Among the most buzzed about superhero films hitting theaters in 2017 is the DC Extended Universe release Justice League. Bringing together Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg for the first time on the big screen, the League will be tasked with one of their biggest challenges ever in the Zack Snyder film – as they battle to save the Earth from a dangerous and deadly threat.
Following on from this June’s blockbuster Wonder Woman release, Justice League will serve as a platform to launch additional solo movies for all of the superheroes involved. Now it’s been revealed that fans are going to be able to get closer to the action than ever before, with a new collaboration born between IMAX and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.
The companies have officially announced that they are co-financing and producing three premium, interactive VR experiences based on Justice League, Aquaman and one as-yet-unannounced third film in the DCEU movie franchise. IMAX Corp. CEO Richard L. Gelfond and President at Warner Bros. Worldwide Home Entertainment Distribution, Ron Sanders, issued the following statements, with respect to the news:
Gelfond: “It’s fitting that with IMAX and Warner Bros.’ shared history of launching Hollywood movies in IMAX theatres, today we’re entering into our first studio deal to bring original VR content to the multiplex. A key component of our vision for VR is to help usher in the first wave of high-end blockbuster-based content. Justice League and Aquaman feature some of the most beloved characters on the planet, providing iconic properties to launch this effort. This type of premium content will introduce audiences to virtual reality in standalone and multiplex-based IMAX VR centres as well as other platforms.”
Sanders: “We are excited to be partnering with IMAX to develop and deliver premium VR experiences, and believe that capitalizing on Justice League and Aquaman characters from our well-known DC properties will broaden the appeal of this fast growing technology. Using content and characters from these upcoming films and incorporating creative direction from some of Hollywood’s most innovative filmmakers will help us to bring a groundbreaking experience to audiences and consumers who are hungry for a cutting-edge virtual reality experience.”
The wording of the announcement shows that while the entire movies won’t be thrown into virtual reality, there will be ground-breaking experiences based on what goes on in each of the flicks for fans to sink their teeth into (much like the ones being developed for Ready Player One). With plans to release a single VR experience a year – beginning in late 2017 alongside the Justice League release – this is a long-running collaboration that will first hit IMAX VR centers, before moving to other VR platforms, including in-home and mobile offerings.
Done right, these experiences could serve to bring in bigger waves of audiences than ever before when each of the DCEU upcoming releases hit the big screen. With the first three DCEU installments (Man of Steel, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad) having proven to be commercially but not critically successful, that may be something that future DCEU entries need.
Source: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment and IMAX