What should DC Entertainment do with their franchises?

The Overlord

Well-Known Member
Jun 4, 2005
WB created DC Entertainment a few years ago to develop DC comic franchises into successful movie series, but so far DC has still lagged behind Marvel in terms of producing successful movies. Now of course, the Nolan Batman movies are insanely successful both financially and in terms of critical acclaim, but besides that DC hasn't had a lot of success in producing popular movies for the last decade. Superman Returns was a disappointment, Catwoman was one of the most wretched super hero movies out there, Jonah Hex was a major bomb. Green Lantern, the film that was WB's big hope being a starting point to launch a bunch of DC related movies, was both a critical and financial disappointment.

So what should DC do with their franchises to make them more successful? Its a little late now, but I think they should have made movies about the Flash and Wonder Woman before Green Lantern, both of those characters have powers that translate better to film and it would have been less expensive to bring them to the big screen.
Honestly, it's a hard business, trying to find the right creative team and direction for a franchise and making them work both financially and critically.

Marvel has a format that works. Take your big name heroes, apply the standard "superhero movie" formula to them and then play their synergy off of each other. It seems to be working for them (although it's my understanding that neither Thor nor Captain America were as successful as Iron Man. I could be wrong) but I question the sustainability of the "movie universe". The expense and complications of getting those star names for a second or a third Avengers film seems unlikely to me, as does the profitability of Captain America and Thor as sustained franchises. And eventually, superheroes as genre is going to wear thin.

I think their Batman formula is a good route to go. Catwoman and Superman Returns failed, IMHO, because they either relied on milking a franchise dry or appealing to nostalgia. The Dark Knight succeeded because it bucked that formula. It used an established character to put a franchise name behind what was essentially an action crime thriller. Green Lantern failed because it was a bad movie but also because it played into that superhero formula. But with GL and Wonder Woman, you have the potential for huge multi-platform properties in two genres that haven't been successfully tapped in quite some time (space opera and fantasy adventure). I'd take these properties with a lot of potential for cross-marketing and be very careful in how I rolled them out. You could potentially have a new Star Wars or Clash of the Titans but you could just as easily have tremendous bombs. At the same time, you have a lot of properties that have high concept crossover potential on a more modest budget. Suicide Squad as big budget action flick. Flash/Rogues as crime caper. Supermax similarly struck me as a pretty solid concept in and of itself. They need to be looking at these properties not in terms of their supposed marquis value and instead in terms of narrative translation. What properties can be twisted to fit a formula that rides on popular zeitgeist? There's a lot of diversity there, and the solution isn't to follow the Marvel formula. It's to exploit that diversity and buck the short term trend of making comic book movies as "comic booky" as possible.

Or just hire me as a spec writer. That solves all your problems.

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