DC WEEKLY: Is The 'JUSTICE LEAGUE' Movie Really in Trouble?

– by Joseph Medina

Welcome to the DC Weekly, where every week we cover the land of DC comics, TV, and movies. Be it random bits of news, TV show reactions, or miscellaneous reviews, editorials, or speculation, you can be sure to get your DC fix here!

THIS WEEK we take a look at the announcement video of the Batmobile car pack for the game ROCKET LEAGUE and watch as Lex Luthor asks comic book fans who would win in a fight: Batman or Superman? From there, I take a few minutes to talk about the rollercoaster of the DCEU and the JUSTICE LEAGUE film.

NEWS-LETS

Rock the Batmobile in ROCKET LEAGUE

If you've ever sat down and played the game ROCKET LEAGUE, you may have walked away incredibly surprised that using a bunch of random cars to play soccer works as well as it does. It's a stupid-fun arcade-style video game that's unique enough to work.

But what if I were to tell you that you'd be able to use the Batmobile in the game? That's no lie, my friends. That is a reality. Check out the video announcement below!

"Unleash your own one-car reign of terror in Rocket League with the official Batmobile Battle-Car from the upcoming blockbuster mega-film, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice!
Also included: Three exclusive Antenna flags to pledge your allegiance to the World's Finest trio of Batman, Superman, or Wonder Woman."

Jesse Eisenberg Asks Comic Book Fans Who Would Win in a Fight

It's an argument we've all had as kids. We've seen the fight in the comic books, we've seen it in some animated versions of the comics, and very soon, we'll be seeing it in WB's big budget live-action film.

Who would win in a fight? Batman or Superman?

Actor Jesse Eisenberg, who plays Lex Luthor in the film, went to Midtown Comics in New York to ask that very question. The results are actually pretty entertaining.

Check it out below!

MINI-TORIAL

Is the JUSTICE LEAGUE Film in Trouble or Isn't It?

Man, what a rollercoaster it has been for DC fans! MAN OF STEEL was a controversial enough film as it is, but this whole shared universe seems to be on a whole different level. First of all you have all the online hate for the upcoming DCEU that would exist no matter how good the films are, you add in the doubt from existing fans based on the current marketing of BATMAN v SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE, and you top it off with rumors of studio not having faith in their own project, and you have a stew of uncertainty that doesn't really do anyone any good. 

I want to take a moment to focus on that very last point. For those of you who somehow don't know, there was a video from HitFix that ran a couple weeks back. In that video, Drew McWeeny said the following about what WB thinks about BATMAN v SUPERMAN.

“Warner is a little bit worried. This movie is starting to scare them. It's scaring them because they're showing it to people now, people are actually laying eyes on the film now, and the response has not been what I think they wanted. If I were going to lay a bet on how it may happen, SUICIDE SQUAD, they'll go all-in on. They'll push all their chips in on that and I think SUIDCIDE SQUAD’s going to be a hit for them. I think WONDER WOMAN will be finished the way they're working on it right now and they'll release it. I would be surprised if JUSTICE LEAGUE starts shooting when they say it's going to, and I would be equally surprised if Zack Snyder directed it.”

McWeeny went on to speculate what he believes what will happen with the DCEU going forward.

“My guess is what’s going to happen is based on what I’m hearing…is JUSTICE LEAGUE is going to get moved back and that Ben Affleck Batman movie, that’s what’s going to end up in that spot. My guess is they’re going to throw whatever money it takes at Ben Affleck to make that Batman film happen sooner rather than later. They’re going to need to rebuild again, they’re going to need to win people over, they’re going to need to lay some different groundwork. I don’t think this is going to be the springboard into the Justice League that they wanted it to be.”

Since the video ran, WB has gone and announced that JUSTICE LEAGUE will begin principal photography on April 11, 2016, a couple weeks after the theatrical release of BATMAN v SUPERMAN. Many were quick to shout McWeeny down and say how wrong he is, and that he's making a big deal about nothing. While, yes, I do agree that many of McWeeny's conclusions were a bit premature, I can't say they're entirely implausible.

Yes, JUSTICE LEAGUE is filming on April 11. That being said, I can't help but shake the feeling that this was a reactionary announcement from WB in an effort to curb any further doubt fans may be having about BATMAN v SUPERMAN and the rest of their cinematic universe.

Let me just put this out there right now. I do not think the film will fail. Not by any stretch of the imagination. Do I believe that WB is nervous? Yes. As our editor-in-chief Kellvin Chavez stated on this week's LOS FANBOYS PODCAST, his source over at WB also saw MAN OF STEEL and loved the film before it was released. While the movie made plenty of money, the reception wasn't as great as WB had hoped, and at the end of the day, the box office receipts weren't on par with expectations (though it was still a success). Kellvin's source also loves BATMAN v SUPERMAN, however, they are very hesitant to call it a home run, because audiences are unpredictable. What they perceive as great may not get the attention they believe it deserves. 

That is where this doubt is coming from. It's not from lack of faith in the film, but rather the lack of foresight of what will actually hit with audiences. Let's go back to that report from McWeeny. We do not doubt the fact that he's heard rumblings of uncertainty from WB. However, it is in WB's best interest to cover that doubt in smoke by announcing that they'll be going forward with JUSTICE LEAGUE as planned--even with Zack Snyder in the director's chair.

All that being said, I think it's worth pointing out that should BATMAN v SUPERMAN underperform--and by underperform, I'm talking sub $50 million opening--the studio could still pull the plug on JUSTICE LEAGUE. That isn't outside of the realm of possibility. In fact, I wouldn't be surprise if they had that emergency button on standby, just in case. After all, they've basically set production just far enough away so that they could see how the film performs before moving forward. But do I believe that plan will be set into motion? No. Canceling the production of JUSTICE LEAGUE would be monumentally expensive, and only if they believe the cost of producing it as-is will be greater than the cost to cancel will they go through with it. The numbers on BvS would have to be very low in order to push them to do that.

This is all a really roundabout way of me saying "No, I do not believe the JUSTICE LEAGUE film is in trouble." However, it is not completely out of the question that things won't change somewhere down the line. Everything you're hearing is just WB hedging their bets in case audiences don't cling onto the film like they hope they do. And why shouldn't they have some doubt? The film's cost over $400 million to make, and with marketing will likely need $800 million to $1 billion worldwide just to turn a profit. It's a high stakes situation indeed, and with all high stakes situations you can always expect a healthy dose of doubt.

What do you think? Do you believe the JUSTICE LEAGUE film is in trouble, and do you believe BATMAN v SUPERMAN will be the movie fans hope it'll be? Let us know your thoughts down below!

SOURCES: Rocket League, Omaze, HitFix, Entertainment Weekly

News, Videos, Column, DC, Film, LRM Exclusives Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Rocket League, Batmobile, Lex Luthor, Jesse Eisenberg, Justice League, Zack Snyder