It’s no surprise that Marvel Studios is absolutely kicking ass right now. In the wake of The Avengers, I loved Iron Man Three and wasn’t a big fan of Thor: The Dark World, but Captain America: The Winter Soldier was fantastic and Guardians of the Galaxy looks absolutely insane (in a great way). They’re setting box office records, giving a devoted fanbase more and more reasons to be excited about their upcoming projects, and tying the larger story into a weekly television series with “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” while Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment…well, let’s just say they haven’t exactly been keeping up with the pace.
David Goyer, the writer of Man of Steel, Batman Begins, and the upcoming Batman vs. Superman, has a lot going on with DC projects right now. He’s also behind NBC’s “Constantine,” he’s expressed interest in Green Lantern, and he’s producing an adaptation of Sandman with Joseph Gordon-Levitt attached. So it seems that WB/DC has put him in a sort of godfather position over many of their comic book properties, and naturally fans are wondering when DC is going to get their sh*t together and start competing with Marvel on a large scale in theaters. Batman vs. Superman could be a good start, but follow-up films or spin-offs for The Flash, Wonder Woman, and Justice League haven’t been 100% officially announced by the studio yet. So what’s up with that, David Goyer?
In an interview with IGN, the writer/producer/director was asked about how the DC television properties are going to tie into the upcoming films, and his response probably won’t do much to excite longtime DC Comics fans:
I mean, it’s too early. I know that Warner Bros. would love to make their universe more cohesive. There have been a lot of general conversations about that, but it’s really, really early. I’m not sure. Marvel has had enormous success, but I’m not sure that everybody should try to emulate them either. It’s just been vague conversations so far.
When asked how closely he pays attention to how Fox and Sony are handling their comic book properties, he had this to say:
I mean, I know this is going to sound cheap, but I don’t really. There’s just our approach to how we want to tell a story, and hopefully we can convince Warner Bros. or whatnot of that. We don’t sit in a room with cigars and say, “Look at what these guys are doing!” It doesn’t work that way. I don’t know.
Goyer may not be in the room, but I’m almost certain there actually are high level WB executives sitting in a room (probably with cigars) and looking at what Marvel is doing. As a fan, it’s frustrating to hear the architect of these franchises say “that it’s too early” and that WB is just having “general conversations” about creating a cohesive universe. What are you waiting for, WB? Iron Man laid the foundation for The Avengers back in 2008, for God’s sake. I’m not saying that they need to emulate the Marvel plan, and sure, putting Wonder Woman in Batman vs. Superman is a smart move that could/should lead to a proper Justice League movie.
But while Marvel continues to dominate the superhero movie scene, WB’s lack of transparency (and, perhaps, lack of planning ability) gives the impression that they’re lagging extremely far behind. If Man of Steel had been the billion dollar earner they hoped for, we likely wouldn’t even be having this conversation. We’d probably be sitting back and anticipating DC’s next move, impressed that they were able to kickstart a new franchise for their most famous character, instead of keeping our eyes trained on the company like a car crash we can’t look away from.
Elsewhere in the IGN interview, Goyer expresses admiration for the way Marvel has created their brand, but of course he doesn’t reveal anything concrete about WB/DC’s future plans. The obvious place to make an announcement like that will be at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, so I suspect we’ll have to wait until then to find out the real plans for what (if anything) WB/DC has in store for fans.
Oh well. At least DC can take temporary solace in the fact that it’s tearing it up when it comes to video games.
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