Is the DC movie universe circling the drain?

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Is the DC movie universe circling the drain?

Postby Graham Kennedy » Thu Jan 26, 2017 11:18 pm



These are rumours from "inside sources", but... this is a site I watch a lot. They called the Fantastic Four and Ghostbusters movies as turds long before either came out. In the case of Ghostbusters they had the entire plot, accurate to every detail, outlined months before it came out. I tend to trust them.

According to their inside sources, "Justice League is a mess." It was tonally exactly like Batman Vs Superman, and the relative flop of that movie hit production hard. They're scrambling to try and make something watchable of it now. Also, "Wonder Woman is a mess" too, with no narrative flow to the story.

Is DC EVER going to get this right?

Here's the latest WW trailer.

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Re: Is the DC movie universe circling the drain?

Postby Mikey » Fri Jan 27, 2017 12:34 am

Well, I don't know that site as well as you do, but here's my take on things:

First, bear in mind that as a kid, I always tended more toward Marvel than DC. Yes, movable type had been invented already when I was a kid. Barely. As a young-ish (and often immature) adult, DC's Vertigo imprint (Hellblazer, Swamp Thing, Shade the Changing Man, etc.) had more of an appeal, but that's not where this convo is going. So, if you see something I've said that seems born more of bias than of what we've actually seen... well bear it in mind, but I don't need to hear about it.

Now - what has Marvel done... as far as the MCU, anyway? Well, not only have they gotten hold of talents such as Joe Johnstone, Kevin Feige, the Whedon boys, etc., to helm their films (not to mention some bad-ass onscreen talent;) they actually set out a long-term plan for how the Marvel Cinematic Universe will be, and where each film and character fits into it. It was no accident that Phil Coulson appeared in The Avengers and went on to become the protagonist of TV's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. It was no accident that Falcon was introduced how he was, in order to set him up for his role in Civil War. Etc., etc., ad nauseum. The MCU was, and is, a well-planned network. Not only that, but it has become centered around a point drawn from the comic history that was geared to produce maximum drama. Sure, there have been intro movies; and there have been some films that have been, shall we say, "lesser among equals" (I'm looking at you, The Dark World.) But not only does it all fit, and work, and have drama; but it has fun. All the pithy little Stan Lee cameos; the short films; the WHIH Newsfront viral bits antecedent to the Ant Man release; even the (slightly hackneyed) bit about Natasha trying to set Steve up on a date in The Winter Soldier - the entirety of the MCU completely manages to not take itself too seriously. Movies they may be, but movies based on friggin' comic books, and Marvel seems to recall that.

What has DC done (again talking just about the recent spate of "connected" DC films?) So far, try to "elevate" their films beyond the ken of mere comic books. The scripting, the costuming, even the cinematography... OK, I get that Frank Miller was the shit on a shingle for a then-ailing DC publishing house, but that only goes so far. If I wanted a Gothic Victorian vampire novella, I'd go read a Gothic Victorian vampire novella. Know why Chris Reeve's Superman was so good? Because those films never lost sight of what Siegel and Shuster were trying to do back in the 1930's. I can't really knock most of the talent that has been collected, but what kind of drek scripts are they given? I'm all for leggy, willowy Israeli models in gladiator outfits (there's a Rule 34 joke in there somewhere) but if you're giving her that kind of script, best off putting her in a silent picture. My parents were murdered; my island was attacked and people got killed; my planet got blowed up. Yeah, we get it - some intro is great, because it gives the characters some depth - but there's got to be something beyond that. Chris Evans' Cap is so good because even though he's Cap - that is, the very essence of toe-the-line, do-your-duty, first-in-last-out, etc. - he's the one who actually goes against the "company" line and rebels... and it's done in a way that makes it feel natural! Where is that evolution in the DC characters? That's not rhetorical - I really would like somebody to tell me.

As a last commentary on the way of the DC films: you guys basically had a license to do whatever the f#@* you wanted without pissing off the fans. With the Earth 2 scenario, and later the Crisis on Infinite Earths background, you literally could do anything. Black Superman? Yeah, that's covered. Female Batman? Yeah, sorta, just call her "Huntress." Turn a wannabe Anonymous hacktivist into a god? Yep, been done. Reconcile it with any permutation of characters from any period of DC-dom? You had that framework! Instead, we got "we're the good guys, we gotta go fight the bad guys" cliches.

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Re: Is the DC movie universe circling the drain?

Postby Graham Kennedy » Fri Jan 27, 2017 4:13 am

Agreed on most of that, especially the tonal thing.

Seems to me that DC are still having the effects of the Dark Knight. That was gritty, and dark, and very "adult". Not a lot of fun to be had in it, though. And audiences LOVED it. DC have been trying to repeat that formula ever since, but it's just not working.

Like you say, they don't seem to have any real plan. What comes across is that they're in a situation where they come up with a plan. Then a movie fails, and they lurch around in panic trying to work out what went wrong and change the plan to fix it. Then the next movie comes out and also fails, and they lurch around again desperately trying to work out what to do next. And so on.

If Wonder Woman fails and Justice League fails as well... they'll lose whatever credibility they have left completely.
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Re: Is the DC movie universe circling the drain?

Postby Mikey » Fri Jan 27, 2017 11:05 am

I think that "grimdark" feel worked for the Nolan Batmans because a) the character lends itself to it; b) there is precedent in the comics with the Frank Miller Dark Knight stories; and c) the much needed separation of the Nolan films from the previous cartoony/camp Batman films. The other characters do not lend themselves to that noir atmosphere. There are such characters in the DC universe, but they don't have the seat-filling cache of Supes, WW, etc.
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Re: Is the DC movie universe circling the drain?

Postby Graham Kennedy » Fri Jan 27, 2017 12:17 pm

Well that goes to what I've said for a long time. Yeah, Batman works with the grimdark (great word) world. But Superman just doesn't. Putting those two together is just stupid, IMO.
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Re: Is the DC movie universe circling the drain?

Postby Teaos » Fri Jan 27, 2017 3:32 pm

Also the studio is far to involved. Apparently suicide squad went through a massive reedit and shot not long before realise. And Timor is it was worse for the result but more mainstream.
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Re: Is the DC movie universe circling the drain?

Postby Mikey » Fri Jan 27, 2017 7:00 pm

Graham Kennedy wrote:Well that goes to what I've said for a long time. Yeah, Batman works with the grimdark (great word) world. But Superman just doesn't. Putting those two together is just stupid, IMO.


I can't take credit for the term, it's used in extraordinarily evil dystopian SF and was coined, as far as I can tell, in the fandom of Warhammer 40 000. And there were DC storylines involving Super and WW that would have worked with that ambience, but they were self-limiting (read: they died fairly quickly.)

Teaos wrote:Also the studio is far to involved. Apparently suicide squad went through a massive reedit and shot not long before realise. And Timor is it was worse for the result but more mainstream.


Good point. It's no coincidence that the interconnected MCU - and with it, comic-book films that were really good films - started when Marvel started making Marvel-character films (rather than Sony Pictures, for example.)
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Re: Is the DC movie universe circling the drain?

Postby Graham Kennedy » Tue Jan 31, 2017 3:37 am

So news has it that Affleck has stepped down as the director of the Batman movie. :shock:
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Re: Is the DC movie universe circling the drain?

Postby Nutso » Tue Jan 31, 2017 4:58 pm

Yep. Ben Affleck Will Not Direct ‘The Batman’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Ben Affleck has decided to step down as director of “The Batman” and remain on as a producer and star of the project.

Affleck is still on board to play the superhero, but sources close to the talent said Affleck and Warner Bros., after discussing how to best make the film possible, came to the decision together.

“There are certain characters who hold a special place in the hearts of millions,” Affleck said in a statement. “Performing this role demands focus, passion and the very best performance I can give. It has become clear that I cannot do both jobs to the level they require. Together with the studio, I have decided to find a partner in a director who will collaborate with me on this massive film. I am still in this, and we are making it, but we are currently looking for a director. I remain extremely committed to this project, and look forward to bringing this to life for fans around the world.”

Sources say this decision was solely made based on what’s best for the project and had nothing to do with the recent disappointment of Affleck’s recent directing job “Live by Night.”
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Re: Is the DC movie universe circling the drain?

Postby Nutso » Thu Feb 02, 2017 6:00 am

Teaos wrote:Also the studio is far to involved. Apparently suicide squad went through a massive reedit and shot not long before realise. And Timor is it was worse for the result but more mainstream.

Yeah. The rumor was that the re-shoots were to add humor into the movie. Then the studio scrapped the director's edit, and hired a company that makes trailers to edit the film. As a result a unique idea like a movie about super-villains comes off as a watered down comic book movie with a blue laser shooting into the sky.
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Re: Is the DC movie universe circling the drain?

Postby Bryan Moore » Thu Feb 02, 2017 10:06 am

Mikey wrote:Well, I don't know that site as well as you do, but here's my take on things:

First, bear in mind that as a kid, I always tended more toward Marvel than DC. Yes, movable type had been invented already when I was a kid. Barely. As a young-ish (and often immature) adult, DC's Vertigo imprint (Hellblazer, Swamp Thing, Shade the Changing Man, etc.) had more of an appeal, but that's not where this convo is going. So, if you see something I've said that seems born more of bias than of what we've actually seen... well bear it in mind, but I don't need to hear about it.

Now - what has Marvel done... as far as the MCU, anyway? Well, not only have they gotten hold of talents such as Joe Johnstone, Kevin Feige, the Whedon boys, etc., to helm their films (not to mention some bad-ass onscreen talent;) they actually set out a long-term plan for how the Marvel Cinematic Universe will be, and where each film and character fits into it. It was no accident that Phil Coulson appeared in The Avengers and went on to become the protagonist of TV's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. It was no accident that Falcon was introduced how he was, in order to set him up for his role in Civil War. Etc., etc., ad nauseum. The MCU was, and is, a well-planned network. Not only that, but it has become centered around a point drawn from the comic history that was geared to produce maximum drama. Sure, there have been intro movies; and there have been some films that have been, shall we say, "lesser among equals" (I'm looking at you, The Dark World.) But not only does it all fit, and work, and have drama; but it has fun. All the pithy little Stan Lee cameos; the short films; the WHIH Newsfront viral bits antecedent to the Ant Man release; even the (slightly hackneyed) bit about Natasha trying to set Steve up on a date in The Winter Soldier - the entirety of the MCU completely manages to not take itself too seriously. Movies they may be, but movies based on friggin' comic books, and Marvel seems to recall that.

What has DC done (again talking just about the recent spate of "connected" DC films?) So far, try to "elevate" their films beyond the ken of mere comic books. The scripting, the costuming, even the cinematography... OK, I get that Frank Miller was the shit on a shingle for a then-ailing DC publishing house, but that only goes so far. If I wanted a Gothic Victorian vampire novella, I'd go read a Gothic Victorian vampire novella. Know why Chris Reeve's Superman was so good? Because those films never lost sight of what Siegel and Shuster were trying to do back in the 1930's. I can't really knock most of the talent that has been collected, but what kind of drek scripts are they given? I'm all for leggy, willowy Israeli models in gladiator outfits (there's a Rule 34 joke in there somewhere) but if you're giving her that kind of script, best off putting her in a silent picture. My parents were murdered; my island was attacked and people got killed; my planet got blowed up. Yeah, we get it - some intro is great, because it gives the characters some depth - but there's got to be something beyond that. Chris Evans' Cap is so good because even though he's Cap - that is, the very essence of toe-the-line, do-your-duty, first-in-last-out, etc. - he's the one who actually goes against the "company" line and rebels... and it's done in a way that makes it feel natural! Where is that evolution in the DC characters? That's not rhetorical - I really would like somebody to tell me.

As a last commentary on the way of the DC films: you guys basically had a license to do whatever the f#@* you wanted without pissing off the fans. With the Earth 2 scenario, and later the Crisis on Infinite Earths background, you literally could do anything. Black Superman? Yeah, that's covered. Female Batman? Yeah, sorta, just call her "Huntress." Turn a wannabe Anonymous hacktivist into a god? Yep, been done. Reconcile it with any permutation of characters from any period of DC-dom? You had that framework! Instead, we got "we're the good guys, we gotta go fight the bad guys" cliches.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.


Well that is the most intelligent and concise thing ever said about comic book movies. :bows: to you, sir!
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Re: Is the DC movie universe circling the drain?

Postby Mikey » Thu Feb 02, 2017 12:44 pm

Prob the most intelligent and concise thing I've ever said about anything. :lol:

BYW, is it true that WB/DC are planning some sort of "Girls of Gotham" film featuring Harley. Poison Ivy, and Catwoman? If it's at all close to the comics, it'll be an NC-17 lipstick-fest.
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Re: Is the DC movie universe circling the drain?

Postby Nutso » Mon Feb 06, 2017 7:05 am

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Re: Is the DC movie universe circling the drain?

Postby Mikey » Mon Feb 06, 2017 12:40 pm

:lol:

Now I'm led to believe that WB has expanded the "Shazam" project to give Black Adam (portrayed by the Rock) his own frigging movie. Has nobody there ever heard of market research... or common sense?
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Re: Is the DC movie universe circling the drain?

Postby RK_Striker_JK_5 » Mon Feb 06, 2017 8:41 pm

Mikey wrote:Well, I don't know that site as well as you do, but here's my take on things:

First, bear in mind that as a kid, I always tended more toward Marvel than DC. Yes, movable type had been invented already when I was a kid. Barely. As a young-ish (and often immature) adult, DC's Vertigo imprint (Hellblazer, Swamp Thing, Shade the Changing Man, etc.) had more of an appeal, but that's not where this convo is going. So, if you see something I've said that seems born more of bias than of what we've actually seen... well bear it in mind, but I don't need to hear about it.

Now - what has Marvel done... as far as the MCU, anyway? Well, not only have they gotten hold of talents such as Joe Johnstone, Kevin Feige, the Whedon boys, etc., to helm their films (not to mention some bad-ass onscreen talent;) they actually set out a long-term plan for how the Marvel Cinematic Universe will be, and where each film and character fits into it. It was no accident that Phil Coulson appeared in The Avengers and went on to become the protagonist of TV's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. It was no accident that Falcon was introduced how he was, in order to set him up for his role in Civil War. Etc., etc., ad nauseum. The MCU was, and is, a well-planned network. Not only that, but it has become centered around a point drawn from the comic history that was geared to produce maximum drama. Sure, there have been intro movies; and there have been some films that have been, shall we say, "lesser among equals" (I'm looking at you, The Dark World.) But not only does it all fit, and work, and have drama; but it has fun. All the pithy little Stan Lee cameos; the short films; the WHIH Newsfront viral bits antecedent to the Ant Man release; even the (slightly hackneyed) bit about Natasha trying to set Steve up on a date in The Winter Soldier - the entirety of the MCU completely manages to not take itself too seriously. Movies they may be, but movies based on friggin' comic books, and Marvel seems to recall that.

What has DC done (again talking just about the recent spate of "connected" DC films?) So far, try to "elevate" their films beyond the ken of mere comic books. The scripting, the costuming, even the cinematography... OK, I get that Frank Miller was the shit on a shingle for a then-ailing DC publishing house, but that only goes so far. If I wanted a Gothic Victorian vampire novella, I'd go read a Gothic Victorian vampire novella. Know why Chris Reeve's Superman was so good? Because those films never lost sight of what Siegel and Shuster were trying to do back in the 1930's. I can't really knock most of the talent that has been collected, but what kind of drek scripts are they given? I'm all for leggy, willowy Israeli models in gladiator outfits (there's a Rule 34 joke in there somewhere) but if you're giving her that kind of script, best off putting her in a silent picture. My parents were murdered; my island was attacked and people got killed; my planet got blowed up. Yeah, we get it - some intro is great, because it gives the characters some depth - but there's got to be something beyond that. Chris Evans' Cap is so good because even though he's Cap - that is, the very essence of toe-the-line, do-your-duty, first-in-last-out, etc. - he's the one who actually goes against the "company" line and rebels... and it's done in a way that makes it feel natural! Where is that evolution in the DC characters? That's not rhetorical - I really would like somebody to tell me.

As a last commentary on the way of the DC films: you guys basically had a license to do whatever the f#@* you wanted without pissing off the fans. With the Earth 2 scenario, and later the Crisis on Infinite Earths background, you literally could do anything. Black Superman? Yeah, that's covered. Female Batman? Yeah, sorta, just call her "Huntress." Turn a wannabe Anonymous hacktivist into a god? Yep, been done. Reconcile it with any permutation of characters from any period of DC-dom? You had that framework! Instead, we got "we're the good guys, we gotta go fight the bad guys" cliches.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

I... honestly wish I had anything to add to this. Bravo, Mikey.

One thing though, yes. Grimdark does indeed come from Warhammer 40K

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