Deadpool is exceeding all expectations and even greenlighting its own sequel before opening weekend concludes. The film also won the heart of Betty White, which goes to show how crossappeal is a true indicator of a comic book movie’s prowess. Things are looking up for the Merc with a Mouth and his chimichangas, and we’ll likely see a lot more of the beloved antihero. It’s all rainbows and uphill sunshine for Marvel and 20th Century Fox.
What doesn’t hold a lot of crossappeal, however, is the specter of Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice looming dark on the horizon. Sure, hardcore comic fans will watch the film even if they’re weary of Zack Snyder’s tendency to stir up a murky mess. But the film won’t draw in too many audience members (like Betty White) who weren’t intent on watching it from inception.
In the spirit of crushing spirits, Drew McWeeny of HitFix filmed an interview that wonders if DC/Warner Bros. is “scared” of what will happen when Dawn of Justice arrives. Will the film jeopardize DC’s entire future slate? McWeeny says Warner Bros. is starting to freak the hell out. Of course, none of this could be true, but these rumors are still interesting to consider:
“Warner is a little bit worried. This movie is starting to scare them. They’re showing it to people now, people are actually laying eyes on the film, and the response has not been exactly what they wanted … The two things that I keep hearing work – I hear Ben Affleck’s very good, and I hear Jesse Eisenberg is great. So I would not be surprised if Batman becomes the focus from here until the movie comes out.”
As far as DC’s future slate is concerned, McWeeny believes a lackluster critical and box-office reception would push back the Justice League starting date. He would be “equally surprised” if Zack Snyder gets rehired to help the project. McWeeny guesses Justice League will falter under a failed “springboard,” and Warner Bros. will likely hop into a new Batman project to “rebuild” the fanbase and win back some geek cred.
All of this sounds like a doom-and-gloom proposition, but that seems almost fitting after those darkened trailers that one can barely see. So, will Dawn of Justice be a massive clunker of a comic book movie?