Disney/WB superhero movie update: DC has “a little room for improvement”, while Marvel steams ahead

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Goldman Sachs Communacopia is a big giant corporate chat fest, sort of like Comic-Con if Hall H was just for investors, and both WB CEO Jeff Bewkes and Disney head Bob Iger appeared to talk about stuff…including superheroes.

Acknowledging that the reviews for Batman v Superman and Suicide left somthing to be desired, Bewkes said there’s “a little room for improvement.”

But he stressed that the two titles released to date have been financially successful and have achieved the larger strategic goal of reinvigorating classic DC characters for a new generation of moviegoers.

Referencing the lukewarm critical response to this year’s “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” and “Suicide Squad,” Bewkes admitted during his Q&A at Goldman Sachs’ Communacopia investor conference: “The DC Comics characters … have a little more lightness in them than maybe what you saw in those movies, so we’re thinking about that.”


DC Films heads Geoff Johns and Jon Berg have been tasked with lightening to mood for Justice League and Wonder Woman, both due next year, and the slate that is planned through 2020 is motoring on.

“The main thing was to launch DC and reinvigorate it with the fan base,” he said. “The reboot of Batman with Ben Affleck (in the role) was a big success.” He also noted that the fan reaction to actress Gal Gadot’s debut as the Wonder Woman character in “Batman v Superman” has been positive.


It has indeed! Can you imagine a world that is eagerly awaiting a Wonder Woman movie? We are living in that world! More of Bewkes remarks are summarized here.

For Iger, it was just more of the same plan for success with Star Wars and the Marvel juggernaut. There’s a write up of his remarks here and a transcript here.
Star Wars of course, is floating along in hyperdrive with recomissioned Rogue ONe out in a few months (!!!), Star Wars VII, Han Solo and more. And Marvel is beginning to plot out the roaring 20s as well:

“We had a similar meeting with Marvel a week-and-a-half ago to plot [those films] out, where we’ve got movies in either development or production — some nearing completion — through the end of this decade,” Iger stated during his interview. “[There], we too are beginning to talk about what do we do the next decade, and so on?”


When all of this was announced 2020 seemed so far away, and now it’s just around the corner. Will you have room for all the decorative lunchboxes and Snapchat filters for these movies? Best to start building an addition to the house now.

Comments

  1. Spider Jerusalem says

    “For Iger, it was just more of the same plan for success.”

    Iger is right, Marvel movies are just more of the same. Creativity? What is creativity?

  2. bzzzzt says

    If history is any guide the lightening of DC movies won’t solve the problem. BvS already attempted an awkward course correction in response to fan criticism of the mass destruction in MoS without really understanding those criticisms. Hence they whiffed a climactic battle that should have been all about the world’s fear of repeating the first movie’s carnage. Instead of adequately dramatizing that threat (say, by showing Doomsday throwing cars in the street) or plot points like the army’s itchy nuclear trigger finger (shouty men on phones, “we cannot allow another battle of Metropolis!” etc.) they had newscasters assure the audience the battle was occurring in a depopulated area and a general asking forgiveness for killing Super-Jesus. The stakes of superhero battles always involve the threat of mass destruction, you have to dramatize that, and you can without following through and wallowing in a 9/11 scenario. I didn’t see Suicide Squad but I’ve heard its coherence suffers from post-BvS revisions. Now the cutesy elements of the Justice League clips look as clueless and troweled on as those reactions. Responding to fan criticism isn’t the same as understanding it. You have to look past specific things the internet is saying, solve the underlying problems, and retain the courage of your convictions. DC’s future productions could recover simply by throwing money at the right talent. But they’ll still have to deal with these giant, introductory installments that are continuing to stumble out of the gate, and right now they’re preparing another Snyder movie with added cuteness.

  3. says

    SJ,
    Re: creativity– iin the movie game, t all depends on what the audience, not the artist, deems creative,

    I remember fan-critics bitching because ANT MAN was directed by an alleged journeyman, and the producers didn’t use the SCOTT PILGRIM guy. But the journeyman delivered an OK product– though not one I deem perfect in all ways– while there’s no way to know, given PILGRIMs failure, if PILGRIM-guy would have delivered even that.

    It’s always easy to play games with other people’s money.

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