Man, everything’s happening all at once. Reports are coming in today that Ben Affleck definitely WILL be replaced as Batman in the new trilogy from Matt Reeves. This is a part of the bigger behind-the-scenes shakeup at Warner Brothers in the wake of JUSTICE LEAGUE failing to perform up to expectations. (If they’d just listened to me in the first place, I could’ve saved them all that money.) The only way I can conceive of for the DC cinematic universe to remain remotely coherent is if they use the upcoming FLASH movie, which is supposed to chronicle the “Flashpoint” storyline, as a way to reboot everything, as it did in the comics, leaving some things unchanged and some radically altered. New Batman, same Wonder Woman, in other words. If–and that’s a BIG if–the WB is smart enough to take advantage of the opportunity.

Even bigger comics/movie news this week is that, at long, long last, Marvel is getting the X-Men back! A deal between Marvel and Sony will allow what fans have long dreamed of. It means Marvel will get the Fantastic Four back, too, but I suspect they’ll wait a while before rebooting that franchise, to let the odor of the previous two dissipate. If any of us were a little doubtful about where Marvel could go in the future with its cinematic juggernaut, we aren’t anymore! Secret Wars! Avengers vs. X-Men! The possibilities are endless!

That’s what this article highlights. DC screwed the pooch with JUSTICE LEAGUE by tampering. Studio tampering NEVER results in a better movie.

My review of JUSTICE LEAGUE is available at our sister site, vampires.com, but I’ll encapsulate for you here. I thoroughly enjoyed it, because of my love for these characters, even while acknowledging its one big, glaring, impossible-to-miss flaw: its villain. Steppenwolf has no personality, no motivation other than being “evil.” All the references to Darkseid lead to nowhere. We now know that the original ending had Steppenwolf’s origin fleshed-out and led to the REAL threat showing up at the end of the film: Darkseid. But for whatever reason, DC chose to truncate that subplot and that ending. Unfortunately, that subplot and ending are necessary for the film to float. To succeed, the movie NEEDS Darkseid. But the studio wouldn’t leave Zack Snyder’s original version alone, instead thinking they could “fix” it. They failed miserably. They thought Joss Whedon could “fix” it. He only hamstringed it.

What there is of JUSTICE LEAGUE I loved. But it’s incomplete. There’s a part missing from it. A big, important part. A vital part.

Stupid studio. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

 

How about a smart move for a change? How about releasing Zack Snyder’s original version of the movie? It’s what you should have done in the first place.

You can’t believe half of what you read on the Internet, and that’s including the supposedly credible news sites. All it takes is for one site to post something of dubious factuality, and then the others start citing that original article as a source, and pretty soon there are countless articles floating around in the ether that aren’t worth squat. Or maybe the original article was mostly accurate, but they misconstrued what it was actually saying. Sensational headlines are more likely to get clicked on, after all. Doesn’t matter if they’re true or not. That’s the way it is with the SERIOUS news stories, and it gets so much worse when we’re dealing with entertainment news.

I read that Warner Brothers is in danger of losing a hundred million dollars on JUSTICE LEAGUE. Then, I swear, not two minutes later I read another article reporting on the good second week performance of the film. Which one’s telling the truth? It IS a fact that JUSTICE LEAGUE did NOT suffer a huge falloff in its second weekend, as most such “tentpole” movies typically do. It delivered a solid box office return, in fact. Perhaps those sensationalized negative headlines were premature. Perhaps they were never truthful to begin with. JUSTICE LEAGUE might just do better in the long haul than was expected. Especially if they release that extended, Zack Snyder version of the film, the one lacking Joss Whedon’s reshoots, which fans want. Why would they not? The film is already shot. Returns from releasing it would only be gravy at this point. Almost like releasing an all new film. Don’t wait for the DVD release, WB. Give it a couple’a months and release the movie all over again!

Warner Brothers have really painted themselves into a corner. If the entire DC cinematic universe had been a flop, as this past weekend’s JUSTICE LEAGUE was a flop (and undeservedly so, it bears mentioning; for my official review of the film, check out vampires.com!), they could just scrap everything and start over. With rumors of them getting rid of Ben Affleck as Batman and starting fresh with a new upcoming trilogy of Batman films, it would seem this is the plan. Problem is, the only true bona fide hit (in terms of both critical consensus and box office clout) WB has had thus far with its DC cinematic universe is WONDER WOMAN, and the latter is firmly a part of that universe. With that Aquaman movie in the works, and a Flash movie coming later, they aren’t about to do away with what they’ve constructed. They are too heavily invested at this point. But what they have built isn’t working, not like they want it to.

NOTE: I blame the poor box office performance of JUSTICE LEAGUE on them releasing it on the heels of THOR: RAGNAROK. They should have known better. The two films are dividing the audience, and fans are preferring the Odinson.

Reports are that the upcoming DC films will be standalone features. I think this is the way to go. WB tried to jump ahead; they gave us the Avengers, if you will, before they’d given us Thor, Captain America, and the Hulk. They tried to go for the big payoff first thing. They built the tower upside down, with the pinnacle as the foundation. Now they need to focus on the individual pieces. Make them each as good and as strong as WONDER WOMAN. Then and only then give us a sequel to JUSTICE LEAGUE. And go all WRATH OF KHAN with it. Course correction time, WB.