J. Michael Straczynski, the esteemed television and comic book writer, sat down for an interview with FilmBuffOnline, in which he teased a secret Disney project he was working on. But he also took the opportunity to discuss the current state of comic book movies and not surprisingly, his opinion reflects that of much of not only fandom, but movie goers’ in general.
“I think Marvel is really kicking DC’s clock,” he said. “I’ve talked to the people at Warner Bros. and said ‘What is wrong with you people?’” Even though Straczynski contributed to the script of ‘Thor’, I don’t feel he is biased, having written many comics for DC in the past. (Although, strictly commentary, his work on ‘Superman’ and ‘Wonder Woman’ are considered two of the worst runs in recent years. For the record, they were the “Grounded” and “Odyssey” storylines respectively.)
He went on to further state, “They think that they have a very narrow bench – Superman, Batman and then nobody else. We’re trying to get them to understand that we have a really good bench of characters if you treat them properly.”
This has been evidenced by DC’s spate of animated movies. After successful animated films starring Batman and Superman, releases focusing on Wonder Woman and Green Lantern sold slower than Warner Brothers liked, so they demanded that all further movies star either (or both) Batman and Superman or the Justice League. No more solo movies for anyone else. It’s clearly a company wide philosophy.
When asked what concepts he thinks could be translated to the big screen, he had two very common answers and one unusual pick:
He then mentioned the recent Wonder Woman fan film that lit up the internet and stated “That’s what the Wonder Woman film should be. If you treated the Wonder Woman film the way we treated the Thor movie with some seriousness, and also focus on her family, you’d get a really good film out of that.”
His left-field selection? “Oddly enough, the Haunted Tank could be a really good movie. Set it in Iraq or somewhere the Middle East, update it and it writes itself.” For those that don’t know, ‘The Haunted Tank’ was a strip that ran in the anthology series ‘G.I. Combat’ and revolved around a tank under the command Lt. Jeb Stuart, that becomes haunted by Confederate general J.E.B. Stuart (assigned by the ghost of Alexander the Great, no less), during World War II. Obviously, Straczynski feels the idea is due for a modern reinterpretation.
The writer admits to liking ‘Man of Steel’, but like many wasn’t thrilled with it. “I thought that it had one fight more than it should have had. And it was a good movie that could have been a great movie had they put more time in on the characters. In the end, I don’t care how good your effects are or the battles or the CGI, if we don’t care about the characters you got nothing and nowhere to go.”
Do you agree or disagree? It seems many fans have felt similar discontent with Warner Brothers and DC’s cinematic output, whether it’s lack of diversity or quality issues.
More importantly, would you like to see a ‘Hunted Tank’ movie? Comment below!