I think I end up asking this question every week now. First it started off with “Why is Batman’s first outing shared?” Then I saw the movie and realised they’d screwed the pooch. Ok, they’ll learn their lesson from that and maybe try to mirror the MCU approach. Then we got another ensemble piece in Suicide Squad – demonstrating this uncanny knack to continue to go about things the wrong way. Since then, the DCEU seems to have released negative news upon negative news, with even the positivity and success of Wonder Woman (critically and financially) overshadowed by the company’s reputation and associated feeling towards the shared universe. Each week we’d hear this director is changing (not including the Snyder/Whedon change – that was horrific circumstances and can’t be brought in to this overall feeling), The Flash has no director, Ben Affleck is no longer directing The Batman, Ben Affleck is no longer the writer of Batman, Ben Affleck is no longer Batman…
Wait, hold up? You bring in an A-Lister (love him or hate him, he is) like Ben Affleck, chuck him in your big movie with Henry Cavill, Jeremy Irons, Gal Gadot and Mark Zuckerberg (razzie magnet), sign him up for other projects, brag about him being on the team then ditch him? I’m no Lord Sugar but that seems like a really poor way to treat your investment.
Still, it’s all speculation at this stage, but we need to go over what’s happened. As I’d already mentioned, The Batman was supposed to be Affleck’s project, writing and directing it. Then he had some personal issues to deal with, stepped down from directing to writing and starring in. Then eventually Matt Reeves steps in, he mulls over Affleck’s script, then hates on it and ditches it. So now Affleck has been demoted to “starring in” only. Now the news sites are scraping about for pictures of him looking rough to go with the headline “Ben Affleck being replaced as Batman” etc etc. I think before we address this, we need to clear the air on something.
Whoever works in DC/Warner’s Marketing Team needs fired!
They are doing a piss-poor job of maintaining any kind of reputation. There’s too many “sources in the know” out there giving too many differing accounts (I’m looking at you Casey Affleck). So what’s happened? Casey said on an interview last week that “I thought he was an OK Batman. No, he was great. He was great. He’s a hero, so he had something to channel and work with there. But he’s not going to do that movie [The Batman], I don’t think. Sorry to say.” However, Affleck assured fans at SDCC that he would continue to be Batman as he was promoting Justice League. Now news of a Joker origin movie has been announced and it’s not going to be set in the same universe as Suicide Squad/BvS etc. Simultaneously, a Joker/Harley Quinn movie has been given the go-ahead. I mean, is The Clown Prince of Crime himself running the show? There are no words. This is the dumbest idea I’ve heard in a while, and so we should probably state:
Whoever works in DC/Warner’s Strategy Team needs fired!
Let’s not only shit all over the CW TV universe that has been building up for years and (last I watched) is pretty awesome, but let’s also shit over the guys who have been working hard to try to build the DCEU despite the obvious flaws. My thoughts on this however, which I’ve sort of worked towards in previous podcasts, is that DC are using this all as an excuse to get out of maintaining their failing universe should Justice League or any of it’s subsequent movies fall on their arse. It’s their exit plan, but without the balls to say “This is our exit strategy, tough luck guys.” We’ll end up with this fractured, totally disjointed approach to movies that will leave people wondering if the movie is related to other movies, did this happen before or after the other Joker movie from this year, why is that character alive again and why is Stephen Amell not doing Green Arrow movies (Green Arrow: Escape from Supermax could have been DC’s answer to The Raid and would have been epic!).
Am I wrong? Will it recover or is the Marvel/DC movie universe fight already a foregone conclusion? As always, your comments are appreciated.