By Demonze Spruiel (@Demonze1)
This past weekend could very well go down as the moment when, as a movie producer, DC Comics sent a loud and clear message to its fans and haters around the world.
That message? “Here we come, muthaf*%kas!!”
DC Comics and its movie and TV home, Warner Bros., created DC FanDome because of the essential wiping out of the convention season, including San Diego’s Comic-Con, due the Coronavirus pandemic. FanDome acted as a two-day virtual meeting place where fans and media all around the world at once got to visualize upcoming movie/television projects, comic releases, premiere trailers and engage in panels discussing topics throughout the DC Multiverse.
There was a ton of great content revealed throughout FanDome weekend but what got the most publicity, and deservedly so, was the series of sneak peeks at the DC movie projects to come, a slate that looks to finally bridge the gap between the Distinguished Competitiors and Marvel, who has dominated comic-based adaptations for over a decade.
That old reliable — Batman is one again being re-imagined and reintroduced to the world, this time by critically acclaimed director Matt Reeves, with Robert Pattinson rocking the cowl and projecting a very dark and seemingly disturbing version of Bruce Wayne. What I’m most excited about is the return of The Riddler as the main villain in a Batman film.
It looks like they’re hiding a full look at Paul Dano as the legendary Batman villian but its clear in the trailer his tricks won’t lean on the comedic side as it did with the jumping around and cackling Jim Carrey offered in his classic portrayal in 1995’s Batman Forever. The Nirvana-tracked preview did give a look at the first Black Catwoman in an official Batman film (Zoe Kravitz) along with a Black Jim Gordon, played by Jeffery Wright, and a completely unrecognizable Colin Farrell as The Penguin. Will this brand of Bat-grit and moodiness complete with The Dark Knight Trilogy? We shall see!
Wonder Woman 1984
I have to admit two things about my comic book movie relationship with the first Wonder Woman film and Gal Godot portraying the iconic character.
First, in regards to Gal, I’ll plead ignorance to her previous work as well as prejudice against her initial look as Diana Prince (I’m showing my age here, but Lynda Carter will forever be my Wonder Woman). But Godot’s presence in Batman Vs. Superman saved that movie from being a utter crap fest and while the first standalone Wonder Woman movie was good, but not great, Gal once again killed it as Wonder Woman. Something feels different about Wonder Woman 1984, though.
I really love the concept of showing the age-less Amazonian-Olympian Goddess living in the 80’s, which will give this a movie a lighter, modern day feel that wasn’t in the World War II-based first movie. Also, adding SNL alum Kristen Wigg as Wonder Woman’s OG foe Cheetah will showcase Wigg in a different light that should add depth to these proceedings. Oh yeah, seeing Wonder Woman use the Lasso Of Truth to ride lighting bolts is f’in insane!!
The Suicide Squad
I might be in the minority here, but I actually liked the first Suicide Squad movie, which allowed Hollywood legends Will Smith (Deadshot) and Viola Davis (Amanda Waller) to show off their villainous acting chops. Here is another shocker — I think more screen time should have been given to Jared Leto and Margot Robbie’s Joker and Harley Quinn characters as well, but that’s all in the past now.
This Squad lost big Will and Leto but has added major names in Idris Elba (Bloodsport) and John Cena (Peacemaker) as Robbie and Davis with Guardians of the Galaxy maestro James Gunn directing. I’m not sure if this is a sequel, prequel, or a straight mind wipe of the 2016 movie, but I’m giving this one classic “D face” (a squint of the eyes, head turned to the left with major “WTF You Talking About” vibes).
Like most humans, I love The Rock! When it was first reported that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson would be playing one of DC’s most famous anti-heros, Black Adam, I was honestly shocked. The world hasn’t seen Dwayne Johnson play a “heel” in years.
I believe Black Adam was supposed to appear in 2016’s Shazam! (arguably the best DCEU stand alone movie so far) but saving him for his own origin-based film may have been the best move for an introduction. What I’m worried about is if Johnson can develop Black Adam into his own character and not simply make him a DC version of The Rock. Fans didn’t get to see an actual trailer with Johnson in action beyond some good voice over, but really what we got was GREAT!!!
Zack Snyder’s Justice League
Long thought to be a myth, and just as long thought as a mystery, the cut of DC’s high-profile team-up, Justice League, belonging solely to original director Zack Snyder only recently stood any chance of being seen.
Even though the hashtag #ReleaseTheSnyderCut and the movement around it became one of the most contentious elements of geek culture, for so long it was thought impossible to even put together a complete work from unused shots and incomplete special effects that the decisive director left on the floor when he released control the 2017 project due to an undisclosed personal tragedy and Avengers director Joss Whedon took over to make sure the project was finished.
What resulted from Whedon didn’t work, the released version of JL came and went with no Avengers-like impact mostly due to issues like Henry Cavill’s mustache being digitally removed and Darkseid not even being in the damn thing!
Thankfully, HBO Max is releasing the Snyder Cut for real and there is a lot of it — four hours that will be released in hour installments on the streaming service next year. It’s expected to fill in a lot of holes, finally showcase Darkseid, and give its fans a truly “adult” version of the super team.
Snyder’s vision of DC characters — from Watchmen to Justice League — has been met with various levels of applause, but you can’t mistake his vision when you see it. It only makes sense to let him finally have a chance to put together and present his most important project to date as he originally saw fit.
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