It looks like some big changes are coming to DC. It has been hard to be a DC fan with the directionless studio first skipping a Superman sequel, then releasing the abysmal Batman v Superman, followed by a lukewarm Suicide Squad, a box office crusher like Wonder Woman and now their under-performing Justice League, the company has announced a restructuring that will begin as early as January. This should not be shocking to anyone considering both Batman v Superman and Justice League were around 300 million in production and the loft Superbowl campaign for BvS cost DC an arm and leg that they never truly recovered from. Justice has managed to pull in just about 570 million after three weeks which is good and should keep it on some top ten if not top twenty list at the end of 2017. The issue is that DC's run will easily be toppled by next week's release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which will no doubt topple any record that is standing as of now. DC plans on integrating the comics film department into the main hub, giving it more priority which is a good idea considering the amount of money they are losing. They are also removing Jon Berg from running the overall DCEU and it looks like we have probably seen the last of Zack Snyder leeading any films for the company as well. This of course now throws into question all of the rumored "planned" films that DC had up it's sleeve, including the Joker spin off which would cast another actor in place of Jared Leto, Suicide Squad 2, the solo Batman movie (which has been a topic of immense controversy especially with Ben Affleck's lack of enthusiam), the unlikely-hood of a Cyborg solo film, a Green Lantern film, and Ezra Miller's Flash Point due out in three short years. DC seems to be in a tough position because while Suicide squad managed to pull in some revenue as well as Wonderman, their ensemble cast film did not. They could scrap everything entirely and go back to square one or we might see some major recast and a huge overhaul in direction coming early 2018. Either way, if DC wants to make good films and give the fans what they want, this is a good start that will hopefully workout in everyone's favor.
The breakout star from September's box office smash IT may have had his show cancelled but it looks like he's heading back to the big screen sooner than we thought. Jack D. Grazer has been cast in DC's Shazam film as Freedy Freeman, best friend to Billy Batson and the only person who knows his secret ability to transform into the famed Captain Marvel. Freedy Freeman also becomes Captain Marvel Jr. in the comics and while we can't be sure that is the direction this film is heading, it is certainly something to get excited about. Grazer easily stole the show for me in Stephen King's IT and if DC is willing to let some comedy propel this Superhero flick, I have no worries about him being a great addition to the expanding cast.
Justice League finally hit the box office over the weekend the domestic numbers are less than favorable. DC's much anticipated super hero team up fell 14 million short of its projected earnings in America, bringing in just about 93 million in profit. While its world wide total was around 279 million (down from the 350 million projected worldwide), this puts a lot of DC plans into serious jeopardy. Warner Bros and DC have had a hard time finding a direction for their film universe. From the strange announcement that they will create a solo film starring another actor as Joker to Ben Affleck's constant back and forth with the future of his Batman tenure and already rumored replacement, DC has been unable to find stable ground and they are already several films into their planned DCEU with quite a handful on the way. Their trump card of course is Flahspoint in which they could upend and change everyone with the exception of Ezra Miller but at this rate, will the fans keep coming to the theater to watch films that are fun but aren't very good? It also certainly didn't help with the rottentomatoes score fiasco in which questioned whether or not the score was intentionally held back after the notoriously low Batman v Superman score came out several years ago. Regardless, Justice League looks like it's going to be in as much of a tough position as the lofty and expensive Batman v Superman was, needing to gross around 800 million before it can see any real profits. To it's benefit, there is nothing big coming up with the exception of Star Wars: The Last Jedi on December 15th but we will have to see how steep the drop is in the upcoming second box office weekend which has generally been harsh for superhero films on both DC and Marvel's side.
I honestly can't believe I am saying this and anyone that knows me knows that this news comes at a surprise but Justice League is not as horrible as it ought to be. It is, in fact, significantly better than Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad while not quite hitting that level of awesomeness that Wonder Woman managed to achieve. The movie starts off pretty rocky with some poor special effects and forced jokes but once it finds its rhythm, it really flows quite well and all the additions to the roster are fantastic, each unique and a bit funny. Flash, Aquaman, and Cyborg are all great fun and work a lot better on screen than I think any of us would have expected and (Spoiler alert) the return of Superman is easily one of the best fight scenes in the film. While there is a lot of good in the second and third acts of Justice League, one of the weaker elements on the film is the one note Steppenwolf but to DC's credit, an overwhelming amount of Super hero films (both DC and Marvel) have had some horribly lame villains over the years and Steppenwolf certainly earns a plaque. There are a lot of fun moments and the scene at the end paints a very exciting path lined up for the future of DC films (but more on that later). All in all, DC might actually be able to create a decent universe if they keep up the trend of making their movies a little more lighthearted and listening to their fans. So, in all seriousness, this is a fun movie to see.
Justice League's budget has been reportedly revealed and it is a lot more than Warner Bro's was initially planning but that may not be the worst thing. After changing directors (from Snyder withdrawing due to a death in the family), extensive reshoots, and digitally removing Henry Cavill's mustache which he was contractually obligated to shoot with due to his contract for Mission Impossible 6, the budget has now swelled up to a whopping 300 million. This is also without factoring any additional fees for marketing but I have a feeling that Justice League won't come close to what was spent on Batman v Superman hefty campaign. It is also important to note that the current tracking for the Justice League release is set to debut lower than Batman v Superman, it's poorly reviewed predecessor, and Suicide Squad on top of having been shrunk to having an under 2 hour run time. The argument here is that the shorter run time will contribute to repeat showings and coupled with the lighter tone, hopefully audiences will be inclined to see it more than once. While the budget certainly puts the pressure on the latest Dc film, the success of both IT and Wonder Woman have positioned Warner Bros to have a fairly good fiscal year. The film is set to debut November 17th so look out for reviews as they come between now and early next week.
DC's Shazam film has finally cast it's lead actor and it is far from who anyone would have guessed. After months of speculation it turns out the former Chuck star Zachary Levi will lead the role against Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's Black Adam. Zachary Levi also starred in Disney's massively successful Tangled and has also appeared in Thor: The Dark World as Fandral and will be reprising the role in Thor: Ragnarok before making the leap to the next DC film. Zachary Levi has not had a large number of high profile roles but he has proven to be a great on screen and charismatic actor. It is also quite obvious that the Rock's choice in Armie Hammer will not be making the cut but we can only hope DC delivers with this film. The Shazam film is currently set for an April 5th, 2019 release date but of course that could change between now and then. Are you excited for this movie?
I'm very anti anything that feels like a cash grab, rather, just a way to make a quick buck off of an audience and DC seems to be heading right in that direction. After the surprising announcement that DC wanted to make a Joker origin film, it looks like the rumored lead might be Leonardo Dicaprio. This is strange for a number of reasons so lets unpack everything that's going on. No one can doubt Leonado's actability as well as his A-list presence is sure to draw a crowd, but the 42 year old actor is completely different direction from the speculated younger version of the Joker. It also does not make a lot of sense to have two actors playing the same role in different films where there decisions will never collide. It begs the question as to why an audience would want to watch a second Joker film, only for it to not matter for Leto's Joker who has been said to reprise his in Suicide Squad 2 and an untitled Joker and Harley Quinn film. If things haven't gotten messy already, apparently Leto is not too enthused and has "reportedly expressed his displeasure to his agents at CAA, and rival agency WWE has used this opportunity to try and court the actor." Where Disney is using the one-off Star Wars films to fill in the caps between their other films in their established universe, it seems as if DC is just tossing out fun "what ifs," for the audience. It would be very hard to imagine if DC's Joker film ended up being a massive success and they didn't green light it for a sequel. DC is even more of a misdirection than they were prior to the whole Ben Affleck as Batman mess. Guess we will just have to wait and see what will happen with our multiple Joker films.
DC seems to be having a lot of shake ups lately. After months long debate over whether or not the solo Batman film, starring the former Director and Writer of the project Ben Affleck, would be included in the DCEU, it was announced that a Joker origin story spin off was under way before announcing that their ill be a Joker and Harley Quinn film. The duo's film will arrive after Suicide Squad 2, featuring both Margot Robie and Jared Leto and led by the creative minds behind NBC's This Is US series. According to THR, DC is planning on diverging from the norm of comic book franchises, mainly the "highly interconnected Marvel universe." Spinoffs can work but having two different actors portray the same character within a small number of years is an odd choice to make. Even though DC is trying to remain different, the constant shifts in schedules of future releases is eventually going to bite them in the box office.
After a rocky start, it finally looks like DC is ready to shape out their extended film universe. The movie studio has been killing it with footage today at SDCC and we finally know some of the titles we can expect to see up through 2020. While the Flash film, now renamed as Flashpoint, currently doesn't have a release date, there have been rumors that the departed Han Solo directing duo Phil Lord and Chris Miller are in talks to run the project. As far as the other films, the order is as follows: Justice League, Novebmer 17th, 2017, Aquaman, July 27th, 2018, Shazam (Which will be split into two films), April 5th, 2019, Justice League 2, June 14th, 2019, Cyborg, April 3rd, 2020, and finally Green Lantern Corps (Which was briefly teased in the Justice League trailer), July 24th, 2020. Of course, any of the dates are subject to change over time but we've learned a lot about where DC wants to ultimately end up in three years from now. Whether they'll follow a segmented format like MCU seems unlikely but with the fact that DC is using the Flashpoint story line is a good indication that the Flash's solo film is going to be used to either change or shake up the universe when it ultimately arrives. We should also note that as well that the second Justice League will most likely be Justice League Dark. Batgirl and a Woman Sequel have been confirmed. The solo Batman title, Black Adam, Suicide Squad 2 and Gotham City Sirens do not have exact release dates which means we are probably a few years from seeing them hit the theaters. All in all, it's been an exciting day for DC and it looks like they finally have a plan in place to give the fans the films they want to see.
DC has given us a lot of news today but their latest trailer for Novembers Justice League film is teasing a lot! Of course we get the inclusion of the Justice League team as well as the films central villain, Steppenwolf, who lands in Diana's home land of Themyscira. If that's not all, there's plenty of humorous moments with Barry Allen and we actually get to see a little of Ray Fisher, a.k.a. the Cyborg, in action. Take a look at the brand new SDCC trailer below and get ready when the film hits theaters November 17th, 2017.