The Internet is abuzz with a new article from Variety concerning Warner Bros., and it’s all because of one little snippet with new JLA movie info.
Basically, this article is a lot of very dry showbiz inner-workings, and a lot of congratulating WB about its recent success, including Oscar frontrunner Argo. It’s all about Jeff Robinov retaining his title as president of the Warner Bros. motion picture group. Yes, apparently that warranted an entire story — a guy keeping his job. Hey, there is a recession going on, after all…
But here’s the interesting info, and it’s not even in the form of a quote. I wonder why Variety didn’t just make this a story in itself.
Stakes are high for Man of Steel. Other than Nolan’s Batpics, Warners has not been able to effectively exploit the DC library. Its 2011 “Green Lantern” underperformed, and a “Justice League” film wouldn’t likely be in theaters before 2015, as Warner’s top brass has indicated that they are awaiting the results of Man of Steel, which opens June 14, before moving further ahead.
Now, I’m not a Marvel fanboy. I like DC the same, though I will admit I read more X-Men growing up than any other comic. Still, objectively, this seems to indicate that Marvel’s new model is infinitely more logical, courageous, and loyal to fans.
Marvel Studios is owned by Disney. Their only job is to make movies based on Marvel properties, and Kevin Feige has worked wonders as its president. I mean, just look at this Ant-Man movie announcement as proof that they’re in it for the right reasons. They want to tell stories about their characters, and they trust what is or isn’t a good story. Edgar Wright pitched an idea, and they liked it. They hadn’t planned on doing an Ant-Man movie, and he’s a minor character, but… well, it was a good idea, apparently.
That’s how movies SHOULD work. That’s really how any business should work. Its owners and leaders should know their product and know what’s good, and then throw their weight behind their ideas. This uneasiness from the WB, playing a “wait-and-see” with Man of Steel before heading forward with a Justice League movie… What does that tell you?
Well, they’ve seen the movie! Is it good? No? Well, then why the hell did you make it? You had to have read the script. Well, was it good? What if it is. What if the movie is good. Do they know what’s good? Why not trust their knowledge?
I think it’s just a symptom of a bigger problem. Hollywood executives, like the ones Warner Bros. employs to run its multi-movie empire, often let the tail wag the dog, so to speak. Oh, moviegoers like it? It must be good. No. Moviegoers like good movies. Name a blockbuster, and it will have been a good movie. With word-of-mouth, and with social media compounding this, bad movies just don’t make money. Hollywood has to put ideas first, and they have to trust their own opinions. Otherwise you get disasters like Green Lantern. They were just praying on this new superhero craze earning them money. They weren’t trying to tell a great story about Hal Jordan.
For now, even without seeing “Man of Steel,” Marvel is in the lead for some years to come. If this is the mentality WB is stuck in, there’s no way they can compete.