A few days ago it was reported that Man of Steel, the sequel to Superman Returns, was not going anywhere over at Warner Bros. Today we have a new development. Warner Bros. Pictures Group President Jeff Robinov told The Wall Street Journal that the studio is going to be reintroducing Superman.
Warner Bros. also put on hold plans for another movie starring multiple superheroes — known as “Batman vs. Superman” — after the $215 million “Superman Returns,” which had disappointing box-office returns, didn’t please executives. “‘Superman’ didn’t quite work as a film in the way that we wanted it to,” says Mr. Robinov. “It didn’t position the character the way he needed to be positioned.” “Had ‘Superman’ worked in 2006, we would have had a movie for Christmas of this year or 2009,” he adds. “But now the plan is just to reintroduce Superman without regard to a Batman and Superman movie at all.”
The article goes on to talk about other DC properties Warner Bros will be developing.
With “Batman vs. Superman” and “Justice League” stalled, Warner Bros. has quietly adopted Marvel’s model of releasing a single film for each character, and then using those movies and their sequels to build up to a multicharacter film. “Along those lines, we have been developing every DC character that we own,” Mr. Robinov says.
Like the recent Batman sequel — which has become the highest-grossing film of the year thus far — Mr. Robinov wants his next pack of superhero movies to be bathed in the same brooding tone as “The Dark Knight.” Creatively, he sees exploring the evil side to characters as the key to unlocking some of Warner Bros.’ DC properties. “We’re going to try to go dark to the extent that the characters allow it,” he says. That goes for the company’s Superman franchise as well.
The studio is set to announce its plans for future DC movies in the next month. For now, though, it is focused on releasing four comic-book films in the next three years, including a third Batman film, a new film reintroducing Superman, and two movies focusing on other DC Comics characters. Movies featuring Green Lantern, Flash, Green Arrow, and Wonder Woman are all in active development.
I didn’t see Superman Returns because it didn’t appeal to me, so I am up for Warner Bros rebooting Superman and making him darker, as that seems to be the way forward with comic book movies. The announcement that Wonder Woman, Green Lantern and the rest will also be dark is good news, although when I first read it I was rather disturbed that they are aiming for darkness with all of them. Does a comic book movie need to be dark, serious and depressing to be considered good?
(PS. It’s a good job Brandon Routh has managed to get other acting gigs, otherwise he would have been screwed)
(Cool Superman image from JPRart)