#1  
Old 02-04-2013, 10:03 PM
Ten ways that Warner/DC can right their ship

Hey all. With the eagerly anticipated release of IM3 and MOS (well, at least from me) I started thinking about the whole Marvel/DC movie thing, and how the perception (and reality, FWIW) that Marvel is way ahead of DC has now framed the narrative. DC's problem is obvious: it has only one guaranteed blockbuster franchise, Batman, one with moderate interest, Superman, and then, everything else. Marvel has launched and built, several solid Namebrands, and one superbrand, and with Disney's money now behind them, they should be able to push the envelope even further. Much as I hate to say it (because I believe the medium is strongest when both Marvel and DC are kicking ass) DC has lost its way, and with the creative decisions that we know of from MOS, seems poised to lose its way even further (I would love for MOS to surprise us, but, Zack Synder...and stuff). So, I present 10 recommendations (in no particular order of importance, even though they're labeled "1" through "10") to the power that be for "fixing" DC/Warner films. You guys are welcome, thank me later.

1) Embrace the shared universe.

This is something that long time members of this site has heard me preach about many a time and oft before. Bottom line: DC is repeating the mistakes of the past, because Warner hasn't learned from them. In 1960, DC was, by far, the biggest comic book publisher on earth. They were #1, and had been #1 for so long, that it didn't seem possible to ever unseat them. Marvel was just getting started, and had accumlated no where near the popularity of today. Then, Marvel hired Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, and they changed comics. Lee's great gift to comics was the shared universe, that when you bought a comic, you were buying a marvel universe comic, not an iron man comic or a thor comic. The cross promotion and cross marketing is one of the major reasons why Marvel overtook DC as #1, a perch they have yet to relinquish to this day.

The idea has become so wildly accepted that today, both publishers would never think to do any entire story arc without some crossover. One of the tricky things about the shared universe is that you have to know how to read fan reaction. There's what fans want, and there's what they say they want. The truest measure of what fans are thinking isn't to be gotten by listening to them, its to be gotten by figuring out what they're willing to pay for. Fans say they want solo books and self-contained stories, but the sales figures are clear, a shared universe sells more books.

2) Trust your content.

DC's GL movie is an example of how not to do it. Trust your content. Your mythology is just as rich, and more ancient, than Marvel's is, trust that. Don't re-invent the wheel, trust that those who came before knew what they were doing.

3) Take the handcuffs off of Superman.

Let me be blunt, the intention of the Donner-verse Lex Luthor, the "villian" in the Reeves Superman movies, and the Singer one, was never meant to be a threat to Superman, he was meant to be a comedic foil. That's the basis, IMHO, of the "we need to depower Superman, make him vulnerable" comment that you hear so often: as a nemesis for Lex Luthor (sans the Big Purple Battle Suit), that's accurate, Supes is way too powerful for Lex to be anything but an annoyance. We got a peek at what Superman could do in part 2, but even that was limited by the budget and the SFX technology of its day (the landmark computer graphics of that era? Pong.). If Warner/DC is going to make a Superman movie, they need to go all in.

They might have done that with MOS, but I remain skeptical, based on what I've seen so far. Superman cannot be just a wall to wall action movie, you have to balance it with story, but the issue is the action has to be logical and has to make sense. My issue with Synder isn't that the "big ideas" of MOS are bad, but that he doesn't seem able to logically link them together and develope them in any coherent way. Superman seems to have, in MOS, a problem with the military and with Zod. A more well established character (Batman) and a more well established film maker (Nolan) can juggle these two things and give each its appropriate weight. I remain skeptical that Synder can.

Superman is a rich character with a rich tradition, and rogue's gallery with more than enough villians who can go toe-to-toe, physically, with Superman. Its a travesty that Darkseid, Brainiac and Zod have been used, thus far, in a grand total of one movie, with Darkseid and Brainiac never having been used at all.

4) Get the lead out with a Justice League movie, or don't do one at all.

I definitely think Darkseid should be the villian and I also think that previewing that in MOS (like the Avengers did with Thanos) is the way to go. However, the time to strike with a JL movie is now, the more WB waits, the harder its going to become. DC could have done what Marvel did: put all its properties under one umbrella (which would have been easier for Warner, considering it owns the rights to all of DC's properties, unlike Marvel where Spiderman was sold to Sony and the x-men and FF were sold to Fox), supervise the script process to bring the world of comics to movies, and just hire decent directors. What I don't see at all from DC is a singular creative vision, like there is with Marvel, and doing a JL movie with that state of affairs troubles me. If you're going to make something as big as JL, you can't have the big seven (or how many ever it might be) each going in their own direction, you have to have a singular vision, like Marvel did with the Avengers.

The time to develope that vision is now. I think doing a JL movie, and spinning off franchises from the tentpole, is a workable strategy, at least as workable as the marvel approach. What isn't workable is doing a JL movie without any clear indication of what the next step is. What I deeply respect about Marvel is that we know what their slate is going to be years into the future, we know what we're going to get, at least as far as that's possible GotG, Avengers 2, Thor 2, Captain America 2, and Ant-Man are all coming. The hype has already begun for those, and it looks like we'll get another Hulk film in a couple of years, and Days of Future past from Fox, and probably another amazing Spiderman from Sony. Compared to that, DC has what in the works, exactly? The Marvel movies, created under the Marvel umbrella, all have common themes, and fit together and overlap. Without that, I'm not sure how effective a JL movie can be until Warner gets its shit together, but I do know that time is running out.

More next post....
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  #2  
Old 02-04-2013, 10:04 PM
5) Please, for the love of all that is wonderful, do Wonder Woman right.

There is no bigger "sleeper hit" on the face of the planet earth than Wonder Woman. Okay, laugh all you want, but its true. Think about it. How high is Wondy's name recognition? Its right up there with Superman, Batman and Spiderman. How many ten year old girls do you know who have Wonder Woman lunch boxes? She's such a famous character and so connected to so many people. She's been an inspiration to young woman a symbol of the woman's movement, a TV star, a celebrity, a warrior princess, an ambassador for her people, and the caring team mother. There's a reason why, as Blue Beetle (Ted Kord) once said: "everyone loves her, even Batman." Through it all, she's been who she has always been: wired with the will of Batman and the heart of Superman.

I thought, for the record, that the David Kelley interpretation was a disaster waiting to happen, and I was hoping it would get kicked to the side of the road so that a better version, with a better chance to succeed would come along. Much as I like Wondy, I want to see her done well, or not done at all. Don't ruin a chance for the generations to come, to make a buck today. Of all the characters in comics who have yet to get their own film, Wonder Woman is by far the one with the best name recognition. Marvel would kill to have the chance to adapt her to the silver screen, and if she had been under the umbrella of Marvel, her time would have come already, probably even before Iron Man, and after only Spiderman and the x-men, for sure. DC/Warner is just sitting on this, and doing nothing but twiddling their collective thumbs.

6) Not everything has to be "grim and gritty"

You know what really chaps my hide? (I think Rikku, from FF10, is the only person, other than me, who actually uses that phrase, but whatever) people who think that you have to make your movie darker, or its not going to be taken seriously. I went to see Les Miserables because I thought I was going to see a Catwoman versus Wolverine movie. What I saw really did depress me a whole lot, the entire film, start to finish, was pretty unwatchable. I'm not sure if Les Miserables won any awards, or anything like that, but it sure as hell didn't deserve to. The entire movie struck me as completely lacking in the one thing a good movie, no matter what its about, should have: passion. Heck, that's what any good film, TV, whatever, should have.

Have you ever watched a documentary where you know that everyone's doing it for a paycheck? Ever watched one where you know the people are really involved and invested? There's an obvious difference. Les Miserables struck me as "Oscar Bait", the kind of movie a studio puts out to win awards, and not because it was something they actually wanted to do. I'll probably watch the film again, some time down the line (I tend to change my opinions, sometimes wildly, upon a second viewing) but my gut tells me this one's staying in the clunker list. The most frustrating thing is, they could have easily made this film SO much better, just give the public what they want to see: Catwoman versus Wolverine (the rest pretty much writes itself).

I think I had a point when I started on that tangent. Oh yes, on the subject of grim and gritty. Here's the thing, the most important thing is not that you make something a certain style, its that you make it well, with a sense of purpose and with a sense of energy and enthusiasm. Like they say in hoops, only the love can make you a player (aside: I may be the worst athlete on the face of the planet, but when my friends and I were playing football before the Superbowl yesterday, I knew what to do when a LB blitzed my QB. Love of the game, you can't coach it. You stick your nose up in there, and you pick up that blitz.).

Unfortunately, making everything grim and gritty is often a short hand response used by un-talented filmmakers to hide their lack of talent and understanding. The most important thing is that you make the film in such a way that keeps in touch with what the character has been all about, which leads me, conveniently enough, to my next point:

7) Its obvious why Catwoman, Batman and Robin, Constantine, and Jonah Hex did poorly, and to a lesser extent, why GL did. Either learn the correct lessons from those blunders or hire someone who can.

Hint: the reason why Catwoman stunk has nothing to do with Halle Berry being black. It has everything to do with the fact that the filmmaker keep the name Catwoman, the whip, and ditched everything else. It has everything to do with the fact that never have I heard of (haven't seen it yet, and never will) a situation where someone making a movie had so little faith in the core character. If you announced, today, that Warner and Disney had agreed, as a joint venture, to make a Catwoman versus Wolverine movie, people would see it, and assuming it was done correctly, not just for Logan. Batman and Robin suffered from Joel Schumacher's infantile understanding of the comics medium. Jonah Hex, lets not even go there, the comics are unbelieveably cool, I didn't see any of that magic on screen.

Somehow, Marvel has made it work with similarly tiered characters, and I have every reason to believe that GotG and ant-man, who are probably more, not less, obscure to the general public than Catwoman and GL, and Jonah Hex are, will do well. The problem isn't name recognition, or lack of interesting source material. It really is impossible to stick around for as long as these characters have, in print, without being interesting to a lot of people. Many characters are tried every year, most never see the light of day a second time. Many come back once every few years. Only a select few stay in print, year after year. The problem here is a fundamental lack of any interesting vision as to what these characters should be, not that the vision doesn't exist, but that the filmmaker doesn't, or doesn't choose to, see it. GL comes the closest, and in spots, it really has its moments. When it strays from those spots, to fit more into what the creator thinks is mainstream, that's when it loses its footing.

8) If you're going to do Batman again,(and the guess here is, you will sooner rather than later) consider expanding that universe.

Of all the characters in comics with "spin-off" characters and titles, Batman's is by far the deepest and most interesting. Some of the Gotham knights are more well known and better loved that the title character in other franchises. The problem, of course, as the Joker has so aptly put it in "Death of the Family" is that having others in his war on crime makes Batman seem touchy feely, soft, and not the reclusive avenger of the night. I think the Joker's solution to that problem (kill all of them, to strengthen Batman) is nuts, both on panel and off.

In comics, the Gotham Knights are popular, but DC has been, for ages now, looking for a way to balance this situation, to keep Batman Batman, and let others have their own personality too (the running joke about Nightwing, both on panel and in DC editorial, is that he's "Batman lite") I actually don't think this is that hard a thing to accomplish, with a singular vision, it is made difficult, IMHO, by the fact that Batman comics has a lot of cooks in the kitchen. I'm hoping against hope that Scott Synder will become that person for Batman, and the Gotham Knights (assuming the Joker doesn't kill one, or all of them in death of the family) and that he will pave a new way forward. The early returns are promising.

I think a spin-off Gotham Knights movie could be a thing of sheer beauty, but the execution has to be there, otherwise, in a city as messed up as Gotham, it will be stupid and/or tragic. It is important to keep in mind, at all times, that while Batman is the most "realistic" of heroes, his world is still fictional. It has its own rules, and Batman's abilities are not something a normal human would actually possess. I got to thinking a lot about this topic in the last couple of days when I read the last issue of Batman Beyond Unlimited. If you haven't checked it out yet, I recommend it. The part I'm alluding to is the Beyond Origins for Micron (a member of the League in the Beyond future), in which we finally get more details about what happened to Bruce Wayne between the time of his life which we're reading in comics, and the Beyond verse, where he's this crippled old man, who takes on one final apprentice. I could totally go, FWIW, for a Batman Beyond movie where we're given lots of Flashbacks to Bruce's life, and how he wound up where he is. The dark knight rises did a good job of getting that ball rolling.

Bottom line, the Batman verse is as rich and deep as there is, and I think that, done carefully, this well could be mined in future movies. It makes no sense to have such a wide range of tested, and popular, characters readily available and to do nothing with them.

9) Don't be afraid to take a flier on a minor-leaguer.

Comics is about the business of inventing, then re-inventing. Characters are updated for the time, new ones who better fit prevailing sentiments are moved up, old ones, who have grown stale, die so that they can "get better" in peace until someone brings them back, or they're just offed into canonical exile. There are new faces coming down the pike every year, and older characters who simply don't have the same profile as the major leaguers. Sometimes, the answer to fixing the vision problem isn't to change the nature of a hero to fit your vision (for example, the way Hal Jordan was treated in GL), but rather, to simply change heroes. GL might not be the right guy for the idea, so try the flash, for example.

In think, in DC in particular, there are a few guys who don't qualify as headliners, but who could make for an interesting film. I think a Lobo flick has all kinds of potential. More recently, I think a court of owls film, without Batman in it, would be interesting. Remember, the court greatly predates Bruce Wayne and the Gotham Knights, the court goes all the way back to Gotham's founding, that is, frontier times. The court even fought a spat or two with Jonah Hex. In all those years, and with all those Waynes that they interacted with, there must have been a really cool yarn or two. Tell those stories.

10) and Finally, don't forget the fun factor.

Movies are meant to be a form of entertainment. People go to the movies because they're fun to watch, people buy them and rent them and download them because they are an agreeable way to pass the time. The moment that becomes untrue, there's a problem. The moment the film makes you cringe, in a bad way, there's something wrong. I realize this might be taken as a repeat of #6, but this is so true I felt that restating it was important: find people who want to make these films, find people who can articulate a vision that stays true to what has come before and that will also show a new way forward. That's much harder to do than it is to say, I understand that, but a good way to start is for people making these films to read comics. Having a command of the literature doesn't guarantee success, but it gives you one advantage beyond mere credibility: it gives you a sense of the past, a path to tie in to what has come before, and by extension, a way to create new paths that are founded on what has come before.

Okay, so that's my overly long take on this situation. Enjoy, and discuss.

Last edited by soda; 02-04-2013 at 10:20 PM..
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  #3  
Old 02-05-2013, 05:14 PM
The main problem with WB/DC is that there is no one in charge with a broad vision. They had Nolan specifically for the Batman movies. I think his role in the Superman movie was very minimal. Zack Snyder might have an idea of the next Superman movie, but other than that, they just can't get their shit together.

Meanwhile, Marvel already has their next decade planned out.
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  #4  
Old 02-05-2013, 05:33 PM
1. GIVE IT A REST FOR A WHILE.

Seriously, why does it seem as though I'm the only film geek who's not totally sick of superhero movies at this point? It's just further exposing the lack of originality/imagination Hollywood today that there are so many now.
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  #5  
Old 02-05-2013, 05:39 PM
Del Toro could potentially save it by concentrating on the darker, cooler characters if he films the storyline from Swamp Thing #50 with Dr. Fate, The Spectre, The Phantom Stranger, and the demon Etrigan which there is talk of.

http://bloody-disgusting.com/news/32...stantine-more/
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  #6  
Old 02-05-2013, 07:07 PM
From a financial standpoint, your points are probably quite good. From a quality of film standpoint, these companies are honestly not that far apart. Leading up to The Avengers, Marvel put out a bunch of half-baked and mostly awful movies that all did well at the box-office and then when all of those characters were combined, you had a smash hit and an OK movie. It still remains though that the only good Avengers-related Marvel movie leading up to The Avengers was the first Iron Man, which still had a pretty awful last 20-30 minutes.

Last edited by Bourne101; 02-05-2013 at 09:44 PM..
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  #7  
Old 02-05-2013, 09:41 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bourne101 View Post
From a financial standpoint, your points are probably quite good. From a quality of film standpoint, these companies are honestly not that far apart. Leading up to The Avengers, Marvel put out a bunch of half-baked and mostly awful movies that all did well at the box-office and then when all of those characters were combined, you had a smash hit and an OK movie.. It still remains though that the only good Avengers-related Marvel movie leading up to The Avengers was the first Iron Man, which still had a pretty awful last 20-30 minutes.
Disagree. The Incredible Hulk was just okay and Iron Man 2 was pretty disappointing and fairly mediocre. But I liked Thor and Captain America a lot. Those are two very solid flicks. And The Avengers, while no masterpiece, was nevertheless much better than just okay.
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  #8  
Old 02-05-2013, 09:45 PM
I would also add to the WB suggestions, don't underestimate your audiences intelligence (and in some cases, their maturity). Judging by the relative success of some of their books, especially the Vertigo titles, readers can handle dark, edgy and mature material. Yes, CGI action is fun and exciting but many people also want some deep, cerebral material sometimes.
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  #9  
Old 02-05-2013, 09:56 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by hoojib127 View Post
1. GIVE IT A REST FOR A WHILE.

Seriously, why does it seem as though I'm the only film geek who's not totally sick of superhero movies at this point? It's just further exposing the lack of originality/imagination Hollywood today that there are so many now.
Except for one minor detail (BTW, i figured you meant to not write "not" in the sentence above): almost none of the stuff done for superhero films has been a straight adaptation. That's why X-men: Days of Future Past is so interesting, and one reason why its being watched pretty closely, its the first film where the plot isn't original, something cooked up by the director/screenwriter/producer, but rather a straight adaptation of a classic story that was published in comics.

Now, people have cut and pasted scenes before. Nolan did this quite liberally, and Raimi did too, but it would be like adapating a chapter or ten pages of War and Peace, you know, show us the really good scene, and have a screenwriter write in the rest of the story. Quite often, that would involve using a different scene from a comic whose story was completely unrelated to the first. Hollywood would never think to do that with a Novel, but it's the standard for comics. Ten Pages of War and Peace here, five of Anna Karenina there, fill in the gaps there and here, and you pretty much have your movie. The ones that have had their stories go to the silver screen intact tend to be non-Marvel/DC books.

That's what makes Days of Future Past so interesting, and such a landmark thing. Its also what intrigues me about the second Captain America movie. If it succeds, perhaps that will spur others to adapt some of the other works that are out there, and haven't seen the light of day to a mainstream audience. So, yes, I do agree with you that the superhero genre is exposing the lack of creativity in Hollywood today, because no one has yet gone all in on a classic story.

Part of the issue is that, unlike classic books, not a lot of people (as a percentage of the general population) read comics. Your teacher didn't assign them as homework in school (at least, mine didn't). When People see that a film is based on a book, the fan base of that book has a certain expectation the film will be relatively complete as regards the plot of said book. Comics are different, for whatever reason, fans tend not to be alarmed that none of the classic stories have been adapted, but rather, are content when a director captures the "spirit" of the stories.
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  #10  
Old 02-05-2013, 10:03 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by edonline View Post
I would also add to the WB suggestions, don't underestimate your audiences intelligence (and in some cases, their maturity). Judging by the relative success of some of their books, especially the Vertigo titles, readers can handle dark, edgy and mature material. Yes, CGI action is fun and exciting but many people also want some deep, cerebral material sometimes.
+1. I find it ironic that DC comics is the company that owns Vertigo. DC is also the company that publishes the new 52, and made a commitment to publishing a wider variety of books and genres. I think comics is stronger when there's an explosion of styles, and when new creators get their shot to bat in the big leagues.

Don't underestimate their intelligence is right, you don't need to be light hearted to succeed, you also don't need to be dark and edgy. What you need is what Warner Bros. lacks: a clear direction and vision.
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  #11  
Old 02-06-2013, 07:28 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by edonline View Post
I would also add to the WB suggestions, don't underestimate your audiences intelligence (and in some cases, their maturity). Judging by the relative success of some of their books, especially the Vertigo titles, readers can handle dark, edgy and mature material. Yes, CGI action is fun and exciting but many people also want some deep, cerebral material sometimes.
That goes against Soda's directive 10. There is a reason DC has a special imprint for dark and edgy, because their superheroes are not. DC should NOT be the company to specialize in depressing superhero stories so you can brag how you are more mature for liking DC movies than those childish retards who enjoy silly Marvel movies.
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  #12  
Old 02-06-2013, 11:27 AM
The reason Batman has worked for so many years is because they've been able to re-invent him so aptly, and that's because his archetype is so strong, his life is a real tragedy that people can identify with very strongly. His alien planet didn't blow up, his... wait, what the hell is Wonder Woman fighting for again? (Commencing Google Search) ... ...

(Several minutes later)

Still dont even know. I just see a lot of confusing Greek mythology that noone wants to sit through. She was made from clay? Oooook.

See my point?

If you want to make a Wonder Woman movie you're gonna have to follow the example set by Thor. Spend a large chunk of time on an INTERESTING alien world (which Ive never seen from her before), create a "fish out of water" theme by coming to Earth, and pit her against a family member or loved one. The brother-v-brother angle was the archetype that carried the Thor film, made it RELATABLE in the face of a sprawling mythology, and also launched Tom Hiddleston to superstardom, ie crafted a fantastic character and a dynamic relationship and character dilemma.

Also, Wonder Woman should be plus-size. I saw that image a while back, and it just worked. Talk about being a role model that creates a positive body image . You wanna relate to young female readers? Stop making your protagonist a privileged, overly-beautiful bitch that was handed everything she has.

And stop living in the past of the character. The Linda Carter Wonder Woman show only existed to get Carter in a skimpy outfit; it was the 70's (right?) that's why a lot of things existed. The recent TV show bomb was essentially a remake of that show. Where a normal working woman also has super powers. AGAIN. It's just not interesting and no one cares.

There are far less "invulnerables" in the Marvel universe as well. Who in the Avengers can take a bullet to the eyeball? Stark = super-genius. Hawkeye = human. Black Widow = human. Cap = super-solider; still human. Thor = Welllll. Hulk = Sure.

Notice how everyone in the Marvel's films either EARNS their power (Thor, Cap) or MAKES their power (Stark, Hawkeye, BW, Hulk). None of them are GIVEN their power, yet that's the case with nearly everyone in DC.

Superman-born that way. WW-born that way. GL-Given a ring. Aquaman-born that way. Manhunter-born that way. Flash-struck by lightning/lucked into powers.

I mean, come on. It's pretty easy to see why people like Batman more than any other DC hero. He MADE himself into a hero. The others are just mostly privileged do-gooders.

And by making your heroes invulnerable, you take away any drama and it becomes boring. Yeah, we know Lex Luthor cant hurt Superman, that's why no one wants to see him anymore. It's fucking boring. They ALL need to be de-powered, top to bottom.

Rule 1 - no flying. Only one in Avengers that can fly in Iron Man and that's thanks to technology.

Fucking everyone can fly in DC. Supes, WW, Green Lantern, Manhunter, Flash can run across the ocean somehow. It's insane. How are you supposed to ground your heroes (heh) in reality if everyone can travel to other planets and shit? Is there really any reason Wonder Woman can fly? I'd RATHER her have some badass invisible plane she designed - guess what, worked great with the helicarrier in Avengers.


Basically, the reason DC's movies suck is because their characters suck and they're too damn scared to actually adapt them to modern audiences.
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  #13  
Old 02-06-2013, 12:48 PM
I got one for you, Just stick with Batman and Superman you will make money. Wonder Woman would be a gold mine too. But no one outside of hard core comic book fans ever heard of Constantine so of course it will flop. They need to stick to their core big 3, the ones everyone knows, not just the hard core comic junkies. I don't think they should even make the Flash or Green Lantern again unless they are part of an ensemble including one or more of the big 3.

Marvel is making smart business decisions. Everyone loves Spiderman, Hulk, Cap America, Iron Man, and the X-Men. They are pop culture icons and Marvel is savvy not to venture too far off from that. For instance, you would never see Black Widow and Hawkeye do their own flick because 90% of Americans would be like, "huh, where is Iron Man and the Hulk at?". And it would flop. Die hard's would obviously eat that shit up but from a business perspective, it is suicide.

Stick to the icons, make decent flicks (like Nolan's Batman and Singer's Superman) and DC could probably dominate Marvel because Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman are the biggest icons in comic history.

Bottom line, Marvel has a bigger well with more variety but DC's well is deeper. Spiderman and the Hulk are cool but Superman is the #1 hero of all time. And Batman is probably #2 of all time. DC has the top 2 big dogs, the GOAT super hero's. Know that, understand that, embrace that, and they will be successful.
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  #14  
Old 02-06-2013, 01:05 PM
Oh, hey, Mark Millar agrees with me.

http://networkedblogs.com/I0Uk4
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  #15  
Old 02-06-2013, 01:05 PM
Oh, hey, Mark Millar agrees with me.

http://networkedblogs.com/I0Uk4
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  #16  
Old 02-07-2013, 09:01 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by rustysyringe View Post
But no one outside of hard core comic book fans ever heard of Constantine so of course it will flop.
I don't see the logic in this one? If a movie is based on an unknown comic it will flop. So what happens to movies that are not based on comics at all? What chance do these have?

Quote:
For instance, you would never see Black Widow and Hawkeye do their own flick because 90% of Americans would be like, "huh, where is Iron Man and the Hulk at?".
Newsflash, 90% of the non US residents never read any Iron Man comic and yet many people saw the movie. About 0,015% of all the (non US) girls who get moist panties from Tom Hiddleston's Loki know what the comic character looks like. That's how much it matters if a comic is known or not.
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  #17  
Old 02-07-2013, 11:19 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Herald View Post
I don't see the logic in this one? If a movie is based on an unknown comic it will flop. So what happens to movies that are not based on comics at all? What chance do these have?


Newsflash, 90% of the non US residents never read any Iron Man comic and yet many people saw the movie. About 0,015% of all the (non US) girls who get moist panties from Tom Hiddleston's Loki know what the comic character looks like. That's how much it matters if a comic is known or not.
+1.

Here's the thing about this, comics are a medium that is so very much dependent on the creator, more so than some other things. The creative team is everything in comics. Frank Miller could write a Wonder Twins book ("Wonder Twin powers....activate!") and people would buy it. AJ Liebermann could write a Batman book, and nobody would buy it. An individual with a great creative vision can spin gold. That's why Brian K. Vaughn is at the very top of his profession: everything he writes has a vision behind it, if you haven't checked out SAGA, you really should, for example. An individual with the right vision can turn even the lamest of the lame into something interesting and cool. Conversely, Joel Schumacher can ruin Batman to the extent that people thought the entire thing was dead.

I'll repeat something I said before: DC's character bench is just as deep as Marvel's, but the perception is that Marvel's is deeper. It really isn't. Put the DCU in the hands of master storytellers (**Cough** Paul Dini and Bruce Timm, just sayin') and you get classics (Heart of Ice, Christmas with the Joker, Justice League Unlimited, Starcrossed, etc.) because the DCU is based so much on archtypes, there's a solid character for every occassion, for every story.

For example, if I was doing a Wonder Woman story, I'd want to mix two things that Marvel has done very well: The mythological story (Thor) and the heroic war epic (Captain America). Fun Fact: Wonder Woman also fought in the second world war. She also punched Hitler in the face. Even though Steve is famous for it, the DCU's big three also did their part in TBO ("TBO" in case you didn't know, and the guess here is you probably did, is Nick Fury talk for "The Big One"). Plus, anyone whose read the new Azzerrelo story knows that he's really turned the mythological angle on its head. Azz's latest run is a perfect example of what a really inspired choice at writer can do for a character who is pretty well established. If you haven't read the azz Wonder Woman, you really should, its beyond awesome.

Beyond that there are minor characters in the DCU who could make really interesting feature film material, the only prereqs are that it takes courage (something warner doesn't have, and who can blame them with the $$$ at stake?) and vision (something warner certainly doesn't have). At this point, Warner/DC is stuck in the mud, it feels like the silver age all over again, where Marvel rocketed past DC and never looked back. So much more could be done, and isn't. For example, I recently heard that Warner shelved the Beal draft of a JL film because the script was god awful. I have two reactions to that A) thank goodness sanity prevailed, and B) what the hell was he doing with Justice League in the first place? Either hire someone who knows what he/she is doing, or don't do anything at all and fall further behind.
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  #18  
Old 02-07-2013, 11:54 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZNXe8Mw4u1A

Just open with that.
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  #19  
Old 02-08-2013, 04:50 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Herald View Post
Newsflash, 90% of the non US residents never read any Iron Man comic and yet many people saw the movie. About 0,015% of all the (non US) girls who get moist panties from Tom Hiddleston's Loki know what the comic character looks like. That's how much it matters if a comic is known or not.
Maybe your America is different than mine. In mine, everyone has heard of Superman, Batman, Iron Man, The Hulk, Wonder Woman, and Spiderman even if they never read a single comic book. The other hero's, not so much. They may not have read a comic but Iron Man is a big enough icon to be well known. Also important to note, selecting RDJ (whom nearly 100% of Americans like) to play Iron Man also helps.

Batman, Superman, Spiderman, Iron Man, and The Hulk will always make money. X-Men is the same way but for the younger generation (under 30). I'd bet most people over 40 never heard of X Men before the movies. But they are so big with the younger generation that those hero's will always do well too.

Wonder Woman is also in the class, a genuine American icon. The Flash, Green Lantern, and Aquaman are pretty well known as well. They are not in the class of the others, but if done right, they could be successful.

Bottom line is, if you are making BIG budget stuff (over $100 mill), stick with the icons. The lesser known hero's should stick with a budget of $30-$40 mill at most or they will probably lose. Even then it is still risky.
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  #20  
Old 02-09-2013, 04:26 PM
Sorry for being late to the party

Quote:
5) Please, for the love of all that is wonderful, do Wonder Woman right.

There is no bigger "sleeper hit" on the face of the planet earth than Wonder Woman. Okay, laugh all you want, but its true. Think about it. How high is Wondy's name recognition? Its right up there with Superman, Batman and Spiderman. How many ten year old girls do you know who have Wonder Woman lunch boxes? She's such a famous character and so connected to so many people. She's been an inspiration to young woman a symbol of the woman's movement, a TV star, a celebrity, a warrior princess, an ambassador for her people, and the caring team mother. There's a reason why, as Blue Beetle (Ted Kord) once said: "everyone loves her, even Batman." Through it all, she's been who she has always been: wired with the will of Batman and the heart of Superman.

I thought, for the record, that the David Kelley interpretation was a disaster waiting to happen, and I was hoping it would get kicked to the side of the road so that a better version, with a better chance to succeed would come along. Much as I like Wondy, I want to see her done well, or not done at all. Don't ruin a chance for the generations to come, to make a buck today. Of all the characters in comics who have yet to get their own film, Wonder Woman is by far the one with the best name recognition. Marvel would kill to have the chance to adapt her to the silver screen, and if she had been under the umbrella of Marvel, her time would have come already, probably even before Iron Man, and after only Spiderman and the x-men, for sure. DC/Warner is just sitting on this, and doing nothing but twiddling their collective thumbs.

While I agree with all your points , there's two big issues when it comes to Wonder Woman, which is probably the reason behind DC and the studios dropping the ball with WW:

1.) Her villains. Can any non-comicbook buff cite her major foils without resorting to Wikipedia? And if you can name her villains please compare them to the likes of Batman and/or Superman's rogue gallery. Not looking very impressive is it? Heroes/Heroines are defined by their villains and Wonder Woman's are not ones with a lot of pull.

2.) Name at least one landmark Wonder Woman story. I'm talking one you can compare to the likes of The Dark Knight Returns, Man of Tomorrow or a Year One. Its pretty sad that for an OG whose been around as long as Batman and Supes, she still has yet to have any career defining story attached to her. Gail Simone did her best but still, nothing iconic like the titles I just mentioned.

I think this is the reason she's only been given life on television. Look at Green Arrow, while not an OG like WW, he also has a lesser known rogue's gallery and not a well known story. TV works for introducing him. And the CW will also be pulling the same with WW in their ordered pilot "Amazon". She'll be getting the Smallville treatment, so who knows what'll happen from there.

She makes a great icon but she seems to be a legend merely for still existing this long.


Of course it could also be this: http://dcwomenkickingass.tumblr.com/...483382449/wwew

Last edited by electriclite; 02-09-2013 at 07:32 PM..
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  #21  
Old 02-09-2013, 07:27 PM
The Wonder Woman villain I recall immediately is the Cheetah but, like Batman, at least until he became The Dark Knight, many of WW's foes were "gimmick" villains. I seem to recall one guy name The Angle or Angle-man or something similar whose name told you exactly what he was about. WW works best when paired up against the darker Greek gods and demigods such as Ares.
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  #22  
Old 02-10-2013, 08:19 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by electriclite View Post
While I agree with all your points , there's two big issues when it comes to Wonder Woman, which is probably the reason behind DC and the studios dropping the ball with WW:

1.) Her villains. Can any non-comicbook buff cite her major foils without resorting to Wikipedia? And if you can name her villains please compare them to the likes of Batman and/or Superman's rogue gallery. Not looking very impressive is it? Heroes/Heroines are defined by their villains and Wonder Woman's are not ones with a lot of pull.

2.) Name at least one landmark Wonder Woman story. I'm talking one you can compare to the likes of The Dark Knight Returns, Man of Tomorrow or a Year One. Its pretty sad that for an OG whose been around as long as Batman and Supes, she still has yet to have any career defining story attached to her. Gail Simone did her best but still, nothing iconic like the titles I just mentioned.

I think this is the reason she's only been given life on television. Look at Green Arrow, while not an OG like WW, he also has a lesser known rogue's gallery and not a well known story. TV works for introducing him. And the CW will also be pulling the same with WW in their ordered pilot "Amazon". She'll be getting the Smallville treatment, so who knows what'll happen from there.

She makes a great icon but she seems to be a legend merely for still existing this long.


Of course it could also be this: http://dcwomenkickingass.tumblr.com/...483382449/wwew
Excellent post, as always. Regarding the two points you made:

If it was me, and I was trying to think of a WW story to adapt to film, the first comic I'd probably be looking at is, by coincidence, the most recent one. The azzerrelo stuff is really that good, and it really is old school. Like Ancient Greece old school. I have yet to meet a single person who has a bad word to say about this recent run, and if you know anything about comic people, you realize just how remarkable that is.

Azz did something relatively controversial right off the bat: he changed Wondy's origin story. No longer is she molded from clay, now, Wonder Woman is a full on child of Zeus. If you know anything about Zeus, and his wild philanderings with women he's not married to (seriously, have he and Hera ever thrown down?) then you know what the inevitable outcome always is: Hera gets pissed, and makes life a living hell. Every single issue of this current run seemingly has some new cool, shocking revelation, and its all done extremely well. Plus, we seem to have a grade A villian, who everyone knows, in Hera, or is it? Just how good has this run been? Check out this, which has to be one of my favorite comic book pages of all time (its not the last page of IC #1, which I think is the best, but its up there):



If you don't see something like that, and see how it fits in PERFECTLY with the story that azz is telling, and something like this doesn't surprise you and make you giddy at the same time, well then, you just don't like reading comics. When your talking about the biological son of quite possibly the most evil being in the entire DCU, the head swirls at the plot points and new directions that this story could go. Azz's run is that good, and I think it should be the starting point for a movie.
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  #23  
Old 02-11-2013, 09:30 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by soda View Post
+1.


Beyond that there are minor characters in the DCU who could make really interesting feature film material, the only prereqs are that it takes courage (something warner doesn't have, and who can blame them with the $$$ at stake?) and vision (something warner certainly doesn't have). At this point, Warner/DC is stuck in the mud, it feels like the silver age all over again, where Marvel rocketed past DC and never looked back. So much more could be done, and isn't. For example, I recently heard that Warner shelved the Beal draft of a JL film because the script was god awful. I have two reactions to that A) thank goodness sanity prevailed, and B) what the hell was he doing with Justice League in the first place? Either hire someone who knows what he/she is doing, or don't do anything at all and fall further behind.


Btw, if you ever fantasized about Paul Dini writing a JL film, break out your Kleenex:

Not Interested
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  #24  
Old 02-11-2013, 07:49 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by electriclite View Post
Btw, if you ever fantasized about Paul Dini writing a JL film, break out your Kleenex:

Not Interested
Is it really that obvious how often I have that fantasy? Dini would be a perfect, inspired choice, and really, I think half the problem with warner/DC is that they have two creative teams, outside of comics, that they can go to: Nolan and Timm/Dini. That's about it.

When I was younger, Batman Beyond, a hallmark Dini/Timm-verse creation was beyond awesome. It was criminal that the show only ran for three years. There is a lot of inspiration there, as I think the Beyond-verse is a Batman story that should be told. Maybe the most fascinating character in comics today is old Bruce Wayne, and while Dini/Timm did not imagine the idea first (credit for that goes to Frank Miller, and DKR), they did, IMHO, imagine it best. There's something compelling about an old man who represents Batman at the very end, whose been everywhere, seen everything, and whose gotten himself out of tight jam after tight jam over the decades, and having all that knowledge and experience, and then, what? Where has it gotten him? What will happen to all that knowledge when he, inevitably, passes on? It makes perfect sense for a man like that to take on one final apprentice, just so that everything he knows doesn't leave the world with him. To me, and to him, that would represent a tragedy.

That is the genius of the Dini/Timm verse, the whole thing makes perfect sense, and it fits together. Paul Dini's genius was finding the story, and telling it, finding the angle. The idea of an old Bruce Wayne doesn't seem very compelling on the face of it, mostly because we, the fans, always figured there would be that one punk who got lucky. However, what if that punk never came? What if all the years of preparation and training yielded the hardest to fathom of end results: Batman actually survived all of it? Would it all have been worth it, in the end? Would Batman have finally found peace and happiness? Its the thing about the way Nolan ended TDKR that I think people found unsettling: it clashed with how Paul Dini imagined the end in Beyond. Something about the Dini version felt more "right", even if the Nolan version was more realistic. There's something about an old Bruce Wayne, at the end of his life, and you see what a hellhole Neo-Gotham still is, that forces you to ask: what did Batman really accomplish?

That kind of vision, that kind of eye for a story and the ability to tell it, is what's missing from Warner/DC.
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  #25  
Old 02-13-2013, 10:30 PM
I don't know shit about comics; I know movies and I enjoy researching those that I'm a big fan of. If there's one thing I hope for in a Justice League movie is that they take their time. When I heard that DC was gonna try to get a movie in theaters by 2015 . . . my first thought was it was too soon and too fast to hammer out the details to get all of these characters, most of which audiences know little to nothing about, into one movie.

Marvel got the Avengers ball rolling when they signed Jon Favreau and Robert Downey, Jr. to do Iron Man - they were really smart to sign Downey, Jr. to a multi-movie deal (or was he the one that was smart? - earning something like $60 million for The Avengers). Iron Man was released in 2008 (The Avengers came out in 2012) and was a great origin story for the character - giving The Avengers movie idea a great start and a character to look out for in the movie. Then they rolled out more of the Avengers characters with the Hulk, Captain America, and Thor - several characters who were lesser known (or dated). How they brought Captain America into the modern world was really well done. Throw in Hawkeye and Black Widow as supporting characters in these movies and you're good to go. Including post-credit scenes was also a nice touch.

DC needs to follow this example. Man of Steel needs to be their Iron Man. Forget Nolan's Dark Knight movies and let them be their own universe. Start anew with Batman . . . and make Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, and whoever else your Captain America, Thor, Hawkeye, and Black Widow. Superman and Batman can be your Iron Man and Hulk.

I think the Justice League could be done and be done as successful as The Avengers, but it takes time. Take your time . . . do the research . . . get the right people to do it (see Joss Whedon and JJ Abrams for their respective franchises) . . . and like was said already - have fun with the project.
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