Thursday, July 25, 2013

Geek Rant: Batman vs. Superman

So, of course, San Diego Comic-Con had some major Bat-News this weekend. It seems that at the end of the DC entertainment panel on Saturday, Zack Snyder announced that his plans for a Man of Steel sequel were to have Superman face off again Batman. Yes, the battle every geek, including myself has argued at one point in their life. The biggest billed fight in popular culture, will be brought forth as a feature-length film for the first time also making for the first time DC characters have shared the screen. Upon this announcement the crowd was beside themselves in excitement…so why am I not excited for this at all?


So I'm sure you're thinking, " Matt, why are you against a Superman/Batman film? As a Batman and comic book fan, you should be ecstatic about this!" Trust me, I wish I could be.

It is very obvious to me that this a desperation move by DC and Warner Bros. DC has been desperate ever since The Avengers came out and the world started to wonder what DC would do in response. Sure DC ignored all the hype and warnings about Marvel's extended universe and figured they could just ride high on the Nolan/Dark Knight success for a while. It was this success that got them overly confident. Think Sony when they first announced PS3 or Microsoft now with the stupid shit they announced with X-Box One. DC figured they had you hooked with the Dark Knight movies, you'll buy anything they put Nolan's name on and call a "dark and gritty reboot." So plans started for Man Of Steel, which DC figured was a no-brainer with their most famous hero in the hands of the man who has made them a shit ton of money already.

Then Man Of Steel doesn't make a billion dollars in it's opening weekend and DC reacts with a "what the fuck?" They figured there was no way Nolan/Goyer/Snyder could fail at making the highest grossing DC movie ever and were shocked when they didn't. So where did DC go wrong?

DC got too cocky and set their sights about what they could accomplish. They figured since Superman is their oldest and most famous superhero, and Christopher Nolan had already grossed almost $2.5 billion (with a B) for Warner Bros. with all three of his Batman films that it was a sure-fire combo to win. It was...but it came no where near what Avengers had done last year, which apparently was what they had expected. What DC forgot was how Marvel got to the kind of money The Avengers made. There were 5 movies that set up The Avengers, and NOT ONE of them made as much money as Man Of Steel did. DC figured it could get an Avengers or a Dark Knight Rises box office without working for it. Well why did they think they didn't need to work for it?

Because DC didn't realize releasing a trilogy of films about Batman that a lot of people loved doesn't mean shit when making a movie about Superman. I am a huge Batman fan, and I loved all three of the latest Batman films. These movies have given me Christopher Nolan as a writer and director to look out for more work from in the future as well. They even made me give the tiniest hint of respect to David S. Goyer's toilet bowl of a screenwriting career.What these movies didn't do: make me give a shit about Superman.

DC refused to face fact that their poster boy isn't as popular anymore. With three films no one cared for and decades of creators trying to find ways to make Superman more "hip and edgy" has led to a mass apathy for the character. DC wanted Nolan and Goyer to bring them another The Dark Knight for a different character, but instead got another Batman Begins. What DC doesn't seem to remember was without Batman Begins there never would have been The Dark Knight.

Despite a lot of the critical complains about Man Of Steel, fans still seemed to enjoy it a lot. The complaints about the massive-scale destruction in the film's final hour, the alien invasion/disaster film feeling to it, and Superman's killing of General Zod are all things that could have been addressed and even used as fuel in the sequel to introduce Superman's ultimate foe, Lex Luthor.

In what may be one of the greatest character pieces in recent history, comics writer Brian Azzarello explored the motivations behind Superman's arch nemesis in Luthor. The story offers Luthor's views of Superman as an extraterrestrial threat to the people of Earth and a demigod that sees humanity as his own personal play things. Luthor viewed himself as a hero because he was the only one brave enough to face down the other-worldly menace that has been the cause of so many terrible things that have happened to humanity.


The reason The Dark Knight did so well was because Christopher Nolan took the start that Goyer's script for Batman Begins gave him and ran in a natural direction with the characters and the stories. Nolan made a great a movie that just happened to also be a Batman movie. DC and WB gave Nolan the reigns for his films and he delivered. But now that Nolan is becoming less involved in DC happenings, so DC decided it couldn't have been Nolan's movies that were so popular, just Batman himself. Bring in Batman, make people remember The Dark Knight Trilogy and make the first DC crossover ever. People should be flocking to the theaters for weeks and weeks for this one right?

Well obviously DC still forgets that no matter how popular your character is, a shitty movie is a shitty movie.

Right, gang?

1 comment:

  1. The key to Marvels success is that each movie can stand out on its own, and each transcend the generic superhero genre. Thor has a very Shakespeare-ian vibe. Captain America was as good as most modern WWII movies, and the sequel it's going to be a political thriller. Dark and gritty worked for the Dark Knight trilogy because Batman is supposed to be dark and gritty. Supermope, I mean Superman, not so much.