The DCUE: Make Changes Yes, But Not in Panic Author: Bill "Jett" Ramey (Follow @BATMANONFILM)
Date: April 2, 2016
According to THIS REPORT, Warner Bros. has ordered reshoots of SUICIDE SQUAD for the sole purpose of adding “more humor and lightness into the film.”
Let’s all keep in mind that is report should be considered rumor; BUT…
If my good friends at Warner Bros. are really doing this as a response to the “darkness” of BATMAN v SUPERMAN,with all due respect, I believe they’re making a mistake.
BvS being “dark and serious” wasn’t an issue with me whatsoever. In fact, I’ve long championed and lobbied for the DC Extended Universe to be different from what Disney is doing with their Marvel films. With that said, I’m in no way in love with BATMAN v SUPERMAN, OK? For me, it had A LOT of problems and didn’t blow me away as I hoped. Regardless, I thought it was alright – and certainly doesn’t deserve the over-the-top bad reviews it received.
If this story is true, it’s very reminiscent of the BATMAN RETURNS "fallout" back in 1992. Though, I dislike the film personally, it did do pretty good at the box office. BUT, there were consequences because audience reaction was mixed and the box office not as much as hoped.
Thus, Warner Bros. jettisoned (no pun intended) Tim Burton and hired Joel Schumacher to take over the Batman film franchise and ordered him to lightening it up. The rest is, as the say, Batman on film history. (FULL DISCLOSURE: I kinda like Mr. Schumacher’s BATMAN FOREVER; BATMAN & ROBIN? Um, no.)
Regardless of the fact that BATMAN RETURNS sucks for me, I still support the fact that Tim Burton was able to make the Batman film he wanted to make. I have been, and always will be, a supporter of Warner Bros. hiring filmmakers that have a vision and passion for DC characters and letting them do their thing. And while BvS didn’t set my personal Batman fan world on fire, I’m happy that the studio let Zack Snyder make the film he wanted to make.
The last thing we need for the DCEU is for future films to be “Schumachered.” (No offense to Mr. Schumacher intended.) As a student (and teacher) of history and someone who believes in the lessons it can teach, check this out…
People, overall, weren’t too keen on BATMAN RETURNS. That led to BATMAN FOREVER which the mainstream pretty much dug. BUT, it also begat BATMAN & ROBIN which resulted in the death – albeit temporarily – of the Batman film franchise.
Do we really want to go through that again? I don’t think Chris Nolan is going to return a second time to save the Batman on film day.
With all that being said, it’s clear that Warner Bros. needs to take a look at the DCEU going forward and tweak it a bit. There are legitimate reasons that BATMAN v SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE’s reviews were poor overall (currently at 29%/"rotten" at Rotten Tomatoes) and it received a “B” from the audience (via CinemaScore. Something just wasn’t right with this film. The changes Warner Bros. ultimately makes should be well thought out and carried out judiciously. Knee-jerking and demanding more “fun and lightness” be included – allegedly – isn’t the way to go.
(If it were up to me – and it isn’t – I’d postpone the JUSTICE LEAGUE films, fastly fast-track Ben Affleck’s solo Batman film(s), focus on the WONDER WOMAN, AQUAMAN and SUICIDE SQUAD films and sequels, and continue Superman’s story from BvS in a SOLO damn Superman film.)
Here’s the bottom line folks: If these purported SUICIDE SQUAD reshoots are something that director David Ayer and the film’s producers want or need to make the film better, then by all means, do ‘em. BUT, if they’re impetuously being demanded due to BvS criticism, then I disagree with such a directive.
Changes moving forward with the DCEU? Yes. Changes made in panic? No.
Maybe I’m being naïve here, but when it comes to the future DCEU and Batman on film, I believe calm, cool heads will prevail at Warner Bros. and choices and decisions ultimately made will be the right ones.
Well, that's least that’s what I hope. - Bill "Jett" Ramey
A life-long Batman fan, Bill "Jett" Ramey
is the founder of BATMAN-ON-FILM.COM.
He likes Elvis, Rock-N-Roll,
The University of Texas, cold beer,
Dallas Cowboys Football, and of course...
He resides in the GREAT state of TEXAS with his lovely wife, three kids, and two Boston Terriers.