Monday, November 10, 2008

Marvel News > DC News

The big comic book movie news today is that Joe Johnston will be directing the Captain America movie, which comes out in 2011. Johnston’s career has been relatively hit (The Rocketeer, October Sky) or miss (Jurassic Park III, Hidalgo), but I’m fairly happy with this news.

To be honest, I was worried Marvel would pick someone absolutely terrible to helm this movie, and the fact that they picked someone with a 50/50 track record gives me at least some hope. Besides, what’s really going to make or break this movie is who they pick to play Captain America. Personally, I’m hoping for Matt Damon. No, seriously.

So DC must have had some pretty good news today to counter this announcement, right? Sure, if you consider the fact that Beyoncé wants to play Wonder Woman to be “good.” But wait, that’s not all! IESB is also reporting that McG is interested in directing said Wonder Woman project.

You know, it never ceases to amaze me how poorly Warner Bros. has managed to handle all of DC’s comic book franchises, other than the last two Batman movies. Marvel has the right idea: introduce several major characters in their own movies, and then bring them together in one big movie (Avengers). For years, DC’s plan has been to start with a team movie, Justice League, and then spin each character off into his or her own franchise from there. That plan has obviously gone nowhere, and the Justice League movie itself was actually cancelled just a few months ago.

It’s a shame, really. DC’s characters could be just as viable as Marvel’s if WB put some effort behind it, the way they did with Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. But really – Beyoncé and McG? There is no way that’s the best they can do.


Like A said...

How strongly is DC tied to Warner Bros? When could they get out of their contract? Any hope, at all?

Marc said...

The relationship, unfortunately, is much more than a mere contract: WB actually owns DC Comics. It's really not a very good position for DC to be in at all, because it means DC has very limited input on how its properties are adapted into movies, and because WB has final say in any creative changes that DC might want to make on the comic book side of things (such as killing off a popular character).

This is a much different situation than Marvel's. Marvel has contracts with Sony Pictures for the Spider-Man movies and 20th Century Fox for the X-Men and Fantastic Four movies, but Marvel isn't owned by anyone else. In fact, it recently started its own film studio (Marvel Studios), which did both Iron Man and Incredible Hulk. Both were extremely successful, so Marvel Studios will be going strong into the future.

The most obvious result of Marvel having its own studio is that it can exercise a level of quality control that DC can't. For the foreseeable future, there's really no way for DC to escape from the stranglehold WB has on it.