The world of comic book films is a weird one. Sequels and franchises are announced even before the first film is released. which is an awkward situation when the film being released isn’t worthy of a sequel (Fantastic Four, hint hint). It is also awkward when a film that was supposed to spearhead an entire shared universe might be a failure. We might have that problem with the DC Cinematic Universe.
Hitfix’s Drew McWeeny sat down with Roth Cornet to talk about the last trailer for Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice, and conversation turned to what his sources told him about Warner Brothers’ attitude about the film in particular and the shared DC Cinematic Universe in general:
For those of you without the ability and/or inclination to click that link, let me sum up what McWeeny said.
- McWeeny says that Batman v. Superman is starting to scare Warner Brothers, that the advance response hasn’t been as good as the studio had expected, wanted and needed and they are worried.
- Warners needs to film to make over $1 billion for Warners to not only make its money back but also to support the rest of the announced films in the DC Cinematic Universe. The response they are getting from test screenings tells them that is not going to happen.
- McWeeny “bets” that Warners will go “all in” on Suicide Squad, less so potentially for Wonder Woman but that will still be released.
- Also betting that Justice League does not start production when it is scheduled, and Zack Snyder will not be at the helm of it when it does.
- He also believes Warners will do everything to move The Batman up to take Justice League‘s place, believing that film would act as a better lead in to the team up flick than BvS and a better opportunity to “gain people back” onboard for the rest of the slate.
Now, it should be mentioned that the last time McWeeny “bet” something was going to happen, it was that Hulk would be launched into space at the end of Age of Ultron to join up with Guardians of the Galaxy for their sequel. And while Hulk was on a quinjet at the end of that first film, his next appearance will be in Thor: Ragnarok, not with Quill and company.
However, this all makes sense not only in the current climate of films, but also in Warners’ history in trying to bring their DC Comics properties to the screen. Everyone thinks that they have a billion dollar movie even though they are rare to come by and unless it has James Cameron directing, the words “Star” and “Wars” in the title, or a sequel to a line of Marvel films, the odds are not in your favor.
But you can’t really fault Warners for being dense in this area because, one, they aren’t alone in this thought and, two, they are pretty dense when it comes to their DC Comics properties anyway. They think that as long as the ape the tone of the Nolan Batman films, they’ll have success with the rest of the DC characters. This would be a great strategy if DC published nothing but Batman comics but they don’t. So going dark will only serve to alienate fans, as the response to Man of Steel indicates.
Will McWeeny’s bets payoff? We’ll see in the coming months.