Monday, October 29, 2007

DC makes some moves

I have to wonder sometimes what exactly Warner Brothers is doing. They waited a solid 5 years after Marvel started making a gagillion dollars on their various movie franchises before even attempting to get in the ring, and then we got what? Halle Berry's Catwoman, and a few REALLY bad ideas... Wonder Twins?! Seriously!?! Jack Black as Green Lantern?! I mean is it that hard to take your own characters just a little bit seriously.

And then along comes Chris Nolan and he makes the world right again. Batman Begins kicks off a new era for WB and their comic book properties. Maybe this can really work. Singer took on Superman and whether wholly successful or not, at least you know he honestly tried, and that he respects the character. But missteps seem a bit inevitable. DC still has a head up their ass quality sometimes. And for every innovative idea like New Frontier, it seems we also are given questionable ones, like what I see as a rushed JLA movie, and two new actors playing the only really currently established movie heroes DC has (Supes and Batman). Granted nothing is set in stone confirming that, but generally at this point everyone seems to think that's the case.

Is DC doing things ass-backwards? Launching the team story in Justice League before single editions introducing the characters? Marvel is just ramping up for an Avengers movie now, after years of establishing characters. And unlike DC they don't seem to be in any huge rush; they know that their single character stories are working their way into mainstream American consciousness, before throwing a handful of unknown characters to the moviegoing wolves. And I think that's a pretty smart idea. But Warner Brothers made two announcements yesterday that might change all that. No, it doesn't look like they're scrapping the JLA film in favor of single serving hero pics. Instead they're going to do it all at once, and have a blockbuster sweeping superhero slate.

It was reported by MTV in their surprisingly good Movies Blog that David Dobkin, director of Wedding Crashers, and the new Fred Claus will be taking on The Flash. This makes him the third director attached to the project (following David Goyar, and Shawn Levy). Even better news is that Dobkin's scarlett speedster will be the same one we meet in George Miller's JLA movie, currently in endless casting. When asked which version of The Flash would feature in his film, Dobkin told reporters that it would be the modern age Flash that most people are familiar with, Wally West. He also said this film would be a continuation of the character and story established for Wally in the Justice League film.

And then hot on the heels of the Flash news came Variety's report that a director has also been hired to helm a Green Lantern film! Greg Berlanti, who is best known as exec producer and writer on such shows as Dirty Sexy Money, and Brothers & Sisters will write and direct the film, which unlike the case of The Flash is said to not follow the Justice League GL, reported to be John Stewart, but instead the silver age fan favorite Lantern Hal Jordan. Presumably it will still take place in the same universe as the JLA film, as there are many Lanterns operating at the same time in the comic continuity, but that hasn't been confirmed yet.

Both Flash, and Green Lantern films will be released after George Miller's Justice League film. And as for the JLA film... well I know I haven't been talking much about it. As you can tell I have a few doubts about it, but I'm definitely still interested. A lot of film sites these days are following the endless speculation on casting; and while I admit I'm definitely intrigued as to which young Hollywood hottie will get to play Wonder Woman I also get pretty frustrated by the non stop speculation. So I'm not going to talk about any of that stuff here. Instead what interests me more at this point is the story. If you're interested as well, and don't mind a few kinda bigish spoilers, I encourage you to check out this VERY enlightening article on Ain't It Cool News where they talk through a number of plot points, including what villains will appear.

I honestly want this film, all these films, to be good. I may have grown up a Marvel zombie, but I've read a lot of DCs stuff in the past few years and its really solid. They've got some great complex characters, and at times deal with pretty mature themes. Flash, and especially Green Lantern are good characters, and I have faith that they can hold a film. I just hope DCs strategy doesn't deliver more films of Catwoman quality. That would make me very very sad. Lets keep our fingers crossed.

UPDATE - Surprise, surprise, Joel Silver who has been the standby producer on a proposed Wonder Woman picture says that the Amazonian's solo efforts have been temporarily stalled until after the JLA film has been completed. I guess Warners didn't want to overload their plate...


No comments: