Warner Bros. hasn’t had it easy over the last ten years when it’s come to building a successful Cinematic Universe. While Batman Begins was met with praise, the effort with Superman Returns the following year was not regarded as highly. Had it of pleased audiences, the studio would have pushed for the two to have been in a film together back then, not that Christopher Nolan would have liked that idea; wanting his Dark Knight Trilogy to be kept grounded within a real-world setting, which would have meant that a Justice League Movie could have been seen by 2010/2011, a couple of years prior to the assembling of the Avengers over at Marvel/Disney.
Their next attempt to reset was to bring Green Lantern to the big screen which had many fans very interested indeed, but of course that was… well you know how it was.
So for a while many of us have been asking the question: ‘Will Warner Bros. ever be able to pull off a successful DCCU?’. Well we are now just one year away from getting a decent idea of how this attempt will turn out, and to be honest it’s all looking pretty positive.
With the level of reception and news coverage for the pic of Jason Momoa’s Aquaman recently, see the new image here, it’s clear that this is a highly anticipated film for a lot of people regardless of the not-so-good track record. We’ve also seen character images for Supes, Batman and Wonder Woman, pictures from the set, the Batmobile and heard some great comments from the star studded (mostly) cast. We particularly liked what Jeremy Irons had to say about Zack Snyder‘s ideas for his incarnation of Alfred Pennyworth back in December,
“He is quite a different Alfred than we have seen so far. Zack Snyder had very clear views about what he wanted… I would just say he’s more hands-on perhaps than just a butler.”
We feel a “More hands-on” Alfred probably means we’ll see the butler doing more of what Morgan Freeman got up to in his role as Lucious Fox over the course of Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy, as well as making a good ‘ole breakfast for ‘Gotham’s Finest’. At least that’s the route we would like to see the studio take with the character, doing all the behind the scenes stuff for Batman, who, given the much talked about Dark Knight Returns influence, will be more of a recluse than ever, and is likely to only trust his dear old man servant.
So what will we see in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice? Well, DC are going to have to sell us the characters, their interactions, and their relationships as best they can. It’s going to be more of a character study in that sense. It’s a given that Batman and Superman are the centerpiece, but in order for the film to work you have to buy them on-screen together. Their relationship will be dysfunctional to begin with but by the end we think they’ll have worked out any differences, and will have united to form their all-famous alliance.
With an older Batman however, it becomes more difficult to predict which of the two will be the central leader of the Justice League. Yes when you narrow it down to the top three you might think Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman; top two Batman and Superman, but usually the no.1 will inevitably be Superman, being the World’s most popular comic-book character (overall during the last 60 years), a key founder and the most powerful Superhero of the JLA. But with the DCCU, perhaps the leadership will be equally split between the top three. Batman will be much older (assuming the film doesn’t skip ahead twenty years) and wiser than Superman, and the last son of Krypton ain’t stupid, so perhaps he will be the Daddy (or the Grandaddy) of the League. His money and resources would certainly help in the recruitment process, locating the potential heroes and bringing them together. Wonder Woman will of course be as vital as ever, not just as the super-strong Amazon warrior, but as a prominent role-model for women everywhere, with feminism being a key global issue right now. Gal Gadot was a risky casting choice, however with all the other talent the studio has brought together they must have had a good reason to have given her the role, so we look forward to seeing what she can bring.
Personally I think there will be a persistent theme of power struggle seared into a lot of these films with such an array of God-like heavy-hitters, which, Thor and Hulk aside, is really the main difference they have from Marvel’s Avengers. Take Jason Momoa’s Aquaman; it doesn’t look like he’s going to put up with any nonsense, and will undoubtedly be able to hold his own against almost any opponent, including other top ranking league members. This will be the time to shine for both character and actor so the 35-year-old has placed a lot of trust in Snyder‘s hands. In a recent interview with EW Momoa spoke highly of the Sucker Punch Director, making it clear he is confident in his vision,
“What’s great about this is Zack, man. We don’t want to just reinvent it, but he’s a got a whole idea of what Aquaman should be and I’m really honored to be playing it. I’m excited for the world to see it… There’s definitely a plan in this whole universe that he’s designing, and it’s amazing to be a part of it. I think everything that you see that is building, there’s a purpose behind the whole plan. So I wouldn’t want to take anything away from Zack, because he loves revealing all those things.”
The half-Native Hawaiian also mentioned his fellow cast members “Sweetheart” Henry Cavill (Superman) and “Badass” Ben Affleck (Batman), making it more likely that AC will have a decent amount of screen time, for a minor role (in this particular film), alongside the two stars.
Of course Aquaman is just one part of the DCCU‘s ‘Seven’. So what about the others? Will all these characters be as formidable as their predecessors?
In Part 2 we’ll discuss:
- Cyborg, Green Lantern and the lightning fast Flash; their potential back stories’, and their relationships with each of the other characters.
- Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor and Jared Leto’s Joker.
- How Suicide will fit in with Dawn of Justice.