Thought Bubble: DC’s Movie Slate

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Yesterday the array of DC based movies to be released for the next 6years was released- and its far more chaotic and full than anyone would have hoped or thought. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? Well here are my thoughts on DC’s cinematic bombshell.

thought bubbleDC have announced that over the next 6Years they will be releasing a total of 10movies, and this is a huge number so what has brough this on? Well DC have released that Superheroes are huge box office draws, and the success of Marvel at the box office has led to DC realising that they have a host of potential characters that could potentially replicate some of this success, and this is a good move for comic book fans but in my honest opinion DC have bitten off far more than any movie study can handle here.

Marvel have been successful not just because of the faithful adaptations of their characters but also the slow build and the shared universe that they have implemented- while DC have only released ‘Man of Steel’ so far within their universe and are now jumping straight into a universe with ‘Dawn of Justice’ to establish the Justice League before any of the characters have been seen on the screen separately. This is a bold move that I’m not sure will pay off for DC, im confident that having Zack Snyder on board for an array of the movies is good news as his visual style really suited the recent Man of Steel movie and could really help DC films look distinctive and eye-catching but will this be enough to get the movies over. Add to this the fact that ‘Dawn of Justice’ is set to feature cameos from Aquaman, Wonder Woman, Cyborg and potentially Nightwing it all seems like it could be too crowded to fully establish characters leading into solo movies.

Following the much hyped Dawn of Justice is the 2016 Suicide Squad movie, which does have a director in the form of David Ayer but nothing else is known right now. Not only does this give the entire team behind this movie less than 2years to cast, write, shoot and promote and release this big movie but once again its a team based film where no characters have been previously established. Weve all seen that this can work, look at Guardians of the Galaxy recently, but this has more to do with Marvel having grown their movie growing fan base slowly to the point they will eat anything up that takes place within this universe. DC currently isn’t at this point- as their previous plan appears to be to reboot everything in 6year cycles in an attempt to make something work with very mixed results. However a team movie featuring Harley Quinn, Deadshot and Deathstroke could be amazing- and would actually be the first movie that focuses on a villainous team as the lead characters. But other than the hardcore Suicide Squad fan base who are they looking for this movie to appeal too? For it to succeed it needs to be R-Rated, and surely that will eliminate a huge chunk of the potential viewers in the form of families and teenagers. This project just poses more questions than it does answers right now.

images (27)The timeline for these movies may also be an issue for DC in the long run- as each movie is around 12months apart- at the longest point and this poses a very different question on getting things right. Obviously 2017 sees a Wonder Woman solo movie, and this is great news, and this length of time should give the company enough time to write a great story and get a good team on board but there are still worries. The real big time worry with all of the movies is what happens if one of the projects becomes delayed due to contract concerns, or editing time or god forbid an injury to one of the stars? If one of the movies get pushed back by several months what kind of effect does this have on all the related projects, do they all slip backwards or do DC and Warner Brothers release two movies in very close proximity and risk a lower box office for both? This is a real issue that hopefully DC and WB don’t have to deal with, but im hoping they have a contingency plan if it does occur.

My biggest concern however is this- ‘Justice League Part One’ and ‘Justice League Part Two.’ This just sounds like both DC and WB have decided that they are going to run the premise of a single film across two seperate movies that are 2years apart. Now I know in the past this has worked with Tarntino’s Kill Bill and fans were rabid to get into part two and see how this tale of revenge ended but can DC really leave 2years between the ending of the Justice League movie and keep fans fully excited and engaged? This is a huge task if this is the plan as keeping fans engaged for this period of time without any television series to keep people engaged on a weekly or fortnightly basis will require a huge amount of viral and social marketing that may prove hugely costly. Add into this mix that are planning on releasing 3other movies between the 2Justice League movies in the form of Flash, Aquaman and Shazam and this seems like the hold over is looking like it could be done to merely add new characters to the next movie after they have been hastily introduced to the audience. I’m very hopeful here that this isn’t the case and that DC are only naming the ‘Part one and two’ for now and are holding out on the actual titles, and each movie will have a definitive and that leads into the next movie based on the actions of the heroes or the demise (supposed demise) of the villain and we get some continued and well planned story telling. However given the rumour that ‘Dawn of Justice’ will end on a cliffhanger that leads into the first Justice League its beginning to look more and more like DC are planning on adding their own unique take to the end of movies- were they don’t fully end in a single film, as opposed to a post credits teaser. I really am hoping to be wrong here, and I guess the more information we get about each project the closer we’ll come to the truth- but im really worried right now.

My final concern is that DC have done a great job in the comic book adaptation business on television recently with the brilliant Green Arrow and the promising (from the first 2episodes) Flash adaptation, yet instead of using their popularity and success to help launch solo films and team movies their deciding to recast the heroes and change them for the cinematic universe- how does this make sense? DC have always struggled to get a stranglehold on live action and now they have, they’re going to reset all of this and practically make the television shows irrelevant by eclipsing the actors and the show runners with big screen versions of the shows main characters. DC have missed a real opportunity here to start characters and television and then transition them into the movies, negating the needs for a origin story as this is covered and bringing along a huge fan base. I’m aware that doing this would mean certain villains couldn’t be used if they’ve already vanished/died in the television show and that maybe they feel Stephen Amell and Grant Gustin aren’t big enough box office draws, but on the back of the televison show success they certainly would be. So why are we hearing rumours that Flash has already been cast as Ezra Miller when were only 2episodes in the Flash television show. And if you want my honest opinion Grant Gustin is a great Barry Allen so far.

The big plus point to this whole announcement however is that DC have a host of characters that are brilliant, and can easily make huge waves in the film world as they have shown with continued box office success from Batman and Superman and the fact DC and WB are looking to expand this cast is great for everyone who love comic books and has always wanted a Wonder Woman movie or to see Billy Bratson on the big screen shouting…….. shazam-movie-dc-comics-2

Now DC are giving us this dream and have already cast the villain (Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson) as Black Adam and the possibility for a movie featuring dueling individuals with the powers of gods has huge potential. Seeing The Flash on the big screen also opens up some great potential for visual effects as watching him run rings around villains at 300miles an hour should look visually great on a huge Imax screen. Justice League is obviously the highlight of the movies, but a stand alone Cyborg movie could also be a host of fun as could the Suicide Squad if the tone is correct. This is the most potential DC have shown with their properties on the big screen in a very long time and its well overdue. Lets hope that all of this gives us the beginning of a second major comic book publisher producing entertaining and faithful adaptation so some of the best pop culture characters in history, that fans can really get behind.

This could even pave the way for DC to look at finally getting that ‘Justice League Dark’ movie off the ground, along with a host of other potentially great characters on the big screen such as Nightwing, Zantanna and Swamp Thing. This is definitely a bold move from DC, and one full of excitement if they can avoid the pit falls they have set out for themselves, and as long as everything has been correctly planned and thought through- the world of comic book movies may have just got a little more Super.

 

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