March 31, 2016

How DC/WB Spin Negativity of ‘Batman v Superman’ Into Gold

First of all, I feel the negativity surrounding Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is unwarranted, but that is a different discussion entirely. What I really want to focus on, is the ridiculous cries over the Internet from both fans and critics that want to see Zack Snyder removed from the project. Ok, let’s break that thought process down a bit and understand why that is never going to happen (or at least would be a HUGE mistake)!

Let’s start with the glaringly obvious. It has been incredibly clear that these first 2 films ( Man of Steel, Batman v Superman) are the building blocks of the rest of the DC shared universe, and Synder has overseen all of them being tied together. Unless they want to delay or cancel their entire schedule, there is no way of currently having the “lighter toned” versions of these characters some desperately want to see..or is there? (More on this topic later)


Snyder and company are just WEEKS away from principal photography of Justice League part 1, which has a release date rapidly approaching. There is simply no time for a new director to step in and have any real positive change on the film.

This is exactly what we just witnessed with Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy. Is anyone actually fully satisfied with those films? Now seeing the final outcome, wouldn’t most fans (even the ones who enjoyed the film) want a do-over? I mean I will take what I can get and enjoy them for what they are, but there’s no denying the looming feeling of disappointment accompanied with those films.

For those unfamiliar with the unfortunate behind-the-scenes story of The Hobbit films, let me enlighten you a little bit. Although always attached to direct ONE of the hobbit installments, Peter Jackson was not set to direct the first installment. Originally to be directed by Guilermmo Del Torro, months and months of time were spent on pre-production of his film, his vision. As the project neared principal photography, Del Torro abandoned the film, and left the studio with a lot of tough decisions. Should they delay this massive project until they figure out how to handle this crisis? Or are they to push ahead and basically just pray to persevere?

Unfortunately in hindsight, the studio picked the latter, and quickly brought Peter Jackson in to fix all their problems, mainly the time constraints.
The majority of the allotted pre-production time was used on Del Torro’s version of the film. Anyone slightly knowledgable about the movie-making process knows you can’t have one director come in and work off the story boards and pre planning of another director. Even if they don’t adjust the script (which they did), you are still talking about completely different visions of how the film well look, the tone and feel. This requires a lot of behind-the-scene time and planning, and Jackson just didn’t get it. Jackson received a approximately 1/3 of the pre-production time Del Torro was given, and the studio was not at all keen on expanding the timeline.

Check out this awesome video showcasing the hell Peter Jackson went through while working on the trilogy.

And let’s not forget all the fans of both Zack Snyder and his take on the material. Despite the overwhelming negativity the film received from critics, there are plenty of people who felt this was a true comic book adaptation. Just because you some people don’t enjoy something, doesn’t mean the studio should bend to the cries of the Internet and change directions completely. Especially after having such an marvelous opening weekend at the box office and positive fan response.

Enough about the problems and why it is a horrible idea to remove Zack Snyder at this stage of the game. Unlike most of the outspoken across the Internet, I believe it would be in everyone’s best interest to start trying to look at this in a positive light and start to offer up legitimate, thought out solutions.

1) Let’s start with what seems to be the most obvious decision in my opinion. CREATE AN ADDITIONAL UNIVERSE.

OK, I realize what I just said might sound far fetched, but hear me out.
Let’s not pretend like this is an unprecedented idea. These films are supposed to follow in the footsteps of their source material. So why not create multiple versions of the character, the way we have seen done in comic books and cartoons for decades? We have even seen this extend into live-action Marvel properties with the use of QuickSilver. The character appears in both Avengers: Age of Ultron and X-Men: Days of Future Past, played by different actors, both with their own interpretation of the speedster. Personally I like Evan Peters version a bit more, but I think it’s awesome that we got to see multiple iterations of the character.


quicksilver actors

Clearly this version of Superman is not for everyone. We knew that coming out of Man of Steel. But there are obviously plenty of fans out there who love this “darker” more “realistic” interpretation of the character (myself included). Why limit yourselves? If their is such a demand and outcry for a more lighthearted Superman, than why not start development on that film as soon as possible? Bring in a completely different cast and crew and create a more lighthearted, fun version of Klark Kent and company.

Just to make myself clear, I am not recommending a “reboot” or anything of the sort. I’m talking about two completely separate cinematic universes, produced by the same studio. If you really want to beat Marvel to the punch and do something original, this is the move.

Point being, there is no REAL reason the studio couldn’t create multiple versions of these characters, running parralel with their current cinematic universe. And let’s not forget the possibility of a cross-over event between universes. (i.e. Infinite Crisis, Injustice: Gods Among Us)!

2) Continue in Snyder’s direction and use the flaws of each film as the building blocks for the sequel.

Man of Steel received heavy criticism for the causality count by the end of the film, and to be fair, it was a legitimate concern. What is superman doing just destroying Metropolis? Thankfully not only did Snyder justify the death and destruction by explaining we are watching the origins of superman and he’s bound to make mistakes, but he also used that concept as the entire foundation of ‘Batman V Superman’. After witnessing what a threat Superman could be to society, Bruce Wayne (and others) take it upon them selves to stop him.

By making this the central plot point, Snyder and company turned lemons into lemonade and not only create a foundation for the sequel, but add purpose and depth to the original film. I expect to see similar tactics used to develop the Justice League film.
For those who have seen ‘Batman V Superman’, a perfect example of this is the nightmare scene. In the context of this film it feels a bit disjointed from the rest of the story. Having said that, there is no denying how awesome this scene looks and I pray we come to explore this world more in a sequel. In my opinion, it has to come back into play so they can justify using this scene in the first place.

3) Trim back on the marketing.

My largest problem walking out of ‘Batman v Superman’ wasn’t lack of joy or entertainment. It was the frustration I had towards the marketing department. Like many films nowadays ‘Batman v Superman’ suffers from to much of the story freely given away during the marketing campaign. The second trailer inparticular just gave up all the goods and left nothing to the imagination. It’s completely unnecessary.

I do realize that the non-stop marketing of this film over the past 2 years is why so many people hit the theaters opening weekend, and I applaud those responsible for their efforts. However I do feel as though they could of accomplished the same level of attention without showcasing every major scene and plot points in your trailers.

Robin costume (BvS)

Honestly guys I am just tired of reading the arguements and click-bait stories surrounding this film and those involved. I’m not saying a debate amongst fans is inappropriate, it just seems everyone is going to such extremes on both sides. It was entertaining at first, but like much of the Internet, has grown old very quickly. Hopefully the studio just has a backbone and commits to their decisions. I appreciate execs being mindful of their fan base, but don’t let them control your decisions. Especially when it’s always the negative that is the most outspoken.

About the Author

Sean McAloon
I am a Philadelphia based journalist, who is obsessed with movies and television. I is also a comic book enthusiast , although i can't keep up with everything. I like to spend my free time trying to working on short films. I currently work as an editor for popculturemadness.com and darkmediaonline.com, focusing on entertainment news, interviews and public relations. I studied business management & marketing at Goldey Beacom College.



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