Warner Bros. is set to expand their DC Extended Universe next year, when Zack Snyder's Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice hits theaters. And even though Snyder's first foray into this franchise - 2013's Man of Steel - proved to be divisive, the followup seems to be winning more people over, after the most recent trailer impressed many who saw it.
Still, the DC films are not without their controversies, and one of the hottest talking points about them is their tone. In contrast to the light-hearted and more fantastical Marvel Studios, WB/DC seems to be employing a darker and grittier style in their projects. The debate about which method is "right" will never end, but new Lex Luthor Jesse Eisenberg has made it clear which one he prefers.
The actor, who will play Superman's arch-nemesis in Batman V Superman, was on Today (hat tip Ace Show Biz) to promote his new book "Bream Gives Me the Hiccups". As you might expect, he was asked about his upcoming part in Dawn of Justice. Though he couldn't reveal any new details, Eisenberg was very complimentary about Snyder's directorial approach and Chris Terrio's screenplay:
"Yes, it is like the most incredible character. It was written by this guy, Chris Terrio. This is like his first movie after Argo. He's just this brilliant writer of characters. So this movie is not this kind of cartoonish superhero movie. It is very serious and well acted, well written, well directed movie. It's really phenomenal!"
Terrio won an Oscar for his work on the Argo screenplay, so his involvement with Batman V Superman is certainly encouraging. David Goyer's Man of Steel script received its fair share of criticism, with fans poking holes in the characterizations and internal logic, so the hope is Terrio will be able to craft something a bit more rounded. The previews have teased a story that has the potential to be thematically rich and populated by fascinating characters, so right now it looks like Terrio was successful in that goal.
The one part of Eisenberg's quote that's sure to generate attention is his comment on Batman V Superman being a "very serious" film. There are many moviegoers who feel WB does not need to go this route with their comic book properties and would rather the studio inject some of those cartoony qualities that capture the awe of superheroes. However, Marvel seems to have a corner on that market, and if the new DC films are to stand out on their own, it makes sense for the filmmakers to take them in a different direction and embrace their own unique tone.
After all, a blockbuster can be overtly serious without also being completely devoid of humor. Films like Lord of the Rings, The Dark Knight, and even The Empire Strikes Back could all be described as "dark" and still have their moments of comic relief. It's also worth noting that comic book characters have been around for decades and have gone through several iterations - some more serious than others. As long as the story the film tells is memorable and the essence of the characters are done justice, it doesn't matter how exactly that narrative is told.
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice opens on March 25th, 2016; Suicide Squad on August 5th, 2016; Wonder Woman on June 23rd, 2017; Justice League on November 17th, 2017; The Flash on March 23rd, 2018; Aquaman on July 27th, 2018; Shazam on April 5th, 2019; Justice League 2 on June 14th, 2019; Cyborg on April 3rd, 2020; Green Lantern Corps on June 19th, 2020. Untitled Batman and Superman Solo Films will be coming at dates TBD.
Source: Today (via Ace Show Biz)