Excl: We Talk Wonder Woman, Batman and DCEU with producer Charles Roven!

On June 2nd, the highly anticipated new adventure from the DCEU is heading into theatres in a very big way. WONDER WOMAN stars Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Danny Huston, Robin Wright, David Thewlis, Connie Nielsen, and let’s just say the word of mouth has been quite impressive - I am a fan. Recently, at the junket for the new film directed by Patty Jenkins, we spoke to one of the most important forces behind this universe, Charles Roven (BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE, SUICIDE SQUAD, THE DARK KNIGHT).

During our conversation, the producer opened up about WONDER WOMAN and the positive word of mouth the film is attracting. We also talked about Affleck stepping down as a director and Matt Reeves jumping in for THE BATMAN. Charles praises Joss Whedon - who is on board for BATGIRL - and he looks forward to bringing both Reeves and the Buffy creator to the DCEU. It was a real pleasure speaking to Mr. Roven, and after WW, I personally can’t wait to see where these characters go next. 

Are you ready for WONDER WOMAN? I knew we sure are!

With WONDER WOMAN, DCEU appears to be taking a different approach. There are several small, wonderful moments. Is that in due in part to the critical hits you took on BVS and SUICIDE SQUAD?

Honestly, we started out with a very different character. As I’ve pointed out and maybe you’ve heard me say; for all my experience with the DCEU, WONDER WOMAN is the only superhero - and I’m including Batman even though he’s not really super - even in the Marvel canons or Dark Horse, I don’t know any superhero who has wanted to embrace their destiny so much. From the time that they were little kid, Diana knew, because her mother and her aunt and all the legacy, that she needed to be heroic and able to go out there. And her mission in life was going to be to protect people who couldn’t protect themselves. That already gave you a very different perspective to be working from in terms of telling an origination story that was different than anybody else’s. Also you are dealing with a character who is extremely compassionate and empathetic, it allows for the character to be that - someone who violence is the last resort, it’s not the first resort or the immediate response. That also allows you to go about doing things in a different kind of way. And as we were crafting the movie and it was certainly enhanced by Patty, which I didn’t know from her movies to be honest, that there is this amazing sense of humor. Did you know that?

MONSTER… Not at all [Laughing]

You know what I’m saying [Laughing]. And even The Killing I wouldn’t say is the funniest television show either right?


She’s got this amazing sense of humor, as does Chris [Pine], as does Gal [Gadot]. But she’s the one that said you’ve got this amazing situation of two fish out of water. Diana in particular, she might be strong and fierce, compassionate and pure, but she’s also very naive of the world off the island. That’s going to allow for a tremendous amount of potential humor. And here is this jaded guy who is the fish out of water when he’s on the island. Once he takes her into the “man’s world” he knows stuff that is going to blow her mind. And then he is there to milk the humor between the two of them. I think those things really allowed us to take the movie in a different direction. So when Patty took the material that we had gotten to the point before she came on as a director, and said let’s move it in this direction, we thought it was refreshing and fun. And it still allowed us to have really great emotion when we needed to.

Looking at this, and obviously the critics appear to be embracing it, will that play into how you will carry this into the future at all?

Well, you know, I know you might find this hard to believe but it’s really true, we haven’t really… You always muse when you are making a film, particularly where you know that everybody is going to be interested, including yourself, on making the next one. In the case of WONDER WOMAN, we did some additional photography on this and we were finishing that while we were shooting JUSTICE LEAGUE. So literally, there was a period of time where Gal was working on both movies at the same time. So you go, “what is the next one going to be and you go.” We can’t be thinking about what the next WONDER WOMAN will be because, are we going to do the intervening period between the end of this WONDER WOMAN and BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN, or are we going to do something that will pick up after JUSTICE LEAGUE. 

Somebody had an idea about that, and somebody had an idea about this… but we didn’t really spend any time because we just finished this movie maybe six weeks ago. We took all the time that they gave us. Because when you are doing these special effects movies, you can’t actually finish the technical aspects of the movie until your shots are locked. I can’t have my composer come in and actually lay the score down, because if the frame is off by one frame, it’s out of sync [Laughing]. So the technical aspects of making a movie like this don’t really allow you a lot of time, particularly if you do some additional photography and there is a fixed release date, and stuff like that. Listen, it’s a high class problem, but it’s still an issue so you are working so hard and then you’ve got publicity and all that stuff, you don’t really have a lot of time to sit around and talk story.

Looking at the long haul, how many films are the actors signed up for at this point?

Well everybody is different, depending on when the deals were made and how many they’ve done. Ben [Affleck] has done BATMAN VS SUPERMAN, SUICIDE SQUAD and JUSTICE LEAGUE right. Gal has done WONDER WOMAN, JUSTICE LEAGUE and BATMAN VS SUPERMAN. They all have deals, I’m not exactly sure - I couldn’t sit here and tell you this one has so many options left and this one has no options left, or whatever. The great news is that in terms of my best read of the situation, everybody loves the characters they play. This is not just the lead good guys, it’s the bad guys as well, or the bad but not evil members of SUICIDE SQUAD [Laughing]. I think everybody really likes those characters. I think all of the actors would like to be part of another one. 

When Affleck decided not to direct THE BATMAN and Matt Reeves stepped in, I think people were afraid that Ben may not reprise the role. Is there any fear of that?

I mean, I’m not really involved with THE BATMAN, but from everything… We have a cursory involvement because that character is going to touch us some way. If Ben plays that character it’s going to touch some part of what we are doing. But I have no feeling whatsoever except positive that Matt loves Ben and the work that he has done as Batman, and Ben thinks that Matt is a really terrific filmmaker. I have every expectation that they are going to make a movie together.

I love the thought of Matt Reeves stepping into this world.

Yeah, I think it’s cool.

You have Joss Whedon coming in for BATGIRL, you have Reeves for THE BATMAN, I mean this is exciting stuff. Any talk of building a Bat-verse like they do in the comics?

Well, again, I’m not involved in BATGIRL, but I’m really a big fan of Joss Whedon as a filmmaker. I think it’s great that he is involved with the DCEU right now. I’ve been trying to get into business with him for a really long time. Up until a few years ago he was involved with Marvel and then when he left he didn’t want to think about it for awhile.

Getting back to WONDER WOMAN, one thing that really impressed me was just how perfect Gal Gadot was in the role.

They are two sides of the same coin. It’s incredible isn’t it?

It is.

Yeah, she is so wonderful as this character.

I remember when she was first announced - much like Heath Ledger with THE DARK KNIGHT -  there was a bit of fear from the fans.

Oh no, there was terrible backlash. There was backlash when we made Heath The Joker, it was a pretty big backlash. When we made Ben Batman, the same thing. That’s the other thing as to why you’ve got to be a little bit, you have to revere the fans but not everything that the fans say is… and there is a lot of fan opinion. You’ve got to be careful, and ultimately you have to take all that in and still have your own instinct about what to do.

How often does fan opinion play into what you are trying to create?

I think that the thing that we looked at was the amount of push back that we got on BVS. At least in terms of things that we should look at about tone. Even though we felt very strongly that in the making of the film - and if you actually look at the canon of when Batman and Superman fought. that that’s a very dark comic. And this movie was going to be dark. As much as everybody embraced it when we announced it, I think that nobody really thought that - but you had to take these characters and get them to the place where two guys that we really admire and like, are going to fight each other in a really tough way where one may be thinking he’s going to take the other one out. How are you going to get that and make it feel real. The good news for us was that we knew that just by virtue of the fact that we were going to be bringing these other guys into the group with this recruitment, it was going to be lighter in tone.

We discussed what Patty brought to this film, are you already thinking of having her return?

I think that she is going to have a lot of options after this movie [Laughing].

I agree.

I believe that she’s dedicated to the character. So I’m hopeful that she’ll be back for another one. But there is no other one yet in the works to commit to.

Source: JoBlo.com



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