Anthony Stokes shares his concerns over Warner Bros.’ DC line-up….
I won’t hide the fact that I haven’t been the biggest fan of DC’s movie offerings. Anything from the last 20 years not starring Batman has not only been a disappointment, but many are considered among the worst of the genre. Anybody remember Jonah Hex and Batman & Robin? Man of Steel is admittedly better than Catwoman and a step in the right direction for creating a brand, but it still isn’t really a good movie. But now Warner Bros. is shaping up to be actual competition for Marvel by announcing its schedule for its upcoming DC slate through to 2020. Some of it looks good, and some of it problematic.
Firstly, this is obviously a desperate attempt to keep up with the competition (some have argued that the same could be said for Iron Man’s inclusion in Captain America 3, which is more than likely correct). Anybody needing proof should look at how the DC movies are strategically scheduled a year after Marvel’s, as if to give Kevin Feige the middle finger, and then look at how the studio has competely stolen Marvel’s plan. Not all of DC’s line-up is sketchy – Suicide Squad as an answer to Guardians of the Galaxy is a great response. But some of it is straight up confusing.
I don’t see half of these movies happening in the dates that have been announced. Notice how Marvel Studios’ release dates are left blank in case they need to make changes? I believe Marvel has a broad outline of what direction they want to go with their movies. DC is in danger of pulling an Amazing Spider-Man, trying to set up too much and be overly ambitious. I don’t think there’s a person out there who isn’t worried that Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice will be too crowded. And as some people point out, DC has a habit of teasing big projects then ripping the rug out from the fans. What happened to that Green Lantern / Flash team-up movie?
Which brings up another positive that Marvel has innovated. We don’t want just regular solo superhero movies anymore. We want team-ups. The reason the Thor sequel failed where Captain America didn’t is that The Winter Soldier was a team-up, giving the movie more legs. Thor brought nothing new to the table except more Loki. Captain America had the inclusion of his biggest comic book arc, adding in Nick Fury, Maria Hill, and Black Widow, and introducing Falcon and The Winter Soldier. DC making a Batman v Superman is a good idea.
But if Batman v Superman and Justice League kicks off the shared DC universe then the upcoming solo movies won’t be origin films, and also won’t be team-ups. Does anybody want a solo Cyborg movie? Or an Aquaman movie? Once again if we’re including other characters it could work, but I think these characters work best in ensembles. I’d say the same for The Hulk. The core Justice League members should get solo movies, and save the supporting characters for the ensembles. And speaking of which, where the hell is a solo Batman movie ?
Overall, there’s some good and some bad in this DC announcement. DC’s brand of darker and more intense movies will hopefully take off with these announcements, setting up some genuine competition for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but only time will tell.