It’s funny how things work out. A while back, when Jason Momoa was announced as the actor for Justice League and Aquaman, I wasn’t sure he was the right guy for the role. Momoa may actually be a human-sized action figure, but his acting skills seemed a little rough around the edges, and the last thing that Zack Snyder needed was a mediocre performance from one of the core players in the DC Cinematic Universe. And now, months later, Momoa is one of the few parts of Justice League I’m not worried about. Like I said, funny how things work out.
DC Cinematic Universe
The universe owes Armie Hammer a superhero franchise. A few years ago, when Warner Bros. was working with Mad Max: Fury Road director George Miller on a Justice League movie, Hammer was signed, sealed, and delivered to play a young Bruce Wayne in the film. Hammer would’ve been an interesting choice for the role; he’s funnier and has more range as an actor than most people might expect, suggesting that Hammer could’ve bridged the gap between Christian Bale’s brooding dark knight and Adam West’s silly caped crusader. For my money, Hammer could’ve been the best Batman yet.
When it comes to the DC film adaptations, there are two truths we hold to be self-evident. On the one hand, the live-action movies have — at least to this point — been fairly underwhelming, whiffing on the elements of Batman and Superman we find endearing in favor of a gloomy music video vibe that leaves a bad taste in our mouth. That being said, there’s no denying that Warner Bros. Animation has something special going on with its superhero movies. Most of those films run the gamut from solid to great; we ranked them all last summer and weren’t shy that their animation department has given their live-action counterparts a run for their money.
Feast your eyes on the latest wave of promotional stills from Wonder Woman, the long-awaited solo debut of DC’s indestructible Amazon warrior princess.
You’re going to have to hold your breath for a whole two extra months before Jason Momoa’s Aquaman makes his solo debut.
Warner Bros. supposedly has years of DC Comics movies mapped out, but the map keep changing before our eyes. Officially announced titles include this year’s Justice League and Wonder Woman, and next year’s Aquaman and a Shazam movie featuring Dwayne Johnson. But beyond the immediate future, things look more hazy. Will we get a solo film with Ben Affleck’s Batman? What’s the story with The Flash, which has gone through directors faster than its title character could run on his cosmic treadmill. And then there’s the case of Superman. He got a sort-of sequel to Man of Steel in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, but the Man of Tomorrow was mostly a supporting character in his own movie there. Will Warner Bros. deliver an official Man of Steel 2?
With all eyes on the next entry in the DC Cinematic Universe, it’s hard to say what is under more pressure: Wonder Woman, the World War II-era superhero and savior of the modern world, or Wonder Woman, the first female-directed movie in the modern blockbuster era and a stab at social relevance for the beleaguered executives at Warner Bros. The first Wonder Woman trailer that debuted at Comic-Con hit all the right notes for an exciting and female-driven superhero movie; would additional trailers walk back that promise or deliver more of the same?
Wonder Woman may have some of the most gorgeous superhero posters of all time. The first poster, revealed last summer, saw Gal Gadot’s Diana Prince standing amongst a cloudy blue sky and pluming orange smoke. Those same burnt orange and red hues make up the visuals of the latest poster for the upcoming DC movie.
It would appear that the likes of Deadpool and Logan, what with all their foul words and visible bloodletting and brief pegging interludes, have changed the game of superhero movies. It was once basic showbiz logic that a massively-budgeted capes-and-tights flick couldn‘t afford to go for the R rating and lose the portion of the audience that’d restrict. More minor one-off projects like Watchmen, Kick-Ass, and Kingsman could take that risk and repeatedly found that it paid off, but now mainstream heroes have adopted this more daring approach and met with attractive box-office receipts. And in keeping with their tried-and-true business strategy of doing everything Marvel does, but a year later, DC Films has no stated their intention to get into more mature material.
Zack Snyder made a lot of enemies with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, but critical dressing-down and scattered fan backlash won’t stop him. To quote esteemed post-structural thinker Missy ‘Misdemeanor’ Elliott: to those of you who hated, you only made Zack Snyder more creative. The director has redoubled his efforts as he continues work on the post-production process for the Justice League movie due November 17. They wrapped shooting back in October, so all that’s left is the time-consuming and often tedious process of digitally piecing the film together in the editing suite. But ever the barker for his corner of the D.C. universe, Snyder has offered his many supporters a glimpse into the in-progress cut that he’s toying with at present.