Having just watched the first two episodes of Arrow, the failed Wonder Woman pilot episode, and the horrible Justice League TV movie that never aired I started thinking about what DC and Warner Brothers have done right and what they have done wrong. Where to begin? We all remember George Reeves, the first iconic Superman. People loved him as that character. But even then there were issues with that franchise. Superman Vs. The Mole Men is the perfect example. There was also The Adventures Of SuperPup. Thankfully that never aired. I don’t know if the world will ever be ready for the adventures of Bark Kent. Cut to years later Alexander and Ilya Salkind had such a tyrannical way of doing things that Gene Hackman refused to work with them and wouldn’t come back for Superman III: The Fall Of A Franchise. He came back for the fourth installment but the movies had turned into a big joke by then. Plus there was the Superboy television series around that time. Terrible. And Lois & Clark, more Moonlighting than Superman. Not a bad show but it made Superman into a joke just like the last film. Then there was Superman Returns, a worthy effort but overall weak and incredibly expensive. There were also all the scripts they paid writers for and didn’t use, pay or play contracts with Tim Burton and Nicolas Cage costing them millions. Superman Returns had such a hefty price tag before one bit of it was shot it was destined to be a disappointment. Then there’s Batman. Right now he is DC’s heavy hitter thanks to Christopher Nolan and company. But just a few short years ago we had the Joel Shumaker debacle. Batman Forever was only an okay movie. Batman & Robin killed the franchise with its horribleness. But even before that DC said okay back in the 60’s to having the Batman television series air. It was so campy that it changed the tone of the comics up until Frank Miller brought in the darkness with Year One. Wonder Woman had a hit television series back in the 70’s and 80’s starring Lynda Carter. The show was a product of its time but didn’t really do a disservice to the character. The movie starring Kay Lenz (I’m not even positive it was her so don’t quote me there) did. I already devoted a whole blog entry to the horrible 2011 version that never aired so I’m not going into it here. Let’s just say it sucked and move on. The Flash. He’s long been one of my favorite characters in the comics. They haven’t done much with him but they did make a season of episodes for CBS back in the early 90’s. It wasn’t bad, not good either, but not bad. Green Arrow. After years of talking about making a movie called Super Max where Green Arrow was locked up in prison with the worst of the worst super villains Warner Brothers scrapped the idea and went with a television series. And it’s good. Give it a shot. You will like it. Let’s talk about other good things. Nolan’s Batman trilogy – amazing, Burton’s first Batman – awesome, Superman I & II – great, Smallville – uneven but good, the animated shows and movies – all solid entries. I think overall Warner doesn’t know what they have or how to handle it. It’s sort of like Disney and Science Fiction. They don’t know what they have till they lose money on it. Can anyone say Green Lantern?
I’ve been on this kick lately of trying to find things that were never officially released to watch. That led to my curiosity about the failed Wonder Woman pilot episode that never aired. Sure, we all saw the pictures of Adrianne Palecki in the costume and probably thought this was a sure fire hit no matter how bad it sucks. Thankfully we were all wrong.
First off, what was the deal with Diana being called Diana Themyscara? And she owned a giant corporation? And everyone knew she was Wonder Woman? And she kept an apartment under the name Diana Prince where she would get away and watch romance films with her cat? What the hell?
I get why Palecki did the show. She’s an up and comer who is still looking for that big break. And GI Joe: Retaliation isn’t it. That movie was a bigger piece of garbage than this. It’s no wonder they wanted to pull the movie from the Summer line up and do massive re-shoots. Tracie Thoms also starred in the pilot episode. She has been in bigger stuff like Rent, Death Proof, and another failed television series close to my heart – Wonderfalls. The cast was rounded out by Cary Elwes as her advisor or something. It wasn’t made clear what he did exactly. And the other big name was Elizabeth Hurley as the main villain. Even with this impressive roster of actors and being written and produced by David E. Kelly it was still a giant mess.
I think David Kelly was out of his comfort zone with this project. I don’t know why Warner Brothers handed this over to the guy behind Ally McBeal, Picket Fences, Boston Public, and The Practice. That doesn’t make me think, “This guy would be the perfect fit for a show about an Amazon princess who fights super villains”.
After watching Arrow recently (which we talked about on the latest episode of The Gorram Nerd Hour) and seeing how they got that pretty much right in tone and structure I can’t imagine what they were thinking with this. Oh well, at least it never aired. That’s something, I guess.
If you want to hear more about Arrow then check out the latest Gorram Nerd Hour now up at http://gorramnerdhour.blogspot.com and don’t forget to “like” our Facebook page http://facebook.com/TheGorramNerdHour
Larry Lana & Andy Wachowshi made two really great movies as writers and directors. Maybe Cloud Atlas will make three. Bound and The Matrix were great films. There’s no question about that. The next two Matrix films were not great. Some would argue they were not even good, that the movies lost their way and fell apart. Let us not forget that they also made the God awful Speed Racer movie.
When not directing they still write. One thing they wrote was an adaptation of the amazing Alan Moore comic V For Vendetta. The best thing about the comic was that you understood V was a terrorist, someone not to be emulated. You understood him and why he was doing what he did but you didn’t ever make him out to be a hero. I can understand why Alan Moore didn’t want his name attached in any way to the film. They turned V into a hero. They justified his actions and him out to be a man who should be worshiped and admired as opposed to making the audience sympathize with him while at the same time being disgusted by his actions. It was a poor choice and a little lazy if you ask me.
Now the rumor mill is going strong with reports that the Wachowskis are in talks to make Justice League. I personally would rather see Ben Affleck. Unfortunatly, Affleck himself has already said he was never offered the chance nor had he even considered the possibility.
Even after people saw Matrix Reloaded and Revolutions they were still willing to believe the Wachowskis were good filmmakers. And maybe they are. But when they followed up their trilogy with the laughably bad Speed Racer most people wrote them off wondering if the
brothers siblings had lost it. With Larry becoming Lana and the piss poor Speed Racer film it almost seems like they had gone off the deep end. I’m trying to reserve judgement until after seeing what Cloud Atlas has to offer. Honestly, I thought the movie looked beautiful but also kinda boring.
As far as Justice League I would rather see just about any other sibling team make the movie – the Hughes brothers would be great. As far as my list of directors I would like to see take on the film I would go with Edgar Wright, George Miller (who was once attached years ago), Ernest Dickerson, Guillermo del Toro or Joe Carnahan. I think any of them would be a better fit. I would still put the Hughes brothers at the top of my list. After seeing Menace II Society, From Hell and The Book Of Eli I would love to see what they could do with a Justice League movie.
That’s my opinion. Take it for it’s worth.
I know people have issues with Ben Affleck, myself included. It’s not because he’s a poor actor. I think it primarily has to do with some very poor choices the actor made. As a director he’s been amazing. Both Gone Baby Gone and The Town were expertly directed and Argo looks like a lot of fun. Warner Brothers is looking at him for his skills as a director for Justice League. This is something I would not have thought of myself but I am perfectly fine with the choice should the studio and Affleck strike a deal.
What remains to be seen is whether this movie will get off the ground. At one point both Wolfgang Peterson and Mad Max director George Miller were attached. Miller got as far as beginning the casting process (Armie Hammer as Superman) and doing screen tests before Warner decided to pull the plug.
It still remains to be seen what will happen with Justice League but if they move forward with Affleck I have no problem with that. The only problem I may have is if he chooses to play a Superhero in the film. As a fan of Justice League I can’t see Affleck fitting any role for the founding members. Maybe the Elongated Man but that would even be a stretch (see what I did there?).
What I would not mind seeing is his brother Casey playing someone like The Atom. That could be fun, especially if they used the Identity Crisis storyline for a sequel.
From what I hear the footage shown at the San Diego Comicon for the upcoming retooling of Superman from director Zack Snyder has fans excited. I love the Richard Donner Superman films and Christopher Reeve was amazing but the show must go on. Henry Cavill could be a good choice for the role and I hope he pulls it off. We need a good Superman movie again.
Nothing against Bryan Singer and his attempt to recapture the feel of the Donner movies but it was a love letter and not the movie we needed to re-start a franchise. This one is going back to the beginning and taking its cue from some of the more somber tales of the character from the comics.
Snyder is a talented guy. He has a great visual style but knows a thing or two about telling a story within his style. From the footage that was screened the word is he has toned down his style in favor of telling the story based on character instead.
I’m personally very excited and can’t wait to see the teaser that is promised to be in front of The Dark Knight Rises. I want to believe again that a man can fly.
I never really enjoyed Guardians Of The Galaxy. It was one of those comic book titles I passed by on a regular basis and just didn’t care. I know there is a fanbase out there for it and they are die hard fans. There’s also a fanbase for Captain Atom, myself included, but I doubt he’ll ever get a movie.
Far be it for me to question Marvel’s judgement as they have taken characters the general public didn’t know or didn’t care about and turned them into iconic movie characters. Maybe they will do it again. And maybe this is the master plan for their second wave – introduce the Guardians where the villain Thanos played a huge part and weave the whole thing into Avengers 2. If that’s the case then I see why they would choose this as their next big movie. Thanos, after all, was teased as the credits rolled in Avengers so we can assume he will be the bad guy for the next film.
But the Guardians was a story that felt like a sort of rip off Green Lantern to me growing up. It was a group of aliens guarding the galaxy against threats. They even had a super smart alien racoon in the mix, and yes he will be in the movie.
I tried reading Guardians once or twice and just didn’t care. The news seems a little underwhelming when it comes down to it. I was hoping for something more about Ant-Man or Black Panther. It almost seems like they chose Guardians for the express purpose of showing up the makers of Green Lantern and saying, “We can do it better than you!”
Don’t get me wrong, I hope the movie is great and keeps the trend of really cool Marvel movies. I just worry that it could be more like Fantastic Four than X-Men.
I’ve never had the chance to go to Sand Diego Comicon. I don’t know if I want to anymore. It’s grown to a point where it is more a giant marketing machine than a convention for people who care about comics and genre films and television. Hell, a couple years ago they had a Glee panel. That’s as far removed from what a Comicon should be as you can get.
But there still is a lot of exciting news that comes from the SDCC every year. There should be a lot of it this year too. Marvel has yet to completely unveil their plans for their next wave of movies. Will we hear news on Edgar Wright’s Ant-Man he’s been teasing us with for a couple years? Will there be news on the reported Black Panther movie? Or will there be even bigger news of other studios allowing crossovers for Spider-Man or the X-Men to appear in the next Avengers? Who knows? At this point it is nothing more than speculation. But with the con about to begin we should be getting some big news soon.
Maybe DC will have a big announcement or two themselves. We know they want a Justice League movie fast tracked. We know they want to do The Flash and Wonder Woman. We also know they want to compete with Marvel on the movie front in a big way. I wouldn’t be surprised if they have some big news coming soon.
Then there’s the other things like Kevin Smith. Maybe he will announce something regarding his final film, Hit Somebody. There’s so much to speculate about that I can’t wait to hear what is announced, even if I don’t want to be there.
When it comes to comics I am much more a DC guy. Sure, I like Wolverine, Iron Man, Hulk, Deadpool and the like but I’ve always favored the DC heroes and villains. Batman, The Flash, Superman, Wonder Woman, The Green Lantern, even Captain Atom. It’s all a matter of personal preference. So why do I like Marvel movies better?
The simple answer is that Marvel seems to know better what they’re doing. And that kinda makes me sad. They started out with Blade and X-Men, both fun and well produced movies. This helped the launch of the comic book movie. Suddenly Hollywood saw these films as viable options again, more than ever.
Let’s talk about DC first. Since the 1970’s they have been making some good and bad choices. Superman I and II were great movies. Instead of following those movies with other big comic book characters they chose Swamp Thing. In 1989 they unleashed Tim Burton’s vision of Batman and audiences went crazy for it. By 1997 all if that fell apart thanks to Batman & Robin.
After the horrible Batman & Robin Warner Bros. was scared to be in the comic business, and rightfully so. Since they own DC that meant that we wouldn’t see another DC movie for a while. When they got back in the game they decided to go with lesser known properties outside of comic book circles – Constantine, V For Vendetta, and so on. When Christopher Nolan came along and revived Batman with his films DC was ready to try again. They stole Bryan Singer away from X-Men and tasked him with making a new Superman film. But he was more in love with the Richard Donner films than Superman himself and decided to pretend Superman III & IV didn’t exist and made a direct sequel to part II. Whether you like it or not audiences just didn’t go for it. That was DC’s first misstep of the new millennium.
DC went back to making lesser known characters into movies again. The Losers came out and underperformed. During this time they toyed with the idea of Jack Black starring in a comedy adventure version of Green Lantern to be written by Robert Smigel. Thank God that didn’t happen. They were also talking about a Justice League movie and Batman Vs. Superman. Nothing materialized. It seems like Warner and DC just didn’t know what to do to pull it together. But there was still hope on the horizon.
Green Lantern entered production and the hype was good. Fanboys were excited. The early pictures of Hector Hammond and Abin Sur made fans think things were turning around for the DC camp. Then the trailer hit and the bad buzz began. Now, I could write an entire blog on what was wrong with Green Lantern but now is not the time nor the place.
It seems that anything comic book related that is worked on by Christopher Nolan at Warner/DC is doomed. So will the new Superman movie work? It remains to be seen. I hope they get it right, just like I hope they get The Flash right. He’s one of my all time favorite characters and I really don’t want to see a movie tarnished that.
Now onto Marvel. How did they get it right? When New Line produced Blade they did so on a small budget and it worked. When Fox decided to make X-Men they made a big Superhero movie for $70 million and the budgets got bigger on both franchises after that. But they kept them relatively small for that type of movie at the start. They still do. Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America were all much smaller budgets than one would expect of a big tentpole summer movie. It wasn’t until The Avengers that we saw a budget of over $220 million. But Marvel could afford to gamble as they’d proven each character could open a movie separately. That’s much smarter than making Green Lantern for $250ish and having it look like it was made in someone’s garage. That’s why Marvel succeeds when DC fails. They understand the necessity of being frugal in the beginning and increasing the budget after.
I hope DC figures it out and makes some great movies with talented people that I won’t be ashamed to watch…not that I’m ashamed of my love for the genre.