Time Warner CEO Hints at Lightening The Tone of Future DC Films
Calls between investors and CEOs of major entertainment companies aren't often full of information that we particularly care about. We're not investors in any of these companies — we just want the entertainment we consume to be good. But there were a couple of lines from yesterday's call with Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes that stood out as being worth a quick mention.
First of all, he essentially admitted that the stories of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad weren't that great by saying, "We can do a little better on the creative." No kidding, dude. But secondly, he said that these iconic, beloved characters "have a little more lightness in them than maybe what you saw in those movies, so we’re thinking about that."
I'm sure that quote will infuriate fanboys who insist that DC movies absolutely must be dark and gritty. I know that's not a majority of you — most of us agree that regardless of the tone, there need to be improvements on the script level — but there's a militant subsection of DC fandom that seems obsessively tied to the notion that these films have to be as far away from the Marvel Studios vibe as possible. I'm not sure why they think that. It's always been true that these movies can be whatever the filmmakers want them to be (light, dark, funny, serious, whatever) and as long as they're well executed from beginning to end, they'll be well-liked by a majority of the population. The current DC films don't meet that standard, which is why they've been destroyed by the majority of critics. But that part doesn't matter that much to the CEO when people are dropping cash to go see these movies anyway. "The main thing was to launch DC and reinvigorate it with the fan base," he said.
Bewkes isn't the first guy associated with DC Films to mention lightening the tones of future movies. Geoff Johns has said similar things, and the studio flew a bunch of press out to visit the Justice League set with the hopes of convincing them that they've added some a humorous touch to the dour vibe we've seen in the previous two movies. It remains to be seen how all of this will actually affect the studio's upcoming movies on the script level, which, again, is where all of the big changes actually matter. Write a good script without being completely locked in to a pre-established release date, and the rest will fall into place.