Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Yeah but if you're going to pick a series, wouldn't it be the one about the bad guys?  They aren't giving him Superman or even something like Shazam.  We're talking about a franchise where one of the leads has killed tons of children...

I still think his vision fits.  If he's a criminal, he shouldn't direct it.  If he's just making jokes, I think he can make a great Suicide Squad movie.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

I can't really judge his actual ability to make a good Suicide Squad movie. He made one good movie with Guardians... but the sequel wasn't really good. And those were pretty much the cream of the crop from his filmography. So I honestly have no idea of what a James Gunn Suicide Squad movie would be. We could assume that it would be a lot like GotG, but as TF said, some of that style and flavor could have come from Marvel.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

It seems to me like WB is keeping DC films in development without actually proceeding to make any they can't back out of aside from WONDER WOMAN II, AQUAMAN, SHAZAM and the JOKER movie. There's a lot of scripting and considering for BIRDS OF PREY, BATGIRL, NIGHTWING, THE FLASH, THE BATMAN (which may or may not have Affleck) -- but what it comes down to is that WB is unwilling to attempt a TRANSFORMERS-level superhero project after JUSTICE LEAGUE crashed so hard even Informant wouldn't defend the financials. Superhero movies that earn 600 million dollars at box office should be made for no more than 100 million dollar budgets and preferably half that.

In terms of what makes financial sense, WB are waiting, I think. They're going to wait for WONDER WOMAN II, AQUAMAN and SHAZAM's performances before engaging in anything beyond non-committal development. Given how badly JUSTICE LEAGUE did, I wonder if the DCEU is simply going to be waiting until enough time has passed to start over. They may make a third WONDER WOMAN, a second AQUAMAN, another SHAZAM -- building on what's already been built without throwing too much more money after what's been lost. I doubt they'll want to make THE BATMAN or MAN OF STEEL II on the blockbuster level that Affleck and Cavill level salaries would demand. The DCEU with regards to Superman and Batman seems to be going the way of the SUPERMAN RETURNS sequel -- it's just not enough of an earner to press forward on this sort of financial scale.

When the LOST IN SPACE 1998 movie failed, there were no sequels, but because there was going to be some time between the next iteration, there were some novels set after the film -- just to keep the copyright going and to earn some revenue. I don't see WB demoting the DCEU to novels, but it's going to be some sort of scaled back exploitation that won't be the bold, continuing adventures of Superman and Batman.

I imagine the DCEU closing out with a final WONDER WOMAN film before making a new attempt at a live action DC Universe. I wonder if it would spin out of the Arrowverse, but the Arrowverse probably has only another 4 - 5 years left before it too is laid to rest with a good finale.

The future may be in the DC streaming service -- TV level productions that, like DOCTOR WHO, eventually make the leap to the big screen. Thirteen episode shows at 1 - 2 million dollars an episode before a $30 million feature film emerging from the shows that can make 200 - 500 million dollars at box office and be considered a strong return on investment. Perhaps in 2022, when enough time has passed, a new Superman and Batman will debut on the small screen and lay groundwork for leaping to the large.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

I've read that Birds of Prey is supposed to start filming in January. They cast Ewan McGregor as Black Mask, Jurnee Smollett-Bell as Black Canary, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Huntress... Or so I've read.

The real problem for the DCEU is that the studio doesn't make flashy announcements every time they serve lunch, like Marvel. Also, the media lives to hate the whole franchise, so they don't cover upcoming films as much. Until Zachary Levi posted pictures from the set of Shazam, I wasn't even sure it was happening.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Well one thing that Marvel does better than DC (and "better" is subjective) is hype.  Marvel builds hype to the next movie, to the next trailer, to the next *title*.  They have sold-out halls to announce future titles, and they have the internet going insane over speculation on what the next Avengers movie will even be titled.  They do fun little videos with the characters, and they're setting up to do more TV-style projects with some of the lesser Avengers.  Yes, it's corporate, and yes, it's ultimately pointless.  But everything Marvel does is streamlined, and I think that's to their benefit.

At DC, it just seems more like the Wild West.  Some movies are in-continuity, some aren't.  Some have stars attached but no script.  Some have a script but no cast and no director.  You've got Superman and Batman in various stages of being involved and not being involved that seems to change by the day. 

And as far as hype goes, I don't think it's consistent enough.  With Justice League, you had a trailer well over a year before the movie came out, a huge space, and then the hype got bigger.  Aquaman was radio silent for a really long time, then a big rush for the trailer, then radio silence again.  It's a movie that I really want to see, but I constantly forget that it's coming.  Same with Shazam.

It sorta goes the same thing with their streaming services.  DC has a DC-only streaming service, and they came out with a Teen Titans show.  Marvel is going to have a Loki show and a Scarlet Witch show and a Bucky/Falcon show and a Hawkeye show.  All things that are definitely in-universe and driving people towards the streaming service.  You can argue for or against their way of doing things, but it all has a singular goal and it generates profit.

DC could've done any one of their couple dozen works and made it for their streaming service.  Do Batgirl there.  Or Nightwing.  Can't get a Flash or Cyborg movie going?  Do a show.  Or Supergirl.  If it interferes with the Arrowverse, either don't worry about it or pull the plug on it.  There's a million different heroes that they could introduce on a show and cycle in and out of movies.  But all they did was Titans.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

To be fair, DC has a number of shows coming. Titans was just the first, but we still have Doom Patrol, Swamp Thing, Stargirl and Metropolis coming up. Not huge names from the movies, but it's something.

I agree, Disney is great at marketing. Their marketing is better than their actual movie making... Which is kinda sad. DC probably makes more sense when you know what's actually happening, but we don't know anything at this point.

A lot of this is Warner Bros not knowing how to handle their properties. Another part is the media, not wanting to report when there is news, and constantly making up fake news to create a negative spin.

Warner Bros really should let DC be it's own company, and they should hire people to create buzz. Pop-up mini conventions where their stars appear to give updates would be cool. Drop the Snyder cut on their streaming service on Christmas Day without announcing it beforehand, or maybe just releasing hints and teases before. Stuff like that. Marvel uses sick kids to generate positive publicity for their movies (which is wrong on some level, but tye kids still get to meet superheroes, so it works out in the end).

DC really does need to step up their publicity game.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) is coming to theaters on February 7, 2020.

Long title. Kinda seems like a joke based off of one of those Harry Potter movies. I expect that we will be getting more info as filming begins, and of course a teaser at Comic Con.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

It's definitely a comedy title.  If it's a Harley movie featuring the Birds of Prey, I could see it being a zany movie.  Which could absolutely work in a Deadpool kind of way.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Sorry for forgetting that BIRDS OF PREY was likely to go ahead. It slipped my mind. Weird, because I love the TV show.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

This is old news apparently, but Ayer says that Steppenwolf/Boom Tubes were going to be involved in the original plan for Suicide Squad.  That would've led into Justice League and Darkseid.

I also fell into the whole "Zack Snyder Cut" controversy.  I'd be interested in seeing it, just out of sheer curiosity.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Snyder is playing the Justice League thing totally right. He keeps releasing little nuggets about his cut, making the Snyder Cut a thing of legend. Warner Bros has to eventually release it, like the Donner Cut of Superman II.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Yeah but nothing I've seen makes it seem like it would be drastically different.  Some flashback scenes with Cyborg.  A little more with Flash (saving Iris).  Lois does a bit more investigation, and she shows up to help Clark on her own (instead of with Batman).  There's a bit with the black suit (but I've seen no indication that he'd wear it at any point).  And maybe Steppenwolf would use the mother boxes to either turn Cyborg or Superman (again).

It'd be like the Ultimate Edition vs the regular edition - a bit more background and character stuff but not a huge departure from the plot.

There's also the matter would they reshoot 30% of the movie?  I don't really know how the Donner stuff worked, and I'm sure in 20 years, they'll be able to CGI whoever they want back to their Justice League performance age and recreate whatever they want.  But people are demanding the movie now....wouldn't it take months, millions of dollars, and getting the cast back together to even make that feasible?

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Hard to say. Filming was completed, and all Joss oversaw was reshoots and editing. So it would depend on how much he actually wanted to reshoot, as opposed to what the studio and Joss wanted. There is a version of his film out there, just not his final version.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

The entire JUSTICE LEAGUE situation is confusing. The first question: was Snyder actually unhappy with the Whedon cut or not? By Snyder's own account, he never saw JUSTICE LEAGUE in theatres and one can hardly blame him for being unable to get back into it after his daughter killed herself.

The second question: how much did Whedon actually change? Whedon and Snyder were already collaborating during filming and planned to conduct the reshoots together, after all.

The third question: how would Snyder have handled the studio directives? He was mostly left alone on MAN OF STEEL which was very good aside from the misjudged destruction porn at the end which he clearly regretted in BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN.

BVS was a very good film, so good studio executives gave the rough cut a standing ovation before ordering that an hour be cut from it, leading to the unbalanced, confusing, incoherent, depressing mess in theatres for which Snyder was unreasonably blamed. But it would indicate that Snyder wasn't in a position to overrule the studio which had mandated a lighter tone for JUSTICE LEAGUE. It's clear from analyzing JUSTICE LEAGUE that nearly every Superman scene has been reshot due to the CGI on Henry Cavill's lip, but would Snyder have done it any differently?

The fourth question: how much did Danny Elfman's upbeat superhero score alter the tone from JunkieXL's compositions?

Ultimately, Snyder was going to reshoot the film with Whedon, so would this hypothetical Snyder cut be assembled from the pre-reshoot footage?

It confuses me a lot because I *loved* the JUSTICE LEAGUE movie. We all seemed to love it here and are clearly out of touch with the larger world. But the movie made $660 million dollars. To me, that says that the real problem with JUSTICE LEAGUE, in my view, is that it cost $300 million to make.

BVS cost $330 million, MAN OF STEEL cost $225 million. With all of these movies earning in the $600 - $700 million range and going by the calculation that films must make three times their production budget to turn a profit, none of these movies should have cost more than $200 million. WB shouldn't have assumed BVS and JUSTICE LEAGUE would make any more than MAN OF STEEL.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

I watched JUSTICE LEAGUE again on the weekend and... I am astonished at how the general viewing audience really hates this movie. I'm baffled by the criticism that Whedon and Snyder don't fit well together because I felt the visual style and writing in this movie was the perfect synthesis of Snyder's dour, visceral intensity and Whedon's earnest, charming, disarming self-awareness. Barry Allen's starstruck crush on Wonder Woman is hilarious. Commissioner Gordon addressing Batman, Cyborg, Wonder Woman and the Flash and turning away briefly and discovering that everyone except the Flash has left the scene -- hilarious. Barry nervously confessing to Batman that he's never been in a fight -- hilarious. There is a perfect moment where Batman tells Barry not to fight, not to think, simply to get in, save one person and he'll know what to do next. There is another perfect moment where Wonder Woman loses her weapon and dives off a scaffold to retrieve her sword and the Flash superspeeds in front of the blade and passes his kinetic energy into the blade to send it right into Wonder Woman's grip.

There is another perfect moment where the Flash dives into Wonder Woman to rescue her from a collapsing structure and ends up with his face in her breasts. There is another perfect moment where a resurrected and angry Superman has Cyborg and Wonder Woman and Aquaman on the defensive and the Flash speeds towards Superman, confidently sure he can land a knockout punch before Superman can blink -- only for the seemingly in slow motion Superman to turn towards the superspeeding Flash and Ezra Miller gives Barry the perfect look of hapless terror. There is another perfect moment where Aquaman inexplicably starts babbling about his fear of dying and how he never chose Atlantis or humanity and how Wonder Woman is beautiful and then realizes he was sitting on Wonder Woman's lasso. There is another perfect moment where Superman returns and declares, "Well, I believe in truth and I'm also a big fan o'justice." There is another perfect moment where Superman abandons the battle to save civilians.

I just don't understand why people hate this movie so much. I'm not saying it isn't flawed -- Steppenwolf is a terrible villain who is never a convincing threat; he gets the third Mother Box because the heroes forget about it and leave it on the roof of a car; Henry Cavill's face looks bizarre in the opening scene -- but I just wouldn't trade these moments even for a more narratively coherent film. I love JUSTICE LEAGUE.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

I don't remember much about it, but I definitely had more fun with the movie than I thought.  Then, after I was done with it, I had a long-ish drive and listened to a podcast about it where the hosts were ripping it apart.  And, honestly, I didn't have a great counter for a lot of their concerns.  I think, like BvS, there was a decent amount of characterization that got left on the cutting room floor.  I did think there was a decent amount of pivoting to 1) make Superman seem more heroic to the world than he actually was and 2) soften Bruce a bit.  The fact that Bruce is completely motivated by a dream he had where Superman was killing everyone, and he's the one spearheading the plan to bring him back to nuts.  The fact that Bruce uses the same logic (if there's even a 1% chance that....) to both rationalize killing Superman and then to bring him back is nuts.

But one of the podcasters kept insisting that, despite everything, he had fun with it.  And I did too.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Justice League is a solid movie. It's fun, and I don't have a problem with Steppenwolf. I think the movie could have used more time to flesh out some of the characters and stories, but that's about it. Bits and pieces here and there weren't great, but not enough to go into.

That said, I do have some problems with what went on behind the scenes, and how that spilled over into the movie. The Superman material isn't bad, but the execution is sloppy. Unnecessarily sloppy, due to poor directing of the reshoots. I don't like that Snyder was messed with the way he was (and at a very bad time, when he probably didn't care enough to fight any of it). I don't like that huge chunks of the larger plan for what was going on were thrown out the window, making it look like sloppy writing/directing, when it was really the studio's fault that things went off track and character arcs weren't properly executed.

So much of the bad taste that the film left in the mouths of audience members was because the studio itself seemed to be sabotaging the movie.

Again, I like the movie. However, I can't watch it without wondering what the real version of this story was supposed to be. At points, it's like looking at a construction site and trying to picture what the place is supposed to look like when it's finished... but it's never finished.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Informant wrote:

I don't like that huge chunks of the larger plan for what was going on were thrown out the window, making it look like sloppy writing/directing, when it was really the studio's fault that things went off track and character arcs weren't properly executed.

I'm curious to what you're referring to.  Like I said, I fell into a hole the other day of the Snyder cut stuff, and it doesn't seem like a ton of overall stuff was altered.  There was stuff at the beginning of the movie that fleshed out Barry, Arthur and Victor.  Lois came to the Superman fight on her own instead of being a weapon of Batman (and apparently had her own journalism arc like in BvS).  There's the black suit stuff, but there's also been still images of Snyder working with Cavill in the blue suit so I'm wondering if that was just an easter egg.  There's the mother box possibly corrupting Victor, but I don't know if that would've also been a minor thing in the third act.  There was a final scene with Arthur and Mera, and it looks like the final scene with Bruce and Clark might've taken place somewhere else...but that doesn't mean the meat of the scene would've changed.

As ireactions said, I don't know if the movie was altered that much.  It was definitely butchered a bit, but like the Ultimate Cut of BVS, it would've fleshed out the movie but not *drastically alter* it.

That being said, there's a chance that the stuff that was shot was already from an altered vision, and the only one who knows that would be Snyder.  There was definitely going to be two movies, and it ended up being two.  But I don't think they crammed two movies into two hours...I'm assuming Justice League ends in the same place it was supposed to end.  I think Snyder's plan was a 9-hour trilogy (BVS/JL1/JL2).

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Snyder had a plan for a second movie, and because of that, he started to set up where this whole thing would go in previous movies. Without a payoff, the Batman dream stuff in BvS looks weird. The Lex Luthor stuff at the end of Justice League sets up a plot that we probably won't see on screen. Darkseid was supposed to appear at some point, but probably won't. But even just things like Clark's character arc, where we see his journey toward this whole person, won't be properly realized because we won't get the final chapter of that arc. We saw a glimpse of it, or some version of it, but it wasn't the way it was supposed to play out, and that bugs me.

Like I said, it isn't so much about what's on screen. I'm fine with most of the material that we have on screen. It's just the behind the scenes stuff, and wondering what Snyder's vision for the movie was. And it annoys me that the studio kicked him when he was down. It was such a low thing to do, because it really does seem like Joss was brought in to reconstruct the plot in a way that was sold as "Snyder has other things to deal with, so we're going to complete his vision as a team", but which was really "We want Snyder out, so we're going to take this opportunity to undermine his vision."

It doesn't seem like there was much love lost between Joss and certain members of the team who worked closely with Snyder. It does seem like Snyder is playing into the idea that his vision was different than what ultimately made it to screen, but he's not directly badmouthing anyone. There's a lot being said between the lines amongst people who worked on the movie.

I think that we'd be having some different conversations if the essay from Joss' ex hadn't come out. I think he was probably let go from the DCEU long before he was officially released, because he had no support to offer the JL when it was being released, aside from pointing out that he was responsible for a song that people liked.

The whole thing feels very "Sliders, season 3", only I do ultimately like the Justice League movie that was released. The movie gets a 74% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes an a 6.5/10 on IMDB. I think some fans probably lower its score because they want the Snyder cut, but I'm not sure how to account for that in these numbers. It's not a bad movie at all. It's mostly Snyder's style, which I like. I think it's just tarnished by a series of unfortunate events, which makes it hard to see the movie without seeing the behind the scenes drama playing out. I can ignore Superman's face in those few scenes where the mustache was evident, as far as the movie itself is concerned, but it highlights other issues.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Well, it's been argued that "Lois is the key" from Flash in BvS is what led Lois to be his "big gun" in Justice League.  Presumably, it was decided in the apocalypse that Superman *did* need to be there to defeat Steppenwolf, but that they needed to bring in Lois to make it work.  Or maybe they brought her in too late, Superman killed her, and then once Superman snapped out of it on his own, he blamed Bruce and humanity for letting that happen.

But you're right, that's probably not the intention.

The whole situation kinda sucks because of bad timing.  Justice League began production two weeks after BvS hit theaters.  The studio had butchered BvS and wanted a movie closer to 150 minutes than 210 minutes.  Zack Snyder had to begin filming with a 3+ hour movie script, very shortly after audiences were complaining about BvS being incoherent and too long.  His only option at that point would've been to butcher his own script to make it work or film what he has and have the studio butcher it for him.  At that point, he was stuck.

If he'd had more time, maybe he could've found a 2-hour version of his movie that the studio would've been okay with.  Maybe he could've had time to make the movie lighter in tone while still working through his vision.  Instead, he barreled on forward, hoping that audiences or the studio would come around, and they didn't.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Yeah. The studio also should have listened to the audience feedback of BvS, rather than the critic feedback. The audience never had a problem with length, and the Ultimate Edition of BvS usually gets pretty high grades amongst fans. Most criticism comes from what the studio meddled with. The lesson is to let Snyder make his movies. The strength of the DCEU is directors with vision, making the movies that they want to make. The more the studio tries to make everything like the Marvel machine, the less it works.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Well, I think making a 3+ hour movie is a little ambitious.  People didn't have a problem with the length of BvS in the theaters, but they might've had an issue if it was an hour longer.  The problem is that he made a movie that was so dense and complicated that it couldn't be cut without chopping out huge chunks of plot and story.  And I think the main reason for that was that the story itself was so ambitious.  Between Man of Steel and Justice League, Snyder had to introduce *so many* key characters, while still following through with enough stuff to make it feel like a genuine sequel.

To be fair, I have no idea if the ambition of it was Snyder's or the studio's.  Because if I were the Kevin Feige of the DCEU and it was 2013, I might've done a traditional Man of Steel sequel with Luthor as the villain and Bruce Wayne as a side character.  Maybe end that movie with the idea that Bruce is going to go after Superman.  Then you do the Batman v Superman movie, giving time in that movie to introduce Batman's world and maybe Wonder Woman.  So while Man of Steel 2 would've been from Superman's perspective, Batman v Superman would've been from Batman's.  You'd get the fight, Luthor's revenge, and death of Superman.  Then you do Justice League as two movies.  So two BvS movies and two Justice League movies (which, I think was the original plan).

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

I wonder if WB actually kicked Snyder when he was down. From what I can tell, Snyder left JUSTICE LEAGUE. He had to. Nobody should be editing and directing a major motion picture (or Season 3 of SLIDERS) under such circumstances. His daughter killed herself, a horrific, traumatizing event that put Snyder in a terrible place.

When David Peckinpah's son, Garrett, suddenly died of meningistis, Peckinpah didn't take the time to heal or mourn; he accepted stewardship of SLIDERS in Season 3 and never recovered from his torment. He dulled it with rage, affairs, heroin and cocaine. His grief never went away, he never learned to live with it or past it and in the end, it killed him.

Snyder decided to leave. When Whedon took over, he was in an impossible situation. Asked to complete a film he didn't really agree with. I think Informant himself would note: it’s not about how choice A is right and choice B is wrong: it's instead about committing to the choices one makes with style, craft, grace and conviction. Except in Whedon's case, many of these choices had been made and he was being asked to change some but not others.

I think it is very difficult for another creator to come in and complete someone else's vision when they have a completely oppositional style, and to complete it with pieces that have already been produced. If WB didn't want Whedon to be Whedon, they should have hired someone else, gotten Adam Kane or Greg Beeman or Allan Arkush (HEROES) or promoted Snyder's director of photography -- but it's clear that they wanted the AVENGERS director to make a Snyder movie more a Whedon movie and Whedon did what he was paid to do.

From what I can tell, the parademons feeding on fear was not part of the original storyline. Instead, the plot was that the parademons could consume and assimilate human beings and turn them into parademons.

This is just conjecture based on bits and pieces of what's been leaked. I think that that in the Snyder version, Superman, still unsteady after his resurrection, would be attacked by Steppenwolf's hordes and nearly corrupted into an agent of Apokolips. But during the process, Superman would have a vision of the Knightmare future -- Lois dead, the world a devastated wasteland, Batman fighting a losing rebellion, Superman under the control of the anti-life equation -- and Superman's horror would allow him to cast off the parademon infection. Superman would defeat Steppenwolf but now be struck by a new vision of the future -- the coming of Darkseid, the fear that the anti-life equation is suppressed but not gone and could turn him into a soldier for the other side in the war to be fought in JUSTICE LEAGUE II.

But Snyder left JUSTICE LEAGUE and it became clear that he needed a clean break with the DCEU and would never direct JUSTICE LEAGUE II. Whedon was instructed to conclude without a cliffhanger within the footage Snyder had shot with limited resources for reshoots.

The best Whedon could do: he shot a new opening in the film to indicate that the parademons feed on fear, something that was not a part of the original story. Whedon wrote in a line of dialogue for Steppenwolf saying his demons were hungering to feed on the humans and their fear. Then Whedon shot the end sequence where Steppenwolf, now frightened, is attacked by his own minions and in his defeat is suddenly removed from Earth.

The parademons feeding on fear -- it's not sufficiently maintained throughout the film, existing only in the opening, one line of dialogue and then the ending. The failure to address the Knightmare sequence in the previous film is peculiar. The third Mother Box being forgotten on the roof of a car is an awkward 'fix' where the original course of events couldn't be maintained. But there's other stuff I'd defend: Bruce using the same logic he had for killing Superman to argue in favour of resurrecting him is a beautiful moment of character development.

As for the DCEU, there clearly wasn't a lot of planning. MAN OF STEEL was intended as the start to a Superman film series, not a DC universe. But it was a respectable hit instead of a global blockbuster. The thinking was adding Batman and Wonder Woman could raise earnings. The results have been mixed.

Just as JUSTICE LEAGUE fails to entirely match BVS, WONDER WOMAN is also at odds with it. BVS shows Wonder Woman claiming she walked away from humanity, but WONDER WOMAN had her inspired by it; Gal Gadot and Patty Jenkins, developing the character in their film, found they had moved in a different direction in BVS, meaning BVS had introduced Diana without a clear direction in mind. JUSTICE LEAGUE attempts to rationalize the discrepency saying Wonder Woman never abandoned humanity but avoided leadership and notoriety.

At every point in the DCEU, films have been made in an extremely improvisational fashion. BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN was re-edited to shrink Superman's role; JUSTICE LEAGUE was reworked from what was clearly a superhero horror film with jokes into more of an AVENGERS movie.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

I saw Mission Impossible: Fallout finally, and I just wanted to bring back up how silly the whole mustache thing was.  I know they might've wanted to separate Cavill from Superman by giving him some facial hair, but the mustache was such a weird move in today's society where mustaches are sorta out.  Cavill pulls it off, and I thought he was pretty great in the movie.  But I'd still love to know if this was Cavill's decision (if so, it was very shortsighted) or if it was Cruise/McQuarrie's decision (in which case, it's weird and maybe a little vindictive?)

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

i believe it had more to do with very late in production reshoots, after, joss took over and the studio wanted a lighter tone, wb needed the shots, paramount didnt, it was either wb take away mustache or paramount superimpose it back in

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

I do think the mustache was necessary for Cavill. He's a dark haired white guy. Tom Cruise is a dark haired white guy. I need to be able to tell them apart when the camera is flying around them; I need to know who's fighting who.

According to McQuarrie, when JUSTICE LEAGUE producer Chuck Roven approached him about needing a shaven Henry Cavill, McQuarrie decided the plan was this: McQuarrie would suspend production on M:I, Cavill would shave and perform his reshoots for JUSTICE LEAGUE and then begin to regrow the mustache and resume filming M:I.

The slight growth in facial hair would be multiplied digitally for the M:I footage in order to match previously filmed material with Cavill and his mustache. Adding facial hair digitally is much easier than removing it, especially when there's a starting point in hair-to-skin texture that merely needs to be magnified. Roven and WB agreed to pay Paramount the $3 million for this added special effects cost.

But then Paramount stepped in, informing McQuarrie that he would not be permitted to shut down M:I filming for the benefit of another studio's film. They refused to even discuss it, considering WB's problems not their concern and not moved at all by McQuarrie's wish to be kind to his fellow filmmakers. McQuarrie expressed great regret and disappointment over this.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

ireactions wrote:

I do think the mustache was necessary for Cavill. He's a dark haired white guy. Tom Cruise is a dark haired white guy. I need to be able to tell them apart when the camera is flying around them; I need to know who's fighting who.

Ha besides the fact that Cavill is 6'1 and Cruise is 5'7? wink

And mild spoilers for Mission Impossible in this DC Movie Universe thread:

What's crazy is that the mustache works for a villainous character.  And I remember reading early on that Cavill had been hired to play the villain in the movie, or at the very least, in connection to his roles in each film during the mustache debate.  And yet, in the movie, he's revealed to be a villain about 2/3 of the way out.  It's a twist in the film that he's a bad guy.  So I thought it was odd that it was mentioned so much, and it sorta threw off my watching of the movie because I knew he was a bad guy the whole time.  There were times, of course, that I thought maybe I'd misread something.  But while those movies aren't incredibly subtle with their telegraphing of twists like that, I just found the whole situation bizarre.

And I get that it's a business and I understand that Cavill is signing on to do a different movie for a different studio.  Honestly, I don't blame anyone for any of it.  I just find the whole thing a bit bizarre.  Reshoots happen all the time for movies like Justice League, and for Cavill to think that he was done and grow a huge mustache just seems odd to me.  You'd think that someone at WB would be keeping up with the major star in their billion-dollar franchise to make sure he would be ready in case they needed him back.  Particularly when this movie was such a big deal for the studio.

And after this thing and the bizarre wig that Kate Mara wore in Fantastic Four reshoots, I wonder if studios need to insure themselves against stuff like that for when inevitable reshoots happen.  Maybe a "you can do this next movie but don't change your appearance until X date" clause.  Or even go back to some sort of exclusivity deal where you can only make movies for the one studio while you're headlining a multi-billion dollar franchise.

The funny thing is that this actually almost happened at Marvel first during their big team-up movie.  Chris Evans had a big beard when they shot the last-minute shwarma post-credits scene for the Avengers.  It's why Cap is covering his face with his glove.  We've probably brought this up before, but I just think it's funny to think about.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

The expectation for reshoots is that they're for a limited number of insert shots for pre-existing sequences such as, say, one shot of Captain America sitting at a table. Under this expectation, actors usually aren't asked to retain their principal photography look as a wig or a slightly different figure or a computer-generated jawline isn't going to be noticeable in brief shots added to otherwise complete scenes.

In the case of FANTASTIC FOUR and JUSTICE LEAGUE, the stories were radically restructured in the reshoots with completely new scenes that don't fit into the principal footage. The majority of Superman's scenes in JUSTICE LEAGUE were filmed by Whedon.

I am guessing that the original material with Superman set in a soft cliffhanger where the he'd fought off the Anti-Life Equation (which had infected him in the BVS Knightmare sequence), but Darkseid would be coming to Earth after Steppenwolf's failure and Darkseid might retrigger the Equation and turn Superman into an agent of Apokolips with the plot to be resolved in JUSTICE LEAGUE II. But when Zack Snyder decided to leave both JUSTICE LEAGUE and the DCEU, WB decided to reshoot all of Superman's scenes to offer conclusive closure. Just a theory, of course.

While Paramount was within their rights to refuse to shut down M:I's filming, they'd better hope they never need WB to do them a solid. Admittedly, Paramount might safeguard against that by making sure to contract their actors to maintain their filming appearance any extensive reshoots -- or by having a policy of hiring directors and writers to make movies and then let the resulting product stand or fall without attempting to turn the project into something else mid-filming. WB could have asked a new director to resolve the hypothetical Snyder plot without him.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Hey, Slider_Quinn21 -- since you've seen FALLOUT now -- what do you think of seeing Ethan Hunt in this movie as an image of what Quinn Mallory would be in his forties? Posts below:

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Ha, I'll be honest, I didn't see it.  But I feel like you see things through some really unique eyes, especially when it comes to seeing Sliders in everything.  It's not something I'd really even consider most of the time - the only time I can even think I thought something like that was when I thought a certain episode of the Orville felt exactly like an episode of Sliders.

That being said, I think if I force myself to think about it, it does have a certain truth to it.  Quinn and Ethan are both leaders of a team that has operated successfully for a very long time despite very low odds of success.  They're both comfortable in situations where they're clearly in over their heads, and they seem to thrive on unpredictable and dangerous situations.  I also think there's a certain sense of fate to both characters - I think both of them would've been much happier living a quiet life with a family, but they were both sorta thrust into situations where they had to save the world again and again.

If I were to work it out through fanfiction (as I like to do), I'd think that Quinn never invented Sliding.  He had a promising career in something like engineering when 9/11 happened.  Feeling a duty to his country and the world, he decides to enlist.  After a tour of duty, he's approached by someone in the CIA.  Much like Jack Ryan (in the Amazon series), Quinn thrives in an analyst-level role, but he keeps finding himself in the field.  Realizing that he has the skills and the ability to save lives, he steers into that path.  Along the way, he makes connections with certain people (a communications and demolitions expert, a computer hacker, another CIA field agent, an MI6 operative, etc) that can help him on various missions.  Despite a belief in himself and his skills, Quinn always feels comfortable working as part of a team.  While he knows he's putting them in danger, he feels secure knowing that he has their back and they have his.

Something like that could easily swerve Quinn into an Ethan-like role.  But only via something like Jack Ryan smile

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

ireactions wrote:

Hey, Slider_Quinn21 -- since you've seen FALLOUT now -- what do you think of seeing Ethan Hunt in this movie as an image of what Quinn Mallory would be in his forties? Posts below:

Slider_Quinn21 wrote:

Ha, I'll be honest, I didn't see it.  But I feel like you see things through some really unique eyes, especially when it comes to seeing Sliders in everything.

That being said, I think if I force myself to think about it, it does have a certain truth to it.  Quinn and Ethan are both leaders of a team that has operated successfully for a very long time despite very low odds of success.  They're both comfortable in situations where they're clearly in over their heads, and they seem to thrive on unpredictable and dangerous situations.

I suspect that when you think of Quinn, you think of him in from ages 20 - 24: the brilliant but shy scientist of Season 1, the driven but inexperienced genius adventurer of Season 2, the unconvincing action hero of Season 3 or the emotionless weirdo of Season 4 -- whereas these days, when I think of Quinn, I think of the 45 year-old version in my fanfics and while you script-edited the last one, it's unreasonable to expect you to go to that as your default for Quinn.

But another area where I think of Quinn as sort of the dollar store version of Ethan (or rather, a more dysfunctional, far more imperfect version) -- I don't consider my Quinn (or any Quinn) the leader of the team. The Professor is the leader whereas I can't really see any version of Tom Cruise's MISSION IMPOSSIBLE where he isn't in charge (regardless of whether he answers to Anthony Hopkins or Laurence Fishburne or Alec Baldwin).

I'd like to move back on topic, but I didn't get around to seeing AQUAMAN.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

I haven't either, but I heard it was good.

They released a TV-spot length trailer for Shazam, and I'm impressed with what I've seen so far.  I'd really like the Cavill cameo to be in there because I think it fits really well, and it could be a re-introduction of the DCEU going forward.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

I was planning to see Aquaman when it came out, but I got sick and didn't want to be the annoying guy in the theater, coughing through the whole movie. Now I'm just too busy to get to a theater.

I really do want to see it though. I've heard all good things... but that usually doesn't mean much. Most people consider Wonder Woman to be the best DC movie so far, and it seemed like the weakest to me. smile

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Birds of Prey teaser:

Seems to be more of a Suicide Squad flavor than any other movie. Might be cool.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant … vin-smith/

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It's a shame that the studio did what they did. I think they could salvage the plan if they brought Snyder back, but it's probably too late for that now. A shame.

Apparently, they are moving ahead with The Batman, but Affleck will not be playing the part (reportedly) because the movie focuses on a younger Batman. The question that I have is, do we need a younger Batman story, or is that just rehashing what we have seen before? There was something exciting about seeing Batman's later career and the whole Bat-family history.

I hope that we still get to see some of that, either in this Batman movie, or future group movies (which could still feature Affleck).

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Reports of Snyder’s ouster appear to have been exaggerated - he’s still got his fingers in there: … ck-snyder/

And The Batman is reported to focus more on the detective aspect of the character.  So we’ve had Nolan’s ninja Batman (with a dash of detective); we’ve had Snyder’s military Batman (with a dash of detective); so what does a primary detective Batman look like?  The word noir is also being thrown around, so I would suspect that even characters we know to be “good” may have a cloud of suspicion over them.

This is the kind of story Harvey Dent / Two-Face was made for, but I doubt they would dip into that well again so soon.  Looking to villains we haven’t seen yet on the big screen, an obvious candidate would be Clayface (who could in fact be anybody and everybody - only a detective could figure it out).

Batman is supposed to be the smartest guy in the room, but most often we’ve seen him playing catch-up or getting blind-sided and surprised.  It would be refreshing to see a Batman who had it all figured out ahead of time and was moving people around like chess pieces so that he could obtain the evidence to convict the criminal.  Clayface would be a monster once he’s cornered, though; and that brings out the super-hero aspect.

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Ummm....maybe I'm in the minority, but that doesn't sound very good.

(Editorialization - I realized about four paragraphs down that I'm going on a tangent into familiar territory.  Look for my signal for me to get back into my original point if you want to skip it, but I'm going to finish it)

Like I've said, I spent some time looking into everything the Internet has collected on the Zack Snyder version of Justice League.  Since we got a trailer for that movie over a year before it came out (with footage that had to be from Snyder), I think we have a lot more to work with than most movies.  And, honestly, I don't think the movie would've been drastically different if Snyder had finished.  The Darkseid tease might've been cool.  More character (particularly with Cyborg) would've been cool.  More connections to the previous story would've been nice.

But, at the end of the day, I don't think it would've made a difference.  It's like the Ultimate Edition of BvS.  Yes, it was a more coherent story.  But it was a story that I didn't actually like that much.  Even at 3+ hours, I didn't like the characters enough, and there still wasn't enough context for why these characters were acting so much different than versions of the character that I like.  I know this didn't have to be the same versions I grew up with, but I feel like the Snyderverse had issues that just were never going to fly with me.

There can be a version where Batman kills, but in three hours, you have to explain how he got there.  There can be a version of Superman who's not just the Christopher Reeve version, but if he's going to have depth and pathos, you have to also work harder to explain his then-more-complicated connection with the public.

There's a version of the Snyderverse that makes sense to me.  And I don't even think they needed to add more to the run time.  You can tell it in 3 hours, but you have to go through the trouble to do it.  In BvS's case, they probably could've cut out a lot of the Luthor/Doomsday stuff.  Just making it Batman v Superman is enough - I'm not even 100% sure they needed to be manipulated by anyone - Batman's twisted enough as it is.  And I don't really think they needed to team back up to fight someone bigger - if you're going to make it about character, Superman convincing Batman to come back to the light is your climax.

Explain why Batman is so Hell bent on killing Superman - don't make me connect the dots or write fanfiction.  Explain it.  Make that a character moment.  Explain the public's complicated relationship with Superman.  News footage and one protest at the Capitol isn't enough.  Maybe bring in a civilian storyline where the people explain why the love Superman.  Explain that some people are upset about what happened in Metropolis, but show how Superman won them over.  Don't kill Superman in his second movie, and if you do, don't have Batman be the one to bring him back.  And if you do, don't make him make such a 180 degree turn in logic that his neck should've snapped like Zod's.

********** REPETITIVE RANT OVER ************

Okay, now that that's out of my system.  I don't think that sounds very good.  The heroes make an attack on Darkseid?  They find out how to get there, and they just go?  With the help of the Green Lantern Corps?  Would they even be cool with the Earth heroes being the aggressors like that?  That seems like a very weird plan, and the "go cosmic" angle seems like DC chasing that sweet Guardians of the Galaxy love.

Not only that, it seems to interfere with the original plan.  So the Justice League goes on this attack and then gets beat up and captured on Apokalips?  Okay....does that mean there's no solo movies during that time?  The original plan was to shoot Justice League (a 2 parter) back to back.  Was the new plan to shoot Justice League 2 and 3 (now a 3 parter?) back to back?  I guess they could still make Wonder Woman 2 since that's a prequel, and Aquaman and Shazam could take place between Justice League 1 and 2.  But where would that leave a Flash or Cyborg solo movie?  They'd have to wait for the entire Justice League trilogy to release, or would they need to to also be prequels?  Would a Green Lantern Corps movie (originally set for 2020) have to wait?  Would it be a reaction to Justice League 2 and 3 or a spark for it to happen?

And in Justice League 3, we get the heroes fighting in the Knightmare world?  So they failed?  Would Lois still be the key?  Would they be able to go back and avoid the Knightmare, or would the movie end with Darkseid defeated but the Earth in ruins?  Because that seems like the exact thing that happened in Man of Steel just a million times worse.

Don't get me wrong, they could film some cool action sequences in those movies.  And Snyder makes fun action sequences that sorta make you forget about plot holes and inconsistencies.  But I don't see the Justice League as an invading army.  I don't want to see the Justice League win with the Earth left as some sort of horrorscape.  I think we got the right amount of Knightmare in BvS.  Doing a whole movie in that world seems excessive and would end up doing more harm than good.  It'd be like the end of Fringe - spending one episode in this future world where the Observers took over was cool.  Spending a whole season in that world was weird, and I didn't like it.

If that was where Snyder was going, I'm glad it didn't happen.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Given the brutality of Snyder’s run, I think they would have taken another page from the New 52 introduction of the Justice League.  In the comic, there was a panic pile on where the heroes ended up stabbing out both of Darkseid’s eyes leaving him blind.  The animated adaptation presented it like this:

It’s just not the Justice League I know, but it would feature things Snyder likes.

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Snyder's conflicts with Warner Bros. reminds me of SLIDERS. WB with Snyder's JUSTICE LEAGUE is a lot like FOX with SLIDERS but in reverse; FOX wanted a different tone. FOX wasn't happy with SLIDERS being a comedy; a major point of conflict was the PEOPLE's COURT sequence in the Pilot and they were also at odds with one of the lead characters being a goofy R&B singer. The joking tone of the show was at odds with the sci-fi action series FOX wanted to air -- which meant they shouldn't have bought SLIDERS in the first place. They shouldn't have bought ANY sci-fi project written by veteran comedy writers known for SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE and THE NAKED GUN.

If you wanted a thin-crust pizza, would you order deep dish and then put the pie sideways through a bread slicer to trim its height? If you wanted roller skates, would you buy ice skates and try to attach wheels to the blades? If you wanted an Android phone, would you hack iOS hardware to run a buggy, malfunctioning Oreo build? If you wanted a serious sci-fi action show, would you hire writers known for sketch comedy and Leslie Neilsen movies?

If FOX wanted an action adventure sci-fi show, they should have bought TIMECOP and let Torme and Weiss and Universal shop their project elsewhere. And Warner Bros. should not have hired a dark, operatic, horror-oriented director to make superhero movies and then protest his making a dark, operatic, horror-oriented JUSTICE LEAGUE movie.


When Affleck's departure from the role of Batman was first rumoured, I thought it was the death-knell for the DCEU. And it looks like that's happened: Warner Bros. is no longer pursuing DC properties as a cinematic shared universe. They're not blowing up the existing DC Extended Universe, they're just not focusing on crossovers anymore. Without knowing anything about the motives behind replacing Affleck, I feel that there was a certain economic inevitability.

The problem: Warner Bros. had been following the TRANSFORMERS model with their superhero movies, spending hundreds of millions and hoping to earn a billion or two in global box office the way Michael Bay's movies manage. But the TRANSFORMERS movies are aimed at audiences that don't speak English and see the films subtitled. Marvel got to the 1 billion mark very gradually over time with smaller, cheaper films that built their brand and would have turned a profit even without hitting the 1 billion figure. Warner Bros., however, assumed JUSTICE LEAGUE would reach 1 billion before BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN had even been released and set up a financial model that has proven overoptimistic. JUSTICE LEAGUE's $660 million at box office would have been a success for any of the Phase One Marvel movies.

A Ben Affleck Batman movie under his existing superstar contract and with the Ben Affleck publicity machine and Ben Affleck empire is probably too expensive and would require a box office take that WB now knows many times over that they can't take for granted. Yes, AQUAMAN has cracked $1 billion, but it also only cost $160 million to make and would have been considered a success at earning $480 million in ticket sales and it'd be foolish to assume AQUAMAN's success is the baseline for all future DC projects. THE BATMAN cannot assume international success; WB needs to ensure that even if ticket sales are only a modest $500 million, it will be a profitable film. And the best way to do that is to hire a cheaper actor and make a smaller movie.

Paramount seems to be making similar calculations with STAR TREK. STAR TREK IV has been cancelled. STAR TREK BEYOND, a fine film, earned $343 million on a $185 million budget and was about 62 per cent below what it needed to earn a profit. Paramount asked the stars to take paycuts for a sequel that wouldn't count on international success. The actors understandably declined to accept less than what their contracts promised for a fifth film and the studio decided not to make a fifth film with them.

I don't know how this younger Batman actor would fit into the DCEU going forward given that surely Affleck would need to return for future JUSTICE LEAGUE adventures, but it doesn't look like there will be any future JUSTICE LEAGUE movies with the Cavill/Affleck/Gadot cast anyway. And I think it's okay. It's a new start for the Worlds of DC movies which include the Arrowverse and whatever we call the universe of the TITANS and DOOM PATROL TV shows.


As for Snyder's plan, I don't feel Slider_Quinn21 is being entirely fair. I'm not saying that Snyder's Batman and Superman are the pinnacle of adaptations or I liked them any more than Slider_Quinn21 did. But Snyder had a valid creative approach to Batman: as shown onscreen, he believes that anyone who has power over others will ultimately abuse it, and whether that's due to Robin's murder or a mean schoolteacher in his childhood is less important than the force of Affleck's performance presenting that belief.

And Snyder had a strong vision for Superman as well: Superman is perceived as a warrior, but in truth, he's a relief worker; a fireman whom people keep seeing as a soldier. Is it my preference for how to tell a story or to tell Batman and Superman stories? No. But it is a perfectly valid creative path and Snyder executed it well -- or at least he did until  Warner Bros. cut BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN to the ribbons and released an incoherent film to theatres.

Warner Bros. also interfered with JUSTICE LEAGUE, trying to alter a movie after they'd approved the script, approved the director and seen principal photography completed. Slider_Quinn21 wondered why Paramount was so indifferent to Warner Bros. needing a shaven Henry Cavill for reshoots and offering to pay to digitally restore Cavill's beard for MISSION IMPOSSIBLE VI. My speculation: Paramount's view is that they wouldn't ever be in that situation to begin with.

This is strictly anecdotal, but Paramount's approach with Christopher McQuarrie on MISSION IMPOSSIBLE IV (which he helped write), V and VI: they discussed the film, agreed to an approach and then, their involvement was to see to it that he delivered what they'd agreed upon. Paramount didn't try to alter the movie in the middle of filming or afterwards in editing; they chose a director and had him direct.

There were debates between Paramount and McQuarrie. Serious disagreements. Should Ethan's wife from III be present or not? Where should the plane sequence of V go, the beginning or the end? How deep undercover as John Lark would Ethan be in VI? These disagreements were settled before filming began. When McQuarrie wanted to suspend shooting on VI to send a clean-shaven Cavill back to Warner Bros., Paramount stepped in and stopped him, ordering him to continue doing the work they'd both agreed he would do. And while the last three M:I films evolved during filming, nobody tried to revise a spy adventure into a romcom or a documentary. Reshoots were to refine scenes and moments, not replace them.

Warner Bros., in contrast, hired Zack Snyder and then expressed consternation and dismay that director Zack Snyder produced a Zack Snyder film. And they subsequently acted out of fear of bad publicity. They feared that not announcing JUSTICE LEAGUE in advance of BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN would suggest timidity; they feared that holding off on filming JUSTICE LEAGUE after BVS offered mediocre returns would convey failure; they feared that replacing Snyder would indicate low confidence -- but they ended up with bad publicity anyway by bringing in Whedon, engaging in heavy reshoots and being unable to announce an Affleck-led BATMAN, a Cavill-led MAN OF STEEL II or a JUSTICE LEAGUE II.

As much as I loved the JUSTICE LEAGUE movie -- don't buy an iPhone to run Android. Don't buy a show from Weird Al's favourite music video director and expect a serious sci-fi action hour. And don't hire a zombie horror filmmaker to make a lighthearted superhero film.

If you want a Joss Whedon movie, don't hire Zack Snyder. Hire Whedon. Before filming starts. Not during. Not after. Before.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

One of my favourite YouTube videos from which I clearly stole the iPad/Android comparison

If you don't want to watch it, the upshot of the video is that a YouTube technology vlogger, Nate Burr, once made a web article called, "How to install Android on an iPad," and it consisted nothing but a photo of an iPad. On the iPad screen was an image of Data from STAR TREK. Burr was later alarmed to discover that this post was constantly drawing traffic from people using search engines to seek out instructions for how to install Android on an iPad. He proceeded to make a video, remarking:

Nate Burr wrote:

Basically, people want to do this. They want to put Android on an iPad and for the life of me I can't figure out why they would want to do that. If you want an Android tablet, why not just go buy an Android tablet?

Back in the day, the the article I wrote was a bit of a joke. It was a picture of the android from STAR TREK as a photograph on the iPad. And, you know, it's a stupid throwaway gag. It wasn't even complex enough to make an entire video about it.

I threw it up on the website and it KEEPS GENERATING TRAFFIC as people try and search for ways to put Android on an iPad. But it just doesn't make any practical sense if you force Android on an iPad! It's never going to be as good as an experience as a dedicated Android tablet just by the nature of the beast!

Trying to hack an operating system that was never designed to run on it? It's just not ever going to run as smoothly as Android on a dedicated Android tablet! It's like ordering a pizza and then wanting to try and figure out how to swap out the mozzarella cheese for some Parmesan cheese after the pizza is made. It's messy; it's difficult; it probably CAN be done with enough determination, but it's pointless trying to do that.

Why didn't you just order the pizza with the kind of cheese you like in the first place? It doesn't make sense. It's like buying a Toyota Yaris and then switching the engine out for something like a little Honda or something. There's no practical reason to do it! It can be done with enough determination if you got the right tools. Sure, it's possible, but WHY would you do it? It doesn't make sense!

It's like buying a blue pen and then deciding you don't want the blue ink inside so you unscrew it and then you buy a black ink cartridge and you put it in there and you screw it all back together. WHY didn't you just buy a black pen in the first place? It doesn't make sense. I know by now I've gone to stretching the metaphorical bounds of this analogy, but you get my point, don't you?

It's just kind of STUPID to buy an iPad if you want to run Android. See, what I'm getting at is if that's what you want, then you just buy the thing you need to do the job that you wanted to do! You don't try and fake it and hack your way around and do awkward and difficult stuff! It's never quite as good as just buying the original thing, the one that serves the purpose that you need!

It doesn't make sense! It just it doesn't make any kind of sense to me why people are still trying to do this!

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

I throw Snyder under the bus a lot, but I know that it's not all his fault.  I also agree that the movies themselves work as they are.  Ben Affleck's Batman might not even have a "no kill" rule.  Maybe he went out after Robin was killed and took revenge on whoever did it - maybe he killed the original Joker or maybe the Joker was just an accomplice to whoever the real killer was.  The only evidence we have is the graffiti in the Batcave (which could've been done afterwards) and the note in Suicide Squad that Harley Quinn was an accomplice.  So maybe the real story was that maybe Bane worked with Joker and Harley to kill Robin, Bane was the real killer, and Joker (along with Harley) was the distraction.  Afterward, Joker graffitied the Robin suit.

The problem with a Batman that kills is the same problem that happens with the Punisher.  If the hero kills, there should be no recurring villains.  Why would Joker still be alive if he killed Robin?  If Batman has no problem killing a hired gun, why would he have any problem killing the guy who hired the gun?  If Batman was willing to kill Superman because there's a chance that he's dangerous, then killing the guy who killed his partner should be done without a second thought.

The problem is that there's not enough evidence in any of these films to connect these dots.  I could ask a hundred questions about Bruce's history, and the movies don't give me enough to work with.  They want me to use existing Batman lore to fill in the gaps, but the existing Batman lore doesn't fit.  The original idea for BvS (where an older Batman has been twisted into trying to kill Superman by years of being Batman) is actually a fascinating take.  We've seen 7 Batman movies previous to that, and this would be a fresh new take. 

It might've even made Justice League a stronger movie.  Where Batman finds that he does need to work with others to be a true hero.  Where he tries to find himself again.  And yet that movies doesn't really touch on that stuff either.  Bruce is simply a nicer, gentler Batman again.  He obviously regrets what he did with Superman, but what about the other stuff?  He kills at least a dozen random Luthor thugs.  Does that bother him?  Does the branding thing bother him?  Or is the only thing he regrets is the Superman stuff?  Maybe that was going to be included, but of all the cut footage we've seen, I don't think there's much (if anything) that is Batman-specific.

At the end of the day, though, you're right.  Zach Snyder made his mark with movies that were almost 100% CGI.  They were movies that appeared to have depth but were, in reality, just excuses to have cool action sequences.  WB got what they paid for.

And they also seemingly got what they wanted.  Even the non-Snyder DCEU films devolve into Snyder-esque CGI messes in the final act.  Wonder Woman (Jenkins), Suicide Squad (Ayer), and Justice League (Whedon) all end with the hero(es) fighting a CGI gray villain in a dark, colorless space surrounded by CGI fire.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

The entire situation makes me think of SLIDERS (and I know you can all barely contain your amazement). I think we can agree that Kevin Feige and Zack Snyder have very different styles. And I think we can agree that Feige had the support of the studio while Snyder didn't. Warner Bros.'s development strategy: they approved a project's direction and destination, but from BVS onward, they sought to change course AFTER the train had left the station. It's self-destructive and self-defeating, much like Season 5 of SLIDERS.

The Season 5 team bought a script about an interdimensional library under Kromagg attack, and cut the interdimensional library and the Kromaggs. They bought a script about telepathically-piloted Kromagg warships and cut the warships at war. They bought a script about Rembrandt being imprisoned for creating music and cut Rembrandt's arrest. They bought an interdimensional version of CASABLANCA and then decided that they didn't like CASABLANCA.  They tied up their budget renting a giant hotel set and spent many episodes trying to make it something other than a hotel.

Every movie studio (except Paramount?) does this. Sony approved the twenty-fourth Bond film with a script where the villain is Bond's foster brother -- but then, in the middle of filming, they demanded that the foster brother be the 60s Bond villian Blofeld. This resulted in clumsy revisions that couldn't reconcile the villain being both Bond's brother executing a personal vendetta AND the mastermind of the Connery films. Bond's brother and Blofeld should have been two separate villains in two separate films.

Sony approved AMAZING SPIDER-MAN II with a script in which Peter explores the legacy of his dead father and discovers his father is still alive. During filming, Sony complained that this didn't set up a SINISTER SIX movie and ordered it removed, leading to a depressing film where Peter never finds his dad.

At one point, Sony's then-chairwoman declared she would never again greenlight a film without settling all script issues with the director. It's beyond me why she needed to blow hundreds of millions to learn this and it was also beyond her managers as she's not the chairwoman any more.

Why did they buy these scripts? Why did they film them? Why did FOX hire a dark, grounded filmmaker to make a big budget FANTASTIC FOUR movie and then cut the budget while complaining it was too dark and grounded?

Sometimes, studios HAVE to start filming because they can't change release dates or delay airdates. FOX, in particular, needed to produce an FF movie or lose the rights as they lost DAREDEVIL. They can't push pause, so they decide to modify what they have en route. And it doesn't work; even if the result is something as fun as JUSTICE LEAGUE, the publicity is toxic. Studios need to accept that once filming's started, what they've approved is what's being made.

You can't re-edit a film about Peter Parker searching for his father into a launch for SINISTER SIX and expect coherence. You can't have a different director reshoot every scene of Superman in a JUSTICE LEAGUE movie and think your audience won't notice. Whedon would have been better off focusing on his own projects instead of Snyder's and after Snyder left, WB should have assembled their cut with the footage they had.

Or WB could have done what Disney did with the SOLO movie. Disney had most of it filmed with Phil Lord and Chris Miller, but weren't happy with the results, so they hired Ron Howard to reshoot the entire movie and treated the Lord/Miller material as second unit B-roll. But WB was too close to the JUSTICE LEAGUE release date for Whedon to reshoot it wholly.

I'm not saying films can't or shouldn't evolve as they're filmed, but the way Warner Bros. and FOX and Sony have tried is not the way to do it. Again, with MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: the last three M:I films did *not* have completed scripts when they started filming. With the fifth and sixth films, McQuarrie was often improvising scenes, but he made sure that the mission briefing scenes would be shot on isolated soundstages with only one actor and McQuarrie voicing the briefings. This way, they could be refilmed at any point to wrangle the plot into shape. The evolution came from within the films rather than being dictated to the filmmakers.

MISSION IMPOSSIBLE IV is also an interesting case: III had married Ethan Hunt off, but everyone involved agreed that Ethan couldn't stay married. However, the storyline of IV, directed by Brad Bird, had Julia assassinated off-camera and led to extremely depressing scenes. Julia's death was at odds with Bird's lighthearted take.

Christopher McQuarrie, brought in for rewrites on IV in mid-filming, suggested a few lines of dialogue and a new end-scene to make it so that Julia was alive. Julia's survival, now implied throughout the film and confirmed at the end, allowed the audience to enjoy Brad Bird's escapist spy thrills. Paramount and McQuarrie helped Bird make the thrilling spy adventure he set out to make and set aside the guilt-and-revenge movie that he didn't want at all.

In contrast, Warner Bros., Sony, FOX, Keith Damron and Bill Dial seemed to be in a constant state of buyer's remorse and sunk cost fallacies, buying material they didn't want to film, refusing to let go of what they regretted having bought, and trying to change it as they filmed it.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

i have to give season 5 credit while they reused the same 4 sets over and over, they did a much better job then season 4 staff of disguising the sets, season 4 it was 10 episodes in a row using the Chandler set for everything till they got late in the season using the timecop set, western set etc

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Man, do you have to bring everything back to SLIDERS? ;-)


Anyway, some more thoughts on studio tinkering which may or may not relate to what happened with JUSTICE LEAGUE: I was reading one of the many drafts of SPECTRE, the last James Bond movie. SPECTRE is a note-perfect example of how the studio process of tinkering with a script as it's being filmed is not constructive.

The SPECTRE released to theatres starts well: Bond's investigating a mysterious organization, Spectre, that may have compromised his organization. There's a gripping sequence where Bond infiltrates a Spectre meeting and the mysterious leader knows of him already, identifies him on sight and greets him by name. Bond barely escapes.

Then there's a confusing revelation where Bond finds a ring worn by members of this organization. This ring indicates through confusing exposition that the villains of the previous three films were part of this organization -- a strange retcon as none of these past villains wore these rings.

There's a limp romance with a doctor whose father worked for Spectre, then a middle-of-the-story confrontation where Bond gets to Spectre's secret base and confronts the Spectre leader, Blofeld, who is (a) a new version of the 60s Bond villain and (b) Bond's foster brother in this continuity.

Blofeld takes credit for the previous three movies' villains, but it's unclear how those films tied into Blofeld's goals of infiltrating all government intelligence assets. At no point does the film use Bond and Blofeld's shared past and history for conflict or drama. It's so inessential; it might as well not be there.

Blofeld straps Bond into a torture chair that Bond escapes through means I don't understand. Bond blows up the entire secret base through a method that I don't understand. I've watched this sequence 10 - 15 times. There's then a lifeless climax in London where Blofeld attacks Bond's headquarters and escapes in a helicopter and Bond, pursuing the helicopter on a boat, shoots down the distant helicopter with a pistol (?!?!?) and arrests Blofeld before walking away with his boring girlfriend.

It's very odd. Reading an earlier SPECTRE shooting script, however, explains a lot of what the hell is going on here (at least creatively if not within the story of the movie). As originally written, the Blofeld character wasn't Blofeld; he was Franz Oberhauser (which Blofeld uses as an alias in the final film). Sony wasn't happy with this.

Looking at the changes, it seems they stipulated that Oberhauser be rewritten into the Blofeld, the world domination pursuing mastermind of the 60s movies with Sean Connery. Sony had only recently acquired the rights to use the Blofeld and Spectre concepts. Spectre was already in the script, but Sony wanted Blofeld too.

Sony could have simply renamed the Oberhauser character as Blofeld. But Sony also wanted Oberhauser's villainy to reflect the extravagant, exaggerated aspects of the 60s Blofeld and these additions don't mesh well with the script around them.

In the script, all the connections to the previous films were much more low-key. The script indicates that Oberhauser employed the villains of previous Bond films on his own projects for financial management, for acquiring resources, for technical design -- but the final film overinflates this to Oberhauser nonsensically claiming responsibility for every evil plot in the last three Bond films. It's not supported by the previous films and it falls flat. The story was better when the connections were low key.

The script also has a very tight focus on the Bond/Oberhauser conflict as foster brothers. Oberhauser and Bond were both adopted; Oberhauser was jealous that Bond seemed to monopolize their foster father's love. Oberhauser has spent his life watching Bond from a distance, spying on our master spy, obsessing over Bond. Oberhauser represents all of Bond's sociopathy and cruelty at a permanent extreme point.

This also ties into the Bond girl of this movie, Madelaine. The script has a few extra lines about how she rejected her father for his disregard for human life; it's why she became a doctor, it's why she rejects Bond. And the script has Bond defeating Oberhauser and in doing so, conquering his own demons and winning Madelaine's confidence.

As scripted, the first confrontation between Bond and Oberhauser has them playing cards for each other's lives and recalling their childhood rivalry, presenting Oberhauser as a jealous, murderous evil twin. Sony replaced this with Bond in the torture chair because the 60s Blofeld used deathtraps.

The torture chair scene also replaces the scripted sequence where Bond spots all the gas lines in the secret base and works out how to trigger a chain reaction to blow it up. In the finished film, Bond seems to fire his gun randomly and the base obediently explodes for him.

The finished film doesn't show Blofeld's lifelong jealousy of Bond, doesn't show how Blofeld has modelled himself on Bond. It was all in the script. It didn't make it to screen.

I can sort of understand why Sony didn't think this was a big deal. They were simply giving their villain a different name and tweaking the sequence of tormenting Bond. They were making their film more reminiscent of the source material. But the underlying theme of the script as written: Oberhauser was a dark mirror image of Bond.

The 60s Blofeld character is an evil genius manipulator, aloof and distant from the action, a contrast to Bond as a man of action. This character is not a mirror image of Bond. By making Oberhauser more like the 60s Blofeld, Sony obliterated his relevance to Bond and also removed Madelaine's purpose as representing the humanity that both Bond and his brother had discarded. That's why the Bond/Madelaine onscreen romance had no heat, no tension and no passion. It was on the page, but Sony mislaid it.

The final act of SPECTRE as released, despite being mostly unchanged from the script, feels completely detached from the rest of the movie. It worked in the script. But in the movie, Blofeld's attack on Bond's headquarters no longer relates to their relationship as brothers.

There are little revisions which aren't a big deal. Some of Bond's scripted action scenes have been redistributed to Moneypenny and M and Q. The sequence of Bond shooting down Blofeld's helicopter with a pistol, as presented on paper, has Bond discovering he only has three bullets and he has to aim carefully and make it count, which at least acknowledges the unlikelihood on display.

Throughout SPECTRE, Sony kept tweaking the Blofeld character to make him bigger and more important to reflect the source material. Sony executives were up in arms over Blofeld/Oberhauser not being evil enough, his plan not being epic enough. They were concerned that the Oberhauser villain didn't live up to the Blofeld name. But their revisions didn't make Oberhauser/Blofeld a stronger villain; they only diluted the arc they already had.

The third act of SPECTRE that Sony kept trying to 'fix' went from being taut and tense to laboured on the page to disconnected and perfunctory because the conflict between brothers was no longer in the movie.

SPECTRE needed to either be the story of Bond facing his evil twin or Bond facing a master manipulator. Sony had the first one. They tried to hammer it into being the second and the result was a confused mess. Sony should have commissioned a new script written from the start to feature the 60s evil genius instead of the evil twin version. But filming had started and Sony couldn't stop.

In that case, Sony should have left the SPECTRE script alone and let the filmmakers elevate the story above any of its flaws through performance, visual spectacle, editing and pacing. Instead, they kept trying to retrofit Oberhauser's personal, intimate villainy into the classic Blofeld, but Oberhauser didn't need to be the classic Blofeld to be an effective character. They kept trying to fix what wasn't broken and they broke it.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Potential spoilers for SHAZAM:

S (might be a false rumor)

According to a rumor I read online, Superman is going to make a cameo in Shazam but not played by Henry Cavill.  It's just a payoff for a joke, but that would be weird, right?  I'd really like Superman to make a cameo in Shazam because I think it'd be a great interaction for Billy.  I also think it'd legitimize the movie a bit and legitimize him as a hero.  Plus, if they ever did it, Shazam/Superman fights are epic.

But to have him appear as a body double would cheapen it....unless they did it in a funny-enough way that we wouldn't care.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Spoilery speculation

When FAST AND FURIOUS actor Paul Walker died, production went to Walker's previous F&F films to complete his final movie. They lifted his face and grafted it onto body doubles. TERMINATORs SALVATION and GENYSIS also did this with Arnold Schwartzenager, the former because he wasn't available and the latter so that Arnold could fight himself.

If SHAZAM needs one shot of Cavill in costume, it can't be that hard to use his likeness via an outtake from JUSTICE LEAGUE. It also can't be that hard to have Cavill perform an hour of filming. Kevin Sorbo had to do a lot of one-hour for one shot shooting days on HERCULES after his stroke.

If WB wants a cameo but can't agree to terms with Cavill, then then I suspect the issue is financial. MAN OF STEEL would have paid Cavill a low six figures, but subsequent films would have raised his salary and profit participation in anticipation of TRANSFORMERS level earnings. Those earnings haven't materialized -- but Cavill's contract would stipulate that WB would have to keep paying him a TRANSFORMERS model salary when that's a model they've abandoned.

Paramount is in the same situation with Chris Pine for a fourth STAR TREK movie as their contract requires that Paramount pay him on the scale of a $300 million budget when their earnings only justify a $100 million budget.

I wonder if WB employing Cavill for a cameo or for effects work would trigger an extension on his existing contract when they may prefer to do what they did with Brandon Routh -- they want to wait until it expires and either re-negotiate with Cavill or recast him. And if they did want to renegotiate -- well, Cavill doesn't strike me as someone who would accept a paycut; he's flat out declared that he plays Superman for the money.

Tom Welling took the role of Clark because he couldn't stand modelling and could either return to being a janitor or become an actor. Welling received a massive increase on SMALLVILLE's last three seasons, but he also took on much more work as he was effectively the showrunner as well as the star. Welling also gave up his salary for the finale to pay Michael Rosenbaum. While we all criticize Welling's refusal to wear the Superman suit for his last hour of the show, we can't question his commitment to the character. Cavill, however, doesn't see himself as the custodian of the character the way Welling or Routh did.

Cavill's a great actor and a great Superman, but I don't think he loves Superman to the point of accepting a pay cut. And I can't fault him for that. If Cavill isn't coming back, I'd like WB to cast an unknown to replace him. I'd like the same for Affleck's replacement.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Yeah, I get that.  And if WB doesn't have the rights to use Cavill's image without paying him, then I guess they'll have to make it work somehow.

But how do those kind of contracts work?  Does he get a prorated rate (so one hour might still be some ridiculous amount but it would be a percentage of what he'd make in a full movie) or does he get a minimum amount no matter how much of the movie he's in?  I know these guys have to make a living, but how would putting on the Superman costume for an hour for a cameo be any different than putting on the Superman costume for an hour at a children's hospital?  I know one is a bit more personal, but he'd make millions of kids smile (sick or not) if he appeared in a Shazam movie.

Also...there'd be kids there in a classroom scene smile

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Remember, I'm only speculating, but my guess is that it's less about the money he'd be paid for an hour on set or for the use of his likeness and more that if WB exercises their option on his contract for his image or for cameos, that extends the contract further -- perhaps a year, maybe less, maybe more. And if their wish is to allow the contract to expire (as they did with Brandon Routh), then they don't want to use Cavill unless they have a new contract with a paycut (which I doubt Cavill would accept). WB has a contract with Cavill; he is obligated to work for them if they exercise their option. They have chosen not to use it for now and may choose not to use it at all.

I'm wondering if the reason it took so long for Affleck's departure to be announced is because WB was also waiting for his contract to expire. Please remember that this is purely hypothetical and this would be a very good time for Informant to come in and tell us all that we don't really know what the investment-to-earnings ratio even really is.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Ah, I guess that makes sense.

Recently, it was announced that the Dark Universe was going to make another run at things.  Except, it seems, the plan is to do more low-budget Blumhouse-type productions.  So instead of big-budget action movies, they want to do low-budget horror movies.  It's probably more palatable to the studio and has a decent chance to get off the ground.

The problem with this angle and WB is the success of Wonder Woman (the movie) and the popularity of Jason Mamoa and Margot Robbie.  If not for that, I wouldn't have been surprised to see the DCEU officially end with Justice League and have it start over like Sony did with the Amazing Spider-Man movies.  Maybe even go the same route and do grounded DC movies with no-name actors.  Or follow the Into the Spider-Verse model and do animated movies.

But Wonder Woman was a huge hit, Aquaman was already on track and was successful enough, and people enjoyed Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn enough to make more movies with her.  So even though Affleck is out, Cavill might be right behind him, there's been no traction on a Flash or Cyborg movie, and the Suicide Squad movie is supposed to be a bit of a reboot....they can't entirely dump the universe.

So what you have is a DCEU with Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Harley Quinn, and Shazam?  No Superman, no Flash, no Cyborg.   You will have a Batman, but that one might be a prequel or unrelated.  You will have a Joker, but that movie is confirmed to be unrelated to the DCEU.

Informant's argument has always been "Just make a good movie."  Who cares if it's tied to any other franchise or if it has cool cameos or whatever.  He just wants good movies with these characters.  And I feel like that's what WB is doing.  But, weirdly enough, the successes of the DCEU are keeping WB from being able to completely kill it.  And so the DCEU is shattering into these small islands.  And new, unrelated islands are sprouting up around it.