I’ve never really bought the whole ‘DC films are too grim’ thing - they still involve lycra (albeit it toned down) and utility belts after all - but there’s definitely something about their laconic gruffness that have caused them to flounder in the face of Marvel’s recent superior cinematic offerings.
The problem is partly that, given Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight contributions were so good, DC/Warner Bros couldn’t resist trying to emulate it with Man of Steel et al, instead of switching the style up.
It seems they’ve finally learned their lesson though, with Warner Bros’ new head of DC Films Geoff Johns admitting this week that they’ve been sticking too fastidiously to a formula.
“Mistakenly in the past I think the studio has said, ‘Oh, DC films are gritty and dark and that’s what makes them different.’” he told The Wall Street Journal.
“That couldn’t be more wrong. It’s a hopeful and optimistic view of life. Even Batman has a glimmer of that in him. If he didn’t think he’d make tomorrow better, he’d stop.”
Johns said WB are urgently trying to bring some go this “optimistic view” to the DC Extended Universe, following the critical panning of both Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad.
The problem is, no-one wants a hyper-positive film either.
It’s really the characters and writing that are causing DC to lag behind Marvel right now, so if they think just injecting some optimism and gags into Justice League is going to save it, they might be disappointed…
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