Last week Zack Snyder revealed more pictures about his up-and-coming release, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, expected to hit cinemas in 2016.
Whilst one provided us with a close up of Ben Affleck’s new mask and cowl as The Dark Knight, the other unveiled Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman for the first time. Snyder’s method of drip-feeding these images via his Twitter account has only served to intensify the excitement for this film. Yet as the anticipation builds, here are 5 reasons to be sceptical for the soon-to-be blockbuster.
1) The Expectation
There’s no doubt at all that behind Star Wars Episode VII, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is the most anticipated film of the next few years.
The film not only serves as a sequel to last year’s Man of Steel, but also a springboard to relaunch the characters of Batman, Wonder Woman and Lex Luthor, who will in turn all feature in the announced Justice League sequel. If that isn’t enough, this is DC’s largest and most ambitious film yet, with their entire future release schedule based around the success of this film. DC doesn’t quite boast the same impressive filmography as Marvel, and has been somewhat behind recently in terms of building their own ‘cinematic universe’. Thus, Snyder will come under immense pressure to deliver on this film, not only from fans and critics, but from a studio that has shown a lot of faith, and expects even more.
2) The Origins
Okay, so maybe it’s too far to say Man of Steel was totally bland, but it certainly never excited like it could have. For better or worse, Man of Steel consistently felt like a science fiction film rather than a superhero movie; perhaps more like Snyder had reimagined The Day The Earth Stood Still than glorified the world’s most famous comic book hero.
It’s hard to judge whether Dawn of Justice will follow the same route – maybe without Christopher Nolan’s production the film will feel more fantastic – but it really needs to come down on the right side of the fence in order to please the expectant masses. Man of Steel worked really well in the confines of its own universe, but with the odd Easter egg aside, it never really alluded to something bigger in the form of its sequels. Dawn of Justice is left picking up the pieces, having now been tasked with tactfully introducing Batman AND Wonder Woman into this world.
3) The Nolan Effect
It’s been almost a year since Ben Affleck was announced to portray Batman in the upcoming film, which lead to mass uproar and vivid flashbacks to a painful Daredevil outing in 2003. The dust having settled, Affleck is looking to be a great casting. His recent performances in the likes of The Town and Argo have been superb, and if his approach from a director’s point of view can be taken into consideration, he can really influence the film making to compliment his acting style.
However, there’s going to be no escaping the comparisons to Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, in particularly Affleck’s portrayal of Bruce Wayne and Batman, which Christian Bale executed so masterfully last time round. Dawn of Justice will be the first time Batman has featured on screen since Nolan’s efforts and you can’t help but feel that Gotham’s finest vigilante needs a mighty fine performance to surpass the previous manifestations.
4) The Rival
It almost feels like Marvel and DC have been battling it out for top spot since time began. Whilst Marvel has undoubtedly gained the upper hand with the successful Avengers storyline, Dawn of Justice will pave the way for the Justice League, igniting healthy comparisons and rivalries between the two behemoths of cinema.
Unfortunately for Snyder and co., Marvel’s Cinematic Universe has been largely successful, with an average rating of 79% on Rotten Tomatoes across all 9 films released to date (not including Guardians of the Galaxy). This compares to a measly 56% received by Man of Steel, and although it’s true that the numbers don’t mean everything, it’s hard to deny that the odds are stacked fairly high against DC. Marvel’s investment into stand-alone films to tell the backstory of each superhero culminated spectacularly in The Avengers, whereas DC have boldly jumped in at the deep end to produce Dawn of Justice as only the second film. The differences and similarities are endless, but where Marvel have reaped success already, DC has a big point to prove.
5) The Future
It really is the golden age of the sequel. Studios have their tails up, and once an original group of characters and actors make a successful film, money is pumped in for the next instalment. This reality is no truer than for modern day superhero movies, with sequels almost guaranteed. The idea is simple; if something is successful and people will pay money for it, then why change a winning formula? Yet for however many times we see Iron Man kick some robot ass, there’s going to be a point where all of this will stop. Can you imagine a scenario in 15 years where we see the release of The Amazing Spider-man 8? No. People will become bored and won’t buy into sequels anymore, and much-loved franchises will die a death.
It’s probably too early to suggest that this will happen before Dawn of Justice sees its release, but if DC really want to build on and further the storylines in this film, it’s likely that more features will be in the pipeline, and with each one the studio runs the risk of completely imploding; its vision of billion-dollar blockbusters devastated. Dawn of Justice will see a large release, taking a lot of money on its opening weekend, and probably go on to be the highest grossing film of the year. But it’s dangerous times for all involved; almost as if we’re playing a financially unstable game of Jenga, with the tower already swaying.
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