It’s no secret that I have ZERO desire to see a live-action film based on DC Comics’ Justice League. I’m of the belief that those clamoring for it are…
1) Fanboys who, for often self-serving and myopic reasons, believe a JL film would be “Koo-well, Dude!” And…
2) A contingent of folks at Warner Bros. who think such an endeavor is a cash cow. (And they're probably right...BUT, won't solo Batman and Superman films make just as much as a Justice League movie? And if they can individually make as much as a single JL film, what's the point of a JL movie? If it's to be used simply as a springboard for solo films based on other DC characters, then it's being made for the WRONG reason.)
But I’m not here to bash a potential Justice League film or its supporters. Hey, I’m sure that it’s now inevitable and have moved on lobbying against it happening. (Of course, if it falls through AGAIN as it has a couple of times in the past, I will definitely do another happy dance!) No, I’m here today to give my good friends at Warner Bros. some friendly advice in regards to the upcoming sequel to MAN OF STEEL (and upcoming solo DC films which I wholeheartedly support), which is…
DO NOT do an "IRON MAN 2" with the sequel to MAN OF STEEL!
Now that I’ve got that and a “dammit!” out of the way, I’ll explain why…
IRON MAN 2 sucked. I think I gave it a grade of C back when it came out in 2010. Since I don’t retroactively change the grades I give films, it shall remain a C. But looking back, I should’ve given that thing a D at best. This film was nothing more than a tool to help set up THE AVENGERS. The “stuff” (I REALLY wanted to use another S-word) involving S.H.E.I.L.D., was not only annoying as hell, but it turned the film into a damn two hour commercial for a film that was, at that time, two years away from hitting theaters.
Enough of IRON MAN 2 as I’m sure that most of you all reading this got my point…maybe.
MAN OF STEEL 2 -- or whatever it’s ultimately called (How about just “Superman?”) – should be its own thing and not filled with not-so-subtle wink-winks and nod-nods to other DC characters or – for lack of a better term – “DC Stuff.” This sort of stuff – AKA “Easter Eggs” – should be limited to the DC character the movie is actually about.
Of course, fanboys convinced themselves (with the help of a few media outlets) that MAN OF STEEL would be full of “DC Stuff” which would, of course, commence the building of a DC Universe on film. But when it was all said and done, there was no such “DC Stuff” in MOS (other than a business logo on a satellite) and the film was better off for it. The "DC Stuff" in MOS were Superman Easter Eggs that will ultimately help build Superman’s cinematic world, not a DCU on film.
Look, if they want to mention Coast City, Central City, Happy Harbor, or (Ugh!) Gotham City in MOS2, I guess I’m OK with that sort of stuff. I still think it’s cheesy and unnecessary, but it’s harmless and won’t undermine the actual Superman story that’s being told. But Hal Jordan, Barry Allen, Snapper Carr, or (Ugh!) Bruce Wayne shouldn’t be characters in the film. There’s no need for a DC version of S.H.I.E.L.D or Nick Fury in the MOS sequel or any future DC-based films. Not only would that indeed be cheesy, but it would come off as Warner Bros. being unoriginal, and quite frankly, “copying Marvel.”
If indeed Warner Bros. intends for their future DC-based superhero film share a cinematic universe – and all signs point that way – then they need to do it differently than what Marvel did with THE AVENGERS and the solo films that led up to it. Here’s hoping that my friends in Burbank feel the same way and give us something fresh and unique from what we’ve seen previously. There’s no need to wave a banner throughout MAN OF STEEL 2 that says, “Hey audience, this is the DC Universe on film! Yes this is a Superman film, but don’t forget Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, The Flash, Aquaman, Ambush Bug, and all the others exist here! Woo-wee!”
You with me?
How about some subtleness? Does the audience really need to be knocked over the head with a big unified DCU on film stick? And how about letting these filmmakers…I don’t know…make their own damn films without having to account for the events in other filmmaker’s movies?!
You know who wants to see this sort of junk? The Easter Eggs and those “really cool” after-the-credits scenes? Fanboys and fans of the genre. And they’re coming to see these films anyway with or without unneeded continuity bells and whistles.
MAN OF STEEL didn’t have – or need – “DC Stuff” to be a box office success. MAN OF STEEL 2 (Just call it “Superman” Warner Bros.!) – and whatever DC character based films will be coming down the pipeline soon (hopefully) – don’t either. - Bill "Jett" Ramey
A life-long Batman fan, Bill "Jett" Ramey
is the founder of BATMAN-ON-FILM.COM.
He likes Elvis, The University of Texas,
Dallas Cowboys Football, and of course...
He resides in the GREAT state of TEXAS with his lovely wife, three kids, and two Boston Terriers.