OK, so it’s not as drastic as the title sounds, but what is the deal with Warner Brothers all of a sudden? There is some major mismanagement going on with this company.
The Dark Knight is a major success, basically heralding in a new era of darker, more compelling comic book movie adaptations. Not too long ago, the Brothers Of the Name Warner declared that all of their DC comic book adaptations moving forward would have a darker slant to them, including the next Superman. It sounded like they were going down the right path… But in the words of the Joker, “What happened?”
First, Harry Potter 6 was pushed back into 2009. Given that late November and early December were rather weak in 2008, the movie, which I realize is not a comic book adaptation (but it is a major tentpole release), would have thrived.
Then, a couple days ago, it was announced that Shazam! would not be making it to theaters at all. This is fine, as the Captain Marvel character is a bit too similar to Superman but also leans toward a goofier approach, which is not the direction DC wants to go.
Of course, there’s the whole Watchmen fiasco, which is pretty much unparalleled in terms of magnitude. I’m still confident the film will be released on its March release date, as it is in both Fox and Warner Brothers’ best interests to have that happen. Nevertheless, what a cluster. How did Warner Brothers not see this coming?
And now, The Dark Knight writer David Goyer mentioned that Warner Brothers has suspended all DC comic book adaptations for whatever reason. Obviously, Warner Brothers wants to get it right, but as soon as a certain Batman movie opened to $150 million half a year ago, shouldn’t they have sat down for a month, hired some quality directors and mapped out a two-film-per-year plan for its superheroes.
There seems to be some major mismanagement going on. The head of Warner Brothers may be making the right choices on the quality level, but one still needs to be decisive when in a leadership position. He should have made a decision over the summer as to which films were going to be released in which years for the next several films, just as Marvel has done. Wonder Woman? Green Lantern? Flash? Aquaman? Green Arrow? Justice League? Superman???
The properties are there. It takes leadership to turn those properties into cash cows.