OPINION: About That "WB is Worried About BvS" Report Author: Bill "Jett" Ramey (Follow @BATMANONFILM)
Date: February 14, 2016
EDITOR'S NOTE/UPDATE: Apparently, several websites – in particular Movieweb.com – cited BOF’s article below in a story on their site. In that article, BOF and yours truly was totally misquoted by saying that I wrote that fans of Marvel films are “too dumb” to get BATMAN v SUPERMAN. I never wrote or suggested such a thing in this article, period. Terrible and unethical “journalism”. I have contacted the editor's of this outlet and have demanded not only a retraction, but an apology. I do not expect either the website or author to comply, but I will not stand still as my good name and reputation is run through the mud. I also want thank all the BOF’ers out there for their support – much appreciated! - Bill “Jett” Ramey (February 16, 2016)
On a recent episose of “Fanemonium” on HITFIX.COM, Drew McWeeny made some rather startling comments regarding BATMAN v SUPERMAN and the future of Warner’s DC Extended Universe. In short, Mr. McWeeny claimed that Warner Bros. is “worried” about BvS and he predicts that the studio’s plan for the DCEU will be altered radically after the film is released. Here’s his exact quote…
“Warner is a little bit worried. This movie is starting to scare them. It's scaring them because they're showing it to people now, people are actually laying eyes on the film now, and the response has not been what I think they wanted. If I were going to lay a bet on how it may happen, SUICIDE SQUAD, they'll go all-in on. They'll push all their chips in on that and I think SUIDCIDE SQUAD’s going to be a hit for them. I think WONDER WOMAN will be finished the way they're working on it right now and they'll release it. I would be surprised if JUSTICE LEAGUE starts shooting when they say it's going to, and I would be equally surprised if Zack Snyder directed it.”
Wow…very bold statement, no? And Mr. McWeeny wasn’t done yet. Here’s what he thinks will replace JUSTICE LEAGUE on Warner’s film slate…
“My guess is what’s going to happen is based on what I’m hearing…is JUSTICE LEAGUE is going to get moved back and that Ben Affleck Batman movie, that’s what’s going to end up in that spot. My guess is they’re going to throw whatever money it takes at Ben Affleck to make that Batman film happen sooner rather than later. They’re going to need to rebuild again, they’re going to need to win people over, they’re going to need to lay some different groundwork. I don’t think this is going to be the springboard into the Justice League that they wanted it to be.”
In the wake of Mr. McWeeny’s comments, my inbox blew up with emails from folks asking me what I thought of this and whether or not I believe it to be true.
Honestly, I can’t call BS on this report as I know – based on the folks I’ve talked to who have knowledge of the situation – that Warner Bros. is indeed concerned about how BvS will be received by audiences; and thus, how it will perform at the box office. Personally, I think the right term to use is “nervous” as opposed to “worried”. With so much riding on BvS, it’s only natural for the studio to be, well, nervous.
I can also say that I know some people who have seen the film and they raved about it – which apparently is the opposite of what Mr. McWeeny has heard based on his comments in the video. Keep in mind that while BvS is a comic book-based film with superheroes, it isn’t “popcorn fluff”, if you will. Maybe Warner is nervous how the mainstream audience will react to such a film that’s frankly diametrically different from what Marvel (as it should be) is doing with their cinematic universe.
If that’s the case, I’d tell ‘em to chill and remind them of the success they had with Christopher Nolan’s “Dark Knight Trilogy” – which BvS director Zack Snyder says laid the foundation for the DCEU. Those three Batman films did pretty damn well and were definitely NOT "popcorn fluff". SO...
In regard to Mr. McWeeny’s suggestion that Ben Affleck’s solo Batman film will be fast-tracked and replace JUSTICE LEAGUE, I can’t dismiss that as a possibility if indeed BvS isn’t deemed a success. Batman is a proven money-maker for Warner Bros. and it’s one of the main reasons the character was added to what was originally a sequel to MAN OF STEEL quite frankly. From what I’ve been told, there is a contingent of people at Warner who do indeed think Batman and solo Batman films should be the focus of their comic book movie endeavors. Furthermore, this group has always been concerned about how Batman will be affected if the character was to be included in team-up films with other DC characters.
Here’s the bottom line y'all: If BATMAN v SUPERMAN is a success (personally, I can’t see how it won’t be) then everything Mr. McWeeny said becomes a moot point – even if what he said is 100% accurate. - Bill "Jett" Ramey
BATMAN v SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE hits theaters on MARCH 25, 2016! CLICK HERE for all of BOF's BvS coverage!
Fearing the actions of a god-like Super Hero left unchecked, Gotham City’s own formidable, forceful vigilante takes on Metropolis’s most revered, modern-day savior, while the world wrestles with what sort of hero it really needs. And with Batman and Superman at war with one another, a new threat quickly arises, putting mankind in greater danger than it’s ever known before. Directed by Zack Snyder, the film stars Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Jesse Eisenberg, Diane Lane, Laurence Fishburne, Jeremy Irons, Holly Hunter and Gal Gadot. Snyder directed from a screenplay written by Chris Terrio and David S. Goyer, based on characters from DC Comics, including Batman, created by Bob Kane, and Superman, created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. The film is produced by Charles Roven and Deborah Snyder, with Wesley Coller, Geoff Johns and David S. Goyer serving as executive producers. Warner Bros. Pictures presents, an Atlas Entertainment/Cruel and Unusual production, a Zack Snyder film, “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.” The film opens nationwide in 3D and 2D and in select IMAX theaters on March 25, 2016, and will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.