Villain for Superman v. Batman Announced… it’s Casting

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As I am not yet emotionally prepared to launch a full-on tirade against Superman, I am going to give you a tease of my disdain by talking about his upcoming movie and you know that is gonna be just as sexy anyways. While, I am looking forward to watching DC shoot itself in the foot on the silver screen, I really do want to take an honest look at the many obstacles facing this movie set to come out in the summer of 2016. Some who are not as plugged into the cinematic superhero craze might not understand why we would be talking about a movie that isn’t set to come out for another two years. However, with the number of superhero movies that now destroy box office records consistently, marketing has become a multi-year endeavor for these movies, and speculation can never start too soon.

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So, without further ado, I’m am just going to list some of the hurdle’s that Zack Snyder and crew will have to navigate in order to set up a DC Universe that will compete with a clearly established, and seemingly long lasting Marvel Universe.

Ben Affleck

So, when Affleck’s casting was first announced, outrage ensued. Die-hard DC fans were not ready for the entire beauty of the Christopher Nolan universe to be redone only four years after its inception (I really did not mean to make that joke). Fans were ready to see JGL take the cowl as either Nightwing or a new Batman, but totally ignoring the greatest trilogy that comic book movies has ever seen is simply something fans were not excited about. I also have problems with the choice for Affleck anyways. People may argue his acting prowess with more recent successes such as Argo, and the Town, to which I would contend that you are ignoring his performance in Argo and the Town (he is up there with Emma Stone on that list of most overrated actors and actresses). Ignoring ability, our buddy, Ben, is 39 years old, and he is showing his age on set already. If this Justice League franchise plans on taking an Avengers-esque approach, this will be a role he will need to reprise for at the very least six years. And judging by the turn-around for the reboot of the Nolan Batman trilogy, they clearly are trying to go long-term with this. Batman is a very physical character, and I am afraid that Affleck is already a little to late to play the role now, and especially not in six years. And remember what he did to that other superhero?

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Missed it by that much.

More Bad Casting Decisions – When is it too much?

When I heard that the Man of Steel sequel would feature a brand new Dark Knight, I was immediately concerned about how the two could share screen time. These are DC’s bread and butter right here, and we still do not have tons of characterization for Superman. However, the two characters have traditionally experienced a parallel development, so I could see it working. However, more and more characters and castings were released, and my excitement has dwindled with each one. First, it was Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor — an interesting choice, but not inconceivable. Then Gal Gadot as Wonder-Woman. The picture with her in costume was amazing, but still not a truly proven star. Then came Aquaman. And then Cyborg. And now there are rumors of Flash and Catwoman. Woah. Now I’m exhausted just looking at the list. Introducing this many characters while continuing to develop Cavill’s Superman is going to take a ton of screen time, and Zack Snyder will find a way to axe about twenty minutes in slow-mo shots. So let’s say they have two hours to develop the all-stars of DC’s roster. That will be a massive feat that I am simply not excited to watch.

Lack of Patience

One might ask why DC feels the need to intro so many characters in only the second installment of this new universe. The obvious answer is that DC has become Marvel’s personal cinematic whipping pole, and I think they finally decided to do something about it. They realize that fans want to see team-ups. One hero per movie isn’t cutting it anymore, and a orchestration of well-developed superstars works really well. To make up for lost time, DC is pulling out all the stops, but just too soon I’m afraid. The Avengers team-up worked so well, because Marvel was patient. Iron-Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron-Man 2, Thor and Captain America all came out before the widely anticipated assembling of the Avengers. And guess what? Only one of those was a truly quality superhero movie. You don’t really have to blow it out of the park DC, but give me something to work with. I want to see some legitimate origins, backstory, development. Give me a reason to care about these characters that you are haphazardly throwing together. Until then, I am going to have very little interest about the near-death-experiences of any of your characters.

Lack of Continuity

I have mentioned Nolan’s take of Batman many times, because I don’t think we have a better example of not only a great superhero movie, but a great movie in The Dark Knight. He established a universe that was — for the most part — grounded in reality, but that also did an amazing job bringing the character to life. Scrapping everything that Nolan created was simply the wrong choice. Not only did The Dark Knight Rises leave tons of loose ends to explore, but also could have brought about a very interesting DC Universe with the potential of a Nightwing or a young foolish Batman character. There is no reason why Nolan’s Gotham and Snyder’s Metropolis couldn’t exist in the same timeline, so I feel like the only reason for the reboot is because Zack Snyder has some serious ego problems.

On That Note, Zack Snyder

Hey guys. He just did 300. That’s it. Ignore your testosterone, and you’ll see the movie isn’t that good. Same for Watchmen. You know what else this dude did? Sucker Punch. And Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole. Give me a good reason why he should be trusted with Batman, because I can’t think of one. Why did you have to leave us Christopher Nolan? Look at this crap.

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Ugh. We get it Zack. You knew about Instagram filters before us.

A Confused Tone

SPOILERS FROM MAN OF STEEL (but if you haven’t seen it yet, I’m surprised you made it this far, and don’t get why it would matter at this point)!!! Talk to any Superman die-hard about Man of Steel, and the most common complaint you will receive is about the brutal and stirring death of Zod. After the success of the Dark Knight Trilogy, Man of Steel followed suit with an equally dark rendition of one of America’s favorites. Now, that the two are supposed to team up in the next movie, I have some concerns. The Superman v. Batman team up has potential, because the characters have traditionally played well off of each other. The juxtaposition of the light and dark sides of good has always helped better define each hero. However, Man of Steel is now super dark. This means that in order to take full advantage of this team, either Batman is going to have to be way more dark than any other rendition, or they will have to betray the characterization of the first film, and revert Cavill’s character completely. Either way, I don’t see it working out too well.

 

Now, I understand that I sound extremely pessimistic about this movie. Well, I am. But, I will still see it, as should you. Because DC has some crazy pull among comic book fans, and that love is well-deserved. While I have highlighted many of the potential downfalls of this movie, there is still plenty of upside. Pulling from source-material as iconic as Frank Miller’s Dark Knight Returns, among other iconic DC stories, this could very well be the shot in the arm that the Justice League Universe is going to need. Having a fair fight between Superman and Batman, while inconceivable, is still going to be epic. And we still have a couple of years for this movie to continue to gain attention, and leak info, and any updates deemed noteworthy will be relayed to you, the readers. For now, enjoy your sentiments about what this might be.

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Bennett Garland is a student at Georgia Tech. Despite attending what is far and away the best school in the state of Georgia, he has far too much time on his hands and consumes video media at a ferocious pace. We don’t know how he finds time to watch all three dozen super hero movies that come out every summer while also watching every SyFy showing of Sharknado and Sharknado 2, but he does and writes about his adventures in film and music.

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