An Open Letter to DC Entertainment/Warner Brothers…
July 22, 2012
To Whom it May Concern,
You have a very unique opportunity right now, don’t mess it up.
The Nolan Trilogy is over. It ended very well. It had it’s flaws for sure. I still wasn’t crazy about Bane’s voice (1000% better then in the “Mission Impossible IMAX” preview), I think not mentioning the Joker at all considering he was essentially responsible for almost EVERYTHING that came from the Dent scandal was a big Mistake (I’m sorry, Mr. Nolan, but it’s not disrespectful to MENTION a character… let’s be honest at the very least $150-$200 million of “The Dark Knight” box office was everyone’s morbid curiosity after Ledger’s death… and I’m saying this knowing it’s one of my favorite movies of all time) and I think there could have been some trimming in the editing room.
But with that said, let me get to the point of this letter…
Use “Man of Steel” to start something that Marvel Studios has already done. Create a Universe. And here’s the best Part, YOU OWN ALL OF YOUR CHARACTERS!!! YOU CAN DO IT BETTER IF YOU REALLY WANTED TO!!! I know NOBODY in any position at DC Entertainment/WB will be reading this, but I’m going to give you some ideas as to how this moment can be yours, you just need to grab it and run! And while Life Long Comic Geek/turned Comic Artist, a Film School drop out (yes, that’s me) and someone who left a major in Animation a year before earning his BA (also me) may not be who you want to hear it from… I still know what I’m talking about.
1. “Man of Steel”: For the Minute and a Half I have seen of the teaser… I’m jazzed. It looks beautiful. It looks like Snyder (who works wonderfully with other peoples material) is really caring about this character. And I hope that the small bit we’ve seen is a prelude to 2.5 hours of the best Superman film imagined. Henry looks outstanding. I like the suit. I do. It looks updated and sleek. I like that it looks like the “New 52″ Superman that Jim Lee designed.
“Man of Steel” can be an EXCELLENT springboard for a DC Universe in film. Cameo a character. Mention another City or two. Start to connect the dots of a larger picture. You have the means.
- Just remember… Lex Luthor is the Bruce Wayne of Metropolis… with a very, very Dark Side. He’s not a real estate nut.
- If Superman is not fighting something, nobody gives a shit! (I.E see Superman Returns)
2. The Batman Reboot: Folks, let’s be completely open and honest with ourselves… THIS IS GOING TO HAPPEN. Probably sooner then you think. The Nolan Trilogy is over. I loved all three films. I enjoyed what Nolan did. Ledger’s Joker will be hard to top, that is for sure.
But NOT Impossible. Here are a few points I have rumbling in my skull…
- Don’t be afraid to NOT show the “origin”. Seriously. At this point, my 69 year old Mother knows why Bruce Wayne IS Batman. She can even tell you the name of the shooter (Joe Chill for those playing at home). This is because is been dug into our brains. Even with Burton’s films, they touched out it every chance they could. We don’t need it. Do what Marvel did in “The Incredible Hulk” if you NEED to re-introduce what happened to Thomas and Martha Wayne, do it in the opening credits. Just get to Batman being Batman.
- Don’t be afraid of using the Joker. This is a big one. The Joker IS Batman’s archenemy. He is the polar opposite of Batman. This character should not only be in the first new Batman film, but be a thorn in his side in the 2nd and 3rd films as well as a problem for the JL. The Joker needs to constantly be there, even if he’s not the main villain. And don’t be afraid to use the traditional Joker. The “Real World” Joker, the one Ledger did. I think you need to avoid it. The Joker you need to do is the Comic one… you don’t need to show his origin either. He’s a Bad Guy… we know this. And he should remain a VERY Bad Guy. Use Ledger’s Joker as a starting off point… TOTAL Chaos, no remorse, no reasoning with… make him as evil as you can… and make it possible to root for him at times. We did that with Ledger’s Joker. As bad as he was… sometimes we wanted to see him win.
-Batman doesn’t need to talk like he’s got rocks in his throat… ask Kevin Conroy.
- Give us Harley Quinn… and make her awesome.
- Cast Bryan Cranston as Gordon.
- Introduce Dick Grayson/Robin in the second film.
- Give us a Great Catwoman. Anne Hathaway did an EXCELLENT job. It was one of my favorite aspects of “Rises”. But make her look like this (Adam Hughes’ Catwoman):
In fact, do yourself a favor and talk to the Writers and Artists who have been working with these characters FOR YEARS! These guys know the ins and outs of these characters and it wouldn’t be a bad idea to do what Nolan did and “borrow” bits and pieces from some of the best Batman Stories. Nolan, in his Trilogy, used bits from “Batman: Year One”, “The Dark Knight Returns”, “The Killing Joke” “The Long Halloween” and “Knightfall” just to name the obvious. It worked. It worked very, very well. There’s a reason he did. Great stories, great storytelling.
- cast your Batman to be able to play against your new Superman. They need to have friction that you can feel, but the respect of one another that can be felt as well. Supes is the Boy Scout, Batman is the Heavy.
- Cameos, Cameos, Cameos! Superman/Kent needs to pop up in the first film. In a subtle way. On the TV in the background… on a Monitor in the Batcave. Hell, have him fly into the Batcave offering his help with what Batman’s dealing with.
UPDATE: Last but certainly not least… THE MOVIE IS ABOUT BATMAN, SHOW ME MORE THEN 25-30 MINUTES OF BATMAN IN A BATMAN MOVIE!!! IF THE MOVIE IS 2 HOURS, 90 MINUTES OF THAT MOVIE BETTER HAVE EFFIN’ BATMAN IN HIS SUIT DOING BATMAN STUFF!!!
I can go on forever with the Batman films. Seriously, I could, but we need to move forward with other characters before you all fall asleep.
3. Do NOT give up on Green Lantern. Green lantern was not a good movie, let’s just be honest. BUT it wasn’t because of Ryan Reynolds, The effects or lack of interest. Blake Lively and the lack of a proper villain ruined that movie. A few quick tips on what to do…
- DON’T recast GL/Hal Jordan. Reynolds is a great choice, keep him on.
- DON’T give him a sequel… YET. Bring him into the fold through a Superman or Batman film. Get people interested again. Seriously. Look at The Avengers and what it’s done for the Hulk. People are screaming for a Hulk movie now who didn’t think they wanted one!
- Make Sinestro the Big Bad in the first JL film. This is a NO BRAINER. Mark Strong’s Sinestro was one of the best aspects of the film. This way, the existing GL film will be into the NEW continuity and maybe people will go back and watch the GL film (DVD/Blu Ray/Digital Sales)
4. Wonder Woman does NOT need her own film… YET!
- Introduce her in the JL movie and give her a film after.
- Cast accordingly. Look at all of Adam Hughes’ WW pieces when casting, and no, I’m NOT joking:
In fact, You should ALWAYS consult the characters most popular artists when it comes to the costume design and casting.
5. Don’t afraid of Magic, Intergalactic Villains or shit that could never happen. This is why the Marvel films are working… they’re just going balls out with Comic style stories and people are loving it! USE DARKSEID!!!! USE SINESTRO!!! BRAINIAC!!! Hell, you could do a World’s Finest Series of films and the possibilities never end with team ups and villains!
Now… I’m going to stop here because I could go on for days and I don’t have that kind of time (I haven’t even talked about The Flash, Green Arrow, Martian Manhunter… Black Canary… all great JL characters…) and there’s a 90% chance you stopped reading after the Superman portion. Just know that you have a great opportunity to bring the world something amazing and as much as you probably HATE hearing this… MARVEL STUDIOS/DISNEY is beating you at something you could have been doing for a long, long time. And they’re doing it well, very well.
You don’t have to listen to me… look at the numbers. Look at the people who never would have seen a comic film went two-three times to see “The Avengers” and those same asses will be in the seats for Iron Man 3, Thor 2, Cap 2… GUARDIAN’S OF THE GALAXY!!! Seriously, HOW BALLSY A MOVE IS THAT, DC? They’re putting out a GotG movie that will likely lead into Avengers 2 and you can’t straighten out a Wonder Woman film (or TV show)… BTW, wasn’t going to mention it before… but how are you feeling now about dropping Whedon?
OK… done razzing you. If you want anymore opinions from a Film school/animation drop out… email me!
All the best and do the right thing,
Below is a “suggested” release schedule for DC/WB… these are NOT real, just my ideas…
Man of Steel Summer 2013 (Cameo by ?)
Batman Christmas 2015 (yes, Christmas, let Marvel have the Summer, dominate the Holidays… Superman Cameo, The Villain: The Joker & Harley Quinn)
Superman: Man of Steel Summer 2016 (Cameo by Wonder Woman, Villain: Luthor/Brainiac, Hint at Darkseid)
Justice League Christmas 2016 (Yes, 6 months after Supes 2, give us the JL movie… MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM DC/WB!!! Introduce Martain Manhunter, Green Arrow, bring in Green Lantern. Villain: DARKSEID)
Green Lantern II Summer 2017 (Villain: Sinestro)
Wonder Woman Christmas 2017
Batman II Summer 2018 (Villain: Mr. Freeze, Introduce Robin)
World’s Finest: Batman/Superman Christmas 2018 (Villains Luthor/Joker)
Teen Titans Summer 2019
Justice League II Christmas 2019
There, I just mapped out your movie schedule for the next 9 years… you’re welcome.