EDITORIAL: What Is Obviously The DC Cinematic Universe's Biggest "Issue".

EDITORIAL: What Is Obviously The DC Cinematic Universe's Biggest "Issue".

I made this article to discuss what I think is the bigger issue with the DC cinematic universe. The answer is obvious and explains why using Marvel's method wouldn't make that much of a difference.

Hello everyone, my name is Shadowlordsalvage and this is my first ever article and editorial(it may be my only editorial).

Now I admit that I have said this before in comment sections, but I wanted to explain it further. I want to talk about why WB/DC seem to have mixed to poor receptions with most of their superhero films. I've heard differing opinions and accurate explanations for why the films seem to be either mediocre, just ok, or down right terrible, with the only exceptions being, Superman 1 and 2, The Dark Knight trilogy, V for Vendetta (Vertigo/DC), Watchmen(debatable), RED (the first one, debatable) and maybe some other non mainstream film(s). We can spend a great bit of time debating over whether or not Man of Steel is a good or bad film just like Superman Returns (not saying it was good, but it like others is debatable)as well as Constantine.

We can lay out a list of reasons for why Green Lantern, Jonah Hex, Catwoman and Steel were abysmal. In the end, the issues with these films are the same as any other bad film. In other words, the biggest issue with these films is the filmmakers themselves. I'm not talking about simply the company, I'm talking about "WHO THE COMPANY PICKS." The writers, directors and the actors they cast.

The company was slow to get a shared universe going(true); however, most of the DC films they get off the ground could've been successful if they had consistently good decision makers and truly talented filmmakers (who know what they're doing and understand the source material.

Example: Jonah Hex maybe a C-list DC character, but if the filmmakers were more faithful to the source material and didn't try to create some kind of WILD WILD WEST/Ghost Rider hybrid, the film could've been a good, gritty, western. If filmmakers like the Coen Brothers were the ones making it, it would've probably got nominated for Oscars like best screenwriting.

Catwoman was unnecessary, not to say there couldn't have been a spinoff focusing on the origins of Selina Kyle, but that was a poor film in and of itself.

Same for Steel, I wouldn't mind seeing a movie about Steel if is was a spinoff of a Death of Superman movie.

Had they been spinoffs of future Superman and Batman films, they would've been a precursor to a shared DC universe, WB/DC would've beaten Marvel to the punch then. However, the decision makers and the filmmakers screwed these films up.


People can say, "if only DC followed Marvel's plan they would be better." People also argue that, "it's too late for that and that they should stick with their own playbook." BUT here's thing, if the EXECUTION of said plan is poor, the plan is irrelevant as it won't make a difference if the films still suck.
Example: If every Marvel film from Ironman to the Avengers were terrible, their plan would not be praised. DC and Marvel would be in the same boat and both would look bad.

So why do Marvel studios and Disney seem to have more success and almost unanimous praise? The same with any other good entertaining film, good to decent writing, good to decent directing, and of course great casting. Their success is based on the plan's execution not simply the plan itself, not simply the direction itself. This is why I think the problem with WB/DC is not simply the plan, the plan while risky can actually succeed. The issue is the execution and who is writing, directing, casting, etc.

If Zack Snyder and David Goyer screwed up, it's not because the plan was necessarily bad, it's because of their abilities/skills and judgements as filmmakers. A lot goes into making a movie great if the focus is really just, "Getting it out there" then the results are more skeptical.

WB/DC need to try and get the best most fitting people for the job, issue is that they need people who have proven to consistently deliver the goods. Christopher Nolan (whether one like's it or not) has never had an unanimously bad reception to his movies, from critics and audiences. Zack Snyder hit and miss, Goyer (both as writer and director)mostly misses with hits due to someone co-writing with him or him just writing the premise and someone else writes the script.

EX: Batman Begins Goyer co-wrote it, TDK and TDKR he only wrote the premise both the Nolan's wrote the scripts. Man of Steel was mostly all Goyer on the script, Nolan just helped with the premise. (So you got to wonder who's really responsible for a film's flaws and success).

WB should look at filmmakers like Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes), Alfonso Cuarion (Gravity, Children of Men), Duncan Jones (Moon, Source code), Matt Reeves (Let Me in, Cloverfield,Dawn of the Planet of the Apes), David Yates (Harry Potter 5-8). That's just a list of Directors, even if you don't agree most of them are pretty good at what they do and have proven it so far. I think they would elevate the DC universe with the right cast and writers.

I really hope Chris Tierro is a consistently good writer that will really help make the script better. I hope the Man of Steel sequel is much better and proves skeptics wrong; however, the difference between good movie and a bad movie is who's hired. Casting has been controversial, people feel it's going to be a mess. I just hope it does well enough to keep the franchise going, have solo spinoffs with more consistently good filmmakers.
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P862010 - 12/23/2013, 10:20 PM
watchmen and man of steel imo are very good super hero movies and some of my fav. so your entire article falls completely flat on me

he knows how to direct actors he constantly gets good performances out of them

he is faithful to the material and gives it the respect it need and imo a good director
SonGoku - 12/23/2013, 10:23 PM

Slow news day?
DeathstrokeTerminator - 12/23/2013, 10:25 PM
Will it ever end?
Hellboy6666 - 12/23/2013, 10:26 PM
Omega....plenty of dumb articles on here so what's one more? I am tired of all this negativity toward every damn movie nowadays. How bout you lil bitches just be happy? Bitches.
JamesMan - 12/23/2013, 10:28 PM
Hey, let me write the 4,000th article telling everyone what the DCCU is doing wrong even though they've only done one film and the next one doesn't come out for two years! And you know what? Let me throw in my fancast directors because I know what's best for a studio and the directors I selected are sure to agree!
DrunkenNukem - 12/23/2013, 10:31 PM
Now this is a good editorial....@Shadow..i see your point...but you must give some credit to zack snyder..i mean if someone has skill as filmmaker is zack...i think the main problem with superman is not matter what some director or writer wants to do with the character...it always gonna be compared with the donner version.. (this is why critics liked more superman returns than MOS)
people (GA) wanted to see a movie with some humor...a little romance...and they saw a more dark and diferent version...but a good one because it wasnt so bad in box office..i think the base for superman was done well...maybe we could see the real superman in the next one....the superman who embraces what means to be a hero that inspires that brings hope..and that kick some butt to...maybe
feedonatreefrog - 12/23/2013, 10:33 PM
So what you're saying is that good directors are more likely to make good movies.

Wolf38 - 12/23/2013, 10:34 PM
Come on, fellow commenters, don't be so down on this one. This is certainly not the most derivative one that we've seen, and the author writes with an admirable sense of diplomacy while making some good observations.

Yeah, execution is everything. Man of Steel may be the first "DCCU" film, but it is interesting to look at the long-term patterns of WB versus the other CBM studios.

Picking the right directors (not to mention actors) is a strength of Marvel Studios so far. WB...I mean, Brian Singer (Superman Returns) and Martin Campbell (Green Lantern) sounded like better choices beforehand than they proved to be...back to the execution.

Nice mention of V for Vendetta, too. That's one of my favorites.
ShadowlordSavage - 12/23/2013, 10:36 PM
I said the films were debatable which they are,I didn't say he was bad, I said he's hit and miss, the last good film which fans have debated about was Watchmen, then came Legend of the Guardians which didn't do as well and Suckerpunch which was terrible. Man of Steel is divided as well, so clearly the director has ups and downs. Zack has not shown consistency, this makes him controversial as a director with some of the decisions he's made.
Jollem - 12/23/2013, 10:40 PM
the biggest issue is that's it's not here RIGHT NOW! gives it to me. MoS is the most quality and well put together cbm i've ever seen to date. there was a love involved with the movie. it's really phenomenal on pretty much every level

now, the rest of the DC movies keeping in line with the feel of MoS? yes please. the marvel studios movies are good for the most part, but this just feels like something truly epic
JamesMan - 12/23/2013, 10:40 PM

I will say the difference between your article and others like it is that you have a positive opinion on the upcoming film and the future.
DeathstrokeTerminator - 12/23/2013, 10:43 PM
At least you don't want it cancelled, like some people...
THEDARKKNIGHT1939 - 12/23/2013, 10:44 PM
Today has really been flame war driven. Well, technically yesterday.
Fanmar16 - 12/23/2013, 10:44 PM
the biggest problem with the DC cinematic universe is that do not exist ... yet
GliderMan - 12/23/2013, 10:45 PM
Did y'all know Green Lantern saved Bruce Wayne at the end of TDKR?
Platinum - 12/23/2013, 10:47 PM
There is no DC Universe, as long as it's Batman and Superman (like always) there might as well not even be one.
ManDeth - 12/23/2013, 10:47 PM
@ShadowlordSavage I would argue that doing solos 1st is not "Marvels Method". It is DCs and later DC Animated.
I say that because DC Comics took Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash and Green Lantern who were all developed in their solo titles and united them in the JSA and JLA.

Decades later, DC Animated did the Batman TAS. On that series DC introduced many DC characters. Later they did Superman TAS and Superman and Batman. When Superman TAS ended we had the core group of DC heroes and villains established in the Animated World and then DC Animated created Justice League and Justice League Unlimited.

harley2011 - 12/23/2013, 10:49 PM
This article does not make much sense. If DC/WB went the Disney route, and that's what you are talking about, there would have never been a Dark Knight. Something like that would not get through the filter. So hopefully and pretty sure, they will just keep on doing what they are doing.
Vegeta - 12/23/2013, 10:50 PM
I haven't watched Steel, and I never intend to. Catwoman was a HUGE letdown for me. Catwoman is my favorite female comic book character and I've been waiting for a Catwoman spin-off ever since I saw Batman Returns when I was younger, and what they gave me in the end was UNACCEPTABLE! Thank god Anne Hathaway redeemed the character on the big screen with her excellent performance.

I watched Jonah Hex once, and I have never seen it again. In my opinion, Jonah Hex is worst than Catwoman. While I don't think Green Lantern is terrible (there have been worst), I don't think its good.

As for Superman I & II, I respect the movies and what they have done for the genre, but I don't particularly like them. The only reason I find them watchable now is because of the timeless performance from Chris Reeves and Stamp's classic performance as Zod, but aside from that, I personally don't think they are good movies.

Batman & Batman Returns are great in my opinion, and I still watch them every now and then. Out of the two, Returns is my favorite. While I wasn't to keen on Keaton's Batman, I absolutely love the world Burton created, and the villains that inhabited that world.

The less said about Batman Forever and Batman & Robin, the better.

Then there is The Dark Knight Trilogy, which I think is phenomenal! I also think the Man Of Steel and Watchmen are both excellent. All in all, I'd say there are only 7 great to excellent DC movies, with the rest of them ranging from good to bad to absolutely terrible.

I think WB/DC are currently on the right track and have the right guys for the job, and they haven't let me down yet with Watchmen, The Dark Knight Trilogy and Man Of Steel, so I'm optimistic about the future of DC Movies.
ShadowlordSavage - 12/23/2013, 10:50 PM
@JamesMan I shared my opinions based on observation, what I heard, what I've seen etc. I'm just trying to point out why at the end of the day a good franchise, needs consistency in good quality. That is why I wrote it, to explain the WB/DC failures have been mostly mixed to bad because of who the choose to make them. I don't need to an expert to say that and don't think it's dumb to make an article about it. Others like you said are negative, mine was just trying to be insightful, and pointing out an observation.
ALegendaryPanda - 12/23/2013, 10:51 PM

Battabing - 12/23/2013, 10:51 PM
Good directors don't always make good movies.
Ask Alan Taylor and Martin Campbell.
REPOMAN - 12/23/2013, 10:52 PM

There is a simple reason why Marvel Studios works so well and Warner/DC doesn't and it's not going to change.

Marvel Studios was built from the ground up to exclusively adapt Marvel characters to film by people who know, understand and love the source material; Warners is an old-school studio with many different films in various stages of production and many executives who have no clue how to develop comic properties which is why they creatively out-sourced the Batman property to the Nolan brothers. Marvel learnt the hard way by starting with nothing; building a Marvel method and being in total control.

Marvel, like PIXAR, are an independent studio working within a larger corporation who are 100% behind what they're doing because it's the only thing they do and they'll weather any storm. Warner/DC are not and will drop things as soon as they stop making money.

Battabing - 12/23/2013, 10:52 PM
And give Goyer a break. He only dreamed up and co-wrote the planet's first billion dollar CBM.
McFarlaneFan - 12/23/2013, 10:55 PM
Many Marvel Trolls fell this day!
Jollem - 12/23/2013, 10:56 PM
goyer is the man
gamecreatorjj - 12/23/2013, 10:58 PM
i Think you may need to re think the idea that DC movies are looked at poorly. You gave exceptions to 8 movies. Like 8 good movies is good, and most of those were spectacular.

One could say "Marvel movies are only received well, except Ironman 3, Ironman 2, Hulk, The Incredible, Fantastic Four (1994) Fantastic 4, Fanstic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer, X-Men: The Last Stand, X-Men Origins Wolverine, Daredevil (Theatrical Cut),Elektra, Captain America (1990), Punisher (1986), The Punisher, Punisher: Warzone, Spiderman 3, Blade: Trinity, Man Thing, Howard the Duck, Amazing Spiderman, Ghost Rider, and Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance"

Much to the same way you could say "Marvel movies are recieved poorly except Ironman, Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger, Avengers, Thor: The Dark World, Spiderman, Spiderman 2, X Men, X2, Wolverine, X-Men: First Class, Blade, and Blade II"

I mean Marvel has 22 pretty bad movies, and 13 good ones, that's less than half.

DC has 13 bad films (Superman III, Supergirl, Superman IV, Superman Returns, Return of Swamp Thing, Batman and Robin, Steel, Catwoman, Jonah Hex, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Losers, Constantine, and Green Lantern)and 13 good ones (Superman, Superman II, Swampthing, Batman, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, Watchmen, The Dark Knight Rises, Red, History of Violence, V for Vendetta, Stardust and Man of Steel)

Thats 1:1 for DC and nearly 2:1 for Marvel
REPOMAN - 12/23/2013, 10:59 PM

I think there were more talented people he worked with who got him there. He certainly didn't do it with Ghost Rider.
ShadowlordSavage - 12/23/2013, 10:59 PM
@harley2011 You just skimmed it didn't you? I said the main reason for Marvel's success was the filmmakers. My point is that a film's success is determined by the people the hired. If the Marvel had poor, scripts, terrible directors and actor, their plan would not matter. That my point with DC films, they've been pretty mixed to bad with some good ones, this has more to do with the filmmakers than the whatever plan they have or had.
REPOMAN - 12/23/2013, 11:02 PM


Marvel Studios didn't make most of those films bearing the Marvel license whereas Warners made all DC films.
JamesMan - 12/23/2013, 11:05 PM

While I like Ghost Rider SOV, Goyer literally had NOTHING to do with that production. He wrote a script that was a hard R-rating, the directors took his script (that the company already owned) and took the "cool" action scenes and put it into their own script. Goyer had no involvement with the film or the production. There's actually a really good 1.5hr documentary on the making of the film that shows this.
ShadowlordSavage - 12/23/2013, 11:05 PM
@Battabing, Thor: the dark world seems to be praised so far by the majority. However, I mentioned good writing, Green Lantern had a terrible and I did say good filmmakers who fit the job.
Battabing - 12/23/2013, 11:06 PM

What you're saying makes no sense. Decades before Marvel Studios existed, WB/DC was putting out blockbuster superhero movies in the form of Superman and Batman. They started the trend with Superman, and again with Blade (Goyer). The produced the fantastic (and underrated Watchmen) and the first billion dollar CBM the world had ever seen.

As for a cinematic universe, WB/DC only has one movie, MOS. The goal of that movie was to re-introduce Superman and kickstart the DCCU, which it did successfully. Now Batman and WW are entering the picture and following that film will be a JL movie which will kick off solo spin-offs.

That's their plan. It's just as viable as Marvel's, maybe even better. DC is killing Marvel on TV. Arrow is praised, while AOS is dumped on. WB doesn't have to spend $150-250M on an origin movie (which viewers are getting tired of) when they can do it much cheaper on TV to unanimous praise. Arrow is getting a spin-off that people are actually excited to see. Flash's origin in Arrow was a hit and now WB/DC can move those guys to the cinematic world and then back to their own corners when the teamups are done. That is f.ucking smart and cost effective.

How much money do you think Disney is dumping into a show with ratings that continue to trend downward and still haven't stabilized? Who should be emulating who?

bigdannymac - 12/23/2013, 11:11 PM
Some key elements to keep in mind..

1 - DC was the first to roll out full fledged comic book movies. Superman and Batman proved to be hugely successful before Marvel ever got in the game

2 - Marvel did NOT start off with a shared universe. They unrolled a bunch of movies in the very same manner that DC did

3 - Starting with Iron Man, Marvel took a gamble. A character not many knew anything about, was going to kickstart a shared universe. Both plans were a gamble. #1 being Iron Man himself and #2 being the shared universe idea

4 - DC/WB had a very successful Dark Knight Trilogy. Batman Begins and Iron Man changed the game. The Dark Knight flipped the script and made Comic Book Movies credible from a Critics & Awards standpoint.

5 - Man of Steel is the equivalent of Iron Man in the sense, this is Phase One of the Shared Universe for DC characters. Had Green Lantern been a bigger success, there is good reason to conclude that GL2 would fit into that Universe.

All and all, I don't see how either side is "better" then the other. They both needed each other. It takes one company to make the leap, and the other will follow. It's not about being the first to do it, it's about doing it right.

Marvel VS DC in the comic world is one thing.. but I personally cannot see the argument in the Movie Universe. They need each other, they push each other, and where one succeeds, the other will too. Where one fails, the other will learn.
Dmon - 12/23/2013, 11:11 PM
People seem to forget the bad Marvel films of the 90's and even 70's you can only go so far back. I don't think any movie before Blade should even count for either studio, that is when the new wave started. Also one problem with Superman is that so much Hollywood and media in general elevated Chris Reeves to near Sainthood they just can't see Superman played any other way except for a homage to him.
Battabing - 12/23/2013, 11:13 PM

Even Alan Taylor has little regard for T:TDW.
Other directors: John Favreau (IM2), Shane Black (IM3).
Favreau is nearly as hit and miss as you think Goyer is.

Goyer was heavily involved in Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. He took a more backseat to the Nolans for TDKR. Which of those three is the least regarded among fans?
Battabing - 12/23/2013, 11:15 PM

1. WB made the Blade Trilogy.

2. The problem with emulating Reeve is that the general audience rejected it and embraced a new take even if the critics didn't.
Dmon - 12/23/2013, 11:19 PM
@Battabing I love MOS my point was critics and Hollywood have a hard time letting go of Reeves not myself or the GA.
ShadowlordSavage - 12/23/2013, 11:19 PM
@gamecreatorjj - I counted Marvel studio films with Disney. Technically I didn't have to include Red as it was made by Summit. I meant mostly film specifically from WB/DC(most were). Your point is valid I include all the Marvel films that were made by various companies, not Marvel Studios and Disney. So 13 good Marvels films vs. 13 good DC films, but WB/DC has made 13 bad films as well. My point stands that MOS is divided so is Watchmen. My point was unanimous reception, those to two are mix with the edge going to Watchmen which why I included it as still positively received.
REPOMAN - 12/23/2013, 11:19 PM

What I'm saying makes perfect sense when dealing with a shared-universe which is why Marvel Studio's hit rate is so high. They did what everyone didn't do and won because they have a different philosophy as to how they approach their properties. Warner doesn't have the same infrastructure or philosophy.

We'll see how Warner handle their B-list characters that aren't reliables like Batman or Superman. Green Lantern really did not work for them and MoS underperformed for such a massive investment.

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