Warner Bros is banking a lot on Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. It’s meant to be a launching point for the DC Cinematic Universe, one meant to rival the mighty Marvel/Disney machine. There have been rumors that Batman v Superman could be the most expensive movie ever made.
Some new rumors have been circulating online for the last few days, and if they’re true, things might be grim for DC/Warner Bros (and not in that edgy, marketable way).
Drew McWeeny over at HitFix has been hearing some rumblings from his sources that reactions from Batman v Superman test screenings have Warner Bros execs worried. Without too many specifics, McWeeny says that the reactions haven’t been what the suits were hoping for. Worse, Batman v Superman may put the current DC film universe plans in jeopardy, delaying the start of the Justice League movie until after some solo Ben Affleck Batman movies are made. On top of that, Zack Snyder may not direct Justice League anymore.
Check out the full video of McWeeny’s comments below.
Mario-Francisco Robles of Latino Review recently took a closer look at what McWeeny heard and compared some notes with his own sources. Robles thinks that Warners execs are not “worried” but just “nervous”, which may seem like splitting hairs, but it’s an important distinction. As Robles notes, a lot is riding on the film, and given the high price tag, the box office will need to be astronomical to be considered a success. Robles also spoke with a well-connected source who’s seen Batman v Superman, and the source said that while he enjoyed Dawn of Justice, the film may divide critics and audiences just as much as Man of Steel.
As for the Justice League movie speculation, Robles’ sources say that Justice League will happen as scheduled and with Zack Snyder still at the helm.
What’s interesting despite conflicting info is that both Robles and McWeeny note how haphazard the DC cinematic universe has been so far. Robles reminds readers that this Man of Steel follow-up wasn’t originally intended to include Batman–apparently they decided to add Batman to the movie three days before they announced it at Comic Con. McWeeny says that the DC films are running into problems since they don’t have a Kevin Feige figure running the whole show and giving the films a cohesive sense of direction.
Batman v Superman finally hits theaters on March 25th, and the opening weekend and ensuing weekends should be fascinating to track. Given the budget and weight on this film’s shoulder, success might mean doubling its $400+ million budget and then some. Similarly, that success will likely have to be built on repeat viewings and the all-important international take.
This is where the franchise/cinematic universe world has brought us: it’s not enough to make $500 million, you have to make $1 billion, and set up two or three spin-off movies while you’re at it.
There are silver linings despite the worry/nervousness. Apparently early Dawn of Justice viewers enjoy Ben Affleck’s Batman, and they also think that Jesse Eisenberg is a great Lex Luthor. Though that just makes me wonder about everything else left unsaid, like why the film will be so divisive, and what response the Warner Bros execs hoped to get vs. the responses they received.
Remember, these are rumors, so speculate all you want, but enjoy the salt.[via HitFix, Latino Review]