With Marvel currently holding the title of cinematic superhero heavyweights, it would appear that DC have some catching up to do. Whilst Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, and Zack Snyder’s revamp of Superman with this years Man Of Steel film have proved very successful for DC & Warner Bros. many people believe they are still some way behind Marvel in constantly producing quality superhero movies.
Since 1978, DC has largely made either Batman or Superman movies, with the likes of Green Lantern, Jonah Hex & the Catwoman spin-off all failing to ignite the crowds the same way that Marvel has done in a much smaller amount of time. I believe there are a few reasons for this, firstly that DC seem to make their movies with a much darker tone than the more family friendly Marvel movies, and secondly, the films creators seem to fail making good adaptations of the source material resulting in some fine but largely disjointed blockbusters.
While I have no doubt that DC do have a plan for their cinematic & television universes, it is a plan that so far remains unknown to the common movie fan. Whereas Marvel have at least let us in on a few secrets, we know nothing of DC’s plans past the 2015 team up of The World’s Finest.
Which brings me to todays feature, where I will share with you 3 films I believe that DC should look at making after 2015’s Batman Vs Superman.
The character of Diana Prince, aka Wonder Woman, has been a notoriously hard nut for DC to try to crack. Several attempts have been made, including a failed TV show and a famous pitch by one Joss Whedon which was swiftly rebuked by a DC exec who was likely kicking himself once he saw Avengers: Assemble. Wonder Woman is however, the only member of the DC holy trinity (the other two being Batman & Superman) that hasn’t yet received justice on the big screen, but really it wouldn’t be that hard. If Marvel can make us believe in a Norse God who obtains his powers from a hammer, then surely DC can have us believe in a goddess based on Greek mythology.
The New 52 relaunch is great place to start for anyone unfamiliar with DC’s long list of characters, and like the Marvel Ultimate’s line it features a fresh & modern take on its own respective universe. The following synopsis is from the first of Wonder Woman’s New 52 storylines: “Hippolyta, queen of the Amazons, has kept a secret from her daughter all her life – and when Wonder Woman learns who her father is, her life will shatter like brittle clay. The only one more shocked than Diana by this revelation? Bloodthirsty Hera – so why is her sinister daughter, Strife, so eager for the truth to be told?”
Olivia Wilde is perfect for the role of Wonder Woman, she certainly has the look and has a varied enough filmography to show that she has the range for this film. Having starred in big budget action films like Tron: Legacy & Cowboys & Aliens, to dramas such as People Like Us & House M.D. She can be a sensitive yet strong version of Wonder Woman, who is young enough to play the role for years to come and grow into a more confident & mature version of the character.
Yeah, yeah, I know what you’re all saying as one by one you all unfollow me on Twitter. We all know Aquaman is the butt of all the superhero related jokes on Family Guy & The Big Bang Theory, but bear with me and I’ll explain why Aquaman is actually an excellent character. Aquaman’s origins, like many characters, has changed a little over the years, but to put it simply he’s a founding member of the Justice League (which DC should bear in mind for the future), and the King of Atlantis. Aquaman, I’ll agree, is one character that it can be hard to take seriously but, done right, he can be an invaluable member of the DC cinematic universe. Also, who wouldn’t want to see Atlantis realised on the big screen, especially if someone like Alan Taylor (Thor: The Dark World) was on board as director, the sunken city could be beautifully realised. Not forgetting that Aquaman has powers that rival those of Superman & Wonder Woman, he deserves his own movie.
The New 52 (yeah, that again) is another great place to introduce audiences to the character. As with Wonder Woman, it updates the story of Aquaman into the modern age, providing a detailed back story and lets us in on the more ridiculous elements of the character. The storyline also pokes a little fun at Aquaman, and part of the story is about his struggle to prove himself in a world that doesn’t take him seriously.
Some people may consider Alex Pettyfer too young for the role, but with his look and his experience in both drama & action he should have no problem growing into the role, much like Chris Hemsworth has done with Thor. In fact the characters have more similarities than you may think, both are young & brash, both are as hard as nails with incredible powers & both have the burden of inheriting a throne they don’t deem themselves worthy of. Finding success in I Am Number Four & Magic Mike, Pettyfer is due a stand out role, and playing one of the founding members of the Justice League could be just the ticket.
The Trinity mini-series showcases the first meeting of DC’s holy trinity of Batman, Superman & Wonder Woman and is also a story that brings about the formation of the Justice League. With Batman & Superman already set to cross paths & more than likely come to blows in 2015, it makes sense for the power three to also come together at some point.
Trinity is a three-part miniseries written by Matt Wagner in 2003 and has our three heroes go up against a threat that they would not be able to cope with individually. In it, Ra’s al Ghul seeks to create anarchy across the globe by obliterating the earth’s orbiting satellites & thusly all communications, as well as earths oil supply. To achieve his goal he seeks the help of Bizzaro (a twisted version of Superman) & Artemis (an Amazon warrior with a grudge) who, like the trinity, form a villainous supergroup with destruction on their minds. It’s possible to retcon some of these characters too, or change some of them entirely, as people may still be too aware of Liam Neeson’s interpretation of Ra’s al Ghul, so the big bad could be changed to Lex Luthor perhaps or even an introduction to a Bat villain we haven’t yet seen on the big screen, such as Black Mask or Dr. Hugo Strange.
With the heroes already sorted I will instead focus here on who could play the three villains of the film. Wes Bentley is a man I’m sure was bandied around as a possible Superman, so who better to play the twisted mirror image of the big blue boy scout. Looking at him, he has the style to play a tortured Frankenstein like monster who can go toe to toe with Henry Cavill’s Superman.
Amanda Seyfried would be perfect as Artemis, and being only a year younger than Olivia Wilde she would have the potential to play the role over multiple films, that is if she doesn’t meet a grisly demise by the end of this film. Having started out in television, Seyfried has moved onto a whole other level starring in genre fare like Jennifer’s Body & Red Riding Hood to Lovelace & Les Miserables, her talent and strength in character are there for all to see.
Despite my thoughts on possibly deviating from the source material, I won’t ponder on who could play Black Mask or any other villain they wish to cast, but will instead focus on who could play a new version of Ra’s al Ghul instead. With that in mind I would have to go for Stephen Lang. Originally a stage actor, Lang’s first role was a TV movie back in 1981, he is of course now most famous for his role as Colonel Miles Quaritch in James Cameron’s Avatar. With age, experience and & formidable look on his side, Lang would be perfect for the part & would still be able to throw down with both Batman & Superman.
As Trinity is the first meeting between three of DC’s mightiest heroes, it gives us a chance to see them working together for the first time and furthers a film audiences relationship with the characters. It could also be used as a stepping off point into further adventures & the formation of the Justice League, as our heroes learn that not all threats can be dealt with singlehandedly. Whether DC plans to integrate their TV universe into the cinematic one remains to be seen, but if they did, that would also provide us with two more heroes in the form of Green Arrow & The Flash, and if DC do things right and take the time to develop their characters on-screen, we could see a turnaround in the battle for box office supremacy.
Let me know if you agree or disagree and feel free to make suggestions about who you feel is worthy of their own film.