A lot of fans are sharpening their pitchforks for Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman who spoke to EW at SXSW. Giving his personal opinions on the differences of success of the Marvel Studios films and the DC Comics adaptations from Warner Bros., along with the future of the DC slate.
He mentions how Batman V Superman is an uphill battle and will be scrutinized, which for the most part is clearly true. We’ve already seen fans poor reaction to the casting of Ben Affleck and Gal Gadot, so scrutiny has been in full force during every step of it’s production.
The part I think is driving fans insane, concerns how he believes their plan is “derivative”. I don’t think that’s such a terrible thing to say at this point and people just need to chill.
“ I’m going to get in trouble here … Anyone would be foolish to think that Marvel hasn’t done something extremely special. I think of Iron Man ending with with a surprise cameo from Samuel L. Jackson [mentioning] The Avengers – you were like, ‘What?! How did that happen?!’ People forget that was a surprise. Everything that came out of that was very organic and very exciting. I think [DC] announcing you’re going to do a Justice League movie after a Superman movie, that was neat and had some awesome things in it, but it wasn’t like amazing or groundbreaking – I shouldn’t have said that. It was an awesome movie, I like it. [The plan] just seems derivative, so it puts them in a backseat position to Marvel. It’s not organic so there’s going to be so much scrutiny on Batman vs. Superman when it comes out. It’s got an uphill battle. If they hadn’t told anybody if the Justice League were going to appearing in that, and they were forming that, it would have been surprising and exciting and weird. People are forgetting how important the surprise is. But, you know, Aquaman looks awesome and I’m sure it will be great.”
Robert has got a valid point and a lot people including myself have our own concerns when it comes to Batman v Superman. The quotes are also littered with his praise which I’m sure is being overlooked.
You also have to factor-in he’s a writer and storyteller himself, so he can come at this with an angle of a writer’s take on the film. Let’s also not forget that Kirkman worked on Ultimate X-Men and Marvel Zombies for Marvel Comics, so he also knows the superhero genre.
Dismissing a highly successful comic book writer like Robert Kirkman when on the topic of comic book films further confirms that fandom really can’t comprehend a different opinion without freaking-out.
The uphill battle likely means how they’re going to introduce these characters into one film without a lead-up, don’t be shocked if Gal Gadot and Jason Momoa’s performances will be highly scrutinized by critics and fans alike. Since they’re going to leading their own franchise films in the near future.
Marvel wisely led-up to Avengers slowly giving fans Iron Man, Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor and Captain America. Making sure these characters were known to audiences and developed them before piling them all together into one team-up. Hawkeye and Maria Hill being the exceptions since they weren’t really given screen time beforehand.
I think characters like Thor and Captain America were beyond goofy at the time of their release, and the way Marvel handled those films helped make it believable for them to work alongside Iron Man and Hulk. I’m unsure many of us wouldn’t have felt that same way if they came out of nowhere in Avengers without the proper character setup in their solo films.
Fans tend to forget how difficult it was to make Avengers work and have the attitude that Warner Bros. can easily recreate it themselves after watching how Marvel did it, which isn’t true as it’s going to be just as hard for Snyder if not more.
What Snyder and team are doing is a bit more of a risk, throwing two other iconic heroes into a film that should really being focusing on the two titular characters. I’m not saying it won’t work, it just seems like they didn’t have enough to begin with and started adding more material for the sake of setting-up Justice League.
It’s said to be inspired greatly by Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns, but because Nolan has lifted material from it and all the Joker parts are excluded, I’m sure Snyder has had to pad it with extra scenes which might be the real reason we’re getting other Justice League members so early along with the inclusion of Lex Luthor and possibly Doomsday. It does come-off a bit like rushing into things since we’ve seen what happens when there is too much time dedicate hero and villain origins.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 example should made too, as that film only existed to setup the Sinister Six and it led to the film only give hints/teases for the next instalment. Leaving the film itself riddled with a poorly put together story which only served as precursor to a bigger movie.
What could happen is that the film might too focused on setting-up these other heroes/villains and a looming Justice League threat, that the film itself becomes pointless and people end-up wishing they had seen Justice League instead.
We already know that the new Batman’s origin will be shown with Jeffrey Dean Morgan playing Thomas Wayne, that could be as simple as an opening scene or a flashback. His origin really doesn’t need to take-up much screen time and we really don’t know how Snyder is going to be introducing these secondary characters into the story.
How can you not dig the new batmobile?
Batman is the easiest out of the five characters to do on screen and will be hard to mess-up with Ben Affleck behind the cowl. As long as we see a bit more gadget focused Caped Crusader, maybe taking cues from both Frank Miller and the Arkham games fans will be very pleased.
When it comes to characters like Wonder Woman, Aquaman and Cyborg, I’m going to be very interested in seeing their origins and it might be jarring to have them just appear on screen without any major explanation of where they came from. On the flip-side, if their origins are slowing-down the film that could hurt the entertainment value.
As cool as Aquaman’s costume is, if he isn’t working on screen that’s going to be a problem and we know that Jason Momoa can land these gruff characters. I’m just unsure what he’s going to be like or saying when he’s not swimming or punching. Momoa isn’t the kind of charming rascal that makes Dwayne Johnson a household name, I’ll be interested to see if he actually has a different take on the character or will be in snarling-mode with little dialog.
I assume his role isn’t too big but the small impression could have a large impact on his solo film.
Another problem comes from Zack Snyder, while many loved Watchmen some aren’t the biggest fans of what he did with Man of Steel. Fans have pointed-out having issues with some of the character choices he made and Snyder going a bit overboard with the human causalities. We could see another large body-count again in Batman v Superman since it’s rumored to include Doomsday.
He’s an excellent visionary and for the most part great at storytelling, but defenders like to ignore/forget that Snyder co-wrote and directed Sucker Punch, easily one of the worst films in a very long time. The worst part of Sucker Pucker isn’t it’s ambitious scale but it’s level of misogynistic imagery disguised as empowerment, many male directors often get the two confused.
Add this to the piss-poor wooden performance of Malin Akerman in Watchmen, and I’m slightly concerned it will repeat with Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman. Alarm bells should ring if your director has a history of poorly directed female leads, or misogynistic tendencies considering Wonder Woman is supposed to be comic book symbol of feminism created from the movement.
The model turned actress has a limited body of work in the film industry, which has me a bit concerned if she’s able to handle a franchise role like this. Gadot’s performance directed by Zack could end-up pissing-off a lot of target audience for the solo film and DC fans alike, if comes off as either sexist or just bad acting. A bad performance might deflate the desire to see her kick-ass in her own film directed by Breaking Bad‘s Michelle MacLaren.
I’ve personally been waiting for a Wonder Woman film since Joss Whedon was developing his and Warner Bros. gave it the axe years ago, so I’m highly invested in this working out for Gadot and MacLaren.
Gal is expected to have a larger role than Jason Momoa or Ray Fisher, so there are large expectations she needs to knock it out of the ballpark her first go.
The saving grace could be if what he did with Faora in Man of Steel is duplicated for Wonder Woman. It’s odd he got that right but wasn’t able to make Amy Adams’s Lois Lane engaging enough for me, I guess Lane is secondary since she’s not a Justice Leaguer.
Again, I’m going to be front-and-centre when it opens but it’s hardly a slam-dunk based on zero footage, and hype-alone. Fans can have all the faith they want in the project, but most of us had the good sense to question when Avengers was about to be released, what happens if it sucks?
I’m not sure fans even wan’t confront this idea or even believe it’s a possibility, just because the team-up is happening it’s going to be great film no matter what. Blind belief is fine and all, but it’s not logical or using common sense. Warner Bros. as a whole has a spotty record concerning their DC Comics film lineup and Zack Snyder isn’t teflon.
Yes, we’re living in the age of height of the superhero genre but mistakes are still being made by major studios. Green Lantern and Amazing Spider-Man 2 are two contemporary superhero films that a majority have agreed were terrible. Things can happen in the editing room and mistakes can be made in the process of making a huge film like this.
It’s very slim but if the film turns-out to be a mess and what do you think would be the next step for Warner Bros.?