DC Movies - To Infinity and Beyond

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by dodge, Aug 5, 2018.

  1. Noname Given

    Noname Given Admiral Admiral

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    It wouldn't - but hey WB suits like to find ONE film formula that worked well once and pound it into the ground - until they wonder why no one's going to a theater to see it anymore.
     
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  2. kirk55555

    kirk55555 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Lex Luthor without Superman is stupid. The dynamic with superman is what makes him an interesting character. Making a villain movie minus their heroic arch rival isn't just going to work for everything, although DC has a bad habit of thinking that just because something worked in one context, that it will work in every context.
     
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  3. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Well, I think having a ruthless, despicable supervillain as the President of the United States would make it totally different from any realistic portrayal of the...

    (Glances at the headlines)

    ...Oh, yeah.

    Well, I think having a brilliant, ruthless, despicable supervillain as the President of the United States would make it totally different from any realistic portrayal of the presidency.
     
  4. CorporalClegg

    CorporalClegg Admiral Admiral

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    Hold my beer.
     
  5. Captaindemotion

    Captaindemotion Admiral Admiral

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    Lex has better hair.
     
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  6. Turtletrekker

    Turtletrekker Admiral Admiral

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    Well, the current administration leaves a high bar of villainy for the President Luthor movie to clear.
     
  7. crookeddy

    crookeddy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    If I had posted this I'd be banned.
     
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  8. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Have you seen Robert Patinson in anything outside of the Twilight series? I've seen a lot of stuff about him giving really good performances in a lot of his post Twilight stuff.
    Is Twilight the only reason you don't like him? It's been 7 years since the last movie came out, and he's done a lot of stuff since then, so I think it's about time to move on and assess him based on his whole career, not just one series of movie he did.
    And now this is probably the first time I've ever actually agreed with you on this kind of announcement.
    I can see where Joker can work as a standalone character since he really does have his own unique characterization and motivation beyond Batman. Luthor on the other hand, is almost entirely based around wanting to destroy Superman, or prove that he's better than Superman, without Superman he's basically just a generic genius businessman/inventor.
    At this point a Supermanless President Luthor movie is just going to end up feeling like a very, very thinly veild Trump satire, and while I wouldn't necessarily be against that, it just seems like it would end up causing way more trouble than it's worth.
     
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  9. Turtletrekker

    Turtletrekker Admiral Admiral

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    People said that Venom wouldn't work without Spider-Man or that the Joker wouldn't work without Batman, yet look at where we are today. I was actually looking forward to Noah Hawley's take on Doctor Doom, even though there wasn't any indication that Reed Richards was going to be part of the story. Has there ever been a Moriarity story without Holmes?
     
  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I don't see that. The Joker exists totally as a mirror to Batman. He has no identity except as Batman's opposite, a force of pure evil and chaos cloaked in cheerful imagery to contrast Batman as a force of good cloaked in fearsome imagery. The new movie may have tried to give him a story of his own, but I see a ton of reviews saying that the movie ultimately has nothing to say. The Joker's fundamental nature is to be a blank slate, a pure embodiment of the chaos Batman stands against, with nothing else to get in the way. The only success anyone's ever had at creating an alternate role for him was through the creation and development of Harley Quinn, making him the embodiment of toxic masculinity and sexual abuse that Harley is initially victimized by and ultimately comes to defy and liberate herself from -- but even there, he still exists only as the contrast to the real protagonist.

    Lex Luthor, on the other hand, could totally exist without Superman. The essence of the Silver/Bronze Age version of the character is that he could've been a truly great, heroic (if arrogant) man in his own right if he hadn't developed his obsessive hatred for Superman -- or, in some versions, a conviction that Superman was a danger to humanity and needed a worthy archvillain to balance him out. The essence of the post-Crisis billionaire-industrialist version of Luthor, on the other hand, is that he was already the king of Metropolis when Superman arrived and became the first person ever to exceed Lex's power and fame, making him a rival Lex could not tolerate. In both cases, the essence of Luthor's story is that he was already on a path to greatness (for good or for ill, depending) and was diverted from that path by the arrival of Superman (or Superboy) in his life. His obsession with beating or destroying Superman is not the only thing that defines him; rather, it's the fatal flaw that gets in the way of everything else that could have defined him.
     
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  11. Grendelsbayne

    Grendelsbayne Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Joker at least has the whole killer clown thing - maybe not totally unique because clowns are scary, but still a fairly rare bird in movies. Also you can't call a character the 'embodiment of chaos' and an 'empty mirror/blank slate' in the same breath. The embodiment of chaos element of Joker is exactly why he can work on his own. Very few characters could ever believably claim a title like that, which makes him very memorable. There's a reason people latched onto 'Some men just want to watch the world burn.'

    By comparison, super-rich elitist a-holes are a dime a million in movies and have been forever. Also, the Joker can be recognizably the Joker even if Batman isn't there. He can laugh and kill and sow chaos till the cows come home. He can be a mirror to society just as easily as to Batman. But you just hit the nail on the head for me in terms of what's so weird about a Luthor who's never met Superman. Because Superman IS his entire motivation for diverting from his 'destined path' and becoming a super-villain. Without that motivation, Luthor is just the same rich, elitist a-hole we've seen a million times (or, alternatively, he's actually a decent person, since all is right with the world as long as his greatness is recognized). Other than changing Luthor's characterization completely (he's evil just because he's evil) or inventing some other non-Superman element that can take Superman's place in the story to motivate Luthor, I don't see how him by himself makes for a particularly interesting movie.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2019
  12. crookeddy

    crookeddy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I am pretty sure that the aim of a modern day President Luther movie would be either a commentary on the World of Trump or a qAnon movie, where Luther would be pretending to be a fool while doing evil genius things in the background.

    It would also prevent marvel from doing a President Normal Osborne storyline...
     
  13. Grendelsbayne

    Grendelsbayne Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    DC literally hired James Gunn for Suicide Squad 2. Marvel and Fox did two different versions of the same character at the same time. Nobody would care if Marvel did a President Osbourne storyline after DC's President Luthor movie.

    Osbourne's Dark Reign probably isn't happening anyway as long as the possibility remains of Sony walking away only a few movies in. He'd need to be around a while for that.
     
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  14. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Of course you can. The point is that, since he exists purely to be the evil Batman fights, he has no other identity, no name, no backstory. The Dark Knight captured this brilliantly. Even The Killing Joke cast doubt on the reality of the backstory it presented for the Joker, and ultimately it proved to be a hollow justification for the Joker's evil, since he failed to prove that Batman and Gordon would snap the same way after "one bad day."


    What is the point of a story about chaos if there isn't someone standing against it, or being jeopardized by it?


    Luthor is more than that, though. He's not some trust-fund kid whose wealth was handed to him, but a genius who built himself up from Suicide Slum to become the most powerful man in Metropolis. Before that, pre-Crisis, he was a scientific genius who could've been essentially Reed Richards when he grew up if not for the incident that made him hate Superboy and later Superman. Either way, Luthor has always had a more complex characterization than the Joker, if only because he's actually had a name, a family, a backstory. The Joker is a void by design.


    But that still makes him the villain in someone else's story. Trying to make him the lead character of a movie is tricky at best.


    Because Lex Luthor is ultimately his own worst enemy. He's a potentially great man who has a streak of petty jealousy and narcissism that traps him. There was a terrific miniseries a few years back by Paul Cornell, the yearlong "Black Ring" storyline in Action Comics, that centered on Luthor and did pretty fascinating things with him.
     
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  15. Professor Zoom

    Professor Zoom Admiral Admiral

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    *looks over at the MCU*
     
  16. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Exactly, The Joker can still be The Joker even without Batman, both Joker and Gotham have given us versions of Joker without Batman in the picture. But without Superman, Luthor would not be the same kind of character he becomes in the comics.
     
  17. crookeddy

    crookeddy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    BS.
     
  18. Noname Given

    Noname Given Admiral Admiral

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    Well, lets look at it...the majority of DC films have neen made in the same style as the Nolan "Batman" films. It didn't work well because Superman ISN'T really a Batman type character.

    The MCU has done films in a variety of diferent styles:

    - Straight up action.
    - Political thriller.
    - Comedy.

    The point? No, they really don't try to fit all their films into one style or template. They also don't panic when one film underpeerforms.
     
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  19. Grendelsbayne

    Grendelsbayne Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Well obviously there will be someone standing against it and being jeopardized by it. No one was discussing a movie where the Joker is the only character. There's no reason you can't focus on the chaos and leave the (wannabe) hero(es) in the background. And Joker has lots of names. And lots of backstories. It's another feature that makes it rather easier to deal with him how you like. He can be created by Batman (89) or precede him (Gotham) or just come out of nowhere (TDK) or created by society (Joker), etc.


    You're not describing a character that sounds any less generically familiar and predictable.

    Also, Joker is not a void. A mirror is a fair description, but while a mirror's elements may change depending on what you put in front of it it will never be empty unless you choose to make it that way.

    Not really. He can be the villain in his own story. Not every story is about a hero. And while I haven't seen it yet, the vast majority of accounts and reviews I've seen would seem to indicate they achieved it just fine first time out of the gate.

    :shrug:Eh, maybe that could be something. I still can't shake the feeling I've seen that movie before, though.
     
  20. Professor Zoom

    Professor Zoom Admiral Admiral

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    Lol.
    1. This isn't going to be a DC is better than Marvel, Marvel is better than DC thing, because, I don't care.
    2. Tonally, Marvel movies are basically all the same.
    3. Their forms might vary a little, but, the wry hero just looking for a place to belong is basically the lead in all of their movies.

    So, yeah. Marvel has found a very successful formula and are sticking with it.

    And I agree, Superman isn't Batman, and Man of Steel is a terrible movie for it.

    But, I appreciate that DC is willing to do things a little differently from movie to movie. Epic historical with Wonder Woman, a sort of 80s kids movie with Shazam, a B movie with a huge budget with Aquaman, an indie movie with Joker, and terrible train wrecks by terrible directors like Batman v Superman and Justice League. DC runs the whole gamut.