Early this morning, Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara listed a huge slate of movies that flat out surprised me.
Between now and 2020, Warner Bros plans on releasing 10 DC Comics films.
While I doubt this is why they announced it, but thanks to the timing this almost comes off as a way to counter the announcement of Robert Downey Jr in Captain America 3.
It’s a hell of a statement, and a huge vote of confidence (or arrogance) that they think fans are down to see all these films.
Before I go into each film briefly and give you my thoughts on them I need to be really clear on something…..
I didn’t like Man of Steel. In fact…I kinda hate it (and I don’t use that term very much when it concerns my feelings on movies)
Now, I didn’t JUST disagree on how they portrayed Superman….I didn’t like it as a movie.
When I went to go see Man of Steel, I did my best to separate myself from all different interpretations of the character. I didn’t revisit the Christopher Reeve movies. I didn’t rewatch the Bruce Timm and Paul Dini animated series. I didn’t watch my DVD of the George Reeves TV Show. I went in to the theater and did my best to pretend that this is it’s own thing……..and I walked out of the theater mad.
(Sidenote: After seeing the movie at the midnight showing, I spent the following weekend watching all the stuff I tried to avoid because I need to see Superman the way I rather remember him.)
A lot of the problems I had with Man of Steel were mostly because of the script by David Goyer, but I do give a good amount of blame to Zack Snyder simply because he just isn’t very good a telling drama in his movies. (But I’m not an idiot, I can acknowledge that his visuals are amazing.)
SO…..keeping that in mind, I will go through EVERY movie they announced, and I will be open minded…but know that if the DC Movie Universe is using Man of Steel as the ground work for the kind of movies they are gonna make, I’m not very excited about that.
I’m also fully aware that there is a GREAT deal of you who DO love Man of Steel. I totally understand, so for you folks, this announcement is like getting an early Christmas gift.
So, lets start unwrapping this present and see what Warner Bros and DC has in store for us….
“Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” directed by Zack Snyder (2016)
The film that’s gonna start it all. All honestly, while I said that Man of Steel will be the starting point for these series of movies, I think it’s going to be clear that it’s gonna be THIS movie that will be real universe setter. One wonders that if this movie doesn’t work, if it doesn’t connect with the audience in the ways that the Marvel Studio movies have, if it under-performs at all….would that be enough to cancel the plans for the rest of the movies? I figure that they at least try to make the Justice League before they throw in the towel. A lot is riding on this movie. Despite my feelings on Man of Steel, I still can’t help but hope for the best. While it’s still Snyder at the helm, at the least the saving grace is that David Goyer is no longer the main screenwriter anymore. Academy Award winning screenwriter Chris Terrio (he won for Argo) is the main man behind the script, but I have to ask…does Chris Terrio like/respect the superhero genre? Should I remind folks that the Academy Award winner screenwriter for A Beautiful Mind was also the writer for Batman and Robin? Hiring a good writer doesn’t usually guarantee a movie is going to work…but it does make sure that it pushes Goyer away from this film and that’s a start. I’m still very apprehensive at this movie. For me, I thought a movie that had Batman and Superman would be enough. That’s the selling point! You don’t need this movie to be a lead to the Justice League movie, you could make a movie with JUST two of the most famous comic book superheroes of all time and have the same impact that The Avengers did. Now they wanna shove all their characters in this flick and I fear it’s just going to be a clutter mess.
“Suicide Squad,” directed by David Ayer (2016)
Whoa…really?? Don’t get me wrong, the concept of the Suicide Squad is a great hook for a flick (The Dirty Dozen but with super villains) but it’s interesting for them to have a villain movie be the film between Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and the next superhero film. Filmmaker David Ayer (whose film FURY is coming out this weekend) is a good choice for this movie, and with the rumors of Warner Bros wanting all of their DC films be a bit more gritty, then this is the one comic that actually makes sense for that tone.
“Wonder Woman,” starring Gal Gadot (2017)
Unless Marvel has something else up their sleeves (and that’s totally possible), DC movies would have the one edge that they haven’t done yet….a female lead superhero movie. You can’t get more important then Wonder Woman, and the fact that she is one of the most recognizable superheroes in the world and she hasn’t had a chance to get a big budget version of her is a god damn crime. BUT, this movie hinges on the fact that audiences would have liked her portrayal in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (seriously, screw you WB for making me write that every time.) I know we’ve had some concerns about the casting of Gal Gadot (click here to read that) but yes…as of now, we still don’t know how good she is in that film. She could be great. But, if audiences don’t like Gal Gadot will they recast her for her solo film? It would be risky either way. I’m curious to know who they plan on writing and directing this film, and hope that she gets the movie she finally deserves.
“Justice League Part One,” directed by Zack Snyder, with Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill and Amy Adams reprising their roles (2017)
Seeing that they plan on bringing Amy Adams in this movie too, it makes you wonder if they decided to no longer have solo films for Superman. I don’t see a Man of Steel 2 on this list, so one can assume that’s how they are treating some of these movies. So here it is. The movie that DC/Warner Bros plans to beat Marvel by doing THEIR big crossover team movie (despite the fact they all show up in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice) The biggest challenge for this movie is to NOT do The Avengers movie. It would be easy, but the structure has to be totally different. No alien invasion hoards attacking the city. No scene in which the villain is behind a glass wall as our heroes interrogate them. NO POWERFUL GLOWING BEAM OF ENERGY SHOOTING UP IN THE SKY!!! There’s a rumor going around that Brainiac is the main bad guy for this one…which sadly means it’s would still be an alien threat (and possibly robot aliens…which would make it look like the Avengers: Age of Ultron film.)
“The Flash,” starring Ezra Miller (2018)
Now here is the most perplexing film on the list. They plan on making a Flash movie….while they just recently started a Flash TV show. And it will be two different actors playing the role. See, it’s one thing if The Flash was just a character that showed up in the Justice League movies and or in other solo films (like Black Widow or Hawkeye) but why have a solo film for him? I feel like the show (if it’s still on the air by then, and I totally think it will be.) would showcase a bunch of plots that would already be good for a movie, what story could they tell that the series didn’t? It’s also pretty clear that the series is doing really well. The fans responded well to not only the show but to the shows lead, Grant Gustin. Why force another version of the character on them while Grant is charming it’s audience on the small screen in the same role? You’re already creating comparisons..to your own PROPERTY! This also announces Ezra Miller (The Perks of Being a Wallflower, We Need To Talk About Kevin) as the Flash. Ezra Miller is a great actor, and while I kinda see him more as a Robin-type, I’m sure he’ll do a good job as the Flash….but why have two Barry Allens? Maybe they will surprise us and he’s actually playing Wally West…or Bart Allen(he’d make a pretty great Bart Allen)…..but I’m not gonna hold my breath. I love the character, but with the show on the air (and two episodes in, I’m personally really enjoying it) this movie feels unnecessary….unless it’s a Flash movie with the TV show cast.
“Aquaman,” starring Jason Momoa (2018)
Let’s remember that one time in which Agent Denise suggested that Jason Momoa would be a GREAT Namor instead of Aquaman (click here) Sigh….wish as we want, Momoa is our Aquaman. I still have no idea how they will portray him, but by then we would have seen him three times on the screen, so we must have been used to it by now. Now I have to address the elephant (or manatee) in the room….Warner Bros has to convince the world that Aquaman doesn’t suck. It’s one thing for Marvel Studios to convince the world that they should give the Guardians of the Galaxy a shot. That was tough, but that’s one studio trying to convince folks to watch a movie about characters they don’t know versus convincing folks that a character that is known to be a butt of a joke for most of his existence is worth his own movie. Let’s not lie here, people remember Aquaman as that sucky comic book character. When I was talking about this announcement to folks who aren’t comic book fans, their reaction to the Aquaman movie was a simple “Really? Why him?” And then they proceed to make fun of him. This happened every time I told someone they were going to make a Aquaman movie. Personally, I feel that if they make him too bad ass (which is possible since they casted Khal Drogo/Conan in the part) it will come off like they are over compensating the characters bad reputation. God guys….good luck.
“Shazam” (2019) with Dwayne Johnson as Black Adam
There is some small hope to this one. It’s been reported that the film will have a fun and light hearted tone which is exactly what this film should be. It also has the spot on casting of Dwayne Johnson as Black Adam. For a while, Get Smart director Peter Segal was the man who was suppose to helm this film but his name wasn’t in the press release. This one is still a ways away.
“Justice League Part Two,” directed by Zack Snyder (2019)
Another big rumor is that THIS movie will be the one in which they fight Darkseid in. Will Marvel Studios’s Avengers have already fought Thanos by this point? If they did, this will look like a sad rip off of that film, which is a bummer since Thanos is pretty much a rip off of Darkseid.
“Cyborg,” starring Ray Fisher (2020)
If Marvel STILL hasn’t done a Black Panther movie by then, then this will be another thing that the DC movies would have the edge in…..a solo superhero movie starring a person of color. Listen, I like Cyborg just fine but I never saw him as a guy that can hold his own solo comic, let alone his own film. Maybe they made him really great in the Justice League movie. Maybe they realized that audiences really responded to him….of course none of this happened since they STILL haven’t made any of these movies yet.
“Green Lantern” (2020)
If at first you don’t succeed right? By then it would be 9 years since the Ryan Reynolds film, and by current Hollywood standards, that’s more then enough time to do a reboot. We still don’t know which Green Lantern we will be getting. My money’s on John Stewart, but it’s possible that they could try Hal Jordan again (or make me and Agent Bobby very happy and make it Kyle Raynor). Heck, if it ends up being John Stewart then that would be TWO superhero movies with a person of color as the lead, which is pretty damn great. Nine years is also plenty of time to wipe away the bad reputation of the last movie (though that film DOES have it’s fans…check out Agent Bobby’s article on the 2011 Green Lantern film here.)
Gezz WB/DC…..that’s….a… crap load of movies. You think they’re hoping Marvel Studios is shaking in their little boots?
Lets hope it’s possible that there is quality with all this quantity and see if this gamble pays off.
But hey Warner Brothers, just one thing…
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice is a good movie…..right? You guys are focusing on making that film work as a movie by itself, yes? This isn’t just an attempt to rush a bunch of movies in production because the Marvel movies are doing well? Just thought I should ask.