Warner Bros. moves ahead with David Goyer as they plan two movies a year to coincide with their big budget tentpole films.
Goyer is a fairly well known name in superhero movies, having written the Blade films (and directing the third), as well as co-writing Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, and of course the made-for-TV Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. He also wrote the most recent take on Superman, Man of Steel, which despite a few controversial moments has successfully given DC the solid groundwork needed to move ahead with their own cinematic universe. Goyer recently signed a three year ‘first-look’ deal that extends his ongoing relationship with the WB and their stable of DC characters who are all primed to make the move to the big screen.
Jeff Robinov (WB Picture Group President) told EW that Man of Steel created a world that will “allow you to really introduce other characters into the same world… We’ll announce something in the next several weeks that will hopefully position the DC characters and the movies we’re going to be making.” Of course, they follow behind the already developed Marvel Cinematic Universe, which has been releasing two movies a year since Iron Man was released in 2008.
While DC started slowly, new plans have been mentioned that will see them producing two movies a year to complement their big budget tentpole films. This films will have lower budget side characters and franchises that will further develop DC’s unique world of heroes and villains. Some of the initial films mentioned are Team 7, Suicide Squad, Deathstroke, and Booster Gold.
This upcoming cinematic universe will really kick off with the much talked about sequel to Man of Steel, featuring Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne/Batman. Then the long rumored Justice League film as well as Guillermo del Toro’s Dark Universe are set to expand the DCCU, and slotting in a number of movies featuring second-tier characters will help to quickly develop the DC Universe without spending as much on a film like Man of Steel, which cost around $225 million. Some of the rumored films offer an interesting look into the parts of the DC Universe that the Justice League doesn’t touch, much like Marvel is starting to explore with films like Guardians of the Galaxy.
With the announcement of Team 7, it looks like DC is planning on building a very connected world with these lower budget films. Team 7 is set in the past of the DC Universe and features a superhuman black ops team full of a number of characters who would evolve into key players in the DC Universe, such as Slade Wilson (Deathstroke), Amanda Waller, Steve Trevor, Cole Cash (Grifter), and Dinah Lance (Black Canary), among others. This would effectively set up a good amount of DC cinematic history while introducing those characters like Waller and Deathstroke that we would see in some of the other Goyer-led films.
Suicide Squad has been rumored for years, whether as a film or a TV show, and it’s inclusion in this proposed lower budget filmmaking process bodes well for direction they are taking. The original concept of the team which has carried through to the New 52 features a team of villains working off jail sentences by completing missions for the government as Task Force X. The original comic runs, most notably those from John Ostrander, would lend themselves well to a big screen action film with a harsh focus on the villainous characters, although the team would most likely be comprised of its more popular New 52 roster. Key characters like Amanda Waller, Deadshot, more recent member Harley Quinn, and a classic or two like Bronze Tiger and Captain Boomerang would make for an interesting team, but a projected $40 million budget might not allow for special effects dependent characters like King Shark or El Diablo.
Deathstroke is a very interesting rumored film, and one that would probably be fairly well regarded by the common movie viewer. A super soldier turned hardened mercenary with family troubles and a grudge against teen heroes is a film that pretty much writes itself, but the popular character of Slade Wilson (cleverly introduced in the Team 7 film) is full of enough attitude to carry a low budget film that could be compared to Marvel’s attempts with the Punisher franchise. Plus, Deathstroke’s potential to cross over throughout the DC Cinematic Universe is too good to pass up, with the most dangerous man in the world coming up against heroes and villains alike. We’ve seen the character find his roots with the CW’s Arrow, but there is a lot more of Deathstroke’s story to tell on the big screen.
I could spend some time talking about the one superhero film mentioned along with these other possible adaptations, but die-hard fan Amanda Broyles offered her thoughts on the potential of a Booster Gold film for us instead.
I will try to keep my excitement at the prospect of a Booster Gold film to a respectable level, but it will be difficult. Reason? Well, for as long as there has been a rumored Justice League movie, it seems like it has been even longer that there has been rumors about something or another involving Booster Gold. Our favorite lovable somewhat reformed narcissist has appeared here and there outside of his own series (which ran from 2007 to 2011) but there hasn’t been a lot of focus on the time traveler in the DC Comics Universe. However, even before Arrow aired, Andrew Kreisberg was talking about a Booster Gold TV series, this past summer he even announced that a script was being sent over to SyFy, roughly two years after the cable network had expressed interest. Not much has been heard of the project since. Does this new rumor of a feature film cancel out the TV series prospects? Much like questions surrounding Arrow’s Green Arrow, can a TV series and a film version of the same character exist concurrently if WB and DC aren’t interested in combining the two?
When it comes to budget, it isn’t hard to see Booster Gold fitting into a smaller budget film. As much as he would like to think, Booster Gold is not Superman or Batman. So there wouldn’t be the requirement of the big fanfare that a Superman and/or Batman film would inherently have. Unlike the convoluted backstory that has reportedly kept Wonder Woman from getting her due, Booster Gold’s history can be easily formatted for a big screen appearance. While we fans of the character might believe that Booster Gold could carry an entire series or film on his own, thanks to a exciting cast of characters surrounding the superhero, including a twin sister, Goldstar, fellow time traveler, Rip Hunter, his constant companion robot Skeets, and of course, Ted Kord, aka Blue Beetle, there would be no need. A Booster Gold film would easily bring to light some of these slightly lesser known members of the DC Universe giving the studio even more of a presence in the superhero movie market.
Whether or not you feel the same about Booster Gold, there is no denying that the potential for these films is huge. As long as they don’t allow the lower budget to hamper the great stories and give these characters the treatment they deserve then the smaller risk provided by lower budget films should reward WB and DC Entertainment. Goyer has some hits and some misses with the superhero world, but his relationship with Warner Bros. and their DC titles over the last few years speaks for itself, and we can stay hopeful as we wait for more news on these potential features.
What are your thoughts on this news? Is DC heading in the right direction with these characters or should they be focusing attention on the more popular and well-known characters of the DC Universe? let us know in the comments section below!
Images: DC Entertainment, Warner Bros.