EDITORIAL: Why The World Always Responds Strongly To The Casting Of DC Characters

Ben Affleck is Batman, Gal Gadot is Wonder Woman and Jesse Eisenberg is Lex Luthor. What do these have in common? The utter rage of fans all over the world. Why does this happen to DC Castings? Hit the jump to read my take on this!

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By Emjeed - 2/21/2014


The casting of DC characters tend to generate a lot of reaction from people all over the world regardless of whether these people are comic book fans or not. From Michael Keaton all the way to more recent ones like Adrienne Palicki, Heath Ledger, Anne Hathaway, Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot and in the most recent case, Jesse Eisenberg.



In one way or another, the world reacted strongly to these caating announcements, be it positively or negatively. Internet boards blow up with millions of apprehension and or support for all these things. In fact, in the case of Adrienne Palicki's wonder woman failed tv pilot, fans were so vocal that the costume had to be changed on the character to sooth the backlash, which ultimately didn't help the show in the long run anyway. The question is, why is this the case for DC Characters in particular? Marvel has cast iconic characters and still continue to do so to little to no fan back lash. Not to say there isn't a reaction to those castings as well. Yet it hardly ever gets to the heights that fans take with Dc Characters castings. News outlets take it on, you hear about it on the entertainment/other news sections of your evening news bulletin, petitions get put up and generate thousands of signatures. Even a little prank like the one that Justin Beiber pulled were not well received by the public. It stayed in pop culture discussions for days.

Is it the distrust in Warner Bros. and their treatment of these characters? The acting ability of these actors? The general direction the characters are being taken? It's neither of the above. And even if it is, one thing becomes clear- The world cares about these characters deeply. Why? Because they are pop culture icons. They are ingrained in the collective minds of the masses mostly due to their massive history.

It's as simple as that. I had this epiphany a couple of months back while I was deployed to South East Asia (I'm a proud serving United States Airman). i was embedded with a few locals and during a conversation Comic Book Movies came up and all these locals lit up in passionate discourse. The Affleck situation arose naturally and these people who have never read one comic book in their lives were telling me about their concerns about that casting. It had nothing to do with acting chops, looks or anything. They just didn't want there to be a failed Batman movie because they want to have more Batman and cited (In their ignorance they didn't realize this was an entirely new take. They thought it was a continuation of the Nolan series) that every time Batman was recast it wasn't as good and they had to wait years before it was restarted. They just wanted more Batman and are very excited they are going to see him next to Superman (which devolved into an argument about who would win in a fight and their simple view that Superman would win in a fight because he has powers. All attempts to tell them how Batman has won before in the comics didn't make any sense to them. But that's another story).

The simple fact is that people just love these characters (The big 7 especially).Everyone has heard of them and can tell you the origin stories of at least 3 of them. Even the ones that have not made it to the big screen yet. People love these characters so much because they have come be a staple and archetypes for all that follow. Self professed die-hard Marvel Fans swarm these boards with all sorts of hate and ridicule and yet one thing is puzzling. Psychology ascertains that one does not generally invest much or any attention to things that they don't care about. For instance, I grew up in Germany. Now the reaction you gave to my last statement is exactly the point I am trying to make. You read it and go about your life. You don't come back and start dissecting why my family chose Germany or why I am telling you about it. Because you don't care that much about where I grew up. Now say, they announce that Mehki Pfifer has been cast as John Stewart. Now you're obviously thinking about that hypothetical casting and you're reacting to it. Because you care about these characters. Clear and simple. Whether you want to admit it or not. Regardless of your hate for DC or Marvel, yours and the worlds general love for Superheroes always brings you here. And in the case of the world, they have just been exposed to DC characters more. Now that they(the world) have made Iron Man theirs much like they seem to have adopted the DC characters, Expect this same uproar when the role is inevitably recast in the near future. No matter who is put in the position, petitions and such will follow.

Once the world has accepted something and loved it for being a certain way, whatever happens to it afterwards will always be met with such reactions initially. Even from people who supposedly don't care about them. Because a population, there are certain things we take for our own and DC Characters (Mostly the Super Friends and supporting characters), Iron-Man ( Mostly because of RDJ's Fantastic portrayal), Freddie Kruger and Michael Myers are a few on the long list of such things. And every time new versions are accepted, the reaction following that become stronger. Nolan's Bat flicks have proved this. Christian Bale and Ledger's portrayals of Batman and Joker are the standing standards for how Affleck's Batman and anyone who is ever cast in the role of The Joker will be judged by as Keaton and Nicholson were before 2008.

In conclusion, I would venture to say that it's not that people hate Warner Bros. (Not entirely)or the actors or directors (even though we like to try and rationalize by using such arguments) but rather it's because people feel a sense of ownership of these cultural staples in their own individual ways and no one wants to see them ruined.

Do you agree or disagree? Comment at the usual place! and follow me on twitter @ the link provided.
Source: Emjeed
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32 Comments
Moohika - 2/21/2014, 6:50 PM
Most of Marvels movies have been about B to C list characters, so when they announce who is cast in the roles, 2/3 of people (general audience) aren't as familiar, so Marvel has more creative freedom and is allowed to get away with stuff. Whereas with DC, everyone knows Batman, Superman, WW , Lex so when a casting is announced, everyone has their own opinion of who should've been cast and freak out when it isn't that person.
Reasonnnn - 2/21/2014, 6:51 PM
^ Exactly. Also, I think the real problems on why we rage on DC casting are because we don't know Warner Bros' vision for the universe and the lack of a "Feige" to a further extent.
Kurne - 2/21/2014, 7:01 PM
Umm, so is this the new excuse for when DC makes another bad casting decision? :/
WYLEEJAY - 2/21/2014, 7:10 PM
Was an interesting article until you brought up Marvel. Then I stopped reading. No point in bringing them up when your article was proving its point just fine. I thought for once we could of had an interesting article about this and just talk DC. Nope. Sorry man. Was good, and the whole thing probably is. Just lost me when you brought up Marvel.
Buu - 2/21/2014, 7:15 PM
"people feel a sense of ownership of these cultural staples in their own individual ways and no one wants to see them ruined."

Yes, for the most, I'd say this is true. You still get those who hate for the sake of hating, but I think, or like to think, that most people criticizing or showing concern for the casting of DC characters just want the best for the characters.
wookiefit76 - 2/21/2014, 7:31 PM
I always looked at is as DC superheroes are gods. They are put on a pedestal. Marvel superheroes are outcasts. They can be anyone. For example, people get mad when you try to argue what Jesus looked like. Every pictures the same of what Zues or Hercules might look like. But Marvel characters can be anyone and everyone. From Spider-Man to X-men, they were outcasts. Fans didn't care what the next actor to play Peter Parker looked like, they cared more about what the costume looked like.

Also, DC has been around for a lot longer.
DeathstrokeTerminator - 2/21/2014, 9:08 PM
The Simple-Minded Fanboy's Thought Process...

If the actor does not look like the character they are going to portray right then and there at the time that their casting was announced, then it is utter blasphemy.
Pedrito - 2/21/2014, 11:13 PM
Hmm.. Yeah, true.. Your conclusion should be the premise to a follow up article titled "Knowing that fans claim ownership over DC characters, why does WB proceed to take a dump on their expectations?"
charlie2094 - 2/21/2014, 11:32 PM
I think it's just because DC's biggest characters are very well known to the public, the likes of Batman and Lex Luthor, they're a lot more recognisable, people already know them, not to mention the likes of Superman and Batman being two of the most iconic characters in the world...

Marvel hasn't ever really announced someone for a big, already well established role. Prior to the films, Iron Man, Thor, none of them were that big, hence any casting announcements only having a strong reaction for the comic fans, as they're the only ones who know the characters

Have to imagine that the when we get NEXT Iron Man, that will probably have a strong reaction from the public as well, since RDjr is pretty established in the role
kinghulk - 2/22/2014, 1:20 AM
"The simple fact is that people just love these characters (The big 7 especially)."
i would narrow that down to the big 3 i really dont think the general public will care who is cast as flash, green lantern, aqua man, cyborg or other characters like Martian manhunter. the big 3 most people know i mean i dont know a single perso that doesent know who superman, lex luthor, batman or the joker is i know a few people that dont know wonder woman and almost no one really knows her villians when you campare it to how well they know supermans and batmans villians.
kinghulk - 2/22/2014, 1:22 AM
charlie2094- yeah i agree so far in a marvel based film the biggest character to have been recast is spider man and due to the small gap between the last film people felt more like really rebooting already.
Emjeed - 2/22/2014, 5:03 AM
Thanks for the comments. @WYLEEJAY I'm sure if you continued reading you would realize nothing bad was said about Marvel and that I brought them up (inevitably) to make a point.
Pasto - 2/22/2014, 7:27 AM
You know why else? Cause DC is better than Marvel.

*Throws bomb*

*Runs*
Pasto - 2/22/2014, 8:00 AM
^Dito.
dethpillow - 2/22/2014, 8:19 AM
@wookiefit - totally agree

@Emjeed - good article, and I agree with what you're saying. but you're not going very far into it, there's actually a lot more going on.

the article is like pretending to assume that people are rational and that spite and hatred are not natural parts of human nature and civilization. And I don't mean that in any cynical, "haha" way.

but any argument on this place is not really about what the people are arguing about. in fact, the more idiotic and annoying the argument is, it's guaranteed that it's not about comic books or characters in comic books.

i could give a bunch of examples but the clearest one, I think, is Human Torch.
that gets so much attention, and it's not becuz everyone just loves Human Torch so much and holds Johnny Storm in a sacred place in their hearts. it's totally not anything even close to that. and it doesn't mean that anyone's racist too, automatically or that anyone is PC automatically. but it's a fevered argument becuz it's bigger than Human Torch.

And I'm not saying either that everything is becuz of some hot button kind of issue like politics, racism, gender identity or what's 'emo' and what's not. these issues can exist on a personal level too, that has nothing to do with any group identity.

but it seems kind of purposely false to pretend that people are just dealing with characters here, i mean, obviously, that's not what's going on most of the time.
dethpillow - 2/22/2014, 8:22 AM
like i agree with the article in the sense of I agree with it as far as it's very much limited itself in talking about anything. more better to say... I don't disagree with your article, but your article doesn't really say much about the truth of anything.

except in what @wookiefit kind of added on to one direction you were goin in a little bit. but that part really rings true, yeah. DC, typically perceived more iconically, Marvel, typically perceived more guy on the bus with you. so in that sense, I do agree. but if you're "puzzled" just look at the psychology of the people "hating" and what they are "hating" against. look at what that might represent to them. and then you're gonna be getting closer to the truth about it, I'd say.
WYLEEJAY - 2/22/2014, 9:03 AM
@Emjeed. K I finished it. I dont care if you said anything BAD about Marvel. Lol. My point was we could of had this article just be about DC. That doesn't ever seem to happen. True, SOMEBODY would of brought Marvel up in the comment section anyways.

I think the main problem with this, is iconic characters. Sure, their not my favorite characters at all personally, but you have to admit, when you walk past the mens underwear section at a store, and you look at the boxers you will without a doubt see pairs with Supermans S or the Batman symbol on them. Been that way for decades. Same with Wonder Womans Ws. Instanst recognition just from a symbol. Not a lot of other characters have that. See, now im gonna bring up Marvel to make MY point, (look Mom, im a hypocrite), Spider Man and Wolverine are two of my favorite characters. Yet they dont really have a definitive symbol to stand out quite like DCs trinity do. So many versions of the Spider symbol on his chest. Be honest, cause if you got a tattoo of Supermans and Batmans symbols on one arm, and a spider on your other, people would know exactly who Batman and Superman are. They would also be like, "Oh, a spider on your other arm". DC has stuck with this whole Superhero with that iconic look, ya know, masks, underwear on the outside, and a symbol on the chest the longest. They dont like change. Now when they recast Hellboy and reboot him, fans will throw a shit fit. But there aren't as many Hellboy fans as there are Superman or Batman. Simple. I also agree with the RDJ comment earlier. Iron Mans casting will be a HUGE deal now too.
SageMode - 2/22/2014, 9:15 AM
Notice how the ONLY casting of the new additions to MOS2/Justice League Lite that wasn't met with negative controversy was Jeremy Irons as Alfred.
SageMode - 2/22/2014, 9:17 AM
Plus, another reason or rather the main reason why WB/DC gets more flack is the fact that Marvel has earned the public's trust, whereas DC has more failures than successes with their CB properties.
SageMode - 2/22/2014, 9:22 AM
@wookie

DC was founded in 1934. Marvel was founded in 1939. That's only a 5 years time difference. It's not that big of a gap. Lol.
BubSnikt - 2/22/2014, 9:24 AM
I personally think that people care more about DC castings than Marvel's because there are less movies. Every movie has to be a success or they will stop making them. And yes, casting can break a movie. Green Lantern failed in part to its arguable casting, and now we will probably see John Stewart instead of Hal Jordan, which a lot of people, including me, arent happy about. But casting can also make a movie, exemplified by RDJ as Iron Man and Hugh Jackman as Wolverine. They will continue to make Iron Man and X-Men movies, but not GL movies. We have bad casting in GL, it fails and we don't see Hal on the big screen for years. What if MoS 2 bombs due to the Eisenburg or Batfleck casting? Then we might not see those characters for years. If a movie like Ant-Man bombs, we will see him in the Avengers a few years later. Just my 2 cents
Emjeed - 2/22/2014, 9:29 AM
Great additions by everyone. And I agree with most of them. Really appreciate all the feedback
Emjeed - 2/22/2014, 9:32 AM
And.. sagemode just made sense. What has happened to CBM since I left? Lol.. just kidding. Anyone know what happened to Tbag, Levitikuz, Intruder and the rest? How about Griff and Gusto? Shit and Cipher, Nomis and all the guys.
TheManFromMars - 2/22/2014, 10:04 AM
@Emjeed

Levitikuz and Intruder were banned

Grif, Gusto, Cipher, and Nomis are still around

Don't know what happened to Teabag.
WYLEEJAY - 2/22/2014, 10:15 AM
Teabag ran out of pictures of women. So he left on a personal quest to find more. :p
Emjeed - 2/22/2014, 10:42 AM
Hahaha. . I miss that pervert. But yeah I gotta catch up with everyone. @All nice to make your acquaintance. It's good to be back!
WYLEEJAY - 2/22/2014, 12:52 PM
Its changed a lot. But still quite a few familiar faces. Mostly those guys show up on the main page articles.
Emjeed - 2/22/2014, 2:21 PM
Ahh I see.
dannramm113 - 2/22/2014, 6:30 PM
The casting is criticized because DC/WB doesn't aim to do what the fans want them to do, but rather what they don't know they want yet. They go outside what people think they know is going to happen. If Batman/Superman has a hugely criticised flaw like the Mandarin in Iron Man 3, DC/WB won't make a video completely undoing it to please fans, they will make it work out for the better (not like DC will make a villain a joke though, as DC/WB treats their villains with respect)
MightyZeus - 2/22/2014, 7:17 PM
@wookiefit76, I totally agree with you. Also it's *Zeus not Zues.

ThunderKat - 2/23/2014, 8:39 PM
The problem is we expect DC to catch lightning in a bottle every time: Reeve, Keaton, and Bale. It's just not possible to exceed that precedent each time.

That said, Routh, Reynolds, Keanu, and some of the supporting roles make you wonder why they are so far off base.

The only good thing they've done is not tried to cast the hottest actor/actress for a role. That will always blow up in their faces.
MantiniuMan - 2/24/2014, 12:56 PM
@Sage
@Peditro
@Omega

Yep Hate WB as much as you want but IM films turned Mandarin in to a fiend who will do any sex act for money and J.Hammer into a bitch boy in prison.

WB don't do that.

How does it feel?

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