Now that it is official that the Superman franchise will go with a much needed reboot, the talk of the town for about another year will be the approach of the movie. The only details we have is that the franchise will take a much darker tone in tune with what the dark knight achieved. With this new set of rules the powers that be at WB have let the cat out the bag and admitted that they have to deliver harder hitting modern heroes to maintain the success of The Dark Knight and create a possible crossover in the future. DC comics relies on its fans too much, and hardcore fans do not welcome changes to the character very well. In a way, it is the fans fault that some characters cannot move on with the times. The movie scene may set the trend and allow a much more natural and accepted take on the characters. Here is a list of things the movie could carry:
Story: The character has to be re-introduced in a more modern setting. Anything from the Donner-Singer-verse is out the window. Krypton will benefit from being presented as a different society from the Donner movies. You can incorporate android-like Brainiac to make him in the movie a threat to the world. An alien technology based kryptonian being designed to run krypton to finalize their dreams of Utopia (Jor-El would be the one opposed to this type of Alien AI that would ultimately be the cause of Krypton’s demise). He can find Kal-el and proceed with a plan to colonize Earth to keep the Kryptonian legacy alive. Superman can see it as his responsibility to stop him in order to protect his new home and as a curse of the Kryptonian legacy. Plus, they can both go at it for a nice action fight sequence. Lex Luthor should not be in this movie, but in pure joker fashion, he can be mentioned for a future film setup. How about the mention of the incredible stock rise of LexCorp in this movie to introduce Lex later on? The only thing I can mention is that the people involved in this project should be professionals that are fans of the character. The success Nolan had with the Hardcore fans was because he did deliver a real Batman that was still Batman.
Tone: That has been set from WB’s comments. It will be Darker. Doubtful that it can go all the way to where The Dark Knight went, but a modernized Superman is a must so a more gritty Superman story has to come to effect.
Look: The director will have full freedom to use his visual style in order to distance themselves from the previous template. The character designs should reflect the current times. Not the daily planet of the 1930s.
Costume: This needs a nice big redesign. The cape should remain(look at 300 for nice cape ideas), and a big S would be nice. Not a traditional one though. Do away with the red underwear. Get rid of the yellow. Maybe even combine or use one of these two:
Cast: Big name actors have to be used. An up and coming star should be considered for Superman. Louis Lane has to be a sassy reporter with spunk. Someone that looks nice and classy like Paola Turbay would be nice.
Score: BRAND NEW!!!
Movie franchise Setup: The idea is to establish a franchise that can go on a long run. The possibilities are limitless and seeing a Death of Superman saga as a trilogy later on would be incredibly interesting.
The limits on this do not exist. Many ways to go around but I think we all agree that the best way to approach this is to deliver a modernized Superman and not a hero archetype of ages ago.
There were some major hits in the comic movie arena this summer. Iron Man and The Incredible hulk were home runs and The Dark Knight was the biggest grand slam of them all. These movies once again have shown the special marriage between comic books and movies is here to stay. However, this something something special has happened. The superhero movies have grown and the basic mold has been broken. People now know and expect something more complex and sophisticated out of a movie. The linear approach and simplicity of a movie like Ghost Rider will not be accepted.
DC and WB are scratching their heads pondering real hard where to go from where they are to be where Marvel is. Their idea clearly is to set multiple platforms and capitalize with one big team up movie(s). However, DC is faced with more decisions and obstacles than Marvel. One of them being how to present the characters to an audience of today without looking unrealistically out of place with its contemporaries.
That is a big problem. The characters and their nature are stuck in a different time. DC comics has not grown with the times. The comments watchmen director Zach Snyder has made are true. The audience is more sophisticated these days and you CANNOT sell them something that is too earnest or unrealistic because they simply wont buy into it. That is if, of course, getting the general public(i.e. people who are not fans of the character) to even consider checking out your movie is what you are looking for. Unfortunately that is what most of the DC catalogue is sitting at: Filling an archetype. People wearing colorful spandex with capes and masks and with outdated themes. It may have worked for Linda Carter in the 70s but it would just look straight up ridiculous in a modern movie. The common audience wont take it seriously and it is that realism and reflection of the times that DC lacks in most of its core characters and has to modify to have a successful run in Hollywood.
Comic books are a part of popular culture which reflects itself in this form, and its themes and characters have evolved with the times for people to identify with them. Golden Age stuff has historical significance and importance but compared to what it is now it just doesn’t fit. DC has not updated their characters with the times and now were having a huge problem with Superman and its difficulty to have the audience relate to the current incarnation/presentation of the character. Superman returns was basically a repeat of a 1979 CLASSIC, and this day it didn’t go over too well even with the core FANS because its been done and ,well, it was just silly. People simply didn’t care and take the use of this presentation of the character as one of the weak points of the latest superman movie that’s left a bad taste on movie goers. Note how trying to do the same thing again to please and not alienate the fans ended up upsetting the fans, losing out on repeat viewings and interest of the general public, and not meeting expectations in the box office. Established movie franchises like James Bond have had to adapt with the times to keep filling the seats, and clearly it is working for them. Pierce Brosnan shooting from his invisible car holding a martini was not going to work forever and had to upgrade. That is what has to be done, of course, if setting up multimillion dollar franchises is what WB is down with.
A movie is not made for audiences in the past 70 years. Its made for an audience of TODAY. The reason the Dark knight was successful was because the character was presented in a modern setting with modern themes and situations in a manner that was realistic enough for the audience to suspend their disbelief and take interest all while still maintaining the essence of the character. There was a reason for Batman to wear a riot gear armor and not spandex with underoos. It was necessary for you to see that it made sense. Of course there are characters like Batman and maybe even superman that must maintain their cape and cowl, but the presentation of most the characters has to be modified and upgraded for these times and someone as imersed in this like Mark Millar will tell you the same. It is possible that the new wave of movies does this for the comics instead of the other way around but certainly DC has to catch up with the times.
I understand fans wishes to respect the history of the character, and certainly the essense of the character has to remain, but if you want to make money and keep people interested you cannot deliver a character that is out of setting with how sofisticated and non-naive the audience is. Not if you want to cash in big at the BO. When people are faced with something too surreal or not well done they wont enjoy the movie but will spend their time critizicing or making sense of it in their minds instead of watching it. The movie of course has to be fun, and has to be well written, etc, but if DC wants to pull this off succesfully in the same way marvel is doing it the characters have to be treated with a sense of common sensibility and realism that the characters currently do not have. Not to mention it has to be done in the same degree so that they can all be in the crossover movie.
The Dark Knight is a modern cinema classic. Up there with the all time crime drama epics of all time.
Now watch the youtube version:
I saw The Dark Knight over the weekend, a film I have been very excited about seeing (along with most of the Western World, apparently), and I have one simple thought that summarizes most of my feelings on the movie: “WOW”.
Without ANY exaggeration at all, this is far and away the best super-hero film I have EVER seen. Vastly superior to both of the first two Spider-Man movies due to its depth and strong supporting cast. Better than the first X-Men film due to its stronger story-telling and better character development. Better than Daredevil for… well, pretty much EVERYTHING. And it even manages to outperform Batman Begins by taking nearly everything about itself (special effects, plot, believability, fun factor) to the next level.
But never mind this being the best Bat-film or the best Super-Hero film (ever). This is a tremendous film in and of itself. Each of the main supporting cast players (Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Gary Oldman) were tremendous. The two main actors not playing Batman (Heath Ledger and Aaron Eckhart) were incredible. I’ve previously enjoyed Eckhart’s work in “Thank You For Smoking”, and he did not disappoint here. He plays the tragic Harvey Dent perfectly, and even creates sympathy for what eventually becomes Two-Face.
I should state off the bat (no pun intended) that I don’t buy all these rumours about Heath Ledger committing suicide because the Joker role took him too far into a bad place. However, I WILL say that he convincingly played the role as a completely psychotic, inherently evil villain. And villain doesn’t do him justice; this movie feels like what would actually happen if a man with no limits, mental or financial, decided he wanted to terrorize an entire city for his own amusement.
My only complaint (if you can call it that) is that Christian Bale doesn’t have a chance to shine as Batman. He is simply overshadowed not only by his co-stars, but by the story itself. He again plays the part of Batman very well, but there is far less depth to the role available to him than there was in Batman Begins. However, when this is the sole complaint of a movie, you realize how far you have to go to find something to complain about.
If you haven’t seen this movie, do so ASAP. And if you have, go see it again. Never mind all the trailers or critics that hype every movie coming out between May and September. This truly is the movie of the year; and if there is any justice, Ledger will be up for an Oscar.
The powers that be over at WB are putting their collective minds together according to the Hollywood Reporter
In the course of the past couple of weeks, Warner Bros. Pictures Group president Jeff Robinov and Warner Bros. Pictures president Kevin McCormick have been meeting with DC Comics executives as well some of DC’s top talents, like Jim Lee, to discuss a new direction for film adaptations.
There is no doubt in my mind that the WB suits are looking at what Marvel has been able to pull of this year: An organized attack to generate buzz by creating a Marvel movie universe. The hype and multiple movie possibilities are endless. It is a wise strategy and all it takes is a little bit of planning and a few teasers here and there. Marvel is pointing towards an Avengers movie in 2011 or so with all the characters being individual franchises themselves.
DC has simply not been aggressive at making movies out of their properties. I believe that the reason things are the way they are is because Marvel, even though they started much later, has had a much quicker and steep learning curve. Not to mention that they had to go their own way and branch out to be Marvel Studios to be able to have as much artistic freedom so that the end product is not a complete travesty that falls out of its real target market. Now Marvel Studios has a certain freedom that DC Comics doesn’t have. DC is a subsidiary of WB and we all know some suits that don’t care about the material are the ones that make the decisions and judge everything based on “the bottom line”. Lets hope this changes.
Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk were excellent movie adaptations. Marvel has finally been able to put together a reliable formula for a movie based on comic books and they wont be stopping any time soon. So while they are cashing in by planning and using what they have learned so far, DC had to look at this and say: “Shit, we have to go for it too”. Not all is bad in DC land though, they hold the biggest ace of them all: The Dark Knight. A movie that will more than likely redefine the way comic book movies are approached in terms of content.
What DC should do: Then Exactly what Marvel is doing. Create an identical production studio for DC comics and let someone with both Comics and Movie production experience run things. Get individual properties out of their core characters. Green Lantern, Wonder Woman(I can see this movie making a lot of cash), Flash need to get going quickly. However, they have follow Marvel’s formula as well: Recognizable talented lead and supporting actors/actresses, a talented director with a passion for the character, and the screenplay has to be somewhat loyal to source material to the point that the characters essence is there. No one wants to really see a batman in the 70s with a black Alfred (are you listening Aronofsky?). Once that is done, reboot superman and bring batman in to have a massive Justice League Cross over.
All I know is that it is fun seeing all of these movies being made about the stuff I read about so much as a kid. There are a few that are bound to suck here and there but, hey, the more the merrier.
Its so hardcore out there for The Dark Knight that its safe to say that Batmania is back in full effect.
I have the sudden urge to buy a Prince album for some reason
Last week’s Monday Night RAW was a surprisingly entertaining one. CM Punk cashed in his Money in the Bank contract and won the world title from Edge, who had just been destroyed by Batista. Santino Marella then cut an amazing promo on Rey Misterio, which featured this tidbit:
“There are only two reasons to wear a mask. Either you are incredibly ugly, or you are the Batman. And YOU SIR…. ARE NOT the Batman.” (this is infinitely funnier if you can imagine Mr. Marella’s over-the-top bad Italian accent while reading this)
In other highlights Dusty Rhodes’ son Cody FINALLY looked interesting thanks to his teaming with the infinitely more charismatic Ted DiBiase Jr., Jamie Noble had a cameo, and CM Punk’s defense against Bradshaw was much more entertaining than it had any right to be.
And then WWE proved it wasn’t a fluke, and had ANOTHER strong show. The opening promo with Vicky Guerrero, Cena, JBL, Batista and Kane was strong, Cryme Tyme and Cena destroyed JBL’s limo (come on, who doesn’t love watching a car get destroyed? Those bonus levels were the BEST PART of Street Fighter II), Shawn Michaels and Chris Jericho had yet another in a long line of stellar promos to build their storyline, and Kofi Kingston got a clean win.
As someone who has been a fairly jaded WWE fan over the past few years, I can genuinely say I am enjoying almost all of their Monday Night RAW program right now. Plenty of twists and turns, good promos, matches that have clean finishes, and the return of that “anything can happen” feeling while the shows are still fresh from the entry draft. No complaints from this fan, that’s for sure.