Justice League International Trailer 1

I honestly don’t much like what I have so far seen from Zach Snyder’s upcoming Justice League and the recently released International Trailer hasn’t much changed my mind.

Snyder’s visual esthetic is on full display, which is to say that most images have a murky, ugly aspect to them, though if this were the movie’s only problem I might be okay with it.

My greatest problem with Justice League–and the entire DCEU (DC Extended Universe) is its relative unfaithfulness to the source material.

And since Zach Snyder was the creative force behind the emerging cinematic universe, he needs to be gone so that Geoff Johns–or whomever is leading DC Entertainment this week–can put their visual, as well as esthetic,  stamp on the growing cinematic universe.

Will Kraven the Hunter Appear in the Spider-Man: Homecoming Sequel?

Ben Affleck originally planned to star, write (with Geoff Johns) and direct a solo Batman movie for Warner Bros and DC Entertainment though he eventually decided to step down from the latter (it’s believed that he did so because Warner Bros was insistent that he make a 2018 release date, which he felt he could not do if he were to maintain the quality fans of the franchise had come to expect) and was replaced by Matt Reeves.

And when a new director comes onto a project–especially one in as strong a bargaining position as Reeves–they tend to rewrite a project, as opposed to going with the script that was already in place.

This means that much of what had been in Affleck and John’s screenplay will more than likely be discarded (though whomever does a rewrite could use the Affleck and Johns screenplay as a starting point).

Supposedly, the villain in the original screenplay was  Deathstroke, who was going to be played by Joe Manganiello.

Now let’s for a moment look at another franchise, namely Sony Pictures/Marvel Studios upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming.  

The third iteration of Marvel Comics venerable wall crawler will premier in theaters in 2018 though producers have said that they’re avoiding using villains from he earlier movies–which despite their iconic status makes a lot of sense–which means that it’s unlikely we’ll see the Green Goblin, the Lizard, Dr. Octopus, Sandman, Venom (and speaking of Venom, that’s a special case that I cover on my Screenphiles YouTube channel) or Electro.

Which means that villains that we have had yet to see will be appearing in Spider-Man: Homecoming–such as the Vulture, Tinkerer and Shocker–and its sequels.

Such as Kraven the Hunter

One of Spider-Man’s deadliest foes–created by Stan Lee and Stece Ditko and who first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #15–Kraven sought to defeat Spidey because he believed himself to be the world’s greatest hunter, though that’s not the only reason Kraven comes to mind as the next villain to menace Tom Holland’s Spider-Man because if you recall I mentioned Joe Manganiello a few paragraphs ago?  Well, here’s where things get interesting.

Here’s a picture of Manganiello.

And while I have no idea if there’s room in his schedule to play Kraven–nor that the villain is even being considered–there are few roles that an actor is so perfectly suited to play.

Justice League – Teaser Trailer – Aquaman Edition

This morning a teaser trailer Zach Snyder’s Batman v Superman was released, and…meh.

After all, it’s a teaser trailer, which is little more than a few carefully chosen shots from the upcoming movie seemingly designed to drum up interest.

It seems that Warner Bros/ DC Entertainment are taking a somewhat novel approach (‘novel’ in the sense of being unexpected, as opposed to being new or unique) in that they seem to be releasing teaser trailers composed of content focusing on individual members of the team. 

Having only seen Aquaman’s teaser I wish they’d go back to a more tradional format because it does them no favors. 

It’s too brief–after all, it’s a teaser trailer–to really make any sort of impression, and I expect the others to do the same. 

At this point Justice League is Zach Snyder’s last chance to get it right.  He whiffed Man of Steel and screwed the pooch on Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (which is pretty remarkable when you think about it.  Then again, when you take it upon yourself to ‘reinterpret’ characters no one asked you to in the first place, you’ve got to expect–that’s not entirely fair.  As much as Snyder doesn’t get these characters, which I find easier to accept than he does understand them, and proceeded as he did to spite fans, I am comfortable saying that Warner Bros executives seem too stupid to pick up a comic–so it’s not surprising that there’s more than a little blowback from both critics and the general public.

There’s one shot of the entire team toward the end, and I have seen better likenesses of living, breathing people in the window of Madame Tassaud’s

In other words, it underwhems.

What The Heck Is Going On With Justice League Dark?

Screenshot 2016-08-24 17.24.35.pngWarner Bros/DC Films’ Justice League Dark has had one of the most confusing journeys in to theaters in recent memory.

Originally intended as a project for Guillermo del Toro to direct, for unknown reasons those plans were abandoned, and it morphed into a cartoon (It’s worth mentioning that how the situation unfolded–minus the animation–is vaguely similar to how he was treated by Legendary Pictures, where he was set to direct the sequel to Pacific Rim before that project passed to Steven DeKnight–Spartacus, Marvel’s Daredevil–with Del Toro remaining as a producer, which is the case with Justice League Dark as well).

At the time that made no sense to me, and how the situation has evolved hasn’t made things any clearer, especially when you consider that Del Toro is indisputably one of the best directors of the weird and fantastic, so why he would move on from a project he originally seem very intent on helming feels a bit odd.

And things only get weirder because today  Comic Book Resources reported that Doug Liman, who was originally in line to direct Gambit for 20th Century Fox (a troubled production that won’t see the light of day any time soon) has turned up at the helm of Justice League Dark.

Yeah, I’m confused too because this latest turn of event literally makes no sense that I can see.

First off, why did Del Toro leave the production in the first place.  Then, why was the live action movie seemingly abandoned for an animated one.

And if things weren’t messy enough, how has the project returned, in a feat worthy of John Constantine himself, under Doug Liman?

And that’s not to imply criticism of Liman because he’s a really talented director but it feels to me that Guillermo del Toro is being treated a bit shabbily.

Can Geoff Johns Save The DCEU?

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Can Geoff Johns save the DCEU, otherwise known as the DC Extended Universe?

Let’s just say I HIGHLY doubt it.  And it’s worth mentioning that I speculate out of love because–while DC characters like Batman and Superman aren’t my favorites–I don’t wish them ill, either.

Which is why I find the movies released so far just vexingly disappointing.

Check out my reasons why in the video below.

The Second Week Curse Strikes Suicide Squad!

Screenshot 2016-08-03 19.14.16Which, if you follow Warner Bros. and DC Films is pretty much par for the course because, as big as the 67.3 percent fall for Suicide Squad was, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice performed even worse, declining 69 percent.

And this is problematic because it all the DCEU (DC Extended Universe) movies so far have lacked legs, and declined precipitously in their second weeks.

What this seems to say is that their movies are drawing fans of the material, but not expanding much beyond them.

And it should go without saying that this is a HUGE problem because it’s easy to get those viewers that are fans of the material, not so much for people that are unaware of it.

This is why Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy was such a surprise:  a movie that featured a CGI tree-man-thing and a raccoon managed to get people not only interested in the subject matter, but curious enough to go to the theater to see it.

Though it’s not unusual for movies of these type to fall in their second weeks. Another Marvel Studios movie, Captain America: The Winter Soldier fell to $41 million in its second week; though it opened to $95 million domestically, falling just over 50 percent, but not enough to stop it from ending its run at over $714 million, on a $170 million budget.

While Suicide Squad?  If it finishes its run at much over $500 million, with a budget somewhere in the range of $174 to $250 million, I’d be pleasantly surprised.

Suicide Squad – Review

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“David Ayer’s Suicide Squad is a better movie than either Man of Steel or Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.  Which unfortunately isn’t saying all that much.”

By my reckoning the greatest problems with Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was that director Zach Snyder forgot–or choose to ignore–two important things:

First, both Batman and Superman were originally made for children.  Now, I can understand the drive to make them more acceptable to adults, but what I don’t get is why he had to alienate younger folk in the process.

Though by doing so he removed two of the things that made them (particularly Superman) interesting to their millions of fans, which is a sense of wonder and possibility.

And while Superman was never my favorite superhero, I also never though of him as a god, something that Snyder has fixated on and feels the need to bludgeon viewers over the head with.

Zach Snyder’s fingerprints are all over Suicide Squad as well, particularly his tendency to equate murkiness and dreariness with darkness of tone.

And I’m also not sure that David Ayer was a good choice for the material (especially considering his filmography, such as End of Watch and Fury, though to be fair he seems to get that this stuff is essentially silly, so nothing’s any more serious than it needs to be) though he seems acquit himself well.

What’s more problematic is that the story–also written by Ayer–is way bigger than it needs to be.  Deadshot, El Diablo, Captain Boomerang, Harley Quinn, Slipknot, the Enchantress and Killer Croc are like the Avengers composed of lesser versions of Hawkeye, with the exception of El Diablo, Headshot and the Enchantress.

Which isn’t to say that they can’t be lethal, but if you’re looking for someone to stop an evil that threatens the world they probably wouldn’t be the first group you’d call.

But there’s a more serious problem that directly links to Zach Snyder’s treatment of Batman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

Namely Batman, when he encounters Deadshot and Harley Quinn, he kills neither one. If you recall in Batman v Superman he was really keen on killing virtually every person that opposed him.

Here? Not so much.

It’s not a corner that half-decent writing couldn’t get themselves out of, though it’s also a place that Snyder shouldn’t have taken the character in the first place.

And I fully understand that the movie would have been quite a bit shorter if Batman killed off Deadshot and Harley Quinn, but it would have also been truer to what Zach Snyder was doing before the soft reboot of the DC Extended Universe, which Suicide Squad is the first movie in.