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Topic: Why The DCEU Will Fail (And Why It’ll Succeed) Post Reply | Post New Topic
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John Byrne

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Joined: 11 May 2005
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Posted: 12 August 2017 at 7:08pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

This is once again an example of the movies making the same mistakes as the comics, in less time with more money.
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Rob Ocelot
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Posted: 12 August 2017 at 10:08pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Marvel's method of 'universe building' consists of namedropping a previously-unseen character or two and linking or foreshadowing future films in those stupid end credits scenes.  It's not exactly fine craftmanship here.

We are in a situation now where people are more interested in the glue that holds a chair together rather than the wood that makes most of it up.  People talk more about these end credit scenes than the content of the movies themselves -- to the point where end credit scenes are *expected* to be there and people act disappointed when they aren't.  I guess that's no better than "Go see movie X because it has a sneak preview trailer for movie Y" style of marketing (I hate that stuff too).

DC just seems to be in a rush to cash in before the superhero movie bubble bursts (again!).  

It doesn't help that the TV end of things isn't cohesive with the movies making it more confusing for casual viewers. Two Flashes in concurrent media just reeks of a stupid decision made by suits and not people who are creatively paying attention.

DC has done this on television many times before, with The Batman running concurrent with Justice League (DCAU) -- two Batmen on TV, and one show not being able to use some villains that the other is using.  Same with the Filmation's Batman and Superfriends in the 70's. 

At least Marvel creatively works around not having the rights to the X-men/mutants/Fantastic Four for the MCU.  

DC?  They just shove the ingredients for the omelette at the audience and hope no one notices they've included three types of onions, green tomatoes, and no eggs.
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 13 August 2017 at 2:44am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

DC has done this on television many times before, with The Batman running concurrent with Justice League (DCAU) -- two Batmen on TV, and one show not being able to use some villains that the other is using.

***

Slightly off-topic, but I was pissed off that Sandman didn't appear in the 90s Spider-Man cartoon - from what I read at the time, it was because the films were going to include him (a film that didn't get made until 2002, after the animated series had finished).

Feels sort of like a "tail wagging the dog" scenario.

One was a cartoon. The other was a film that remained in limbo until 2002. Why the hell should the proposed James Cameron Spider-Man film have dictated to the CARTOON what it could and couldn't use? Just let separate entities be. 
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David Allen Perrin
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Posted: 13 August 2017 at 4:47am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

People don't 'act' disappointed if there isn't an after credits stinger.  They genuinely ARE disappointed because they are fun.
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Robert Shepherd
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Posted: 13 August 2017 at 12:56pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

It doesn't help that the TV end of things isn't cohesive with the movies making it more confusing for casual viewers. Two Flashes in concurrent media just reeks of a stupid decision made by suits and not people who are creatively paying attention.


***

I have yet to meet anyone who gets confused between TV shows and movies. There is no confusion. Anyone with any years under their belt knows there is (almost)never any actor crossovers portraying the same character in TV and Motion Pictures or vice versa.

Agents of Shield tried with Coulson, but truly, you didn't need to watch Coulson in Agents to understand Coulson in Avengers and vice versa. They were self contained.

I also don't believe their are "casual viewers". You either watch the movies or you don't. You watch the shows or you don't. Everyone knows they are self contained. There are no WTF moments if a person sees Flash on TV then sees him on the silver screen. Just like no one ever gets confused between, say a Batman animated and a Batman movie. 

And the end credits scenes work because when done well, are the cliff-hangers of the movie. Some end scenes have been crap....no doubt....but the good ones left you hanging with hints of things to come. The best ones drop a bomb on you because they give away something that you never knew was coming (unless it was leaked).


Edited by Robert Shepherd on 13 August 2017 at 1:16pm
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 13 August 2017 at 1:14pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

I have yet to meet anyone who gets confused between TV shows and movies. There is no confusion. Anyone with any years under their belt knows there is (almost)never any actor crossovers portraying the same character in TV and Motion Pictures or vice versa.

***

I agree.

Somehow we can handle multiple versions of Sherlock Holmes, but not superheroes. From 2009 until now, there have been at least two Holmes movies (Robert Downey Jr. and some low-budget one), Cumberbatch's TV show, other TV versions, etc. No-one, I'm sure, has become confused and said, "Hang on, how does this tie into things?"

We also didn't have exploding heads in 1983 when Connery returned to the role of Bond whilst Moore appeared in his sixth Bond film. All I remember at the time is wondering why Connery had returned - I read up on it and all was fine. No confusion.

I really don't think it'd be confusing. 
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Matthew Wilkie
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Posted: 13 August 2017 at 3:33pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

I have yet to meet anyone who gets confused between TV shows and movies. There is no confusion.

***

I'm a casual DC viewer but I was confused. This, in part, led to me not investing time on the DC movies because I had not watched the TV shows having assumed they were part of the same universe.

The Sherlock Holmes analogy doesn't really work for me: one is set in Victorian times; one is clearly a modern version. Quite different to the DC TV and movie adaptations.
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 13 August 2017 at 3:51pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

Okay, but there are more versions of Holmes than the ones I mentioned. There are direct-to-DVD versions and the like released at the same times as mainstream versions, all set in Victorian times.

I just don't get how there could be confusion. Once a person is aware of a TV and movie entity being separate, where's the confusion? Isn't it obvious within a short amount of time?

I saw NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN after OCTOPUSSY in 1983. I knew before the opening credits had finished that that was a Bond not associated with the MGM one. I know its clumsy, but I really don't get how folk can be confused. I'm not having a go - I respect your views - but it baffles me.


Edited by Robbie Parry on 13 August 2017 at 3:52pm
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Matthew Wilkie
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Posted: 14 August 2017 at 4:25am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

I had assumed the DV TV series and films were on the same universe until I read on an earlier thread about the different Flashes. That confused me although I checked it out online to clarify the situation.

Clumsy is a good word though, Robbie - DC haven't thought this through in the way Marvel appear to.
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Robert Shepherd
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Posted: 15 August 2017 at 4:00pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

I'm a casual DC viewer but I was confused. This, in part, led to me not investing time on the DC movies because I had not watched the TV shows having assumed they were part of the same universe.

***

Matthew...I'm not tying to pick on you but I did have a question. What influenced your assumption that the TV shows were potentially the same universe as the movies? What was the precedent to make that assumption?
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 15 August 2017 at 4:30pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Far be it from me to speak for Matthew, but I wonder if many (not necessarily Matthew) assumed so because of the fact the MCU is interconnected. 
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Eric Sofer
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Posted: 16 August 2017 at 10:16am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

Robbie, my impression is that - stupid as it may sound - the DC Universe ain't big enough for two Flashes, or two Supermen, or three Bruce Waynes or two Jokers, or any other characters that may have appeared on TV and in the movies (Captain Boomerang? Harley? Maybe one or two others I'm missing...).

Then again, the DC animated shows managed to pull off two different Batmen at the same time. Still seems stupid to me, but I guess if we can accept the Star Trek mirror universe, we can allow for independent DC universes.
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Matthew Wilkie
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Posted: 16 August 2017 at 12:39pm | IP Logged | 13 post reply

Far be it from me to speak for Matthew, but I wonder if many (not necessarily Matthew) assumed so because of the fact the MCU is interconnected

***

That's exactly it.

And, (other) Robbie, didn't feel picked on - you have a valid question. Perhaps I'm just a bit thick or haven't been making attention but with the MCU model working so well it is odd that DCU went in another direction.
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Peter Martin
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Posted: 16 August 2017 at 3:17pm | IP Logged | 14 post reply

We also didn't have exploding heads in 1983 when Connery returned to the role of Bond whilst Moore appeared in his sixth Bond film
---------------------------------------------
I would argue this IS confusing and was certainly confusing then and that an average person doesn't understand to this day how or why this came about. I would wager that 90% of people do not realise Never Say Never Again is a remake of Thunderball nor have a clue about Eon or the Broccolis. Most people know that both Connery AND Moore are 'proper' Bonds.

And your point of differentiation -- that one was official and one was not, based on which companies produced the movies --  clearly doesn't apply to the Flash when both versions are produced by DC.

Nor can I think of different versions (i.e. different actors portraying the role) of Sherlock Holmes produced by the same company at the same time.

As for TV actors (almost) never having  any crossover between TV and movies for the same character... I would argue there are lots of times when TV actors take the roles to the big screen and that more often than not, for characters that anyone cares about, people don't like it when they are recast. Imagine if they'd made the X-Files movie with different actors playing Mulder and Scully . Or The Simpsons with different voices. Think about Chris Pine playing Captain Kirk. In the 1966 Batman movie, Lee Merriwether kind of sticks out as being the one they didn't cast 'right'.

There's a thread in the Star Trek section about Data needing an aging chip. Not a problem -- they could have just recast a younger man when they made the movies because anyone with any years under their belt doesn't just not expect continuity in casting from TV to movies, but knows it almost never happens.


Edited by Peter Martin on 16 August 2017 at 3:19pm
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 16 August 2017 at 6:57pm | IP Logged | 15 post reply

You're being pedantic, Peter. ;-)) (Conveyed with love, by the way).

Fact is, whatever studios produced these films, we got it. We understood! I knew, back in 1983, that the Connery Bond film was non-canonical. The lack of a gun barrel opening sequence/familiar Bond theme convinced me of that within 30 seconds. 

My brain just used comic terminology at the time, so I just said to myself that it was "Earth-2 Bond" whilst OCTOPUSSY (which isn't a good film) was the regular adventures.

I didn't care about Eon, rights issues, etc. All that came in time.


Edited by Robbie Parry on 16 August 2017 at 6:57pm
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Robert Shepherd
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Posted: 17 August 2017 at 1:59am | IP Logged | 16 post reply

I think some fans or movie goers choose to be confused. I don't get it to be honest. I've never had an issue seperating what happens on TV versus the movies. Or from movie to movie.

I saw Never Say Never and Octopus when they came out. Two different Bonds....no problem. I liked Roger Moore and it was good to see Connery as Bond again. The only story I had heard was they named the movie Never Say Never Again because Connery was quoted saying he would never play Bond again. So I thought that was a cleaver meta title. (The other clever meta title that I know of - In Search of Spock). I doubt fans cared why it happened, they were just glad to see their favorite Bond again.

The Bond franchise has proven over and over again that you can change out the actor and still be successful. We all have our favorites, but if change happens, we tend to adapt and move forward. If you are never allowed to change out actors, the franchise will die as soon as your actors die. That makes no sense at all.
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Matthew Wilkie
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Posted: 18 August 2017 at 8:49am | IP Logged | 17 post reply

As for TV actors (almost) never having  any crossover between TV and movies for the same character... I would argue there are lots of times when TV actors take the roles to the big screen and that more often than not, for characters that anyone cares about, people don't like it when they are recast.

***

This is a good point. In fact, I'm trying to think of precedents where a there has been a film version of a character with a different cast to the TV programme that is still running. For me, Sherlock Holmes / Sherlock doesn't count because they are clearly different characters. The only one I can come up with is Doctor Who and frankly that was confusing.


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Matthew Wilkie
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Posted: 18 August 2017 at 8:53am | IP Logged | 18 post reply

If I return to the original question, the challenge for DC, and Marvel too, is that what will they do if their multi-film universes fail. Film companies (almost) got away with Spider-Man and Fantastic Four reboots because they were single films, but I am not sure audiences will be tolerant, sympathetic and have a appetite for the rebooting of a whole series of films, not without a good period of time having passed.
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Brian Rhodes
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Posted: 18 August 2017 at 5:45pm | IP Logged | 19 post reply

For DC, the answer is simple: Make isolated Superman movies til the franchise is tapped out. Make isolated Batman movies til the franchise is tapped out. Repeat. Sure, you get some stinkers out of the deal, but I'm thinking they've come out way ahead on those since 1978. Actual quality of the film and faithfulness to source material has rarely been a concern, as, by my count, they've only gotten it really "right" for each character once. And yet, the money rolls in. They do have Wonder Woman to throw into the mix now. They can keep going with that til it's horrible...

For Marvel? Not so sure. I guess once contracts aren't re-upped, they could "ween" us off the shared universe, go back to focusing on the individual character franchises, rebooted as they will be at some point.


Edited by Brian Rhodes on 18 August 2017 at 5:48pm
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Robert Shepherd
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Posted: 19 August 2017 at 2:11am | IP Logged | 20 post reply

For Marvel at least and even for DC, I would say that there is no way for their multi-film universe to fail. They have already proven it is successful. I'd say making billions in sales is successful.

If a movie makes 100 million net profit, that is still damn successful. Not every movie franchise needs to push to the billion mark IMO.

Sure, all good things must come to an end, but perhaps they can string it out for the next 50+ years like the Bond franchise as done. 

And at some point super-hero fatigue will set in but I don't think it'll signal the collapse of the industry....maybe more of a trimming of the fat and focussing on a smaller set of movie releases.

All it takes is interesting characters in interesting stories. There will be some flops along the way, but in general, I think the track record for super hero movies has been excellent for the past 17 years.

I will be curious to see how fans handle any of the big roles being recast though. 
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Matthew Wilkie
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Posted: 20 August 2017 at 6:12pm | IP Logged | 21 post reply

For DC, the answer is simple: Make isolated Superman movies til the franchise is tapped out. Make isolated Batman movies til the franchise is tapped out.

***

But aren't they past the stage of being able to go back and do that?
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Matthew Wilkie
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Posted: 20 August 2017 at 6:17pm | IP Logged | 22 post reply

I will be curious to see how fans handle any of the big roles being recast though.

***

That's a good point - X-Men have survived recasting pretty much every part save Wolverine, but I think the franchise would have been hit if Hugh Jackman had bailed. Similarly, whilst I think the MCU could recast parts - they've done it already with Banner and Rhodey, albeit early in the franchise - bringing in new actors for Iron Man and Captain America will be a challenge.
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