Has been a busy few weeks when it comes to super hero movies. A lot of interesting info has come out from Marvel and DC and I have a lot of thoughts in regards to all of it so I wanted to take a moment and put them into writing.
Let’s start with DC. DC recently announced their lineup of movies through 2020. The movies include Batman vs. Superman, Suicide Squad, 2 Justice League movies, Flash, Wonder Woman, Shazam, Green Lantern, Cyborg, and Aquaman. Left out of their announcements are new Batman and Superman movies, though I suspect there will be at least one of each of those. I am a little surprised to see them putting up a Shazam movie in particular as that character, formerly known as Mr. Marvel, is relatively unknown and unliked but whatever, might as well try something. Aquaman also is curious as he is generally another unliked character and the casting of Jason Momoa as Aquaman also seems strange as Aquaman was never a very muscular man of color.1 Out of the lot of the movies, I am glad they are giving Green Lantern another shot and am interested to see how they deal with a Suicide Squad movie. I got into the Suicide Squad with the New 52 and quite like that particular series.
For casting, I don’t particularly like most of the casting that they have announced so far. Like I said, I like Momoa but he doesn’t fit Aquaman. Similar feelings towards Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, though I think largely that character is difficult to cast and I think she could make it work. A lot of people disdain Ben Affleck as Batman but I feel he could turn out rather well. He has the chin for the mask and I think he can pull off the playboy Bruce Wayne which tends to be the trickier part. He could work out very well and I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt until I actually see him for myself. They haven’t cast Shazam yet, though they have cast The Rock as the villain in that movie, and that alone to me speaks volumes of how bad the movie will likely be.
DC is going for 2 movies a year, and the fact that they are doing the ensemble pieces first rather than introducing the pieces and building into the ensemble like Marvel did is interesting. People think now that the only way to do it successfully is to do it like Marvel, but let’s take a step back and realize that Marvel’s recent success actually started thanks to X-Men which is an ensemble piece. X-Men had some misteps but seems to be back on track and has one fairly successful individual hero film under the belt (The Wolverine) with a few more to come. This track isn’t fully vetted as of yet but don’t forget how much the current success of all super hero movies owes to the X-Men franchise. Again, willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. There is a lot to worry about with DC’s upcoming movies, this is the least of their problems.
With that, looking at Marvel, they are going for 2 movies a year as well but that isn’t including Sony or Fox movies. All said, Marvel will have anywhere between 4 and 5 movies a year for the next several years, which coupled with DC’s concerns me of over saturation. I like the Super Hero Movies quite a bit, but when is it going to be enough?
Marvel has announced some rather interesting choices as well including Doctor Strange which had been talked about for almost a decade previously. Still no word on who, though I am kind of excited by the prospects of it. I think the weird characters in Marvel is a sign of over saturation, but I also find them to be the most appealing. Super Man, Spider Man, Batman, Captain America, etc. Those heroes have all been done to death for years both in comics, on TV, and in theaters. For those guys it is becoming same ol same ol and guys like Doc Strange and Guardians of the Galaxies are a breath of fresh air. This is a double edged sword though. DC tried a Jonah Hex movie a few years ago and it was utter crap. I am interested to see the upcoming Ant Man, but I’m not sure how good a movie that stars someone who rides a flying ant actually will be.
DC is winning at one thing though, diversity. Cyborg is African American, Green Lantern could be as well, they have Wonder Woman, and Aquaman seems to be not white now too. The only diversity in Marvel’s wallet seems to be side-kicks or bit parts. They don’t even really have any planned coming up the pipe. Luke Cage on Netflix seems to be about it and who knows how good that is. They showed a clip of the Daredevil show at NY Comic Con recently and the word that is spreading about it is that it doesn’t look very good. It is entirely possible that the Netflix Marvel shows share the same quality that Agent of Shield. That’s another thing DC is beating Marvel at. Flash, Arrow, Constantine and Gotham are all quite good shows, will be interesting to see how DC enters the digital realm with their live action Static Shock.
And finally there is Avengers 2 which last week had to release their trailer early due to a leak. It looks really freaking good. Yet again. Though one thing is for sure… their Quicksilver doesn’t look like he is going to be as spectacular as the one from X-Men: Days of Future past.