It’s Batman day, and DC celebrated it by bringing the fans the DC Universe. But their streaming services are being overshadowed by Henry Cavill and Ben Affleck exiting their roles.
News surfaced this week that Henry Cavill will no longer be playing the part of Superman. Henry Cavill kicked off the new DCEU back in 2013 with Man of Steel. Though the movie was met with some scrutiny, because of the snapping of Zod’s neck (along with some other things), it scored positive overall.
Batman v Superman is where things turned for the worse. A movie that was shrouded with hype following the announcement back in 2013, where at Comic-Con Henry Lennix read a line from the Dark Knight Returns comic.
“I want you to remember Clark. In all the years to come. In all your most private moments. I want you to remember my hand at your throat. I want you to remember the one man who beat you”.
The reading sparked so much excitement among DC fans, as they realized they would finally see the iconic Dark Knight Returns comic brought to the big screens. And in the year following, the leaked teaser trailer broke the internet. Fans saw Batman in the iconic Dark Knight Returns armor looking up at Superman. And the words, “Tell me, do you bleed? You will”, can be heard coming from Batman as Superman hovers above with glowing red eyes. This caused shrieks among the crowd.
That trailer alone reminded the world where DC stacked up with Marvel. Batman and Superman, the most iconic characters, in a movie based on the most iconic comic. Marvel didn’t stand a chance. And DC was the winner of both the 2013 and 2014 Comic-Con conventions.
But winning Comic-Con is one thing, winning at the box office is another. It was clear that DC was pressing to rush out their Justice League. And Batman v Superman was met with a lot of criticism.
After Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad under performed, fans voiced their frustrations at the direction that the franchise was going. And about time we got to Justice League, it was clear that DC was in trouble.
For both Henry Cavill and Ben Affleck, they got to feel the weight of the fan’s frustrations. And things didn’t help following #Mustachegate, where Henry Cavill could not shave his mustache for Justice League re-shoots, as a result of Mission Impossible Fallout.
Henry Cavill’s role in Mission Impossible Fallout was met with overall praise. And the actor saw life after Superman. So now looks to be a great time for the actor to move on.
As far as Ben Affleck, he caught heat from the fans as soon as he was announced for the role. Though he proved to be a good Batman, the role took a toll on his life. Stresses from the role and other things led to Ben Affleck needing to be checked into rehab. And at a time where he need to get his health and well being back right, stepping away from the role is a wise decision.
The question will be how DC can fix all of this?
Despite all of the bad news, it could not happen at a better time. For one, Marvel is about to wrap up their Marvel Universe next year with Avengers 4. So DC can stop focusing on catching Marvel. The second thing is they made all of their mistakes and can learn from what worked and what didn’t. Third, DC’s animation, TV shows, and comics are still going strong. So we know that interest will remain.
What DC need to do is focus on the individual characters and stories. Give fans a good solo Batman, Superman, Aquaman, (etc), movie. Build the universes back up slowly. Use what DC have, which is a vault full of awesome story lines.
There are just so many great stories that can be told. And for characters like Batman, they have a vast rouge gallery. The atmosphere reflects the character as much as the character the atmosphere. Gotham city is a grimy city full of corruption. The criminals Batman fights are a microcosm of his tragic life.
On the other hand, Superman lives in a nice city. It’s quiet, always sunny, and most of the crime there are white collar or robberies. The city and the cops love Superman. They embrace the hero and he embraces them.
Then you have the rich story elements of the Green Lantern mythology. A space opera that can open up the imaginations. Movies on in can be based around the different lantern corps, the lantern wars, and the mistakes made by the guardians.
DC have a vast number of stories that can be told that focuses on the individual characters and their worlds. And then when they do bring the Justice League together, it can be truly epic. And they already have a built in way to wipe the slate clean while keeping some of the characters, Flashpoint.
DC should play it smart. Wait to see how the reception is for Shazam, Aquaman, and WW2. Based on those results will decide which characters to keep or recast after Flashpoint.