After Wonder Woman, DC Films Disappoints Fans Once Again

Fucking Boo.
Fucking Boo. Warner Bros.

DC Films was off to an objectively knotty start to 2017, but a change of hands and the renowned success of Wonder Woman rebounded the entity with a new sense of energy and focus. Many of the “pop culture” gadflies (myself included) that spent the better half of 2016 deriding Warner Bros’ adorable attempt at a shared universe found themselves spending the better half of this year preparing to eat their words. But sadly, the second half of 2017 is starting to look like DC’s return to form – whatever forces are in charge of maintaining faith in the trajectory of DC Films, has once again made good on utterly disappointing.

I suppose we have to start with the four-minute trailer for Justice League released at San Diego Comic Con. There was some good stuff to be found no doubt, but not enough to repudiate the feeling of uneasiness it gave me. At best, there seems a ghost of a good movie there, buried beneath the bones of all the bad press that preceded it. Cyborg still doesn’t look up to snuff, nor am I a fan of the whole red sky business. I’m also over these kinds of movies trying to simulate the gravitas of giant “events” from the comics like Flashpoint or Secret Invasion. In contrast, it's okay for some of these to feel like the more quaint “Fill in Superhero here: issue #17,” à la Deadpool or Spider-Man: Homecoming.

Moreover any news, good or bad, to come out of DC films is tempered by Affleck's rumored reservations about continuing to star in them. The actor/director attempted to attenuate the rumors with an impassioned speech about his love for the character at San Diego Comic Con, only to have his brother Casey Affleck raise doubts once again during an interview on a Sports radio show earlier this month. I’m paraphrasing, but Casey said something to the effect of: "My brother made a good Batman but he's not going to do these movies anymore, I'm sorry."

Again, both Ben and Casey’s reps have since hastened to debunk the latter’s remarks ONLY to have director Matt Reeves fuel a brand-new rumor, suggesting The Batman will not be taking place in the same continuity as the other titles released under DC Films. As it turns out, at least according to Reeves, that might not be true, but DC, is in fact, launching a separate cinematic universe that will start with a solo Joker prequel helmed by Martin Scorsese. This film will not feature Leto as the killer clown, as he will be busy screwing up a Joker and Harley movie that will officially supplant a formerly planned Gotham CIty Sirens film. Oh, and last but not least, Joss Whedon, nerd god, feminist paragon guy that took over Justice League after Snyder took leave, turns out he's just a regular old human asshole like the rest of us. All caught up?

I’m really not the peevish cynic these news stories paint me as, and I’ve even tried to shunt my frustration away from all this franchise noise toward more salient things, but Warner Bros., you make it too easy. Scorsese is one of our finest filmmakers, I’ll grant you, but his pedigree doesn’t validate a Joker prequel. YOUNGER VERSION OF A CHARACTER ISN'T A PLOT. IT’S A PITCH.

Also, DC, how about you make one franchise work before you start building the next one? I’m too incompetent and incurious to play arm chair producer, but I think any moron knows what Warner Bros. needs to do, and that’s take a blowtorch to all the out of touch fossils calling the shots and replace them with some hungry talented nerds with even a cursory sense of what people want (More Affleck) and what people don’t (More Leto Joker).

...Sorry for calling you a turd Casey.

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