The Warner Bros Family Takeover1 of 12As one Newsarama editor said to another editor at noon ET today when Warner Bros. broke news of their DC Comics movie schedule through 2020… “oh, @#$%”
While our readers and pretty much the world-at-large tries to absorb Warner Bros. announcements, we jotted down some of the things that immediately sprung to our mind in reaction to the avalanche of information.
Here are our 10 immediate thoughts about the future of DC movies..
No mention of Dwayne Jonson in SHAZAM?2 of 12Nobody as been more vocal about this desire to be in a DC movie, and no one has the social media power “The Rock” has. So with confirmation (finally) of Jason Momoa as Aquaman and that Ray Fisher as Cyborg (who will headline his own 2020 movie), and the announcement of Ezra Miller as the Flash, it’s a bit odd and conspicuous to not see any mention of Johnson attached to 2019’s Shazam.
He was confirmed by DC Entertainment Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns after announcing his role as Black Adam on twitter, and reportedly name checked at the Warner Bros. shareholder presentation, so why wasn’t he listed in the press release? Most likely, it’s something as simple as not wanting to confuse people into thinking he’s playing the title role of “Shazam,” but the absence is notable nonetheless.
Why Didn’t They Do This at New York Comic Con?3 of 12Warner Bros. could have easily scheduled a Thursday afternoon panel at New York Comic Con and “won” the weekend hands down. The sheer number of things they have announced spread out over the course of an hour long panel would have made for a raucous, unprecedented event and the entertainment press would have had perhaps even a bigger field day than they’re having today.
But in 2014, its all about the dolla… its all about the “investor.” Shareholders getting this news first is something of a sign of the times, no?
Stephen Amell & Grant Gustin Might Be a Little Bummed Today4 of 12TV fans probably would have embraced the crossover, but it's now likely not to be.
That said, it does free up Warner Bros. TV to create their own version of a DC Universe (albeit it probably not with the Holy Trinity - though sidekicks may be allowed in Titans and Supergirl), a freedom that ABC's Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. doesn't enjoy, perhaps to its detriment?
FLASH FACTS!5 of 12Perhaps one of the most interesting announcements in this slate of fairly notable news is the casting of Ezra Miller as the DC movie-verse's Flash. Given how much DC is currently pushing their TV version of Barry Allen, it makes sense that the revelation of a wholly separate version of the Flash for the film universe would almost fly under the radar.
While this certainly seems to put the final nail in the coffin for any notion of crossover between DC's TV continuity and their burgeoning film world, it's worth noting that there is no confirmation, or even a hint as to which Flash Miller will portray. While the safe money is on Barry Allen, Miller is notably younger than the other known cast members at only 22 years old. Could that be an indication that he may actually be Wally West ,or even Bart Allen? He will still only be 24 or 25 by the time Justice League, Part 1 comes out in 2016.
Also of note is Miller's non-binary sexuality. Miller self-identifies as "queer," saying he does not love based on gender. While it is absolutely no stretch to see a non-heterosexual actor in a straight role, it could be a calculated move on DC's part to appeal to an audience that is clamoring for more diverse characters in both film and comics.
GREEN LANTERN Shines Again6 of 12DC Comics wasn’t going to let their intergalactic super cop stay grounded forever. While Ryan Reynolds’ turn as Hal Jordan didn’t exactly work out as a film adaptation, Green Lantern is too big a property to just leave alone. Still, with the next solo film not coming until 2020, that leaves a lot of question marks, including which character will they use this time around?
There’s fan-favorite and Justice League cartoon cast member John Stewart. There’s firecracker Guy Gardner. There’s young upstart Kyle Rayner. Even younger even more upstart Simon Baz Luckily, with a Corps of characters to choose from, there are plenty of possibilities. One thing that would be surprising is for them to go immediately back to the Hal Jordan well - though it’s not impossible. With the buffer of several years in place, and the build-up of their universe until then, they could simply put in a new Hal Jordan - sans origin story - as a supporting member in the team films, building up to the release of his new solo flick.
But really, why pass up the chance to have John Stewart take up the ring? He has name-brand recognition, and a little more diversity added to the big screen team would not be a bad thing.
But Will GREEN LANTERN & THE FLASH Also Appear in DAWN OF JUSTCE?7 of 12Although Warner Bros. has never actually come out and confirmed their casting up until today, the entertainment press generally believes Momoa and Fisher as Aquaman and Cyborg will at least cameo in 2016’s Batman V. Superman, but absent in this press release or announcement was any mention of whether they’ll be in Dawn of Justice or not.
But assuming they are, does his mean we’ll also likely get a glimpse of Ezra Miller as The Flash and a player-to-be-named-later as Green Lantern? And will they be worked into the plot are mostly just make cameos during a post-credits scene?
A Superhero Movie For All Times8 of 12We mostly already knew this was coming, but man, by the time we get to 2016-2017 and beyond, there may be at least one superhero/comic book movie playing in theaters pretty much year-round.
Counting Their Chickens9 of 12As of today, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy has out-grossed Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel domestically and intentionally. Let that sink in for a minute.
Warner Bros. also has Green Lantern and Batman and Robin on their resume.
Now Man of Steel was hardly a clunker and Batman V. Superman will likely be huge regardless of everything and anything, but Warners is kind of building this in the opposite manner Marvel Studios did. They built towards Avengers, Warner Bros. is building out from Dawn of Justice.
How will a Cyborg and Aquaman movie play ifDawn of Justice does not LEAVE moviegoers with a good feeling about the future?
Now schedules can of change and in some form probably will, but announcing solo movies out to 2020 either demonstrates an extreme confidence by Warner Bros. in what they have in Batman V. Superman, or a gambler’s mentality. No matter what, this is a multi-billion dollar bet DC/WB is making.
JUSTICE LEAGUE, Part 1 … and Part 2?10 of 12While there will be two years between them. the wording in Warner Bros. release certainly suggest a format more along the lines of what the studio did with The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit and the Harry Potter finale – more of a unified production that will be split into two films.
Marvel Studios seems to prefer more of a related-but-separate approach to each film in their Cinematic Universe. It’ll be interesting to see how moviegoers react to Justice League perhaps ending on a cliffhanger and finishing two years later.
But the aforementioned Tolkien and Rowling adaptions - not to mention Twilight - probably already answers that question for us.
BATMAN AND SUPERMAN Take a Back Seat .. for Today11 of 12While the press release does say there will be Batman and Superman solo movies in the next few years, the marquee characters for DC Comics are relegated to a single line of somewhat buried text, and weren't mentioned at the investor's meeting outside of the team films.
”And, in a massive expansion of the Studio’s DC Entertainment-branded content, Warner Bros. Pictures and New Line Cinema will release a slate of at least 10 movies—as well as stand-alone Batman and Superman films—from 2016 through 2020 that expands this prized universe of characters.”
Leaving them as unscheduled afterthoughts (at least for the occasion of today’s announcement) is a marked change from recent years, of course, when it seemed like Superman and Batman were the only characters Warner Bros even admitted to owning when it came to the big screen.
It also leaves a bit of a question mark at just what kinds of contracts Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill have with the company, as well as where their films would fit in. Would Warner Bros want a fifth tentpole film in 2018? If it’s really “Justice League part 1 and part 2,” how would solo films navigate those, when and where would they take place?” It all remains to be seen, but it’s clear that Warner’s new focus is expansion, not the same old song.
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