Comic-Con has brought us tons of new footage, trailers and images of upcoming superhero films that absolutely everyone is gushing over. Oddly enough, most of the hype this time around is focused on DC, with Suicide Squad‘s latest trailer blowing the lid off of the already high pre-established hype.
The consensus so far from these latest trailers has been that DC might’ve learned a lesson or two from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Are they simply injecting humor and lighter moments into their upcoming films like Suicide Squad simply to please the naysayers that took a giant dump on Batman v Superman or are they actually listening and trying to cater to the fanbase?
Suicide Squad has always been a bit of a wild card, given the nature of the plot that focuses almost entirely on the bad guys of the DC universe attempting to do some good.
The tone for the film always sort of seemed a bit all over the place, with the original trailer definitely leaning more on the darker side, but the ones that followed focusing more on the silly antics and interesting chemistry between the group.
Was DC simply replying to the Batman v Superman hate or was this their plan for this particular film all along? I’m not exactly sure, but even director David Ayer went on record to say that the extended re-shoots were not to “lighten up the tone”, but instead to add more.
What does he mean by more? Does he mean more action because of a budget increase after the positively received trailers or does he simply mean more because the studios pressured him into adding more humor, but also maintaining his original dark tone and outlandish antics?
The only trailer that didn’t exactly break this newfound mold this past weekend at Comic-Con was the trailer reveal for Patty Jenkins‘ Wonder Woman.
The film looks like a straight-forward origins tale that focuses on war and redemption. I did notice a bit more color on the screen, but people often-times blame all of DC’s films for looking grey and washed out when that’s actually just how Zack Snyder prefers to shoot his films.
Wonder Woman looks to be more conservative in terms of its color palette, but that’s to be expected given the nature of the film’s storyline. I’m looking forward to seeing Gal Gadot expand the character and add a bit of depth, especially after her far too brief moments in Batman v Superman.
Also, there’s Chris Pine‘s hair.
Finally, this leads us to the premiere trailer for Justice League, which featured shots from widely-discussed scenes that certain critics were hand-picked to fly out and watch on set.
This flyby was no doubt an effort to stir up some positive buzz, especially among some of the biggest haters and it mostly worked. Not because these critics were flown across the globe and given first-look access, because most saw something that resembled genuine change.
Zack Snyder‘s comments suggest that he honestly was really bummed when he found out how many people disliked his film and hopefully Justice League is both a reaction to those comments and a form of expression for Snyder as a filmmaker that’s beyond talented from a visual standpoint, but struggles stringing together complex scripts and stories.
I believe that Snyder can make Justice League great under the right supervision, but I hope he’s doing so for the right reasons.
Turning a script into a mess to try and establish a completely new tone simply because of negative feedback can be tricky, especially when larger thematic connective tissue is at play. Character beats are sometimes planned out long before and simply changing their motives or importance at the drop of a dime can result in a muddled mess of epic proportions.
And DC doesn’t really have the luxury to mess up at this point.
They’ve already joined the race with Marvel far ahead in the lead and then they fumbled hard with their first attempt in terms of creating a cinematic universe that everybody wanted to be apart of.
I’d like to believe that Ben Affleck and Zack Snyder‘s comments in regards to why Batman was so dark and violent and hopeless in Batman v Superman were planned all along and that his state of mind was always going to shift into something different in Justice League.
But I also worry that they’re making this all up on the go and I truly hope that they have the correct tools to do so if this is the case.
DC has re-branded their film division with a new logo, a new focus and complete leadership under Geoff Johns. They mean business this time and hopefully that business is to deliver us some of the best comic book movies around that feature some of the most popular characters ever to be written.
The future of DC is unclear, but it’s definitely going to be an interesting few years as we watch DC hopefully find their balance and continue their new stride, with confidence and creativity.