Joss Whedon Gives Talks Why DC Struggles With Movies

Posted by G-Man (18920 posts) - - Show Bio
Joss Whedon is a smart guy.  DC does seem to be struggling in getting its characters out onto the big screen.  Whedon recently spoke on this topic.  Why does he think this is?
"Because, with that one big exception (Batman), DC's heroes are from a different era. They're from the era when they were creating gods.  And the thing that made [rival publisher] Marvel Comics extraordinary was that they created people. Their characters didn't living in mythical cities, they lived in New York. They absolutely were a part of the world. Peter Parker's character (Spider-Man) was a tortured adolescent.  DC's characters, like Wonder Woman and Superman and Green Lantern, were all very much removed from humanity. Batman was the only character they had who was so rooted in pain, that had that same gift that the Marvel characters had, which was that gift of humanity that we can relate to."

It does make some sense.  This is the reason I wonder how Thor will turn out.  Are DC's characters too mythical for live action?  Are they too much of a stretch for the public to accept in a 'real world' setting?  Do you think Whedon is on to something or just bitter that his Wonder Woman project didn't get off the ground?
"They didn't tell me to leave, but they showed me the door and how pretty it was. Would I like to touch the knob and maybe make it swing? I was dealing with them through [producer] Joel Silver who couldn't tell me what they wanted or anything else. I was completely in the dark. So I didn't know what it was that I wasn't giving them. I've moved on."

I think he may be on to something.  It's not impossible.  It will just take more work on the part of the filmmakers.

What do you think?

#1 Posted by speedlgt (2109 posts) - - Show Bio

This si just what I have said and thought several times....Batman for example is very easy superman is very hard! have we noticed that the "best" writers have written batman stories? its not just that there good its that Batman is a easy character to write everyone can relate....Look at watchmen its entrenched in the real world real humans real problems real sins its eazy to write and moreso easy for readers to relate to AND watchmen is the greatest comic of all time (89% of fans would say)  Why is it so hard to make a superman movie? cause hes a god? same for half of DC its just more work for eveyone writers and fans but can and should be done. This is very much why marvel has a easy time selling books and making movies

Marvel =Easy
DC=hard
now dont get ur tights all in a bunch I am not say good and bad just ones easer than the other both are great

#2 Posted by xerox_kitty (15762 posts) - - Show Bio

He has a good point.  It's not a new point, but it's a good one.  Like, if you ask people what they think of if you mention the Justice League, chances are it'll be the big blockbuster movie-style plots of the JLA... you don't think of Guy Gardner being knocked out by one punch in the old 80's sitcom-esque Justice League International.  


But DC keep doing strange things when creating TV shows.  Like how Birds of Prey couldn't use any other DC characters, and had to make a blurry reference to Batman because they couldn't actually use him.  If memory serves right, that was the case with Smallville for many years until they could bring in cameo appearances.  The only time I remember Marvel having problems like that resulted in the creation of Firestar to replace Human Torch in Spider-Man & His Amazing Friends.
#3 Posted by No_Name_ (12593 posts) - - Show Bio
xerox-kitty said:

But DC keep doing strange things when creating TV shows.  Like how Birds of Prey couldn't use any other DC characters, and had to make a blurry reference to Batman because they couldn't actually use him.  If memory serves right, that was the case with Smallville for many years until they could bring in cameo appearances. 
"
I've often wondered about this since Warner Brothers owns the rights to both companies. I really would love to know where the technicalities lie.
#4 Posted by oldmagic (5295 posts) - - Show Bio

Once they get the get go, they better satisfy the higher ups.

#5 Posted by Midnightist (10858 posts) - - Show Bio

I agree completely people want to be heroes they want to have something that makes them special and when they go to a movie they want to feel like "d@mn that could have been me" the more powerful the character the more the public won't like them because they can't be them. In most old stories about gods if you notice the gods are called all powerful but the descriptions of them aren't that far from what we would call a super hero at all and not even super heroes like Thor I mean likes guys like Spider-man or Daredevil and the difference with the mutants is that mutants are just regular people that by chance got an amazing gift that doubles as a curse because of it. Half of them don't won't it they hide they're scared of it these are reactions real people would have if they had powers. If you really take the time to think about it if you found out you were a super powered alien your first thought may not be I need some red tights and a cape.

#6 Posted by xerox_kitty (15762 posts) - - Show Bio
BatgirlBabs said:
I've often wondered about this since Warner Brothers owns the rights to both companies. I really would love to know where the technicalities lie.
My best guess is that they were trying to sell too many characters to different companies/producers at one time.  So then the characters were being contracted out, but the result was pretty poor quality telly.  I'm just hoping that with the majority of DC's film projects being put on hold, maybe they'll  be able to focus on quality instead of quantity.

Midnightist said:
I agree completely people want to be heroes they want to have something that makes them special and when they go to a movie they want to feel like "d@mn that could have been me" 
Very true.  Marvel hit the nail on the head with the X-Men... the idea that absolutely anybody could become a super hero or villain, purely because they were born as the next step in human evolution made hundreds of thousands of kids dream of having powers.  

It's not to say that DC are all about the 'God' heroes.  Kyle Rayner was just an everyday guy & that made him likeable (for the first few years).  They also have the fun smaller characters like Zatanna, Blue Beetle & Booster Gold who are a long way off from being Godly.
#7 Posted by Midnightist (10858 posts) - - Show Bio
xerox-kitty said:
"


Midnightist said:
I agree completely people want to be heroes they want to have something that makes them special and when they go to a movie they want to feel like "d@mn that could have been me" 
Very true.  Marvel hit the nail on the head with the X-Men... the idea that absolutely anybody could become a super hero or villain, purely because they were born as the next step in human evolution made hundreds of thousands of kids dream of having powers.  

It's not to say that DC are all about the 'God' heroes.  Kyle Rayner was just an everyday guy & that made him likeable (for the first few years).  They also have the fun smaller characters like Zatanna, Blue Beetle & Booster Gold who are a long way off from being Godly.
"
Thanks but I'm not sure bout those examples  Zatanna is one of the most powerful magicians in DC almost able to do anything she puts her mind to and is called on by other heroes for help with anything making her a deus ex machina basically meaning machine of god the new Blue Beetle  has some many powers and weapons he!! on cv he is listed as God/Eternal and Booster Gold has tech so far in the future his power is strong enough to rival allot of heroes and villains and travels through time and space and changes reality on a daily basis not trying to knoc you but it just seems like they are just as close to god like as many other heroes heck the GL have the power to make anything they want with their rings and do thing beyond reality and they have an army of them. Sorry now I'm rambling lol
#8 Posted by Isabella Swan (233 posts) - - Show Bio
G-Man said:
"
Joss Whedon is a smart guy.  DC does seem to be struggling in getting its characters out onto the big screen.  Whedon recently spoke on this topic.  Why does he think this is?
"Because, with that one big exception (Batman), DC's heroes are from a different era. They're from the era when they were creating gods.  And the thing that made [rival publisher] Marvel Comics extraordinary was that they created people. Their characters didn't living in mythical cities, they lived in New York. They absolutely were a part of the world. Peter Parker's character (Spider-Man) was a tortured adolescent.  DC's characters, like Wonder Woman and Superman and Green Lantern, were all very much removed from humanity. Batman was the only character they had who was so rooted in pain, that had that same gift that the Marvel characters had, which was that gift of humanity that we can relate to."

It does make some sense.  This is the reason I wonder how Thor will turn out.  Are DC's characters too mythical for live action?  Are they too much of a stretch for the public to accept in a 'real world' setting?  Do you think Whedon is on to something or just bitter that his Wonder Woman project didn't get off the ground?
"They didn't tell me to leave, but they showed me the door and how pretty it was. Would I like to touch the knob and maybe make it swing? I was dealing with them through [producer] Joel Silver who couldn't tell me what they wanted or anything else. I was completely in the dark. So I didn't know what it was that I wasn't giving them. I've moved on."

I think he may be on to something.  It's not impossible.  It will just take more work on the part of the filmmakers.

What do you think?

"
I think that although DC's characters arent very realistic, there are people out there who would pay to see a movie with them in it. We live in a day in age where fantasy is a very common thing. I don't think its always about relating to the characters, its about entertainment. I for one have no problem writing myself into something whether it be a mythical world or a common one. But DC's big problem is not making the movies entertaining enough or there effects are kinda bland. The Superman Returns movie sucked. The guy who played supes looked fake in the suit. Like they had to add additional muscle to the suit to make him look beefed up. I remember the old superman movies, the effects were stupid but Dean Cain and Christopher Reeves filled the suit out. They didnt look fake in it. Catwoman was an ok movie, but again the effects and how they portrayed the character was off.

Like I said I don't think its the real world setting thats the problem its how they write the movies and how they get the actors to perform. IF they could just get a decent script and some decent actors they would do fine.
#9 Posted by Vance Astro (91416 posts) - - Show Bio

Joss Whedon just said what I have been saying about DC all along.DC is TOO UNREALISTIC.

Moderator
#10 Posted by speedlgt (2109 posts) - - Show Bio

I think DC comics just proves that Imagination is dead when it comes to most readers

Thus Marvel makes an easier sale for fans.

#11 Posted by xerox_kitty (15762 posts) - - Show Bio
Midnightist said:
Thanks but I'm not sure bout those examples  Zatanna is one of the most powerful magicians in DC almost able to do anything she puts her mind to and is called on by other heroes for help with anything making her a deus ex machina basically meaning machine of god the new Blue Beetle  has some many powers and weapons he!! on cv he is listed as God/Eternal and Booster Gold has tech so far in the future his power is strong enough to rival allot of heroes and villains and travels through time and space and changes reality on a daily basis not trying to knoc you but it just seems like they are just as close to god like as many other heroes heck the GL have the power to make anything they want with their rings and do thing beyond reality and they have an army of them. Sorry now I'm rambling lol
I see what you're getting at, but that's taking the example waaaay too extremely.  After all, all super hero comics feature super powers.  If there was anyone like that in real life then they probably would be hailed as some sort of miracle ;)  What I was trying to say is that (I think that) characters like BB & BG are capable of all the usual 'Godly' heroics, but they're also very human, goofy, and fallible.  That made them more likeable... But because they aren't "flagship" like WW, GL, Bats or Supes then there'll never be seen in a decent film or programme.

And that's the problem with most comics (not just DC), is that they need to pimp the big logos to appeal to the masses and make money.  They're too caught up on the BIG characters, that they'll miss out on all the fun & goofy characters, or those who have human failings/characteristics.  DC does have 'little guy' type characters... just not as many as Marvel.  And what few of them are in the DCU are overshadowed by the JLA giants.
#12 Posted by Midnightist (10858 posts) - - Show Bio

I agree on that one ( I do take things to far tho lol)

#13 Posted by xerox_kitty (15762 posts) - - Show Bio
Midnightist said:
"I agree on that one ( I do take things to far tho lol)"
Oops, sorry!!  I guess we all do... it's all part of being comic geeks ;)
#14 Posted by Chaos Agent (2150 posts) - - Show Bio

So let me get this straight, the reason Warner/DC has problems is because their characters ain't relatable with the exception of Batman? seriously? Sorry but I think it's stupid.

Does anyone really relate to the fantastic four? wolverine? daredevil?

anyone who relates to Batman and/or Spider-man should just shoot himself between the eyes

#15 Posted by Slinger (7640 posts) - - Show Bio
Chaos Agent said:
"So let me get this straight, the reason Warner/DC has problems is because their characters ain't relatable with the exception of Batman? seriously? Sorry but I think it's stupid.

Does anyone really relate to the fantastic four? wolverine? daredevil?

anyone who relates to Batman and/or Spider-man should just shoot himself between the eyes"
That sounds idiotic.

I definitely see what Whedon means from my own (limited) experience with DC. It seems to me that with DC comics you get more stories about superheroes, and with Marvel you get stories about people with superpowers.
#16 Posted by Chaos Agent (2150 posts) - - Show Bio
Slinger said:
"Chaos Agent said:
"So let me get this straight, the reason Warner/DC has problems is because their characters ain't relatable with the exception of Batman? seriously? Sorry but I think it's stupid.

Does anyone really relate to the fantastic four? wolverine? daredevil?

anyone who relates to Batman and/or Spider-man should just shoot himself between the eyes"
That sounds idiotic.

I definitely see what Whedon means from my own (limited) experience with DC. It seems to me that with DC comics you get more stories about superheroes, and with Marvel you get stories about people with superpowers.
"
yeah guess what, it's a superhero movie. If I wanted to watch a realism movie I would go to see one based on a real story, anyone who enters a cinema wanting to see a superhero movie without expecting them from going away of reality obviously doesn't know what he is going to see or is just stupid
#17 Posted by MrMiracle77 (1659 posts) - - Show Bio

He's wrong.  The answer doesn't lie with DC.  It lies with Warner.

If DC wants to make a movie, they have to go through Warner.  This, in turn, means having to go through Warner's producers and other staff who often have absolutely no understanding of DC's characters or what comics are even about.  Ever hear Kevin Smith's diatribe on John Peters in "An Evening with Kevin Smith"?  Rent it sometime, or youtube it.  You'll start to see where the problem really lies.

Marvel has a huge advantage here: they can shop for studios.  They can set time limits on contracts.  They have a say on directors and casting.  And they can refuse the finished product if they don't like what they're seeing.  DC is fully at the mercy of Warner's bureaucracy. 

#18 Posted by Media_Master (2189 posts) - - Show Bio

more time is needed

#19 Posted by Slinger (7640 posts) - - Show Bio
MrMiracle77 said:
"He's wrong.  The answer doesn't lie with DC.  It lies with Warner.

If DC wants to make a movie, they have to go through Warner.  This, in turn, means having to go through Warner's producers and other staff who often have absolutely no understanding of DC's characters or what comics are even about.  Ever hear Kevin Smith's diatribe on John Peters in "An Evening with Kevin Smith"?  Rent it sometime, or youtube it.  You'll start to see where the problem really lies.

Marvel has a huge advantage here: they can shop for studios.  They can set time limits on contracts.  They have a say on directors and casting.  And they can refuse the finished product if they don't like what they're seeing.  DC is fully at the mercy of Warner's bureaucracy.  "
This is true.
#20 Posted by Teen Manatee (359 posts) - - Show Bio

Man, this guy really knows what he's talking about.

#21 Posted by Ms. Invisible (3292 posts) - - Show Bio

Echoing some of the posts here: 'tis true, DC must go through Warner Bros., whose speciality doesn't lie in comic-movies.


Re: realism.

It's a problem when writers forget the difference between gritty and realistic. Perhaps the most over-used example, but I'll use Spider-Man. At first, a full-time student with financial problems and he always managed to do the right things yet never got rewarded. I can relate to that; I am a full time student and sometimes money is an issue and I need to cut back on the things I enjoy. I've done things to help people and it's hard to accept when you realise you're not going to get a reward for doing something that's just "right". Your loss is someone else's gain. However, Peter is actually a very smart and driven person and there should be a chance he could make money elsewhere (like when he sets up the camera to take shots of Spider-Man, when he is Spider-Man himself).

I've said this before (and I'll say it again), but apparently, "realism" these days means the lowest denominator possible. You want the bottom of the barrel. Now in Spider-Man, the writers wanted to completely destroy Peter by killing off his whole support network. Ostensibly (word of the day, kids!), this is realism. I just want to point out that is not realism at all, it's just gritty, and this is really bad drama too. Like the kind of drama you find in Bold and the Beautiful, over-acting included. Seriously, who on this forum can put their hands up to this criteria: 

  • They have lost their loved ones
  • And their job
  • And their free will
  • And their money
  • And their friends

While this does speak true to people, in actual reality, it is a very small percentage of people. This kind of trend has definitely become a staple in comic book story-telling and I don't see the appeal of it.
#22 Posted by Savage_batman (344 posts) - - Show Bio
speedlgt
on Feb. 25, 2009

I think DC comics just proves that Imagination is dead when it comes to most readers

Thus Marvel makes an easier sale for fans.

Yeah ur right i think that readers have a lower capacitie for imagination latley

#23 Posted by unbreakableburr (76 posts) - - Show Bio

I have to agree. I know personally that the only DC characters I truly relate to are Batman, Wonder Woman, The Huntress and the Titans; I just can't connect to a lot of the characters. 

#24 Posted by DeadPool a.k.a Wade Wilson (979 posts) - - Show Bio

I Personally Think That DC Comics Is Crap........

#25 Posted by Zoom (14668 posts) - - Show Bio

Personally, I think the Flash and Superman are both "human" enough to make movies about.

I mean, look at Smallville.  7 or 8 seasons running about the character of Superman.  Godlike abilities?  Oh yeah.  Godlike personality?  Not so much.  Wally's the same way.

Ms. Invisible said:

"Re: realism.

It's a problem when writers forget the difference between gritty and realistic. Perhaps the most over-used example, but I'll use Spider-Man. At first, a full-time student with financial problems and he always managed to do the right things yet never got rewarded. I can relate to that; I am a full time student and sometimes money is an issue and I need to cut back on the things I enjoy. I've done things to help people and it's hard to accept when you realise you're not going to get a reward for doing something that's just "right". Your loss is someone else's gain. However, Peter is actually a very smart and driven person and there should be a chance he could make money elsewhere (like when he sets up the camera to take shots of Spider-Man, when he is Spider-Man himself).

I've said this before (and I'll say it again), but apparently, "realism" these days means the lowest denominator possible. You want the bottom of the barrel. Now in Spider-Man, the writers wanted to completely destroy Peter by killing off his whole support network. Ostensibly (word of the day, kids!), this is realism. I just want to point out that is not realism at all, it's just gritty, and this is really bad drama too. Like the kind of drama you find in Bold and the Beautiful, over-acting included. Seriously, who on this forum can put their hands up to this criteria: 

  • They have lost their loved ones
  • And their job
  • And their free will
  • And their money
  • And their friends

While this does speak true to people, in actual reality, it is a very small percentage of people. This kind of trend has definitely become a staple in comic book story-telling and I don't see the appeal of it."
Preach!

#26 Posted by speedlgt (2109 posts) - - Show Bio
DeadPool a.k.a Wade Wilson said:
"I Personally Think That DC Comics Is Crap........
"
well you my friend are an idiot......
#27 Posted by Hawk80 (351 posts) - - Show Bio

oook... so think about the same hipothetical adventure...
in Marvel version: the hero can lift 1ton, beat the villain (strong enought to lift 2tons), loses his job (or his loved one).
in DC version: the hero can lift 100ton, beat the villain (strong enought to lift 500ton), occasional drama time.

so... realism is a matter of tons? or... i don't know... is about how much the hero loses every time? about how much tragedy he can put in his life?

Stop! I got it! Definitely the tons...

(hope my english works enought ^_^ )

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