I. AM. THE. GODDAMNED. BATMAN.
I am somewhat perturbed over the recent edict by Warner Bros. Pictures that the DC Cinematic Universe must be “joke free”. Sure, one can take this announcement with the proverbial grain of salt, but it somewhat diminishes the anticipation factor for future releases under the DCCU umbrella.
My recent observation behind the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe releases isn’t just the sheer power of merchandising but also ensuring that the finished product touches all bases when it comes to the those whose arses cram cinema seats. Take, for instance, Guardians Of The Galaxy. Yes, it’s set in deep space, but it has a jaunty air about it which has more in common with Japanese SF anime, where science is often thrown out the airlock for the sake of a cool confrontation.
Nevertheless, I still hold Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy with high esteem, and I credit Zack Snyder’s recent Man Of Steel for rekindling my interest into the Big Blue Boy-Scout. To be honest, both Superman and Batman have indelible images that would hold up well, whether the treatment be lighthearted or seriously bad-ass. A big-screen roll-out for Wonder Woman would also benefit from some rom-com twists to make her more relatable to Earth (non-fanboy) males.
On the other hand, who would suffer most from the DC Cinematic Universe’s thrust toward seriousness would be Plastic Man and Shazam. First of all, Plastic Man thrives best in his general milieu of Jim Carrey-esque unpredictability. On the other hand, what makes Shazam work is the fact that behind his buff red-clad, white-caped facade there is a ten-year-old boy vicariously living out his adult fantasies.
Apparently, the failure of the Green Lantern live-action film may be a triggering factor behind Warner Bros.’ executive decision to “de-joke-i-fy” the DCCU, but it also had to do with rushed FX and Ryan Reynolds’ rather crappy GL costume. Taking out humour from future DC big-screen adaptations could be a majorly bad move for WB, since it is humour that grounds even the most empowered superhumans.
For the fans’ sake, DC Cinematic Universe, don’t think that you yourselves are above a laugh or two.