DC Announces Big Movie Plans… Sorta
In the wake of Guardians of the Galaxy’s record shattering opening weekend, DC took the opportunity to make some major waves of their own. By which I mean DC made some announcements that should in no way be construed as waving their hands over their heads as if to say, “Don’t forget that we exist! We’re relevant too!” What could possibly be heard over the strains of “Come and Get Your Love” wafting out of cineplexes all over the country? A ten picture timetable, that’s what.
Now, DC’/Warner Bros. official announcement was pretty vague, what with its promises of such titillating cinematic future classics as, “Untitled DC Film 08/05/16” and the even more exciting “Untitled DC Film 11/17/17,” but it represents a serious commitment to creating a meaningful DC franchise besides The Dark Knight trilogy.
Unfortunately, it feels like they’re doing it backwards.
While Marvel’s strategy has been one of forethought and careful planning, DC/Warner’s strategy feels much more reactionary. Consider the forthcoming Batman and Superman mash-up. That was originally going to be Man of Steel 2 — a direct sequel to the moderately successful (albeit, less financially successful than, let’s say, Thor 2…) Man of Steel. Then it becaome Batman vs. Superman — a simple, clear concept in which two titans of the comics world go toe to toe… for some reason. Then it became Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, in which Batman and Superman go toe-to-toe in Judge Wapner’s People’s Court over damages done to the Batmobile after Clark Kent farts in it’s general direction. Oh and also, it’s going to be the foundational film for an extensive and supposedly cohesive Justice League franchise, and include appearances from half-a-dozen or more heroes than the titular duo themselves… Frankly, that kind of wishy washy rejiggering from sequel to centerpiece over a span of months does not inspire confidence that DC/Warner Bros. has fully thought their strategy through.
They even lost the game of chicken they were playing with Marvel over the May 6th 2016 release date of Captain America 3, by moving BvSDoJ to March 25th, a date notable for being the calendar date on which Frodo Baggins throws the One Ring in the fires of Mount Doom (thank you, Tolkien, for your extensive appendices…), and for little else — certainly not tent pole movies.
You can probably tell from my tone, but I’m not a huge DC fan. I do enjoy a little Batman action now and again, but I’ve always found DC’s universe equal parts confusing and cloying. Vertigo has a place in my icy heart, but the mainstream DCU is just too cornball for my enjoyment. That said, I acknowledge that every awesome comic book movie that takes theaters by storm is a win for me, no matter who’s behind it. But I do think that DC’s fandom deserves better than a rush job, or even worse: a cash grab in the wake of Marvel’s success.