their loudest whenever anything sticks, only to watch it streak down the wall, leaving a greasy film behind.

Right now, DC is standing on the shoulders of giants. And wobbling considerably.

[Author's note: I want to make it clear that, between the two, I'm a far bigger fan of the DC characters and comics. I would love to see a well made, intelligent, impactful Justice League movie, like you wouldn't believe. It's just that Marvel doesn't just make better films, they actually make films. And so in this regard, they get the benefit of the doubt, and DC has to prove themselves. So far, they haven't.]

Via Collider.

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