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Topic: Why The DCEU Will Fail (And Why It’ll Succeed) Post ReplyPost New Topic
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 10 August 2017 at 9:24am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

This made for interesting reading:


Some good points there. I certainly agree with point #15. It was rushed. It felt more organic with the way the MCU developed (over the last nine years). It's almost like DC rushed everything just to get a "slice of the pie".
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Petter Myhr Ness
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Posted: 10 August 2017 at 10:11am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Rushed? How do we know? Just because they have a different strategy? They already had successful Batman and Superman movies out there, and with the huge success of WONDER WOMAN, one could argue that their Justice League movie is perfectly timed.

Ultimately, I think it will fail when people grow tired of superhero movies.
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 10 August 2017 at 10:16am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

They certainly have started the "universe building" in less time than the MCU. It seems like, after the release of MAN OF STEEL, they just wanted to proceed as quickly as possible with the shared universe.

Not saying it's going to fail - I hope not! - but it didn't feel as "organic" as the MCU.
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Bill Guerra
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Posted: 10 August 2017 at 11:19am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

There is nothing about the DCEU that feels organic.
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 10 August 2017 at 1:08pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

I see it this way:

Imagine a company that wanted to do great things, i.e. a technology company that sells electronics. Its founder decides to set it up but take his time building it. He has a passion for it. Over time, he builds it up, expands it, buys other companies, creates subsidiaries, etc. All done "organically", with great thought and at the right pace.

Now, imagine a would-be-competitor. He wants a "slice of the pie". So he rushes a corporation into existence after getting a bank loan. Within years, he builds it up, expands it, etc. But perhaps too quickly. He lacks the long-term planning that the other guy benefits from. He just wants to create a big corporate rival no matter the timeframe. So he rushes this corporation into existence, doesn't have the benefit of long-term planning - and isn't as successful (yet).

That sums up how I feel about MCU vs. DCEU. 


Edited by Robbie Parry on 10 August 2017 at 1:10pm
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Matthew Wilkie
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Posted: 10 August 2017 at 1:39pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

I'm no fan of the DC films but two of the failures cited at them applied to Marvel too and they survived them.

Firstly, around commitment, whilst possibly not in the league of Batman, Ed Norton bailed from playing Banner / Hulk after one movie and it didn't disrupt at all. 

Secondly, around trusting the film makers, this strategy has worked for Marvel too with Edgar Wright leaving Ant Man.
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 10 August 2017 at 2:11pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

I just wish we'd had a shared universe decades ago. ;-)

You have no idea how bad it was for me, as a kid, praying that Adam West and Burt Ward would show up in a Christopher Reeve Superman movie...
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Brian Rhodes
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Posted: 10 August 2017 at 5:30pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

Rushed? How do we know?

The way I understand it, Marvel Studios had a plan for an Avengers movie before IRON MAN went into production. The idea was to do solo movies for each character (Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Captain America), then ultimately team them up in a group film.

Quite ambitious and something that hadn't been done before. And this was mapped out before Disney was in the mix. Made slightly more difficult by Marvel not owning full movie rights to the Hulk. But they took the time, they made their movies, they slowly built their "universe"....

Meanwhile...DC has been part of Warner Brothers for decades and Time/Warner since 1989. They've had complete ownership of the characters and plenty of financial sources to draw upon. And there was talk of a Superman/Batman movie since before BATMAN BEGINS was released. But it was mostly talk...

RETURNS was a franchise killer and Nolan ended his trilogy. So, now we have a shaky, doubly-rebooted start to a franchise. MAN OF STEEL was a dour, off-the-mark effort, followed up by an equally joyless mess of a movie that tries to have everything at once: Batman and Superman meet and fight - we're supposed to care about their conflict even though, as far as the movie goes, they have zero history with each other. Also: Doomsday, the death of Superman, Wonder Woman, and odd hints of other DC characters. And a portrayal of Lex Luthor that's so shamefully embarrassing that we all owe Kevin Spacey an apology. Bright lights. Explosions. Mean faces. All sound and fury signifying nothing. The Yawn of Justice.

Marvel Studios' slow build paid off huge with THE AVENGERS. Then they continued to make solo movies. And introduce new characters. And had an AVENGERS sequel. By the time CIVIL WAR hits, you've got not only a fairly rich history with the individual characters, but we've seen them interact with each other and build relationships for some time, now. So, the hero vs. hero conflict has some meaning to it. And the portion of it that happens at the airport is a hell of a lot of fun.

Now, they continue to make solo - and not so solo - movies. Doing another slow build, again...this time to a big, cosmic, all-encompassing fight with Thanos. 10 years from IRON MAN to that. Most of the movies have been good, some great. A fairly cohesive "universe" with well developed characters that have a history with each other...and with us.

The fact is that DC could have had a "shared cinematic universe" pretty much anytime in the last 40 years, but only recently got the ball rolling - and pretty badly, at that - only after Marvel Studios was very successful with it. THAT's how we know.


Edited by Brian Rhodes on 10 August 2017 at 6:21pm
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 10 August 2017 at 6:30pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Brian articulated it far better than I could have done. Far, far better. Thank you, Brian.

And, yes, that's it. Hard to believe WB have owned DC for decades (since 1968, right?) and they only wanted to do a "shared universe" since the MCU took off.

And, as Brian put it, it has been allowed to build, hence my use of the word "organic". I at least cared about Cap and Iron Man when CIVIL WAR was released.

I'm not saying the DCEU will not be successful - good luck to it! - but there's definitely a rushed aspect to it all. I mean, I'd have preferred a sequel to MAN OF STEEL before they went down the BATMAN VS SUPERMAN: DOJ route. 


Edited by Robbie Parry on 10 August 2017 at 6:31pm
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Peter Martin
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Posted: 10 August 2017 at 6:33pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

For rushed: see Aquaman and Cyborg. A third of this Justice League team make their first appearance in the Justice League movie. That kind of slow build takes planning and cannot be rushed.

And unless we include the TV flash, this proportion ratchets up to 50% of the team appearing for the first time in this movie. 
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Jani Evinen
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Posted: 11 August 2017 at 1:42am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Both Aquaman and Cyborg appeared, even if very shortly in Batman V Superman. And Wonder Woman was introduced in a good way there.

The Flash had also short cameos in both Batman V Superman and in Suicide Squad.

I don't Think its particulary rushed, and im happy that they have skipped out on regular origin films.

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Eric Sofer
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Posted: 11 August 2017 at 3:56am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

It feels to me as if it's a marathon race... Marvel Cinematic Universe is at mile 13... and DCEU says, "We're in this race to win it!" back at the starting line. So they're going to rush it in any way possible... especially after "Man of Steel" gave them a cramp, and Yawn of Justice gave 'em a poke in the eye.

None of this seems organic to me... but then, how organic is it to put Cyborg in the Justice League? Maybe the entire blame isn't on the cinematic side...

...but so much is. "Justice League" was going to happen regardless of how well "Wonder Woman" did. Fortunately for DC, Diana hit the jackpot. But Batman HASN'T HAD A MOVIE YET. He was introduced and co-starred in Yawn of Justice, and he had five minutes in "Suicide Squad". Imagine that... a movie with Batman and the Joker in it, and they... never... even... MEET. Organic doesn't mean much after that, I think.

Flash and Aquaman  cameos in YoJ and SS do not count. Natasha and Hawkeye didn't "cameo" in their first appearance movies, and even though everyone and their sister knows that a Black Widow or Hawkeye movie would never bring in the audiences*, the characters were well seen before their star turn in "The Avengers."

That and also inorganic - and her is THE WORST SECRET SPOILER IN THE WORLD - Superman is not dead. I'm pretty sure that's who appears to Alfred in the JL trailer I saw. And so help me, if they pull a Brave and the Bold #29 on us - where the Justice League are in deadly danger, and Superman comes to their rescue - I'm gonna start shouting. I am. I warn you.

I'm a DC zombie and have been for 50 years. And I have to say that I can't see how these movies don't give me a sense that they're being raced into production to try to grab a piece of Marvel's pie, instead of DC doing it their way and making a cake.

*And by "everyone and their sister", I mean the MCU producers. I think people would line up to see why they remember Budapest so differently.
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Michael Hogan
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Posted: 11 August 2017 at 6:47am | IP Logged | 13 post reply

"Natasha and Hawkeye didn't "cameo" in their first appearance movies..."
_____________________________________________

Eric,

I would consider Natasha's scenes in IRON MAN 2 to be little better than a cameo, and Hawkeye made his first (VERY brief) appearance in THOR.
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Brian Rhodes
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Posted: 11 August 2017 at 7:37am | IP Logged | 14 post reply

I don't Think its particulary rushed, and im happy that they have skipped out on regular origin films.

So, second-tier-at-best Cyborg doesn't get an origin film, but they kick off this new universe by spending two and a half hours explaining the background (again) of the MOST WELL KNOWN SUPERHERO IN THE WORLD.

It makes most of what's followed look more like a scramble than a strategy.

Simply put, Marvel Studios' efforts seem mostly proactive, DC/Warner's seem largely reactive.




Edited by Brian Rhodes on 11 August 2017 at 12:50pm
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Matthew Wilkie
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Posted: 11 August 2017 at 7:40am | IP Logged | 15 post reply

I would consider Natasha's scenes in IRON MAN 2 to be little better than a cameo, and Hawkeye made his first (VERY brief) appearance in THOR.

***

My thoughts exactly. Indeed, for me, the one bum note of Avengers was that with Hawkeye not having been really established at all, Loki's mind control into making him evil did not have the emotional punch that it could have had we been properly introduced to him previously.
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Matthew Wilkie
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Posted: 11 August 2017 at 7:41am | IP Logged | 16 post reply

So, second-tier-at-best Cyborg doesn't get an origin film

***

In defence, I have so had it with origin films so don't see this an issue but agree that it would be good to have established him previously (be it in his own film or elsewhere).
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Peter Martin
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Posted: 11 August 2017 at 10:46am | IP Logged | 17 post reply

Hawkeye in Thor really is a cameo. Black Widow's role in Iron Man 2 was much more subtantial than a cameo. For example, she has more screen time in that movie than Darth Vader does in Star Wars.
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 11 August 2017 at 12:28pm | IP Logged | 18 post reply

I do wish the DCEU luck. But Brian is correct to use the word "reactive".

Still baffles me to this day that WB didn't start building a universe sooner. I'm told that BATMAN AND ROBIN soured them. That's nutty logic. When you fail - you fucking move on! I don't know about TV movies, but hard to believe that from late 1997 to summer 2005, there weren't any theatrical DC movies. So what if BATMAN AND ROBIN flopped? Why not just "get back on the horse" and try again?

It's just bizarre. It could have started in the 80s. Christopher Reeve was meant to be in SUPERGIRL (the commentary by director Jeannot Szwarc and consultant Scott Michael Bosco is worth a listen). It didn't happen. And then of course, the Salkinds didn't produce SUPERMAN IV. They did however produce SUPERBOY: THE TV SERIES. What a mess when you think about it.

Imagine if the Salkinds could have built a "Super-Universe" with Helen Slater's Supergirl. Superman, Superboy (I accept that the TV series SUPERBOY could not really be a prequel to the Reeve films as that'd be a major continuity blunder - and impossible).

Then we had BATMAN. At the time, I wondered if maybe Keaton's Batman could one day meet someone such as Green Arrow. I know shared universes were not on the same scale back then.

Okay, I'm conflating many, many things - perhaps unwisely. But my point is that it's bizarre that 49 years after WB bought DC, the theatrical shared universe only started a short while ago.
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Matthew Wilkie
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Posted: 11 August 2017 at 2:17pm | IP Logged | 19 post reply

I think we need to remember though that until the MCU, nobody had really done shared universes within big budget films (had they? I'm happy to be corrected). What Marvel did was outside the box and potentially a gamble - having gone well it has established superheroes as the big film draw but had it gone wrong it may well have killed them. 
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Rodrigo castellanos
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Posted: 11 August 2017 at 9:14pm | IP Logged | 20 post reply

I think we need to remember though that until the MCU, nobody had really done shared universes within big budget films (had they? I'm happy to be corrected). What Marvel did was outside the box and potentially a gamble - having gone well it has established superheroes as the big film draw but had it gone wrong it may well have killed them. 

------------------------------------------------------------ ---------------------

Totally.

Movies were movies, nobody felt it was organic to mesh them. Obviously there were some precedents ("Abbott and Costello vs. Frankenstein", "Alien vs. Predator", various japanese monster flicks, etc), but mostly, and for better or worse, Marvel Studios was a true innovator.

I think we're starting to see some backlash on this, though. Just like in the comics, people maybe don't want to watch a chapter in an increasingly complex mythology, just a good movie. The failure of the Universal Studios "monster movie Universe" and the DC struggles are signs of this, for me. 

But Marvel Studios (your mileage may vary, and there are obviously some weak spots) run a very tight, and most of the time enjoyable ship.


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Brian Rhodes
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Posted: 12 August 2017 at 11:59am | IP Logged | 21 post reply

I think we're starting to see some backlash on this, though. Just like in the comics, people maybe don't want to watch a chapter in an increasingly complex mythology, just a good movie. The failure of the Universal Studios "monster movie Universe" and the DC struggles are signs of this, for me.

Yeah. On the one hand, having this shared history among the characters (and the audience) can add punch to the stories, but the newer movies are becoming more and more dependent on knowing that history. The days of "stand alone" Marvel Studios movies are nearly over, for better or worse. ANT-MAN, DOCTOR STRANGE, and GUARDIANS, VOL 1, were fairly late entries that still managed to be entertaining largely on their own merits. But CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR, SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING, and the upcoming THOR:RAGNAROK and, of course, INFINITY WAR are much more dependent upon the intertwined universe and its history.

But Marvel Studios (your mileage may vary, and there are obviously some weak spots) run a very tight, and most of the time enjoyable ship.

Which makes me fine with it all. A lot of these have been "must-watch" for me, anyway. It's not like I find it a chore to keep up.



Edited by Brian Rhodes on 12 August 2017 at 12:10pm
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Brian Rhodes
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Posted: 12 August 2017 at 12:24pm | IP Logged | 22 post reply

Perhaps the greatest irony in all of this is that DC/Warner presented a really good, cohesive, true-to-source-and-tone shared universe with the Bruce Timm animated series. Starting with Batman: The Animated Series (in its various incarnations), then Superman, Justice League and Justice League Unlimited. Batman Beyond and Static Shock were part of it, too.

So, not only is it do-able, but they friggin' DID it.

They had the template they could have used for the DCEU. And frankly, they squandered it.


Edited by Brian Rhodes on 12 August 2017 at 12:25pm
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Adam Schulman
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Posted: 12 August 2017 at 2:35pm | IP Logged | 23 post reply

I've read that when the Flash gets a movie it'll be based on the Flashpoint series. And we all know what happened at the end of that story, right?

Only this time it'll be used to do a smart reboot of the DCEU (one hopes) instead of the ill-conceived New 52 reboot.

Things I'd like altered: Superman didn't kill Zod and didn't die, Superman gets a costume that at least looks like what Superman's currently wearing in the comics, Batman doesn't kill people and his costume has black trunks, Jimmy Olsen is alive, the Flash gets a costume that doesn't look make him look like a Flash Cyborg, the bombastic ultraviolence of Zack Snyder's directing is never seen again, Lois Lane has black or brown hair, not red hair...

I'm sure I could think of more...oh yeah, the tattooed Jared Leto version of the Joker is never seen again...


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Marc Baptiste
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Posted: 12 August 2017 at 3:36pm | IP Logged | 24 post reply

Adam,

No alterations to WONDER WOMAN?  I take it you liked Gal Gadot's version?

Marc
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Adam Schulman
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Posted: 12 August 2017 at 5:11pm | IP Logged | 25 post reply

Marc,

I still haven't seen it. But from what I can tell the DCEU was mostly "done right."
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