Zach Snyder, director of “Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice,” released a teaser image this past week of a superhero, and it wasn’t Batman or Superman.
The image was of Aquaman, who will be appearing alongside Batman and Superman in “Dawn of Justice.”
Superimposed on Aquaman’s picture were three words that confirmed everything that is worrisome about this movie: “Unite the Seven.”
The photo references the seven Justice League members DC is choosing to bring to the screen. The Justice League is a group of superheroes that protect Earth, much like the Avengers.
But the Justice League won’t succeed like the Avengers on the silver screen.
It won’t even be close.
Besides the three previously mentioned characters, Wonder Woman, Flash, Cyborg and the Green Lantern are all either confirmed or rumored to appear in the movie. For those of you unfamiliar with this lineup, each character is a standard member of the Justice League.
You’re probably not all too familiar with those characters unless you read the comic books. That’s not your fault; it’s DC’s.
Each of those characters merits their own film, and we’ll eventually get to see those movies, according to DC’s plan. It just won’t be for a while.
Solo movies for those characters won’t happen until after they are thrown together in “Dawn of Justice.” Four of those characters won’t get a movie until after the first official Justice League movie, titled simply “Justice League” for now, comes out.
Even this incarnation of Batman, played by Ben Affleck, won’t have his own film out before he dukes it out with Superman, and not one is slated to star Batfleck as of now.
In fact, “Man of Steel” is the only movie leading up to this massive show of force.
This is a wobbly base to balance such a huge production on. It’s shortsighted and will likely alienate fans who aren’t familiar with the characters.
Here’s the hard part to understand: DC had a golden opportunity to take a cue from Marvel Studios and failed to use it.
Marvel began setting up “The Avengers,” with the release of “Iron Man” in 2008.
Each of the Avenger’s big three – Thor, Iron Man and Captain America – got a solo film before the collaboration movie. Heck, Iron Man had a sequel out before “The Avengers” came out in 2012.
The character arcs came together through sly sub-plots that made staying through the credits to look for an extra scene one of the most exciting parts of going to see a Marvel movie.
“The Avengers” felt like a natural progression. Marvel built it meticulously over time. We knew the characters as individuals. They were personable and yet larger than life itself.
In comparison to Marvel’s smooth transition, “Dawn of Justice” feels like a desperation maneuver in an attempt to compete at best, and at worst, a grab trying to piggyback off of the success that Marvel so diligently earned.
A cheap token to take money from dedicated fans.
The fact is “Dawn of Justice” is too big for its spandex britches. Snyder, who previously directed “300,” “Watchmen” and “Man of Steel”, and DC Comics had a can’t-fail movie on their hands.
A film that pits two of the world’s favorite superheroes against each other, and yet they have already damaged their product in the biggest way possible by taking the focus off of the struggle between Batman, the dark knight and Superman, the boy in blue.
Simultaneously, they’ve damaged the Justice League brand by not giving it the time it deserves to build.
If anyone can pull this movie off it’s Snyder. However, it would appear that DC is set up to give the best superhero group they have less than the justice it deserves.