DC Comics fans may recall that Journey 2: The Mysterious Island director Brad Peyton signed on to write and helm a Lobo movie back in 2012. At the time, Peyton's Journey 2 star Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson stirred excitement by confirming he was in talks to play Lobo; unfortunately for DC fans, the Lobo movie never materialized. During press for 2014's Hercules, Johnson confirmed the Lobo movie was dead.
Instead, Dwayne Johnson signed on to play DC villain/anti-hero Black Adam, in the upcoming Shazam movie. Now, on the eve of Peyton's latest blockbuster collaboration with Dwayne Johnson, the earthquake disaster flick San Andreas, the director has shed some light on why we still haven't seen a balls-to-the-wall big screen adventure starring DC's rough and tumble Last Czarnian.
Created in June, 1983 by Keith Giffen and Roger Slifer, Lobo gained notoriety and a loyal fan following in the early '90s with a series of hyper-violent and comedic one-shot comics, miniseries, and eventually his own ongoing series. Despite that brief shot of success, Lobo remains a cult character, far from a household name like Superman, Batman, or Wonder Woman.
Speaking to SHH, Peyton revealed that Lobo's star power, or lack thereof, was one of the determining factors in the film's ultimate demise:
It’s one of those things where, creatively, you and I get it, but there’s a lot of people that don’t quite get that. It’s a real uphill battle to talk people into spending a lot of money to do things correctly… I was really happy with the script, [though]. I talked with Dwayne about it. Joel Silver and I had a really amazing meeting about it. I did a rewrite of the script and was really, really excited for it. In their estimation, though, he wasn’t one of those main guys… That’s fair enough.
Of course, taking gambles on D-list, space-based characters doesn't seem like a problem for Marvel Studios, as demonstrated by the massive popularity and box office success of Guardians Of The Galaxy in 2014. But Peyton explained that Marvel had a distinct advantage before putting that film into production, and DC has much different priorities at this point in their fledgling cinematic universe:
I think that, to do any kind of comic book universe correctly, you do need to establish, ‘Here’s the tone. Here’s the main people.’ Then we can grow offshoots from there. With Marvel, they’re now doing smaller characters like ‘Ant-Man’ and ‘Guardians of the Galaxy.’ They obviously had to start, though, with their big guns and set up ‘The Avengers.’ I kind of feel like that’s where DC is now. They’re setting that team up.
There's no question Marvel established a new paradigm in cinematic superhero world-building with their Phase One movies in 2008-2012, and everyone else - DC especially - is in a desperate race to keep up. It's probably for the best that the Warner execs shut down development on a C-list character like Lobo in order to channel their creative focus into a massive slate of superhero movies which will build up their iconic superheroes like Wonder Woman, The Flash, and Aqauman. Whether or not cult anti-heroes like Lobo ever get their shot in the limelight greatly depends on how audiences receive Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, which DC Entertainment/Warner Brothers is hoping will serve as a crucial link between Man Of Steel, the solo movies, and their ultimate endgame - the team up of all those heavy hitters in The Justice League.
However, there is hope that a Lobo movie could come sooner than later, and that hope is tethered to another comic book movie coming out on February 12th, 2016. 20th Century Fox' X-Men tie-in Deadpool is about a smart-mouthed, hyper-violent mercenary character, which also languished in various stages of development for years until a perfect storm of fan demand (following the infamous leak of the test footage) and the overwhelming superhero movie boom launched it into fast-track status complete with an R rating. If Deadpool is a huge hit, other studios could scramble to greenlight similar projects.
Meanwhile, Dwayne Johnson fans eager to see their action hero cracking wise (and cracking some skulls) in an outer space comedy/action-adventure flick will get their chance when his latest project Alpha Squad Seven launches sometime in 2016.
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice will be in theaters on March 25th, 2016; Suicide Squad on August 5th, 2016; Wonder Woman – June 23rd, 2017; Justice League – November 17th, 2017; The Flash – March 23rd, 2018; Aquaman – July 27th, 2018; Shazam – April 5th, 2019; Justice League 2 – June 14th, 2019; Cyborg – April 3rd, 2020; Green Lantern – June 19th, 2020.
Source: Superhero Hype