Let’s Not Jump to Conclusions

“I know you’ve taken it in the teeth out there, but the first guy through the wall. It always gets bloody, always.” – Quote from the film Moneyball

I love this quote. I think it perfectly encompasses what DC is trying to do with their movie universe and the reaction to it. While Marvel has kickstarted movie universes crossing over, DC has taken a very different approach to that concept and they’re paying a mighty big price for it. It’s a high risk/high reward move that could pay off big.

744x569.jpegCall it what you will but DC hasn’t been given a fair shake when it comes to creating their own cinematic universe. It all begins with the critically and universally mixed reboot of Superman, Man of Steel. Zack Snyder approached this larger than life character differently than Richard Donner and Bryan Singer. Instead of showcasing his “god like powers” and showing that he’s invulnerable, he chose to introduce us to an alien from another planet who was battling his identity. A Superman who could be vulnerable and was simply trying to find his place in life. In a human world not very accepting of aliens he was just trying to be human.

The story Snyder was trying to tell fell on many deaf ears, but that’s not to say it affected everyone that way. I absolutely loved the movie and I know many others who loved it as well. It was different. It was made for our time and for this generation. It separated itself from the Donner-verse. It was a reboot in every sense of the word.

While we all waited for confirmation on a MOS sequel, there was a couple thoughts that crossed my mind. Would the bad taste it left to those who didn’t like the reboot have an affect on the next slate of films DC would unveil? Would this “new horse” in the “comic book movie race” be given a fair shake?

imageAt Comic Con 2013, Zack Snyder shook up the comic book movie world by announcing that we would finally be getting a movie with both Batman and Superman. The reaction to this news was met with excitement and an equal amount of skepticism. While many were excited about this prospect, others were worried that Zack Snyder being in charge of a Superman/Batman movie would not be a recipe for success.

As production for this movie went forward, reports started to funnel in about the cast and who would be joining “The World’s Finest.” Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash started being thrown around. People started to wonder if this was more of a Justice League movie rather than a MOS sequel, but as reports were being confirmed DC announced that this movie would be the springboard for a future Justice League movie; and what they envision as the DCEU with the “E” standing for extended.

While this was great news to all DC and comic book movie fans, questions began to trickle in about how this would be handled. “Will they go the Marvel route?”, “Marvel has been so successful, copy them!”, “If they don’t do what Marvel is doing they will fail!” Marvel’s cinematic success has made it very difficult to establish any kind of universe without mentioning them… and for good reason. According to Box Office Mojo (http://www.boxofficemojo.com/franchises/chart/?id=avengers.htm) all the MCU movies combined have grossed over 3 trillion dollars at the Box Office. Insane numbers.

imageWhile they say “imitation is the best form of flattery,” DC had decided to take a much different approach. Instead of launching solo movies, they are using the Justice League to introduce these characters to the mainstream. They’re separating themselves from the competition. You have to if you want to survive. Playing the copycat game can only last for so long before things “go the way of the western” as Steven Spielberg said put it.                       

imageWe’re just a little over a month away from seeing the trinity on screen for the first time ever, and while it’s cause for excitement, it’s also left room for concern by way of reports from the usual “anonymous sources.”  It all started with this quote taken from a video of Hitfix’s Drew McWeeny on the worried state of WB/DC:

“Warners is a little bit worried. This movie is starting to scare them. It’s scaring them because they’re showing it to people now, people are actually laying eyes on the film now, and the response has not been what I think they wanted. If I were going to lay a bet on how it may happen, SUICIDE SQUAD, they’ll go all-in on. They’ll push all their chips in on that and I think SUICIDE SQUAD’s going to be a hit for them. I think WONDER WOMAN will be finished the way they’re working on it right now and they’ll release it. I would be surprised if JUSTICE LEAGUE starts shooting when they say it’s going to, and I would be equally surprised if Zack Snyder directed it. My guess is what’s going to happen is based on what I’m hearing…is JUSTICE LEAGUE is going to get moved back and that Ben Affleck Batman movie, that’s what’s going to end up in that spot. My guess is they’re going to throw whatever money it takes at Ben Affleck to make that Batman film happen sooner rather than later. They’re going to need to rebuild again, they’re going to need to win people over, they’re going to need to lay some different groundwork. I don’t think this is going to be the springboard into the Justice League that they wanted it to be.”

imageThese words from Mr. McWeeny set the internet on fire and opened up even more questions about DC and its entire upcoming slate. Even worse, it damaged a movie that hasn’t even been released yet. When little leaks of information, such as the quote above, make it out into the public it tends to have a big affect on those who are already on the fence about a movie like this. Simply put, it’s not fair. The key words here are “my guess.” It’s pure speculation and nothing more.

Another website, Batman-On-Film.com, run by Bill “Jett” Ramey, responded to this information in a very civil way. But, also showed there are two sides to this story:

Honestly, I can’t call BS on this report as I know – based on the folks I’ve talked to who have knowledge of the situation – that Warner Bros. is indeed concerned about how BvS will be received by audiences; and thus, how it will perform at the box office. Personally, I think the right term to use is “nervous” as opposed to “worried”. With so much riding on BvS, it’s only natural for the studio to be, well, nervous.”

Well, this makes more sense to me. Instead of sticking a dagger into this entire franchise before it gets started, I think “nervous” makes much more sense. Put anyone in this situation and they will tell you that they are nervous.

Oh,  Jett did drop one other tidbit of info:

I can also say that I know some people who have seen the film and they raved about it – which apparently is the opposite of what Mr. McWeeny has heard based on his comments in the video.”

Hey, look at that, other opinions say the movie is good. Now, I’m not trying to one up Drew McWeeny’s comments from people who have already seen the movie, but I felt it was necessary to let both sides be heard.

imageAs we get closer to the release date, more negative reports will be coming out about this movie. For example a report was released earlier today about Batman v Superman having a 32% chance of being profitable. That just seems silly, but it’s a business tactic by those who don’t want to see their competitor succeed. Smoke screens are put up and stories are falsely reported so that movies can fail.


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The bottom line is this, Mr. McWeeny and his sources do not have a crystal ball. They can’t see into the future any more than you and I can. They can speculate all they want, but in the end it’s up to the fans to decide what they like.

Oh, one last thing:









I love this tweet because of how true it is. If you don’t like a movie, that’s fine, but it by no means makes it a bad movie. Don’t allow the writings and thoughts of others influence your perception of a character or film. Go into the movie open minded. Give it the fair shake it deserves and maybe… just maybe… it will allow DC to bust through this wall bloody, battered and successful.

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  1. Nice article! A good summary of the crazy online speculation these past few days. IMO, this is all about online posturing and website clicks. None of the conversation is indicative of the general audience.

    Man of Steel was successful. No amount of revisionist history will change that. It was more successful than any MCU Phase One film (and since comparisons are inevitable, there you go). Was it divisive? Sure. But Superman (along with Wonder Woman and The Fantastic Four) is arguably the most divisive superhero character. As you pointed out, MOS established a different version of Superman for the casual moviegoer and now the universe (and Superman himself) can be expanded on.

    Interest in this movie is huge. Who knows the exact number it will make? Tracking and predictions have been wildly inaccurate lately (Hello, Deadpool!), but BvS will do fine. Remember, this latest dust-up is from a couple of online “journalists” whose track record with DC movies is laughably inaccurate, and who frankly have been vocally criticizing the DCEU all along. And negativity leads to clicks. Don’t let the online negativity get you down, DC fans. Next month will tell the real story. I can’t wait!

    • Thanks for reading and your response. I do hope BvS does well next month and I believe it can. I never thought I’d ever see the trinity on screen together and we’re finally getting it. It’s gonna be awesome!

  2. Great article. There has been so much unnecessary hate for this movie. People need to realize it is totally ok for DC to go at this in a different way than what Marvel has done. Theres no right or wrong way, there always more then one way to do something.

    • I agree. DC should be given a chance to flourish and it only keeps the buisness fresh. I enjoy the MCU but if things only stay that way people get bored and the genre takes a tumble. I don’t want to see that happen any time soon.

  3. Amen man, this sums up what I’ve been telling folks

  4. Solid deconstruction of the recent hysteria regarding the chances of success for BVS and by extension the DCEU. I’ve never heard or read anything about a film having to justify its existence as much as this movie and you really have to wonder where it’s all coming from. I love comic books/superheroes as much as I do several types of movies but I think we as fans may be on the verge of a release that will talked about years later. I don’t know how successful this proposed DCEU slate will be and I would say I don’t care either except it has to be successful for these movies to be made but I do know MOS like SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE and THE DARK KNIGHT TRILOGY blew my mind and I have nothing but faith that BVS will do likewise. I can’t wait to be proven right.

    • You’d think that a movie with Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman wouldn’t have to sell itself as much as this one does. It amazes me. But, its the time we live in. Let’s just hope this movie silences the critics and people enjoy the movie for what it is.

      • I join you in that hope, PB, but it’s tempered for me by the sinking feeling that I have that the negative reviews for BVS have already been written by a segment of critics while a vocal portion of comic book fandom wouldn’t give this movie an even break if Jesus, Buddha, and Muhammad showed up in the third act. I have to put the brakes on my own anticipation for this movie so I don’t give it a pass it may not earn. That’s hard though because my excitement runs higher every time a new scrap of information comes out for this thing. It’s a crying shame that I’m more excited for 3/25 than I am for my birthday on 03/22.

        • Pumping the brakes on anticipation is ok. Helps keeps things in perspective. But, don’t let that diminish your excitement and don’t be ashamed at all. Getting the trinity on screen is something I never thought I’d see in my lifetime. So, its totally ok to feel about it the way you do.

  5. As I keep telling people.. time and time again.. Marvel HAD to do a slow release. Nobody had heard of Iron Man, Thor, or Captain America by in large before the movies. They were not household names..
    Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman have been constantly merchandised since the 40s! Superman and Batman had serials almost immediately and Superman had a successful TV and radio show before Marvel even became Marvel. All 3 have had successful shows. 2 have had a string of successful movies. Everyone can recite their origins as openly and easily as Spider-Man’s.. and that’s why DC doesn’t need to do such a slow burn with these 3. They don’t have to tell the audiences of the world who they are.. because everyone knows and loves them and has for almost 75 years (Wonder Woman hits her 75th year in December of this year! Batman and Superman have both already hit those benchmarks.

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