Marvel is the king at the superhero box office, and all the other studios have a lot of ground to make up before they can even begin to challenge them. Fox is still limited to Marvel’s X-Men and Fantastic Four properties, while Sony has wisely decided to just partner up with Marvel on their Spider-Man films.
The only real contender is Warner Bros., who have access to DC Entertainment’s entire roster, but since Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy, the only film they’ve produced was Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel almost two years ago. That all changes next year when Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice hits the big screen.
During a conference call (via Variety), Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara speaking about the studio’s upcoming releases said a few remarks about those films, and described them as the following:
The worlds of DC are very different. They’re steeped in realism, and they’re a little bit edgier than Marvel’s movies. The key thing is that the movies and the television shows and the games, everything looks very different … you have to be able to take advantage of the diversity of these characters. The big franchises are becoming more and more valuable. You don’t have to explain to the consumer what a ‘Batman v Superman’ is.
I am a Marvel fan, so take the rest of this with that bias in mind, but I find that statement filled with more than a little bit of hyperbole. I didn’t find Man of Steel any more steeped in realism than anything Marvel has produced: You essentially have an alien who’s capable of flight and firing heat-rays from his eyeballs.
Unlike Marvel’s heroes, he also lives in a city that doesn’t even exist.
The ‘edgier’ comment also comes across as a reference to the Nolan-style of superhero he used as a basis for Batman — which came off as just plain colorless and dreary in Man of Steel. We actually haven’t seen Snyder’s take on the character, now played by Ben Affleck, so I can’t comment on how realistic and ‘edgy’ that version will be. But I do have to admit, the character is one of the most realistic superheroes from any comic book series, even if he also lives in a fictional city.
What I do like is how they’re pushing the diversity of these characters. With Snyder unveiling Jason Momoa’s look as Aquaman, I have to admit that some of the liberties they’re taking with the upcoming movie does look awesome. I want to really love Batman V Superman and have an amazing time watching it, but just because you call something ‘edgier,’ doesn’t mean it’s better.
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice premieres March 25, 2016.