Re: DC Superheroes in Film (Theatrical and Streaming)

The Superman stuff is what takes me out. Snyder’s Superman is such a mess and the main reason why I end up disliking his films. It’s obvious that Snyder’s only interest in Superman is making him an antagonist. The “how do we make Superman interesting” answer is “make him evil” every time. It’s what he does every time, and even Suicide Squad works on the premise that the team exists in case Superman went bad.

And I think this works if he committed to it. But he doesn’ all. “What if Superman was hated like Spider-Man?” might actually make an interesting movie, but Snyder wants the audience to be skeptical of Clark while also making the in-universe population love him. But they don’t ever see a loveable Superman outside of the footage Joss Whedon shot.

If Snyder got his way, Clark would be a villain in 4/5 movies he was in. And in Man of Steel, Clark is only not the villain because he’s fighting three evil Supermen. Clark redeeming himself (even sacrificing himself) to make up for what happened in Metropolis would be really cool. Superman having to earn the people’s trust is a great premise. But Snyder doesn’t care about redeeming Superman because he doesn’t like Superman. I think Snyder thinks he’s boring.  So he engineers ways for Superman to be the bad guy again and again.

If I were Snyder’s script doctor, I would do it this way

BvS - Mostly the same except a) Batman is the champion of the people (maybe even the government) instead of working for revenge. When he realizes Superman is good, he teams up with Clark b) Clark is working his butt off saving people and winning people over. He’s Chris Reeve Superman. He still dies

Justice League - The same except NO Superman. He’s dead. The League has to win without him.

Reign of the Supermen - Do a full movie of this. Four people emerge claiming to be Superman. Batman has to figure out who is who, knowing that they will need a Superman vs Darkseid. Cavill’s Superman comes back.

Justice League 2 - Darkseid shows up but Clark isn’t ready. Or sure of himself. Batman trains him. The League fails and Superman comes in to save the day (like in Justice League) but gets his butt kicked. Cliffhanger

Justice League 3 - If you want to do evil Superman, do it here. Clark is at his lowest and susceptible. But he overpowers it because he’s won everyone back. He’s the hero of Earth now. And United, they take Darkseid down.

Clark goes through a journey of redemption. He has to win over the people, he has to conquer death, he needs to prove to himself that he can, and he needs to destroy the bad guy.

Re: DC Superheroes in Film (Theatrical and Streaming)

I finished JUSTICE LEAGUE: THE SNYDER CUT: PART 5: "Something Darker: (actual title) and JUSTICE LEAGUE: THE SNYDER CUT: PART 6: "Epilogue" (actual title).

It was good. I like the part where Bruce introduces Alfred and says, "I work for him."

But it's pretty ridiculous to include flash-forwards to Darkseid conquering Earth, corrupting Superman and to have gone to the length of spending apparently $70 million dollars to film an extra flash forward to this dark future that will never be addressed again in a DC superhero movie. That said, Snyder apparently did all the extra work unpaid in order to have the creative control to create these cliffhangers that will go unresolved except in a blanket fashion with THE FLASH introducing a multiverse where Ben Affleck and Michael Keaton will both appear as separate versions of Batman.

I'm glad this four hour version exists for the fans and to have a complete picture of what JUSTICE LEAGUE was meant to be. But I can't say I like it even if I can see the craft and skill. The closing action sequences are terrific with Superman and the Flash and Cyborg working together to split the Mother Boxes while Batman buys the League time and space and Aquaman and Wonder Woman (and later Superman) fight Steppenwolf.

The Whedon cut, in contrast, had Superman effectively end the fight with Steppenwolf alone and there was the sense that Superman made the rest of the League redundant, something Snyder avoids by showing how in the flash forwards, the League are defying a mind-controlled Superman. The indication that Superman's resurrection will provide Darkseid with a perfect soldier, however, pretty much undermines any positivity or hope offered in this single film with no sequels coming.

And it seems to me that Snyder ultimately doesn't really want to do a Superman story. He wants to do a story about a superhero who might be corrupted and whose great power is dangerous and suspicious and potentially demonic -- and Superman is simply not a good choice for that kind of story because even in the Snyder version, Snyder indicates that Superman would have to be mind controlled to be evil and that it isn't anything within his actual characterization but something exterior to him.

Most creators who wanted to tell this sort of story have created Superman analogue characters: INSUFFERABLE by Mark Waid created the Olympian, RISING STARS by J. Michael Straczynski created Flagg -- but Snyder contorts Superman so much, even putting him in an all black costume that Superman only wore for one comic book arc and eliminating the Clark Kent identity by having Clark declared legally dead in BVS, something he was going to maintain for the sequels. If Snyder doesn't like Superman wearing blue and red and doesn't like the Clark Kent identity, I have to wonder why he ever tried to tell any Superman stories in the first place.

Once again, I totally see why Warner Bros. balked at having Superman in name only in JUSTICE LEAGUE and brought in Joss Whedon although that was a disaster of itself judging from the audience response and fallout that's resulted even years after its release.

I like the Whedon cut of JUSTICE LEAGUE. I love Batman quipping, "Sorry, guys -- I forgot to bring a sword," and remarking on Steppenwolf, "Jesus! He is tall." Batman telling the Flash to save one person is lovely. Superman's sunny disposition is a relief. But I understand it fell flat with the audience who expected more of Snyder's operatic darkness and found themselves watching a big budget sitcom.

And I appreciate the craft and skill and storytelling of JUSTICE LEAGUE: THE SNYDER CUT: PARTS 1 - 5: "Don't Count On It, Batman," "The Age of Heroes," "Beloved Mother," "Beloved Son," "Change Machine," "All the King's Horses," "Something Darker" and "Epilogue" (actual title). But it's a bridge to nowhere due to footage that Snyder went out of his way to film on his own time and unpaid to add to his original material. It also presents a version of Superman that would be better as a new character with a different name and costume. And it's a platform for subsequent productions that will not be made, meaning it's an extremely capable equivalent of SLIDERS' "The Seer."

A two hour version of this film without the cliffhanger elements probably should have been released to theatres. There's one alteration that Whedon made that would have fit well. In Whedon's cut, Batman refers to "the big gun" when Superman is resurrected and out of control. The secret weapon is revealed to be Lois, brought to the scene by Alfred. This neatly addressed the Knightmare situation and quietly laid it to rest. The rest should have been Snyder's movie to stand or fall on its own merits without requiring sequels if it fell. If there were sequels, the Knightmare storyline could come back; if not, the Knightmare scenario was effectively resolved.

Re: DC Superheroes in Film (Theatrical and Streaming)

I agree.  When the movie ended and was wrapping up, I felt good.  I felt happy.  I even had the thought "you know, I liked this"

I'd forgotten about the Knightmare sequence.  It was completely unnecessary.  I've already said my piece about Snyder and Superman.  I don't get it.  It's not for me.  But like with you, I'm glad that the hordes of Snyder fans got this.  I wish they'd just be happy with it and not clamor for more.

I still think they should do 2 and 3 in animation.  WB would make their money back and you'd get the cast back.  Snyder wouldn't have to be obsessively involved but it'd still be his vision.  I think it's perfect.

Re: DC Superheroes in Film (Theatrical and Streaming)

I rewatched the Whedon cut last night and... I am really upset with Joss Whedon for being a serial abuser of women. There's no doubting that everything his ex-wife said about him was true now that Charisma Carpenter, Michelle Trachtenberg, Amber Benson, Jose Molina and ANGEL tie-in writer Jeff Mariotte have come out against him. There are horrific reports that throughout the JUSTICE LEAGUE reshoots, Whedon was mocking Snyder (who'd left to deal with his daughter's suicide) and referring to Wonder Woman as Black Widow (which suggests some serious cognitive difficulties).

Apparently, Gal Gadot refused to film the scene where Barry lands face first into her chest and Whedon threatened to destroy her career if she didn't comply. She refused and escalated it to Warner Bros. executives who told Whedon to film it with Gadot's double, Caitlin Burles. There's also Whedon clearly and deliberately having his own credit on the film come immediately before a shot of a homeless man with a sign that says, "I tried," a bit of passive-aggressiveness that was further reflected when Whedon liked a tweet calling Steppenwolf the worst DC movie villain yet.

That said... I still feel that Whedon's work itself on Snyder's footage and his own additions were strong and turned Snyder's dark, operatic material into a lightweight crowdpleaser that I concede pleased no crowds. There's this absurd myth that artists can be hurtful to others because they produce quality work; it's even more absurd when applied to Whedon whose material, on the whole, is very, very, very average and occasionally above average. By his own assessment, AVENGERS isn't a great movie, but it's a great time. I'd describe pretty much all his work that way. Whedon's products are pleasantly diverting at best.

Whedon did a great job with adding more jokes and humour to Snyder's dour sensibilities from the Flash having a panic attack before facing Steppenwolf to Aquaman confessing his fears because he sits on Wonder Woman's lasso. Whedon's Superman is a sunny joy and Henry Cavill's charisma bursts off the screen (although most viewers seem to be focused on his CG upper lip which I still don't really notice much unless I'm looking for it). Whedon did a strong pastiche of Snyder's style with the opening of racial strife, homelessness and despair set to a Leonard Cohen song that was so gripping that most viewers assumed it was Snyder's work, and gradually transitioned into a lighter style. Whedon ended his version of JUSTICE LEAGUE not with a cliffhanger that would never be resolved but a shot of the Flash and Superman racing for fun.

However, it'd be silly to call Whedon's JUSTICE LEAGUE 'better.' Whedon's JUSTICE LEAGUE, despite some voiceovers about "hope," doesn't have anything to say beyond how much fun it is to have Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, the Flash and Cyborg in the same movie. Whedon's work has never truly been about anything other than how much fun it is to have a gang of friends whether that gang of friends is headlined by Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent or Buffy and Willow or Steve Rogers and Tony Stark. While I don't like Snyder's vision a lot, Snyder's JUSTICE LEAGUE was about how power can corrupt or be corrupted. Whedon's JUSTICE LEAGUE was about two hours long.

I can see why fans coming in after BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE (actual title) were thrown off by the Whedon cut and picking at the seams. Having seen the Snyder Cut now, I can tell now more than ever which Whedon shots are Whedon's: Jason Momoa is wearing a wig in the Whedon version of Aquaman declining to join Bruce, Ezra Miller's hair shifts when he starts talking about brunch -- but Whedon's sensibilities are closer to my own: unfussy storytelling, getting to the point quickly and succinctly, undercutting any grandiosity with a quip, Batman telling Barry, "Save one person. Don't talk. Don't fight. Get in. Get one out" and assuring that after that, Barry will know what to do next. "You'll know." I wish my father had talked to me that way during one of my panic attacks when I was a child.

And interestingly, the average critic responded to the movie the way I did; the average movie critic was not a Snyder-fan, not a superhero junkie and declared that JUSTICE LEAGUE was flawed but sweet and nice enough to satisfy. And judging from the box office, there was an audience for pleasant diversion to the sum of $660 million -- which would have been a success if JUSTICE LEAGUE had been budgeted as a $100 million film instead of a $300 million movie.

And for the future... I suspect that no one other than me will ever watch the Whedon cut of JUSTICE LEAGUE, but it also looks to me like future DC movies will have a loose connection to any version of the film. WONDER WOMAN contradicted BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE (actual title) as Wonder Woman did not sink into isolation and despair after WWI. AQUAMAN contradicts both versions of JUSTICE LEAGUE with Arthur having a totally different relationship with his mother. SHAZAM has Superman wearing the red and blue. I do expect a lot of clamour for more Zack Snyder DC movies, but DC's slate seems to be quite full. They're looking to reboot Superman in another separate continuity film, likely with a black actor.

I think it'd be cool to get a DC Animated feature for Snyder's JL2 and JL3. I'd watch it and probably consider it good without necessarily enjoying it.

Whedon's JUSTICE LEAGUE seems to be one of the most hated movies of all time and it's sort of fitting that it will be Joss Whedon's last work in film.

Re: DC Superheroes in Film (Theatrical and Streaming)

Slider_Quinn21 wrote:

I watched WW84.  Non-spoiler review: I really liked so much of it.  I thought the performances were fun.  I thought the story was compelling.  I loved how they seemed to have fun with the 1984 setting, and the romance stuff was good. 

But while I liked all the pieces, the overall movie just sorta didn't work for me.  I was excited to come back and watch (I watched it in three sittings), but when it was over, I felt disappointed.  I thought they spent a lot of good time making everything worked, and I felt like the ending was completely rushed and unsatisfying.  And while I liked Pedro Pascal, I didn't buy Max Lord as a character for about 2/3 of the movie.  I also think the dynamic with the dreamstone didn't quite work.

Patty Jenkins is a good filmmaker and I think a lot of it worked.  But something about it bothered me enough to not really love the film as a whole.

Anyone else see it?

I finally got around to watching WONDER WOMAN 1984 last night. I guess I really have been busy.

It was okay. As Slider_Quinn21 highlighted, the logic of the dreamstone is so fuzzy, undefined, contradictory and vague with characters alternatively not knowing how it works and knowing exactly how it works and Maxwell Lord somehow dependent upon others to make (a single) wish except Barbara Minerva later gets a second wish and Lord somehow able to take something in return once the wish recipient has received their desire through means and methods unclear -- either control of their army or some aspect of their health or a possession.

It's also unclear if Maxwell Lord's power is to rewrite reality to move elements of the world around or if he's magically creating security forces and nuclear weapons that didn't previously exist. It's unclear how Wonder Woman knows that to simply declare her desire to renounce her wish will be sufficient to instantly make Chris Pine disappear. It's unclear whether or not renouncing the wishes reverses the transaction or reverses time itself or simply removes Lord's magically created weapons and cars and whatnot from reality.

It's just too vague to know what Wonder Woman is fighting or how she wins, so I just had to sit back in the end and enjoy watching Gal Gadot and Kristen Wiig and Chris Pine onscreen. I was disappointed that Wiig and Gadot didn't get a whole movie to be platonic girlfriends (or more, as the comics have established in the last couple years that Wonder Woman is bisexual), but I just enjoyed the recreated 1984 (which I don't remember because I was less than one year old) and appreciated the spectacle and liked seeing Diana learn how to fly and felt enthusiastic about re-reading Wonder Woman comics from 1987 and it was okay.

Very vague dream logic in this movie.

Re: DC Superheroes in Film (Theatrical and Streaming)

Yeah.  It's also a very forgettable movie, unfortunately.  I think it'll end up alongside David Goyer's Suicide Squad, where I often forget to include it in the DCEU.

James Gunn's Suicide Squad movie looks great, by the way.

Re: DC Superheroes in Film (Theatrical and Streaming)

TLDR: This post is about Superman and how a couple years ago, he had a four year storyline that resembled a sixth season of SLIDERS that also inspired the current SUPERMAN AND LOIS TV show.

I suspect that writers will sometimes need to ask themselves: what are they most passionate about writing? What do they enjoy producing most when they type? And is their story one that is focused on what they enjoy typing?

I have no idea why teenagers and people in their early 20s are watching SLIDERS even today (on Peacock) and writing new SLIDERS stories, but some are and some occasionally ask me for feedback on their pages. And I am noticing an alarming trend that we saw a lot of back in 2000: young writers producing Season 6 stories with the outlines wholly and totally focused on an interdimensional Kromagg war.

I'm not the final arbiter of taste, and I encourage anyone who really wants to do THE KROMAGG WAR CHRONICLES to write one. I'll help.

But I recently reviewed three clever outlines where three clever writers used time travel / a multiversal butterfly effect / an interdimensional system restore to erase Seasons 3 - 5 and bring back the original sliders on Page 1 of these stories (where I have only ever managed to do it by Page 3 myself).

These brilliant conceptualists then... plunged the restored sliders back into THE KROMAGG WAR CHRONICLES with storylines that insisted on resolving all unfinished plot points from Seasons 3 - 5 in the context of an interdimensional war -- even though these writers had erased Seasons 3 - 5. I asked these writers: were they actually passionate about writing THE KROMAGG WAR CHRONICLES: An Epic in 12 - 16 Parts?

The answer was always no, not really; all they really wanted to do was write SLIDERS stories of Quinn / Wade / Rembrandt / Arturo exploring parallel worlds, but they wanted to connect those original quartet stories to Season 6.

I understand that, but from 2000 to about 2007, we saw numerous brilliant writers attempt THE KROMAGG WAR CHRONICLES. I have read them all and none are complete. Some writers got to the point where Quinn, Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo were back at which point the writers ran out of out of energy to keep going. Most never even made it that far. They were all clearly burnt out and demoralized by writing SLIDERS stories where the fight Kromaggs instead of SLIDERS stories where the sliders slide to parallel worlds and explore them.

The Season 6 stories that were completed were ones that focused on the sliders engaged in sliding -- and made the unresolved plots a far lesser priority.

I think that writers need to ask themselves: what do they enjoy writing? And are they pursuing a plot that's carried by material they would enjoy writing? Because if they don't enjoy it, they are unlikely to finish it, especially when they are doing their writing in their free time for no other reason than pleasure in writing it.

That said, I have read one KROMAGG WAR CHRONICLES style story that was completed -- a series of comic books called SUPERMAN: REBIRTH, ACTION COMICS: REBIRTH and DC COMICS: DOOMSDAY CLOCK. This was a two year run of Superman comics that started with Superman and DC Comics in a very bad situation: DC had rebooted Superman in 2011, abruptly changing him from a late-30s husband to Lois Lane into a single twentysomething. 

This rebooted Superman was largely alienated from the Clark Kent identity as Jonathan and Martha Kent, his adoptive parents, had died when Superman was a teenager. This Superman had none of his relationships with Supergirl and Superboy, no decades-long rapport with Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, Perry White or any of his supporting cast and so removed from humanity that he was dating Wonder Woman. At one point, Superman's identity was revealed to the world as Clark Kent and while it was a good story, the Clark Kent identity had been almost irrelevant to him anyway.

DC Comics soon came to realize: their readership was attached to the version of Superman with his friends and family and history and relationships, but they had destroyed it all, exposed Superman's secret identity to the world, changed his continuity so severely that it was unrecognizable, replaced the original character with a hollow copy -- and the road back to a recognizable status quo would be long and hard and difficult.

Superman had become as muddled and confused as SLIDERS by "The Seer."

DC started the process with an October 2015 mini-series, SUPERMAN: LOIS & CLARK which reveals that the original Superman and Lois are actually still around in this rebooted continuity, believing they are refugees from a destroyed timeline, living in this new universe under the names Clark and Lois White, and they now have a 10 year old son named Jon. They are doing their best to steer clear of this universe's Superman -- except the rebooted Superman suddenly dies of Kryptonite poisoning. The rebooted Lois Lane is also killed.

In SUPERMAN and ACTION COMICS, the original Superman attempts to fill the void by unveiling himself to the world and offering to help the Justice League. The original Lois impersonates her double, trying to investigate her double's death. Also strangely: Clark Kent reappears at the Daily Planet, declaring that Superman asked him to fake their secret identity being exposed to confuse some supervillains. This restores the secret identity -- but leaves the original Superman and Lois confused as to who this Clark Kent really is. They discover that he is Mr. Mxyztptlk, the fifth dimensional imp who has been confused and disoriented by the reboot.

Superman and Lois also discover: this is not a rebooted universe and they are not refugees; this is their home universe and has been all along, but some unknown force altered history and ripped Lois and Superman's timeline in half, creating the rebooted version and the separate original. The original Superman and Lois are able to locate their deceased counterparts who now exist outside the timestream, and they merge with them.

The result is a new timeline that fuses the rebooted Superman continuity with the original continuity -- and also writes young Jon Kent into the timeline. In this combined universe, Lois and Clark got married and had a son, and all their friends have known Jon all his life. All the reboot adventures (except for Superman dating Wonder Woman) are folded into the original timeline additively. Superman reviews his history and notes one oddity: he remembers Jonathan and Martha Kent being alive right to the present day -- but in this current continuity, his parents are still dead from a car crash when Clark was a teenager.

Superman begins to investigate who altered reality to take away his marriage, his son, his family and his parents. This leads him into the 12 part series DOOMSDAY CLOCK. The culprit is revealed to be Dr. Manhattan from WATCHMEN, a cold observer of reality who found Superman's timeline confusing and convoluted with all its revisions from 1939 onwards.

Dr. Manhattan erased the Justice Society of America (the WWII heroes), finding them unnecessary. This had the subsequent effect of erasing the inspiration for Superman's teenaged career as Superboy and erasing the Superboy adventures completely. Dr. Manhattan created a car accident in Clark's youth to kill Clark's parents, subtracting their influence to make Superman more alien. Dr. Manhattan removed Clark's family and marriage and son, finding them extraneous. And Dr. Manhattan is surprised when the original Superman restores himself to existence.

In the DOOMSDAY CLOCK finale that saw print in December 2019, Superman confronts Dr. Manhattan and pleads with him to understand that being a superhero is not about controlling the world; a superhero saves people. Dr. Manhattan is moved; he reaches back into time and restores the Justice Society. This in turn restores Superman's career as Superboy, altering the past so that Jonathan and Martha Kent were still in a car accident, but Superboy now saved their lives.

In the present day, Clark and Lois go to the Metropolis train station and welcome Jonathan and Martha Kent, the final missing pieces of the Superman family now restored to reality.

This is the only KROMAGG WAR CHRONICLES style story that I have ever seen anyone actually start and finish, taking a damaged, muddled series and restoring it point by point, character by character, piece by piece and exploring the multiverse as it did so.

It took four writers (Dan Jurgens, Peter Tomasi, Patrick Gleason and Geoff Johns) and a staff of comic book editors. It took four years to write and print it. And the reason this one was finished where all other such stories failed: it unfolded in two monthly comic book serieses and two mini-serieses, it had writers who were being paid to keep the story going. If any one writer got burnt out, DC would have simply hired you or me or Temporal Flux or SOMEBODY to keep writing it until it was done.

It is simply too much for one writer to produce anything like SUPERMAN: REBIRTH, SUPERMAN: REBORN and DOOMSDAY CLOCK, and to do it as an unpaid fanfic project on evenings and weekends. This is a project that needs a team, a group of editors and a living wage -- and trying to do this unpaid and alone is like trying to use a teacup to empty the ocean. You'll never finish it.

Oh, dear fanfic writers. If you want to write Quinn, Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo, just get them back on the page by Page 5 at the latest. Then write the SLIDERS stories that you really, really want to write.


After I described this Superman storyline to a few fanfic writers, they got back to me and said that, on balance, they'd just focus on writing SLIDERS stories about the sliders sliding to parallel worlds and they would isolate their KROMAGG WAR CHRONICLES content to brief flashbacks to keep them contained.

Re: DC Superheroes in Film (Theatrical and Streaming)

So, the new Superman reportedly to be a black Kal-el.  Val-Zod and Calvin Ellis ignored. … me-period/

Not interested.

It’s funny how Disney (and even Sony) can once again get it right with Sam Wilson and Miles Morales; but Warner still doesn’t have a clue.

I think back to that old, embellished anecdote of a board room full of fat white guys smoking cigars.  They’re reading the new pitches for DC movies and saying “People watch this shit?  Just do whatever, I guess.  But the idiot public only knows Kal-el; that’s the brand”; and then throw the papers on the table and go back to comparing yachts.


Re: DC Superheroes in Film (Theatrical and Streaming)

I thought Calvin Ellis was a black Kal-el

Re: DC Superheroes in Film (Theatrical and Streaming)

pilight wrote:

I thought Calvin Ellis was a black Kal-el

Honestly have no idea.  Never paid much attention to his scattering of appearances because it was so overtly political it was a joke.  He was SuperObama.  But at least it would be a half-ass effort of making a new character by providing the name Calvin Ellis and a change in upbringing.

Half-ass is nothing to stand up and cheer about, though.  A lot of people just don’t seem to think they deserve more than that.

Re: DC Superheroes in Film (Theatrical and Streaming)

Calvin Ellis is a black Kal-El. That said, like TF -- I never really had much interest in Ellis who was simply an Obama spoof.

I'm intrigued by the idea that Kal-El/Clark Kent in this universe is black and conceivably Michael B. Jordan. Making the character black opens a lot of different life experiences that a Caucasian Clark Kent wouldn't ever know or have and there is no reason why a Kryptonian born infant would somehow correspond to planet Earth's Caucasian ethnicity.

That said -- Superman is a character created by two white men and sold and built into a media empire by white men and Superman ultimately reflects white people's interests and concerns even if the character himself is above all that. TF has written before about how characters like Wally West were essentially white characters presented in a deeply condescending form of fictional "blackface" rather than creating a new character designed to stand for, represent and showcase black people.

I dunno! I would personally be in favour of making Bruce Wayne Asian-American someday; I would like to see myself represented in a character I already see a lot of myself in. The Caucasian Bruce Wayne embodies a lot of (semi-positive) stereotypes about Asians: studious, work-obsessed, technically driven, good with computers and math.

In terms of making Kal-El black and having him land on Earth and grow up with his power and as a black man -- that's an interesting SLIDERS-worthy what-if where by altering a single element of Clark Kent -- his skin colour -- it creates a completely alternate path that could be narratively fascinating, especially if absolutely nothing else were changed.

How does SMALLVILLE change if Clark were played by a handsome, muscular, black youth adopted and raised by John Schneider and Annette O'Toole? Clark is taught strong and virtuous values of kindness and compassion, but he lives in a world where he's denigrated for his skin colour, treated with the assumption that he's subliterate and couldn't possibly be a journalist, working to aid law enforcement that always assumes anyone with his skin has to be a violent criminal, yelled at for taking a romantic interest in the Asian-American Lana Lang, sees the white Chloe mistreated for her attraction to a black kid, is jealous of the blonde and white Whitney Fordman who is the town's hero. What if Superman no longer had all the privileges that come with being white but had the same powers, same friends, same adoptive parents?

I am so fascinated by this question -- but at the same time, TF really has a point that black people deserve better than reskinned white characters.

Re: DC Superheroes in Film (Theatrical and Streaming)

Grizzlor wrote:

Funny you should say TV, because Warner's actually offered Snyder to do a mini-series, but he decided just to do the 4 hour job.  He really has no place in either medium.

This is actually not true. Snyder wanted to cut JUSTICE LEAGUE: THE SNYDER CUT into separate episodes, but Warner Bros. vetoed this as they would have had to pay the actors an additional fee for each separate installment.

Re: DC Superheroes in Film (Theatrical and Streaming)

The Suicide Squad is my favorite thing out of the DCEU and it's not even close.  So much fun and such a fun sandbox.  It's crazy what they can do if they actually use their whole roster.

Re: DC Superheroes in Film (Theatrical and Streaming)

I don't know what Ezra Miller is on, but Miller cannot seem to go for particularly long without one absurd incident of violence after another. … -arrested/ … h-threats/

I'm also not sure what a (supposedly) grown adult is doing randomly meeting people at farmers markets to press into service as personal assistants who provide lodging and bail and in return are threatened and robbed.

If you meet Ezra Miller and Miller offers you an assistant job for no apparent reason, keep your distance, don't make eye contact and head for an exit.

Could we please be done with the DCEU Flash and Ezra Miller now?

Temporal Flux once voiced a mild terror that Warner Bros. might enact some Byzantine, Machiavellian scheme to get CW's THE FLASH cancelled so that WB's FLASH movie could take the center stage.

I assume that Berlanti Productions reads this message forum. That they spotted Temporal Flux's alarm. That they responded accordingly: they found some way to encourage Zack Snyder to cast a volatile, unstable, deranged lunatic to play the Flash and figured that the DCEU Flash situation would self-implode well after Grant Gustin would be winding down his time as the Flash.

Re: DC Superheroes in Film (Theatrical and Streaming)

There are tons of Flashes.  I don't even know if Barry Allen is the Flash that most people know.

Maybe they need to re-write The Flash movie to feature Barry dying and Wally or Bart or *anyone* takes his place.  I mean, heck, the Snyderverse and the Arrowverse are already tied.  Just cast Grant Gustin as Barry in future stuff.  He's probably cheaper and he certainly seems like less of a loose cannon.

Re: DC Superheroes in Film (Theatrical and Streaming)

Who is the Flash's greatest supervillain? Eobard Thawne? Professor Zoom? The Anti-Monitor? The Rogues? The Rival, Inertia, Walter West, or Godspeed?

I think it's become clear: the Flash's deadliest enemy is Ezra Miller.

Google Ezra Miller and you get a pretty comprehensive picture of how they are a complete and utter psycho. A lunatic who threatens children and their parents. A nutjob who steals work from musicians and doesn't pay them. A loon who mocks law enforcement on social media when the police are searching for them. A jackass who can't get through a month without being arrested for starting a barfight.

Warner Bros. is in serious trouble with THE FLASH, a movie where their lead actor is a violent criminal who targets children and keeps visiting the same family homes repeatedly to threaten the inhabitants with violence and guns.

Warner Bros. spent 10 years trying to get a FLASH movie together, invested $200 million on the 2023 incarnation of this film after likely spending anywhere from $15- $75 million over 10 years. They paid for scripts they didn't film, for the directors they hired and lost or fired, for holding contracts on the actors, for staffers to keep this movie inching forward.

And now their movie is filmed and is looking unreleasable because Ezra Miller is insane; nobody will look at Miller and see Barry Allen or the Flash. They'll see a maniac named Ezra Miller.

There is no profit to be made on a FLASH movie now. THE FLASH movie is a dead project, a product whose only audience will be the morbidly curious. Any movie has to earn about three times its budget to break even. Is a movie with this much bad press and a cancelled actor likely to earn $600 million? At this point, WB is in no position to refilm Miller's scenes with a new actor; Miller's in every scene.

Ezra Miller has made THE FLASH a write off. There is no DC franchise to be built on Ezra Miller. There is no FLASH movie series with Ezra Miller. No one will ever hire Ezra Miller again; you wouldn't hire Ezra Miller to handle a cash register; I wouldn't trust Ezra Miller to wash my windows. There is no sequel to be made with Ezra Miller; there is no DC Universe series to emerge from any Ezra Miller production.

Temporal Flux once expressed the fear that Warner Bros. would actively destroy CW's THE FLASH show to prop up the FLASH movie; THE FLASH movie has self-destructed all on its own with a determined psychosis that would make David Peckinpah retreat and Bill Dial weep.

Maybe Warner Bros. will use deepfake technology to replace Ezra Miller's face with Timothée Chalamet or Lucas Till. I've written elsewhere that deepfake is fine for a few shots but creates a stiff, inhumanly robotic presence any time you need an actual human performance... but even that would be better than releasing a movie with Ezra Miller in the lead role.

Re: DC Superheroes in Film (Theatrical and Streaming)

Well, I've heard speculation that they could somehow just turn The Flash into a Keaton Batman movie.  From all accounts, it was already pretty Batman heavy.  Maybe you either change the title, downplay the Flash as much as you can (where he's just the instigator to get to the other universe), reshoot the ending, and make it Batman movie?  Or maybe you change the title and just make the marketing about the Batman aspects of the movie?  I don't know.  Maybe that wouldn't work.

The other thought is, from what we've already seen, Miller appears twice in the film - as different versions of Barry.  Could you just reshoot one of them and leave Miller as a bad guy?

I don't know.  I'm actually fairly excited to see what they do with Keaton, and Keaton is supposed to be a Nick Fury - like character for whatever the future of DC is.  I think they have to release this movie.

Re: DC Superheroes in Film (Theatrical and Streaming)

This is pretty messed up: the BATGIRL movie is being shelved despite being filmed and complete. It will not be released on HBO Max or in theatres. … enings-dc/

$90 million dollars to make it and WB held test screenings and has decided not to release it as it is considered so terrible that it will damage the DC brand. This brand has been damaged already by the middling reception of BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN, the box office bomb that was JUSTICE LEAGUE, Affleck quitting Batman (but making cameos), the inability to get a new Henry Cavill Superman feature off the ground, BIRDS OF PREY failing to market itself as a Harley Quinn movie, and basically anything Ezra Miller ever does.

I have to wonder how bad BATGIRL is considered when WB has decided this low(er) budgeted film starring Leslie Grace, JK Simmons and Michael Keaton should never ever ever ever ever be seen by anyone outside WB. It should be noted that the pre-JUSTICE LEAGUE WB regime declared that Zack Snyder's version of JUSTICE LEAGUE was "unwatchable", but having watched the Snyder Cut, I certainly don't think that's true.

There has been a merger (WB-Discovery) since BATGIRL was first greenlit. The desire is for big budget event movies again whereas post JUSTICE LEAGUE, the wish was for lower budgeted fare like, well, BATGIRL. It's baffling to me that they'd shelve BATGIRL but be determined to release the dead-end that is Ezra Miller's FLASH movie.

Not sure what's going on here...


Re: DC Superheroes in Film (Theatrical and Streaming)

If it was a male hero, they would release it

Re: DC Superheroes in Film (Theatrical and Streaming)

I have no idea what is going with the legion of headless chickens running Warner Bros. right now, but there is no sense and no reason behind much of anything they've done since MAN OF STEEL aside from WONDER WOMAN, AQUAMAN and SHAZAM turning out quite well.

BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN was re-edited into incoherence; SUICIDE SQUAD was hacked up in the edit room to chase the humour of GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY; JUSTICE LEAGUE is probably the most hated movie ever made; WONDER WOMAN 1984 had Diana have sex with a bodyjacked man without consent. They have been working on THE FLASH with Ezra Miller since 2014 and somehow haven't released it as of 2022; they nonsensically waited until Ezra Miller tried to strangle a woman and then they decided to finally shoot the film.

They released a Harley Quinn feature film that was inexplicably titled BIRDS OF PREY and nonsensically rated R over a few profanities which prevented a potential teen audience from watching the film. And despite having Henry Cavill on some sort of contract, WB can't seem to produce another Superman movie or even get him to cameo in SHAZAM.

Now they're arbitrarily cancelling a low-budget BATGIRL movie made for a streaming service while hell-bent on releasing THE FLASH with star Ezra Miller renowned for assault, harassment, threats, kidnapping, exposing small children to loaded firearms, threatening other small children, grooming. Even if BATGIRL is the worst superhero movie ever made, is it more unreleaseable than THE FLASH?

I don't know what the hell they're doing; they don't seem to know either.

Re: DC Superheroes in Film (Theatrical and Streaming)

Looks like the Batgirl decision is actually a tax dodge: … -write-off

Though not planned, it’s Springtime for Batgirl

Re: DC Superheroes in Film (Theatrical and Streaming)

I think this has more to do with Ezra Miller than most people are saying.  They can't release Batgirl until they release The Flash - otherwise Keaton being in it doesn't make sense, right?

So if they can't release the Flash, they can't release Batgirl.  So they do the tax dodge, write it off, and maybe they see if they can get fans to demand it after the Flash eventually comes out

Re: DC Superheroes in Film (Theatrical and Streaming)

My understanding of the tax writeoff strategy: if WB-Discovery goes through with it, they can never release BATGIRL. Ever. If they earn so much as a penny in even indirectly, BATGIRL is no longer a writeoff and WB will lose its tax break. And having read more: I understand that writing BATGIRL off makes financial sense even if it's terrible from a fan perspective. There might even be some creative sense given the dire state of THE FLASH, as you've noted.

It wasn't very fair of me to say that WB-Discovery's decisions don't make sense. It would be fairer to say that the previous WB regime's decisions didn't make sense and the new WB-Discovery team are in a bad situation with a lot of bad options.

The BATGIRL movie was greenlit by the former WB regime for the HBO Max streaming service. WB was aiming to replicate Netflix's business model: infinite subscriber growth fuelled by exciting films that would draw viewers to sign up for the service. WB was releasing its entire theatrical slate to streaming.

But Netflix and all streaming services hit a wall; subscriber growth wasn't infinite. Netflix peaked and is now losing subscribers. All streaming services are struggling. After BATGIRL was greenlit for $70 million, studios found that movies don't draw in subscriptions as well as ongoing TV shows.

In the past year, it's become obvious that BATGIRL's two hours won't bring in $70 - 90 million worth of HBO Max subscribers. In contrast, a single season of SUPERMAN AND LOIS is $120 million, offers 11  -  14 hours of content, and brings in subscriber revenue over years because it's a series and not a single installment product.

Even before the streaming crash, BATGIRL was a very peculiar financial proposition. It was basically a TV movie, the streaming time equivalent of three episodes of SUPERMAN AND LOIS, but the WB studio set BATGIRL up to be three to four times more expensive than three TV episodes.

The reason SUPERMAN AND LOIS produces more for less: a TV show's extended lifespan allows longterm planning. TV shows can spend big on sets, effects models and costumes and use those assets across multiple seasons. A superhero movie has to produce those startup items for short-term use, producing less with more in terms of dollars-to-content.

A TV show uses TV salaried-actors and can take advantage of Vancouver TV tax credits because they're creating longterm jobs and longterm community investment. BATGIRL filmed in Glasgow, Scotland for a limited period with Michael Keaton and JK Simmons and its $70 million budget went to $90 million with pandemic protocols.

M. Night Shyamalan was once asked why his movies had gotten so terrible and why he improved on TV; Shyamalan said that big budget films had made him self-indulgent while TV's lean resources forced him to shed his excesses. Berlanti Productions, which produces SUPERMAN AND LOIS, seems to run a tighter financial ship than WB's film studio with WB's costly and unprofitable reshoots of SUICIDE SQUAD and JUSTICE LEAGUE.

Why won't WB-Discovery just eat the cost and release BATGIRL? After any merger, corporations try to cut costs and they clearly think BATGIRL will lose money as a streaming release but lose less as a tax shelter.

Writing BATGIRL off is terrible from an optics standpoint. BATGIRL had a Latina lead and a female-forward media profile. While cast and crew were paid, they now likely have no reel to showcase their skills for future jobs (as the movie, if a tax writeoff, can never be released or used for profit), no profit participation earnings and a massive public embarrassment.

It looks like WB-Discovery is paying bonuses/kill-fees to Leslie Grace, directors Adil El Arbi and bilall Fallah, Michael Keaton and other cast and crew to try to soothe the ruffled feathers.

Looking at it now, I don't understand why BATGIRL was a $70 million TV movie. It would have made more financial sense as a PEACEMAKER-type streaming series. A $70 million BATGIRL series of 10 episodes (effectively the SUPERMAN AND LOIS budget) with guest appearances from JK Simmons and Michael Keaton would have been a far better streaming service product than a two hour movie. Ten episodes can be marketed as an event. Ten episodes draws an audience to a streaming platform, gives them more time to sample that platform's other content and decide to stick around.

Even so, will creators who are female and people of colour ever want to work on medium-budget projects with WB-Discovery? Whatever loss is staunched by BATGIRL now being an unreleased tax shelter may not be worth the terrible PR and the sense that WB-Discovery is erratic, flaky and unreliable.

But even creatively, the new WB-Discovery regime is in a very difficult position. Their precedessors hired Ezra Miller whose violent rampages made THE FLASH a radioactive property. THE FLASH was supposed to start a revitalized DC Extended Universe by integrating Michael Keaton's Batman into the new Miller-led DCEU and removing Ben Affleck as Batman. BATGIRL was set in this post-FLASH, Miller-led DCEU.

BATGIRL had Keaton's Batman with JK Simmons' Commissioner Gordon from JUSTICE LEAGUE. But now, there will be no Miller-led DCEU. BATGIRL became irrelevant to the future of DC properties.

The Miller-led DCEU is dead. WONDER WOMAN and AQUAMAN will probably see a third and final installment each as films independent of the Millerverse and the Snyderverse.  The ARROWVERSE is wrapping up.

Still, I think WB-Discovery would be better off just releasing the BATGIRL movie as a purchase-to-view product to iTunes and Google Play. Charge $15 to download it. For HBO Max subscribers, offer the movie for a $7.50 payment for the first three months before making it subscriber-available without additional cost.

Release BATGIRL to a limited edition $200 blu-ray with the digital BATGIRL YEAR ONE comic, audio commentary from cast and director, all the Yvonne Craig episodes of BATMAN, a storyboard-edit of the movie, deleted scenes, CG animatics and other special features of random crap sitting on WB's hard drives that won't take any money to assemble.

Accept that any losses are better than coming off as a studio too incompetent to release the films it makes.

After that, WB-Discovery might want to start over with the DC feature properties. I think the best thing for WB-Discovery would be to hire Berlanti Productions to steward their feature films from now on. Berlanti Productions has been making $25 million SUPERMAN movies at a rate of five movies/15 episodes a year. 

In contrast, MAN OF STEEL cost $225 million and there is no real sequel. BATGIRL cost WB at least $90 to make and not release it. THE FLASH has cost $200 million, taken a decade, isn't in theatres and is already a slow-motion bus crash of a movie.

I don't think you can make a Henry Cavill SUPERMAN movie for $30 - 50 million, but you can definitely make a SUPERMAN AND LOIS movie for that. And a SUPERMAN AND LOIS movie with an entry-level storyline and a $50 million budget doesn't need to earn $1 billion to be profitable.

Re: DC Superheroes in Film (Theatrical and Streaming)

Interesting theory that Zaslav cancelled the BATGIRL release to try to save WB's DC slate from Ezra Miller: … cellation/


Re: DC Superheroes in Film (Theatrical and Streaming)

Ezra Miller reportedly filmed Flash reshoots in July, after his first two arrests and after the 12-year-old was granted a protective order against him.

1,046 (edited by Slider_Quinn21 2022-08-11 11:11:49)

Re: DC Superheroes in Film (Theatrical and Streaming)

Geez.  Is there any chance the reshoots were to *end* their character's role in the DCEU?  Even if they release this movie, they can't realistically stick with Ezra as Barry, right?

Re: DC Superheroes in Film (Theatrical and Streaming)

Hi, regardless of everything Ezra Miller may or may not have done (and obviously did), let's remember that Ezra Miller is non-binary and uses they-them pronouns.

I know that nobody here is transphobic and that these misgenderings are either typos or because Miller's character describes himself as "a good looking Jewish boy" in JUSTICE LEAGUE, meaning many people understandably assume that Miller identifies as male when off camera. Ezra doesn't identify as a man or a woman.

We should always respect people's chosen identities even if people are sometimes supervillains who have tormented Barry Allen in ways that would make Eobard Thawne take a step back and rethink his direction in life.

I assume that Miller will be recast, possibly with Elliot Page.

Re: DC Superheroes in Film (Theatrical and Streaming)

ireactions wrote:

Hi, regardless of everything Ezra Miller may or may not have done (and obviously did), let's remember that Ezra Miller is non-binary and uses they-them pronouns.

I know that nobody here is transphobic and that these misgenderings are either typos or because Miller's character describes himself as "a good looking Jewish boy" in JUSTICE LEAGUE, meaning many people understandably assume that Miller identifies as male when off camera. Ezra doesn't identify as a man or a woman.

Dang it, I knew that and still messed up.  Edited.

Re: DC Superheroes in Film (Theatrical and Streaming)

I guess WB thinks that no one truly cares what Ezra Miller does in real life.  Maybe they’re right.


Re: DC Superheroes in Film (Theatrical and Streaming)

I didn't know Miller was like that.  It's hard to keep up these days.

Re: DC Superheroes in Film (Theatrical and Streaming)

Warner Bros. is giving serious thought to not releasing THE FLASH. I don't think they'll actually shelve it for a tax writeoff (SPRINGTIME FOR BARRY?), but they thought about it. … egal-woes/

Re: DC Superheroes in Film (Theatrical and Streaming)

James Gunn has been made head of the DC film division. … s-dc-boss/

Henry Cavill has signed for MAN OF STEEL II, but Zack Snyder won't return to direct. No director or writer have been hired as of yet. … ames-gunn/

Cavill also resigned from THE WITCHER and will be recast with Liam Hemsworth (brother of Chris).

While David Zaslav has been slashing and burning TV projects and low budget film projects, I can't imagine James Gunn working with DC unless he's been assured that he'll have reasonable blockbuster stability for his projects.

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I saw Black Adam.  After hearing bad things from most of my Twitter nerds, I think it actually was pretty fun.  I think the universe still doesn't feel all that connected, but I think it was a fun movie.

Is Black Adam an anti-hero or just a villain traditionally?

Re: DC Superheroes in Film (Theatrical and Streaming)

Haven't seen the movie yet.

Black Adam, as far as I'm concerned, is a villain who believes his power makes him entitled to rule Earth. Black Adam went on a murder spree to conquer 13th century Egypt, murdered Billy Batson's parents, and was generally a blood hungry lunatic.

The 1999 Justice Society of America comic by Geoff Johns (creator-showrunner of STARGIRL), however, declared that Black Adam had been corrupted by his host, Theo Adam. The host was blamed for the murders and Black Adam, freed of Theo, was presented as a hero with a massive ego rather than a villain.

However, the 52 series (a weekly 2006 comic) by Geoff Johns and other writers ultimately reverted Black Adam to a (tragic) villain. Black Adam becomes the heroic ruler of the country Kahndaq, marries the superheroine Isis, and seems to have mostly reformed. But after evil scientist team the Science Squad attacks Kahndaq and murders Black Adam's wife and numerous citizens, Black Adam attacks the country of Bialya and murders two million civillians. The heroes ultimately strip Black Adam of his powers and leave him mortal and wandering.

There was some subsequent intrigue with Black Adam, but he remained a somewhat-tragic mass murderer whose efforts to regain his powers never succeeded or stuck. After the 2011 events of FLASHPOINT, Black Adam was rebooted and all of his previous history was restarted. Since then, Black Adam has been antagonistic but ultimately well-intentioned, an anti-hero but not a villain, largely shifted to his status as Kahndaq's protector. Black Adam's massacre of Bialya never happened.

In the 2019 - 2022 DOOMSDAY CLOCK series, Dr. Manhattan merged the reboot and pre-FLASHPOINT continuities fully (and the characters' memories of the pre-FLASHPOINT conitnuity had been slowly returning).

As I understand it (although may Temporal Flux forgive me and correct me if I'm wrong): the Bialya genocide never happened, but the memories of this alternate timeline are present. This phenomenon is seen in SUPERMAN and WONDER WOMAN where Clark and Diana have conflicting memories of their continuities and origin stories, but eventually settle on a merged version while noting discrepancies. Other destroyed DC Universe cities like Bludhaven have also reappeared after DOOMSDAY CLOCK.

Anyway. Black Adam, to me, is a villain, but comic book continuity has periodically reversed or expunged his worst crimes

Re: DC Superheroes in Film (Theatrical and Streaming)

Henry Cavill's announced return to Superman was unannounced.

Wonder Woman's third film will not proceed with Patty Jenkins.

There will be no Black Adam sequel.

THE BATMAN still has a sequel in development.

It looks like James Gunn is starting over with the DC Universe, and while it's unfortunately to see Cavill's return being cancelled... it might be Gunn's only move.

The foundation of the DC Extended Universe has been shaky since DAWN OF JUSTICE and fairly or unfairly, JUSTICE LEAGUE made the whole thing unworkable: a premier superhero team that won't get another movie, a Batman who had mostly quit, a Superman whose contract was expiring, a Wonder Woman with a baffling sequel movie, a Flash whose actor is psychotic -- with all DCEU movies having to navigate awkwardly through this wreckage with AQUAMAN rewriting the JUSTICE LEAGUE backstory for Aquaman, BIRDS OF PREY avoiding Batman, SHAZAM being unable to show Superman, etc..

Fairly or unfairly, the DCEU had been crippled and was crawling forward. And Gunn ended an untenable and impossible situation. It was sad, but there were no good options left for the DCEU.

Re: DC Superheroes in Film (Theatrical and Streaming)

DC Films seems to have a very bright future for 2024 with an all-star lineup of writers including James Gunn, Tom King (BATMAN comics) and Drew Goddard (a Whedon veteran). … -projects/

Rumour has it that THE FLASH's ending will once again be changed to set up the James Gunn era.

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I realized something.

When Gunn announced his slate, he said that we're getting a younger Superman.  That's why Cavill had to be recast.  But he also said that they're doing a Batman that is dealing with his son.

Which means, essentially, that the DCU is going to have the same dynamic as the DCEU did in terms of Clark and Bruce.  One will be young and inexperienced.  One will be a veteran.  Because by the descriptions that Gunn used, Clark should be fairly young.  I'm thinking early 20s.  Batman, if he has a crimefighting son, can't be any younger than 30, right?  Mayyyyybe late 20s if he had Damian at 16 and Damian is now 12?  Either way, Bruce and Clark probably won't be contemporaries.  And for whatever reason, I want that.

But I am excited to have a Bat-Family and that seems to be the direction that Gunn is going.  So I'll accept it.

Re: DC Superheroes in Film (Theatrical and Streaming)

Batman could be 25 - 30 in a BATMAN AND SON movie adaptation.

I think writer Grant Morrison intended Batman in the BATMAN AND SON comic storyline to be about 40 and Damian to be 10. Morrison clearly loved writing Damian, emphasizing Damian's ruthlessness and bloodthirsty lunacy as well as Damian's tiny stature and innocent face. Damian's age meant Batman and Talia conceived Damian when Batman was 30. However, Morrison changed the continuity: Morrison misremembered BATMAN: SON OF THE DEMON where Bruce and Talia have a romantic evening. Instead, Morrison scripted BATMAN AND SON to have Batman refer to an insane "eugenics experiment" where he was sedated and his biological matter harvested.

Then we had the events of FLASHPOINT and THE NEW 52 where Batman's publishing history was reduced to Batman having only been in operation for five years and he was de-aged to being 30 -- but Damian was still present as Robin. This timeline made it impossible for Damian to be 10 -- unless we go the Morrison-route where Damian is a genetically engineered clone of Bruce, produced to infancy, then artificially aged to a level where he'd be capable enough for League of Assassins combat training.

On a side note, this five year timeline also made it difficult to see how Batman could have had four Robins (Dick Grayson / Jason Todd / Tim Drake / Damian Wayne) in five years.

Since then, the events of DC REBIRTH and DOOMSDAY CLOCK revealed that Dr. Manhattan ripped a decade out of the DC Universe timeline, but Wally West's return and Superman's confrontation with Dr. Manhattan saw those 10 years start to bleed back into reality, and the SON OF THE DEMON backstory has been reinstated.

However, if James Gunn wants a younger Batman in his late 20s or early 30s, Morrison's continuity error in making Damian an altered child clone of Bruce could be used.

I can't see Christopher Nolan using a sci-fi fantasy trope like clones, but Gunn's version of Batman is supposed to exist in a shared universe of Kryptonians, Greek demi-goddesses, interstellar police forces, speedsters, monsters, time travellers and swamp things, so clones would be no big deal.

Funnily enough... Grant Morrison didn't actually write for Damian and Bruce all that much. Morrison introduced Damian in BATMAN AND SON in 2006, but Damian vanished in an explosion at the end of this short arc. Damian returned just in time for BATMAN RIP in which Batman 'died' at Darkseid's hands (was unstuck from time and space). This led into BATMAN AND ROBIN REBORN where Morrison had Dick Grayson assume the role of Batman with Damian as Robin (and Tim Drake became Red Robin).

Bruce returned to the present in 2010, but declared that Damian was completely unsuited to being Bruce's Robin and said that Dick and Damian should remain Batman and Robin in Gotham while Bruce would be a more global Batman with Batman Incorporated. This led into BATMAN INC. being Bruce's title and Dick and Damian remaining the stars of BATMAN and DETECTIVE COMICS.

The NEW 52 reboot of 2011 saw Dick return to being Nightwing and Bruce and Damian now being Batman and Robin in a relaunched BATMAN INC. title with Morrison offering no explanation beyond a time gap. The BATMAN AND ROBIN title by Peter Tomasi also focused on Bruce and Damian while the BATMAN, DETECTIVE COMICS and BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT titles focused more on Bruce.

The second volume of BATMAN INC. ended in 2013 with Damian killed off and Grant Morrison departing the title. Morrison had always intended for Damian to die. However, Damian had proven to be a wildly popular character and the fans missed him and were not happy about his death. The writers of BATMAN AND ROBIN, BATMAN, DETECTIVE COMICS and DARK KNIGHT also seemed less-than-thrilled to have lost such a fun character.

In 2014 - 2015, Peter Tomasi's BATMAN AND ROBIN title presented the "Robin Rises" arc in which Damian's body is stolen for genetic material and Batman pursues his son's body as far as Apokalips, facing down Darkseid again. This time, Batman not only survives but reverses the deadly effect of Darkseid's technology and Damian is resurrected. Damian only stayed dead for 16 months and fans were very happy to have this pint sized homicidal Robin back in the mix.

One issue with a BATMAN AND SON movie adaptation: even if they hire a 10 year old to play Damian, that actor isn't going to stay 10 for the entire lifespan of the James Gunn DC movies. Something to think about.

Re: DC Superheroes in Film (Theatrical and Streaming)

Despite supervillain Ezra Miller's best efforts, THE FLASH movie trailer is out:

Let us take a moment to appreciate how this movie was announced before Season 1 of THE FLASH television show and will now make it to theatres after the Season 9 series finale of THE FLASH. Temporal Flux once theorized that WB would try to kill the Flash TV show to try to prop up a Flash movie, but Grant Gustin's Flash outran anything Ezra Miller could throw at him.

Re: DC Superheroes in Film (Theatrical and Streaming)

The movie looks crazy expensive - essentially a Justice League sequel with seemingly as many action sequences (at least compared to Joss Whedon's version).  I assume that's why, no matter what Ezra Miller did, it was coming out. 

The movie does look interesting.  And as Gunn has said, it should reset the Snyderverse into the DCU.  I don't know if I totally understand how that can be the case - and how some people might be recast and some might not.  But as much as Ezra Miller makes me want this movie to fail, I'm very intrigued by it and am looking forward to seeing it.

Re: DC Superheroes in Film (Theatrical and Streaming)

Slider_Quinn21 wrote:

The movie does look interesting.  And as Gunn has said, it should reset the Snyderverse into the DCU.  I don't know if I totally understand how that can be the case - and how some people might be recast and some might not.  But as much as Ezra Miller makes me want this movie to fail, I'm very intrigued by it and am looking forward to seeing it.

How did you feel about CRISIS on TV where Superman looks like Tyler Hoechlin and Brandon Routh and Tom Welling and for some reason, Superman also looks like Ray Palmer? How did you feel Barry Allen looking like both Ezra Miller and Grant Gustin? How did you feel about Alura Zor-El for some reason looking like Lois Lane?

How did you feel about SUPERMAN AND LOIS where Clark, Lois, Lucy Lane and Diggle look the same but Sam Lane and Morgan Edge have completely different personalities and faces?

CRISIS didn't even try to offer an explanation, but if you demanded that I give you one, I would stammeringly defer to the explanation given in the DOOMSDAY CLOCK comic book: the DC Universe in the comics is not a single universe or timeline; it is in fact a "metaverse", where every shift in the timeline of the DC metaverse and every past variant of the DC metaverse reverberates across existing and new parallel universes. The core metatemporal event that creates shifts in time: it's the arrival of Superman's pod on planet Earth, an event that is constantly moving forward in time, altering the past and the future.

In addition, since faces aren't consistent, we have to take that to mean that genetic expression in facial features is not totally consistent across universes. We've seen this peculiarity across the street at Marvel where Peter Parker looks like Tom Holland and Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire.

So why do some faces stay the same or manifest in totally different people?

It would seem: each new variant on the DC metaverse whether the Arrowverse or the Donner films or the DCEU or the SUPERMAN AND LOIS timeline will contain echoes of the previously existing universes. New DC universes are like coffee from a well-used coffeemaker. No matter how much you clean the machine or change the brand of beans, your coffeemaker will have mineral and bean residue from every previous cup you've ever brewed. These echoes manifest in events (the death of Thomas and Martha Wayne, the destruction of Krypton) and sometimes in faces (Ray Palmer/Clark Kent, Barry Allen/Henry Allen/Jay Garrick, Alura/Lois, Dinah Redmond/Beth Kane).

Since the Ezra Miller version of Barry Allen appeared in CRISIS, this phenomenon of echoes across parallel universes can reach the DCEU as well. This means that if the FLASH movie collapses and rebuilds time, it may be a feature echoes of past elements of the DCEU and new elements of the DC Gunnverse. The new Wonder Woman and Aquaman of the Gunnverse may look like Gal Gadot and Jason Momoa; the new Flash of the new universe may not look like Ezra Miller, the new Superman will not look like Henry Cavill.

Note that Wonder Woman and Aquaman's continuities don't seem to be entirely consistent between BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE (actual title), WONDER WOMAN, JUSTICE LEAGUE and AQUAMAN. BVSDOJ established that Wonder Woman separated herself from humanity after WWII; WONDER WOMAN ignores this. JUSTICE LEAGUE has Aquaman say he was abandoned by his mother; AQUAMAN shows she was kidnapped and presumed dead.

We also have two separate and contradictory versions of the events of JUSTICE LEAGUE, one in which the resurrection of Superman is a first step in the Darkseid invasion of Earth and Dr. Silas Stone is dead; one where the resurrection of Superman curtails the invasion of Earth through Lois Lane and Dr. Stone is alive and well.

These anomalies may, to the untrained observer, appear to be due to movie studio incompetence, but upon closer inspection, it would indicate that Ezra Miller's Barry Allen has been attempting to investigate his mother's death by using time travel and has been inadvertently splitting the timeline, creating alternate backstories and events that will eventually have to be reconciled with some overwriting others in order to restablilize the multiverse into a coherent core timeline.

This would appear to be James Gunn's perspective.

Re: DC Superheroes in Film (Theatrical and Streaming)

Sooo... in THE FLASH movie, Michael Keaton will be returning as Batman. Michael Keaton is 71 years old. I remember some fans taking issue with Bruce Wayne played by a 43 year old Ben Affleck in BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE (actual title). Now we have a 71 year old Batman and judging from the FLASH trailer, Keaton's Batman is still leaping off rooftops, throwing batarangs, throwing high kicks and hard punches, and in general, running around like he's an Olympic athlete in his early 20s.

It's ridiculous, but... it actually seems fine to me, visually. We see Keaton in the batsuit declaring, "I'm Batman" -- and he is. He's not my favourite Batman, but he's earned the right to define and embody the character at any age. When Michael Keaton is in the batsuit, it doesn't seem to matter how old he is. All the action sequences are performed by stunt doubles whether human or animatronic or CG; I'm sure Keaton wasn't personally paragliding into the Batmobile even in his younger days.

Also -- it seems to me that the Batsuit and whatever sci-fi enhancements are accelerating and augmenting 71 year old Bruce Wayne's body make Keaton's actual age irrelevant. If Robert Downey Jr.'s character hadn't been killed off, we wouldn't take issue with him being Iron Man into his 90s; the Iron Man suit itself doesn't actually age. I guess the batsuit doesn't either.

Re: DC Superheroes in Film (Theatrical and Streaming)

I was one of the people taking issue with an older Batman, but my concern was mostly around the fact that I think Bruce and Clark should be contemporaries.  I didn't like that Affleck and Cavill were in such different places in their superhero careers.  It worked for the story they were trying to tell in BvS (kinda, they didn't go deep enough if they were going to go in that direction), but it didn't work for a larger story.

To me, Keaton looks older but I don't think he looks anywhere near 71.  He looks late 50s to me?  Maybe mid-50s.  The guy has aged great.

Re: DC Superheroes in Film (Theatrical and Streaming)

Got to thinking about something regarding Gunn and the new cinematic DCU.

So Gunn has said that the movies take place across different time periods.  One movie may be early in a hero’s career (Superman) while another may be later (Batman / Damien).  We’re also getting a Booster Gold streaming series based on the Johns / Jurgens series.

What if Rip Hunter is going to be the Nick Fury of the DCU?  Recruiting heroes from certain points in their lives to construct the team he needs to fight a coming threat?  The Booster series would then be the connective tissue that holds the narrative together

In fact, I think for the Superman: Legacy movie, it would be fun to adapt the 90’s story “Time and Time Again”

While fighting one of Hunter’s Linear Men, an accident sends Superman bouncing around through time.  He gets a turn in the strong man roots of the character; he gets a turn in the WWII era of the character; and he gets two bites at the future Legion era (the last one ending in Superman’s failure to prevent the moon from exploding 1000 years from now).

Re: DC Superheroes in Film (Theatrical and Streaming)

I happened to see the ZSJL fight between Superman and Steppenwolf on YouTube the other day.  I don't know if this was kept in Whedon's version or not (I didn't go back and check) but Superman is thoroughly beating up Steppenwolf and Heat Visions off part of Steppenwolf's head/horns/helmet.  He doesn't cut off his arm - just seems to either maim him (or at the very least, embarrass him by ruining his helmet).

I don't know if I mentioned it when the movie originally came out, but it struck me as very un-Superman-like.  I know that I don't really understand Snyder's version of Superman, but is there any reason why the comics-version of Superman would do that?  I don't think anyone was in danger, and I don't think cutting off his horns would make anyone any safer.  I feel like snapping Zod's neck is one thing since it saved people, but this seemed like cruel for the sake of cruel.

Any thoughts?

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I sometimes think that writing Superman is like taking the super soldier serum.

Abraham Erskine:
The serum was not ready. But more important: the man. The serum amplifies everything that is inside. So good becomes great. Bad becomes worse. This is why you were chosen. Because a strong man who has known power all his life will lose respect for that power. But a weak man knows the value of strength and knows compassion.

Superman tends to reflect each writer's image of what an admirable man would do with superpowers. That image is rarely consistent.

Even in, say, SMALLVILLE, we had a Clark Kent who seemed okay with killing freaks of the week in Season 1. He crushed that bug controlling classmate under a dumpster, killed the ice and fire manipulators. Yet, in Season 8, Clark acts like Oliver killing Lex Luthor with Lex's own bomb was some sort of moral crisis point. Alfred Gough and Miles Millar's Clark was prepared to kill in the heat of combat; Brian Peterson and Kelly Souders' Clark is appalled when vigilantes take life under any circumstances. And this is supposed to be the same character!

Ultimately, Gough & Millar's Superman is not the Peterson-Souders Superman who is not the Dean Cain Superman who is not -- you get the idea. But Superman is ultimately a reflection of what the individual creator considers to be exemplary. Your Superman reveals your guiding light. Your best or your worst.

Zack Snyder is someone who is very concerned with heroes establishing physical superiority over others. A Snyder hero has to prove that he's more brutal than those around him, so Snyder's Batman likes to burn batarang marks into villains' bodies and Snyder's Superman goes out of his way to leave scars and issue threats. Snyder's heroes feel the need to engage in exercises of ego.

I feel that Tyler Hoechlin's Superman might at times get angry enough to really damage someone non-fatally just to put a scare in them. Hoechlin's Superman threatens a soldier with heat vision in Season 1 of S&L ("Stand. Down.") and one wonders if this Superman might actually do it.

My personal vision of Superman does not engage in that kind of authoritative showboating to tell people who's boss. My vision of Superman is going to do what he can to contain and nullify a threat, but my Superman doesn't think of himself as someone who puts people in the ground.

There's this moment in the JLA/HITMAN series from notoriously profane writer Garth Ennis, a writer obsessed with bodily fluids and gore. Wonder Woman tells Superman that she dislikes how he keeps finding likable things about criminals. She dislikes how he'll have friendly conversations with people he's escorting to jail. She tells him that it's unbecoming of a warrior. Superman replies, "I'm not a warrior. I'm not a soldier of any kind. I'm just doing what I can to help. Isn't that enough?"

Zack Snyder's Superman is a warrior. But we're rid of him, thank goodness.

I cannot stress enough in the name of Wade Welles' lace-up boots that ireactions' personal preferences for Superman are not the consensus preferences of

Re: DC Superheroes in Film (Theatrical and Streaming)

I watched THE FLASH movie and it was pretty good. I thought the film did a really good job of being both a big budget corporate movie extending ancient copyrights into a more monetized mass media product and having a lot of personality and quite a bit to say about guilt, regret, perfectionism, letting go and hanging on.

The movie is nearly two and a half hours long, but the film maintains superb pacing throughout. Every time the film seems to have settled into its proceedings, it takes a new turn into a new track of storytelling. However, the climax is a little confused and the movie does not actually seem to set up the James Gunn DC film slate or reset the DC cinematic universe as Gunn claimed it would.


Ezra Miller is possibly the greatest supervillain that Barry Allen has ever faced, but their performance is splendid. I will now cease referring to them and speak only of Barry Allen. Barry has always been a wildly entertaining character, a bundle of neuroses who becomes even more interesting when Barry gets a new character to be his comedic relief and his comedic relief is himself as a distractable and aimless 18 year old boy, a version from the past.

The interplay between Barry 1 and Barry 2 is delightful. Barry 1's hyperactive autism is grounded by the weight of his tragedy with his mother dead and his father in jail for the murder. Barry 2 never knew that tragedy and has indulged his every impulse and whim, and while Barry 2's desires are low-key and modest (food, fun, family), Barry 2's inability to take much of anything seriously is a joy for the audience and an aggravation for Barry 1.

Michael Keaton's return as Batman is entertaining, but it doesn' t necessarily withstand scrutiny. Keaton was cast as the Batman of this story because Ben Affleck felt Batman was driving him back into alcoholism, but agreed to a limited number of filming days to close out the role. Keaton was hired to take over from Affleck as an elder-statesman Batman for the DCEU going forward; there would be no Keaton feature film, but he would appear in supporting roles in BATGIRL and the AQUAMAN sequel to maintain some continuity for the post JUSTICE LEAGUE films. However, due to James Gunn taking over the DC slate, Keaton's ongoing role will not be moving forward. BATGIRL was cancelled, Keaton's AQUAMAN II cameo was removed. This leaves Keaton's Batman confined to THE FLASH. Within the plot, Keaton's Batman serves to provide Barry with resources he wouldn't otherwise have; aside from that, Keaton's plot function could easily have been Affleck; it's just that Keaton's presence is a constant visual reference for how Barry, in preventing his mother's death, has warped reality.

Keaton's Bruce provides the explanation that when the Flash changed history, he didn't just send time on a parallel track but in fact altered the entire direction of time both past and present, creating intersections with other timelines. Barry has created a merged timeline of different elements from new and previously existing timelines; this is why Batman now has the face of the 1989 Batman and why Clark Kent never made it to Earth.

Keaton is not the same Batman we met in the 1989 movie, either. He is a new version with a familiar face. Keaton doesn't play Batman as he did in 1989 either. This Batman is a far more comedic, affable, accessible figure. This Bruce Wayne has clearly lived a very different life: he can go from attacking Barry 1 and 2 to seating them in his kitchen for spaghetti. The Flash is clearly not his first run-in with temporal conundrums because he readily explains to Barry 1 why his changing an event from two decades in the past has altered history even before the date of the changes.

The result is that this Batman doesn't seem to serve any effective role beyond being a plot device to provide Barry with hardware to serve the plot: this Batman is not the Batman from 1989. This Batman is not the Batman who will be with us going into the Gunnverse. This Batman serves no need that could not be met by the Batman he's replacing. The only reason to have him is simply because Michael Keaton is a wildly enjoyable presence who is actually a lot more fun to watch than he ever was in BATMAN and BATMAN RETURNS. Keaton is effortlessly convincing in the action sequences and inhabits the role of Bruce Wayne perfectly. There's a casual confidence to Keaton's screen presence that justifies itself just by having him walk onscreen whether it's as Bruce or as Batman.

Supergirl is also a pleasure in this film. THE FLASH doesn't take it for granted that Kara Zor-El wouldn't side with General Zod attacking Earth with no Kal-El to stop him and takes the time to earn it. THE FLASH turns Sasha Calle's Kara into a force to be reckoned with -- but it's also where the movie degenerates slightly. The plot is that Barry has accidentally created a world without metahumans, just a retired Batman; then General Zod attacks as he did in MAN OF STEEL. Barry's search for Clark leads to an imprisoned Kara instead of Clark; Kara eventually agrees to help the Barrys and Bruce fight the Kryptonian invasion of Earth...

And then the movie seems to devolve into the Flash, the Flash, Supergirl and Batman fighting individual Kryptonian soldiers in a featureless desert setting. It's unclear why the heroes prioritize this over stopping the two terraforming ships that were destroying cities in MAN OF STEEL. At a late point on the fight, Kara goes for Zod's remote control of the terraforming ships, but the maneuver is baffling; no army would be defeated just by destroying one control device. Given that MAN OF STEEL had Superman and the army focus on stopping the terraforming ships as opposed to individual skirmishes with Kryptonian foot soldiers, I'm baffled by the lack of strategy displayed by the supposed master strategist that is Batman.

Then we get into the climax: Supergirl and Batman are killed. Barry 2 decide that he and Barry will rewind time, but Supergirl and Batman die in the second iteration. And the third. And the tenth. And then Barry 1 and 2 are confronted by a horrific behemoth between the timelines who reveals himself to be an aged Barry 2 who has spent countless eons fighting this one battle with the Kryptonians, repeatedly losing, aging and mutilated by his obsession with this one single battle. The Barrys also glimpse parallel universes: the George Reeves Superman, the Christopher Reeve Superman and Helen Slater Supergirl, the Adam West Batman, the Nicholas Cage Superman -- all of whose worlds are now being destroyed by Barry 2's unending battle.

It's at this point where THE FLASH, while (somewhat) narratively sound, becomes thematically confused. The tragic folly of the villain is reflected in a supporting character, Barry 2, instead of Barry himself. Barry 2 is the one who comes to realize that the desire to keep reiterating the same situation to find some perfect outcome that doesn't exist has doomed him. The future Barry is only stopped when Barry 2 sacrifices himself and Barry 1 elects to allow his mother to die to stop this entire situation from ever happening.

If THE FLASH had been a less entertaining film, Barry wiping most of the film out of existence would have been rather offensive. However, Barry does make one small change to the timeline so that in the present day, Barry's father will finally be cleared of the mueder charges.

Originally, the intention was that the new timeline would feature Michael Keaton as Batman and lead into the next round of DC movies wtih Keaton's Batman as a recurring character. But with this undone and with Affleck not returning, the final scenes of THE FLASH were reshot. Barry gets his father out of jail and is congratulated by Bruce Wayne except Bruce is now George Clooney from BATMAN AND ROBIN.

This is clearly not leading into the James Gunn DC universe. We know that George Clooney will not be Batman in BATMAN: THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD. This leaves THE FLASH as a film that isn't leading into the Gunn movies at all, but rather offering a belated conclusion to the Zack Snyder series. The Snyderverse ends as a medley of Snyderverse elements and previous DC movies; the Flash now joins BATMAN AND ROBIN, the Tim Burton movies and the Richard Donner films as a past timeline that continues to exist but we may not see much anymore. A post-credits scene with Aquaman has Barry remarking that different timelines will sometimes feature different people as Batman and that other timelines may feature similar or different faces in the same roles; this appears to be a qucik nod to explain why the next AQUAMAN movie may be canon to both the Snyder film series and the James Gunn movies.

THE FLASH has been in development purgatory since 2014, losing numerous directors, multiple screenwriters, and passing through four separate studio regimes with four wildly different intentions. The fact that THE FLASH is a mostly coherent and highly enjoyable film is a testament to the steadiness of the creators on this film. It's a great time and a strangely fitting coda to the Snyder era. I liked it.

Re: DC Superheroes in Film (Theatrical and Streaming)

Nice analysis.  I watched it last night and let me give you my thoughts.


I'm not 100% sure of how I feel about the movie just yet.  Ezra Miller was good in the ways that they played both characters, but one thing has consistently bothered me.  Is Barry autistic?  I know he certainly seems to be on the spectrum, but are the writers simply unwilling to admit this?  Is Barry 2 also autistic but just not as outwardly obvious?  Or is that just because I'm fairly uneducated on this topic and it's obvious in both iterations?

It doesn't really matter, I suppose.  People on the spectrum don't have to advertise that they're on the spectrum, but I'm just a little surprised that it just hasn't ever been addressed at all.

One thing I did like is that Barry's personality is so different.  I think I experienced this myself - my father died at a young age, and my personality shifted significantly when it happened.  I used to be a loud (and pretty obnoxious) kid who was very outgoing and popular.  Afterwards, I became a more reserved, quiet, somewhat-reclusive kid.  Still the same person - just too wounded to be outgoing anymore.  I could see if there was a SQ21 movie, I might go back and keep my dad from dying and I'd have a much different personality.

From trailers and promotional leaks, I knew that Barry 2 was going to go bad somehow.  But we were two hours in and I didn't really want that to happen.  I liked Barry 2, and I didn't want to see him turn heel.  I thought "dark Flash" was a reasonable turn of events.  Barry has these new powers and has convinced himself that he can use them to do whatever he needs to do.  After not caring, he's invested himself in this scenario, and he's willing to do what it takes now.

Can Barry in the comics fight an army of kryptonians?  I know he's going out of his way to use his powers as effectively as possible and the kryptonians don't have any reason to suspect they're in any danger from any of the humans.  And when people are aware of him (the Space Giant, Zod, etc), it's usually a harder fight.  I'm basically the worst person to ask about physics, but even at super speed, wouldn't Barry punching a Kryptonian break his hand?

I thought the emotional climax was strong, and I think Miller handled it well.  I think Barry makes an irresponsible decision at the beginning, even after Batman tells him not to, and I think he ends up paying for it.  What was strange to me is that we never find out who actually killed Barry's mom.  I assumed it would be Dark Flash, but it seems to have been a random encounter?  Did the intruder only enter Barry's house because Henry left?  Did they simply enter a different house when Henry didn't leave?

I thought the opening scene was *bizarre* - I really don't understand what was supposed to be happening.  First off, that scenario was tailor-made for Barry.  I don't know why Alfred would've called Diana first.  Superman could've saved the building, but Diana couldn't have saved any of those children.  And having a bunch of babies falling out of a building was sorta insane to me.  I understand that they did it to show Barry's incredible speed and his quick thinking, but how was that the idea they went with?  And as much fun as it was to have Batman flying around in his blue suit (and it was super fun), I don't really understand what Batman was doing in there in the first place.  Barry could've done everything himself.

If it was me, I would've re-written most of that.  I'd give Barry a problem that only he could solve (being two places at once, essentially), and I would've had Batman fight Deathstroke or something.  Bring back a villain we'll *NEVER* see again, basically give Affleck a portion of his solo movie, and showcase Barry's powers.  Don't give us a nameless villain (Falcone's son?) and a meaningless chase.

Also did Affleck seem off as Bruce?  I don't know if he looked overly thin, but he looked off to me (both when he was in the suit and when he wasn't) and his voice seemed weird when he was just Bruce.  I know Affleck's been fighting demons, but I wasn't sure if that was why.

And I suppose Zack Snyder's Justice League isn't canon?  Because Barry went back in time for that, and everything was fine.

The cameo barrage was fun, but I felt like they really held back on it.  The only one that was really "fun" was the Nicholas Cage Superman (and that was very fun).  The rest were deepfakes or just archival videos.  Where was Bale Batman (or Joseph Gordon-Levitt Batman) fighting a Nolanverse Riddler or Penguin?  Where was Ryan Reynolds fighting Mark Strong's Sinestro?  Bring back Shaq as Steel!  Bring back Brendan Routh!  Bring back Tom Welling! 

I was also disappointed because we essentially had this same scene on Titans, and I think Titans did a better job with it.  But the Cage cameo was worth the price of admission.

Now the ending.  For an ending that was re-shot specifically after Gunn took over, I'm a bit baffled by it.  I assume I know the answer to this....Barry left the DCEU universe and ended up in this alternate DCEU universe with Clooney as Batman.  Aquaman 2 can take place either in this alternate universe or the original one - since Barry won't appear in that (I assume), then it doesn't really matter which.  And since Barry won't return at all, I assume, we're either going to get a brand new Flash in a brand new universe or we're going to get Ezra Miller as a new version of Barry.  Either way, the DCEU universe is gone and this new universe will either end right here or with Aquaman 2 (Blue Beetle pending)?

Which is baffling to me.  What's the point of a story like this if *that* is how the story ends?  The story has a nice emotional ending, but I'm shocked they didn't do some kind of post-credit scene where they show one of those colored globes being generated and have a new Superman pod landing.  "Superman will return in Superman: Legacy" some black text says.

Because, if anything, the DC landscape makes less sense after Flash than it did before.  We have a DCEU universe (with no Barry because he left), we have this new hybrid universe with DCEU Barry and George Clooney, and we have whatever Gunn is working on.  And it's either going to be left completely unspoken or they're going to have to shoehorn in an explanation. 

The weirdest thing about it to me is that Cyborg is referenced but doesn't appear.  Affleck appears.  Irons appears.  Gadot appears.  Cavill appears...sort of.  Mamoa appears.  That's the entire Justice League minus Cyborg.  I know Ray Fisher was fighting with WB, but didn't he return to film stuff for Zach Snyder's Justice League?

It was fun to see Keaton again (that's basically why I went to see it).  He was good.  Sorta like in No Way Home, I wish we'd spent more time with him to fill in some gaps.  We get to see the Joker laugh bag from Batman 89 and we get the Batmobile, but that's basically it.  Did he quit being Batman because he cleaned up Gotham?  Did something else happen?  Did he just retire?  Did he ever have a Bat-Family?

But it is weird that they did this Flashpoint story and didn't just go with the actual story.  I assume they would've if the Flash movie had been made as originally planned.  That's why they had Jeffrey Dean Morgan play Thomas Wayne instead of just some extra.  Batman being Thomas Wayne makes a lot more sense thematically.  But I can see why they went with Keaton, who is a better draw and probably better for story.

All in all, I think it was a solid movie.  A lot of fun.  Good performances.  As a movie in a vacuum, I think I liked a lot of it.  As a part of the DCEU or the DCU, it is a bit maddening, but I assume there's going to be a lot of that until Superman Legacy comes out.


Re: DC Superheroes in Film (Theatrical and Streaming)

I enjoyed The Flash, Keaton was great.  I thought Ezra was fine, not annoying as many whine about.  The story was pretty dumb, very predictable. 

I guess my great annoyance is how the studio repeatedly reshot the ending, and it seems have canceled the large slate of Keaton Batman cameos that were going to lead to a Batman Beyond film helmed by Tim Burton.

Re: DC Superheroes in Film (Theatrical and Streaming)

I totally agree. There was the expectation that THE FLASH would set up the new James Gunn run of movies. This didn't happen. From what I can tell, the originally shot ending featured Supergirl and Bruce Wayne (Michael Keaton) meeting up with Barry after his father was released.

Then, when Henry Cavill agreed to return as Superman, there was the plan to reshoot the ending toe feature Sasha Calle's Supergirl and Henry Cavill as Clark and Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman and Keaton as Bruce to establish the new DC Universe with most of the original actors but a new/old Batman. This was never filmed. Gunn felt it didn't make sense to tease a Henry Cavill Superman movie or a new run of films with Michael Keaton or a new Wonder Woman movie as DC was giving Gunn a clean slate to step away from the Snyder series.

Furthermore, with Ezra Miller basically becoming a real life supervillain, it was unlikely THE FLASH would ever have a sequel. With the originally shot ending being a dead end and the new scripted ending being as much a dead end, Gunn decided to just have George Clooney show up as an off the wall, random casting gag, indicate that the Snyder DCEU is now merged with various other previously-seen timelines in previous DC TV shows and movies... and move on. I assume until told otherwise that AQUAMAN II is going to be canon to both the DCEU and the Gunnverse (unless Gunn recasts Aquaman).

Re: DC Superheroes in Film (Theatrical and Streaming)

Yeah, I understand why he was in a tough spot.  What's kinda funny is that I feel like the DCEU was starting to find its footing.  Between Cavill showing up in Black Adam and Gadot showing up in Shazam (which I haven't seen but showed up in promo materials), it was starting to feel like a cohesive universe with some kind of plan.  But I absolutely understand why Gunn and Co. decided to start over.  And I understand why they can't just throw out Aquaman 2 (the sequel to the highest grossing DCEU film?) and a Flash movie that was very expensive.

Still, if it were me, I would've done a post-credit teaser for the "Gunnverse" and just clarified that Barry's universe is done.  It would've fit nicely in the movie and would've shown that something new is coming.

I don't know about Aquaman.  I know they've talked about Mamoa being Lobo so maybe they will recast.

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A trailer for SUPERMAN: LEGACY would have been interesting.

My expectation was that the final scenes would feature the Gunn universe; that the Bruce Wayne who showed up at the end would be the actor playing Batman in BATMAN: THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD. However, this proved impossible because the role hadn't been cast yet. My expectation was also that the finale would have Ezra Miller's face morph into Grant Gustin's and then morph into John Wesley Shipp and then morph back into into a glowing version of Miller's indicating that reality was still in flux and that the Flash in the Gunnverse might not be Ezra Miller.

However, I can see the issue that Gunn would have had with this: the Synder-started DC Extended Universe still has one movie left, AQUAMAN II. If THE FLASH had changed into the new universe, AQUAMAN II might have been orphaned. As it stands, AQUAMAN II is now set in the DCEU minus Affleck plus Clooney and with other potential changes.

I think the wish was probably to use THE FLASH's time travel to create an in-continuity explanation for the Gunn reboot. But it looks like when they shot it, things were still in flux. Things are still in flux. Gal Gadot and Jason Momoa could conceivably remain Wonder Woman and Aquaman in the Gunnverse; those actors have really defined the theatrical versions of those characters and are still in a good place to do more film, so Gunn may want to see if it's possible to keep them in his new film slate. Margot Robbie remains Harley Quinn. However, Batman and Superman are going to be recast because (a) Ben Affleck is out (b) Gunn wants to start over with a young Superman and (c) Robert Pattinson's Batman is not well-suited to a shared superhero universe.

And since Gunn didn't have a clear idea of what actors would be in the Gunnverse, Gunn could not use THE FLASH to launch the Gunnverse, and Clooney was brought in as a gag rather than as a mission statement.

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Well, we have our Superman and Lois.

My only comment is that I think Informant would've liked this hire better.  I know he ended up devoted to Cavill (maybe? I forget), but this Superman is American.


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Warner Bros is an utter mess.  Just a mess.  Another new Superman and Lois.  Good God I could care less.  Gunn succeeds when he does strange, fringe stuff.

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I don't know if that's entirely fair.  Gunn has succeeded in doing just about everything he's done.  I get the idea that he's handpicked every project he's done, particularly because he's written almost everything he's been a part of.  He didn't do The Suicide Squad because he was assigned it - DC offered him whatever he wanted and he picked it.  So, yes, a lot of his projects are weird (Slither, The Belko Experiment) or about outsiders (Guardians, The Suicide Squad, Peacemaker, even Scooby Doo).

But remember that Gunn handpicked this too.  If he only liked outsiders or fringe stuff, he could've made a DCU where the Justice League are background characters.  After all, DC has a deep roster and he's already starting his universe with The Authority and Creature Commandos.  He could've copied the MCU model and built his universe around C-list characters, winning people over before the big guns ever come out.

But he chose Superman.  Not just to start his universe but to write and direct himself.  So he must want to do it as much as he wanted to do the other things he's done in his career.  Maybe moreso.

Everything Gunn has done has been pretty well made.  I've seen almost every movie he's made and I've generally enjoyed it all.  I don't think there's any reason to not believe that he's going to guide this ship in the right direction this time.  WB being a mess notwithstanding.

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I really would not disagree with Grizzlor -- or anyone -- saying that DC is a mess. It's a fair statement. However, the mess isn't James Gunn's mess. It's not James Gunn's fault that the Flash is a real-life supervillain or that said supervillain turned out to be toxic to box office that led to THE FLASH crashing financially. I wasn't even planning on seeing THE FLASH in theatres because I wasn't going to put a dollar in Ezra Miller's pocket. Then I found out that WB was going to lose money on it and my money would end up with the movie theatre and paying down what was spent to make THE FLASH in the first place and I saw it in IMAX.

The mess: we have no idea whether the actors currently playing Wonder Woman and Aquaman will continue to do so. We at present have been told that three separate people will be Batman going forward (Clooney's appearance conveys that even if it's not true, we have Robert Pattinson, we have whoever will play Batman in BATMAN: THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD). We have a very ambitious slate of films that may or may not go the same route as the previous slate of ambitious films.

Will SUPERMAN: LEGACY clean up the mess? I hope so. But if Grizzlor says the DC situation is a mess, there is a lot of validity to that; I think to the average person, THE FLASH is probably baffling.

As for the new Clark Kent and Superman: I'm not familiar with David Corenswet. However, Rachel Brosnahan is an amazing choice for Lois Lane. Brosnahan first caught my eye in a briefly recurring role on THE BLACKLIST where she was magnetic, commanding, and mischievous and was killed off disappointingly quickly. Brosnahan came into her own on THE MARVELOUS MRS. MAISEL where she plays Midge, a cheery and winning housewife in the 1950s who in one terrible sequence discovers: her husband has destroyed their financial lives with overspending, her husband has abandoned all professional pursuits to pursue standup comedy and he's terrible at standup comedy, her husband is cheating on her. Midge drunkenly staggers onto the stage of the nightclub where her soon-to-be ex-husband bombed and as astonished to discover her rambling rants about her situation are a hit with the audience. Midge begins to pursue her career, develop her talent, create her art and build financial and emotional independence rather than be dependent on a man.

As Midge, Brosnahan demonstrates a humorous assertiveness, a self-confidence that is a hilarious combination of self-delusion and pluck, and she has a gift for expressing anger in a highly comedic way. Expressing anger in a highly comedic way is what made Teri Hatcher and Erica Durance so vivid as Lois; assertive self-confidence is what made Margot Kidder, Amy Adams and Bitsie Tulloch come alive in the role. Rachel Brosnahan has both. She has been playing Lois Lane all her life. Now it's official.

Re: DC Superheroes in Film (Theatrical and Streaming)

ireactions wrote:

I really would not disagree with Grizzlor -- or anyone -- saying that DC is a mess. It's a fair statement. However, the mess isn't James Gunn's mess.

Oh, I agree with this.  DC has been a mess.  WB is absolutely a mess.  But I think James Gunn is one of the few people out there that I would trust to clean up the mess, and I think Gunn is doing the best job he can to clean up the mess.

The problem is that there are many people who have played Batman and Superman.  Recasting those parts are no big deal to mainstream audiences.  Even the Flash can be recast because there are three actors that can legitimately claim to be the Flash. Wonder Woman has two, but for the majority of audiences under 40, there's just one.  For the vast majority of people (sorry to Alan Ritchson and briefly Justin Hartley), there's only been one Aquaman.  And Wonder Woman and Aquaman were the two most financial successes of the DCEU so they probably shouldn't kill the golden geese.

Re: DC Superheroes in Film (Theatrical and Streaming)

I finally saw Shazam 2.


I wonder why Gal Gadot was in so many of these movies.  What was the post-Snyder, pre-Gunn plan?  With Batman cameoing in Aquaman 2, Batman cameoing in Batgirl, it seems like maybe Wonder Woman and Batman were going to be more involved?  But none of these movies are really building to anything.

I thought the movie was pretty fun.  Although I could see why it bombed so bad.

Re: DC Superheroes in Film (Theatrical and Streaming)

It is bizarre to me that Aquaman 2 is coming out.  It comes out in like four months, and we still don't have a trailer (we're getting one in a couple of days).  It feels like such an anachronism.

I mean I get it.  The first Aquaman made a billion dollars, but it also came out FIVE YEARS AGO.  We've had nine movies in the DCEU come out since then.  We've had *two* Shazam movies come out since then (3 if you count Black Adam).  We got a Harley Quinn solo film (sorta) since then.  We got a Suicide Squad reboot since then.

How did Aquaman 2 not come out in 2020 or 2021?  I'm not saying Aquaman could've single-handedly saved the DCEU, but it's crazy that so much happened since it came out, and it's coming out as the last breath of this universe.

I know some people love the DCEU but what a fitting disaster.  Also, apparently, the movie is a disaster with tons of rewrites, both because the movie isn't great and also to try and fit it into whatever it is they're doing.  The filmed a scene with Michael Keaton for it and one with Ben Affleck but both are apparently getting cut because the continuity is such a mess.

I can't imagine I'll see this movie in theaters.  Is anyone else?

Re: DC Superheroes in Film (Theatrical and Streaming)

Slider_Quinn21 wrote:

I wonder why Gal Gadot was in so many of these movies.  What was the post-Snyder, pre-Gunn plan?  With Batman cameoing in Aquaman 2, Batman cameoing in Batgirl, it seems like maybe Wonder Woman and Batman were going to be more involved?  But none of these movies are really building to anything. I thought the movie was pretty fun.  Although I could see why it bombed so bad.

Pre-James Gunn, the plan was for a third WONDER WOMAN film and for Michael Keaton's Batman to appear in most DCEU films (BATGIRL, AQUAMAN II) to link them all.

Slider_Quinn21 wrote:

It is bizarre to me that Aquaman 2 is coming out.  It comes out in like four months, and we still don't have a trailer (we're getting one in a couple of days).  It feels like such an anachronism.

I mean I get it.  The first Aquaman made a billion dollars, but it also came out FIVE YEARS AGO.  We've had nine movies in the DCEU come out since then.  We've had *two* Shazam movies come out since then (3 if you count Black Adam).  We got a Harley Quinn solo film (sorta) since then.  We got a Suicide Squad reboot since then.

How did Aquaman 2 not come out in 2020 or 2021?  I'm not saying Aquaman could've single-handedly saved the DCEU, but it's crazy that so much happened since it came out, and it's coming out as the last breath of this universe.

I know some people love the DCEU but what a fitting disaster.  Also, apparently, the movie is a disaster with tons of rewrites, both because the movie isn't great and also to try and fit it into whatever it is they're doing.  The filmed a scene with Michael Keaton for it and one with Ben Affleck but both are apparently getting cut because the continuity is such a mess.

I can't imagine I'll see this movie in theaters.  Is anyone else?

I'm not planning on seeing AQUAMAN II in theatres. I didn't even see the first one in theatres and I still haven't seen SHAZAM or SHAZAM II or THE SUICIDE SQUAD or PEACEMAKER. It was not a conscious decision, but thinking about it: I guess I didn't want to invest time or money into those projects. I don't mean to say that insultingly to anyone who cares about them; I'm just observing in myself that on some level, I must have considered the DCEU to be damaged and best abandoned. Why did I think that? Why did SHAZAM II bomb?

I can't answer why SHAZAM II bombed, but speaking for myself and in generalities:

I think I became aware that WB's plan, pre-Gunn, was to have Michael Keaton's Batman replace Ben Affleck's Batman and use Keaton's Batman as a supporting player, an informant and guide to the Flash, to Batgirl, to Wonder Woman, to Aquaman, but not feature Keaton's Batman in his own film and instead leave Batman-focused films to a different line of films. The plan was also to not have any more Superman sequels.

Demoting Batman and Superman made it seem like WB was just filling in a feature film scheduling gap with their DCEU movies. A DC Universe where Batman is a supporting character and Superman never shows up is the equivalent of being told that the Beatles have cancelled their concert appearance, but the high school cover band is very good, honest, and you should still buy the concert tickets for the full price to watch some tenth graders perform instead.

The high school band may well be the personification of musical excellence, but you would still balk at paying full Beatles ticket prices for them. Movie tickets for BIRDS OF PREY cost as much as movie tickets for a hypothetical MAN OF STEEL II. I went to see BIRDS OF PREY in theatres because I like women in action, but for the rest... I just didn't make it.

I think we also need to look at cost and competition. Movies are a very expensive proposition compared to streaming. A movie requires travel, transit, parking, and a 1.5 - 3 hour experience can cost the same as a month of Netflix in the comfort of your own home. This means theatres need to offer an experience that is deserving of the cost and effort and the big screen. An experience that competes with the ease and comfort of staying home and streaming a romcom.

At this point, the customer may only go to the theatre if the theatrical release is something they really want to see on a big screen. In fact, I'm at the point where I only go to the movie theatre if I want to see the film in IMAX.

Just speaking for myself, I clearly didn't think AQUAMAN, SHAZAM, SHAZAM II or THE SUICIDE SQUAD were worth driving, parking, arriving at a set time, and paying the cost of a month of Netflix to watch one movie. On some level, I must have intuited that WB also didn't think its DCEU productions were worth the effort either because WB had benched Batman and Superman.

This means I only saw THE FLASH (in IMAX) because I thought it was going to launch the new Gunn universe (which it didn't) and introduce the new Batman actor (which it didn't).

I didn't think any of the above consciously, but it seems to be what (de)motivated me. It would explain why I raced to see MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: DEAD RECKONING: PART 1 in IMAX but never got around to SHAZAM or SHAZAM II. Anecdotally, I wonder if that's why most people didn't get around to seeing SHAZAM II.

Please be reminded that anecdotes aren't hard evidence. SHAZAM II may have failed to make money for totally different reasons. And I haven't seen it, but given that the first one was well-liked and the same team returned for the second one and Slider_Quinn21 enjoyed it, I'm sure it's good.