Warner Bros., please remember that you are not Disney. While Marvel Studios may have set the bar with crossover continuity, it’s always irked me that the studio has vowed to keep things on the PG-13 side of the fence. Why do I find that call so irksome? Because there has always been plenty of room for the Marvel Universe to branch out into other genres. Look at Blade: R-rated, box office smash, action/horror flick. If any of you read the Marvel “Midnight Sons” comic books back in the 90s like I did, then you’re probably STILL wondering where your dark, horror-themed versions of Ghost Rider, Doctor Strange or Morbius are. Well, the answer to that is Marvel sold them off into the fumbling hands of third-party studios, which is why we end up with crap like Punisher: War Zone.
DC Entertainment has the chance (and freedom) to correct this misstep on Marvel’s part. DC Comics was ahead of the pack in going more adult-themed in the 80s and 90s, bringing in writers like Alan Moore, Frank Miller and creating a more adult-themed branch of their Universe, DC Vertigo. With adult-themed characters like Deadman, The Losers, Lobo and Jonah Hex headed for the big screen, DC/WB is showing some sign of knowing how to fit their properties into other cinematic slots besides “superhero movie,” but there are so many other characters (The Spectre (above), The Atom, Animal Man, Hawkman) who could grow to be big names if placed in the proper lanes (horror, sci-fi, sci-fi/fantasy). DCE, play the field in terms of genre and demographic, it’ll work for you.
Remember that Robin version of Smallville, “The Graysons” that almost was?
Want to get some of your lesser-known (or cinematic dead end) characters into the limelight, DCE? Well then, look no further than the example of Smallville. If the CW hadn’t jerked their knee so soon, that Aquaman TV show might’ve found its audience and formed a nice block of DC/WB tweener TV – but hey, that window is still open. Smallville spin-offs or new shows that tell stripped-down stories of some of the DC Universe’s lesser-known heroes? DCE, don’t be afraid of the small screen: if there is a hero or team (Robin, Legion of Superheroes) that you can fit into a viable TV market, then by all means go there.
TEST WATERS ON THE PAGE
DCE has DC Comics snug under its ribcage, close to its heart. Those comic book writers, they’re the guys who are keep these characters alive (or at least back from the dead) every day of every year of every decade. And since this universe was born, and continues to grow on the page, when a comic book storyline tests well, or becomes a runaway success, then the whole DCE is rewarded with an opportunity.
DCE, keep an eye on your comic book division and let the writers who’ve proven they know this world best (See: Geoff Johns), do what they do best, and observe the resulting fan reaction to see where the gold nuggets might lie. The idea of this DCE venture is a more cohesive and streamlined DC/WB, and nothing is better than mining ideas from the mass focus group you already cater to – except maybe taking the hit concept you’ve already sold them and re-selling it to them in a different package (movie, TV, Video game). That almost guarantees – to quote In Living Color – “Mo Money! Mo Money! Mo Money!”
Okay, so there are a few possibilities I’ve thrown out there for the future of DC Entertainment Inc. Where do you think the company needs to set it sights first (more popular film franchises? Another hit TV show? Better video game adaptations)? And which characters or properties would you like to see developed in which formats?
Let us know in the comments.
Source: Our Pen-Pal, MTV Splash Page