DC Movie Universe: Are Solo Character Films the Right Road to ‘Justice League’?

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Justice League Movie Man of Steel Dark Knight Discussion DC Movie Universe: Are Solo Character Films the Right Road to Justice League?

Man of Steel is now in theaters (read our review), and despite a somewhat divisive opinion amongst critics, fans seem to be enjoying it well enough ($$$) that Warner Bros.’ already-in-development Superman sequel seems like a sure bet. Of course, before the new Superman took his chance at box office glory, there was much debate as to where Warner Bros. would be taking their superhero universe in the wake of Zack Snyder’s reboot film.

Justice League has been the talk of Internet ever since Warner Bros. executives dropped the news late last year that a Justice League movie was coming in 2015  - a claim that has since been denied in the wake of Man of Steel‘s projected success. Now a Superman sequel seems to be the game plan, and after seeing MoS, one has to wonder: is the standalone film approach (that led to Marvel’s Avengers glory) the right way for DC/WB to go, after all?

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DC: Character First

Man of Steel Suit DC Movie Universe: Are Solo Character Films the Right Road to Justice League?
Our own Andrew Dyce recently did an in-depth breakdown of the differences between DC and Marvel characters, and in that same article, he clearly identified how the DC/WB is now forming a pattern in their storytelling approach, focusing on grounded character stories over Marvel’s preference for heightened fantasy action. Indications (at the time of writing this) are that this blueprint will make the Superman reboot a success like Chris Nolan’s Batman reboot – consequently cementing the notion that character drama works better for DC films than the Marvel-style tone of the studio’s 2011 under-performer, Green Lantern.

Justice League Movie Character List DC Movie Universe: Are Solo Character Films the Right Road to Justice League?

At this point, the WB would have to be pretty thick-headed to not recognize the formula written on the wall. While Marvel makes fun escapist comic book flicks, Warner Bros.’ best investment seems to be deep, probing character origin stories set against a ‘real world’ backdrop. So, films exploring a bi-racial outcast trying to find acceptance in two worlds (Aquaman); an indoctrinated xenophobe who learns to accept and appreciate the outside world (Wonder Woman); the fastest man alive is unable to outrun his own personal tragedy (Flash) – these seem more like the drama-heavy superhero films that could possibly turn even low-tier DC characters into modern box office draws, making an eventual Justice League teamup that much more lucrative and easy to pull off.

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Companion Pieces

Justice League Movie Logo DC Movie Universe: Are Solo Character Films the Right Road to Justice League?

For better or worse (depending on who you ask) Man of Steel feels, in many ways, like a companion piece to Batman Begins. Yes, it’s obvious that both films were written by Chris Nolan and David S. Goyer – and yes, I’m well aware of the fact that Nolan, Goyer, Zack Snyder and actors from  all over the Batman and Superman reboot franchises have all stated (repeatedly) that Nolan’s Batman trilogy is its own, separate, isolated universe. But come on: in terms of narrative approach, structure, tone and themes, Man of Steel really is just “Superman Begins.” And, continuity issues aside, that precedence may be something DC/WB wants to run with.

Despite a very vocal section of detractors (who never liked Nolan’s somber approach), sticking with the format of Batman Begins and Man of Steel for other standalone DC hero films is probably the best way to march toward something as big as Justice League. Aside from the Marvel approach of plot and/or character crossovers used to thread together their Phase One road to The Avengers, there is something to be said for building a universe along the lines of tonal and thematic blending, rather than outright crossover.

superman batman movie DC Movie Universe: Are Solo Character Films the Right Road to Justice League?

Batman Begins and Man of Steel both shine the same sort of introspective, emotional complex light on why their respective iconic characters became the heroes they are. A similar approach to other heroes could firmly establish said heroes’ identities within a similar tonal and thematic frame, which would make seeing them all team up just as easy to accept as Marvel’s method of character/plot-point swapping to build a foundation under Avengers.

Think about it (purely for the sake of argument): Having seen both the Batman and Superman reboots, how hard would it really be to imagine Bale’s Batman (retired) seeing the emergence of Cavill’s Superman and once again donning his costume? The worlds of these “separate” films at least feel similar enough to make it plausible for both Cavill and Bale’s versions of the characters to exist in the same film.

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Two Before Many

Batman and Superman movie mashup DC Movie Universe: Are Solo Character Films the Right Road to Justice League?

It’s something we’ve talked about multiple times on the Screen Rant Underground podcast (herehere and here) – and a theory that Internet investigators are still backing: WB could already be seeing the crossover potential of the Dark Knight and Man of Steel universes, and could be utilizing that billion-dollar potential by bringing back Christian Bale to stand alongside MoS star Henry Cavill. Certain speculation goes so far as to say that Chris Nolan is already secretly at work shepherding the entire DC film universe; time will tell how true (or not) that speculation is – we do know, however, that the filmmaker has his own sci-fi project, Interstellar, keeping him busy right now.

Despite all the evidence and incentive for WB to abandon a Justice League film for the moment – and focus on its Man of Steel sequel – that doesn’t mean a team-up film is once again a dead dream. As stated, the Batman and Superman origin films have enough in common, tonally and thematically, to make a Batman/Superman movie a definite possibility (not to mention that certain Man of Steel Easter eggs directly reference that blending).

Dark Knight Man of Steel Logo Mashup DC Movie Universe: Are Solo Character Films the Right Road to Justice League?

Anyone who is a fan of either the classic World’s Finest Comics or the post-millennium relaunch, Superman/Batman, knows that the only thing more interesting than comparing Batman and Superman’s origins (tragedy vs. nurturing) is seeing the clash of their respective moral outlooks, crime-fighting tactics, and deep-seeded insecurities. That’s all good stuff we could see in a Superman/Batman crossover film. If DC/WB is looking to get any kind of Avengers-style event film off of the ground, this would be their best bet at the moment. (Again, time will tell if this project is already in works…)

How do you see the future of the DC Movie Universe unfolding in the wake of Man of Steel? What do you WANT to see happen? Let us know your opinion in the comments!

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Man of Steel is now in theaters. It is 143 minutes long and is Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence, action and destruction, and for some language. Want to discuss the film without SPOILING it for others? Head over to our Man of Steel Spoilers Discussion. If you want to hear the Screen Rant Editors discuss the film, be sure to check back soon for our Man of Steel special episode of the Screen Rant Undergound Podcast. If you want to know a lot of the in-jokes in the film, check out our Man of Steel Eater eggs Discussion. 

 

TAGS: batman, batman begins, justice league, superman, superman man of steel

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  1. MOS was terrific, I loved every minute of it. All three Batman Films, I could watch that all weekend back to back. I just want them to take there time. It’s no need to rush to a justice league film. You should at least have a Flash and a Wonder Woman film (stand alone). I personally love Auqaman and I think he could be a big shock if he hit the big screen. Think about it, how many comics films have aquatic scenes? I think the action and story you could get from underwater fight scenes would be amazing. Also Aquaman has one of the most interesting origins of all comic characters. If they add Mera, that’d just be a plus. All I know is that the possibilities are endless and with DC’s character line up, a Justice League film (done correctly) could go down in history as the best film ever made (OF ALL TIME)!……………..Oh and I didn’t even mention, the Martian Manhunter……….as you can see, the list goes on

  2. Oh and cyborg…..I’m so stupid, cyborg is the BRAINS! I know that Bats is the mastermind, but Literally, cyborg is the brains…….can’t forget him……..

    • Cyborg should be the brains… Of the Teen Titans. That’s where he belongs. I hated when they retconned him into the League as a founding member just to give it a token black guy when they had John Henry Irons(Steel) in a very similar role as the tech guy.

      • #1

  3. I loved Man of Steel. It was terrific. I do think this is the start of a new DC shared universe. Unfortunately I feel this shared universe won’t be widely accepted by these so called “traditional” critics as Marvel has. Sad but true. Some of these critics are biased people. And I hate them for it. Hope they go to hell.

    • Very honorable sentiments you have there. lol

  4. I think its not far fetched to do it opposite of Marvel. You find amazing A list actors to and do a two part Justice League movie.Release them both in the same year one for summer block buster season and the second toward Christmas. Don’t be stingy looking for a money grab and your fans will respect that. Focus heavily on the mystery of who are they enough and you will have no problem marketing the Solo films.
    As long as you have committed actors, great writers that understand the emotional connection of the characters, and highlight the strengths of weaker characters like Aqua man that the audience may not know much about.

  5. I’ve been saying that since The Dark Knight Rises, that best way to relaunch Batman is to do a Batman/Superman movie with a few cameos. With Wonder Woman, Cyborg or Green Lantern, maybe Arrow shows up to link the whole DC universe.

    • Do a Flash and Wonder Woman movie then Justice League.

  6. honestly, I havent read the whole article (Im going to bed now, lol) but I agree on the darker/more grounded/deeper approach.

    I loved Nolan trilogy and cant wait to see MOS next week on my country, so if the quality and tone of future DC movies are like these two movies, Im IN.

    Marvel’s style is family friendly, I preffer something a bit more adult oriented, with deeper themes and scenes, while having at the same time the epic action of MOS. Warner is on the right direction. So glad about it. We need Justice League, we need something new and different.

  7. There’s one thing I know I don’t want. A Nolanized DC film universe. If WB wants to go that lousy route. I’ll stick to Bruce Timm & Paul Dini’s animated shared universe instead since it would be better.

    • Nothing lousy about it, its diffrent and effective. Also man of steel felt nothing like a nolan film

      • +1

      • @ Trey

        Perhaps that’s your opinion. But to me MOS looked like it had Nolan’s Realistic Tone & writing w/Goyer of-course. Only thing added was Snyder’s kind of action. Other people felt it was done in the same way as Batman Begins.

        It different & effective because people would surely see it if Nolan & Goyer were involved because they had success with TDK trilogy. Plain and simple & there was a poll that 86% of people saw the film because of their involvement with Snyder while 80% wanted to see a modern take of Superman.

      • The problem for MOS is that it did feel like a nolan film for the first half (which is not a bad thing because I love The Dark Knight trilogy) but for the second half, it felt like a michael bay film. For me, it would be better had they kept the nolan approach instead of trying to also appeal to the mainstream crowd which is getting dumber and dumber.

  8. 3 part justice league film would be my choice. Justice League: World’s Finest and idk what the rest should be called

  9. A Superman/Batman team should definitely happen!!! Either you could bring back Bale (REALLY doubting it though) or you could use it as the vehicle to introduce a new Batman without an unnecessary new origin story movie. Plus it would just be awesome :)

  10. I absolutely loved Man of Steel and honestly think it was a good first step into the door of a shared DC universe. However, don’t rush it WB. Quality over quantity is the key here. If you can offer Christian Bale enough money for him to take up the mantle again, be smart about it. JGL can be the new batman or knightwing to take care of Gotham while he’s gone recruiting with Superman for the Justice League and takes care of more global issues. If you can’t get christian bale back, start over. It’ll be hard to reach The Dark Knight standards, but it doesn’t mean you can’t try. You got this WB.

  11. What villian would they use for that team up of batman and superman that would test them. I mean he just battled general zod and company who were just as strong. I cant see a villian or villans that would give them a challange besides some heavy hitters and they would need more then them two.WB/DC really needs to think on how to utilize there characters and quickly cause marvel will keep raising the bar and racking in all the cash.

    • The thing is superman atleast this version is very inexperienced.

      SPOILER FOR MAN OF STEEL!

      after killing zod it could change him forever, and maybe he needs batman to push him in the right direction. Maybe doomsday or better yet maybe some test set up by bats so he knows that he can stop him

      My favorite justice league episode is the one where batman stages a series of challenges that almost kill the entire league. Cause batman is that awesome and cautious

  12. Honestly,since I don’t follow DC comics at all and having just watched MOS,I’m trying to figure out how they can even incorporate Batman in this universe’s version of a JL movie without totally nerfing all of the characters with powers.If the enemies are too powerful,like Zod,or even Fayorah,there’s absolutely no way that Batman would last one second.If you make the enemies too weak,then you will just wonder why Supes,GL,or The Flash just couldn’t clean up in a snap.

    The only thing I can think of is if Bats gets some sort of armor that would at least let him be more durable so he can take more punishment if needed.

    I guess just really thinking about it,now I can see why a Justice League movie,especially in a Nolan-esqe universe is taking so long and is so hard to do.

    • Batman from the cartoons wouldnt fight
      Toe to toe with zod he would use stealth and a behind the scene skill to assist superman

    • Its kind of like how Hawkeye and Black Widow can fight off aliens with laser guns.

      As Trey said, Batman is more brains then brawn. He has toys and gadgets that he uses so he doesn’t always need to go toe to toe.

      Now if MoS is set in a timeline after the events of TDK trilogy, then you don’t need to magically give the first 5 villains super powers. They can be powerless. It made sense. Those things didn’t exist until now.

    • Having Batman fight characters like Zod and Faora would be great. It was always cool to see him use tactics to counter their power. That’s one thing I’ve loved about the Justice League in the comics/animated shows. No matter how powerful the characters were, it always seemed like Batman had the upper hand because of how smart he is.

      • +1

  13. The MAN OF STEEL was great I really enjoy watching it. I cannot wait to see The JUSTICE LEAGUE come out next, But I stick with THE MAN OF STEEL (Part 2).

  14. ARE YOU SERIOUS…BATS VS. ZOD? ZOD would annihilate Batman, look at they’re technology, look what they did to our military? Batman, is only human, yes he has brains and gadgets, but, if he had met Zod the same way Supes did in MOS, he’d be dead. Sorry Bats Fanboys….just keepin in 100

    • I desagree completely. Batman (hopefully Bale’s) CAN take out villains like Metallo for example, or even Amazo. Besides, in the eventually Justice League movie Batman would take the tactician part of the team and lead the whole bunch of heroes through the battle…maybe, in the end, take the lead (a la Iron Man in The Avengers) and design a strategy to end Darkseid’s invasion or whoever the enemy is, and be the hero instead of all the other super powered men. If you’ve read the comics, in Final Crisis, Batman dared to put a bullet in a God (Darkseid) and he’s only a human, and then, in the New 52 when he meets Superman, who was taken prisoner, he dares to enter Apokolips and rescue Supes by himself…and so examples go on :D

      In the end, Batman could fit just fine and it would be one of the main attractives of that movie, how a human without powers manage his way through a group full of Gods.

      • I know! In the comics Bats is way smarter, wittier, and clever. I made this comment based on the Nolan trilogy Bats. If the Bats from TDKR, fought the Zod from MOS Bats would get killed, no way around it. In TDKR films, Bats doesn’t have a lot of the gadgets he uses in the comics. I feel that in order for TDKR Bats to beat the MOS Zod, they would have to supe him up a lot more. Make him stronger, and rejuvenated. If you remember, he lost to Bane, how in the world can he beat ZOD? So yes the Comic Book Bats can beat or stand toe to toe with a Metallo or heck…. even in the short movie Apakolyps….but not the BATS from TDKR!!!!!

        • If they incorporate Nolan’s Batman, they can re-invent him given that the time away from his mantle was spent planning and prepping.

  15. I want Brainiac , Metallo, Doomsday in the next Man of Steel sequels.
    The action sequences in Man of Steel is insanely over the top and good.
    Imagine Supes brawling it out with Doomsday – half of America would be in ruins.

    • Brainiac and Metallo are excellent enemies for Supes. I’d join Brainiac to Lex, just like the animated series, and make that character the main villain.

    • I think Brainac would work best. This is the age of technology after all, and MoS brings aliens (and alien tech) into the equation. Metallo wouldn’t work because Kryptonite doesn’t exactly exist as a known weapon just yet. And Doomsday’s a little much.

    • I agree.

      With it’s incredible standard of action Man Of Steel has proved now that it’s completely viable to show big screen versions of Superman’s most powerful enemies.

      Let’s just they don’t try to copy TDK and revert to Superman’s most famous foe , Lex Luthor. Time to move on to bigger and more dangerous adversaries now.

  16. I think Warner Bros. has enough to learn from Disney/Marvel to know what to and not to do for their new franchise.

    #1: Pay actors fairly or they’ll demand ridiculous amounts later on.

    #2: Go for serious and dramatic, with small bits of witty comedy, instead of lighthearted and action-comedy style like Marvel.

    #3: Take time and do it right. Don’t change characters to cash-in on Marvel’s style. Green Lantern was essentially “Iron Man goes to Asgard and fights the Fantastic Four’s Galactus cloud.” Make the DC characters have their own style and personality far apart of Marvel’s characters, and all will be good.

    As for the movies that should come next, I have a few ideas.

    DC Phase One:
    Man of Steel, 2013
    Man of Steel 2, 2015
    The Flash, 2016
    Wonder Woman, 2017
    Green Lantern Corps, 2018
    Aquaman, 2018
    Batman Winter’s Edge(Yeah, Mr. Freeze), 2019
    World’s Finest, 2020
    Sealab, 2021
    Justice League, 2022

    One of those was a joke, lol.

    • I’m down for Sealab LOL

    • Sealab 2021? whoa.. is that’s Aquaman’s solo flick? LOL ROLF LMAO

  17. i think they should go for a world’s finest after man of steel 2

    • I think they should put off the new Batman until they’ve done plenty of other DC Universe characters. The New 52 Aquaman is awesome, and the Flash and Wonder Woman have some pretty deep drama.

  18. What I would like:

    1. MoS

    2. MoS2 (Haven’t seen MoS yet, but I would hope that “Superman” is established and confident as the noble hero that everybody knows and loves, at this point) [Winter '14]

    3. Reboot Green Lantern. District 9 style, Neill Blomkamp. [Summer '15]

    4. Flash movie. [Summer '15].

    5. Batman & Superman – non-apologetic, no origin, all-out team up movie. Just to balls out. People will accept it, especially if made smart. Don’t have Goyer writing, but instead someone who’s familiar enough with the Dark Knight and Man of Steel series to imitate but bring their own lighter tone to it. [Summer '16]

    6. MoS 3, similar to Ironman 3 after The Avengers; acknowledge Batman’s existence. MoS will probably have to be another somewhat personal story to exclude Batman again. Maybe far outside of Gotham/the DC United States. Bring in Wonder Woman for a role similar to what Electra was in Daredevil. [Winter '16]

    5. Wonder Woman “spin-off” solo movie. Establish her character and her world. Origin only through flashbacks and maybe start with whatever reason she had for leaving the Amazons. Hell, make it like a John Smith/Pocahontas-return-to-England type story with Superman and Wonder Woman respectively. [Summer '17] All of this to lead to:

    6. Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman team up. Have this by mid-summer 2017 (the hot season).

    7. Martian Manhunter or Aquaman or whatever if need be. Fall ’17

    8. Justice League – Summer 2018.

    —–

    I free-thought all of this but think it’s pretty reasonable…really like to hear back anyone’s opinions.

    • If solo movies HAVE to happen (I don’t think a lot of these characters need one) this is my timeline. MoS Summer 13, Flash Summer 14, Wonder Woman Summer 14, Martian Manhunter Winter 14, World’s Finest Summer 15, Aquaman Summer 15, MoS 2 Summer 16, Green Lantern Summer 16, Trinity Winter 16, Justice League Summer 17.

      The reason why I don’t think every character needs their own movie is because if the audience doesn’t receive the character well, then it will be a flop. I think the characters should share a part in other movies. Here is my list with twists.

      Wonder Woman Winter 14
      World’s Finest Summer 15 (Intro Martian Manhunter)
      Aquaman Summer 15
      Trinity Summer 16 (Intro GL Corps)
      Flash Summer 16
      Justice League Summer 17

      By doing it this way, it saves WB/DC millions on production costs. Use the mini team up movies as “sequels” or “solo films”. If MM and GL get good critical ratings, then after the JL team up, give them a shot at their own film.

      • Not that I think all the solo films need to happen before Justice League, but how can you say that a lot of these characters don’t need solo films? It sounds more like you’re unfamiliar with these characters and how they relate to the shared universe. A new Batman needs to be introduced as well as a Wonder Woman before a JL movie can get off the ground but each character has a story to tell and they all bring something unique to the team which warrants solo films. Batman can easily be done in a World’s Finest movie but WW needs her own film. You can’t say, “well we shouldn’t make a Flash or Martian Manhunter movie because it might flop.” No. Make it a good movie. Develop the character and give the audience something to care about just like the comics did and it won’t flop. There’s a reason these characters have survived for the better part of a century. Also, your timeline is completely unrealistic. They would have to write, cast, sign a director, fund, and start production right now on 3 to 4 of those movies. Marvel is doing it because they’ve got it all planned out and there are directors lining up to connect their name with the production powerhouse that is Marvel studios. DC doesn’t have that yet. Even if it were Nolan and Snyder doing these that’s still only 2 directors and Nolan has other projects currently in production. We probably aren’t going to see a JL movie for 5 or 6 years, maybe longer. If it does come out in 2015 like some sources still suggest, it will be too rushed and it will fail.

  19. I really hope WB/DC gets ball rolling on Justice League. I don’t want to be married with children, let alone in a wheel chair, when they decide to take initiative.

    MoS worked. Not perfect, but the solid foundation they needed to kick things off.

  20. They could include Hank Henshaw in one of the sequels to Man of Steel.
    As most DC fanboys know, Hank Henshaw is the Cyborg Superman – an impostor
    who led everyone to believe that He was Supes in cybernetic form – only to reveal later on that he isn’t.

    Yeah, I want the Death and Return of Superman be adapted as 2-part Man of Steel flicks.

  21. 1st – I’m a comic book fan first and foremost. I like Marvel & DC comics equally. That said, Marvel has (up to this point) handled their characters better cinematically than WB/DC. Arguing over why that may be is inconsequential IMO. I also think that slamming on Marvel for simply not being ashamed to let superheroes in a “superhero movie” act like… well… superheroes is wrong. It’s not about making one good movie. It’s about making consistently good movies; which Marvel has done. That’s not up for debate, that’s a fact. If it wasn’t, every article about a CBM wouldn’t eventually devolve into “mines is better than yours” arguments (just like this one now has).

    2nd – While I completely loved Batman Begins, I completed hated TDK and TDKR. Now before you start spewing your hate at me – I don’t hate them for their serious tone, I hate them for the whole “in it’s own stand alone universe” crap. That way of thinking is TOTAL CRAP for a DC or Marvel CBM. It’s that simple. I read comic books for the continuity and the shared universes. Those two things have been staples in superhero comic books since the inception (pun intended) of superhero comics. I’m not a Nolanite and I did not like his take on Batman after BB. I don’t need to see how Batman or any DC character would exist in the real world. They don’t exist realistically. They are fantasy. That’s the joy of it (for me at least) and that’s something that WB has consistently missed. My wife could not stand comic books before the Marvel movies led up to The Avengers. She didn’t “get” how a grown man could spend his hard earned money each week on “silly little kids magazines” as she put it. Skip ahead to after the release of The Avengers and my wife is now a die-hard comic book fan like me. She has her subscription box at our local comic book store right next to mines. Also like me – she’s not beholden to any one publisher. If you go by the numbers – she reads more Top Cow books than anything. But all the credit goes to the Marvel way of handling their movies, and that’s a good thing. Had it not been for the Marvel films, my wife would never have picked up an actual comic book. So make of that what you will.

    From TDK to TDKR to Smallville to GL to now Arrow, WB seems to be ashamed to let their Superheroes be “Superheroes”. If all the DC comics to date followed a similar approach, then I would have no argument/problem with the way WB handles their CBMs, but DC comic books are… hmmm… how do I say this… – comic booky. So what’s the problem? Where’s the disconnect? Attempting to cinematically associate films based solely on a tonal and thematic frame is the worst WB idea in the history of bad WB ideas. Last I checked, DC comic books do just as many crossovers as Marvel Comic Books. Even more-so since the New 52. You want to know the key to Marvel’s success? – They replicate on screen what their comic books are doing. Novel idea I know, but it seems to be working. Hmmmmmm….

    It’s not about serious vs lighthearted. It’s about being respectful to the source material and respectful to the characters. Something Marvel excels at. TDK and TDKR was not respectful of the Batman character. And TDKR didn’t even attempt to respect the source material. So Marvel movies are family friendly – so what? The only ppl that would seem to have a problem with that are single guys still living in their mommy’s or grand mommy’s basement and have no concept of what it means to socially coexist with the opposite sex and children. As long as it respects the characters and the source material, I DON’T CARE if it’s lighthearted, serious or dark. Anyone who says that The Avengers wasn’t serious needs to have their head examied. WB problem is that they don’t know how to find the middle ground. Their CBM are either overtly silly and simple (Green Lantern, Joel Schumacher’s Bat films) or they are overtly dark and vomit inducing (TDKR). WB has yet to grasp the concept of “serious but still a comic book at heart”. Contrary to popular DC fanboy belief – Marvel movies aren’t “lowest common denominator” films. Marvel decidedly and purposely makes their movies the way they are made. It’s by design, not by happenstance. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Again – it seems to be working. Are you noticing a theme yet?

    Green Lantern’s problem was not that it was trying to be like Iron Man. If WB has proven anything, it’s that they refuse to follow Marvel’s formula (even though that wouldn’t be such a bad idea IMO). GLs problem was it was handled (from top to bottom) by people who had no idea/inkling/concept of how to make a CBM. And worse – those same ppl had not one clue as to who Hal Jordan/green lantern was.

    3rd – I said all that to say this – I LOVED MoS. I thought is was one of the best CBMs I have ever seen. It’s definitely in my top 5. But I know that I need to slow down and pace myself because I felt the EXACT same way about Batman Begins. I thought finally someone got Batman right. And then TDK and TDKR mucks it up for me. After seeing MoS, I had the same sentiment. A Superman for fans of the actual comic book and not the out-dated, disrespectful to the source material, 1978 crap. But I have a real fear that WB will not be able to see past the success of MoS and go for the quick buck instead of long term universe building and we fans will again be stuck with a franchise that is just beholden unto itself. I seriously hope I’m wrong because MoS was such a frickin’ Awesome movie!! and it left the door wide open to endless possibilities. But WB has never been good with “possibilities”. They’re more of “A bird in in the hand….” type of movie studio.

    Sorry for the rant but the site is called…..

    • What you dislike about WB i love about them. Over the years comic book characters evovle and differ, WB allows control by directors to what they want. Marvel however pulls their reigns and gives us 2 movies a year with the same formula. Though after IM3 i feel it may change slightly. I dont need the source material if you want that watch the cartoons or read the comic books. Let directors do there thing its exciting

      • I respectfully disagree. Why make a CBM (from the big 2 at least) if the goal is to “do their own thing” as you say? Your whole argument is baseless as the “proof is in the pudding”. The Marvel formula IS working regardless of the childish Nolanite & DC fanboy hate they receive. WB on the other hand is still trying to get a foot under themselves. Whenever they take one step forward, they inevitably take two steps back.

        I don’t want, I demand that the source material be respected if a director is making a CBM. It’s that simple. And I (and it seems like the majority movie going public also) just don’t require it in the cartoons, I require it in ANYTHING cinematically done when representing a Comic Book.

        More to the point of THIS article, obviously WB needs a new strategy. Coming out with a reboot of Batman and Superman every Three years is NOT going to keep working. The ONLY reason Nolan’s Bat films were so popular was 1 – It’s Batman, and 2 – They were well made movies (even if I personally didn’t care for the 2nd and 3rd ones). Take note that I said they were well made movies NOT well made CBMs. But that’s my opinion and that’s OK.

        If the WB way of making CBM were the way to do it, then they would be further along and we’d have more than 2 characters recycled after numerous recycles and Marvel would be the ones scratching their heads as what to do next. But that’s just not the case. Proof to my point – Look at the animated stuff coming out of WB. So much better than ANYTHING Marvel does animated (maybe not Spectacular Spider-Man but that’s another convo). The reason for that though is because WB doesn’t mess with DC concerning the animated stuff. In their eyes, animation is just for little kids. All I want is for WB to get out of DCs way concerning the live action stuff also. If WB were to let DC do its own thing the way Disney lets Marvel do, we would have very different live action movies. That’s a fact. Don’t get me wrong – I LOVED MoS and will be going to see it again and again. I’m a TRUE comic book fan and as such I support all CBMs IF they’re good and “good” to me is following (not panel-to-panel ala Sin City or 300) the source material. Otherwise, why make one? Other than to stroke ones own ego and that hasn’t worked out too well for most directors that wanted to come in and “do their own thing”

        No, Mos needs to move (far away) from the way the Nolan Bat films were made. That is if they want to enlarge their shared universe. Maybe they don’t and that’s OK too. But lets not lie to ourselves. The WB way of making a CBM AIN’T working.

        • @ Askanison40

          I agree with pretty much what you mentioned as it’s what I been sayin. Nolan’s Batman films are good films, but they’re are that great of CBM as people hyped Nolan’s Reatlistic tone of the films to be.

          And if WB/DC plans on building a big shared universe of DC characters, the more complex they will find it once they go beyond Batman,Superman & the rest of the Justice League with their Realistic real-world tone they got goin now.

          They can’t milk Batman/Superman forever with reboot after reboot,shared universe or not.

          I agree future MOS films & any other DC universe film needs to move away from Nolan’s real-world realistic tone. Because it ain’t gonna sell well beyond Justice League & minor popular heroes.

      • Real fans wanna see the characters they know before directors take creative liberties with them.

        • Well real fans arent the only people watching the film. You have a ton of animated cartoons, and comics I enjoy directors putting new spin on characters. I love what nolan did with batman, and ill be the first to admit its not the conventional batman and I don’t hate on people who dislike the movies cause that. I love the tweeks to Man Of Steel. They keep the core origin of the character but present things in a diffrent way and I love it. Marvel movies work sure but they havent given more than 2 movies that can actually be considered groundbreaking or great films by the public. Tons of people really like marvel films and consider them great, but there ratings are all about the same. Mid 70′s and nothing above 80%. Besides The Avengers and Iron Man which are both top notch groundbreaking films in there own right. Yes Man Of Steel got worse reviews but that is besides the point. I believe Marvel is stuck in neutral and with many problems with directors and actors contracts I feel they may be going downhill. Luckily they still have Whedon who should make a more than adaquate Avengers 2, and they have some ambitious projects like Guardians Of The Galaxy and Ant-man. However if both Guardians and Ant-man have the same thematic elements and format of all marvel films then atleast for me It will continue to get old. That is just me however and nobody cares about one persons opinion especially when there is millions of people with the opposite. I do see your points tho just stating my argument.

          • No I totally understand Trey. I get where you’re coming from. This is how a debate should be. Point and counter-point. Not devolve into name calling and pointless finger wagging.

            Like I said previously, I want both houses (DC & Marvel) to do well. My point was just that as much as you may like the way WB are doing their CBMs, that formula isn’t really working for them IF they want to open up a larger shared universe. Maybe they don’t in which case doing things the way they are currently doing them (same two characters rebooted every 4 to 5 years) will continue to work out for them. But at the same time, you (not you personally) can’t hate on Marvel because they’ve found a formula that not only works for them but has brought them tons of success. How you rate success isn’t the point. The point is whatever your definition of success is, Marvel has achieved it and WB has not yet. Rebooting the same two characters every 4 to 5 years is not success, it’s rebooting the same two characters every 4 to 5 years. I personally am hoping and praying that MoS will change all that and WB will not chase the short term almighty dollar like they did with TDK 7 TDKR and instead plan for long term success. There are more DC characters than just Batman and Superman.

            Oneiros is 100% correct. Directors wanting to stroke their own ego should stay far away from any kind licensed properties. Putting your particular stamp on something as a director is totally different from coming in and completely changing said character because you can’t personally grasp the “here I come to save the day” concept of him/her is ridiculous in my book. There’s nothing fresh or artistic about changing a character so much that the only thing recognizable about him/her is the costume. If a director feels that way, then they shouldn’t be making established CBMs.

            • Fair points, it is the much easier to adapt product if you stick to the cannon and maybe for WB who hasn’t had much success needs to stay as close to cannon as possible to insure and please the people who really are pulling for this film. I appreciate the good arguments you made

              • And I you my friend. I just talked my wife into going to see it again tonight with me so with that I’ll say Ado.

                Long live the CBM!!

          • @Trey First of all, proof read man. Your grammar could use some work. Second, I wasn’t arguing in favor of the way Marvel makes movies. I actually prefer the more “grounded” takes that DC is putting out there, but “grounded” doesn’t mean completely devoid of the comic book aspects of the stories. Marvel asks the audience to accept the comic book world as the real world while DC asks the audience to accept that comic book things can happen in their real world. DC’s direction is an excellent opportunity for real, relatable characters as opposed to fantasy and corny jokes. That doesn’t mean that the characters have to be dumbed down though as they’re doing with the Arrow TV show. They’ve changed so much about the Green Arrow in that show it may as well be a different character entirely. It’s just like Askanison40 said; DC seems to be ashamed to let their characters be superheroes. You may be fine with people changing up characters and making their own versions of them, but to the rest of us who actually care about these characters, to whom these characters actually mean something, it is a huge slap in the face. I loved MoS. The ‘tweeks’ were few and far between. I think it’s a great starting point for the shared universe and all that jazz. That being said, I, and many other fans, expect to see the characters we know, not the most popular fan fiction written by people who only got into these characters because of the movies. There’s 50 to 75 years of history behind most of these characters and it is a great disservice to all of them to advocate for watered down versions.I’m fine with new stories and new twists and things like that but use the established universe before you start changing things for some half-baked sense of artistic freedom.

    • I agree with your rant. Marvel’s universe shows a balance of reality/fantasy while WB/DC does not. I think WB/DC care more $$$ that their CBM bring in than the characters within the films themselves. Marvel wants to make the best CBM for everyone to enjoy as best they can. That’s why their films do well in the long run over WB/DC’s films.

      • I believe WB cares to make the best film, not CB films. They just try to make a good movie if they need to alter a character to do so then they do it

  22. Batman can exist among the other JL heroes. With Bruce it’s not about Strenght but Brain. They can easyly change his suit and make it the most resilient like titanium (light yet strong) and have him has a step ahead of his colleagues. In Marvel Universe Captain America is a mortal yet he leads the team. Black Widow fought the Alien Invasion and the audience did not cry foul. This same audience is even Asking for a team up. That means that they are subcounsciously or at least uncounsiously ready for a Superman and Batman team up. I say let it happen because at the end of the day, its a comic book movie. Not the real world a la “The Departed”.
    I vote for Superman and Batman team up, an after credit of either Wonder Woman or the Flash and hopefully in the future a JL Movie.
    All the DC/Marvel fans out there, let’s cross our fingers for pure entertainment and Laughter because at the end of the day, When both studios make their movies, its for our own satisfaction. :)

  23. Warner Bros has had these properties for 20 years now, they could never figure it out before & now they don’t know whether to follow Marvels game plan or create their own set up.

    At this point though the interest in comic based films might be declining & people are not going to pay to see many more origin stories of characters that have already been done.

  24. I’ve said this before on a different article and I’ll post it here as well: as much as I liked the Dark Knight and Christian Bale as Batman, if the studio brings him in just to ride the gravy train of his name, it will be a huge disservice to the character and probably fall short of expectations. Continuity issues aside (of which there would be plenty),I really think this universe needs a different kind of Batman. MoS was great and I really hope they do a World’s Finest movie with a new Batman.

    • If they do use Bale’s batman they will need to either tie up the loose ends, or have it placed within the first two batman films. I believe you can tie up the loose ends set by DKR pretty easily. Inpartiuclar I like the idea of a Under The Red Hood type beginning to a film where JGL is killed as the new Batman and it forces Bale out of retirement because he felt horrible about it and realized what Gotham is like without him. Then also the character needs to be advanced to a more wise, tactical character based on his experiences and overall knowledge of his past. It will make Bale an acceptable member of a team that has a inexperienced Superman of sorts.

      • Stupid me. You explain. But doesn’t that setup continuity errors?

        • Maybe im just spitballing, and spitballing isnt my strong suit

      • I can definitely understand why people want something like this to happen but Bale’s return as Batman just creates too many loose ends. I disagree that they can be tied up. What is Bale gonna tell the orphan’s in Wayne manor? Where was the Justice League when there a was nuclear weapon in Gotham? On that point as well, a nuke in Gotham kinda pales in comparison to Darkseid attacking the planet or Zod or Aries which would undermine the threat posed in TDKR. Also in TDKR, they said Batman disappeared the night he “killed Harvey Dent” and hadn’t been seen since. How is he then in the Justice League before the events of TDKR? He would have to have been seen at some point by people. Or are you suggesting that he just sit in his cave and advise the young inexperienced superheroes? Let’s just relegate one of the most iconic heroes of our time to ‘superhero babysitter.’ In real JL stories, even Superman thinks twice and then thinks again before he crosses Batman. You don’t need to alter his role to make him “an acceptable member of the team” because he is just as threatening to bad guys as any other superpowered hero. He’s one of DC’s Holy Trinity. As much as I enjoyed the first two, this is the problem with what Nolan did to Batman. He turned him into someone who can’t cut it. He’s just a man and the audience accepts that. The thing that really strikes fear into the hearts of Batman’s enemies is the fact that he can do things a normal man can’t do. Read Hush. He bench presses a coffin lid and 6 feet of soil and bursts out of the ground. He does one armed pushups like they’re nothing. He’s always 5 steps ahead of everyone. Bale’s Batman couldn’t even “lift a bloody log.” He has no place in a shared universe. Read the Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller. You’ll see where Nolan pulled his ideas for his third movie from and you’ll also see how watered down his version is. That Batman gets shot and literally gutted, has maybe a day to recover, then fights Superman and beats him. Good luck convincing an audience that Bale’s Batman can do that. It’s time for people to accept that there is another and in many ways better Batman that needs to be in this shared universe and leave the Nolan-verse as is.

  25. The logic way to do it is solo characters first,then team-up.The problem is that some characters are not very popular and their movies could flop,as Marvel’s Hulk.

  26. One of stupidest moves ever was an isolated batman universe. They could had their buildup years ago even before marvel. Nolan and has fans take batman to seriously as if he really exists….

  27. I really enjoyed this article Kofi. Excellent read.

    I really did catch the companionship between Batman Begins and Man of Steel.
    This is obviously the winning formula for the DC character which are tougher to adapt than the Marvel character.
    While tougher, I think by focusing on the grounded, thematic element- the archetypal side- of the characters in which the characters live up to full potential yet be relatable in context is a winning formula.

    I would for one at least keep Batman Begins in order to jump into the story of the next incarnation of Batman. Maybe the Dark Knight as well.
    Rises brings up up too many dilemmas to fully work.
    Green Lantern can be loosely followed up in a reboot that sort of continues the story but establishes the origins via flashback. (Incredible Hulk).
    I enjoy the thematic ideas you listed for the characters in the article.

    Man of Steel was a great first step into a DC Cinematic Universe.

  28. For better or worse

    SPOILERS!!!

    MOS did absolutely nothing to introduce the mainstream audience to the world of lesser characters. So it makes individual movies even more important.

    One thing I would really hope they do though is drop us into FIRMLY established worlds. When a big writer like Frank Miller writes a standalone series he doesn’t take time out to explain the origin all over again. You read between lines.

    Give us clues into their origin via flashback or dialogue between characters. I really like how ARROW takes the approach of explaining his skill as an assassin. They could use that for the rwt of the justice league.

    The Dark Knight stands as the most widely accepted and most critically acclaimed MODERN comic book hero movie. And they took no time to explain the origin of Joker, Batman, or Harvey Dent.

    They should take this approach with flash and Wonder Woman. Explain their origin over the course of 3 movies and crossovers…. just to keep us interested.

  29. Superman/Batman team-up could look into the idea of them forming and recruiting the JL side-by-side, as the realization that an actual team is needed to protect Earth as the Man of Steel movie put it, “Clark is the key to the answer as to whether we’re truly alone in the universe”.

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