The Reconstruction of the Superhero, part four: Doomsday Clock #5

by Drew Kiess

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The following contains spoilers for Doomsday Clock #5

There Is No God

With every issue released of Geoff Johns and Gary Frank’s Doomsday Clock, we find ourselves in a much darker world. Finding stories in our real world to be inspired by is becoming increasingly difficult, and we all seem to be living in a world without heroes.

I’m not even sure Alan Moore himself would have written a script this twisted.

“There Is No God” is the fifth chapter of the follow-up to Moore’s Watchmen. The Supermen Theory is becoming reality daily, and Lex Luthor’s would-be assassin Adrian Veidt is recovering from a fall in the hospital. Hawk and Dove have been arrested in St Petersburg for political rioting, and the world is falling apart.

What we have seen over the past several years is the decay of real-life heroes. In the age of the internet, it’s only a matter of time before every good guy has his dirty skeleton drug out of the closet and put on display. In many ways, this is what 1986 did to comic book superheroes.

While the intention of Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns was never to turn the world of superheroes into the world of dark and brooding, it certainly had that effect on the industry. It’s well documented how serious superhero stories became in light of the success of those books.

Superheroes have always reflected the culture in some way, but originally, that reflection was always reversed—a mirror in which to see that we could do and be better.

Action Comics #1 is about a man standing up for the poor and the weak. It was written by two poor Jewish boys from Cleveland, Ohio. It reflected their world, but wasn’t about presenting the world as it was, but as they hoped it could be. A savior, finally come. An Übermensch come to set things right.

And for some time, we cheered with glee as the hero prevailed. Evil loses, good wins and everyone cheers. But at some point we came to believe that the hero had to be flawed, had to lose from time to time, and might even be part of the problem.

Superman Is The Only Thing You Can Believe In

Johnny Thunder in this series, at least for me, represents an era of comics-gone-by. Him and the Legion have always been something of a relic from the golden (and even somewhat silver) age of comic books. As we know, the Legion is gone and Thunder is aimless. This has been the most captivating element of this book so far, inasmuch as it’s the story with the least amount of revelations. What exactly is Johnny hoping to accomplish, and what in the world does the Lantern have to do with it?

Rorschach saves Thunder from being mugged. In this moment, a character with a legacy of death and cynicism saves a character from a simpler, more optimistic time. Maybe heroes do still exists.

Meanwhile, Superman himself makes his first appearance since the closing panel of the first chapter. While the story has yet to give him much to do, he overhears that is a metahuman that is responsible for Supermen Theory, adding to the mystery. Can we trust our heroes, especially the good ones?

Everything Evens Out

While this issue is light on narrative, its subtext is rich. The things we hope in determines our path in life. Are we resigned to the failures of our heroes? Must we fall prey to the negativity around us? If Superman over the years has taught us anything, it’s that hope in a better world than our own is never misplaced.

While the thesis is that there is no God, the trajectory is faith. This isn’t Moore’s world anymore. Superman isn’t Manhattan, and so there is hope to be had that good will, in fact, win. While this may not have been the most memorable or ground breaking issue, but it has given me much to think about over the last few weeks. The Reconstruction continues.

 

“The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater.” -Tolkien

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Another Joker Movie On The Way?

by Drew Kiess

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Can I rant for a minute? Because I feel like ranting. Every other blog writer for geek stuff gets to do it, so why not me?

 

Overall, it has been a bad year for fandom. Not just DC fandom, mind you– all of fandom. Star Wars fans turning on each other and bullying individuals involved in a movie they didn’t like, Marvel fans using success as a weapon instead of an invitation for improvement, and Snyder fans turning every possible scenario into an opportunity to harass and belittle individuals who were only doing their job. The rest of us are left in the cold trying to fend for ourselves.

 

The reality is that we have created this mess. Our feverish desire for more of our geek-flavored product has caused a cheapening of what we once held precious. This is why we get a Han Solo movie that no one asked for (regardless of whether you liked the film or not, can we at least admit it’s still a little bizarre?) and its why we have Warner Bros. now scrambling to find Jared Leto’s Joker something to do.

 

Suicide Squad 2 is in apparent limbo, and Matt Reeves doesn’t want anything to do with Joker, and with Margot Robbie now attached to the moving train that is Birds of Prey, there isn’t really an obvious landing place for the character that for some reason, Warner Bros. has deemed a priority. Thus, we get the announcement today that Jared Leto will be starring in his own film as the Joker.
We may not have asked for this, but we absolutely asked for this.

 

The only thing that is currently known about this film is that Leto will star and produce. No writer, no director, and no production date have been given. So, in essence, its a concept without any skeleton.

 

I have done my best to remain positive regarding DC Films. As a matter of fact, I have liked to even loved every single entry to this point (yes, I liked Suicide Squad, Leto included). But it is becoming increasingly difficult to stand behind a studio that doesn’t seem to understand why these characters matter in the first place. Joker exists to challenge Batman. Without that dynamic, it is difficult to comprehend what the draw will be. Add that to the fact that Leto’s Joker was not particularly well received. It makes me wonder who exactly this film will be aimed at.

 

Time will tell if this will even be made (I have my doubts), but it seems like this is what happens when we push these studios for content. Long gone are the days when we were happy we had just one great comic book franchise. Now we need ten, plus.

 

And all this… and still no Superman movie. Explain that.

 

 

Desperately Seeking Batman

by Drew Kiess

Matt-Reeves-The-Batman

As I write this, it is the 28th of May, 2018. We’ve been living under the threat of a new actor playing Batman for somewhere around a year now, since Ben Affleck dropped out as the director of his own film. Rumors of who it could be, and whether or not Ben Affleck would change his mind (or what his mind actually is regarding playing the role) have been swirling in the wind like the garbage from an unsatisfying fast food meal in a shopping mall parking lot.

Once upon a time, not that long ago, we all seemed fairly sure that Jake Gyllenhaal would be taking on the cowl, but with Marvel’s Spider-Man Homecoming bringing him in as Mysterio, that rumor proved to be all smoke and no fire. Now, the rumors seem to be swinging back around to Affleck wishing to stay. And perhaps that may be true. But, in the end, I am not so sure it really matters how things look today.

When Batman v Superman was first announced, there were so many names floating around as to who would be playing the role of Batman. I remember Orlando Bloom, Karl Urban, and even a begrudgingly returning Christian Bale all being thrown around by serious to semi-serious outlets as possible solutions to the empty Batcave. But it was a name that was not in the rumor mill, that of Ben Affleck, that ended up being what Zack Snyder and Warner Bros. landed on. And no one saw it coming.

What this tells me is that the honest truth is that we have no idea. We can speculate, we can write articles based on outdated information taken from third hand sources in a game of entertainment espionage, or we can just sit back and wait.

Here’s what we know about the upcoming Batman film: Matt Reeves is developing one. That’s it. That’s all we know, and all we need to know.

From where I sit, if we never received a new Batman movie, I could still die a satisfied man. We have gotten arguably four different versions of the character that are all true to who he is at his core (and one version that isn’t). Why are we owed another one at all? Why can’t we just be satisfied with Warners putting other characters like Shazam and Wonder Woman on the front burner? The Wonder Woman franchise is the new cash cow, and it might just be time to come to terms with that.

And what if Shazam! is a huge hit? That could be a brand new direction for the studio as a whole. Would Batman be as relevant to them at that point? And what if Birds of Prey (should it be properly made as a PG-13 girl power superhero team-up) breaks out and Batgirl becomes the star she deserves to be? There are so many factors that lie between where we are now and what kind of Batman film we will get down the road, that speculation simply does not make sense. That is why, I think, this movie is in for a very long development.

So I could write an article listing all the actors that I think could play Batman, but I’m just not going to do that. I really don’t see a point in wasting your time like that, much less my own. Until I am told otherwise, I will assume that Affleck is still Batman, and if I am told otherwise, I will choose not to jump to conclusions until I’m given the appropriate information about how his replacement has performed in the role.

I am just really…really… over the speculation game. There’s just nothing interesting to say about it.

Batman Ninja: A Beautiful Frustration

By Drew Kiess

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Oh, boy… where to start with this one?

I suppose I will start by admitting that this is a review of the dubbed version of Batman Ninja. I am not an anime fan, so watching the movie with subtitles would have been a chore for me. For some, that may disqualify me altogether from reviewing this. That would be fair. I can only approach this from the standpoint of being a Batman fan, so that is the angle from which this review is written.

There. The qualifier is done.

Batman Ninja is the newest addition in the long line of DC Animated movies, this time from Warner Bros. proper and not from any of its subdivisions, such as Warner Premier. This movie will see a theatrical release in Japan, and I sincerely wish it all the success in the world there. The film was directed by Junpei Mizusaki, with Roger Craig Smith providing the dubbing for Batman, Tara Strong for Harley Quinn, Grey Griffin for Selina Kyle, and Tony Hale for the Joker.

When Gorilla Grodd’s time travelling experiment sends Batman, his allies—Nightwing, Red Robin, Robin, Alfred, Red Hood, and Catwoman—and his greatest foes—Joker, Harley Quinn, Two-Face, Penguin, and Deathstroke—back in time to feudal Japan, Batman must learn the ways of the ninja in order to return everyone back to Gotham. As the movie opens, the CG animation is striking. The movements look fluid and the action is more captivating than anything DC animation has put out in some time.

This quality in the visuals is almost constant throughout and the eyes never get bored watching the movie. The one strike against this is a baffling change in style about midway through the film that seemingly serves no storytelling purpose, but this alone does not sink this movie.

What keeps this movie from being great in my eyes is its over reliance on its own medium. The film sets itself up in ”our Gotham”, and then transports the familiar back in time to feudal Japan, but the rules of feudal Japan are not the rules of “our Gotham”—it exists very much by the rules of anime.

And this would be fine, if the movie set itself up as an anime first, set in an anime world. By trying to its cake and eat it, too, the film loses its punch. If fighting mechanical castles were necessary to the overall arc of the film, perhaps it would have been better to simply establish that the world that this Batman lives in is that kind of world, and not bother with the whole time travel ruse (It’s hard not to feel like Randall from Clerks, here. “I don’t appreciate your ruse, ma’am. Your cunning attempt to trick me).

What saves this movie for me is the characterization of Batman, which never feels false to the character, and the aesthetic. It is also incredibly refreshing to see a DC animated movie that doesn’t feel reliant on sophomoric sexual overtones that have become tiresome in recent entries. The characterization of the other characters, however—save, perhaps, Selina Kyle—is all over the map and not really as true as I would prefer.

Overall, I am lukewarm on Batman Ninja. This very well may be a great movie that simply wasn’t made for me. What I can say is that the film is absolutely gorgeous, and the marketing on just how good this film looks was not overstated. If you are a Batman fan or an anime fan, I would say that Batman Ninja is worth checking out. But if you are not as into anime as you are into Batman, then this may not be for you, either.

 

Final Grade: B-

 

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Suicide Squad: Hell To Pay

By Drew Kiess

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Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay is the latest addition to the DC Animated Universe that began with Justice League: Flashpoint Paradox and is the first to feature the Suicide Squad. The film stars Christian Slater as Deadshot, Vanessa Williams as Amanda Waller, Billy Brown as the Bronze Tiger, Kristen Bauer van Straten as Killer Frost, Gideon Emery as Copperhead, Liam McIntyre as Captain Boomerang, and Tara Strong as Harley Quinn. It was written by Alan Burnett (Batman: Mask of the Phantasm) and was directed by Sam Liu (Batman: The Killing Joke).

Can we be honest about these animated films for a moment? There has been a narrative about DC’s animated projects that has been all the rage that these are the DC movies that are knocking it out of the park. And at one time, that was honestly true. From Wonder Woman, New Frontier, The Dark Knight Returns, and Flashpoint Paradox, there was a strong string of good to great animated features in a short amount of time.

Since then, there has been less consistency. Killing Joke and Batman and Harley Quinn are far removed from the glory days of DC animated films. And for every Gotham by Gaslight, there is the unavoidable realization that the production quality is not what it once was. And I don’t think it’s a problem with the creative team, but there might just be too many projects for not enough people.

Suicide Squad: Hell To Pay may be one of the better productions from this universe in a while, but the story as a whole feels somewhat lacking. The Squad is sent to retrieve a get out of hell card for Waller, but they have some competition from various baddies across the DC Universe, including Blockbuster, Vandal and Scandal Savage, and Professor Zoom. A grindhouse road trip ensues to find the card.

Where this movie thrives is with the villains—that is, the bad bad-guys. The connections to the greater universe that is weaved into this film may be the best use of this connected universe to date. If this were the focal point of the movie (you know, telling an interesting story within a larger comic book universe) it would have been one of my favorites. That’s not what we got.

What we got was a movie that promised a sexy, violent action movie that could not separate itself from past attempts by these animated movies to be more “adult”, succeeding only in fulfilling the most juvenile of expectations on both fronts. Fetishizing strippers and lesbians is not something I associate with “edgy” and it, unsurprisingly, falls incredibly short here.

I have said it before with these movies and apparently it needs repeating: not everything needs to push the boundaries. Cool stories that exploit what makes these characters interesting will forever be preferable than using these characters to prove some point that comic book stories can be “grown up”. It’s a trend that is in desperate need of ending and I seriously hope it finds its demise before Death of Superman.

Here’s hoping.

 

 

The Reconstruction of the Superhero, Part Three: Doomsday Clock #4

By Drew Kiess

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The following contains spoilers for Doomsday Clock #4: “Walk On Water”

I See What I Want To See

Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ “The Abyss Gazes Also”, the sixth issue in Watchmen is, in this writer’s opinion, among the most important issues in comic book history. Showing the effects of witnessing tragedy on a once idealistic vigilante in such a brutal  way changed Watchmen from being an angry rebuttal of comic book culture into a true deconstruction of the building blocks of the mythos.

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“The Abyss Gazes Also” features Walter Kovacs, the first man to don the moniker Rorschach in prison, being interviewed by Dr. Malcolm Long.

Dr. Long is a mixture of good intentions and star struck, as he sees Kovacs as his chance to make an impression in psychological literature. His relationship with Kovacs is rocky, as Kovacs refuses to reveal much of what is going on in his mind. But as the issue continues, Kovacs’ story comes out.

Dark As It Gets

Kovacs retells a story of an investigation into the kidnapping of a young girl. Upon finding her kidnapper, he discovers that she was murdered, and possibly molested, her bones in the mouth of the monster’s dogs. Kovacs, in anger, brutally murders the man responsible.

“It is not God who kills the children. Not fate that butchers them or destiny that feeds them to  the dogs,” Kovacs tells Dr. Long. “It’s us. Only us.” Dr. Long sits on his bed that night, his marriage in ruins and his career in question after a lengthy and emotional effort to discover something of meaning in Rorschach, looks at an inkblot. Nothing but “meaningless blackness,” he thinks. The horror broke him.

There was nothing to solve.

What Do You See, Mr. Long?

Dr. Matthew Mason walks into the room where the mysterious Rorschach II sits, strapped to a chair, unmasked. Although Mason does not know his new patient’s identity, the inner monologue reveals Rorschach II to be Reggie Long, the son of Dr. Malcolm Long, driven to obsession when Veidt’s plan caused the death of his parents.

Reggie’s views of Dr. Mason, often comparable to Kovacs’ views of Dr. Long, are filtered through Reggie’s views of his father. Dr. Mason is nothing like his father, to him, although his view of Dr. Mason is how Kovacs saw Dr. Long.

Our heroes are how we choose to see them. In this way, the broken mirror image of Bruce Wayne deconstructs how the trauma of a young man views his parents’ relationship and death despite what we know is reality, and how tragedy informed his obsession and mission.

You Need To See Them At Their Best

Reggie had to be institutionalized after the death of his parents. While in asylum, he met Byron Lewis—Moth Man—former member of the Minute Men. Byron trains Reggie to be a one-man Minute Man, teaching him all the tricks the Minute Men had up their sleeves. In this time, Reggie’s view of reality is changed through the encouragement of Byron—instead of seeing them for how they died, he began viewing them at their happiest. He regained an idealized view of his parents, and his hatred for Adrian Veidt grew.

When Reggie’s opportunity to end Veidt’s life and avenge the death of his parents came, Reggie saw the remorse in Veidt’s eyes and couldn’t kill him. This conflicted with his simple view of good and evil. It broke him again.

I Have Someone To Blame

A fascinating element to the character of Bruce Wayne is that his crusade as Batman was never really about Joe Chill, the man who killed his parents. No, Wayne’s mission was to ensure that no child in his city should ever suffer the way he did. In contrast, Reggie Long wishes to avenge his suffering, and finds he has no place to send it. So it is interesting that, when it is revealed that Dr. Mason is, in fact, Bruce Wayne in disguise, that Bruce cannot penetrate through the inkblot.

Of course, Bruce is wearing his own kind of meaningless blackness. Two men attempting to understand each other through misperceptions and disguises are never going to achieve the understanding that they are after.

But which one is the hero? And which one is truly putting the future in jeopardy? Well, the only real answer to that is “we see what we want to see.”

Turned Them Toward Light

Issues like this separate great comic book stories and good ones. This was a game changer, even if the story feels like the story does not advance (it very much does, whether we see it or not). Not only is this the best issue of Doomsday Clock so far, this may go down as one of Geoff Johns and Gary Frank’s greatest accomplishment: Examining trauma and not losing heroism. Now, the reconstruction of the superhero can begin.

 

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Fandom At War, But Fans Are Still Good

by Drew Kiess

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It’s gotten to the point where I dread a big superhero movie opening. Don’t get me wrong, when I’m in the theater watching them, I’m having the time of my life, mostly. I enjoyed Black Panther, even if I had a few nitpicks.

But we don’t live in a world where we just enjoy things. It has to be accompanied by so much baggage. From behind-the-scenes drama, corporate finances, and social movements now dominate the discussion of the golden era of superheroes on the silver screen.

This last week, a film pundit (who shall remain nameless here) took to his platform to proclaim that something bad was coming down the pipe regarding DC on film but that he wasn’t go to share. Of course, with the internets being what they are, this blew up with speculation that resulted in Matt Reeves responding on Twitter that he was, indeed, not leaving as director of The Batman, which was a rumor spawned out of the whole mess.

This is where fandom is, and I want no part of it. I know I freelance for a fansite, but I strive to be better than the rumor-mill style of writing that has become so pervasive in this corner of the internet. Any trip onto Twitter seeing more fevered arguments about whether or not we should have the “who would win in a fight…” argument about female comic book characters from people who are outside of comic book culture is enough to make me, for a split second, think that, perhaps, fandom is toxic after all.

But there are moments, when talking with my friends who love these characters like I do, that I find a joy in my fandom again. The noise of online fandom fades into the background as we talk about Frank Miller vs Scott Snyder, or whether Aquaman could take down Namor (he could, by the way. Just call in a whale and have it sit on top of him. TKO).

The noise fades when every time I crack open an issue of Action Comics and see Booster Gold reference Marvel Comics. Or Superman and see Clark and Jon talking about the nature of hope and faith. Or The Mighty Thor and see decades of amazing Thor stories coming to a head during Jane Foster’s final days.

I don’t think fandom is toxic. I think we’ve just lost our way the past few years, and I’m hopeful we’ll find it again. I don’t recall every having a time more rich with great superhero content between comics, movies, television, and video games, and I’m choosing to enjoy every second of it. And even if I don’t like something, I’ll happily move along. Life’s too short to linger there.

I’ll also try to avoid Twitter. That might help, too.

 

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The Reconstruction of the Superhero, Part Two: Doomsday Clock #3

By Andrew Kiess

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The following contains spoilers for Doomsday Clock #3

Not Victory or Defeat 

A Comedian Died in New York, but he now lives in Metropolis. While it is revealed that Dr. Manhattan reversed the cornerstone death of Watchmen. The Comedian responds by attempting to reverse the situation on his killer, Ozymandias. Fortunately for Veidt, Lex Luthor has thicker windows in his office than Comedian had in his apartment.

This is not a story about reversing the past. This is a story about putting the pieces back together that the past broke.

Meanwhile, Rorschach II is in the Batcave giving Batman Kovacs’ journal. Batman does not believe a word of the story and locks Rorschach II in Mad Hatter’s vacant Arkham cell.

This is not a story of optimistic heroes becoming pessimists. This is a story about pessimistic heroes living in the shadow of a pessimistic world, who we hope find optimism in the end.

My Hands Are Dirty, Too

The Superman Theory looms large over the DC Universe of Doomsday Clock, which takes place one year ahead of present day continuity.  Rorschach II stands in an interesting position for audiences that his predecessor did not possess, he is both clearly detached from reality and yet he may be the only one capable of seeing reality.

Unlike Adrian Veidt, Rorschach II witnessed and felt the loss caused by the creature in Watchmen. We learn that his parents were killed during Veidt’s lie. We see Rorschach II’s unknown alter-ego, driving a car and speaking in a more conventional speech pattern before disaster strikes.

The tragedy is seemingly the beginning of the end for our hero’s innocence. As he showers in the Wayne Manor bath, he scrubs his scalp so hard the he bleeds. What blood is on his hand? How did he come across Kovacs; journal, and what pushed him towards wearing Kovacs’ face?

The answer is right in front of us. Or, rather, right in front of Rorschach II. If Walter Kovacs is Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon’s answer to Charles Victor Szasz, The Question, then this Rorschach is Geoff Johns and Gary Frank’s answer to Bruce Wayne, The Batman.

In the face of tragedy, a man uses the tools at his disposal to seek out justice and to, in the words of Frank Miller, force the world to make sense again. It is interesting, then, that when faced with his (albeit, more extreme) mirror image, that he thought the solution was to lock him in Arkham. Had not Batman, just a few years prior, jumped universes with The Flash investigating the very thing Rorschach was claiming to have information on? Ever the cynic, Bruce cannot accept the bizarre unless he himself witnesses it. Instead, he views his reflection as the personification of madness. Rorschach’s worldview is not reality for Bruce, but who’s to say which reality is which?

But I Wore My Best Suit

We’ve known since Rebirth began that something is up with Johnny Thunder and the Justice Society of America. I’m not going to pretend to be an expert on this part of the book, but his presence is heartbreaking. It would appears that he is experiencing the effects of the time slippage, and is aware of the life he may never have fully lived. The Justice Society may yet play an important role in this story and I’m excited to learn more.

In The Darkness…I Can’t See Their Faces

The final layer of this story is reflective of The Black Freighter comic in Watchmen. The Adjournment, a black and white detective film starring Carver Coleman is sprinkled throughout the book. Coleman is an actor who made his claim to fame playing Nathaniel Dusk (named after an obscure detective featured in DC Comics), a hard-boiled detective in a fedora and trench coat, in six films before the actor’s untimely death. Coleman’s murder is the subject of the newspaper and tabloid clipping stingers in this issue. The Adjournment sees Dusk investigate the mysterious murder of two men playing chess. The movie is interrupted by news of a metahuman arms race.

This is the dual identity of Watchmen. A murder-mystery placed in the backdrop of impending nuclear destruction. The Superman theory is the element that was missing in Watchmen. When Manhattan was the lone metahuman, the arms race halted while tensions grew taut. The Superman Theory states that 97% of metahumans are American, and now other nations are trying to create their own metahumans in order to compete.

It’s no wonder Clark is having nightmares. What is hope personified to do in a world so consumed with despair? While we are waiting patiently for Manhattan and Superman to come face-to-face, we continue to look into the mirror with our heroes and examine both our world and theirs. Issue #3 is the most restrained of the books so far, but it is also the most interesting and the strongest. This series is on its way to becoming a modern classic.

 

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Future of DC Films Unfolding

by Andrew Kiessdceu-9292017

DC news needs to stop dropping when I’m in school.

There is a lot to cover and I honestly do not want to go through it like it’s all breaking news, because, let’s be honest, if you’re reading this, you know what’s been going on. I will keep the news brief and then explain what I think it means for DC Films going forward.

Two weeks ago, news broke of Joseph Hamada was taking over for the departed Jon Berg as President of DC Films. Later in that week, we learned of a major shakeup in the executive suite of Warner Bros. motion pictures, with Sue Kroll stepping away from her role as president and Toby Emmerich, is essence, taking over as chairman if Warner Bros. Picture Group, taking over some duties previously held by WB CEO Kevin Tsujihara in day-to-day operations of the film studio.

The good news in this is it slims down the number of chefs in the kitchen for the WB executives, particularly with Tsujihara no longer in a position to call the shots. Whether or not Emmerich is the man for the job remains to be seen, but there is reason to be optimistic in light of this shakeup.

What is more interesting from a producer standpoint is the news coming from Suicide Squad 2, where Michael De Luca joined Charles Roven as producer. This shows a departure from DC Film’s habit of having one producer oversee multiple films. It appears that this move signals a new age in the structure of these films, with a focus on individual franchises rather than the universe as a whole.

We also now know that Shazam! will hit theaters in April of next year, and will feature Mark Strong as the villain Dr. Sivana. With Shazam! being produced by New Line where Walter Hamada oversaw production, it will be our first glimpse of the future of DC Films.

Finally, and certainly not least, we have our directors for Flashpoint. After Ben Affleck reportedly turned down the job, WB has entered negotiations with Vacation directors and Spider-Man Homecoming writers John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, who will be working from a script by Joby Harold. This would be far from my first choice for this project, but I think it would be fairly safe to say that the Flashpoint film will be quite far away from the beloved Geoff Johns story. With rumors of Ben Affleck making one last appearance in the cape and cowl, Flashpoint has been a popular choice for that appearance, although Suicide Squad 2 could also be a possibility.

It’s an interesting time to follow these movies. I am cautiously optimistic that at the end of these changes will be some movies that I will truly love. While Aquaman will represent the end of this era of DC on film, it is exciting to see the next era coming in strong. We can only hope that the product delivers.

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Warners Names New DC Films President

by Andrew Kiess

LexPrez

With Jon Berg now exited from his role as co-President of Production at DC Films (alongside Geoff Johns) last month, Warner Brothers have been expected to announce a replacement this month.

We have our replacement.

Walter Hamada, who had been an executive at New Line, oversaw successful horror films such as The Conjuring and It, has been named as President of DC Films production. By implication, Geoff Johns is no longer in his co-president role, although, according to reports, he will remain closely involved with Hamada as he oversees all production of films based on characters licensed by DC Comics.

While many may want to jump to conclusions about this announcement, I think it is best to play a game of wait-and-see. This move has been a long time coming, but the problems faced by DC Films have often stemmed from higher up the ladder.

Hamada, however, has already played a role in New Line produced Shazam! and has a strong relationship with Aquaman director James Wan.

The next few months should prove to be more revealing as to what the future of DC Films will look like. Fingers crossed for more good news in the near future.

Source: https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/dc-movies-find-new-president-it-conjuring-executive-1071435

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