Report: Warner Bros. Is "Worried" About Batman v Superman

Thursday, 11 February 2016 - 5:22PM
DC Comics
Batman v Superman
Justice League
Thursday, 11 February 2016 - 5:22PM
Report: Warner Bros. Is "Worried" About Batman v Superman
The final Batman v Superman trailer came out today, and was the best one so far, by a landslide. But even as the trailer takes the internet by storm, is there trouble brewing behind the scenes? According to a new report from Hitfix's Drew McWeeny, industry sources who have seen the film are beginning to sweat, and there are even rumblings of pushing off Justice League in favor of focusing on the one part of Batman v Superman that undeniably works: Ben Affleck's Batman.

McWeeny claims to have spoken to several sources with access to the finished film, and it might be gearing up to be a major disappointment: 

Opening quote
"Warner is a little bit worried. This movie is starting to scare them. They're showing it to people now, people are actually laying eyes on the film, and the response has not been exactly what they wanted."
Closing quote

If Batman v Superman isn't a success, then what does that mean for the upcoming slate of films? Suicide Squad already has better fan reception than Batman v Superman, so Warner Bros. will likely get behind it, and Wonder Woman is probably safe to go ahead as scheduled, since it's already in production and has a good amount of buzz. But the Justice League movie, which is set to be next after Wonder Woman, might very well be in jeopardy. 

Opening quote
"I would be surprised if Justice League starts shooting when they say it's going to. I'd be equally surprised if Zack Snyder directed it."
Closing quote

Honestly, I would be fine with it if Snyder were taken off the project. He's had his chance with Man of Steel, and now Batman v Superman. If the film is as underwhelming as it looked in earlier trailers, then it's time to give someone else a shot (maybe a woman or person of color with proven ability, of which there are many?). A delay would be more worrisome, but according to McWeeny, it doesn't mean the DCEU itself is in jeopardy, it only means that they will focus on the elements of the nascent cinematic universe that are working.

Opening quote
"The two things that I keep hearing work- I hear Ben Affleck's very good, and I hear Jesse Eisenberg is great. So I would not be surprised if Batman becomes the focus from here until the movie comes out."
Closing quote

This doesn't surprise me at all, considering the footage from the trailers. Ben Affleck seems to be a near-perfect Batman, and while Jesse Eisenberg's Lex Luthor has been more controversial, he's a great actor and I'm already a big fan of his interpretation. As a result, DC may be shaping the future of the DCEU based on Ben Affleck's Batman, and Batman villains, if Suicide Squad is a hit.

Opening quote
"My guess is what's going to happen is Justice League is going to get moved back... [and] they're going to throw whatever money it takes to make that Batman film happen sooner rather than later. Because they're going to need to rebuild again, they're going to need to win people back over... I don't think this is going to be the springboard into the Justice League they wanted it to be...

I feel like, to some degree, this entire slate has been from a position of panic. And I'm really worried that we're going to see some major seismic shifts as Warner Bros. if this thing doesn't work. It has to make a billion dollars for people to keep their jobs."
Closing quote

This sounds bad, but honestly, it probably just makes more sense to focus on a few popular characters for a while. From the start, Batman v Superman has felt a little bit rushed. It's essentially DC's answer to Avengers, and yet they only have one underwhelmingly received movie under their belt. Similarly, Justice League was set to come out after only two solo films and one mini team-up film, which is a far cry from the long-gestating, well-developed Avengers team. Patience and playing the long game are exactly what Marvel is doing right, so DC would do well to emulate that.

This is still just a rumor so far, but there is some evidence backing it up. First, there's the trailer released today, which was suspiciously Batman-centric. This shift implies that the studio knows Batman is the best thing about the movie, and is grooming the fans to be happy about a well-done take on the Caped Crusader, even if other things about the movie don't work. Plus, there have been similar rumors for almost a year now; back in August, just after Affleck finalized the deal to direct and star in 2018's The Batman, reports came out that Warner Bros. was over the moon about Affleck's "definitive" Batman, and that they were planning their entire slate of films around him, including a trilogy of standalone films. 

After this latest trailer, sign us up:



Batman v Superman hits theaters on March 25.
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