With Marvel Studios sitting out SDCC 2015, Warner Brothers should have been able to strut in and mike dropped their entire presentation. And while the trailers for ‘Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice’ and ‘Suicide Squad’ did generate loads of buzz, WB could not have been expecting the mixed reaction they received.
Ironically, it’s the “cornier” DC that’s embracing the dark side with it’s grim and gritty film slate, while the “cooler, edgier” Marvel is laughing all the way to the bank, with its brighter, cheerful family popcorn flicks. The ‘Suicide Squad’ trailer in particular felt plodding and overly dramatic with its booming intense musical score.
But Warner Brothers seems to be reacting. While a tentative list of upcoming movies was leaked, WB has never confirmed this list. Now comes word that WB is changing its course by adding lighter films.
A source close to the DC division of WB commented, “The great thing about super hero comics is they can tell every kind of story, detective stories, time travel, sci fi space movies…” So why not more comedic fare? It’s worked for Marvel.
Another source reveals that the studio has been quietly talking to ‘Family Guy’ creator Seth MacFarlane about a secret project. Now it sounds like that project has a name… ‘Zan V Jayna: Dawn of Wonder,’ starring animated teen sidekicks The Wonder Twins.
The movie, allegedly is set within the building DC Cinematic Universe and will feature a cameo by Viola Davis, reprising her role as Amanda Waller from ‘Suicide Squad.’ The plot would center on the US government attempting to weaponize the Twins, who are alien teenagers stranded on Earth. Through the story, the Twins find themselves using their shape-shifting powers against one another. But with the help of their Earth allies, Marvin and Wendy, they break free and embark on a cross-country journey to use their powers to help teens in danger.
Like ‘Batman V Superman,’ ‘Zan V Jayna’ will include cameos that will possibly lead to spinoff movies in the future. The source teases, “Nothing is set in stone, but they mite encounter an ambush.”
This is clearly a thinly veiled reference to Bat-Mite, the magical imp who just happens to be starring in his own DC Comic Book at this time. And Ambush Bug is a cult favorite character, an unhinged, comedic character with almost no grasp on reality, who could very well be DC’s answer to Deadpool.
That’s not all. After saving one teen from a bear in a fraternity initiation gone wrong and teaching two girls the dangers of hitch hiking, The Wonder Twins’ next stop? Fawcett City.
‘Shazam’ is one of the few DC movies that was all but confirmed, with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson attached, either as the title character or the villain Black Adam. Considering that Shazam’s secret identity is that of a teenage boy, Billy Batson, and that the Twins’ mission is to help teens in trouble, one can only assume a crossover is in the works.
MacFarlane has depicted the Wonder Twins as well as other Super Friends characters on ‘The Family Guy’ and all of his projects tend to be peppered with pop culture references. He could be the perfect person to helm this change-of-pace film.
Oh by the way, none of this is true, except that DC does have a ‘Shazam’ movie with Johnson in the works. And the fact that DC’s trailers do not seem to be having the desired effect.
Fans are indeed becoming turned off by the nonstop darkness that the studio is trotting out. Superman is supposed to be a symbol of hope, as characters in the movies keep repeating over and over, yet he seems to bring destruction and death everywhere he goes. And rather than having its characters team up as Super Friends, DC is pitting them against one another.
Their movies are admittedly borrowing heavily from Frank Miller’s dystopian ‘The Dark Knight Returns’ with no mind paid to the fact that this story is a product of its time, the Reagan-era 80s, when nuclear war seemed a very possible reality. All forms of entertainment from that time reflected this nihilist, end of the world mentality. But this was also a time of prosperity and financial affluence– the “Greed is Good” ‘Wallstreet’ era.
Now? We’re stuck in a depression. Jobs are elusive. People are making less money, yet prices on everything are skyrocketing. The reason super heroes became successful in the 1930s was they also arrived during a depression, when people wanted optimistic escapism. And what is Marvel providing? Just that. How is it working for them? Well, they seem free to print their own money.
What do you think? Does DC need to lighten up? Or do you prefer the darker, more adult tone versus Marvel’s more family-friendly style? Also, would you actually go see movies with The Wonder Twins, Bat-Mite or Ambush Bug? What DC properties would make for more “fun” flicks? Comment below!