So the Batman V. Superman (still has to be one of the dumbest names for a movie I’ve ever seen) trailer leaked early and pretty much confirmed everything I suspected after Man of Steel—I have zero interest in watching it, ever. It appears that I’m not alone in that assessment. So, I wonder, what happens if it tanks? Because there’s a good possibility it will.
MoS was not a runaway a hit. It had a great opening weekend, then plummeted as soon as word of mouth spread. Warner Bros. started talking about BvS in 2013. After the less than stellar performance and the sharp criticism of Superman’s first outing, they brought on Chris Terrio to re-write Goyer’s script. Filming finally began in 2014, with less than pleasing casting choices, and wrapped in December of 2014.
Now, after way too long of a tease, they finally give us a trailer and it’s all CGI city shots and CGI storm clouds and grim voiceover and dated Frank Miller. Where is the actual footage? Of you know, actors acting. Where is any sense of plot? Or even character? The trailer is like watching the hype reel leading up to an MMA match or something.
Even if all this is wildly off-base and BvS is, somehow, actually decent, at this point, they’ve dragged all this out so long that maintaining the public’s interest is next to impossible without a level of hype and secrecy that no film could ever really live up to. Look how much it bit Star Trek: Into Darkness in the ass.
The film will still make some money opening weekend. There's enough people with more money than sense, enough people who just want to watch things go 'splodey, and enough people who've been waiting to see the two big guns on screen together and just don't care what form that takes that the theatre won't be completely empty. But let's say BvS tanks at the Box Office, then what does Warner Bros. do?
Well, if BvS isn’t their Heaven’s Gate:
- Fire Zack Snyder immediately and never let David S. Goyer within 100 feet of a comic property.
- If Affleck escapes the stink, since he’s already signed for multiple appearances, take what you’ve learned and throw everything behind Suicide Squad. Use the film as a kind of soft reboot and ignore MoS and BvS as far as continuity and creative direction. As planned, end Suicide Squad with Joker escaping and a Batman cameo, and then quickly shoot the best handjob-to-the-fans Batman film you can as an apology while you regroup.
- Or kill the big screen DC universe and focus everything on the small screen. Put the creative team behind Arrow and Flash in charge of the DCU. If they maintain their momentum, give them a film to see how they do. Meanwhile, like Marvel did with Daredevil, develop and release binge-worthy programs of 8-12 episodes that feature your bigger named properties.
But this Warner Bros. we’re talking about here, so if it does flop and flop hard, then the most likely scenario is a brand new series of reboots coming in 2018!