Scorsese Joker Project: Proof The DCEU Remains Broken

For those of us who thought that the greatest problem with the DCEU (the DC Extended Universe) was Zach Snyder’s stewardship, you were right (sort of).

Though to be fair, that’s like blaming the small (relatively speaking) bit of iceberg that remained above the surface for sinking the Titanic.

Reason being, some executive(s) okayed Snyder’s approach, which is the real issue.

I bring it up because there’s talk of a Joker origin movie that seems to exist outside the DCEU (essentially an Elseworlds-type of story).  And this is a problem because–while Christopher Nolan’s Batman movies were popular, they existed outside the DCEU, which means that everything that this new movie establishes will likely not be a part of the current universe as well.

And there are so many different DCEU’s as it is.  There’s the version that exists in movies, which has finally begun to gain traction with Wonder Woman.  Then there’s the DCEU as it exists on television, which shares characters like the Flash and Superman.

Now there’s what I call the Elseworlds DCEU, that takes characters people are aware of, and places them outside the universe proper.

This is where the Nolan Batman movies reside

If you’re a comic reader, the latter scenario I mentioned is hardly an unusual one (Marvel Comics had their own take on stories based in an alternative Marvel Universe called What if… ) but moviegoers might find it a bit confusing.

Though what’s worse is that the DCEU has failed to establish their mainstream characters with anything resembling consistency, so now they’re creating alternative takes, seemingly independent of the greater DCEU!?

Such a move may be profitable in the short term, but it does not bode well for the DCEU as a whole.

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Lego DC Comics Superheroes: Justice League: Attack of the Legion of Doom – Trailer

I am not a big fan of DC superheroes, though I am a huge fan of Legos (though to be fair I was weaned on Batman; as I got older my comic preferences shifted).

That being said, I enjoyed the somewhat goofy adventures of the Justice League from the cartoon, though I had soft spot for the villains, particularly Black Manta.

Though the base apparently modeled on Darth Vader’s head?  Priceless.

And speaking of Black Manta, his name was always a bit odd for me in that Manta Rays are black (with a white underside), so calling him Black Manta is sort of like a superhero named Brown Cougar or Gray Shark) though that was before I learned that he’s an African-American under that odd mask, and his story is a lot more interesting than you’d think.

And Aqua-Baby? Seriously (on top of Aquaman being the lamest of superheroes)?  No wonder I moved on to Marvel Comics.

Daredevil (2015) Ep. 1: Into The Ring

Daredevil poster

“An Auspicious Beginning For Marvel’s Un-Caped Crusader.”

Daredevil openingWhen I was growing up, comics not only taught me how to read, but they inspired me to action; I remember vividly running about New York City, trekking through Central Park like Cortez or exploring abandoned buildings with my not-so-super friends. And I would read–though perhaps devour is a better word–just about anything I could find, though I preferred comics. Batman, Green Lantern, The Justice League, I read it all. Though I gravitated most to Marvel.  There was something about their superheroes that hit closer to home for me.  I have no idea why, though it wasn’t because of their origins (after all, while I have been bitten by insects, they never gave me any enhanced abilities–though I do sometimes develop an annoying allergic reaction to mosquito bites).

Though I was never particularly fond of Daredevil.  Even Frank Miller’s run, while critically acclaimed, never moved me.  It’s not that I hated the character–far from it!–it’s just that he more often than not felt like pale copy of some much better characters. Then there was Ben Affleck’s turn as the Man Without Fear in the 2003 movie.  The costume was good, but the CGI was rubbery; though he acted like a blind version of Spider-Man. The movie wasn’t terrible, but also wasn’t differentiated enough from other more popular superheroes to work as as well as it should have. Enter 2015 and Netflix, who’s producing four 13-episode television series, based on Daredevil, Jessica Jones (who I have no idea about), Luke Cage and Iron Fist. Marvel Studios, unlike Sony and their Amazing Spider-Man franchise, realize that most people are familiar enough with superheroes that they don’t want to sit through hours of origin story, so how Daredevil comes by his abilities is literally over in the first three or four minutes–if that long.

I’m watching the first episode, Into The Ring, as I type.  And so far, it’s pretty good. The small screen suits the character, its confides somehow as restricting as Matt Murdock’s lack of sight.  The series has a very noir look, with lots of shadows and characters being defined by the reflected light emanating from the sprawling city all around them, which is a character in and of itself. And while I can’t (yet) speak to whether the entire first series will be as entertaining as Into The Ring, I’m optimistic. Verdict: Must See TV, Marvel Style.

Meet Baymax!

As you can tell from the screenshots of the Tweets that I have included below, I have been having a few conversations with Baymax, of Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6.  He’s very literal, as is the way with most machines–and reminds me quite a bit of Apple Inc’s Siri.

Besides, how can you resist a mug like that?  And if you’re unfamiliar with who he–or should I say “what” Baymax is–I have included a trailer from the upcoming feature (which is based upon Marvel Comics’ Sunfire And Big Hero Six).

Sunfire isn’t joining the team this time around because he’s currently licensed to 20th Century Fox (and appeared in X-Men: Days Of Future Past).

Baymax

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Is Not Always Better (Especially When It Comes To Super-Villains)

Sinister SixI like ‘more’ as much as the next guy. More money, more “Pacific Rim” and more hard drives (I have always had a thing for storage space).

Where ‘more’ doesn’t work so well for is when you have too many villains. After all, Sam Raimi is a pretty talented director yet his “Spider-Man 3” was a mess, primarily because there were too many bad guys (though the giant Sandman monster didn’t help matters).

And in his film, there were only three:  Sandman, Venom and Green Goblin, Jr.

If the image to the left, the studio where Marc Webb’s “Amazing Spider-Man 2” is shooting, is any indicator, the word overreach means nothing to Webb.

That being said, there’s no law that says that it can’t be done, but I suspect that it would be less a Spider-Man movie than a super-villan origin piece that happens to have Spider-Man in it.

Which I think is an interesting idea, but I am willing to bet fans of the character (as he appears in movies) – never mind the studio bankrolling it –  would think otherwise.

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Bryan Singer Should Share The Wealth

image courtesy of SuperHeroHype

image courtesy of SuperHeroHype

The figure to the right of Bryan Singer is a  Sentinel, from the director’s upcoming  X-Men adventure, “Days Of Future Past” (which is based upon a storyline from the long-running Marvel Comics series).

I am not crazy about how the Sentinel looks – especially considering how much better it looks in the comics – though this may not be the final design.  I assume that that’s the case because with the addition of CGI there’s no way that it would look so much like a huge wind-up toy.

Another thing that bothers me is that Singer, as a director, has received considerable success since his first film, “The Usual Suspects.”  He’s talented, though I was unaware that skills like engineering and welding figured into his skill-set.

If not, why aren’t we seeing some of those people in the picture as well?  Or at least some accompanying shots of them putting the thing together.

I don’t know Bryan Singer, though he comes off as arrogant in interviews and commentaries; and this picture from his latest project isn’t doing anything to change that.

Could Wolverine Ever Enter The Marvel Cinematic Universe?

X-Men 80

Possibly, though under some certain very specific conditions.  Marvel Studios has regained the rights to use characters like Blade, Ghost Rider, Daredevil and The Punisher, though Fox owns not only the rights to use the X-Men in features (which Wolverine is a member) but also the term “mutants” – describing enhanced human beings – as well.

And speaking of Daredevil, I suspect that a similar fate was only just avoided with The Fantastic Four, which was rushed into production with Josh Trask (Chronicle) at the helm.

Since Wolverine doesn’t necessarily “exist” outside the X-Men continuity, I suspect that for Marvel to regain the rights to the character they would have to first gain the rights to the entire X-Universe of characters.

And that’s possible, though considering how successful the last X-Men film was, it’s very, very unlikely.

What’s more likely – if Wolverine’s performance overseas were weaker or grows weaker overall – is that we would see no more single X-Men adventures, and instead concentrate on the team as a whole.