Fixing DC’s Movie Universe

For some time we’ve been discussing DC’s attempts to even catch u with what Marvel has been able to accomplish with their shared movie universe. Marvel successfully pulled off The Avengers and is continuing to crank out several movies a year with no signs of slowing down. DC put a Wayne Enterprises satellite in Man of Steel. I’ve been thinking a lot about how I would ‘fix’ a few things in Man of Steel 2, but with the recent announcement of the Fox-owned Marvel movie properties inhabiting their own shared universe, I feel the need to dream a little bigger. Granted, I have no special knowledge of how movies get made or what Warner Brothers’ priorities for these properties are, these are just the things I would like to see as a fan and think would theoretically help.

Man of Steel 2

Or just more fishing. I'd be fine with that too.

Or just more fishing. I’d be fine with that too.

My feelings towards Man of Steel remain decidedly mixed. The sequel has the potential to fix a lot of the things that I had issue with in the first film. I recognize that DC has already decided to go with a Superman/Batman team-up movie, but that isn’t really what I want right now, and this is my fantasy so roll with it. The elephant in the room is the killing of General Zod. I have a solution for that, of sorts. Let’s say that Superman did break Zod’s neck and sever his spinal cord, but that Zod survived it. In my retcon the government collects his body, tells Superman and the world that he was totally all of the way dead, and stashes him in a bunker deep underground bathed in red sunlight. I imagine that given enough yellow sunlight he’d still be able to fly and shoot heat vision, making him a palpable future, yet unknown threat to Kal-El. Some people have told me this idea is exceedingly morbid, but I’m simply trying to fix the problem created by seemingly killing him in the first place. As for the second movie, I would love for them to have Clark hunting down some important stories within Metropolis, maybe covering the housing crises caused by his battle with Zod? I think whatever he’s reporting on should be something local to the city, because the first movie really failed to make Metropolis a character so much as a backdrop to be smashed. Let’s also develop why Lois and Clark like each other. Have him doing some sort of crazy romantic gesture that only he could do, instead of impromptu arctic surgery. She already knows who he is, they’re into each other, I say just go for it.

As for the threat? There were certainly hints of Lex, but I think that’s been done to death and I think it’d be bold to have a whole movie of Lex as the hero who rebuilds Metropolis, and save his eventual downfall for later. I do like the idea of giving Clark a less physical battle to fight. We’ve seen the ragdoll physics of a full out battle, how about now we show Superman really developing the finesse of his powers. But the new movie should also lay some groundwork for the shared universe. I think using the storyline where Intergang is being supplied with weapons by agents of Darkseid would work really well. The alien weaponry would be powerful enough that the city would truly need their Superman to stop it, and it sets up Darkseid at the big bad for an eventual Justice League movie.

Batman: Rebooted

1354208873_1354208851_joseph_gordon-levitt_batman_suit

No capes!

I don’t think it’s likely that we’ll ever actually see Joseph Gordon-Levitt don the cowl. I think introducing the idea of Batman as a legacy worked for the story Nolan was trying to tell, but I also don’t think its sustainable long term in a movie-franchise. Time to do something new. Since all we’ve seen at this point is a satellite, I think we can basically do whatever we want with the story at this point. I’d love to see something along the lines of Batman Noir, where it’s actually unclear if there really is a Batman at all, and if it’s anyone its likely Harvey Dent, but I don’t think that would work for a big budget blockbuster. I would love to say it’s time for something more stylized than the stark real world picture painted by Nolan, but I think keeping it within the world established by Man of Steel would make that difficult. I think if they hadn’t been so clear that Bruce was in self-imposed exile for 8 years we could easily just have a “story from that 8 year gap” as a movie. Hell, maybe it would be best to just have Gordon-Levitt in the suit after all.

The Green Lantern Problem

tumblr_mnzlh3BM851s9b5xjo1_500

Just saying.

Green Lantern was not a good movie. At the same time, I don’t think it needs to be ignored completely. DC tried to bring a lower tier character up, much like Iron Man or Thor, but without the same charm that helped those movies succeed. Retelling Green Lantern’s origin again would be a mistake. The second Hulk movie gave you what you needed to know about his origin in the opening credits, which could easily be employed with a follow up movie (not that he’ll get one). I also think you could have John Stewart show up in a Justice League movie with little more than a, “Hal’s not on planet right now, the ring chose me, let’s get to work.”

As for the other characters we’re not sure can sustain their own movies? Wonder Woman should get a chance, to round out the Trinity and to have a superhero movie focused solely on a female hero, something neither Marvel nor Fox have even attempted, which if successful could be a rightly earned feather in DC’s movie-making cap.

 

Finally: The Justice League

How do you avoid this movie just being a copy of The Avengers? I’m not sure you can. The New 52 reboot of the Justice League seemed to have them spend a lot of time bickering, much like the Avengers in their own film, and if that’s the story we’re going with that’s what we’re going to get. However one way they could differentiate themselves is in terms of scope. Sure, The Avengers had Thor, but the Justice League has pantheon-potential. If they really just cut loose and let these beings act as demigods we could be in for a truly wild ride. Granted, DC movies seem to actually be embarrassed that they’re characters are superheroes, so I’m not all that hopeful.

Kneel.

Kneel.

But don’t confuse my lack of hope with a lack of optimism. I want DC movies to be good, and I think they can be. The only lack the light to show them the way.

 


Ryan Haupt is available as a script doctor. His science podcast recently did a whole episode about Man of Steel just to talk out their feelings.

Comments

  1. Good article.I love the John Stewart idea I think that would work perfect.

  2. IthoSapien IthoSapien says:

    MoS 2: Fix everything you didn’t like. Why not retcon it and say Kal took Zod’s powers away, then threw him off a bottomless cliff. Or exposed him to Kryptonite and killed that way. What? Its been done before. Why can’t Superman have killed Zod? DON’T ANSWER THAT!!!!!! “BECAUSE SUPERMAN DOESNT KILL NEVER EVER EVER EVER!!!!” . Which is not true, grand ideal to hold onto but its a illusion. He failed to find another way, now in the future he WILL always find another way. I’m in favor of saving Lex for Later, Intergang could be cool.

    Bat-reboot: Why not just have Bruce Wayne come back? He existed before, he retired, then he found some mysterious way of healing himself and returns to Gotham “back from the dead” again. Tell me that hasn’t happened multiple times in the comics. Why not? It could work, just keep everything vague that came before. I had an idea of making the Nolanverse a movie within the “real” DC Universe but that probably wouldn’t work.

    I’ll never have any qualms about bringing John Stewart on the big screen, provided it fits the narrative. Maybe he can be the JL GL, and Hal can be the main GL in his movies. But a sequel is needed to justify GL’s inclusion or existance after the horrid movie.

    JL: If this gets made and all I hear is “I can’t believe all the destruction” I’m gonna tear my hair out. I don’t want to do that; if we have Darkseid and parademons, a city is gonna get trashed. Like really trashed, not landscaped like MoS. So everybody better keep that in mind. No way the JL could just grab all the bad guys and fly them to the Moon so nothing bad happens to Earth.

    • IthoSapien IthoSapien says:

      Eh, about WW; couldn’t care less. UnLess we get AzzeraLlo’s take on film, which we probably won’t because it seems to have upset her “core” fanbase. So we’ll probably get Simone’s or Rucka’s or Heinburg’s version, or a redo of the animated movie. I can’t even muster any excitement for those. Flash is getting a show which there are hints that will be the introduction of him to audiences and he’ll be in JL. A movie about WW is too risky I think, a show may be too expensive but if WW movie bombs? Well I think that would sour any other heroine’s chance on the big screen.

    • Nightwing97 Nightwing97 says:

      I honestly have a feeling that DC is just going to alienate EVERYONE come 2015. Everyone has hopes, fears, and illusions about these films that can’t POSSIBLY deliver or shatter.

    • IthoSapien IthoSapien says:

      Probably, look at Star Trek; old fans hated it, regular audiences enjoyed it (least that was my interpretation). In fact, was there a summer blockbuster that didn’t divide people and cause pointless bickering? Everybody seems to HATE something from this summer.

      I have a gut feeling MoS2 will either be another TDK or mildy successful. I doubt it will pull a Lone Ranger or something. The main thing is, its successful. If not, DC movies might have to call it quits. You can’t relie on Batman reboots forever.

  3. Myncy Myncy says:

    To the Man of Steel 2 and the killing of Zod – feel like it would kind of be a cop-out if Zod lived and Superman was absolved of all guilt – he still intended to end his life. I’d say move past this Zod stuff as soon as possible and reflect more on a Superman who was pushed to that limit and his fight to never resort to it again.

    • kennyg kennyg says:

      I agree it would be a cop-out to ret-con Zod’s death, but I don’t know if they need to move past it too quickly. I’m concerned that adding Batman to the mix, despite how much I love Batman, would dilute Superman’s character arc. MoS was just the first film relaunching the character, and there is an opportunity for him to change over a series of films. Maybe him killing Zod becomes the basis for his moral code not to kill. Maybe it pushes him to find an alternate solution to problems in the future. I want the character to evolve into the Superman ideal, and to do that he’s going to have to pay some penance and feel some guilt over what he did. Otherwise, he’s just a bruiser.

      It’s like Han Solo. He started out a scoundrel and wound up a hero. He had a character arc (which Lucas diluted with Greedo shooting first!). Nolan threw obstacles at Bruce Wayne in the Dark Knight trilogy so he would evolve. They could do the same thing with Superman. But I’m having doubts that they will. I hope that what we ended up with at the end of MoS isn’t the end of the character’s growth.

    • IthoSapien IthoSapien says:

      Why would Batman dilute Supes character arc? Isn’t even the tinest bit possible he could HELP the character arc? Didn’t Luke and Ben help Han with his arc? Should we just see 2-4 more SOLO Superman movies (which the same people would probably hate just as much as MoS) until he’s ready to meet someone with the same CORE values albeit different methods/philosophies?

    • kennyg kennyg says:

      The fanboy in me loves the idea of a Batman/Superman teamup movie. I am just concerned that the addition of a second leading hero character could take focus, which I feel is necessary, away from Superman. Kal has some baggage he needs to work through from the last film – or at least he SHOULD. I would hope this Superman has enough of a conscience that killing the only other Kryptonian in existence would weigh heavy on him and take some time to work through. I would like to see one more solo Superman movie before they add Batman. Could Batman help Superman’s character arc? Sure, given the right writers. But Hollywood usually tries to cram too much into these super-hero movies at the expense of meaningful character development. “More” is not always “better.”

    • IthoSapien IthoSapien says:

      @Kennyg, Black Widow is going to costar in Cap America 2. I bring that up because Cap has been defrosted, awoken 60+ years in the future, lost his love, and had to save New York from an alien invasion. Seems like he needs to deal with stuff too, yet there’s the team up right there.

      It’s never gonna be the right time for Superman/Batman. It just isn’t. But this stuff has to happen eventually. I think MoS followed Batman Begins story structure, after defeating the villain (leaving ra’s al ghul to die in a train crash) Bruce seemed pretty resolved about the thing. At the end of MoS, Kal seemed to be in a simliar boat which I attribute to a time skip (“months later”). I’m betting Batman will confront him about Zod’s death, and just the shear power of Superman. There’ll definately be some initial conflict to start off the movie, and I’m betting it will be like Bryne’s Man of Steel #2 where they come to understand each other and their differences.

    • kennyg kennyg says:

      @Itho – I do agree, there has to have been some kind of time skip between the defeat of Zod & his plans and the following scenes in MoS. If not, this Superman would be callous and uncaring, and I did not see any evidence of that in the film. So, I’m also of the opinion that he’s had some time to process killing Zod and everything else. I just don’t want it swept under the rug like it never happened. I don’t want them to dwell on it, because we don’t need another mopey-ass Superman movie, but I don’t want it ignored either. This can serve as a fundamental moment in Superman’s character development, he can learn from his mistake if you will. Maybe Batman can be part of that, confronting him and challenging him to be a better hero.

      I just don’t want them to cram in Batman because of a perception that a solo Superman sequel couldn’t be successful given the criticisms of MoS. I wouldn’t call MoS a flop or failure, it was the third highest grossing movie of the summer. Not sure how much PROFIT it made compared to cost though (I still can’t believe Iron Man 3 made so much), but maybe it didn’t make as much as the powers-that-be HOPED it would make:

      1 Iron Man 3 BV $408,195,474 4,253 $174,144,585 4,253 5/3 -
      2 Despicable Me 2 Uni. $347,639,040 4,003 $83,517,315 3,997 7/3 -
      3 Man of Steel WB $289,816,740 4,207 $116,619,362 4,207 6/14 -

      Of course, if they’ve covered costs and are in the black already, they’ll clean up on the home video market.

      I wonder if any attention will be given to Cap dealing with everything, although it will have been several years since he was in a movie when Cap 2 comes out. They hinted at that at the end of the first Cap movie, but I don’t recall them mentioning it at all in Avengers (maybe there wasn’t time). I would not mind some of the “fish out of water” stuff to continue but it shouldn’t be the focus, he’s already been through one big ass event film.

      Guess we’ll also see how big a role Black Widow plays. I assume it will be more significant than it was in Iron Man 2, given her role in Avengers. I just have nightmares of Spider-Man 3 and hope they don’t overdo these!

  4. WheelHands WheelHands says:

    DC has a movie universe?

  5. Tork Tork says:

    While Green Lantern sucked, it did give a very legitimate, open ended threat that could easily work for a Justice League film: Sinestro. A Justice League vs. Sinestro Corps War would put some butts in seats. You could even bring in Faora and Scarecrow as Corpsmen if you wanted. I also think it’d be easy to kill Hal off in the opening moments and the POV character of the movie be John Stewart who could simultaneously a central part of the plot and still completely out of his element to relate to audiences. And, yes, being played by Idris Elba is a must.

    • IthoSapien IthoSapien says:

      But how/why would the common audience care about Sinestro Corps? It’d be like telling people in 2007 “You Watch, Thanos is going to be so rad!”…”Blank Stares”.

  6. Nightwing97 Nightwing97 says:

    I honestly lost hope in this franchise after MoS. I already hated the Dark Knight movies, (please, not now) GL was a flop, they refuse to do WW, and MoS came and sealed it for me…

    Can you imagine my disappointment when I (a person who loves Bats and Supes as much as Snyder and Waid do, respectively) did NOT flip my shit at the “big” 2015 announcement?

    Waiting for Days and Ultron, now…

    • IthoSapien IthoSapien says:

      Not GotG? Just sequels? Gotta find some hope elsewhere besides sequels @Nightwing97…

    • Nightwing97 Nightwing97 says:

      To be honest, I haven’t been exposed to them enough to really find interest in the movie.

      And believe me: I’m sick to god with sequels…

    • IthoSapien IthoSapien says:

      And yet, its sequels you’re looking forward to more than something new you’ve never seen before? C’mon, @Nightwing97, you’re better than that. Look into the back issues or TPBs, branch out a little.

  7. j206 j206 says:

    Great article, Ryan. Next up: “Fixing DC Comics”

  8. NJBaritone NJBaritone says:

    I’m so tired of Luthor and Zod as Superman villains. They are at opposite extremes. I think Brainiac would be the perfect villain for the next Superman film.

  9. Tork Tork says:

    Manchester Black would be a cool contrast as a Superman villain, maybe played by John Simm or Andrew Scott.

    • IthoSapien IthoSapien says:

      Why not the whole Elite?

    • JokersNuts JokersNuts says:

      The Elite won. Man of Steel was a superman movie they would have whole heatedly approved of.

    • IthoSapien IthoSapien says:

      Except that he didn’t kill ALL the Kryptonians, just an angry god who swore to kill every last human. He was forced to kill him, and hated doing it. So he vows never to do it again, and the Elite try to break him out of that. BAM! That’s a movie. The Elite if they were present would have just tried killing every evil Kryptonian there outright, then declared themselves the New World Leaders.

  10. I hope DC turns the movie universe around. To many people put marvel movies on this high pedestal. So what I’m saying better competition from DC maybe would help people think that every movie from marvel are not always that great.

    • IthoSapien IthoSapien says:

      Impossible. IMPOSSIBLE I SAY!…Well, maybe you’re on to som…NO NO NO. Marvel is the king of the cinema hill. They’ll probably sit up there until they drop the ball on a Cap Marvel movie or they screw up a movie in a big way. Then the sharks will smell the blood and attack.

    • Haha that is so on the money. Attack!!!

  11. BionicDave BionicDave says:

    If you got Idris Elba to play a John Stewart GL, then I would see that film many times opening weekend and would show up for the midnight premiere dressed up as Katma Tui.
    Please make this happen, Ryan Haupt.

  12. Just saw Man of Steel a week or so ago, so I didn’t get to weigh in when it was still A Thing. That said, the movie was cynical, joyless, and mercilessly violent– things I never thought I’d have to say about a Superman film. If the death of Zod is the only act that bothered you in that film, you weren’t watching close enough (Lois and Kal making out amid the devastation… Jonathan Kent’s willingness to sacrifice a busload of kids- and his own life- for his son’s secret…). Embarrassed by superheroes? Man of Steel was embarrassed by humanity. I’d like the sequel to be a little less like watching two and a half hours of CGI military drone strikes set to a Hans Zimmer score.

  13. Will Magnus Will Magnus says:

    I don’t agree with the premise.

    Sure Green Lantern may have flopped, but Nolan’s Batman and Snyder’s Man of Steel were both a success financially regardless of the hyper-geek culture being mixed on them (particularly MoS). This is what matters to Warner Brothers. If they can make money off of their characters by appealing to a mass audience, that is a sound financial decision. Trying to please a small group of people who read comics is a dead-end business.

    • Do you normally use “sound financial decisions” as a standard of quality art (or entertainment, if that word makes you uncomfortable)? I think I’m just feeling curmudgeonly today, so please don’t take this as a personal attack, but there’s nothing on this site that bugs me more than when the iFanboy community just shrugs it’s shoulders and says, “eh… it’s a business.” If that’s the kind of standard we hold publishers to, whether indy or owned by a multi-national conglomerate, well… I suppose we deserve whatever crap product they give us.

    • IthoSapien IthoSapien says:

      Like they’re not shoveling crap at us anyway? Honestly, the Big 2 have done so many despicable acts combined that if we knew the half of (I’m convinced we only know the surface of scandals from the past) we’d probably never buy from them again. These companies NEED to make money, its not their second or third item on the agenda. You think they care if they make quality stories? Only because that’s what makes money.

      You don’t like MoS? Good for you, you know Superman better than the people who own him. But without that movie I doubt we’d even SEE him on film again. There comes a point where characters stop nattering, Supes was close to that. WW could be next. At least we could take comfort we held on to these characters until they faded into obscurity.

    • Nightwing97 Nightwing97 says:

      @IthoSapien To be fair, you said yourself that they don’t care about making quality stories. Ergo, they could care less about who Superman, Batman, or GL really are.

      I’m pretty sure 99% percent of the fans on this site know Superman better than Warner Bros…

    • IthoSapien IthoSapien says:

      Eh, maybe; too bad we’re (the whole Ifanbase) aren’t in agreement about MoS, so maybe we don’t know everything. Don’t forget that WB made “Superman I” and “II”. Superman in the New 52 isn’t floating moping and snapping dudes necks yet he isn’t outselling Batman or even WW.

      And I was referring to the Big 2 in general, not just DC.

    • Nightwing97 Nightwing97 says:

      True, true…

      With that said, I find it interesting that Disney is (for the most part) doing a better job with Marvel’s properties… Or at least films that people don’t get so divisive over.

    • IthoSapien IthoSapien says:

      Talk to me again after the next Star Wars movie (of 6). And im pretty sure Disney is just providing money, marketing and distribution. VERY different circumstances than WB and DC.

    • Will Magnus Will Magnus says:

      @AnotherBastich said, “…Do you normally use “sound financial decisions” as a standard of quality art (or entertainment)?…

      “Quality” is subjective. Equating quality and “sound financial decisions” was not my argument. WB wants to appeal to a larger audience than the comic crowd (which is a “sound financial decision”). The “quality” of said production is left to the viewer.
      To claim that DC’s movie universe is broken seems a bit premature and teeters on being false. Look at the facts, DC has had 3 successful Batman movies, 1 successful Superman movie and one Green Lantern movie that did not work. That’s 4 out of 5 movies that did well. Not sure how that substantiates a broken DC movieverse.

    • IthoSapien IthoSapien says:

      Because some people really hated “Man of Steel”. To be fair, MoS and GL should really only be considered part of DCCU, since Batman is being rebooted . So DC is 50/50 right now. I think we’re forgetting the long road Marvel took setting up their Universe and the less than stellar early films.

      But @Will Magnus is right, these films have to appeal to more than just us. Which is the reasoning behind the push for a WW film isn’t it? Other than “equality”?

    • @will magnus Ryan never said it was the money side of things that needed fixing. I took it to mean an aesthetic failure. If I’m wrong, Ryan, let me know, but Will, it seemed your response was equating aesthetic success with financial success, which I would argue should stay as far apart as possible.

    • Will Magnus Will Magnus says:

      @AnotherBastich – “Aesthetic failure” or aesthetic success is subjective. A “financial success” or failure is concrete, therefore it would be madness for WB to run a business based on aesthetics.

      I disagreed with Ryan’s premise that the DC’s movie-verse is broken (whether aesthetically or financially) and somehow needed fixing. It’s an opinion based on personal taste and not what makes money. Whether you want campy Christopher Reeve Superman or Henry Cavill’s action heavy take, WB will do what they think will drive sales (just look at Superman Returns – …nevermind, don’t!)

      This “I know Superman better than WB” mindset is nonsense. Superman, as well as any character, means different things to different people in different generations. Of course, in the end, WB owns the rights to Superman and you’ll get whatever version they want you to have…as long as it makes money!

    • ScottE ScottE says:

      I agree with you @Will Magnus the DC’s movie-verse isn’t broken and Marvel isn’t perfect, I thought while a little entertaining Thor and Incredible Hulk were pretty bad and Iron Man 2 seemed unnecessary and just made to take money from people who were excited about Avengers. The only really bad DC movie for me was GL, movies like MoS and DKR for me had a lot of problems and a lot I liked about them.

      I am a little confused about @IthoSapien saying we should only count MoS and GL? If you are comparing DC to Marvel then for me you count the DC movies that have come out since the formation of Marvel studio and that starts with that summer were Iron Man and Batman Begins both came out. It doesn’t matter to me if the films connect or not Marvel decided to connect their movies and that is working for them DC seems to be leaving Nolan’s Batman alone and not connecting it to MoS which is fine but I don’t think that means you can’t count them and I would be a little surprised if the kept Ryan Reynolds as GL.

    • IthoSapien IthoSapien says:

      @ScottE, it’s really simple; TDK Trilogy was great and made tons if money and are DC movies, but they’re not part of the connected Universe that will include the Justice League. So we shouldn’t count them as part of the DC movie Universe anymore IMO. Before Nolan decided to preserve his artistic vision, you could say “Oh, THAT won’t work, THIS will need to be fixed” because we would be operating under the assumption Nolan’s films were part of the shared Universe. But they’re not, therefore they are not problems for the DCCU to fix, it’s already been resolved FOR us.

      It’s the same thing for Marvel; DD 2003, Ghost Rider 2007&2011, Hulk 2002, Elektra 2004, are not part of the MCU. They just are not. They weren’t meant to be, just like Nolan’s movies. Unless Marvel up and decides “Yeah, those are where the characters are, those are canon” (VERY BAD IDEA), then there’s not much comparison. MoS is meant to be the first part of the DCCU, with the possibility that GL might be part of it (unless that gets announced as non-canon). So ergo, the DC shared Universe has MoS (a financial success, with plans for sequels and team movie) and GL (critical, fan, and financial failure). So to me, DC is 1 out of 2 for hits. 50/50. When that gets to 60% bad we can talk about fixing it. 2 movies in though? Too soon.

    • ScottE ScottE says:

      @IthioSapien ok I see what you mean, in that case I hope that DC doesn’t not connect GL and maybe just uses it like the 2002 Hulk so they don’t have to go through the whole GL origin again.

    • IthoSapien IthoSapien says:

      @ScottE, I’m very glad to hear that. I’ve been getting flack the last couple of days for people not understand what I’m saying. I wouldn’t mind if DC went with a soft reboot for GL, ala the Incredible Hulk. That might work well, but IDC as long as it WORKS. GL is too cool to go the way of Ghost Rider and DD.

  14. APoetSomeday APoetSomeday says:

    In my opinion, the biggest problem that DC has with its movies is that they aren’t a lot of fun.

    Nolan’s take on Batman was darker than dark and, whilst the first two were good films, they can be unbearably bleak if watched in rapid succession. Because they were so dark and brooding, I don’t feel that they really captured the essence of the character or his world. For me, they got one aspect right: the darkness, beyond that, little else was recognizable.

    The Nolan movies also cling desperately to ‘realism’ and apply it to a story and character that are, essentially, a fantasy.

    Go back and re-watch ‘Batman: The Animated Series’ again, those shows were dark, but they were also very, very funny.

    This ruthlessly objective and nihilistically ‘realistic’ approach stripped Superman of his charm and his heroic qualities, creating instead a cynical, selfish and abjectly frightening ‘Man of Steel’ as well (as a film with that displayed all the joy of a ‘Burger King’ commercial).

    ‘Green Lantern’ was actually a decent movie and certainly does not deserve the shit it gets, of the movies mentioned, it is the most fun to re-watch. I get that there are problems with it, but I like it, it made me want a Green Lantern ring even more than I already did.

    DC need to amp up the fun, but in a timeless way, not by invoking endless pop culture references and poking fun at the source material (those Marvel movies will be painful to watch in a decade’s time).

    How about some beautiful people doing amazing things? I’d personally love to get as close as possible to feeling what Cyborg feels when he interfaces with the Internet itself, or how it feels to dive out of a Bat-Plane in low-Earth orbit, or what it must be like for The Flash to reach supersonic speed and hear his own footsteps after he stops running. The DCU is an amazing place, it has yet to be rendered so onscreen (in live action, at least).

    DC’s characters are all about fun and escapism. Endless, hope-devouring darkness and hand-wringing melodrama simply do not suit them (and never have).

    Emotional pain and moral obstacles work in stories, of course, but ultimately, DC’s pantheon are, as Josh (I think it was Josh) said on one iFanboy show “shiny beacons of hope”. Treat them as such and they will always deliver. The Justice League are bold, futurist icons. Progressive, powerful and amazing. Let’s make people believe a man can fly and ENJOY THE SENSATION instead of treating it as one more burden to bring you down in a life of morbid self pity and alienation. This is where Warners are going wrong.

    If it was me, I’d START with the Justice League movie (like ‘The New 52′ started with Justice League Issue 1) and introduce our heroes to the world all in one go. The movie would be an ADVENTURE movie, (not an action movie or a Sci Fi movie) and it would be about the appearance of heroes and villains into a world just like ours. The story would chart the journey from nihilism (where DC’s characters falter and fail) to optimism (where DC’s characters reign absolutely supreme every single time). There would be Human drama, of course, but our characters would be stronger for it, not get beaten down by it.

    • Nightwing97 Nightwing97 says:

      Hey, it’s been awhile since I’ve seen you post!

      I agree with everything you said. I feel like these new films are being made dark simply for the sake of BEING dark. This feels to me like late 80′s comics like Watchmen, TDKR, Arkham Asylum, etc… except those were actually well executed… Anyway, like readers of the 80′s, viewers of today seem to think that something isn’t “grown-up” unless it makes you want to kill yourself.

      This is an obviously poor way to look at things: in the aftermath of Watchmen and TDKR, we got some questionable titles from the likes of Liefield and MacFarlane. In the very midst of The Dark Knight, our public got MoS.

      I feel that the main goal is to change the public outlook on that. I was HOPING an inspiring Superman movie would do just that…

    • IthoSapien IthoSapien says:

      I’m not trying to start another MoS war, but I don’t care if it does. Can we agree that MoS is meant to be a REBOOT? It’s a new version of Superman, not the one from the Reeves films or the comics of 50s. New, yea? Different. Just to give some context on MoS and TDK trilogy here’s a quote from Chris Nolan about the World’s Finest:” Batman is how the rest of the world sees America. Superman is how America sees itself.”. Chew on that abit.

      We need to open up to new interpretations of these characters, it’s the only way they continue to be revelant. Let me compare two different incarnations of Spider-Man; the Raimi trilogy and the Reboot. Has anybody ever complained that the Reboot was too dark? That the Reboot version wasn’t true to the comics? Even though I hate it, it’s allowed Spidey to continue on as a film franchise, for better or worse.

      Nobody’s making these films dark just for the sake of it, it’s a business model that’s working for them so far (profit wise, which is the most common measure of success; money). Which is why people think of Marvel movies as fun; yet we’re years away from seeing DD, Ghost Rider, or Punisher on film.

    • Nightwing97 Nightwing97 says:

      “Batman is how the rest of the world sees America. Superman is how America sees itself.”

      Interesting analogy, but I don’t feel that they need to be showcased as Capitalist allegories in the movies… But maybe that’s just me… I’d portray them as the dichotomous Apollo and Dionysus archetype…

      As for Spiderman, I feel that more people are just more passionate about Superman than him… And ANYTHING is a palette-cleanser after Spidey 3…

    • Jesus, if Superman is how America sees itself than we are worse off than I thought. What, militaristic chaos machines who save and take life on a pretty arbitrary basis.. whose two settings are pretty much “Righteous” Anger and “Chaste” Passion… and who want nothing more than to explode with the massive violent power we’ve been repressing for decades? “As American as it gets,” huh, Kal-El?

    • talking about exclusively MoS Superman, of course.

    • IthoSapien IthoSapien says:

      @Nightwing97, pretty sure you mean Apollo and Hades. Dionysus is the Greek god of drink and poetry, and partying if memory serves. And what’s wrong with making them political allegories? Seem to work pretty well for Iron Man first time around.

      @AnotherBastiche, that actually sounds like a perfect allegory for America to me, but a very poor interpretation of MoS Superman. More like a being of immense power and potential that is met with mostly fear and Mistrust yet struggles to help others and do the right thing. Which is definitely NOT how I view America, but keeping the quote and metaphor in mind it’s how I saw MoS.

    • LBolt says:

      As an extension of the lack of fun I think these Batman and Superman films’ biggest crime is that they don’t feel like films that you would happily take a 7 year old to see. Which is just mind boggling to me. As much as I love Dark Knight, and Rises to a far lesser extent, they shouldn’t be making these films for me anymore. Marvel I think has done better at making them family viewing in the true sense of the word. Each age group is going to appreciate different aspects more but everyone can enjoy them as a whole. Superhero films especially the well known brands should always be made with kids and adults in mind.

    • IthoSapien IthoSapien says:

      They don’t feel like films you would take a 7 year old to? You specifically or does that everybody?

      If Supes and Bats movies aren’t “fun”; then why did they make so much money and get seen multiple times by the same people?

      And does everything have to be for the kids now? I’m taking about movies here, how many animated/family films diner get , Year-round? Probably alot.

    • Fair enough, ithosapien, though i can’t help but think it’s telling that the nicest thing you can say about Superman is that he’s a “being of immense power”, etc… MoS was definitely a film that privileged the Super over the man. The actions of the characters seemed to say nothing more than that things would work out fine if we just stopped being so… so disgustingly HUMAN.

    • IthoSapien IthoSapien says:

      @AnotherBastich, you misunderstand that post. That wasn’t the nicest thing I could say about MoS, that was my interpretation of the Superman/America metaphor. I mean, if you want; I could list 12 different things I liked about MoS but I doubt that would really convince you. But I could list at least 12 nice things to say about it if called upon, no problem.

    • Nightwing97 Nightwing97 says:

      @IthoSapien

      “The Apollonian and Dionysian is a philosophical and literary concept, or dichotomy, based on certain features of ancient Greek mythology. Many Western philosophical and literary figures have invoked this dichotomy in critical and creative works. In Greek mythology, Apollo and Dionysus are both sons of Zeus. Apollo is the god of the Sun, of dreams, and of reason, while Dionysus is the god of wine, ecstasy, and intoxication. The Greeks did not consider the two gods to be opposites or rivals, although often the two deities were inter-lacing by nature.”

      I didn’t mean really POLAR opposites. I think that last sentence can be applied to Batman and Superman perfectly.

    • APoetSomeday APoetSomeday says:

      Hey, Itho. Sorry I ran out on our last conversation. I was enjoying it, but in the last week I barely had time to fart, much less contribute to my favorite comics site.

      I wasn’t making any kind of dig at you at all (sorry if it came off this way) in my previous post, but you know my feelings regarding ‘Man of Steel’. I was just trying to point out that the overly dark take on the character simply feels wrong to me. As far as I can see, DC’s movies will flounder and divide their audience (just as MoS did) until they embrace that childlike sense of wonder and optimism that originally spawned them.

      Also, I have no problem whatsoever with new takes on characters, as long as those new readings are respectful to the ‘core being’ of the character in question. Radically altering a character without leaving anything recognizable for the fanbase is not really a revision, it is the creation of a separate character. Characters are not reborn via this method, they are more often than not damaged by it.

      In our recession-hit film industry, Hollywood is simply not out to try anything new. They are an industry and they need to make money, like all other industries. Frankly, we’re lucky that they produce any art at all. It is a testament to the talent of great actors, directors and producers that good films are still being made in this day and age. The studios latch on to established brand names and proven money spinners, just as they always have done, but with far less emphasis on storytelling and far more emphasis on marketing.

      Instead of sequels, they churn out ‘reboots’ which are, essentially, remakes or, if you like, new movies with the same title as old ones. For example, J.J Abrams ‘Star Trek’ has little, if anything, in common with the Gene Roddenberry series and would, artistically, have been better served as being ever-so-slightly re-written and released under a different title. However, if that had been the case, the script would never have been filmed at all, because it would represent a huge expenditure on an unproven product.

      Before the reboot trend was the ‘Prequel’ era, beginning, in earnest, with ‘The Phantom Menace’. Reboots are just prequels that don’t have to make canonical sense. That’s all. They are sequels that don’t count as sequels. There is nothing new or challenging about them. It is just, what I call ‘focus-group film making’. Very rarely are these movies any kind of genuine attempt to revive a flagging franchise, but rather an attempt to beat an already expired equine, if you’ll permit the expression.

      Essentially, as Human beings, we enjoy the same stories being re-told and re-purposed over and over again. There isn’t anything intrinsically wrong with this, its the reason that we have ancient mythology, enduring ballads and even the bestseller lists; it does bother me, however, when a studio calls for a radical revision to be enacted upon a character that has remained consistently popular in all forms of media throughout the decades for no other reason than to sell a movie on controversy rather than its artistic merits. I write this not to change your mind (even if I could, I wouldn’t try), but simply to illustrate my own viewpoint a little better.

      Anyway, I don’t think any modern comics reader or movie goer really minds a character revision or ‘tweak’ here and there, but they baulk when a character is rendered as completely unrecognizable. Watching MoS was, for many fans, the equivalent of picking up an issue of ‘Green Lantern’, only to find that Alan Scott was now Hal Jordan, without the benefit of being told that they were distinct characters. The anger and outcry further serves, not to prove that the naysayers are stuffy old purists crying into their decades old Curt Swan comics, but to demonstrate exactly how well-loved the existing version of the character really is (and, by association, how a radical reboot was not a sound strategy for success).

      As for the Superman/America metaphor, I’m afraid that, in my opinion, is just rhetorical nonsense from a film maker who excels at making himself seem far smarter than he actually is.

      PS – Apollonian and Dionysian are alternate schools of thought, dating back to antiquity. The terms are used as ‘catch-alls’ for any ‘button-down vs get-em-out’ debate, as well as a number of other areas and are often applied to art and political thought. I hope you are well (and that you aren’t mad at me for leaving our chat without saying goodbye).

      @LBolt – I agree. It does feel weird that these characters are appearing in very adult movies. Superheroes really ought to be kid friendly. I wouldn’t let my (hypothetical) kids watch ‘The Dark Knight’ even though I think its a great movie. They can grow up with Adam West and TAS, just like I did, dammit!

      @Nightwing – Yeah, sorry I was away for so long. I believe, very, very strongly that our popular media should be sending out messages of hope and optimism – exactly the kind that Superman embodies. I think that the zeitgeist will swing this way within five years (based on current industry/artistic trends and my own ‘gut feelings’ as an artist) and that DC/Warners really missed a trick by not delivering a movie that delivered on the superhero promise of a better tomorrow. Had MoS come out 5-10 years ago, when ‘emo’ culture was being debated on the news and Eminem and Slipknot were selling units like it was a bodily function, the film would have turned a huge profit and been a hit. However, in the media industry, timing is everything.

      Warners can learn from their mistakes, or not, we’ll have to wait and see…

    • IthoSapien IthoSapien says:

      @Nightwing97, my bad. I’ve actually followed Greek mythology for a few years but I’ve never heard of that literary concept. Forgive my ignorance, it’s just it seemed like you were comparing Superman & Batman to Apollo & Dionysus; which didn’t make any sense to me. I see where you’re coming from now tho, and I guess I can see the merit in that metaphor.

      @APoetSomeday, no worries. All good things must end someday, and that conversation had to end just like this one will. But we should never stop chatting and exchanging ideas! I didn’t think you were taking a shot at me, I just felt like I had a chance to discuss MoS rationally instead of just getting into repetitive rants harping on the same points. I hope that doesn’t happen here. I doubt I’ll change anyone’s mind, but I’d just like to say my piece. If it makes others think, Christmas.

      Now, if Hollywood isn’t trying anything new; how could they drastically alter Superman in MoS? Either they did something new, or this Superman has some kind of previous period of existence. Now, like I mentioned previously; MoS seems to pull from all over the Super Mythos, and if you recognize the ideas it makes the world of MoS more palatable rational I believe. As far as I can tell, Kal in MoS is a mix of S:Earth One, S:Birthright, Smallville, and maybe S:Secret Identity. Now I’m sure you would agree that most of those sources are valid iterations of Superman. So if MoS pulls traits from them, that would suggest MoS Kal is valid as well, right? But you disagree so I’ll make a quick list of “core-traits”; Kal’s parents raise him and teach him how to control his abilites and instill values he will carry into adulthood, Kal reconnects with his alien heritage and learns he has a great destiny to fill on Earth, he has an innate urge to help others, and he eventually falls in love with Lois Lane. All of those things happen in MoS. I could even site the scenes for examples. Pa Kent’s death is, near as I can tell from the mythos and original Supe movies, necessary for Kal to leave Smallville and become Superman. It’s also been shown in Birthright and Smallville that Pa Kent is reluctant for Kal to embrace his heritage and leave Smallville. So his portrayal in MoS makes sense to me. So I would argue that their are several recognizable and “core” traits of Superman in MoS. Now if the majority of fans are drawn to an “existing” version, I would ask you: what is that? The New 52 version with the Symbio Supersuit? Both his parents are dead, he doesnt work at the DP, not dating Lois, and doesn’t have red trunks outside his pants. Pre-52 Superman? Both of his parents were alive, he had Kandor, Krypto, Superboy, red trunks, married to Lois, had a Fortress of Solitude (based on the Donnor films and NOT the old comics), could move planets and presumably smash time and dimensional barriers apart. And so I ask again, WHAT is the existing version of Superman?

      Now I’m not gonna touch on the prequels and reboots thing, mostly because i think you’re right and I honestly haven’t studied the subject as much as you seem to have. But about the DC movies and hope and optimism; First off, I want to make the distinction between DC Entertainment (the comics) and Warner Bros (who make the movies). It’s not Dan Didio, Bob Harris or even Geoff Johns were are making all the decisions about the movies. So we can’t just pressure them to fix MoS since they didn’t really have anything to do with if besides MAYBE provide input or suggestions. As I’ve said multiple times, the other members of the JL will require a lighter tone. They just will, you can’t put GL in a realistic setting, the power ring and GL corps do not make any sense in a hyper realistic setting. The Flash’s powers cannot be rationally explained as being somewhat possible. They’re outrageous characters who need worlds that can sustain their existence. Now imagine that as Superman leads the charge, these other heroes will emerge and people will look to them as protectors and their dark world will naturally change to one of hope and inspiration. I don’t know if the movies will become kid friendly as a result but who knows?

      Now, about Nolan’s “Batman & Superman= America” metaphor being nonsense. Of course i disagree. I try to keep up with current events, updates on history and such. Suffice to say, and I don’t think anyone will argue this, America is not well liked around the world. This is for various reasons, alot of them valid. America does what it THINKS is best, and doesn’t seem to answer to anyone. Even while doing helpful acts for the right reasons, some countries might view us with apprehension (kinda like how some people might view Batman, huh?). On the flip side, we as Americans are taught WE’RE THE BEST, WE’RE THE GREATEST NATION AND PEOPLE IN THE WORLD, EVERYONE SHOULD BE MORE
      LIKE US! We act like we have a obligation to protect everyone and keep control the world in control because no one else can and we believe we’re doing the right thing (maybe how Superman feels?). I think it’s a pretty profound metaphor, but it’s pretty dependent on your views of the world and America.

      Anyway, that’s my piece. I’m well, also busy with school. I’ll let you, @Nightwing97, and @Lbolt discuss your points. I’ll jump in if someone wants to continue to discuss my thoughts or a new discussion gets started on here that peaks my interest. Which will probably be soon, this article is filling with good topics to discuss…

    • APoetSomeday APoetSomeday says:

      OK! Well, there’s a lot to be getting on with here. I’ll try to respond to you as best as I can. Apologies if I miss anything out…

      I guess I’ll start with the ‘core being’ (or soul, if you will, of Superman). In my opinion, based on nothing more than a lifetime of enjoying his adventures: Superman is a dream come true, a sci-fi folk hero for modern times, a visionary riposte to the madness of war and depression. An answered prayer. He exists to prove that Human beings can accomplish anything we set our minds to. Superman is driven by an intense, profound love for mankind and the majority of its endeavors (excluding war, profiteering etc).

      Endowed with the powers of a God from an early age, he is a being of supreme gentleness and kindness. He is, by necessity, a creature of restraint. He is also a very patient person. Superman hates bullying of all kinds and resents inequality a great deal, but he does not hate those who perpetrate these things. He is tolerant, noble and true to himself at all times. He’s the big brother who could totally kick your ass, but you know he never will.

      What he represents is not about powers, a costume or any of the other distracting things that catch our eye. Superman represents us at our very best, the inner hero which is locatable in every single Man, Woman or child. He is here to show us a better way. In short, he is hope given solid form.

      Am I projecting? Probably. Can you point to a hundred stories where Superman disobeys these edicts? Perhaps. However, I would argue that Superman breaks pretty much all of these in MoS, often for very spurious reasons. This probably explains why I hated that movie so much (besides the horrible directing, godawful, exposition-filled script and unapologetically stolen visuals, that is).

      How can he allow his father to die, only to disobey his father’s dying wish for the rest of the story?
      Why doesn’t he care about anyone who accidentally dies whilst he’s smashing buildings and tearing up roads? In keeping with the film’s theme of ‘realism’ the death toll caused by Superman alone would amount to genocide.
      Why doesn’t he worry about saving the people who are dying all around him? Snyder had that part down in Issue 2 of ‘Unchained’.
      Why are his major worries to do with self pity as opposed to protecting and nurturing mankind?
      Why not float off the ground gently rather than destroying all roads?
      Why is he so scared, unimaginative and weak that he can find no recourse other than to kill General Zod? I have faced many enemies in life and have thus far killed none of them. I expect the same from Superman.

      I could go on forever, but the point is that the Superman of MoS was motivated by fear and self pity instead of love for all mankind. That made him the polar opposite to the Superman that I believe in. It allowed him to kill and cringe and whine and scream and destroy. None of those things are the actions of a man motivated by love. Some will argue that this is a younger, inexperienced Superman. But I don’t buy it, there are better ways to tell that story. The recent ‘Superman: Earth One’ books spring immediately to mind.

      Just because the movie ripped the few good points wholesale from good comics does not guarantee its authenticity. My brother played me a horrific dance music track that sampled the opening salvo from ‘Kick out the Jams’ by The MC5 on Saturday, it did NOT make the song good.

      When I said that Hollwood wasn’t trying anything new, I meant in the sense of exploring new franchises. For example, the Superman of MoS would work better under a different name, because he is not the traditional Superman (by which I mean that he does not display the elements above which are common to most, if not all, iterations of the character), they could have released it as something else and started a new franchise, but instead they called it ‘Superman’. Hollywood is, however, not doing anything new by rapidly re-interpreting established characters as being ‘younger’ edgier’ or ‘darker’ – it has all come before.

      I have spoken about America elsewhere on this site. As a British person, I love American people, but I have serious doubts over American foreign policy. I don’t really want to get into that one now, though.

      However, I still think that Nolan’s quote reads like pseudo-intellectual doublespeak for “yeah, this movie stinks, but then again, the world is really effed-up, so just focus on that instead”. I don’t think Nolan ‘gets’ comic books. Not a popular opinion I’m sure, but that’s how I see it.

      I am also done on MoS as of now, but it has been a genuine pleasure discussing it with you. You have made me think and re-consider my opinions on the movie, even though I landed right back where I left off. Thank you for an alternate (and very well argued) opinion. I hope people from both sides of the debate read and consider what was said in this thread. We appear to have learned how to disagree without being violently disagreeable. lol. The nation that produced the Man who spoke those words can’t be that bad a place, can it?

    • Nightwing97 Nightwing97 says:

      @APoetSomeday I’m going to shamelessly steal ALL of this for a thesis I’m writing. ;)

      Seriously, I could not have articulated ANY of that better, myself.

    • IthoSapien IthoSapien says:

      Hmm, hopefully my response is welcome.

      What you elaborate on Superman’s core, its more of an analysis of his creation or purpose of being. Not WHO he is, but WHAT he is. Thats like saying, an apple is a metaphor for knowledge, growth, focus instead of a fruit with seeds. Mind you it was very eleiquint (no spell check, apologies) but not quite what I was wanting to get at. Your first three paragraphs could easily be applied to Batman and Wonder Woman. All heroes represent hope and wish fulfillment. All (or most) have a innate drive to help and save others. All of them are dreams (or in some instences nightmares) come true. I don’t disagree with your first 3 paragraphs, but I’m not sure there’s anything there that sets Superman apart from the plethora of other heroes that compete for our attention. It’s very well said and inspiring none the less.

      You didn’t touch on what is the existing version of Superman, which I guess should technically be “Who”. You’re absolutely projecting, but then again who isn’t? But we have to set those aside and look at facts sometimes.

      1) His father’s dying wish was for him to reveal himself when he was ready, aware that doing so would change the world and it might not do so positively.Its been in the comics that Pa Kent’s death is what pushes Kal out of Smallville to become Superman. Pa Kent never said “Don’t use your powers, Hide yourself forever” otherwise he would have just kept him on the farm for all his life. instead he taught Kal restriant, knowing Kal was gonna find his own path. Pa Kent was no fool, he knew he wouldn’t be the end all. Parents know this, eventually your child will leave and have to make their own decisions. Which is what Kal did, he left because he had to find his purpose and not stay in Smallville being a farmer. Pa Kent was wise but ultimately he was a tiny bit small I think. He let fear for his son keep him from seeing the future.
      2) The death toll. I’ve heard alot about this, but I never see any dead bodies. Not even in the buildings Zod and Supes smash to pieces (which ultimately totals 3). Seriously, the offices they crash into are empty. Implausable? Absolutely! So is the idea of a guy shooting lasers from his eyes. “Batman Begins”, batmobile chase scene, lots of damage, lots of destruction, somebody should have been put into a coma at least. Alfred:”It’s a miracle no one was killed”. A miracle no one was killed. Look, people died in Metropolis that day. Everyone knows that. But it wasn’t because Zod and Superman flew into some empty buildings. This films tone maybe realistic, but even the Nolan Batman movies push that out the window in alot of cases. These are COMIC-BOOK movies, Super Hero ones at that. The most realistic Super hero movie will never fully show what would happen if someone put on a cape and tights to fight crime.
      3)The whole reason he’s fighting Zod is to save people. Its why he snaps his neck in the train station, why he flys him into the sky instead of on the ground. He may not screen EVERY building to make triple sure no one is in there, but both Snyders Supermans have the same purpose. MoS’s just doesn’t agonize for 3-4 seconds trying to think of solutions.
      4) Self-Pity; see “Superman Returns”. 5)Nurturing humanity. Well the invasion takes place in all of 2 days. Not sure what you mean exactly, mass farms in Africa? Free Wind mills in the Mid-West? Its a common tenet of Superman that he must’nt interfere too much with Humanity’s growth. He’s lectured WW about this.

      MoS isn’t motivated by fear and pity, he acts in spite of the fear and hate he’s experianced himself. Which I find pretty heroic honestly, overcoming unfavorable circumstances to come out better in the end. Instead of holding on to resentment and revenge, he lets it go. Except for that truck driver, its one thing to attack Kal himself, attacking others calls for something more stern. It’s unfair to call Superman to be more like you, when you yourself posit that WE should be more like HIM. Fighting someone as strong as you, with more training, whose more savage and angry and lacks basic concepts of decency? I’ve never been in a fight like that, no idea what I’d do. I’d probably lose and forfeit my life. But Superman has killed before, and killed Zod before. Those have been cited, and those points have been argued. I’m surprised that you hold up Earth One higher than MoS, I think they’re pretty simaliar, even my friend who read the book and watched the movie thought the same. His words, Earth One was closer to MoS than the other Superman books I pushed him to read.

      Also, that Nolan quote is from around when “The Dark Knight” came out. I think there was barely any rumors that he would tackle Superman after that. I would say Chris Nolan “gets” comics, at least as much as Sam Raimi or Jon Favaeru did. None of them were concerned with putting a comic-book on a big screen. Instead they adapted one onto the big screen. I’d say each one was successful in their own way.

      I’m not surprised I didn’t change your opinion, but I’m glad I made you think about it a little. A truth unexamined is not really a truth, or something like that. Which doesn’t mean I concede anything, I happen to believe truth is relative in a way. But I’ve enjoyed this discussion too, and our previous one. We’ve kept this pretty civil and I think thats the best way to end any exchange of ideas. “The nation that produced the Man who spoke those words can’t be that bad a place, can it?”. Is that meant for me? You’re too kind, seriously. America, like any place, is full of good and bad. Guess I landed in a good part. I’m gonna ask we both leave this to rest,and everyone else reading this unless we have some new insights into the topic. Better yet, we just leave this alone for now. I don’t want to spoil this, if thats alright. Looking forward to our future encounters Poet.

      @Nightwing97, I hope you do. You’ve got a goldmine here, don’t let it go to waste. And good luck on your thesis, don’t keep putting it off to do later ;) .

    • APoetSomeday APoetSomeday says:

      @Itho. I agree. A perfect ending and no point going around in circles. Yes, the MLK quote was for you. He is my hero and I have a poster of him on my wall that I look at every day. When I get mad at America for its bad qualities, I immediately think of all the great men and women who have emerged from that crazy experiment and find that I’m not so mad. So yeah, that was just for you.

      @Nightwing – Thank you, Please do. But I’d like lots and lots of money. lol :) You should use Ithosapien’s stuff as well, he has made a great many good points here.

    • IthoSapien IthoSapien says:

      @APoetSomeday, well thank you. I unfortunately don’t have a quote for you so I’ll have to hunt one down in the near future.

  15. To be terribly fair WB tried Catwoman and Fox attempted Elektra. The fact that both escaped your memory is a testament to their impact. Making a not terrible female driven film would be a good first step!

  16. seanxxo seanxxo says:

    John Stewart is probably my least favourite green lantern but if Idris Elba were playing him I’d be 100% fine with this.

  17. It’s funny that a super hero who has to defend not just a mere city, but the entire planet Earth from destruction on a regular basis Superman is expected to not kill the bad guy and still save the planet. I’m not sure how one goes about accomplishing such a task.

    I’ve also heard the speculation/theory that Supes did not kill Zod and therefore is still true to his ideals which I think would be a cheap cop out. If the story goes all the way with an act of killing then don’t apologize for it.

  18. sunblade10 says:

    Please do not bring John Stewart into any new DC movie or TV series. Absolutely the worst GL ever. I would rather see B’dg on the big screen than John Stewart.

    • KenOchalek KenOchalek says:

      That may be true of the comic book characterization, but the millions of young people who watched and loved the Justice League cartoon version of John Stewart would strongly disagree with you. In fact, there was a pretty substantial “Since when is Green Lantern a white dude?!” reaction when the Ryan Reynolds movie came out.

    • IthoSapien IthoSapien says:

      I agree with @KenOchalek, John Stewart was a great part of JLU and people remember him. The only thing I hate is that they seem to think the movie just threw out Stewart and just made up a white character to replace him. I mean they cameoed Jordon in JLU, and Kyle Rayner was in Superman:TAS. I wish they would have at least researched GL lore, it might have really changed how they viewed the movie to know Hal is a established character with a rich history.

  19. djtrudeau says:

    Man, I am mixed when it comes to MoS. That said, a lot of the negative response to the movie seems over-the-top to me. I hate saying that, because who am I to say someone else’s response to it was wrong, but what I see as a flawed execution, others see as a betrayal of the character. The whole point of the story was that Superman made the decision on his own, not dictated by his parents, to serve mankind. When given the choice between his bloodline and his humanity, he chose humanity. The problem was in an attempt to top movies like the Avengers, they set up an excessive final battle that ran against what they were trying to convey.

    The Jonathan Kent scenes, to me, were also bungled in their execution. What they were trying to show you was that Jonathan Kent wanted his son to take time to find his own path in the world. If he revealed himself too early, that path would be chosen for him. First he had to find out where he came from. But because of the way they executed it, the message conveyed was, “Keep your head down, no matter who has to die.”

    At the end of the day, if you follow the character path, it’s a story of someone with special abilities who learns to follow his heart and help the people of Earth. Because the failure was in the execution, they could easily fix the issues in a sequel. That includes killing Zod. I’m still of two minds on the scene but I can see it working if Superman uses it as a deciding point to never again take a life. If done right, it would be even more compelling than him saying he doesn’t kill because he’s Superman and Superman doesn’t kill. Modern audiences want a dramatic reason for decisions like that.

    Unfortunately, I think they may have blown the opportunity by making it a Superman/Batman movie. We’ll see.

    • BCDX97 BCDX97 says:

      I agree with you about MOS. The overreaction to it was pretty lame – but that’s the internet for you.

      They got Jonathan Kent all wrong, though. That was the my biggest problem with it.

      As for killing Zod – what else was he gonna do? Put him in a prison he can break out of only to mass murder again? Expose him to Kryptonite which wasn’t even in the movie?

    • IthoSapien IthoSapien says:

      Apparently people expected Lois to learn how to make a Phantom Zone projector in 20 minutes with zero materials from Star Labs and a alien invasion in progress.

  20. Switch625 Switch625 says:

    Superman: A lot of people comment on the scope of the destruction in Man of Steel. I think if you were to have a knock down, drag out fight between a Superman and a Zod, you most certainly would have the results we saw in the movie. As for killing Zod? Zod is too dangerous to be left to his own devices. I think you could cop out and say that since Zod’s an alien, snapping his neck didn’t necessarily kill him. I think it would be a much better personal journey to see how Clark is handling what happened. The sequel should introduce Luthor as the hero who rebuilt Metropolis. I like the idea of Clark reporting on the rebirth of Metropolis but in doing so he should find out Luthor’s ulterior motives. It would be great if Clark could come off as a bit of a hero too for once.

    Batman: DC/WB would be smart to leave Nolan’s movies behind. I think the next iteration of Batman should look to the Arkham games for inspiration. I think those games (at least the first two) have a better grasp on the character than Nolan and Bale ever did. I cannot stand the current rumor that the Batman to appear in Man of Steel 2 will be an older character in the vein of The Dark Knight Returns. I think that’s an absolutely absurd, short-sighted approach that does not lend itself to two new franchises.

    Wonder Woman: I don’t see why this hasn’t been done yet. It’s such a no-brainer. I’ll bet WB are kicking themselves for not letting Joss Whedon do his thing when they had the chance. Oh how different things might be if Joss wasn’t available to work for Marvel. Avengers might have been a total flop. Then where would we be?

    Green Lantern: Just recast the role of Hal Jordan and move on as if the Ryan Reynolds movie never happened. I think Green Lantern has incredible potential on the big screen. They just need a quality filmmaker to take it over and get someone good to write the script. Reintroduce the character in Justice League and go from there.

    Justice League: There is absolutely no way they’re not going to be compared to Avengers. No matter what they do, the response will always be “that’s not what they did in Avengers.” So I say don’t think twice about Avengers. Just do what you do and get a good script and a good director in place. It wouldn’t hurt if there was someone overseeing all the DC movies who actually knew and understood every nook and cranny of the DC Universe… like, say, Bruce Timm?

    • WheelHands WheelHands says:

      I think when they say an “older” Bruce Wayne, they mean an established hero, maybe in his late 30s early 40s. Which, if the rumors are to be believed, in the median age of the actors they’re talking to. I seriously doubt they’re going to hire a guy in his 50s or 60s.

      Personally, I’m excited by that possibility. I understand why Hollywood goes young when casting these movies, but there isn’t a single major superhero that I read as being in their 20s or early 30s. I’ve always read characters like Batman and Cap as being mature, professional heroes. Not rookies. They went older with Stark, and look how well that turned out. I’d love to see Jon Hamm take a crack at Bruce Wayne. Nobody does brooding, charming genius like The Hammer.

  21. Nationalhill Nationalhill says:

    There will never be a John Blake Batman movie. WB isn’t going to spend 150-200 million dollars on a Batman movie or shared DC Universe with a character who is unknown and doesn’t even exist in the movies.

    • WheelHands WheelHands says:

      Thank you. I absolutely cannot wait until these JGL hopefuls are silenced. When I hear people wish for that movie, I get the impression that they completely missed the point of Nolan’s ending. That was simply the ending of a trilogy. And a perfect ending to the story they were telling. It does not work if you attempt to pursue it any further.

      We will not see a new Batman that is not Bruce Wayne. Period.

  22. Nightwing97 Nightwing97 says:

    Alrighty, guys…! Good discussion, but news has broken by (sorry to spam) Bleeding Cool that BEN AFFLECK is Batman…

    This is confirmed…

    Let the NEW discussion begin…

    I’ll start: What the FUCK?!

    • kennyg kennyg says:

      No, it’s WHAT THE FUCKIN’ FUCK?!

    • Nightwing97 Nightwing97 says:

      It’s no secret that I wanted Karl Urban, but Michael Fassbender is looking good to me now…

      I need someone to hold me…

    • IthoSapien IthoSapien says:

      I’m betting he’ll drop out in a few months. I remember reading somewhere he would only star in a JL movie if he got to direct it, which would necesitate him in a reduced capacity. Don’t dispair @Nightwing97, it ain’t over till its over. After all, Tim Burton and Kevin Smith never directed a Superman movie like it was announced right?

    • Nightwing97 Nightwing97 says:

      @ IthoSapien That’s very true. He may just find that he has too many creative differences with Snyder and Goyer. I’m sure Warner is only using him for star-power, but I’m also sure that they still have a whole short-list of actors on speed-dial.

      What was that supposed to be called? Superman Reborn, or something like that? Thank god Smith tanked that thing.

    • IthoSapien IthoSapien says:

      You better believe it, I bet Colin Ferrall would jump at the chance to be Batman again. Brolind, Gosling, there’s like 5 other people reported for the role. Check IGN’s articles, they have the list of names from the Latino Reviews, which is supposed to be pretty reputable about these bombshells.

      If I remember right, it was “Unchained” or something like that. At one point maybe it was both. Just reading about that story gives me a headache.

  23. I actually would have preferred Ryan Gosling. Don’t think this is the right move. Guess we will just wait and see.

  24. Although I can’t wait for him to say “You’re suspect” to Superman with a Boston accent.

  25. Wow, they learned nothing from the Green Lantern debacle. Let me break it down for the Hollywood suits. Ben Affleck is one of the most unlikeable working actors today. People don’t just dislike him, they hate him. Why do you keep putting guys like him, and Ryan Reynolds, in big movies when they repel people? I have never gone from being so actively excited about a film to deciding I will never see it in so short a time. It’s mind boggling that they would cast Affleck as Batman.

  26. Bacon629 Bacon629 says:

    In other news DC also announced today that they are changing the title of the Superman sequel to :
    Superman:Make Mine Marvel

  27. Nightwing97 Nightwing97 says:

    I now hope (never thought I would ever say this) that Superman kicks Batman’s ass.

  28. WheelHands WheelHands says:

    Fixing DC’s Movie Universe

    Step 1: Cast Ben Affleck as Batman

    Step 2: Hide in a bunker for twenty years until you can try again.

  29. monkeyking monkeyking says:

    i have an idea for fixing the movie universe of ANY comic-based movie, but who will listen? After 95+ comments here and already everyone talking about Justice League Canada and Affleck-Batman, it’s unlikely I can get any traction to this thought– and that’s aside from the fact that it is like any “great idea” completely subjective.

    But my idea for fixing the movie universe is to finally tell VILLAINS stories in the hero’s movies. In other words, there’s a reason that heroes’ movies are always origin stories– it’s because it’s got a built in plot structure and character arc. Once that’s done, it’s as if the movie makers have no idea where to go. Batman’s movies had “legs” because its sequels in the 80s/90s were about others’ origins (adding Robin, adding Batgirl). Once they were done with origins it’s back to rebooting to tell the origins AGAIN.

    Really, what makes a story a story is the character himself. What I mean is, it’s not a Green Lantern movie, that’s just a character. It’s not a Space Cop movie, that’s just a set up. It’s got to be a story about overcoming fear through willpower. So obviously you have to have Sinestro as your villain. A new Flash movie doesn’ t have to be about Flash, but it has to be about slowing down versus speeding up, so your movie is just as much a Captain Cold movie. As much as I think Superman vs. Elite was pandering and oversimplified, it’s an example of what I mean– you don’t have to worry about Superman’s origin, just get into the real story which is about doing the right thing. That story could only be told with the villains/Manchester Black.

    It’s what comic book writers are doing month in and month out, but the movies haven’t even considered yet.

    • IthoSapien IthoSapien says:

      @Monkeyking, those are some good points. But at this comic conference thing (forget the name) Todd McFarlene, Len Wein, and other industry big names got together and pointed out the same thing. They said Hollywood does origins because that’s all they know how to do. But I think someone else there said that movies try to set up a hero and a villain in the same movie and fail. I could cite examples that refute both of those. But I like your point about just setting villains in the movies, seems pretty simple but that’s probably why Hollywood hasn’t realized it’s potential yet.

    • monkeyking monkeyking says:

      Thanks… I meant to say “what makes a story a story is more than the character himself” (I should add a “slash herself” while i’m at it.) I think the closest example to what I am referring to is Spider-Man 2 which could be seen just as much as a Doctor Octopus movie while still giving Spidey a chance to show his character arc and heroic journey. Spider-Man 3 could have done the same if it was “just” a Venom-movie or a Sandman-movie or a Goblin movie but not all 3 at the same time!

      To be more specific to the article above, how about we consider:
      Man of Steel 2: Make it a Braniac movie, which allows Superman to show off his conflict of Kryptonian/Earth heritage
      Green Lantern: Make it a Manhunter movie, which gives John Stewart, Guy, really anyone to show off conflict of authority versus autonomy
      Justice League: Even a minor character like Prometheus could allow the heroes to display why they really are heroes
      Batman Rebooted: Do a Court of Owls movie, nuff said

    • IthoSapien IthoSapien says:

      @Monkeyking, all great points. Is this the first time we’ve conversed on this site? I’ve a feeling we’ll be doing more of it in the future :) .

      I keep trying to imagine how a Flash movie would work, setting up Barry’s origin and Captain Cold’s. I try to work in a timeskip to get past all the tedious parts of an origin, and allow Flash to have an established version of the Rogues and have obstacles to his character growth. Sort of; Cold in the first movie, The Rogues , then Reverse Zoom in the final movie.

      My thing about the Batman reboot is, just make a Batman movie, not an origin story. People know Batman, and his origin. Why can’t we see a movie where Gotham is crime ridden, protected by the Dark Knight, with a plethora of deranged criminals running around challenging him?

    • monkeyking monkeyking says:

      As my free time fluctuates a lot; so does my interaction with iFanboy.

      To use your Flash example, you don’t have to set up Barry’s origin at all with my requirement to focus on the villains. Modern audiences may not know who “the Flash” is, but they know who “Superheroes” are. You can already have a Flash as a celebrity hero with a museum and everything — that’s just *what* he is, and the Rise of Captain Cold will show us “so what” about him. (In this case I’d say have the museum be a quick exposition dump to get that tedious origin done with, if we even need it at all.)

      We’re basically saying the same thing as you make the same argument for Batman. I think it could work for most (but I admit not all) heroes, too.

    • IthoSapien IthoSapien says:

      I feel like with Flash, some of his origin is necessary to be told, just to establish a connection with the audience. Maybe after he gets the accident, wakes from his coma, and runs off into the distance we skip to 2 years later with the opening of the Flash museum. Something like that. But Flash and Batman are pretty different in terms of public awareness; Flash is “just a guy who runs fast” and Batman has 3 (recent) multi-million dollar blockbusters under his belt. Then again if Flash is introduced on tv first then that automatically gurantees origin story.

      But yea, you plan could work for most characters.