901 (edited by Informant 2019-02-08 15:56:59)

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Sorry for my delay in responses. I've been sick. Again. Ugh.

Since I'm not in the mood to keep quoting people here, I'll just give my thoughts on topics in general.

Snyder producing Suicide Squad 2:

Doesn't really surprise me. The Snyders produced the first movie, and they'd probably be listed as producers on the sequel, if only because they developed the world that those characters are playing in, and the characters that have appeared. Even if they don't do anything on this movie, they've already done a lot of development on the movie. And while people are saying "relaunch" and not "sequel" for some reason... it's a sequel. The first one made a good amount of money and while people love to talk as though the DCEU is being remade/relaunched/rebooted in the press, it's just not happening. Even Affleck's "departure" isn't as much a departure as it is just him not fitting in with the timeline of the movie.

Also, Snyder was helping to steer the character development of Aquaman, so he's still in there, even if he's not in here.

Sounds like a mess, but I'm sure it makes sense to someone.

Justice League sequels:

Some of the plans don't sound great to me, but it's hard to judge any story based on a third-hand blurb.

The budgets and box office of DC movies:

Again, I don't think we can judge the movies based on what was spent making them. We have to judge the movies based on how they performed. And all of the DC movies have performed well. Whether or not Warner Bros. has managed their money well is another story. If I made a million dollars on a book, but blew all of that money on cover art and Facebook ads, I wouldn't see the profits, but the book would have still done its job. So the movies did their job, but Warner Bros. failed to do theirs. However, they seem to be correcting things a bit. Shazam and Birds of Prey are spending way less money.  Hopefully Warner Bros is learning to spend their money wisely. A movie like The Batman doesn't need to be expensive to make (and casting a younger actor to play a younger Bruce Wayne, rather than trying to de-age Affleck is a smart move, but I do think they should maybe put in some Affleck bookends or something). They just need to learn when it's worth spending the money and when it's not. It seems like they might be learning. Maybe. Hopefully.

Batman killing:

The funny thing about the whole "Batman killing people" issue, for me, is that he's not actually more violent than we see him in cartoons. If you take away the Knightmare sequence in BvS, we see a lot of Batman killing people in car chases and hitting them with heavy objects. These are all things that we'd see Batman do in The Animated Series, except Snyder didn't pretend that people walked away from those fights unharmed. We also saw fights like the one in Man of Steel before, but it was always presented in a cartoonish way, where we weren't expected to think about the consequences. Snyder didn't really make these characters more murderous than before. He mostly just took the characters and put them into a more "realistic" world, where their actions suddenly had more weight and consequence.

The future of Batman and Superman:

As far as we've heard from anyone related to the DCEU (including actors who had spoken to Cavill recently), Cavill is still our Superman. Right now, there's no real reason to assume otherwise. If he's not in Shazam, it's because that appearance would have required a contract renegotiation, and that is a big deal at this point. It could weaken Cavill's position going into Man of Steel 2 or any other movie where they *need* him to appear. I don't want to speculate on what's happening behind the scenes, because the big thing about this franchise is that we don't really know anything until it's in production (like with Birds of Prey).

Affleck isn't out as Batman, he's just out as Batman for the movie that apparently takes place much earlier in his career. It would be silly to have Affleck play that part if this is the case. It's easy to read all of these articles and declare it the DCEU apocalypse, because the media has been training us to read every article that way since the start, but the truth is that we don't know. We don't know what's going on with Cavill's next Superman movie. We don't know what's going on with Affleck (I heard one rumor that he was going to be directing a Justice League sequel, but that's probably not true). We have a lot of speculation, which really just amounts to media fanfic (dare I say #FakeNews?) at this point.

While everyone loves to paint the whole franchise as a failure that needs to be rebooted, the fact is that most of the movies in the DCEU have performed pretty well (again, I'm not even going to try to figure out the profits involved. I'm just talking about box office performance). Certainly, we haven't seen any flops. Warner Bros is still investing in this franchise (though a bit more wisely, it seems), so there's no reason to believe any of the doom and gloom stories at this point.

Basically, we need to stop entertaining stories from "inside sources", which have been very wrong in the past, and just keep our eyes on what's in front of us. Shazam looks good. Wonder Woman 1984 should be fun. Birds of Prey has a really solid cast and style. I'd say that the current state of the DCEU is optimistic.

Closing Thoughts:

The new Joker movie should have me pretty excited, because it sounded like it could be really cool. Yet, I'm not. The more I hear about it, the less excited I am about it. I'm all for Elseworlds stories (hell, we kinda already have some with the Lego type movies, and the animated movie series), but right now I'm just not pumped to see this one. Maybe that will change. I'm still open to liking it. I'm just a little indifferent right now.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

yeah, Ben Afflec had written in his contract that he would appear as batmam/bruce wayne in up to 10 films. As the plan was to have him be the Nick Fury role of the DC Extend Universe.  No idea why all of the JLA actors wouldn't have similar deals especially being that they were following the marvel film formula.

With Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and Suicide Squad being big hits Superman, JLA, BvsS making big money no idea why they would change directions, a JLA using a Aquaman and Wonder Woman that audiences apparently like, keep Calvin Superman, and if Afflec is out just workaround it with Batman not answering the call, or have bruce out of commission with Azreal showing up in the Batman costume,could do after effects of the Bane storyline, with the team dealing with Azreal Batman.

With W

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

So it was confirmed that Margot Robbie will not be in the Suicide Squad sequel.  It was also announced that the Joker/Harley movie is probably dead.  Unless something changes, you gotta think we won't see the Jared Leto Joker ever again.

I do wonder what the Suicide Squad movie will look like since it's a "soft reboot".  I'm excited to see what Gunn does with it.

I also wonder what would happen if the Joker movie does well.  Would Phoenix be merged into the existing DCEU?  Would he appear in The Batman movies?  Would he even be interested in coming back?

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Something I often wished comic books would do -- I've always thought that each character's comic or line of comics should take place in their own universe but with versions of the other characters. By which I mean that SUPERMAN titles would feature a consistent universe between them, but the FLASH comic book would be set in its own universe.

The Flash could guest-star SUPERMAN or ACTION COMICS or MAN OF STEEL or SUPERGIRL or what-have-you, but it would be the SUPERMAN-universe's version of the Flash and vice versa. Over in SUPERMAN, you might have aliens emigrating to planet Earth, but in THE FLASH, there would be no indication of any such storyline. The JUSTICE LEAGUE title would feature independent versions of the characters and the writer could pick and choose what aspects of the individual titles to acknowledge and which to ignore.

I'd be quite content for each movie to serve its own purpose rather than the larger conglomerate even if that diffuses the original intent of a shared cinematic universe.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Ezra Miller made a really interesting remark about the upcoming FLASH movie -- that it's not part of a DC Extended Universe as much as it's part of a DC multiverse, almost as though each movie occupies its own continuity.

https://www.cbr.com/flash-movie-ezra-mi … ultiverse/

I think that's a very good idea. As I said, I think every comic book series should have its own continuity -- a bit like how there's a Batman on both SUPERGIRL's Earth and ARROW's Earth.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Sounds like Will Smith is out of Suicide Squad 2.  No Deadshot or Harley certainly makes me think that it's more of a "hard" reboot than a sequel.  I wonder if they'll get back Viola Davis back.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

And it seems like Idris Elba might replace Will Smith in the role.  I love Idris Elba, but if they can't get Will Smith because of scheduling, could they not just have Elba play a different character?  And maybe in a future sequel have Will Smith show back up?

It seems like the beauty of the Suicide Squad is that you can do whatever lineup you want, and you can do pretty much any villain you want.  Couldn't Elba play someone like Mr. Freeze or the Riddler or some other villain that the movies certainly aren't going to use now?  They could even introduce someone like the Reverse Flash who could then show up in a Flash movie.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

I don’t know why Warner Bros. is recasting Deadshot, but the optics are certainly interesting. It suggests, along with Ezra Miller saying that DC movies exist in a cinematic multiverse as opposed to a cinematic universe, that the Worlds of DC films will only connect loosely to previous films if at all.

Much as the James Bond reboot kept Judi Dench despite starting all over again, the Worlds of DC SUICIDE SQUAD will retain some elements of the DCEU SUICIDE SQUAD while leaving others aside. It allows a future film to feature Ezra Miller’s Barry teaming up with whoever takes over from Ben Affleck; it allows post-Snyder creators to come in without needing to reboot again. Or, I dunno, there’s some sexual arrangement between Idris Elba and the WB president. Haha! (Sorry.)

From a financial standpoint, Will Smith is one of the biggest stars in Hollywood and comes with quite a pricetag. I assume Idris Elba is not remotely as expensive and indicates WB moving forward with DC as a brand name rather than a vehicle for any particular star, although that can shift. For the longest time, it seemed like Tom Cruise would play Tony Stark and few expected the role would go to a disgraced, uninsurable wreck of an actor who had been fired off a supporting role in a FOX comedy, or that said wreck would turn his life around and become the defining standard bearer for the franchise.

Anyway. Maybe Michael B. Jordan will play Superman after all!

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https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/featu … ip-1192660

So, leaked texts in the Hollywood Reporter seem to indicate that WB president Kevin Tsujihara offered actress Charlotte Kirk acting work in exchange for sex. SLIDERS has had some of this with the SLIDERS crew, according to Temporal Flux, having many theories on why Alan Barnette was so keen to hire Kari Wuhrer. TF says Barnette wouldn't shut up about Wuhrer's chest. From reading the HR story, I get the sense, however, that sex only bought Kirk access and opportunity but didn't actually get her any work.

It looks like Tsujihara was able to get Kirk auditions, but casting directors largely declined to hire her. In her texts, Kirk is outraged that she isn't receiving roles in exchange for sex but doesn't seem to have any thoughts on how her talent and artistic ambitions were suited to specific roles; it's just the expectation that having a physical affair with a Warner Bros. executive would get her hired regardless of the project or her ability. In addition, Kirk describes sex as though it were an activity after a business deal. My office just buys everyone pizza; Warner Bros. under Tsujihara hires sex workers. (Allegedly. This conversation is privileged.)

I don't know that there is anything untoward in that Kirk didn't actually net any significant acting work out of this supposed trade. I just know that it makes both Kevin Tsujihara and Charlotte Kirk look utterly pathetic. Tsujihara's worth $2.5 million; if he wants sex, then hiring a prostitute or going online and finding someone interested in a purely physical relationship (or delegating the task to an assistant) is well within his ability. To dangle a false offer of acting work is a childish, immature effort at feeling influential and powerful. It makes Kirk look ridiculous; she clearly doesn't have the talent to win at auditions and doesn't believe in her own skill and ability and isn't willing to take the classes and training and wants to leapfrog into success by offering sex for acting roles and it doesn't even work.

I have always been doubtful that Kari traded sex for work if only because her roles -- short-lived regular roles, small guest-appearances, direct-to-video cable filler -- were so low-budget and limited in release that I don't think she would have bothered. There wasn't exactly a shortage of softcore erotic thrillers in the 90s. And Kirk's leaked texts would suggest that it's not a remotely effective strategy.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

So Zack Snyder has come out again in defense of a Batman that kills.  His argument is, essentially, that people that don't think Batman would kill need to grow up.  He's out there fighting and people are going to die as a result.

I think that's a fair statement, but then what separates Batman from the Punisher?  If Batman kills, what separates him from someone like Azrael?  Should there be a separation?

The biggest argument against Snyder-Batman's style of killing, in my opinion, is "if Batman is willing to kill for the greater good, why is the Joker still alive?"  I think Bruce knows in his heart that he's putting people in danger by letting the Joker live, in whatever version of the story you want to consider.  The Joker regularly breaks out, people end up dead, and Batman puts him back.  It's their character dynamic.

And yet you have a version of Batman in the DCEU that is willing to kill and there's a version of the Joker that's alive.  Those two things don't jive together.  If Batman is willing to kill a random thug who just happens to be working for the real bad guy, why wouldn't he kill the real bad guy?  To be fair to Snyder, we never see anyone else in the rogue's gallery.  Maybe the Riddler and Two-Face and the Penguin are all dead.  Maybe there's a psychological block to being able to kill the Joker.

But at the same time, he let Harley live.  He let Deadshot live.

I think I'm okay with a Batman that kills.  But then he's just high-tech Punisher.  And you have to explain what his code is, if he has one.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

The issue Snyder raises is one of plausibility, and I should probably put it in quote marks. "Plausibility." Is it possible for Batman to engage in the stunts and combat maneuvers he pulls and not ever kill anyone? Snyder's argument: by any sensible standard of reality, Christopher Nolan's Batman kills numerous villains in all three movies, but his attacks on the League of Shadows and the Joker's henchmen only injure them at most because Nolan declares it to be so. In the comics, the 30s Batman would kill various villains until the character was lightened significantly and all of his past kills were retroactively erased.

Within a comic book superhero reality, we can consider Batman so incredibly well-trained and attuned to human pressure points that he can hurt someone just enough to immobilize them without ever killing them or we can consider that in the DC Universe, humans and the Presence (God) exist in a cycle of one creating the other and every human, reflecting a fragment of the Presence's power, is made of slightly tougher stuff than humans in our universe, so fights that would leave us with broken necks leave DCU humans with mild bruising. It could be argued that Snyder is simply presenting human consequence to Batman's exploits, consequences that other creators were negligent to ignore.

However, superheroes are not realistic characters. Batman regularly swings through the city with a grapple gun; even an Olympic athlete with that gear could only get between a few buildings before exhaustion set in if they could even clear the street. Batman's mask blocks any peripheral vision and yet he has no problem spotting enemies in every direction. Batman's cape never gets stuck in doors and windows. And how does he go to the washroom in that suit?

For every technological explanation, the suit would become so thick with cameras and conductive cabling in the cape and a catheter that he wouldn't be able to walk five steps without falling over.

There's a BATGIRL storyline by Gail Simone I really like where Batgirl discovers her brother James, a serial killer, has come back to town. In a nasty confrontation, Batgirl throws James off a bridge to save lives and Commissioner Gordon declares her a fugitive, not knowing Batgirl is his daughter. In a key scene, Batgirl protests that she killed a murderer and Gordon exclaims that he knows his son is a killer, that he spends nights awake with shame and grief and casefiles of everything his son has done. The only reason Gotham PD tolerates Batman and his team is because they don't kill and if they do, they have to answer for it or the partnership between Gordon and the Bat family is corrupt. (Later, it turns out that James survived.)

Far more important than how Batman avoids killing is the meaning behind the character. Batman represents the belief that our traumas and losses will not define us, that we will transmute our grief into hope and positive action. Frank Miller seemed quite keen on presenting Batman as an angst machine of rage and violence, and that's one side of Batman, but Batman is also a keenly intellectual mind, a master detective and a social crusader with great compassion for the weak and someone who knows the value of family.

Does Batman kill? I think it's best to let each creator make that decision as suited to the story and situation. Snyder tells fans of a non-lethal Batman to grow up; perhaps Snyder should remember that Batman is a children's character, but regardless, Snyder's Batman doesn't have to be your Batman or mine.

I've spent more time with the non-lethal sci-fi technology Batman of the comic books. Snyder's Batman is a legitimate interpretation and I take no issue with its existence, although Snyder should not be insulting other people's portrayals of the character.

To offer Abed's perspective: there is skill to Batman. He has to be powerful, kind, aspirational, tragic and fun. He's comforting. Portrayals of Batman defeat themselves when they're pushing an agenda or proud or ashamed of being Batman or trying to defeat other renditions of Batman. Batman is our protector. He watches over us. And it has to be okay for Batman to call in sick for a day or phone in a day or go into rehab as Ben Affleck and never come back because eventually, they all will.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

ireactions wrote:

I've spent more time with the non-lethal sci-fi technology Batman of the comic books. Snyder's Batman is a legitimate interpretation and I take no issue with its existence, although Snyder should not be insulting other people's portrayals of the character.

I agree with most of what you wrote, but I wanted to focus on this.  I think it's legitimate, but like a lot of the DCEU, I think there are too many inconsistencies.  Snyder definitely wanted to try and do this realistically, and some of the more realistic items are the more controversial.  Namely the Battle of Metropolis and Batman's killing.

Would a fight between Superman and Zod result in a city-destroying event?  Absolutely.  You have two gods fighting, and the evil god is the better trained one.  I think Superman did the best he could because I don't think Zod would've been drawn out of the city, and I don't think Superman could've made him if he wanted.  The fight was realistic.  My issue is with the aftermath.  The Battle of Metropolis would've been the biggest thing to ever happen, and it's, for the most part, written off.  Snyder wanted to do the realistic thing and then move on.  There's a disconnect between realistic Superman and the comic book Metropolis he wants.

Would Batman end up killing people?  Absolutely.  Not only would his strength and skill make him lethal for almost any human to fight, but Batman would need to use lethal force to quickly move in and out of dangerous situations.  To save Martha in time, Batman had to crush people quickly in the warehouse fight.  I honestly believe he used excessive force in the Batmobile chase prior to his first confrontation with Superman, but maybe he did what he needed to do.  Again, I don't have a problem with the realism - again, my problem is with the rest of it.  If Batman kills, that's fine.  But would Gordon be okay with a Batman that regularly kills?  Did Batman always regularly kill, and if so, when did he start?  Because Gordon seems pretty okay with Batman in Justice League - there isn't any sort of "as long as you've stopped killing, we're good again" stuff.  There's a disconnect between realistic Batman and the comic book Gordon he wants.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

So now Idris Elba is playing someone else (Bronze Tiger?), Viola Davis is back as Waller, and Margot Robbie is back as Harley in "The Suicide Squad"

With Aquaman and Shazam critical successes, maybe an interconnected DCEU isn't actually over.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant


Honestly, I didn't even go to see CAPTAIN MARVEL in theatres. I have a new 55 inch tv with a subwoofer and lights behind the screen so there's no reflection on the screen and it seems silly to go our and pay for movie tickets when I have so much I can watch at home and when it suits me. It probably says something that rather than running out to see AQUAMAN and SHAZAM, I stayed home to watch Jerry O'Connell fight crime.

(It doesn't say anything about the franchise. I’ll comment when I can watch it at home.)

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

I haven't seen Aquaman or Captain Marvel yet.

I'll probably see Marvel before Aquaman, but that's probably just because I'll want to see it before I see Endgame.  I'm actually fairly excited to see both Aquaman and Shazam, but I just haven't had a chance to go to the movies.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

I saw Aquaman.  I'll have more comments later, but one note quick:

I don't understand how the DCEU is structured, and it bothers me.  I understand that each movie sorta has its own free reign to do what it needs to do, but Aquaman doesn't even feel like the same universe as Justice League. 

I wondered, going in, what the connection would be.  And the answer is....there's one line.  They mention Steppenwolf and the idea that Aquaman is a known superhero.  So the movie happened and they're not simply ignoring it.

Except they sorta are.  There's only a couple of scenes from Justice League that relate to Aquaman, and both of them have wildly contradictory parts.  The air bubble thing is fine, I guess.  It doesn't make any sense for them to have to create air bubbles to talk, but they would've also known that for the scene in Justice League.  What bothers me more is....I don't even know how Arthur knew where to go.  No one seems bothered by him inside that room where they protect the box (even though he's hated by the masses and arrested for simply going into Atlantis), and there didn't seem to be any indication of why he went there.

The relationship between Mera and Arthur seems confusing when you look at both movies, but I think it's fine.  What's stranger is that Arthur seems angry at his mother in Justice League.  Maybe he's putting on some sort of act in front of the Atlantean ("I hated my mom because she was Atlantean" or something), but there's no indication of that in Aquaman.  He loves his mother and is mad at the ones responsible for killing her.

Being separate entities is fine.  Giving directors free reign to build characters is fine.  But that's how it is on the Arrowverse, but the crossover still has mostly-consistent characterization and continuity.

As someone who, believe it or not, really wants the DCEU to survive...I just find it weird that it feels so different.  I know they want to get away from the Snyder aesthetic, but I think contrasting a gloomy, dark surface world with a colorful, hopeful Atlantis might've done well.  I don't think they needed a Justice League cameo because Arthur's a bit of a loner who's completely separated from the rest of the heroes.

But maybe it's Bruce who gets Arthur the plane?  Or maybe make the tie-ins in Justice League better/more consistent to what Wan is doing?  Because if you told me that Zach Snyder didn't talk to James Wan, I'd believe you.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

SyFy canceled Krypton after 2 seasons, and axed the spinoff Lobo.  I actually liked the show, but this is typical nowadays.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

... I still haven't watched AQUAMAN. I have it on Google Play.

Should I watch it? Is it worth watching?

Should I watch it in my home theatre or is it okay to watch it on my tablet in bed?

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

I thought Aquaman was a lot of fun.  I don't want to compare it to the Snyder films, but it's hard not to.  While I feel like Snyder wanted to punch us in the gut with the idea that "this is what superheroes would be like in the REAL WORLD", I don't think James Wan felt the need to do this.  I was listening to a commentary on the movie, and they started laughing at how INSANE some of the stuff in this movie is.  It feels very DC Comics, but it doesn't feel like the Snyder universe at all.

I think Momoa is great, and I think the sandbox they play in is fun.  I think the villains make sense, and I think Arthur grows in realistic ways.  The movie drags on a bit, but I think watching it over an afternoon or two is worth your time.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

I watched AQUAMAN. It was good. I liked the painterly look of the undersea sequences and the special effects sequences. I enjoyed the way the rock songs highlighted and embraced the absurdity of the events. The only issue I had was Mera. She's a vivid and engaging character and Amber Heard is terrific, but I didn't understand how or why Mera rejected the caste and class system of Atlantis or what her motives her for helping Arthur and sacrificing her entire life or why she stood against her father. I understood her principles, but I didn't understand where they came from or who would have taught them to her.

Her motive seemed to be that the movie wanted the leading man to have a beautiful woman who would beat up plenty of villains and always provide him with exposition and help. Heard gives Mera a lot of inner life, but the script isn't specific as to what that life is. Even Dr. Caitlin Snow on THE FLASH had getting over the death of her fiance to explain her need to help Barry and use him as a substitute.


AQUAMAN is not consistent with JUSTICE LEAGUE and would require Geoff Johns sized retcons to make it fit. JUSTICE LEAGUE has Arthur declaring that his mother abandoned him as an infant, left him on his father's doorstep and never gave him another thought. AQUAMAN has Arthur raised for several years by his mother and father until an Atlantean attack forces her to flee; then Arthur thinks she was murdered. JUSTICE LEAGUE has air pockets to allow underwater speech; AQUAMAN has Atlanteans converse through water directly.

If you were determined to make it fit, you could say that during JUSTICE LEAGUE, Arthur had clues that his mother might be alive and was pretending to claim no interest in finding her to avoid raising suspicions. You could say that forming air bubbles around Atlanteans is for privacy from other water dweller or even a form of courtship and flirtation. But it's an inconsistency just as BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE (actual title) had Wonder Woman declaring that she walked away from humanity after World War I when WONDER WOMAN shows no such event at all.

Ezra Miller has said that DC movies don't form a cinematic universe but a cinematic multiverse. If you are being strict about the continuity, AQUAMAN and WONDER WOMAN are set in separate universes from MAN OF STEEL, BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE (actual title) and JUSTICE LEAGUE and feature doubles of the characters we met in those three films. AQUAMAN seems to have been made with Warner Bros. new approach of abandoning the DC Extended Universe in favour of a Worlds of DC approach.

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JJ Abrams directing a new JUSTICE LEAGUE?
https://wegotthiscovered.com/movies/jj- … 20%251%24s

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Interesting.  I'm not the biggest fan of Abrams as a director, but I think he'd give fans what they're looking for.  I would probably rather bring Cavill back and do a Batman-less movie and make it a sequel and not a reboot.  Add in Shazam and maybe Green Lanterns.

But if they can recast Superman and Pattinson works, I'm sure Abrams can make a fun Justice League movie.

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I saw Joker.

I really don't know what to say about it.  It's a disturbing movie just because it's so dingy and dirty and gross, and the movie can manipulate you in certain ways so that you're expecting things to turn around for Arthur.  And I had to keep telling myself that this is a bad guy, and he's not getting a "happy ending" (although, for him, it's a happy ending).

It reminds me of BoJack Horseman.  That's a show that's so dark that it has to be a cartoon with anthropomorphic animals.  If it was about Will Arnett as a failed child actor, it'd be too depressing to watch. 

I feel like Joker only works because it's a comic book character.  If it was just about a downtrodden white man getting revenge on people, I think it'd be destroyed because it's absolutely the wrong movie for this time.  But since it's technically a comic book movie, it gets a pass.

Although it is barely a comic book movie.  Arthur shows almost none of the trademark characteristics of the Joker.  He's neither all that smart or all that cunning, and his success is more built on luck than anything else.  I think Arthur is someone that Batman would take out in a matter of seconds.  And the other comic book characters (Thomas Wayne, in particular) isn't a version of that character that I recognize - although he's designed to be built as a sort of villain.

At the end of the day, I think it's worth seeing, but I don't think it's a movie I really have any interest in revisiting.

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I didn't see it. I imagine it's good; Todd Phillips is a great director. JOKER just isn't what I look for in superheroes or even spinoffs. To me, what I want in a superhero show is best represented in BATWOMAN with Ruby Rose beating up thugs with her bare hands and representing empowerment in the face of social and institutional discrimination and rejection. That said, I have read the script for JOKER, so I can discuss the screenplay.

I think the story is effective. It explores how a socially awkward, isolated man decides that the only way he can relate to society and affect the world is through cruelty, violence, savagery in order to achieve the dominance and control he couldn't find in his day job or relationships. It's a well-told story. I would have liked for the JOKER screenplay to show how Arthur Fleck had the option of choosing another path instead of becoming a serial killer -- but that wouldn't be a JOKER story.

Slider_Quinn21 is right to say that the Joker in most media adaptations and comics has a genius-level intellect for sadism and plotting and manipulation. Arthur Fleck is incompetent. Phillips, in interviews, suggested that Fleck isn't even THE Joker -- merely the progenitor of the aesthetic which the actual Joker would adopt as his own.

I don't really know what else to say about that except to change the subject. My story of choice for addressing sociopathy and rejection is closer to BATMAN titles from 2001 - 2006.

Mark Waid wrote a JUSTICE LEAGUE story where it's revealed that Batman has developed methods of killing Superman, Wonder Woman, the Flash, Aquaman, Green Lantern, Plastic Man and anyone else who's ever been on the team. The files are stolen by R'as Al Ghul who proceeds to use them all and while the team survive, the League kicks Batman out.

Subsequent writers doubled-down on this characterization with Batman as a cruel, manipulative, distant figure with nothing but disdainful, contemptuous comments towards Tim Drake (Robin at the time), Spoiler (Tim's partner and girlfriend), Huntress, Nightwing -- and at one point, when Bruce feels he's getting too close to his girlfriend Vesper Fairchild, he stages a scene where she finds him in Wayne Manor naked with various prostitutes and models -- specifically so that she'll dump him and he can spend more time fighting crime.

Bruce becomes so unbearable that Alfred quits and moves in with Robin, and then it's later revealed that Batman developed a global surveillance system to monitor all superheroes, a system that the villains gain control of leading to the 2005 INFINITE CRISIS storyline. Batman tries to save his friends, but he's turned all of them against him and no one trusts him anymore. He collapses with grief in the Batcave only for Superman to appear -- but it's not the Superman whom Bruce knows.

It's the Superman of the 1930s from an alternate timeline. This Superman tells Bruce that what's happened is not his fault: the DC Universe has become a dark, cruel, unforgiving world and Batman is merely a symptom, and Superman asks for Batman's help to reboot and overwrite this reality with a kinder, better one.

But Batman refuses, saying that what's happened is his fault, not anyone else's -- because the Dick Grayson of this universe isn't an abrasive monstrosity who's turned on his friends because the world around him got dark. Batman is responsible for his actions.

At the climax of the story, the world is saved, but Batman is so broken that he holds a gun on Alexander Luthor and has to be talked down. Truly ashamed, Bruce apologizes to the Justice League for his behaviour and asks for their forgiveness. He declares that he is taking a leave of absence as Batman and decides to revisit the travels around the world that he took in his youth to acquire his original training. He asks Tim and Dick to accompany him.

In the 52 comic book co-written by Mark Waid, Bruce realizes that he has been experiencing a psychological breakdown due to the death of Professor Arturo -- I mean, the death of Jason Todd, the second Robin. It is a grief and guilt that he buried but eventually emerged in his need to both dominate his friends and keep them distant.

"He lost it," Dick Grayson observes. "In the end, he just lost it." Mark Waid would later apologize for the impact of his original JLA story, observing that he started the path where Batman had become "a dick" and that it was his solemn mission to fix that. The post-52 Batman appeared in BATMAN #655, a re-energized and much more positive character who adored crimefighting and working with partners and was tactically obsessive as ever, but without the depression and contempt for others.

I feel this is what superheroes are for. This is the story about sociopathy that I'd want to see. But I recognize that the JOKER is not a superhero and this is not his story.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

What's weird is that I think Batman has the best rogues' gallery in comics, and I think many of them are great choices for a solo movie.  I actually think the Joker is probably the least compelling villain when it comes to his backstory.  The reason why there's only been one real attempt at telling his story is that he's a more interesting character when he's mysterious.

I think a Riddler story could be really good (although his name is silly so I think you'd need to come up with something else).  I think a story centering on Harvey Dent could be tragic and fascinating.  I think the obvious choice for "Solo Batman Villain Movie" is Mr. Freeze, but 1) that story has been done wonderfully by Bruce Timm and 2) I think Timm proved that most of these villains can have wonderful origin stories if you just take them seriously.

It's just funny because I'd be interested in a Poison Ivy movie or even a Bane movie.  The Joker one, while obviously the flashiest, is the one I'm least interested in.  And if I was going to see a Joker movie, I'd rather see the one about the Special Forces military investigator/interrogator who gets twisted by war and loss until he becomes the Heath Ledger Joker from the Dark Knight smile