You have to admire what the original Superman nailed with tone. They got it right back in 1978. More than a decade later was the first Batman film which had a daring take that gave a very German expressionist look at a comic book film. Next was Spider-Man, and then of course Nolan’s Batman films before these tonal shifts and very different takes become funnelled into two very trite styles by Disney’s Marvel and Warner Bros. DC. Disney has championed the comic book films by copy and pasting the foundation with different genres, a branching narrative and of course the comedy. Warner Bros. on the other hand since Man of Steel has tried to counter act Disney by having films with a darker tone. Warner Bros. for the most part has tried to mirror the success Disney has reached, but for audiences it has been unearned as the films constantly alternate between bad and good. So what can Warner Bros. do?
Warner Bros. parent company was acquired back in 2018 and it seems we’re starting to see the changing of hands over there. Starting last year with HBO Max’s push of having simultaneous theatrical releases being available on the streaming platform day one. This year CW has seen plenty of regular shows axed, including multiple shows in the “Arrowverse“. While there have been many world tragedies, the greatest may be the attention the Depp V Heard case gathered over everything else. Neither came out looking good, Heard especially, and now Aquaman 2 stands to be boycotted by her involvement. Ezra Miller, known for playing The Flash has also been the subject of discourse as allegations pile on him. While Amber Heard plays a supporting role in Aquaman 2, Ezra Miller is the title star of The Flash, and the allegations are serious enough for Warner Bros. to seriously reconsider how they move forward with the project.
It has been announced that Batgirl has been shelved indefinitely, which is rather unusual for a film that is in post production and has already cost an estimated $90 million. Similarly a sequel to Scoob has been shelved. It seems that the case with both films appears to be this middle tier they tried to make for straight to stream films, but the costs they believe are too great, and want to make $40 million dollar films for the service instead. A $90 million price tag is a lot of money, although it is probably close to half of most blockbuster superhero films today, and wouldn’t compete if it’s of subpar quality. Considering how much Warner Bros. is hurting of late its good that they are finally committing to quality, as they’ve spoken to working on a ten year plan for the DC Universe. They’ve talked about plans before and this time appears different as they’re being heavy handed. Hell, I may become interested in comic book films again if they consolidate their plans into pursuing quality superhero films.
So what do we think of the state of Warner Bros.? Are they trying to clean house so they can hit the restart button once they can finally offload Aquaman 2, and The Flash? I sure hope so. However, it is a shame to see Scoob’s sequel be squandered, but we sure don’t need more mediocre superhero films.