We tried to record a Graphic Panels' Podcast on Comic Con news, but sadly we failed due to technical difficulty. My co-host Adam Relayson put forward some of our thoughts today
, and I thought I would do the same:
At the San Diego Comic Con this past weekend, Warner Brothers and DC Entertainment announced a Superman/Batman movie or a Batman/Superman movie to come out in the summer of 2015. The announcement was an apparently poorly read passage from The Dark Knight Returns and the unveiling of a logo.
No plot synopsis put out there, no comment on if there is a script, and most importantly of all: no actor announced or brought out to play Batman.
Earlier this year it was announced Warner Bros/DCE was putting together a Justice League film. But nothing came of it (apparently the script was bad and it seemed no director wanted to really make the project).
Warner Brothers really wants these DC Comics properties to be their new tentpole franchise films. They have been scrambling to make them so, especially now that they no longer have the Harry Potter franchise to put out. The Potter franchise gave them 8 films, al of which did great business and continue to bring in revenue through home video sales. But now they don't have that franchise.
On our Graphic Panels' Podcast, Adam Relayson and I have been saying for awhile that what the WB needs for its DC Comics movies is a Kevin Feige. Feige is the producer from Marvel who has organized their film division into a juggernaut with films living in a shared universe all of which lead up to the massive hit The Avengers.
But there is no one like that at Warner Brothers or DC Entertainment. No one person has the power to wrangle all of these properties into one universe. Warner Brothers seems to want Christopher Nolan to take the reigns of it sine his Batman franchise did so well. And he was a producer on Man of Steel. But Nolan has said he isn't a huge superhero fan and The Dark Knight Rises and Man of Steel were both messy films with huge problems.
Warner Brothers also lets projects go to TV that will have no tie in to their movies. Arrow is currently running into TV, yet it seems to have no connection to the wider DC Universe. Maybe they go back and retcon it, but that is going to take some work. They have tried to get to Wonder Woman TV shows up and running, but have said nothing about whether those would be connected to a wider Universe. Meanwhile, Marvel has Agents of SHIELD which is coming form Joss Whedon, their master consultant for their Film/TV universe and the writer and director of The Avengers and The Avengers: Age if Ultron (Avengers 2).
The Warner Brothers announcement at Comic Con of a Batman/Superman film smacks more of desperation than having an actual plan, especially giving it a date of 2015. This seems to come from them desperately wanting to have something to go against The Avengers and to win Comic Con. Yet they brought out no new Batman. When Marvel was planning to announce The Avengers they worked around the clock to sign Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner/The Hulk and specially flew him in for the announcement. At this weekend's Comic Con, Marvel flew in the cast from Guardians of the Galaxy from London and had a trailer even though the movie had only been filming for two weeks. Warner Brothers simply had a logo. Not a title, not an actor, not even a story.
And if Warner Brothers is going to really have a Batman/Superman film out in Summer of 2015, they need to cast an actor for Batman ASAP. It took them about a year to do post and reshoots on Man of Steel and this is after a 6 month shoot. It is going to take at least that long for Batman/Superman. And before they do that, whatever actor is cast as Batman is going to need at least 3-6 months of physical training as well as stunt and fight training (closer to 6 months than to 3). This is going to be a grueling shoot and these actors are going to have to be in peak physical shape. And as Adam has said, costume design is going to take awhile as well to make sure it looks real and moves well, and that is going to require a lot of time with the actor.
I don't see Superman/Batman as a real film. A logo and announcement at Comic Con is a step up from saying you are making a Justice League film, but I just don't believe Warner Brothers and DC Entertainment right now. I am sure they really want it to be true and real, but it reads more desperation than an actual plan. And frankly, announcing this film without changing the creative team bothers me. There are a lot of problems with both Man of Steel and The Dark Knight Rises, and those films do not inspire my confidence that if Warner Brothers and DC Entertainment pull this off, that this Superman/Batman film will even be good. Warner Brothers and DC Entertainment want what Disney and Marvel has, but they seem unwilling to learn from them and see the things that have made their project and films a success.
Labels: Batman, Chris Nolan, DC Comics, Graphic Panels, Joss Whedon, Marvel, Movies, Superman, The Avengers, Warner Brothers