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A.T. wrote:
Well, there is Morbius...
Sony's so-called Spiderverse is another example of a studio trying to have a cinematic universe without spending enough time planning it out.

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Slipspace wrote:
The DC films get mocked for generally not being very good. Wonder Woman is pretty well-liked, so it's hardly a universal anti-DC thing. There have been a bunch of Marvel movies that have also been critically slated - Thor 2 and Iron Man 3 spring immediately to mind - so there's hardly universal love for that franchise either.

The Martha line is just bad writing. I don't think the problem is people not understanding the human connection angle. It's how ham-fisted it is.


I'm gonna try to inject some nuance into the Martha thing. I don't think it's bad storytelling...the scene could have worked. The issue was with the script and director's execution, IMO. The scene is too drawn out and over the top with the flashbacks and "Martha" being whispered and repeated over and over. If it's cleaner and shorter, it works just fine, I think. Roughly like this:

CLARK: Find...Martha...Kent...

BRUCE: (hesitates) What? What did you say?!?

CLARK: You have to save...Martha..Kent...

BRUCE (quietly): Martha?

LOIS (throwing herself between BRUCE and CLARK): It's his mother. They're going to kill her!

BRUCE steps back...a long pause. Then, his fever breaking, he throws the spear away in disgust...


There's a little bit of hamfist anytime you're making heroes fight. Civil War had similar issues. Of course, this scene would be set up better if Bruce tells Clark during the fight that he probably doesn't even have real parents, being an alien test tube, etc. As is, Bruce tells Clark that his parents probably told him he was put here for a reason, but then seems surprised to find out he has a mom...?




Automatically Appended Next Post:
 H.B.M.C. wrote:
A.T. wrote:
Well, there is Morbius...
Sony's so-called Spiderverse is another example of a studio trying to have a cinematic universe without spending enough time planning it out.


Again, a little nuance...IMO, WB's problem wasn't with the number of movies before the teamup film or a lack of a plan. They just didn't give themselves enough actual time between films to course-correct when BvS was so divisive, and put too much in Snyder's hands. So it ended up that giant gakshow as the studio tried to course-correct with a JL movie already in production. Marvel had time between films to figure out what worked (Iron Man) and what didn't (Incredible Hulk).

If WB and Zaslev are smart and take their time, of course they can make good films and a good universe.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2022/08/09 14:41:28


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 Thargrim wrote:
beast_gts wrote:
Probably related:

HBO Max is expected to layoff around 70% of their development staff.

“Sounds like they’re not doing HBO Max scripted shows anymore with HBO taking over, so less scripted shows overall,” says one company insider.

(Source: https://thewrap.com/hbo-max-layoffs-warner-bros-discovery-q2-earnings-preview/)


This doesn't bode well for that hbo max Dune spinoff show they were working on, might be canned now, bummer.


If the movie is any indication, I'm fine with that. I couldn't summarize the plot if you gave me $1 million. It just seemed like a bunch of random scenes spliced together.
   
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The plot is easy to summarise. Spice is valuable, political machinations over who controls it.

The problem, as you say, is getting a comprehensible 2 hours (6 hours I guess over the two films) out of over 400 pages of pretty dense world building, character building and action scenes just in the 1st book.

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DC's problems are kind of numerous. A lot of it comes from the comics themselves. It's a pretty great universe, but the crossovers thrive on character relationships that have decades of history that really doesn't condense all that well. The stories that DC are most famous for are almost exclusively non-crossover in nature. Either solo stories about their characters in a bubble or more often than not, gritty deconstructions that are by their nature, unsustainable as an ongoing story.

You get a lot of people, Snyder being chief among them, that are fans of the deconstruction, but don't have an appreciation for the base. They see the deconstruction as the substance and the result is kind of doomed characters that never get the chance to rise above stories that are often fundamentally about failed heroes. That's fine for one off tales, but it doesn't creating a lasting universe to keep telling stories in.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2022/08/09 15:58:14


 
   
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If WB and Zaslev are smart and take their time, of course they can make good films and a good universe.


There's nothing to suggest WB are smart or that Zaslav cares about making anything good.

Zaslav is also on record dismissing scripted tv as obsolete and too expensive, and the company under his charge seems to be developing a nasty habit of telling porkies.

I don't know why anyone is taking the reassuring noises about og HBO seriously. I will be very surprised if it still meaningfully exists by the time he flees the scene with a bag marked with dollar signs.

This message was edited 4 times. Last update was at 2022/08/09 16:05:06


 
   
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 Just Tony wrote:
But it wasn't, and it doesn't.


Ok, you go on thinking that....

   
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Comparing the MCU to the DCEU:

MCU
Spoiler:

Phase One - 6 movies / 4 years
2008 - 2 movies
2010 - 1 movie
2011 - 2 movies
2012 - 1 movie - first big crossover

Phase Two - 6 movies / 3 years
2013 - 2 movies
2014 - 2 movies
2015 - 2 movies - second big crossover

Phase Three - 11 movies / 4 years
2016 - 2 movies - third big crossover
2017 - 3 movies
2018 - 3 movies - fourth big crossover
2019 - 3 movies - fifth big crossover

Pandemic Pause

Phase Four - 7 movies / 2 years / 8 tv seasons
2021 - 4 movies / 5 tv seasons
2022 - 3 movies / 3 tv seasons


DCEU
Spoiler:

Phase One Big Unfocused Mess
2013 - 1 movie
2016 - 2 movies - first big crossover
2017 - 2 movies - second big crossover
2018 - 1 movie
2019 - 1 movie
2020 - 2 movies
2021 - 1 movie


So, while Marvel has cranked out a TON of material so far overall, after releasing 2 movies and doing well in 2008 they took a year off and were able to plan out the rest of Phase One. Over the course of 4 years they released 6 movies which culminated with a big crossover that audiences went crazy for because they fell in love with characters and were consistently entertained with the previous movies. They kept their foot on the accelerator and increased the amount of content every phase and have consistently tried to make movies that appeal to as wide an audience as possible.

DC released a bleak Superman movie in 2013 then took 3 years to release a bleak crossover between the two biggest comic book characters ever (with an appearance by a third). They also released a bleak movie about bad guys that year. They followed up that with an okay, but not great Wonder Woman movie and then the first ever mega DC crossover movie... that no one was really excited about.

Justice League made 229 million domestic / 658 million worldwide. Suicide Squad made more than it domestically and internationally...

TWENTY MCU movies made more than JL in the US
EIGHTEEN MCU movies made more than JL globally

The DCEU has consistently been underprepared and unfocused and has made movies with limited appeal that have not made audiences fall in love with the characters. It's been a giant unfun unlikeable mess.


This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2022/08/10 04:28:45


 
   
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 LunarSol wrote:
You get a lot of people, Snyder being chief among them, that are fans of the deconstruction, but don't have an appreciation for the base. They see the deconstruction as the substance and the result is kind of doomed characters that never get the chance to rise above stories that are often fundamentally about failed heroes. That's fine for one off tales, but it doesn't creating a lasting universe to keep telling stories in.

The audience also has to understand the character before a deconstruction can really be successful. Deconstructing a character without that grounding in who they are (or think they are/should be) doesn't work. Theoretically you could rely on an audience's preconceived ideas of characters like Batman and Superman because they're famous pop culture icons. DCs problem is it keeps changing its style and actors for these two iconic characters so audiences are never quite sure which version they're supposed to be dealing with.

Marvel decided which version of each character they were going to go with and stuck to it. Any changes to those characters have been naturally developed over the course of the movies. They also seem to have had the financial foresight to make sure contracts for the actors allowed them to keep using the same actors throughout the length of the plan. I still don't know if Ben Affleck is playing the same Batman as Christian Bale, though I assume not. There's only so many times you can reset a character before audiences get bored and annoyed.
   
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The MCU really is this incredibly well managed and scripted beast that rises above the sum of its parts. Most of the movies are of at least good quality, they maintain quite a bit of variety, but what makes them so successful is that they really built on each other, and built into each other from the planning stage. That's created an ecosystem almost, where you'll watch She-Hulk because Daredevil's in it, or Ms. Marvel because Captain Marvel's in it. The cameos and perpetual crossovers, major and minor, mean any fan of one of those characters is likely to try anything from the MCU because there's probably something in there for them to like- even if it is a character they don't care about. The DC verse is still trying to get this to work- understandably so!

Barring sprawling scifi franchises like Star Trek and Wars, this has never been done before. So a good and entertaining DC film has to rise above a good and entertaining Marvel film plus all of the interested Marvel fans checking it out, a task that gets harder every year. Aquaman was pretty good- but it really didn't set anything up, or tie in to anything else. Simply knowing that the individual films can be taken or left means your audience numbers will be lower. MCU fans literally can't skip anything, because if they do they'll have to go back and watch several movies and a tv series or two to get the full glory of the next film starring their major character.

The closest thing DC has done, is wisely doubled down on characters that work. Harley quinn almost has a pocket Harleyverse going on, and James Gunn is busily crafting a suicide squadverse. This is all reactive though, when a project works they pump out sequels and tie ins- but there still isn't an overarching plan.

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Casualty wrote:
If WB and Zaslev are smart and take their time, of course they can make good films and a good universe.


There's nothing to suggest WB are smart or that Zaslav cares about making anything good.

Zaslav is also on record dismissing scripted tv as obsolete and too expensive, and the company under his charge seems to be developing a nasty habit of telling porkies.

I don't know why anyone is taking the reassuring noises about og HBO seriously. I will be very surprised if it still meaningfully exists by the time he flees the scene with a bag marked with dollar signs.


Eh, I dunno. WB has had a good string of DC films that have either been very profitable or critical successes or both. And the buzz is that most of the stuff in the pipeline is still coming. It's the overall plan that's in question.

Time will tell what the Zaslev effect is, but he's not wrong that the current plan is kinda fethed up. In the film space, their two biggest superhero IPs are either completely stalled (Superman) or successful but walled off from the rest of the universe (The Batman) and unable to be leveraged to its maximum.

Meanwhile HBO Max was working on $80 million(!) streaming-only films like Batgirl that were in the no-man's-land of very pricey for streaming but not at a quality level for a theatrical release. Blue Beetle got a bump up to theatrical with a budget bump to match, and it seems to be safe. Spending on series makes a lot more sense for streaming, and most of those are apparently moving forward also.

I can't read Zaslev's mind, but to me it's not about the spend but where you're making the spend. And some of that wasn't making sense to me either. *shrug*

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2022/08/10 17:53:59


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That's kind of the curse of Batman though. To fit in with the Justice League he kind of gets increasingly scaled up to the point where his struggles in Gotham lose a lot of their grounded, detective noir appeal. It's not that it can't work, but it does require a good suspension of disbelief or an escalation of his Gotham villains that kind of robs them of their personality in order to make them compete with that level of Bats.
   
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I think its important to note that WB, DC and Time Warner have gone though 3 or 4 major shake ups in leadership and structure since Superman came out.

The biggest shake ups for Marvel were the acquisition by Disney and Kevin taking charge from Perlmutter and the council.


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 LunarSol wrote:
That's kind of the curse of Batman though. To fit in with the Justice League he kind of gets increasingly scaled up to the point where his struggles in Gotham lose a lot of their grounded, detective noir appeal. It's not that it can't work, but it does require a good suspension of disbelief or an escalation of his Gotham villains that kind of robs them of their personality in order to make them compete with that level of Bats.


I'm actually okay with a very loose universe with most characters more or less in their own world with some minor crossover. That was the plan a couple years ago, and I think it works better for a studio like WB. But that's not what they want now, even before Zaslev came on board. This gak will give you whiplash.

And it doesn't excuse the Superman situation. It's a premium IP...they need to be making Superman content beyond a CW family drama to sell those t-shirts and action figures and lunchboxes. Cavill's situation is part of the issue, but not really...pay the man and keep him, or don't and reboot. It's actually pretty easy, and they can't seem to figure it out. They had creators like Chris McQuarrie and Matthew Vaughn wanting to make Superman films, but said no while having no actual plans for the character. There should always be a plan for your biggest IPs.

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In a lot of ways Superman has similar problems to Batman. When you taken him out of his element and put him in an environment that largely consists of relative peers, he loses a lot of his storytelling potential. There's no reason for Clark Kent and the kinds of stories that you tell with super teams he just kind of solves on his own.

A lot of it is driven by the executive point of view. They see big payouts from stuff like the Death of Superman, Injustice, The Dark Knight Returns, Red Son, and want it to just happen in film form. It's very similar to how Sony has been wanting to make Venom happen at any cost since the 90's.

One of the big problems with both Sony and WB is they've found success selling the public villains. That's what defines each movie and it definitely works in film structure because it gives your movie a thesis. What it doesn't really do is give you a universe, because the villains can't carry future films. Part of why Marvel works is they sold us the heroes and those are the characters we invest in and return to see more of.
   
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 LunarSol wrote:
In a lot of ways Superman has similar problems to Batman. When you taken him out of his element and put him in an environment that largely consists of relative peers, he loses a lot of his storytelling potential. There's no reason for Clark Kent and the kinds of stories that you tell with super teams he just kind of solves on his own.

A lot of it is driven by the executive point of view. They see big payouts from stuff like the Death of Superman, Injustice, The Dark Knight Returns, Red Son, and want it to just happen in film form. It's very similar to how Sony has been wanting to make Venom happen at any cost since the 90's.

One of the big problems with both Sony and WB is they've found success selling the public villains. That's what defines each movie and it definitely works in film structure because it gives your movie a thesis. What it doesn't really do is give you a universe, because the villains can't carry future films. Part of why Marvel works is they sold us the heroes and those are the characters we invest in and return to see more of.


Well, I'm not really concerned about Superman in the context of a shared universe. It's more the business perspective that you don't shelve him for no apparent reason. I also think the storytelling issues with Superman are largely overblown. And yeah, it feels like WB majorly overthinks Superman at the executive level, worrying about whether he's relatable and what kind of parable a Superman story needs to be. To be clear, I like thoughtful Superman stories quite a bit. I just think one can make a big, dumb, exciting, fun, spectacle Superman film and do really well with it. That's what Marvel would do, and it'd probably clear a billion in box office easily. gak, that's what Wan did with friggin' *Aquaman*, and that cleared a billion.

I heard an interview with Mark Waid where they asked him about the difficulties with writing Superman, and whether the character is relatable, etc. He just laughed and dismissed it. Maybe that's too much of a handwave on his part, but I don't think it's even half as hard as WB is making it.

The executives' best idea was apparently to replace Superman with Supergirl, rather than just reboot. Which to me shows a lack of understanding of Kara Zor-El. She's not a female Kal-El or "Clara" Kent...she's an interesting character in her own right, but one that works better as a kind of counterpoint to Superman, having been raised Kryptonian. Would love to see the character on the big screen, but as part of a well-conceived Superman family and not a shoehorned replacement due to a contract dispute.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2022/08/10 21:17:36


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So, now there is controversy because apparently one of the test screenings for Batgirl tested the same as one of the test screenings for Black Adam.

Apparently this isn't exactly the whole truth. They do several test screenings with several different cuts of a film. Basically, Batgirl's best score did in fact test as well as one of the earlier, less popular cuts of Black Adam, but overall Black Adam tested better.
   
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They need to put a definitive power level on Superman and that power level should be the DCAU. He can be hit hard and thrown around. He isn't so fast it's insane. He is tough. Fast. Strong. But beatable.

Superman in the Adventures of Superman and Justice League cartoons is peak Superman.

Just like it's peak Batman. And it's why they can both be in their own shows, the justice league, and have cross over episodes with each other and have it all completely work.


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 cuda1179 wrote:
So, now there is controversy because apparently one of the test screenings for Batgirl tested the same as one of the test screenings for Black Adam.

Apparently this isn't exactly the whole truth. They do several test screenings with several different cuts of a film. Basically, Batgirl's best score did in fact test as well as one of the earlier, less popular cuts of Black Adam, but overall Black Adam tested better.


The controversy is in the fact that they have a nice political drum to beat even if their accusations are off base, nothing more.

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 cuda1179 wrote:
So, now there is controversy because apparently one of the test screenings for Batgirl tested the same as one of the test screenings for Black Adam.

Apparently this isn't exactly the whole truth. They do several test screenings with several different cuts of a film. Basically, Batgirl's best score did in fact test as well as one of the earlier, less popular cuts of Black Adam, but overall Black Adam tested better.
Wouldn't make any difference.

Black Adam cost significantly more to make than Batgirl, is finished, was made for the big screen and not a streaming-only release, and has The Rock. The return on investment is likely to be quite a bit different.

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 Lance845 wrote:
They need to put a definitive power level on Superman and that power level should be the DCAU. He can be hit hard and thrown around. He isn't so fast it's insane. He is tough. Fast. Strong. But beatable.

Superman in the Adventures of Superman and Justice League cartoons is peak Superman.

Just like it's peak Batman. And it's why they can both be in their own shows, the justice league, and have cross over episodes with each other and have it all completely work.


I don't think Superman's power level is really a big problem. The DCEU version is clearly a power downgrade from the Superman Returns version where he lifted a small continent WITH kryptonite poisoning him. I don't think anyone is looking to make movies with a Silver/Bronze Age level Superman where he pushed whole planets and such.

Besides, he has no shortage of villains who can challenge him. The Justice League has extremely powerful villains who can challenge him and them too. And GL, WW, Flash and MM have no shortage of power and fit pretty well alongside Superman's power level. The writing problem is Batman. But if Marvel can make Black Widow and Hawkeye work alongside Iron Man and particularly Thor, I don't see why DC can't make Batman in the JL work in the movies. Just gotta give him very different stuff to do, like be the team general and ninja. Personally, I don't think it makes sense to downgrade the whole rest of the JL for Batman's sake. Let them the rest of them be amazing, it's what I think most DC fans want to see on film.

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 gorgon wrote:
 Lance845 wrote:
They need to put a definitive power level on Superman and that power level should be the DCAU. He can be hit hard and thrown around. He isn't so fast it's insane. He is tough. Fast. Strong. But beatable.

Superman in the Adventures of Superman and Justice League cartoons is peak Superman.

Just like it's peak Batman. And it's why they can both be in their own shows, the justice league, and have cross over episodes with each other and have it all completely work.


I don't think Superman's power level is really a big problem. The DCEU version is clearly a power downgrade from the Superman Returns version where he lifted a small continent WITH kryptonite poisoning him. I don't think anyone is looking to make movies with a Silver/Bronze Age level Superman where he pushed whole planets and such.

Besides, he has no shortage of villains who can challenge him. The Justice League has extremely powerful villains who can challenge him and them too. And GL, WW, Flash and MM have no shortage of power and fit pretty well alongside Superman's power level. The writing problem is Batman. But if Marvel can make Black Widow and Hawkeye work alongside Iron Man and particularly Thor, I don't see why DC can't make Batman in the JL work in the movies. Just gotta give him very different stuff to do, like be the team general and ninja. Personally, I don't think it makes sense to downgrade the whole rest of the JL for Batman's sake. Let them the rest of them be amazing, it's what I think most DC fans want to see on film.


Thor could be knocked around, beat up, and killed in pretty much every avengers movie. Granted, Loki isn't as great a fighter as him to it was unlikely. But Ultron and Thanos were both very real problems for every person involved.

Superman versus Steppenwolf. Not only could the rest of the justice league barely distract him and had to run the entire time they were dealing with him, but superman himself could take him out casually. Not breaking a sweat. Just kind of taking his time to do it because why rush?

DCEU Superman is way too powerful for the rest of the JL.


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Parasite. Metallo. Mongul. Lobo. Darkseid. Doomsday. Amazo.

Moving away from physical you also have Lex Luthor, Mister Mxyzptlk, and Bruce Wayne.

Edit: Not disagreeing about power levels in JL, just pointing out he does have enemies that can smack him around. In general I've never really liked Batman and Superman being shoved together as they are radically different types of stories and power levels. Still, the better Superman stories/moments don't rely on his god like power.

Oh, I guess because of the Doomsday Clock we can add Dr. Manhattan to the list.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2022/08/14 16:18:20


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But then, what situations can involve Superman in a team can’t simply be resolved by him being him with his speed, strength, laser eyes, frost breath, flight, invulnerability etc?

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Lex Luther of the DCEU is a lunatic making odd little noises while being a complete psychopath. He is no actual threat to Superman. Or... anyone. Except easy to manipulate paranoid Bruce Wayne.

Doomsday has already come and gone.

Mongul and Lobo are going to be on par with Steppenwolf at best in terms of power.

Metallo and Parasite have something there. But we have seen how little effect kryptonite actually has on DCEU Superman.

Darkseid could pose a threat to him, but where does that place everyone else?

Again the issue here is the divide between supes and everyone else and thus the divide between anything that could threaten supes and everyone else. The justice league are not a team. They are a liability while Superman handles everything.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2022/08/14 16:37:08



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The DCEU as it is barely is a thing and shoddy so I don't think we should use it as the only measure of the how things could be handled.

Though looking at the new CEO the truly sad part is that as problematic as their half-assed attempt at the cinematic universe have been it could get worse.

I do like that I explicitly agreed that the power level was an issue but you went on a rant about how it is about how his power level is a problem.

Person A: I think B might be right.

Person B: NO! I'm right and I will say it again why!

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I didn't "Go on a rant". I addressed the examples you gave.



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 Lance845 wrote:
I addressed the examples you gave.


Within a very limited context ignoring that it was just general listing of enemies that can fight Superman not a list of DCEU only uses. Then you went on to reiterate the exact position you presented and was generally agreed on already. Even if it wasn't intended to be one it comes across as a petty rejoinder.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2022/08/14 17:20:40


Amidst the mists and coldest frosts he thrusts his fists against the posts and still insists he sees the ghosts.
 
   
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Sure. Whatever you want man. Lets start this bit over.

In the movies supermans power level is too high. It needs to be closer to DCAU where superman can be knocked around so anyone else in the universe makes sense to be in the fight at the same time as him.

The JL makes sense in the DCAU and doesn't in the DCEU because of Supes power level.

Now, if you want to respond to that with a list of villains that can give superman a run for his money, i am going to reiterate my point while refuting them. If you instead want to respond to my point, we could probably have a conversation.


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I think we also need to keep in mind with this sort of topic is the films need to find an audience beyond Us Nerds.

This is something the MCU has done quite nicely. Sure Cap and Hulk were kind of in the public consciousness, but I don’t think we can really say the same about any of the others.

The DCEU however has gone for their best known properties, but kind of obscure versions by the public’s knowledge of these things.

Most folk knew Batman from the 60’s TV series and 80’s/90’s movies. Superman was Christopher Reeve and to some extent Christopher Reeve was Superman.

Doing a new Batman so soon after the Nolan movies was arguably Too Soon. And “dork and grotty” Superman was I fear a step way too far.

Again compare to the MCU. It took time to introduce us to their take on the characters, and there were things in there to tickle the knowledge pickle of long term fans - without making those things the focus, or requiring the audience to really know anything about them.

And as they rolled out the movies, they introduced more stuff from the comics. Sometimes again as Pickle Ticklers, others as Actual Plot Devices.

For instance, Ultron and Vision. You and I had likely at least heard of Ultron, and had some understanding of what he is, who he is, and why he’s a long running villain (he’s defeatable, but bloody hard to stop). Flawed as it is, Age of Ultron did that. And even introduced the possibility one of his clone bodies survived to host his consciousness, leaving a return open further down the line. Indeed so much was introduced in Age of Ultron that would pay off in the coming movies, my opinion of it as part of the wider tapestry has increased quite considerably.

And I think that’s how you need to do it.

I mean, let’s look at Man of Steel, and the frankly bizarre take on Pa Kent. No son, don’t use your powers because Gubmint.

Never mind there’s….basically bugger all the Gubmint could do to ever contain Clark/Superman, so his approach makes no sense other than to make Snyder’s Superman lame and edgy.


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