Five Goals WB Needs To Accomplish In 2020 To Set Up A Bright Comic Book Movie Future

The Batman doesn't premiere until 2021, but this year is just as important to the future of comic book movies at WB. To ensure a bright future, here are 5 goals the studio needs to accomplish in 2020.

With just two superhero films releasing in 2020, WB is betting big on the box office might of female moviegoers as Birds of Prey and Wonder Woman 1984 will attempt to recapture the same success as the first Wonder Woman film. However, there are things Warner Bros. should look to accomplish to set up what should be a very active next few years post-2020.  

WB is slated to release three films in 2021, The Batman, The Suicide Squad and Black Adam. One of these, the latest Batman reboot starring Robert Pattinson and directed by Matt Reeves, needs very little outside help. Batman (and his rogues) have a built-in audience, which explains why terrible films like Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad were still able to make a profit. On the flip side, Joker is a perfect example of the levels of success you can achieve when you enter the world of Gotham and actually have a stellar product to showcase. 

Batman is not what the studio needs to worry about, it's the other DC Comics IPs. The Shazam! sequel, the Rock's Black Adam and Aquaman 2 could all stand to benefit from WB throwing a few bones to its comic book fans.  Click the NEXT button below and we'll tell you what WB needs to accomplish and how it will benefit them in the long run.

Get A Brand



It's hard to believe that WB's DC Comics adaptations still don't have an official name. The DCEU (DC Extended Universe) is an unofficial fan term that's stuck because the studio hasn't thought to give its superhero films a collective name. Even if WB is moving away from the idea of a shared cinematic universe, their superhero films should have a distinctive label for branding purposes. Case in point, Marvel could release a Stilt-Man movie and people are still going to show up in theaters if it's labeled as being part of the MCU.    

Just recently, Joker director Todd Phillips revealed that he wanted WB to create a DC Black label to release a series of low-budget, gritty, realistic interpretations of well-known DC heroes and villains, but for some reason, the studio wasn't keen on the idea. A strong brand creates a cushion for what would otherwise be colossal/costly misfires on risky projects. If WB ever wants to expand outside of its most popular characters, they need an established brand with a track record of success.  

Skip SDCC, Get Your Own Event



Skip SDCC this year WB. Heck, skip SDCC for as long as Marvel Studios attends. Hall H belongs to Kevin Feige and co., and at this point, there's nothing you can do about it. Besides, Hall H presentations aren't about the fans in attendance (no matter what they tell you), they're about the media coverage those announcements get in the days following the convention. 

During and post-SDCC, the MCU is going to dominate that news cycle. WB would be better off making another convention its venue to make major announcements. WonderCon and NYCC are two fan conventions that WB should look to target given their size and the relatively light presence of the MCU.

Make Separate Yet Connected Films - A Multiverse



What DC has that Marvel doesn't (to a certain degree) are Crisis level events that see superheroes from multiple realities converge to stop some unimaginable threat. Sure, Marvel has Secret Wars, Battleworld, and the Ultimate Universe, but those events pale in comparison to the complexity and the sheer number of alternate realities that make up DC Comics' Crisis Events. While the MCU might be looking to explore this same concept in the next Doctor Strange film, they don't have the same rich comic book history to draw from that WB/DC has. 

Furthermore, alternate realities would allow WB to dump films that don't meet expectations. For instance, if a film is critically panned or underperforms at the box office, WB can simply say that film took place on Earth-1163 and never venture there again. Such a concept would've allowed WB to dump Batman v Superman, Justice League and Suicide Squad and simply move on with Man of Steel, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and Shazam! (potentially bringing those dumped films/characters back for a Crisis Event film).  

More Low-Budget Films



Joker was a risk that WB only signed off on due to its low budget. Even Todd Phillips has admitted that he wasn't sure how the film would be received by audiences.

If Joker had a budget of $250M USD, it would never have been made (or more likely, would have included a costumed Dark Knight in some capacity). If lower budgets result in a greater willingness for WB to take risks, then someone at the studio needs to bring Phillips back in to re-pitch his DC Black idea.  

More Villain-centric Films  



In some ways, DC villains are more interesting than their heroes. They're rarely evil out of some twisted, internal need for mustache-twirling moments, and they usually have an end goal in mind that leads them to believe that ruthless methods are justified. Characters of this ilk make excellent subject matter for feature-length, standalone films. Perhaps WB should start new superhero trilogies with an origin story for the villain, not the hero?

Examining the villains was something the old Sam Raimi Spider-Man films did masterfully (Spider-Man 3 aside), and the audience always knew what the villain's motivations were and even felt just a little bit of sympathy.   

"If you want more DC film-based features, continue on for a look at the characters that still need to be cast in Matt Reeves The Long Halloween-inspired Batman film." 

Alberto Falcone

 

 
At the center of the long Halloween is a mob war between the Falcone and Maroni crime families. John Turturro was recently cast to portray Carmine Falcone, but it's Carmine's son Alberto who plays a key role in the story.  

Sal Maroni

 

In The Long Halloween, Sal Maroni is the son of  Luigi "Big Lou" Maroni and the heir-apparent of the Maroni family. The character previously appeared in Chirstopher Nolan's The Dark Knight, portrayed by Eric Roberts. In The Long Halloween the war between the Maronis and Falcones intensifies due to the Holiday killings (each family believes Holiday works for the other) and results in each employing "Gotham freaks" like Poison Ivy and Riddler as enforcers.

Harvey Dent



The Long Halloween is infamous for portraying an origin story for Harvey Den'ts Two-Face. A Gotham City DA hellbent on bringing the city's two ruling crime family's to justice (by any means), Dent's psychotic nature bubbles to the surface as the Holiday killer continues to elude Batman and the Gotham City Police Department. Recently, Peter Saarsgard joined the cast in a mystery role, leading some to speculate that he's our Harvey Dent, aka Two-Face.

Solomon Grundy

 

 Solomon Grundy makes a brief but memorable appearance in The Long Halloween, first tussling with Batman and then encountering Harvey Dent in the Gotham City sewers as he hid from Gotham law enforcement.  A similar appearance on screen would be a cool moment and serve to distinguish Reeves' film from past big screen Batman iterations that haven't really introduced any supernatural elements.     

Poison Ivy

 

Poison Ivy becomes employed by the Falcones, as they need to force Bruce Wayne to allow them to launder their money through Gotham City Bank. With Bruce heading the board of the bank, he becomes the target of Ivy's mind controlling pheromones. Bruce Wayne is able to break free thanks to Catwoman, although Ivy escapes during the confusion. The green-skinned supervillain later turns up in an epic moment that serves to illustrate that control of the Gotham underworld no longer resides with the Maroni or Falcone crime families and now belongs to the costumed freaks.

Mad Hatter

 

 
The Mad Hatter becomes employed by the Falcones and teams up with Scarecrow. Later on, he rises up with Two-Face, Penguin, Poison Ivy, Scarecrow, Solomon Grundy, Joker and Catwoman to overthrow the Falcones- a moment that signifies that Gotham now belongs to the "freaks."

Scarecrow 

 

 Like Mad Hatter, Scarecrow is employed by the Falcones and rises up with Two-Face, Penguin, Poison Ivy, Mad Hatter, Solomon Grundy, Joker and Catwoman to overthrow the Falcones- a moment that signifies that Gotham now belongs to the "freaks."

The Joker

 

The Joker appears fairly early on in Batman's investigation. It seems the Clown Prince of Crime is upset that there's now two homicidal maniacs in Gotham. He goes on a random killing spree before enacting a plan to kill a large number of people in Gotham Square in the hopes that one of them will be the Holiday killer. Luckily, he's thwarted by Batman before he can complete the dastardly deed.   

The Joker escapade is largely a diversion and doesn't really add much to the limited series, and with Jared Leto and Joaquin Phoenix both portraying the Batman rogue in recent years, it's hard to see WB introducing a third version of the character. It could be that Reeves is substituting Joker with Firefly, a character that never appeared in the Long Halloween but was featured earlier this year in a casting call for the film.

Calendar Man

 

Calendar Man plays a Hannibal Lecter type role in the story as Batman routinely visits him in Arkham Asylum to get his assessment on the holiday killings. Calendar Man cooperates because he's fearful that the Holiday killer will upstage him, using his own motif. His scenes with Batman could either be played for comedic relief or posses disturbingly sinister undertones. It will be interesting to see which direction Reeves takes the character (if he's included).

Gilda Dent

 

   Perhaps the most pivotal role of all in the story, who WB and Reeves cast to portray Harvey Dent's wife just might make or break the film.
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