Once upon a time, DC Comics was in the lead with getting their characters on the big screen. They used their relationship with parent company Warner Brothers to launch a successful Superman franchise closely followed by a successful Batman franchise. All Marvel had was Dolph Lungren as the Punisher, a laughably bad, straight-to-video Captain America, and the shot yet never shown Fantastic Four film by Roger Corman.
Nowadays, Marvel Comics is the big dog when it comes to comic book movies. Not only are Marvel’s big guns like the X-Men, Spider-Man and Fantastic Four becoming big hits at the box office, even B-listers like Blade, Daredevil, and Ghost Rider are getting love at the cineplexes. Their adaptations were so successful that it allowed them to start up a movie studio of their very own so they can keep a more hands on approach.
DC, however, lagged behind, left to try to revamp and revitalize their flagging Batman and Superman franchises (which worked to varying effect) and became more known for having projects rot away in development hell (Sgt. Rock, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern and Flash, to name a few) than ones that made it to the screen.
But that might soon change. Variety is reporting that top executives at DC Comics and Warner Brothers are in high-level meetings to work on a battle plan to bring more DC properties successfully to the big screen.
Frankly, I’m wondering what took them so long. Marvel’s success has been building for going on six years. You’d think that one of the biggest movie studios in the world would realize the potential comic movie gold mine that was part of their corporate family way before now.
Of course, we don’t know what issues are being raised in these talks. It appears it involves finding someone from the studio to act as a liaison with DC to be more proactive developing DC properties into film. That’s all well and good, but it doesn’t answer the big problems Warners has in actually getting characters on the screen. Sgt. Rock has been in development for decades, same with Watchmen (which finally, finally is coming to the big screen next year), and the story behind the back and forth leading up to Superman Returns is both epic and tragic.
Warners is legendary when it comes to comic book movies at going through several different writers, directors and concepts before a movie hits the screen. Finding DC properties hasn’t been a problem. In addition to the ones mentioned above, films are in the works with DC heroes such as Captain Marvel, Green Arrow, Jonah Hex, and Justice League. What Warners needs to do is appoint someone to have these productions stay focused, on track and on the fast lane to theaters.