Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Actually, I think that Gotham is in the united multiverse (as well as the old Flash series, and just about every other DC series/movie). There is a catch though... while it's certainly possible that Gotham is happening at the same time as The Flash, in a different universe, it is also possible that Gotham takes place in the past. So it's not just another universe, but another time.

It's worth noting that both Earth-2 (on The Flash) and Gotham use heavy retro themes. It's even possible that Gotham takes place on Earth-2, but in the past.


I disagree with you about the DC plan versus the Marvel plan. Marvel sacrificed a number of it's phase 1 movies, just to set up The Avengers. Thor, Captain America, and to some degree, Iron Man 2 were all prequels to The Avengers and their own plots were secondary.

Whatever happens in Batman v. Superman, DC still has a list of movies that could do just fine on their own. BvS doesn't tell us anything about how Suicide Squad, Wonder Woman, Aquaman or Cyborg will turn out. Those movies aren't dependent on this one. This one isn't dependent on them. I actually think that's smarter than the Marvel plan.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

No, I get that.  I didn't really hate any of the Phase 1 movies for the reasons you and ireactions didn't like them.  Especially since I don't necessarily care for Thor or Captain America as characters, the fact that they were living in a world with Iron Man (a character I did like) was pretty cool. 

The issue I see is with a foundation.  Iron Man set up the MCU really well.  It's fun but a little fantastic.  It's sarcastic and doesn't take itself too seriously.  And, for the most part, people loved Iron Man.  So even though their movies weren't great, Thor and Captain America followed a similar lead.  It also was fun and didn't take itself too seriously.  And the MCU was able to succeed with these movies that are fun but not necessarily great.

The problem with the DCCU is that it's foundation is Man of Steel.  A movie that is, at best, mixed.  It's an odd tone for a Superman movie, and the way Superman was represented wasn't universally accepted.  So if BvS also has a mixed reception, then I totally agree with the HitFix video, and everything will ride on Suicide Squad, Wonder Woman, and the Batman solo film.  Because if the foundation of the universe doesn't work, then there's nothing to build on.

I think the part of the video I agreed with the most was the idea that the DCCU needs a Kevin Feige.  Say what you will about the MCU, but it definitely feels like a streamlined universe.  X happens in Movie 1, and it affects Y in Movie 2 and gets played on in Z in movie 8.  It might cheapen all eight movies, but it makes the universe feel real and contained.

And I disagree that BvS isn't just a prequel to Justice League in the same way that Iron Man 2/Thor/Captain America were prequels to Avengers.  In fact, Zach Snyder has come out and confirmed that BvS is exactly that.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

I guess it's hard to decide what BvS is at this point, since we can't know anything for sure. smile
I guess we can talk about how well this movie universe is being run once Suicide Squad and Wonder Woman come out. I think that a looser grip could be a better move.

The difference that I see in tone is that Marvel plays up the campy elements, playing to the wider audience who don't take comic books seriously and expect a cartoon when they see them. So far, Snyder it looks like DC is really honoring the comics and taking them seriously. The comic books can be dark and complicated. When done right, they take these fantastical characters and create really layered stories that can be taken seriously.
Marvel's approach will appeal to a wider audience, but there is no emotional investment. There is no reality in place, which means that there is no weight to the stories at all. If any one of the Avengers died in the next movie, would the audience feel any real emotion about it, one way or the other? This is after 8 years and a billion movies. People watch those movies, but what is the audience investment?

Say what you will about Man of Steel, but the audience was invested. They debated character choices and still argue about events of the movie to this day. And it isn't just "the movie sucked!" arguments, it is "Superman would never allow his own father to die in order to protect his secret!" "But he isn't Superman yet, which is the point!" arguments.

The Avengers make more bad decisions than good ones. But how many debates do you see on the subject?

Anyway, even if the movie flops, I can see DC fliddling with things here and there. Maybe they'd replace Snyder for the Justice League movies. But I don't see them trashing the whole slate and starting from square one. They really can't. They made a huge presentation of their plan in front of millions of people. If they make that presentation irrelevant, it will make them look like a sinking ship and nobody will get on board. They would be better off scrapping the whole plan and never making the movies at all.

(By the way, you got post number 52!)

54 (edited by Slider_Quinn21 2016-02-13 11:19:10)

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Informant wrote:

Anyway, even if the movie flops, I can see DC fliddling with things here and there. Maybe they'd replace Snyder for the Justice League movies. But I don't see them trashing the whole slate and starting from square one. They really can't. They made a huge presentation of their plan in front of millions of people. If they make that presentation irrelevant, it will make them look like a sinking ship and nobody will get on board. They would be better off scrapping the whole plan and never making the movies at all.

That's sorta what I'm talking about.  I actually think this would've been done better with a gentler hand and more buildup.  Maybe there should've simply been "Batman vs Superman" - not "Dawn of Justice" - you get Batman (again, I'd have him be younger but that argument is played out) to show up in Metropolis to investigate Superman.  You have a Clark who's deeply remorseful about what happened and trying desperately to make it right (maybe even to the point where it's affecting his life as Clark Kent).  Clark's act is so genuine and nice and "truth, justice, and the American way" that it makes Bruce and Lex suspicious.  Bruce comes as a detective who wants to believe that someone can be that good - that Clark was just sloppy (having watched the footage a billion times).  Misunderstanding happens.  Bruce fights Clark thinking he's found the secret.  Lex activates Doomsday or his mech suit or whatever.  Clark convinces Bruce.  Combine to fight bigger threat.  End of movie.

No Wonder Woman.  No Flash.  No Aquaman.  No Cyborg.  If you want to tease these things, that's fine.  Wonder Woman needs a tease, I guess.  Maybe mention weird things regarding the ocean where Zod's gravity thing was going off.  Tease these characters but don't show them.  There are two characters in this world - Batman and Superman - and just hints of others.

Then Suicide Squad to introduce a different element.  Then Wonder Woman gets her own movie.  Bam, now you have a Trinity.  Once you have that in place, you can do Justice League.  It's already two parts so you can spend the first act getting these guys together.  Flash doesn't need a full movie to be introduced - he runs fast.  You might spend some time on Cyborg, but I'd spend a lot of time on Aquaman.  Set up Atlantis and some of that stuff because it needs explanation, and it'd be fun.  Maybe even make the reason for the Justice League *be* Atlantis attacking - that could be a whole movie before Darkseid shows up.

(this is the part where I'd say Green Lantern was canon and cast Ryan Reynolds.  I'd also have cast Bale as Batman if he has to be old and I have all the power int his hypothetical.  That way, these characters are already established)

I love the idea of taking the material seriously.  What I don't like is not having fun with it.  And while Man of Steel was a better movie than most of the Marvel movies, it wasn't much fun.  And Superman needs to be fun.  *Especially* the way they made the ending.  Imagine Man of Steel where Clark spends the first half of the movie just having fun with his powers.  Almost like Spider-Man except more wonder and less dickish.  Then he gets hit with the whole Kryptonian stuff - meets Jor-El, meets Zod, learns the true weight of an entire planet's destruction.  Then he goes to fight Zod and wins but the whole city has been destroyed.  Clark has to learn to take this whole hero thing seriously but we still know, at heart, that he's a fun-loving, genuinely good guy.

And it's the same thing with BvS - which, the way it's being presented, doesn't look very fun.  When you compare it to Captain America: Civil War, which does look to be character-motivated, it looks dark and violent.  All the fights in Captain America are during the day with bright colors.  All the BvS fights are sepia-colored with big explosions and/or set at night or in the rain.

All I'm saying is that there's tons of middle ground between the MCU and the Dark Knight Trilogy that could've been used for a world that Batman and Superman share.  Instead, it seems like they took the Dark Knight model and put the rest of the DC universe in there.  When, honestly, the only DC characters that fits in the Dark Knight world is Batman.  That's why Bruce is a part-time Justice Leaguer and an outcast. 

Just my two cents.  I don't love these characters as much as you do, so I could be wrong in my interpretation smile

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

I'd just like to say that I love this... On so many sites these days, this argument would be 140 character bickering, with most of the comments being "if you don't like it, don't watch it!" and I hate that. I loves me some good conversation, with two rational points of view. We should make this a blog and monetize this conversation! smile


I think that too much is being made of The Flash, Cyborg, Aquaman and Wonder Woman at this point. From what's been said (I think by Snyder), most of those characters are hinted at, but play no large role in the movie. So what looks like a bloated superhero movie really isn't. Obviously, Wonder Woman plays a larger part than the others, but the others are mostly myths or urban legends. This is kinda how I imagined those characters being introduced when I wrote my Superman scripts, with Clark later using his journalistic side to investigate those legends and bring them into the world through the Justice League (which is a script that I never wrote).

As far as Superman goes... I don't see how Man of Steel could have been light and fun. It would take Clark a good amount of time before he reached a point where he could be anything but confused and terrified by his powers. His parents raised him to be scared of using them, because they knew that revealing those powers could be the end of him. Their point of view wasn't extreme or wrong. It was just unsustainable as he grew into an adult. The movie was about Clark moving from that point of being terrified, constantly running and hiding, and not only accepting who he is, but accepting who he wants to be. If they had made that easier, lighter, or more fun, it wouldn't have been genuine. The movie was about the biggest personal struggle that he'll ever face.
All that said, the movie was incredibly hopeful. It was about embracing who he is, but choosing what to do with it. Being born on Krypton doesn't make him Kryptonian.
I've always said that this was the Superman movie that I've always wanted to see. I do think that there is a time and place for Superman to be happy and light (not really funny, but lighter), but it would have been wrong for that first movie. That is something for him to work toward and earn. It's his happily ever after.


Civil War looks like a fun action movie, but I have a hard time watching the trailer and thinking of it as anything other than a response t Batman v Superman. I know that they had scheduled a third Captain America movie all along, but I don't believe that this was it. It doesn't strike me as character based, probably because I don't feel like the characters were ever really there. They have always used the characters like action figures, having them do whatever they needed to do in order for their movies to unfold. In The Avengers, some of the scenes of the Avengers fighting were ridiculous and out of place, but the people making it wanted it to happen, so it happened. And no matter how many times they prove that it is a bad idea, the people in these movies keep launching those stupid air bases that inevitably crash and kill a bunch of people.
It will be what all of the Marvel movies are... a thin plot, designed to have goofy characters with interchangeable personalities run around, shooting things and cracking jokes. And that works for them (money-wise), so good for them.

But when I watch the trailer for Batman v Superman, it instantly feels earned. I get why Batman is going after Superman. I get why Superman doesn't like Batman. I see how Lex is using the situation for his own advantage. And the funny part is that this isn't based on decades of knowing the characters. It's based on what happened in Man of Steel, and what we're being shown in the trailer for BvS. That's it. About two and a half hours of history with this world, and the plot of this movie feels earned.

Maybe if Civil War had been the first Captain America movie, it would have made more sense. These characters wouldn't know each other, or how to work with each other. They would be uneasy, and conflict could arise. But one of the first things you learn about using a gun is that you don't even point the thing at anything that you don't intend to destroy. I honestly can't buy into a plot where Captain America or Iron Man would intend to kill each other, and if that is taken off the table, the whole thing looks more like childish bickering than a real plot. If Civil War had been the first movie, it would have explained why those two characters bicker so much later, but earlier bickering can't explain them full-on turning on each other.

I can see Batman v Superman being the Dawn of Justice, as the title says. I can see this battle between the two known superheroes drawing enough attention to catch the eye of the others. I can see Diana stepping in when she has to, because she has the least to lose by doing so. And after her, I can see others beginning to rethink their decision to stay hidden. Aquaman may have been silent before, because keeping Atlantis a secret kept it safe from the outside world, but when worldwide events start to threaten his home regardless of whether people know about it or not, he has a duty to step up.
Cyborg was a victim, who they could say, was severely mutilated in the battle of Metropolis, and he's viewed himself as a victim ever since. But seeing what Batman and Superman do for people could inspire him to turn his curse into a blessing.
The Flash could have been helping people here and there, without ever moving slowly enough for people to see him. He is a blur that people talk about, but some may not even believe in. Some might just assume that it's Superman. But after Batman and Superman come together and Diana steps up to join them, and Aquaman reveals himself, maybe Barry would be inspired to stop being a blur and accept his role in their new world.

Mind you, all of these would be brief glimpses of characters at the end of the movie (aside from Wonder Woman). Maybe a montage of people watching the news, with these faces thrown in there. No significant roles in the movie.

Like I said, it's hard to judge what we haven't seen. But based on what I have seen, nothing about BvS feels completely wrong to me. I'm still questioning their decisions regarding Lex Luthor, but I won't know until I actually see the movie.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Informant wrote:

Maybe if Civil War had been the first Captain America movie, it would have made more sense. These characters wouldn't know each other, or how to work with each other. They would be uneasy, and conflict could arise. But one of the first things you learn about using a gun is that you don't even point the thing at anything that you don't intend to destroy. I honestly can't buy into a plot where Captain America or Iron Man would intend to kill each other, and if that is taken off the table, the whole thing looks more like childish bickering than a real plot. If Civil War had been the first movie, it would have explained why those two characters bicker so much later, but earlier bickering can't explain them full-on turning on each other.

The trailers place emphasis on super-hero registration, but I'm not sure that's the full reason for the fight.  In the previous Cap movie, Zola insinuated that the Winter Soldier killed Tony Stark's parents.  I'm not sure how much Tony cared about his Dad, but his Mom may be a different story.  In that light, such a revelation would be analogous to Batman finding out that his parents were killed by Superman's pal Jimmy Olsen.  Would Bruce care if Clark claimed Jimmy was brainwashed at the time?

As for Civil War, I think the comic idea worked a little better than this movie spin; but it had problems too.  The comics presented the spark point as a bunch of kids playing hero which led to the destruction of a town (including a school full of kids).  The government then pushed for super powered registration and mandatory training of people with powers.  It was a metaphor for the current U.S. debate on gun control and school violence. Despite Cap's own experience in being helped by his army training, he saw too much of a Nazi / Jew dynamic in the idea of registration; so Cap was opposed.  Iron Man had a more modern point of view removed from the idea of Jewish concentration camps because all he had ever seen of that was in books or movies.  It was of an academic exercise to Tony while Cap had his heart in it.

We may see some of the above brought up in the movie version of Civil War; might see none of it.  I don't think think Civil War was a response to Batman v Superman, though.  I think it was a response to the Spider-man rights becoming available.  Marvel wanted a quick way to shove Spidey into things as part of a big event; and the comics version of Civil War fit that bill.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Hey. I reposted TF's Marvel Universe thoughts in the Marvel thread: http://sliders.tv/bboard/viewtopic.php?pid=1818#p1818 Let's keep this thread for talking about how Slider_Quinn21 hates old people and how anyone over 30 can't fight crime!

;-)

58 (edited by Informant 2016-02-13 16:30:13)

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

TF, I'm responding to your comments, but I'm going to move that response to the MCU thread. I think I've shifted the conversation toward Marvel here, and now I must set right what once went wrong...

To be continued... in the Marvel thread.


(EDIT: I was posting this before the thread was moved. Ireactions became the evil leaper and stole all of the glory) smile

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Informant wrote:

Like I said, it's hard to judge what we haven't seen. But based on what I have seen, nothing about BvS feels completely wrong to me. I'm still questioning their decisions regarding Lex Luthor, but I won't know until I actually see the movie.

I don't have time right now for another essay, but I have thoughts on both Marvel and DC.

But I wanted to mention - have we talked about the fact that Eisenberg isn't playing the traditional Lex but his son?  It's apparently been confirmed that he's playing Lex Luthor Jr.  I didn't get a ton of time to research it, but it was mentioned in the Fortune article and I think in an interview with MTV.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Ah. We may have. I had heard that somewhere, but didn't know if it was confirmed.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Well I did a bit more research and Eisenberg definitely said it.  And the Fortune article, if canon, definitely says it.  Makes it seem like Lex Sr. is dead and Lex Jr. inherited the company.  No idea if Lex Sr. will play into the movie at all, or if he even survived to see Superman show up.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Cool. I wonder what they'll do with that.

In other news, I keep seeing reports all over the place about the HitFix report about Warner Bros. being unhappy and rethinking the whole plan. It is starting to irritate me, because the original report was an unconfirmed rumor, followed by supposition and wild theory. Now the entire internet is reporting it as though it is the truth. I frickin' hate the internet. This whole thing could have been caused by Disney slipping HitFix $100 for all we know.

63 (edited by Slider_Quinn21 2016-02-15 22:07:43)

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Well, if BvS is good, it won't matter.  If it is a bit of a mess, the rumor gets confirmed.  I can't imagine it'd affect box office numbers (in fact, with lowered expectations due to the report, it could look better - "I heard it sucked, but it was actually pretty good"), and a report wouldn't really affect the WB's plans until after the movie comes out.

And even the HitFix report really only talks about how the Justice League movie would either be pushed back or go in a different direction creatively.  Which, based on 95% of the decisions that have been made for BvS, might actually save a Justice League movie.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

It's just annoying to me. Every time a Marvel movie is released, everyone bows down to worship it. They've gotten about a billion free passes on some pretty huge mistakes. It's all fun, so everyone plays along. Same with Star Wars. Everything new is high-budget fanfic, but everyone goes along for the ride because it's all good clean fun.

Then the one time I manage to get excited about one of these things, everyone has to go on a non-stop slamming press tour, before anyone even sees the movie. It's more about my own frustration than any fear for the movie itself. Man of Steel was one of the best comic book movies I've seen. People dump all over it, but that hasn't ruined it for me. So if BvS comes near that, I'll be happy with the film. I'm just frustrated that the one time I decide to jump on the geek-joy bandwagon, everyone keeps trying to blow it up. smile

I'm allowed to be childish every now and then!

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Ha, well I'm sorry about that.  As we've chronicled here, I'm *very* worried about this movie.  I could list a dozen creative decisions that I'd label as missteps - but it's still Batman and Superman on the same screen.  It's still fun Dark Knight Returns imagery, Wonder Woman on the big screen, and a move towards the Justice League.  It's awesome.

I hope Snyder made a great movie.  I hope he can make a great Justice League movie.  But based on his prior track record (in my opinion), I'll unfortunately have to see it to believe it.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Snyder has a pretty good record, doesn't he? Dawn of the Dead, 300, Watchmen... those were all pretty well received, right?

I think there is a disconnect in the media about comic book movies. A lot of the reports that I see talk about how these movies are for kids, or they say that comic books are funny, light, colorful stories. I think that's true... if you're talking about cartoons based on comic books. The comics themselves are not necessarily for young kids. They can be pretty dark and serious, and depending on who is writing them, they can tell some pretty complicated character stories.

I think that Snyder puts a lot of thought into how he can bring the feel of the comic books to the screen, which is not what people expect to see on the screen. The same was true for the Nolan Batman movies. And they call that "Nolan style" now, or grim, or dark... but those Batman movies were so good because they felt like the best of the comic books. People had just come to expect an over-stylized film when it came to Batman, based on the previous movies and even the animated series.

People say that Man of Steel was too washed out... I disagree. It just looked like a film, rather than a cartoon.


Anyway, I guess we'll talk about BvS more next month. But I will still say that it is sloppy, annoying, bad journalism to keep reporting on the uninformed opinion of one person, who isn't connected to the movie or the studio in any way. Nothing he said has any more substance than a random stranger on the street who is being asked their opinion on the trailer.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Regarding Snyder....I don't know.  I think 300 is visually a good film, and I enjoyed it the first time I watched it.  I tried watching it again and was sorta bored by it.  It just didn't hold my interest.

I liked Dawn of the Dead.  For some reason, I watched that movie every time it was on when they showed it on premium cable over and over again.  Like most zombie movies, the ending was clunky, but I think it was pretty good.

Watchmen was fine.  I thought he did an amazing job translating it from the book to film, but I just didn't love it.  I think the accurate translation actually exposed some of the narrative problems in the book. 

I liked Sucker Punch more than most people, but that was a movie most people didn't like.  Visually stunning and a pretty fun story, but I can see problems regarding the way it was presented.

All in all, Snyder's movies are all breathtaking from a visual standpoint.  Every one of them has a unique look that suits it, and I think he knows how to make a movie look great.  His action sequences are pretty great, and I think he does care about character.  But while I've generally enjoyed every one of his movies, I don't know how much re-watchablility they have.  I've still never really re-watched Man of Steel - only watched bits and pieces.

My main problem with BvS are the creative choices they've made.  I'm going to judge the movie based on what it is, not what it could be.  But a lot of the choices he's made are just so frustrating to me.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

I can see that. I hate when things have a lot of potential, but the people making them just don't care enough to live up to that potential.

I'm just more hopeful about this one than you are. smile

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

http://movieweb.com/batman-v-superman-d … rner-bros/

Another article where people make up comments "from Warner Bros." and then create a huge stink about them. I don't even understand why people are so worked up about these things. But it feels like a negative press tour to me. These aren't legit reports by any stretch of the imagination.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

For the record, I've decided to write my own mega-synopsis version of Batman v Superman.  So far it's only 3 pages long (I'm through the end of act 2), but it's more along the lines of the movie I'd like to see.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Further evidence that the HitFix theory was wrong. Justice League will begin filming two weeks after the opening of BvS.

http://www.ew.com/article/2016/02/21/ju … s-April-11


Now, one could say that there is still time for the studio to slam on the breaks there (I still argue that it would be such bad press for them at that point that they probably wouldn't recover), but I would argue that if there studio were as worried as those anonymous sources have been telling gossip sites, they would have already found a reason to push filming back by at least a month or two, so they could see how BvS is received.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Isn't that just as irresponsible, though?  What if the movie isn't a hit?  What if things don't work?  What if Snyder isn't the guy?  Is it still smart to just roll on like everything is fine?

There's nothing wrong with replacing Snyder - Marvel replaced Whedon with the Russo Brothers and just kept rolling.  Ant-Man had many different creative heads, and it still was a commercial and critical success.

I want Justice League to be successful.  But they have to do it the right way.  And if pushing it back means making sure the movie is set up to succeed, then that's what they should do.  This, to me, reeks of the studio over-compensating, showing extra confidence in BvS to combat the rumors of the contrary.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

To change directors would mean reworking the script and going through the whole pre-production process again. It would set them back months, at least. And that would have a domino effect.

The whole idea of replacing Snyder is based on the rumor that he failed with BvS. This far, the studio has shown no sign of having lost their faith in the project.

Any time you have a series of movies planned out for years, they are going to be based on the assumption that the franchise is a success. Marvel's movies are based on the same faith. As are all movie series. Marvel didn't just freak out and get rid of Joss. They parted ways at a point where it made sense for them.


Right now, I see no reason to assume that Snyder should be replaced. I see no reason to believe that BvS is already a flop. This looks like business as usual.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Yeah, and this is the part where we have to agree to disagree.  I'm worried about the movie, and you're confident that it will be done well.  If you're right, then nothing will change and the rumors will have been forgotten.  If I'm right, they're going to need to take a step back and make some changes (even if minor) to correct the ship.

Remember, Hitfix didn't say that the movie was a disaster.  This isn't Fantastic 4, which abandoned its sequel plans after a nightmare of a movie, creatively and financially.  The rumors said that Affleck was good and that Eisenberg was great.  That the move would be to a) move the solo Batman movie up and b) push back the Justice League movie.  Unless further rumors came up, I never heard anything about reboots or doing anything differently.  That BvS would still be canon and a building block, but that it might not be the launching pad that the studio was hoping for.

I really want Batman Superman to be good, but if it isn't good, I *really* want them to fix it for Justice League.  And if it's not good and they just close their eyes and pretend that it is so that they can save face in their war vs. Marvel, then they're going to be sabotaging Justice League before it gets a chance.

There's no shame in reworking something to make it better.  And whether or not Justice League comes out on time or months late, I want them to be doing everything they can to make sure it's the best movie it can be.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

The question is, what would make the Batman movie a better launching pad than Justice League? JL should be a good movie with a solid script, regardless of what happens with BvS. They should have people from Warner Bros and DC going over the script to make sure that Snyder isn't going crazy, and they should be showing that script to the people making any of the related movies, just so they can make sure that everyone is on the same page. Snyder isn't working in a bubble here. He is part of a bigger machine.

So, say BvS is a flop. Everyone hates it. They hate every minute of the movie and the meeting of these characters is a disaster. What good will it do to make a Batman movie instead of a Justice League movie? What did Thor 2 or Iron Man 3 change about Marvel's plans?

I'm not really expecting BvS to be loved by everyone. I think it will probably be divisive, because I don't think that it will be the Marvel knockoff that people are expecting, just like Man of Steel wasn't the Donner movie that people expected. (I know you have other issues with the movie, but most people dislike death of Zod or the lack of bright colors and "Aw gosh" attitude)
Deadpool and Guardians of the Galaxy get praised for being different, because let's face it... aside from comic book fan, nobody knows who those characters are. So while they go off the rails and people love it, I doubt that people will be as forgiving with BvS. People *want* Donner's Superman. People *want* Batman from the animated series. And when they get the characters from the comic books, or something based on various elements from the comic books, those people will not be happy. Everyone thinks they know these characters, because they had the t-shirt and watched the cartoons.
So, I don't know.

I'm just open to seeing what they do with the characters. I've seen these characters range from silly cartoon versions to very layered, serious versions. I think that I'm just more open because I don't really expect them to be anything in particular.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Informant wrote:

The question is, what would make the Batman movie a better launching pad than Justice League? JL should be a good movie with a solid script, regardless of what happens with BvS. They should have people from Warner Bros and DC going over the script to make sure that Snyder isn't going crazy, and they should be showing that script to the people making any of the related movies, just so they can make sure that everyone is on the same page. Snyder isn't working in a bubble here. He is part of a bigger machine.

Well it's building on what works and fixing what doesn't.  If you'll allow me to speculate, let's say that the Hitfix rumors are correct.  Batman works, Lex works, but the rest of the movie falls flat.  That means that Wonder Woman doesn't impress, and something about Superman doesn't work.  And to continue to play devil's advocate, let's say that Superman spends the whole time being angry and doesn't do anything heroic.  And maybe they don't like how dark (lighting, not tone) the whole movie is.

WB looks at the script for Justice League, and they look at what's in there.  (speculating again).  Batman's in it fine, but Lex is either barely in it or not in it at all.  So maybe they rework it so that Lex plays a bigger part.  Wonder Woman didn't work in BvS, but her movie is coming out so they sorta have to run with whatever is established in that movie.  Perhaps they could make some slight alterations in her character.  But with Superman, there's tons they could do.  Maybe you open the movie with a fun action scene that spotlights the kind of Superman that people want (I'll get to this in a second) - sorta like how Singer would've re-written Superman Returns to open with the plane crash.  Maybe you alter his character to make him a little happier - a little less moody.  And whether or not you keep Snyder, maybe you tell him to cut back on the sepia/gray colors and throw in some color.

That's all they'd need to do.  And if you release Batman before Justice League, you give yourself time to fine-tune these kinds of things.

And it's not like they can't do stuff like that.  If you have Affleck's Batman, and that's what works, then you use that and build on it.  Make no mistake, the MCU has succeeded because of Downey's Tony Stark character.  People liked Iron Man, but look at the rest of the phase one.  Incredible Hulk bombed so much that it's barely canon.  Thor is no one's favorite movie.  Captain America: the First Avenger is a glorified trailer.  Heck, Iron Man 2 is a mess, and it's the second-best pre-Avengers movie.

Avengers worked because it a) had Iron Man and b) made the rest of the characters work, altering them if-necessary.  That's why no one gives a damn about a Hulk solo film, but they go nuts for every Hulk scene in the Avengers. 

So you apply that plan to DC.  If Superman doesn't work, make him work in some other way.  And I don't necessarily think that it's Donner.  I think pretty much every DCAU movie/show gets Superman right.  He's a great leader, he's tough, but he's fatherly/brotherly.  He lightens things up a bit when it's not time to be serious.  I think the problem with MoS Superman (that seems to be carried over into BvS) is that he doesn't really have fun being Superman at any point.  Now the second Zod shows up, the guy should be all business.  But it's just weird that the two most fun scenes in Man of Steel both happen *after* the Battle of Metropolis, literally the only time in the movie that fun shouldn't be happening (again, IMO).

Max Landis gave my favorite description of Superman in a video he did.  He said "instead of absolute power corruption (Clark) absolutely, absolute power has absolved him from fear and greed and hate and all the weaknesses that stem from human insecurity."  And I think that's brilliant, and it turns all the "boring" parts about Superman into really fun, creative things.  I can imagine a scene in a Justice League movie where they're hanging around a situation room table talking about why they became superheroes.  And Barry talks about how his mom was murdered and his dad was imprisoned and how that turned him to the law.  And Diana talks about how it's her legacy to protect mankind.  And Arthur says he wants to do right by his people.  And maybe Bruce mentions his parents or whatever.  But Superman looks around and is a little confused - he's a superhero because it's the right thing to do.  And everyone sorta laughs at the innocence of that, but it shows Clark as this guy who has all the super powers but the strongest is his belief in mankind.

And while I think Man of Steel actually captured a lot of the things right about Clark, I don't think it captured his super-optimism.  I don't think it captured his light-heartedness or his fun side.  And I think, more than just cramming Superman into the Nolanverse, I think that was my biggest issue.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Then again, the last thing I want is for them to cram someone like Lex into a movie where he wasn't supposed to be. That's the problem with reactionary writing by a studio... The goal should be to write a good script, not to hit all of the marketing goals. It's all a balancing act, but it's far too easy for the studio to get that wrong. They'll say that Lex was a hit, so the next thing you know, Justice League involves them bringing in Lex to be a reluctant part of the team. Now you have Lex Luthor on the Justice League.

It's like when they made Spike a good guy on "Buffy". It just didn't work for the character or the story, and it was done for all of the wrong reasons.

There would be no way to get Batman out before Justice League at this point. It would take a year of development on that movie, followed by production, followed by post. It would be two or three years away, which would then put Justice League at at least four years away. That would push back the introductions of every other character they have... basically, as I said before, they'd be better off just scrapping the whole plan at that point. Because it's a train wreck, compounded by the horrible PR that would be surrounding them because of it.

They can still make tweaks to the script for JL, and even reshoot some stuff if they want. They can bump up colors in post. They can do a lot of things within the structure of their schedule. None of that is really unusual though.

The thing with Man of Steel is that he isn't Superman until the end of the movie. They don't use the name, because that's not who he is. This isn't Superman being Superman. This is Clark accepting what he is, where he comes from, and who he wants to be going forward. There isn't room for optimism, because the movie's plot is about this man of steel being vulnerable and terrified. And there's no way to avoid that. He was raised to be scared of what would happen if people found out about him. The whole movie is about him living his worst nightmare, pretty much. And for a lot of it, things go the way his parents told him it would. The government doesn't trust him. They come after him. His alien heritage is a threat to the world and everyone wants him torn apart.

Iron Man is a fun movie, but it's not a good character piece. And Clark can't be Tony. There was no room in Man of Steel for him to be the light, optimistic guy that we know from the cartoons, because that's not who he is yet. The movie wasn't called "Superman".

Most people (again, not you) don't care about Clark Kent. To most people, Clark Kent is the disguise that Superman wears, and that is how the earlier movies approached the character. The story of his upbringing is glossed over. The fact that he had real human emotions is glossed over. They want the man with his hands on his hips and the cape blowing being him. But if you approach the character as a real character, you can't go there. That is the end of his development, not the beginning of it.

What I see when I watch Man of Steel is a story that I can relate to. It's a story about a guy who has skills that aren't going to make his life easy. He's not going to have the normal life that his parents had. He doesn't know how to make those skills work for him. He doesn't feel comfortable in his body. He doesn't feel comfortable in the world around him. Every time his powers have shown themselves to people around him, they made him look like a fool or an outcast. Even when he saved the bus full of kids, he was smacked down because of it (not literally).
But throughout the movie, he comes to understand who he is as a person. He comes to understand where he comes from. He comes to term with what he wants to be, and he overcomes the fears that he has been living with his entire life. That's the beauty of the scene where he steps out of the fortress and learns how to fly.

He does have a sense of humor, and he does have the warmth that we have come to expect from Clark, but he is presented as a real person. The animated shows don't make him a real person. They show him as someone who is so powerful that there is always a way for him to get out of a situation with his hands clean and the perfect curl on his head. People complained about him killing Zod, because "that's not Superman". But if you put characters into live action, the bar is raised. There was no convenient place for Superman to put Zod, where he could eventually escape and destroy even more buildings later. There was only the sloppy answer. And the thing that made him a hero in that moment was that he was willing to sacrifice his cartoonish ideal version of that outcome for the sake of the innocents. It hurt him, but it had to happen. People keep saying "Just put your hand over Zod's eyes", but he will have to take his hand away at some point.

Going forward, I do expect to see a different version of the character. I'd like to see him lighter and more like what we know, but I don't want them to use the humanity, and I don't want these movies to be a live-action cartoon, like the Marvel movies. If I want a cartoon, there are plenty of them out there. In live action, I want them to take these characters and explore them in a real world, full of flesh and blood people.

I love the arc of Man of Steel. I do see it as extremely optimistic. I just think that it's a more grounded version of that optimism, and it makes the optimism more earned.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

I really wish I could talk more about Man of Steel, but I've only seen it the one time all the way through.  And it's a movie that I remember liking a lot until the ending.  And I found myself sorta amazed by the actual Battle of Metropolis - which is why I think I had such a problem with how casual the ending was.  If you're going to make *that* much of an impact with your climax, I need that to be respected.  And, yeah, BvS is going to be the payoff, but if that's the case, I almost needed a tip to that *more* in the end of MoS.  Because, otherwise, it seems more reactionary than what the plan was.  And, as you said, that's when problems happen.

I'd really have to go back to see the optimism.  From my memory, it wasn't there, but I might just be revising history.  I rewatched the "What if Man of Steel was in color" video by Videolab (side note: I like the colored version better), and I was surprised to see Clark having as much fun flying as he did.  So that's good - there needs to be a scene like that in BvS, but I'm afraid there won't be (has Clark smiled in any of the promo materials because I know for sure Bruce has).

I guess my primary problem with the characterization of Clark is Jonathan Kent.  I hated him.  And it wasn't Costner's fault - I just never really agreed with his character.  Yes, Clark needed to be careful.  But I found myself wishing that John Schneider's Jonathan (from Smallville) would show up and punch him in the face.  When he tells Clark that maybe he should've let the bus full of kids drown?  I don't believe he'd say that.  Clark is a good person because he does the right thing, and he does the right thing because Jonathan and Martha Kent taught him to do that.  I believe, on a level, Clark is Superman because one of his powers is simply being better at making the right choice - super-humanity if you will.  But his moral compass is midwestern America - and you're the one who taught me that. 

Jonathan believing so hard that Clark can *never* reveal his powers, even if it means letting people die, was nonsense to me.  I don't buy it.  It's selfish, and it's wrong.  Now maybe comics Jonathan said that, but I prefer the Smallville origin where Jonathan is proud that his son wants to do the right thing.  And where, instead of teaching him to be afraid of his powers, they teach him that he just better not get caught.  So it forces Clark to use his powers in secret, which actually forces him to fine-tune things like his speed so that no one can see him.

The tornado scene.....ugh......what a mess.  I don't buy it.  Not for a second.  And not any of it, honestly.  Let's assume for a second that everyone under that bridge noticed Clark and was staring at Clark the entire time.  So if he speeds away, everyone notices and understands there's no other explanation.  These are Clark's neighbors - they aren't going to scream "ALIEN" and immediately call in the black helicopters. 

But, first of all, there's a ton of chaos in that scene.  Clark could've slipped into the crowd where no one would notice him, speed to save Jonathan, and be back before anyone noticed.  He could've even waited until the last second so that it *looked* like he was killed in the storm, then he shows up X time later with some bruises as some kind of "miracle." 

Second, I don't like a Clark that would allow that to happen.  And, yeah, I know that's what he was taught.  I don't like a Clark that allows that lesson to seep in.  And I don't like that the moral center of Man of Steel is a moral argument between Jonathan and Jor-El where *Jonathan* is wrong.  It's so backwards in my mind, and it poisons Clark's character for me.  Because Clark's upbringing is supposed to be pure, but Man of Steel paints it like Jor-El has to come in and re-raise him so that he can be the hero he was supposed to be. 

I would've liked a version of the story where Smallville just knows that Clark is an alien.  He saves Jonathan in front of enough people, and they just understand.  He saved the bus of kids.  He saved his father.  He's a good guy.  Just like Metropolis will see this god flying around and just *know* that he's a hero.  And they protect him just like he protects them.  He doesn't go full Superboy or even full Smallville.  Even if it's just those two things, it works.

And if they have to do the "my father was convinced that if people found out who I really was, they'd reject me" storyline, give it to Clark instead of Jonathan.  Have Jonathan tell Clark that he needs to be himself, and Clark is so afraid of hurting anyone that he won't do it.  When the bus starts to sink, for a second, he considers letting it fall but can't.  Jonathan later scolds him for how selfish that would've been.  When the tornado happens, he looks around at all the people before he speeds in.  He later breaks down because he almost let his father die to protect himself.  So it's about dismantling his own fear and embracing the hero that was there all along.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

I get your criticism... but a lot of it is based on information from other films, shows and comic books, and not the movie itself.

Check out this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_WuvMy2c70g

It's true. Clark doesn't explore his powers until he is pushed into it. He doesn't know how to fly or super speed until he explores those powers in the film. He doesn't super speed to save the guy on the boat in the beginning of the movie, or to save the men from the oil rig. He shows no sign of being able to fly. So, assume that he knows that he is really strong when the tornado comes for Jonathan... what is he supposed to do with that? He can run into the tornado and get swept away with his father, but how will that actually save Jonathan if they both still end up crashing down?

I don't think you're remembering all of Jonathan's scenes. Jonathan knew that Clark was going to grow up to be something special. He knew that Clark was going to change the world, but he didn't know how to help Clark do that. With the kids on the bus, Jonathan didn't believe that Clark should have let them die. He just didn't know what he believed Clark should have done. He says "maybe" Clark should have let them die, but when you watch him say it, you know that he isn't saying it because he believes that Clark should have let them. He's saying it because those kids are safe and in that moment, his son is not. He is scared.

Man of Steel shows Clark just starting to explore his powers, and just starting to understand them after years of trying to ignore them. We're used to seeing the scene with him learning to fly in the corn field, but that never happened here. We're used to seeing Clark speed over to school because he missed the bus, but that never happened here. And that's the problem with the criticism that I see of this movie. People are judging this movie and all of its characters based on what we know from everywhere else. That is a burden that none of the Marvel movies (except maybe Spider-Man) have had. Nobody knew Iron Man before RDJ put on the suit. We knew what Cap looked like, but he wasn't/isn't something that is a part of American culture. Thor... to this day, nobody cares about Thor (part of me felt a cold stare from HunterD_Raven when I typed that, but he hasn't posted on a Sliders board in years, so I don't care!!!).
Batman and Superman don't have the luxury of being introduced to the audience, and people can't put aside what they know about Superman and just watch the movie for what it is. They expect him to do this or that, because it happened on Smallville or in a movie from 1978. Not to sound petty, but that's not fair.


As for coloring... I thought Man of Steel was beautiful. I loved the way it looked, and I didn't like the brighter version online. Look around you right now. The light, the shadows, the colors that you're wearing (if you're anything like me) are not comic book bright. My jeans are muted blue. My skin isn't glowing. My shirt is an earth tone.

Man of Steel reminded me of when I was a kid. The cool breeze that blows through the laundry in the late afternoon, while little Clark is running around in his towel-cape. Maybe it's because the colors remind me of movies from that era too... Field of Dreams, Groundhog Day, even up to Twister and stuff like that. The movie looks like a *film*, not a comic book movie. The visuals in Man of Steel, namely the coloring, instantly brings me back to a hundred spring nights when tornado watches were in effect around my home in Texas, or a cool summer night in New Jersey. I don't know how to explain it, but it was a very evocative film for me. It made me relate to Superman's upbringing more than the overly warm coloring of Smallville did, and far more than I could have if everything was in primary colors.  He would have looked silly wearing his "normal" colors in this movie.

Sorry to ramble. It's one of the few movies that I've seen over and over again, within a short length of time.

I do hope that Superman isn't all grim and menacing in the new movie. The trailers have been all from Batman's point of view, and in Batman's style. So unless this is a Batman movie that features Superman as a side character, I would hope to get more balance from the finished movie.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Yeah, like I said, I'm using several-years-old memories to attack a movie I liked for the most part.  I'm probably making Clark more dreary and Jonathan less loving.  I'm absolutely willing to admit that.

My problem, I guess, is how there's any chance Clark wouldn't know some of the limits of his powers unless there was some sort of "unlocking" that we didn't see.  In Smallville, Clark starts out with speed, strength, and invulnerability (with stuff like super-athleticism like jumping grouped in).  Clark knows these three things because they're the ones that can be generally assumed.

(All of this is based on the idea that Clark has his powers, even if just a percentage of them, from birth.  That they aren't "activated" at some point in his life.  I don't remember if MoS said this or not, but I'm assuming Clark was always stronger/faster/more invulnerable than a human child his age.)

Clark is a "normal" male child.  All of his play is going to involve those three powers as soon as he's able.  He's going to try and lift stuff.  He's going to try and break stuff.  He's going to fall and hit his head.  He's going to try to run as fast as he can.  As he gets older, those games are just going to continue.  Whether or not Clark is too nerdy for sports, he's going to play them at recess.  So I don't buy that Clark knows he has super-speed.  I don't even buy that he doesn't know the limits of his super-speed.  Because I think any person, human or not, isn't going to be curious.  If he finds out that he can run faster than the other kids (say, in kindergarten), then he's going to test himself at some point before he's an adult.  Is he going to try and break the sound barrier?  Probably not, but I could see him exerting himself.  I know, even know, I'll sometimes try to sprint as fast as I can.  I've done it all my life.  And unless using super-speed involves some sort of extra muscles or extra exertion, then Clark would know well before the tornado scene.

Heat vision, flight, freeze breath, x-ray vision....these are things that would both be unnatural and unintuitive.  Those are things that he wouldn't learn on his own - it'd happen the same way they happened on Smallville.  But speed, strength, and invulnerability are things he would know really early, I'd think.

Now the video makes two great points.  The best is the violence of the speed - there's a great chance that Clark tries to save him and kills him (kinda like Spider-Man "killing" Gwen Stacy) by hitting him with too much force.  But Jonathan is dead either way in that instance, and I don't like the idea that Clark didn't try.  I almost like that better - and it even parallels with him "killing" all those people in an attempt to save Metropolis.

The other point is why he bothers walking/climbing/etc when he can do other stuff.  And I'm guessing super-speed takes more out of him than anything else.  So if there's a chance to do things at "normal speed" I'm guessing he would.  And maybe running at super-speed is exhausting and flying takes less effort - it'd explain why there isn't much super-running in the movie and a lot more super-flying.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

What we see of Clark's childhood is a lot of him being scared to see what he can do. As a small child, x-ray vision terrified him. As a young teenager, the idea of accidentally killing someone terrified him. He was living in a nightmare world, and there was no waking up. His powers were like an abusive relative for him, so I don't think that he would be trying to see how fast he could go or how strong he was. He would be trying to see how normal he could be, because this wasn't a kid who fantasized about being The Flash. This is a kid who wanted people to *stop* looking at him. I think that he probably had a lonely childhood and didn't play with other kids very much.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4teJPCcJSQ0

In that scene, we see Clark being bullied. He was in the truck, reading a book until he was pulled out by the other kids. Then he didn't say a word to them. They wanted a reaction from him. They wanted the weird loner kid to do something, but he didn't.

While we saw Martha coaching him on how to pull back on the x-ray vision and the super hearing, we know that he didn't discover flying until later. He could control his heat vision as a child (he burned a door knob without blowing it up and burning down his school) We saw him jump, and we know that he was strong, but flying is an extension of his jumping power. Speed is an extension of his strength. From this, we can know that these are two areas where he didn't push himself. He didn't want to know, because the extent of his power scared him since he was a child.

I really don't think that he knows how to super speed at the beginning of the movie. I don't think it just takes more out of him, I think that he is unaware of those elements until he starts to embrace his powers. I think that the oil rig was probably the first time he'd done anything on that scale. The first time he pushes himself is when he learns how to fly. He jumps, and then pushes just that much harder in order to fly.


On another note, I kinda did feel like Clark's secret was a sort of open secret in Smallville. Pete Ross didn't seem like a close friend, but he seemed to know things. The priest didn't seem completely floored by Clark talking to him about being an alien. He swallowed kinda hard, but then moved on.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

I mean I guess if his childhood was that traumatic, maybe he would be afraid of pushing himself.  But unless I'm understanding the general idea of "powers" incorrectly, I don't see how there's any way he wouldn't have known he has super-speed.

(Since "powers" are fictional, it's entirely possible that I'm looking at it wrongly.  But since Superman established the whole "yellow sun" thing to try and explain it scientifically, I'm going to use whatever scientific knowledge I have to rationalize how it'd work in my head.)

I imagine heat vision/x-ray vision/flight all working as if I was trying to wag a tail.  I can imagine what wagging a tail would feel like, but since I don't have a tail, I wouldn't exactly know how to do it.  But strength/super breath/super-hearing//speed are all, in my mind, just extensions of things I can do.  For example, if I were to line up for a race with Barry Allen, mind-wiped him from knowing he's the Flash, and shot the starting gun, we'd both run as fast as we can.  It's just he'd end up in Mexico before I ended up at the end of the finish line.  Barry could run "slowly" so that it looks like he's running "normal" speed, but he'd be doing an act.  He's an adult shaking a toddler's hand and pretending that it's being crushed by this super-strong toddler.

(Case in point - Smallville season one.  Clark loses his powers and tries to super-speed.  It just looks like he's starting to run fast.)

If that's the way powers work, Clark would have to actively work to appear human.  If he exerted himself in any way,  his strength/speed would show up.  So to say that Clark doesn't know he has super-speed would imply that he's never run.  Or even started to run.  And it wouldn't have had to have been something where he even knew he needed to run.  Maybe he tries to sneak a cookie as a four year old and speeds off when he heard a noise.  I mean, again, kids run around all the time.  My nephew learned how to walk a month ago, and he's already "running"

So I don't buy that he didn't know.  Not unless powers work completely differently than I think they do and it's a completely different motion to run and super-run.

Two things I can accept regarding the super-speed and the tornado is 1) that he thought he'd kill Jonathan if he ran to save him and 2) he was absolutely terrified of using his powers in front of anyone.  And those are both fine things.  But I hate that lesson for Clark, and I guess my problem is more there than anything.  Not a problem with the movie or a problem with the character - just a disagreement with how to raise a super-powered child.  Again assuming powers work the way I think they do, I'd have Clark using his powers all the time on the farm because I'd need him to be in complete control of them all the time.  Like the JLU episode, Clark has to live in a world that's made of paper, not losing control even for a second, or people could die.  Terrifying him just seems counterproductive.

83 (edited by Informant 2016-02-24 23:23:07)

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

I look at it this way... If I'm racing my brother down the street, my goal is to run as fast as I need to in order to beat him. Just like when I pick up a phone... Even if I forgot that I can lift 100 pounds or whatever, the amount of strength that I use to life that object is determined by the result I'm getting, not the limit of my ability. You don't usually start off at 100% of anything you do. Running starts at 0mph and works up to whatever you need to get the job done. Technically, most of us are capable of lifting more than our perceived limit. Our brain limits us, but in extreme situations, people have lifted hundreds or thousands of pounds more than they thought they could.

When Clark was learning to fly in MoS, it was an extension of jumping. He jumped, and fell. Then he had to learn how to put that next boost into that jump, which became flight.

Maybe part of his body has a "normal" mode that would allow him to live in a normal world without crushing people and busting down walls, and super strength or speed would require a learned ability to break down the blocks that his brain has in place.

We see him as a boy without control of his hearing or vision,  which makes sense. I mean, you can't normally shut down your ears. The way we use them is different than our arms and legs.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Informant wrote:

Maybe part of his body has a "normal" mode that would allow him to live in a normal world without crushing people and busting down walls, and super strength or speed would require a learned ability to break down the blocks that his brain has in place.

It's possible.  And it doesn't seem like anything in the movie confirms or denies this so it's just our own (fun) speculation.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Another interesting article:
http://www.forbes.com/sites/markhughes/ … a1847970bb

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Well, let's talk a little about what "success" means.  And not just necessarily talking about BvS but to the DCCU as a whole.  I know you want it to succeed so let's talk about what that would really mean.

(And I know you're not a DC fanboy who loves DC and hates Marvel.  You've been as critical as anyone about stuff in Gotham, Supergirl, and even the Arrowverse that you originally loved.  For the sake of the argument, I simply would like to characterize you as someone who wants the DCCU to survive)

So you liked Man of Steel.  Man of Steel spawned Dawn of Justice and the plans that currently include Suicide Squad, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Cyborg, Aquaman, Green Lantern Corps, Shazam, and at least one Affleck Batman solo film.  Now is the DCCU a success if it can pull off a "phase one" like the MCU did?  Is it a success if it gets to Justice League and maybe some of those smaller films don't get made?  Is success based on critics?  Money?  Accurate representations of comics?

Because I'm not really sure what to make of this.  I want BvS to succeed, but I'm also very worried about how it's being handled.  In my head, would I rather have BvS be a success (regardless of whether I like it) if it means that we'll get a lot of the same in future projects?  Or would I rather have BvS be a bit of a flop so that Justice League won't fall prey to a lot of the creative issues I have with BvS?

Is the DCCU a success if we get a Zack Snyder helmed Justice League movie on time?  Would it be a success if the Hitfix rumors are true and we get a Batman movie before Justice League and someone else directs it?  Can it be a failure if Justice League still happens, or does it need to be a bigger success?  If BvS and Justice League are a critical/financial success but the other movies (Cyborg, Aquaman, Flash, Green Lantern Corps) are failures, is the DCCU a success?  If the movies start looking like Marvel movies (no character development, big explosions, fun but forgettable movies) is that a problem?

And, Info, this is for you primarily but anyone could answer - if you don't like BvS, should the plan be changed?  Or is it important that the plan not be changed, regardless of the reason?

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

That's a big question to answer. I guess it depends on which perspective we're approaching this from.

As a viewer (and as a storyteller myself), success to me means that it's a good movie. Good characters, good acting, good script, good directing. If I walk away from it psyched, that is a successful movie.

I imagine that the studio's view of success would be more about dollars and cents, and what the movie can bring to their future plans. But I do think it would be incredibly hard for this movie to not serve a useful purpose, in terms of setting up future movies.

Let's flash back to before Man of Steel came out. I was not super thrilled with what I was hearing about the movie. We had a British actor playing Clark Kent, which is like an American playing James Bond, I think. We had a script written by someone who had written a comic book in which Superman declares that he's not American, he is a citizen of the world (a phrase that I hate, by the way). We had Zod, who I felt was too familiar and had already been done twice before (on film and on television). Lois Lane not only didn't look like Lois Lane, but she was being played by someone who I didn't feel too excited about. And on top of that, we knew that Jor-El was going to be playing a large role, which looked like another story where Clark is more alien than he is human. The trailers looked beautiful, but I wasn't sure where they were going with the movie.

Obviously, my opinion has changed. The things that I thought they were going to do wrong were creations of my own imagination and in the press. I think that in the end, Man of Steel was a great movie. I think it's a successful movie (in terms of quality and also profit, though it didn't blow people away in terms of money)

Then again, it's also a movie that isn't universally loved. It's sparked a lot of debate and conversation. Does that make it better or worse? I don't know. I think that most good movies are the ones that you can talk for hours about, just like a book. If you're universally loved, you're not taking chances.

I really can't speak about what success means to the studio. So for me, it will mean a good, high quality movie. Something that excites me, both as the kid who grew up with these characters, and as a writer who gets stupid excited over great characters. If I walk out of the movie depressed that I wasn't involved in making the movie, it's a success.

I do expect a Batman movie (and probably another Superman movie at some point), though it's not on the schedule right now. I expect that Affleck will produce/write that, but probably won't direct it (a huge action movie is hard to direct and star in at the same time). I'm open to the idea of messing around with the schedule of releases (if The Flash should disappear, I'd understand that). But I don't think that they will cut way back and go back to square one. Aside from the Justice League movies, Snyder isn't directing the upcoming movies. He's not responsible for Suicide Squad or Wonder Woman, aside from serving as a producer and keeping things from going off the rails in terms of the universe that's been established. I think that the success of those movies will fall on the shoulders of the people who are writing/directing/starring in them. I imagine some will be better than others, but the best they can do is keep going, trying to make each movie the best it can be, and learn whatever lessons they can for whatever sequels are down the road.

One thing that they haven't done, that I know of, is commit to three Aquaman movies, three Cyborg movies, etc., which Marvel has done. It would probably be smarter to see how people respond to characters before doing anything like that. It might be best to explore different characters, like the rumored Booster Gold/Blue Beetle movie. DC/Warner has always kept the door open for other movies along the way, whether they be Batman/Superman sequels, or things like Justice League Dark. I think it's smart to keep their options open and not just make movies with characters that they might want to use in a Crisis movie fifteen years from now.


Did any of that answer any of your questions?

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Ummm...sorta?

I could be reading more into this than I should (and I apologize if I am), but you've been concerned about the Hitfix rumors, the success of BvS commercially, and the start of filming for Justice League.  You've, several times, compared the DC strategy to the Marvel strategy. 

So some of that doesn't really sync with what you just said.  If your main concern about BvS is whether or not it's a good movie, then the Hitfix rumors have no bearing on that.  The movie is done.  The Hitfix rumors don't have anything about last-minute reshoots or constant script editing.  Again, this wasn't like Fantastic Four, and the rumors even compliment Batman and Luthor (nothing about FF was positive in similar rumors).  You're going to see BvS as it was meant to be seen by the creator, regardless of what the studio does or does not think.

Also, you seemed concerned about the start of the Justice League filming being on time.  Is this simply tied to the idea that BvS is a mess?  Like if BvS is great and everyone loves it and it makes 2 billion dollars but the studio still wants to delay filming, would that be fine?  Because I'm not sure how to read that from your perspective - is it worrying because of how it affects BvS or how it makes the DCCU look vs. the MCU?

Do you view the success of the DCCU as connected to the success of the MCU?  Or are they so different to you that it doesn't really matter?

Because I'm like you - I just want the movies to be good.  And if BvS is bad (and I fear that it is), then I at least want to salvage Justice League.  And if that means Justice League comes out months or even years after it's supposed to, that's fine.  Because I worry that it's just not in the right hands.  I worry we're going to get Batman with brooding/angry Superman (which seems to be, from the trailers, where his character arc is going), brooding/angry Aquaman, brooding/angry Cyborg, brooding/angry Wonder Woman, etc, and that's not what I want.  I'd rather wait for the Nolan stuff to die down and get a movie that has character development but is fun and exciting.

Like you and MoS I could be wrong.  And I'll be there opening night regardless of what I think of the movie.  Where it feels like the collision of these two different worlds - BvS and the Snyderverse just doesn't feel right to me.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Yeah, my thoughts are layered here. smile

In regards to HitFix's comments, I just don't believe what they're saying. And I disagree with what they were saying will happen, based on their unsubstantiated rumor/wild theorizing. I have been known to theorize, but their crazy rambling was then picked up by several other websites and reported as a legitimate story about the movie being a failure and Warner Bros. being in the process of major damage control. This hit on some of my issues with the media and how news is reported these days. It's irresponsible.
The sudden surge of negative articles, based on "inside reports" and unsubstantiated rumors feels like the campaign ads we have been seeing on TV. It feels more like Marvel is running a negative press campaign than it does an actual, legitimate story. Marvel may have nothing to do with it, but it feels like a negative ad campaign, rather than legitimate reporting.
So, my frustration with HitFix was on a few levels. First, I strongly disagree with what they said. I don't believe that BvS is going to be a massive flop, and I don't believe that Warner is going to clear their slate because of it. I don't believe that even if BvS was a flop they would overhaul their whole slate, because it would look reactionary, like damage control. After a huge event on the CW, outlining their plan in detail, it would be disastrous for them to rework the slate. And for that reason alone (the CW special, that is), I do not believe that they are as worried about BvS as HitFix made them out to be.
And my other issues have just been about crappy journalism around the internet, resulting from HitFix's (wrong) theorizing. I pointed out that JL is filming on time, just to highlight how wrong I thought HitFix was. They said that JL would be reworked and pushed back to allow for a Batman movie. I disagreed with that. If Warner/DC was as worried about BvS as they say, they wouldn't have scheduled production on JL to start before they know how the BvS dust is going to settle. Bringing production to a screeching halt midway through would be another disaster in terms of publicity.


I don't view the DCU's success as being as connected to the MCU as other people seem to. I think they're different animals, and if you go to the theater to see BvS and expect it to look and feel like a Marvel movie, you will be in for a horrible surprise. People will make that comparison. People will be upset that the movie doesn't look like a cartoon. People will think that it's too dark, if only because it's not all primary colors. I think that until DC establishes what it is and people know what to expect when seeing their movies, and stop seeing them as some sort of slip-up in the coloring department, the movies will be pretty divisive among the general audience. I don't know that these will be the sort of movie that you take your kids to see a hundred times, but it might be the type of movie that a comic book fan goes to see a hundred times. I think that the movies will be judged against the Marvel movies by the press, because they view all comic book stories as being the same (and as being children's stories on top of that), but I personally think that it's a mistake to compare the two worlds.

I really am hoping that the trailers have just been a reaction to the positive feedback about Batman, because they seem to be very Batman-centric. Even Superman in the trailers is only seen from Batman's point of view most of the time. I don't want Superman to be angry and brooding all the time, but I do think that if he is depicted as a person with real human issues, people will probably read that as broody no matter what. I don't know that they will ever win with Superman, because so many people (especially aging critics) really want the Donner version back. That would just be such a huge mistake though.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

I just want to point out a funny part to this whole discussion...

I'm still not sure of Affleck as Batman! Everyone says he is great in the role, but I am generally not a fan of his acting. He has about two expressions, and that's it. I know he is an Oscar winner, but that means nothing to me. Argo was okay... But that was a movie written for him, by him, directed by him.

So I'm not without my reservations. I'm just trying to push them aside and hope for the best. If the movie sucks, you know I will be relentlessly critical. smile

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

I confess to a certain distaste towards Ben Affleck as Batman -- because, like Slider_Quinn21, I really hate old people. No, not really. It's just -- I think that only certain types of people should play superheroes. Ben Affleck has a *lot* of skeletons in his closet and it's the sort of thing that really distracts from just seeing a character -- I don't want to look at Bruce Wayne and see a gambling philanderer who passes out in casinos, I don't want to look at Captain America and see a jailbait chasing cokehead. That said, it's not terribly fair in that everyone has lives and dark sides and I find myself giving Robert Downey Jr. and Christian Bale a free pass because their various mental shortcomings are in keeping with the characters they play. For superheroes -- I prefer Tom Welling types, people with extremely low key personal lives that don't get in the way of seeing their character and only their character.

A friend of mine went to high school with Erik Knudsen (Alec from CONTINUUM) and was at a loss to describe anything significant about him whatsoever; he was polite and reportedly liked to sit quietly thinking.

For an older Batman -- I think I would choose someone like Adrian Paul (who is 56). I know nothing about him and never will. :-)

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Y'know, as I was reading your post, I was more or less in agreement. But then I realized that when we look at Bruce Wayne, we *are* supposed to see the drinking, womanizing, gambling, spoiled rich guy. I'm not defending Affleck as an actor. Just talking about the thought that came into my head.

But I agree, even beyond superhero actors. Matt Damon, Leo DiCaprio, George Clooney, Brad Pitt... The list goes on. And these are all the "Oscar Actors" who make movies because they're trying to teach us how great they are. And their real life personalities get in the way of ever seeing them as a character.
It is sad to see actors fall into that community of actors who are always out to get an Oscar, acting like it is morally important for us to see their movies. And they always end up making the most shallow, boring crap out there... But they win Oscars.

Sorry. I'm venting an old peeve here.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

ireactions wrote:

I confess to a certain distaste towards Ben Affleck as Batman -- because, like Slider_Quinn21, I really hate old people. No, not really.

Hahaha, I don't hate old people!  I'm becoming an old person myself.

What drives me crazy is this disjointed mess where Batman and Superman aren't contemporaries.  I just can't get passed that.  I actually think it's an interesting story for an elseworld, in the same sense that I think Red Son Superman and Thomas Wayne Batman are cool concepts.  But we're talking about the main DC cinematic universe, and changing a fundamental part about it. 

Now trust me, I get it.  I know why they're doing it.  When you make Batman older, you give him the wisdom to make the moral argument against Superman.  You let yourself do a cool Dark Knight Returns bit.  You give yourself the ability to do Bat-Family stories that you can't do with a young/new Batman.  And, most importantly, you find a way to deal with a problem that Justice League stories face: how can a man in a bat costume fight alongside gods?  What enemy can fight both Superman and Batman?

In a realistic sense, it sidelines Batman.  He can be the mentor, calling plays from behind a radio.  Because a young Batman would want to fight - an old Batman might understand that he serves the team better if he doesn't..

So I get it.

And in a standalone Batman/Superman movie, I think it'd be okay.  Lex Luthor Jr. (with a mysteriously absent Lex Luthor Sr.) might be okay.  The problem is that this isn't standalone.  We're going to get "official movie versions" of all the heroes we love, and Batman is going to be this mentor character who will be yelling for the rest of the Justice League to get off his lawn.  They're going to see him as this weird old man with no powers who is going to be telling them how to hero properly.

It's just weird to me.  It's weird that Dick Grayson will be Superman's age or younger.  That Clark might be Tim Drake's age.  That characters that are older than Batman already (like Penguin) might be dead from old age. 

Batman already had all his adventures.  It looks like Bruce is coming out of retirement to be Batman.  And yet there's going to be Batman solo films.  Is he going to come out of retirement several times?  How many times is Bruce going to look at Alfred and say "one more time?" 

It's just weird.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Is Batman being 43 much weirder than Iron Man being played than a 50 year old?

And Affleck could even be playing him a few years younger than he really is... Or a few older, for that matter.

95 (edited by Slider_Quinn21 2016-02-28 00:24:06)

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

43 isn't old for Bruce Wayne.  But it is old for Batman.  He's the same age he was in Dark Knight Rises (or several years older)....his body wouldn't be able to keep up with it.  Unless Affleck is playing Batman at 32, Batman is passed his prime.  Every other hero will be in their prime, but Bruce will be passed his.  Which either makes Batman the mentor figure for the Justice League, he's going to need to wear that powered suit in every fight (which is why a 50-year-old Tony Stark is believable - the tech is doing all the work), or Batman fighting alongside the Justice League is even more ridiculous.

I actually really like the idea that Batman can exist on the same battlefield as the Justice League.  It's silly, but it's cool.  But when you make Batman already-retired, you're taking most/all of that away.  Now he's older than everyone in addition to having no powers.  You've handicapped the only hero who was already severely handicapped.

I just feel like they're sacrificing a lot just so they can make a Dark Knight Returns parallel.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

It wasn't as obvious in animation, but it's really following the 90's animated series format.  If you look at Batman Beyond, Batman was presently operating in our frame during 1999; he had his heart attack in 2019; and old Bruce was discovered by Terry in 2039.  Now it depends on how you want to extrapolate things - do you believe Bruce was in his mid to late 50's when he had the heart attack?  Mid to late 70's as old Bruce?  If so, then that means he was in his mid to late 30's when Batman Beyond debuted (and aging more as Justice League progressed).

To further back up how old Bruce would be in 1999, look at the main Batman animated series.  Bruce had been operating as Batman for a long time before Superman showed up.   Mask of the Phantasm showed us when he began; the Robin two parter showed us when he found the younger Robin while not wearing the yellow oval.

The only part that doesn't make sense to me, and never has, is the part where Bruce retires early.  The animated series got it right with him going on into true old age.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

I get the concern. It is valid. But I think we have to see if they can sell the idea. In the comics, Batman's age is questionable. Dick is in his mid-20's at least, but Bruce isn't played as an old man. It is all iffy, so any translation to screen will be weird.

But yeah, if they can't sell Affleck as a functional Batman, then the next Batman movie will have to be someone else taking over for him. Fortunately, that concept wouldn't be outside the boundaries of the source material.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Haha, guys, guys, guys....I used "it's just weird" twice in my argument.  I'm clearly not arguing from a position of strength here.  No need to gang up smile

I thought about the DCAU and came to a similar conclusion about his age.  And I get that Bruce can be Batman into his 50s.  But, as it took on the show, he'd need more tech.  He'd be converting himself from Batman to Iron Man.  Which is fine, but now you have Iron Man in the Justice League instead of Batman.

I also just wonder if a mature/older Bruce would go rushing to Gotham to fight this guy.  If the idea is that Bruce is legitimately worried that Superman is a threat, I think an older Bruce does the detective thing.  He finds out who Clark is, sees his personal life, looks up the whole Kent Farm thing, and he realizes that Clark is a good dude.  He'd watch footage of the Clark/Zod fight and realize that one guy was trying to kill people and the other guy was trying to kill that guy.  I don't think he'd go in guns blazing without doing any legwork.  Because, presumably, this is a guy who's fought Bane.  Maybe he's dealt with Arkham City or No Man's Land Gotham.  He's gotta know that there's better/more strategic ways of fighting a guy like Superman.  And he'd probably be more likely to listen to Alfred's advice (which probably saved his life a couple dozen times at least)

Now a young Batman?  Who's presumably never fought anyone like Clark but also presumably never lost a fight?  Who's young and strong and less mature and fool-hearty?  That dude is going to ignore Alfred and go and fight this big blue idiot.

Like I said, I'm writing my own version of how I'd do the story.  It's probably bad and probably not even correct versions of the characters, but it's what I'd do if I was just "correcting" Zack Snyder's version.  So I'm trying to keep a lot of the same story elements while fixing some of the stuff that I find questionable.  I'll post it soon enough so you guys can laugh at it smile

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

I didn't mean to gang up. This is a worthy discussion, not something that I think you're entirely wrong about. I was just providing a counter point.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Haha, no I wasn't really upset.  But whenever TF shows up on the other side of an argument, I generally assume I'm wrong smile