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Monday, January 06, 2014 

Is Time Warner going the right way about a Justice League movie?

The Motley Fool wrote about Warner's plans for building to a Justice League movie. But are they doing it the right way, or have they fumbled once again?
After years of being criticized for its mishandling and underuse of available superhero licenses, Warner Bros. hopes to make a big play with the tentatively titled Batman vs. Superman in 2015. The film will pair the eponymous heroes together for the first time in big screen history. Warner is also hoping that the film will serve as a successful introduction to some of DC's other big name characters, such as Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, and The Flash. Will this strategy help Warner create a suitable rival to Marvel's Avengers, or could it all prove to be too much, too soon? [...]

Actor Henry Cavill will reprise the role of Superman, while Ben Affleck is set to don Batman's famous cowl. Gal Gadot, most known for her work in the Fast & Furious franchise, will play Wonder Woman. The film will take place in the same universe that Zach Snyder established in 2013's Man of Steel. The Flash and Green Lantern are also reportedly set to appear in the upcoming sequel, but to what extent they will be featured remains unknown.
Whether big or small roles, I'm not sure this is how to build a setup for a team movie. If Thor, Iron Man, Captain America and the Hulk didn't make appearances in each other's solo movies before one or the other came along, then it may be more a desperate strategy to produce a movie where at least a few DC heroes appear together in the same movie, even if 3 of the guests don't have as prominent a role as the World's Finest.
One of the reasons that Disney took its time in introducing the Avengers team was that it was believed an attempt to debut them all at once would inevitably lead to a mess of a film that did none of the characters justice. A failed superhero team-up has the potential to damage overall brand value and also to kill off individual franchise potential until enough time passes to make reboots feasible.
TW might as well call the new movie project Justice League now, because at least 4 DCU inhabitants look to turn up in the finished film. I can wager good guesses why WW, GL and Flash are set to be cast in this movie that sounds more like a clash between two famous figures, and a fanboyish concept to boot: they don't have confidence they can all sell on their own, nor can they think of workable plots and premises. But in the end, I think they could be making serious mistakes. Besides, if WW is in the movie, we'd be expecting her to get some moments to be effective in combat (and as her own character), which would take away from from the two main stars, who in turn probably don't work well together in the same movie.

Speaking of which, one of the commentors to the article said:
Unfortunately for Warner, they went and signed Ben Affleck to apparently a multi-movie contract without first doing the market research that was vital to be done among the fans to see if the casting would work. Now announced for several months, the fans practically unilaterally resist this choice, displeased with a Hollywood liberal taking on the role, particularly after having come off a movie like "Dare Devil". Even after a huge outpouring of email expressing disapproval, they still move forward against the fan base (how's that for stupidity?) and begin announcing a cool batsuit, then the addition of various characters... It's almost like they're saying, even though a principle character has been casted moronically, look at what else we have going for us! It makes me want to wait for the Netflix order rather than a theatrical viewing and I'm sure I'm not alone. I think the film will suck, since its creators apparently don't care about the fans, what has been established, and can't seem to understand what made the Chris Nolan trilogy a success. It's too bad that they own the property since their ridiculous mismanagement promises mediocrity at best, disaster and hiatus likely.
After many decades of WB owning DC Comics, I've concluded likewise that it's a bad omen for them to be under such a dark umbrella. What good did it do for them overall? By 2000, it should've been pretty apparent it wasn't working out. But, if the movies fail, there is a chance they might decide to sell ownership of the comics, if not the movie and merchandise rights, since they're not making any money for them. And there are businesses out there that could do a better job running a comics publisher than TW ever could.

We'll see in the end what the Batman vs. Superman turns out to be like, but for now, the biggest problem is that it sounds like a tepid superhero-vs-superhero clash in the comics has been adapted to the big screen, and even if there is a supervillain in the film, the title alone overshadows that. Why would audiences want to watch a superhero movie that emphasizes two famous figures going at each other's throats more than it does battling the villains?

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A big-budget movie has to attract a much larger audience than just the comic book fans, but the whole "hero vs. hero" premise may be too fanboy-centric to appeal to the general public. For that matter, even some comics fans may be tired of the premise. It was already a cliche by the 1970's.

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