Jan 14 2013

Justice League Movie Update 2

Published by at 12:23 am under DC Comics,Justice League Movie

Will Beall, the screenwriter for the upcoming Justice League movie, just had his first movie (Gangster Squad) out. It averaged 33% on Rotten Tomatoes (thanks to “lackluster writing and underdeveloped characters”) and disappointed at the box office. I think this bodes poorly for the JL movie.

 

To recap:

  • Writing the Justice League movie will likely be much more challenging than a relatively simple police shoot-em-up. (For example, several of the Justice League characters have their own movies in the works, so the creative coordination will be more complicated).
  • Introducing multiple characters simultaneously on a team would be challenging for a very good screenwriter.
  • It does not look like DC-WB has A-grade writing talent on this.
  • Several directors have passed on Beall’s outline/script for Justice League (which might suggest problems with the outline, or might be totally unrelated).
  • DC-WB’s had some notable problems with scheduling/delays before (e.g. Green Lantern’s production delays set back marketing efforts by months and contributed to the under-editing).
  • Avengers 2 is scheduled for release in May 2015. DC-WB’s under pressure to get JL out in time to face Avengers 2, but Justice League doesn’t even have a director yet. Hollywood studios sometimes rush out godawful movies before they’re ready because of pressure from competing films (e.g. Skyline vs. Battle: Los Angeles).

 

I’m lowering my Rotten Tomatoes prediction for Justice League from 30-45% to 25-35%.

 

PS: Speaking of box office results this week, the three top-performing theaters for Zero Dark Thirty (a movie about the hunt for Osama Bin Laden)  were within 5 miles of the CIA headquarters in Langley, VA.

56 responses so far

56 Responses to “Justice League Movie Update 2”

  1. Dr. Vo Spaderon 14 Jan 2013 at 2:14 pm

    “It does not look like DC-WB has A-grade writing talent on this.” – My lack of knowledge here causes a question: Do they have writers assigned to projects, or do they have to find writers willing to work on them?

    Either way, why wouldn’t they be jumping on top of this? I know there is competition will the Marvel movies, but it seems to me that seeing something like the Avengers would get people to want to see another superhero team movie. If they devoted a lot of time and skill to this, couldn’t it be a huge success?

  2. B. McKenzieon 14 Jan 2013 at 4:28 pm

    “Either way, why wouldn’t they be jumping on top of this?” First, a huge caveat–I’ve never worked in Hollywood and, God willing, I will never have to. The first thing that jumps out to this layman is that WB’s decision-making is chronically questionable (e.g. allotting more in marketing money to Constantine than Batman Begins and a larger budget to Green Lantern than any of the Batman movies, making a sequel for Green Lantern even after the first catastrophe, trusting Catwoman to a director that had only directed one movie before, trusting Justice League to a screenwriter that had only written one completed movie before, etc). In contrast, Marvel’s questionable decisions have generally involved minor franchises (e.g. green-lighting a sequel for Punisher) and some of these risky decisions have actually worked out quite well (e.g. First Class looked like it might be an X-Men cash grab but it was actually an excellent film).

    Second, I get the impression that a lot of WB executives don’t have faith in the DC lineup. I just can’t explain why else they’d still have Green Lantern’s writers working on the rest of their superhero movies. If I were a WB executive, I’d have given up on non-Nolan DC movies by this point… my private concern is that DC’s non-Batman characters don’t have very movie-friendly personalities or superpowers. (Or at least DC-WB’s writers so far have not figured out a way to make these characters work well over the last 15 years, except for maybe the Watchmen movie, which still wasn’t very successful financially).

    “If they devoted a lot of time and skill to this, couldn’t it be a huge success?” It COULD, but the likeliest outcome is another GL-style box-office and creative disaster. Except for Batman, none of these characters have had any financial success (and not all that much creative success) over the last 15 years. If I were an investor, I’d be crazy to stake millions on DC/WB suddenly figuring out how to tell interesting stories about superheroes besides Batman. Even beyond the storytelling, DC/WB has had chronic problems with things like blown deadlines, marketing disasters, extremely odd budget allocations, etc.

  3. Deepon 14 Jan 2013 at 5:37 pm

    “If I were a WB executive, I’d have given up on non-Nolan DC movies by this point… my private concern is that DC’s non-Batman characters don’t have very movie-friendly personalities or superpowers.”

    So I take it you’re not excited for the Man of Steel?

  4. ColdWindon 14 Jan 2013 at 7:52 pm

    I, personally am tremendously excited for the Man of Steel just b/c I’m a huge superman fan. That aside, while I haven’t seen gangster squad, from the commercials it looks pretty damn good. However, I can’t say I really feel comfortable with this Beal guy writing JL. I, among others will be quite disapointed if JL is not superb

  5. B. McKenzieon 15 Jan 2013 at 4:03 am

    “I take it you’re not excited for the Man of Steel?” Not particularly. In the Man of Steel trailers so far, Superman has come across as a lot more of an icon than an actual character making interesting/unusual decisions and saying interesting/distinctive things. I’m not seeing a lot of personality, charm, or interesting conflict. I’m not seeing much reason to hope it will be significantly better than Superman Returns. In particular, one element that suggests to me that the writing will be forgettable is how little the main character speaks in the trailer (only 20 seconds out of a 2:30 trailer). Good God, even Die Hard had more than that.





    Compare to Iron Man, where the trailer puts the main character’s personality and characterization front and center.


    UPDATE: I probably shouldn’t get hung up on the amount of character speech. Most of the non-sequel superhero movies with a single main character have had the main character speak 10-20% of the time in the trailer, and there doesn’t appear to be much correlation between the amount of character speech in the trailer and the quality of the movie. (For example, we have Superman Returns at 4%*, Captain America at 8%, Thor and Man of Steel at 10%, ASM at 12%, GL and Catwoman at 16%, and Spidey and Iron Man at 20%).

    *Superman/CK got six seconds to speak. While I’m still trying to not get hung up on the amount of character speech, giving Perry White (!) more words in the trailer than Superman is questionable.

  6. Nayanon 15 Jan 2013 at 4:26 am

    ”WB’s decision-making is
    chronically questionable (e.g.
    allotting more in marketing
    money to Constantine than
    Batman Begins and a larger
    budget to Green Lantern than
    any of the Batman movies.”

    I think that’s because of the time gap between the movies. Batman Begins and TDK were made in 2005 and 2008 respectively whereas GL was made in 2011. So the value of money decreased during that gap. But still quality of GL did not justify its huge budget.

  7. B. McKenzieon 15 Jan 2013 at 6:23 am

    Hmm. Granted, their budgets were pretty close ($192 million in 2011 dollars for Dark Knight and $200 million for Green Lantern). First, I think it was unsound to spend that much on Green Lantern (an unproven franchise and the outline/script was not remotely as promising as Iron Man). However, then there’s the question of where the hell did that money go? The special effects were hideous and that was even after they spent an extra $9 million at the last minute to redo Green Lantern’s CGI suit.

  8. Deepon 15 Jan 2013 at 10:52 am

    One thing I’m getting from the Man of Steel trailers is that Superman seems constantly depressed. Hell, in one scene he even has the depression beard. Not sure if i like that.

  9. Silverfishon 15 Jan 2013 at 11:05 am

    I doubt Man of Steel will be that good. If anything, it just looks like we will be watching Superman complain about unfortunate it is being superpowered. As B. Mac said, the character development in the trailer is almost nonexistent, especially when he is an adult. This might be a small thing, but I will be interested in finding out how they justify him wearing a bright costume and cape. If they are trying to make Superman more gritty/realistic, then a red and blue unitard probably isn’t the best way to go.

  10. Scarecrowon 15 Jan 2013 at 11:32 am

    “If they are trying to make Superman more gritty/realistic, then a red and blue unitard probably isn’t the best way to go.”

    The Amazing Spiderman pulled it off.

    Not that I have high hopes of Man Of Steel, but you never know. You can always be surprised. :)

  11. B. McKenzieon 16 Jan 2013 at 2:40 am

    “If anything, it just looks like we will be watching Superman complain about unfortunate it is being superpowered.” I had a similar concern, though at least The Incredibles successfully avoided this problem. In most cases, Superpowers with a Cost present an obstacle to what the characters want with regards to other people (e.g. Rogue and the Thing have huge romantic obstacles, Mystique and Beast look like freaks, Bruce Banner and Dr. Manhattan endanger loved ones, Leach’s and Wolverine’s and Neo’s abilities draw unwanted attention from outside forces, etc).

    I think The Incredibles and perhaps Sylar took this to the next level by using superpowers to create internal obstacles–e.g. the main problem for Dash and Bob (and maybe Sylar) is that they have high self-expectations that they cannot fulfill without creating conflict with others. I think that was a lot more interesting than most versions of “I want to fit in with everybody else but can’t!” or Jekyll-and-Hyde normal-vs-psycho split personalities.

  12. B. McKenzieon 16 Jan 2013 at 3:27 am

    “If they are trying to make Superman more gritty/realistic, then a red and blue unitard probably isn’t the best way to go.” If the writing is good enough, I can get past the costume. I don’t think it’ll be a Hector Hammond or The Thing situation where characters look so bad (or so badly CGIed/constructed) that it seriously distracts from their scenes. The costume wasn’t one of the five biggest problems with Superman Returns*.

    On the issue of gritty vs. bright costumes: based on what I can see from the trailer, it looks like the costume is darker than what they’ve done in the past (e.g. the red is more like an American flag than a fire truck). They’ve also cut the red underwear and bright yellow belt and have apparently added a cup guard or two.
    Superman Costume Timeline

    *If I could have changed only 5 things:
    –Clark/Superman needs an interesting and likable personality (a recurring problem for WB/DC characters–e.g. GL and Catwoman). Start by cutting his creepiness/deadbeat dad angle and maybe making him a foil to Lois (it worked well in Lois & Clark).
    –Recast Superman/CK & Lois Lane
    –Give Lois more of a role besides damsel-in-distress (e.g. make her a non-idiotic journalist).
    –Either give Lex Luthor superpowers, supplement Lex with a second supervillain, or replace Lex Luthor altogether. For example, Amazo has an interesting conflict triangle with Lex and the Justice League and JL Unlimited and he has more mental/moral depth than most Superman villains.
    –Work in more mistakes and unusual decisions for Superman, BUT without unduly compromising his likability. For example, maybe he makes some notable sacrifice vis-a-vis Lois Lane (e.g. blessing the relationship between Lois and her new guy even though he very badly wants to be with Lois).
    Bonus #6: Cut Superman’s kid? I think he limits what the writers can do with the relationship between Lois and Clark without making Clark a deadbeat.

  13. Dr. Vo Spaderon 16 Jan 2013 at 10:25 am

    I can’t recall…was a Superman’s child ever in the comics?

  14. BMon 16 Jan 2013 at 4:13 pm

    Jon Kent made an appearance in an Elseworlds story, but I can’t think of any children of Superman in the main DC continuity. He had an adopted son in 2006 (Chris Kent).

  15. Ur mumon 20 Jan 2013 at 9:23 am

    Instead of Superman bashing be a little constructive, JL might be doom, Superman is clearly not a character you like! You sound like an Iron man fan, good for you but keep your crap to you

  16. Silverfishon 20 Jan 2013 at 9:59 am

    Ur mum, you can calm down. B. McKenzie is entitled to his own opinions on the Superman movie, or anything else for that matter. Instead of just telling him that he “talks a lot of shit”, perhaps you could say why you disagree with him if you feel he is just “Superman bashing”.

  17. B. McKenzieon 20 Jan 2013 at 5:29 pm

    “Instead of Superman bashing, be a little constructive…” I talked about what I would have done differently with the Man of Steel trailer–give Superman a more engaging personality, make the conflict(s) more interesting, and be more distinctive/charming.

    “You sound like an Iron Man fan…” I very much liked the Iron Man movies, as well as much of Lois & Clark and the first Superman movie (1978). But, more than either Iron Man or Superman, I’m a fan of great movies, and the evidence here hasn’t been very encouraging for DC/WB. DC/WB’s non-Nolan movies have averaged 37% on Rotten Tomatoes over the last five years. This isn’t the 1990s anymore–superhero fans and movie-makers don’t have to settle for crappy superhero movies. Except for Nolan and his crew, I don’t think most of DC-WB’s people have caught onto that yet. In particular, they’ve had a terrible amount of difficulty giving characters likable and memorable personalities–e.g. Green Lantern, Catwoman, Jonah Hex, Constantine, and Superman Returns.

    “keep your crap to you”… And lose my publishing advance? Screw that!

  18. Kirbyon 20 Jan 2013 at 5:55 pm

    B. Mac is being constructive. He just laid out a short list of changes he would make to the movie to make it a better watch. He’s also noting that Iron Man’s been doing better with likable characterization in the movies than Superman has in this movie. That’s calling out DC’s movie writers, not Superman himself.

  19. writingninjaon 20 Jan 2013 at 9:41 pm

    I don’t like DC movies. I grew up watching the DC cartoons. Loved them to death!
    But as an adult, I find I prefer the Marvel movies more, especially recently. I love more conflict than: The girlfriend got kidnapped, my significant other hates me, I ruined my relationship, I slept around, dead-not dead-dead-not, and of course everyone in society hates me.
    Granted there are some themes like that in Marvel movies, but it isn’t the sole focus. At least not that I can remember.

    I’m not excited for Superman nor Justice league. (Iron man though, I cant wait.)

  20. Nayanon 21 Jan 2013 at 12:43 am

    ” I love more conflict than:
    The girlfriend got kidnapped, my significant other hates me, I ruined my relationship, I slept
    around, dead-not dead-dead-not, and of course everyone in society hates me.”

    But in Marvel movies girlfriends get kidnapped too. In each of the first three Spiderman movies, MJ gets kidnapped. That was becoming redundant.

  21. Elecon 21 Jan 2013 at 12:54 am

    In some DC movies, however, (I don’t want to sound like a marvel-basher because I love marvel movies much more than 95% of DC ones) such as Batman, (the new trio) I can’t really recall many cases of Bruce Wayne being hated by society, or his significant other being kidnapped, at least not to the extent of MJ in Spiderman. Correct me if I wrong, because it has been a while since I saw the Batman movies.

  22. Nayanon 21 Jan 2013 at 2:28 am

    @Elec
    Rachel gets kidnapped by Joker in TDK. But that was extremely important to the plot. But MJ gets kidnapped just for the sake of getting kidnapped. Just to give her some screen time. But those kidnappings made her a perfect example of damsel in distress.

  23. B. McKenzieon 21 Jan 2013 at 6:49 am

    Alternately, if (virtually) everybody in society must hate the main characters, at least make the opposition stem from some interesting decision. For example, in Incredibles, Bob saved someone who wanted to die and then Bob got sued into oblivion, which I think is far more interesting than another allegory on racism which doesn’t actually raise any interesting questions and inexplicably feels like it was made during the Jim Crow era. (Well, except for First Class, which actually was set during JC).

  24. Wilon 23 Jan 2013 at 12:17 pm

    Sometimes it feels like DC thinks that their own characters are campy, and hence why they have such trouble making good movies. Even though Batman has had great success, it has also had some serious flops. (Batman & Robin)

    The irony is that their animated movies turn out way better than Marvel’s movies. Don’t quote me on that though, because I haven’t been able to watch the Marvel movies. That’s just what I hear from the general populace.

    I’m still wanting to see Green Lantern but it’s not available for streaming yet. I know it will be bad, but I need to see for myself just how bad it is.

  25. writingninjaon 23 Jan 2013 at 1:27 pm

    I should toss in there that I really didn’t like the spiderman movies. I haven’t seen the newest one so I can’t say much about that.

    With Batman (I’m thinking of last three movies), he was hated by society. The Bruce image wasn’t, sure, but I don’t think he cared what his millionaire image had. At the end of the 2nd movie, they decided to make batman take blame for killing Harvey. Which leads to the ridiculous police chases in the third movie. No the movies weren’t terrible, some of them were great, but I wish they did more than just “BTW I hate you.”

    I’m not saying everyone has to be hated or loved. On the flip side you have Iron Man who is loved by society but not that well liked among his peers. But the writers took that and turned it into more conflicts and made it more a part of Tony. Kinda like the Steve and Tony clash in Avengers. Tony was purposely doing things to set Steve off.

    I think for Batman, it felt more like an emo angst teen hate by everyone. I should Point out that I love Batman and he is one of my favorite superheros. I just didn’t like how he was portrayed in the last 2 movies.

  26. Nayanon 23 Jan 2013 at 8:26 pm

    @Wil
    Batman & Robin was not a seriously flop film. It was average in box office earning 238 million dollars against a production budget of 140 million. But it was seriously bad film.

  27. B. McKenzieon 24 Jan 2013 at 12:44 am

    “I think for Batman, it felt more like an emo angst teen hate by everyone.” I have a similar reaction to many X-Men stories–the humans in the X-Men universe come across as cartoonish more often than not, I think. It probably would have been a lot more believable in 1963. Alternately, I think it’d help if the movies treated unsympathetic humans with as much empathy as Homeland and The Wire treated terrorists and gang members.

    As for Dark Knight, I think the concept of a character sacrificing himself by falsely accepting blame in order to advance a larger goal is promising. (If you’re into classic story structures, there’s also a parallel with many Greco-Roman heroes in that the hero is isolated from society but eventually returns to a position of esteem. The Incredibles used a similar element). The execution could probably have been a bit smoother, though, especially in DK Rises — e.g. Gordon’s speech getting intercepted by Bane was contrived and had virtually no effect on the plot. I think it would have been sharper to either use that incident to develop characters, increase conflicts (e.g. do something with the public losing faith in Gordon and/or Batman), or cut the incident altogether.

    “Batman & Robin was not a seriously flop film.” It wasn’t the worst financial disaster of all time*, but theaters take about half of the ticket sales, so it probably lost money for the studio.

    *I think GL is a serious contender on that front. A movie which only made $220 million in worldwide ticket sales against a $300 million budget on production & marketing is a huge tax writeoff.

  28. B. McKenzieon 24 Jan 2013 at 12:50 am

    “I’m still wanting to see Green Lantern but it’s not available for streaming yet. I know it will be bad, but I need to see for myself just how bad it is.” If you can make it through the movie in one sitting, you’re a tougher man than I am. In terms of replay value, I’d go with the Taiwanese Congress > Catwoman > jet engine > Green Lantern.

  29. Nayanon 24 Jan 2013 at 1:42 am

    For me, TDK is the greatest superhero film ever. It’s not easy to make a film completely plothole free* and unnecessary scene free. Many say that the scene of Batman capturing Lau was not required. But I think in a superhero film some action scenes are necessary. If most of the action scenes like the first fight scene were removed, then the film would have ended under 1 hr.

    *Speaking of plotholes, I still dont understand how Edward Norton managed to stay alive after shooting himself in the mouth.

  30. Nayanon 24 Jan 2013 at 6:50 am

    I was talking about the last scene of Fight Club.

  31. Anonymouson 24 Jan 2013 at 10:09 am

    @Nayan,

    Great point, about the action scenes in superhero movies. I’d never though of that. And for the record – Chuck Norris talks about Fight Club.

  32. Dr. Vo Spaderon 24 Jan 2013 at 10:48 am

    ^

  33. Dr. Vo Spaderon 26 Jan 2013 at 10:07 pm

    Ant Man, Dr. Strange, and Guardians of the Galaxy. Wow. Of all the Marvel characters to make films from, I did not see these coming. (Although, most of the major ones have already been used.)

    X-Men: Days of Future Past is going to be centered around time travel. I just read that it will include Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Anna Paquin, Shawn Ashmore, Ellen Page (Kitty Pryde) and Hugh Jackman in their roles from the original X-men films. First off, I like this but I’m a little bit concerned about the number of characters. I do like Bryan Singer as the director though, and I think he can pull it off. Unrelatedly, I really like James McAvoy as Xaiver.

    Spiderman has a universe of his own. I think it’s going to be a trilogy that uses a lot of the comic book characters. I’m excited for these.

    For DC I found Flash and Wonderwoman, along with the obvious Man of Steel and Green Lantern. From what I read, they’re keeping the Ryan Renolds mistake for their Justice League cast. Hopefully they’ll pretend like it never happened.

    I think Marvel has the Superhero Movie market covered. Looking at everything that they have planned, DC/WB cranking out what they can makes a little more sense.

  34. B. McKenzieon 26 Jan 2013 at 11:25 pm

    “From what I read, they’re keeping the Ryan Reynolds mistake for their Justice League cast. Hopefully they’ll pretend like it never happened.” I’m more pessimistic.
    –Greg Berlanti (a producer/screenwriter for Green Lantern) has been tapped to direct The Flash.
    –Michael Goldenberg (a GL screenwriter) is now working on Wonder Woman.
    –Michael Green (a GL screenwriter) is now working on The Flash.
    –Marc Guggenheim (a GL screenwriter) is now an executive producer for WB’s Arrow.

    So… Warner Bros. has tapped all 4 of GL’s credited writers for at least one other superhero project, and they’re bringing back Ryan Reynolds for the sequel. I’m very poorly-placed to assess WB’s thinking on this, but from the outside, they don’t look particularly alarmed by how GL turned out.

  35. Nayanon 27 Jan 2013 at 1:08 am

    Hugh Jackman will play the role of Wolverine for the seventh time in ‘Days of Future Past’. Is that some kind of record in terms of an actor portraying the same character for the highest number of times?

  36. B. McKenzieon 27 Jan 2013 at 1:18 am

    I think it would probably be a record among live-action superhero movies.* However, Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce co-starred as Sherlock Holmes and Watson 14 times. Johnny Weissmuller did 12 Tarzan movies and 13 Jungle Jim movies. Christopher Lee played Dracula 9 times. Sean Connery did 7 Bond movies and Bernard Lee played M in 11 and Desmond Llewelyn played Q in 17 (!).

    *If we’re counting cartoon voice appearances, Mark Hamill voiced the Joker in two movies and six television series. Including the video games, I think he voiced Joker from 1992-2011.

  37. Nayanon 01 Feb 2013 at 10:02 pm

    I did not understand how the deal between a movie theatre and a movie studio works. But after reading some articles, I think I undestand a few things now.
    Generally, a movie studio takes about 80% of the ticket sales in the first week but it decreases in the following weeks. By the 3rd week the it becomes 50-50. So, a theatre makes much profit if a blockbuster like Titanic or Avatar happens. Generally, the real money for a theatre lies in snack sales (that is why snack price in theatres is so high). Plus studios pay the theatres to show trailers.

  38. E Cedricon 04 Apr 2013 at 7:55 am

    On these lines, anyone out there have some suggestions how to get an adaption script into the proper hands of the studio that owns the rights to said adapted characters?

    I have been working my proverbial buttocks off for the last several months and have a script, ready to go, that is for one of a certain major superhero/comics/studios’ plans for a Phase 3 film – solo character – …..it is MARVELous and there is something very very STRANGE about my script.

    I truly have a script that I know is logarithmically better than anything out there that could be done with the solo character, messes seemlessly with the established Universe of the prior films and Universe and only needs one single shot at the right person reading it.

    I know that if the right person read it, it would be greenlit (this is not arrogance or over-confidence – sincerely) – so PLEASE, any suggestions here would be nothing but helpful!

    -E

  39. E Cedricon 04 Apr 2013 at 7:57 am

    @Nayan –

    I believe Roger Moore played Bond in seven films, not a pure superhero film, but a nice counter to Jackman’s Wolverine.

  40. Dr. Vo Spaderon 04 Apr 2013 at 9:29 am

    Scrolling down, I noticed the pictures of different Superman outfits. I really like what this upcoming videogame has done with it. His “S” symbol meets the cape. Just a note.

  41. B. McKenzieon 04 Apr 2013 at 8:44 pm

    I think the least unrealistic way would be to get a job or internship with Marvel Studios. Hollywood internships tend to be very competitive and I can’t pretend that will be easy. Film school would also be an option. I’ve heard of several screenwriters having success that way.

    Another option would be selling several million copies and/or landing an agent who has had success with movie deals.



    “I know that if the right person read it, it would be greenlit (this is not arrogance or over-confidence – sincerely) – so PLEASE, any suggestions here would be nothing but helpful!” Are you a bestselling author or otherwise an acclaimed storyteller? If you announced you were retiring from writing, would thousands of people beg you to reconsider? Are you already earning $100,000+ as a writer? If not, isn’t it a bit bold to assume your writing is already so good that it will easily convince a Hollywood executive to bet $30+ million on it?

    If you’re not already a professional writer, I’d recommend practicing heavily. Again, jobs and internships will help give you the opportunity to practice.



    If you have sold millions of copies, I apologize for my misplaced skepticism.



    If I may ask…if you ever had the opportunity to spend 15-30 seconds with a Hollywood mogul, what would your elevator pitch be to convince the mogul that your story was worth $30+ million?

  42. E Cedricon 05 Apr 2013 at 10:29 am

    @ B Mac

    Yes, your skeptism is very misplaced.

    I live in Santa Barbara and have years of professional writing under my belt. Also, I do have friends in the industry, and not just bit players and wannabes.

    So before you just assume my work is in the bottom echelons like the majority of dreamers, let me address your snark head on:

    I came here to get insight, not bitter snark and jealousy, which is what reeks through your post through tone and verbiage. This is not a fan boy talking here, this is a developed and matured writer and screenwriter peaking to you.

    It happens that Marvel is incredibly difficult to get counsel with, even more than typical studios. As for elevator pitch and all those terms you throw around, they are coming from the voice of those not familiar with the reality of LA, Hollywood and entering into the ‘biz.

    What I am looking for is insight SPECIFICALLY on how to navigate the very secured and unmapped waters of gaining entry into the hallowed chambers of a Marvel executive/producer who would understand the level of professionalism and work that this script was developed with.

  43. Dr. Vo Spaderon 05 Apr 2013 at 11:56 am

    Lol.

  44. Dr. Vo Spaderon 05 Apr 2013 at 12:06 pm

    And I think there’s already a Dr. Strange script in the works. Bit if you’re looking for tips, try more conversation less dick.

  45. B. McKenzieon 06 Apr 2013 at 12:29 am

    Best of luck with your writing career, EC.

  46. Nayanon 09 Jun 2013 at 1:48 am

    Who is going to play Batman in Justice League movie? I will find it hard to accept anyone other than Christian Bale as Batman. But I don’t think Bale will act in this movie.

  47. B. McKenzieon 09 Jun 2013 at 10:46 am

    I don’t know if WB has announced who will be playing Batman yet. Or who will be directing it. On top of rumors that WB has scrapped Will Beall’s script because it was terrible, it sounds to me like this train is liable to derail well before it reaches the station.

  48. Nayanon 10 Jun 2013 at 8:52 pm

    Some actors blend with some characters that they become the mirror images of the characters. Christian Bale as Batman, Robert Downey as Iron Man and Sherlock Holmds, Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow.

    Talking about WB/DC, I think they lack planning. Marvel always had a plan of making Avengers. So they first made the origin movies of the superheroes in such a way that overall plot leads to Avengers. But WB/DC had no intention to make Justice League at first. It’s after the Success of Avengers, they wanted to make Justice League.

  49. B. McKenzieon 11 Jun 2013 at 1:09 am

    I think it’d be a lot easier to replace Robert Downey Jr. as Sherlock Holmes than as Tony Stark. I would argue he’s not even the best guy playing Sherlock Holmes right now (which I think is BBC’s Holmes). I agree that replacing him as Tony Stark would be helluva challenging, though. It takes a hell of a lot of personal charm to keep Tony Stark likable despite his many ass moments. Also, turning a heretofore unknown superhero into a $2 billion juggernaut speaks well of both Downey, the creative team, and secondarily the marketers.

    “Talking about WB/DC, I think they lack planning.” Hmm. I agree… If they had more, umm, ability to make good superhero movies (Nolan’s team excepted), I think that planning out Justice League would not be as challenging as it has been. If they had had even two successful franchises going into this (e.g. Batman + Superman), I think they could keep things as simple as adding 2 prospects for future movies (e.g. Green Arrow, Black Canary, maybe Booster Gold*, Flash, Captain Atom, etc) and some major threat to bring them together (John Dee comes to mind, because his mental/dream powers scale very well against protagonists regardless of power level, and if Nolan is hypothetically helming the movie, his financial and creative success on Inception is highly encouraging. I’d suggest losing the Skeletor look, though).

    *Caveat: I’m 100% certain a good writer could make him work without turning him into an ass. WB… risky. I’d also pass on GL for this reason.

    Encouraging points:

    1) If a large-budget superhero movie clears 70% on Rotten Tomatoes, substantial financial success is virtually certain. Out of 18 big-budget movies clearing 70%, there was only one box office disappointment (Superman Returns) and one modest success (First Class, if you consider $160 million to be a big budget in 2011).

    2) We’ve had some decidedly unexceptional superhero movies clear 70%. For example, Captain America was very well executed and fun, but not very ambitious. (E.g. think about how much less energy and risk were put into the Red Skull than TDK’s Joker).

    3) A quarter of the team (Batman) has had substantial recent success, the TV version of Green Arrow is actually a sort of vaguely tolerable version of Green Lantern, Booster Gold is remotely similar to Tony Stark, and Captain Atom is vaguely similar to Captain America. In terms of Hollywood comparables, you could do worse, and DC certainly has (e.g. anyone who staked $300 million on Green Lantern).

    Discouraging points:

    1) If Nolan isn’t available, WB’s track record with superhero movies over the last 15 years is exceedingly grim. It is very likely the movie will be a creative and/or financial failure.

  50. Elecon 11 Jun 2013 at 2:07 am

    “This is not a fan boy talking here, this is a developed and matured writer and screenwriter peaking to you.”

    Pardon me, but for a “developed and matured writer and screenwriter” it seems a bit of a letdown/giveaway for you to spell ‘speaking’ as “peaking.”

    :)

  51. Elecon 11 Jun 2013 at 2:07 am

    Got your back, B. Mac.

  52. B. McKenzieon 12 Jun 2013 at 7:02 am

    Thanks. My own WTF there was when he said he was friends with some Hollywood professionals that were not “bit players.” My guess is that “friends with” means “have spoken with once” — otherwise the friends would be better sources of Hollywood advice/assistance than I am. Among other things, any professional working at a major studio surely has at least one coworker that has worked with Marvel Studios before. “Hey, could you ask your coworker if he could either put me in contact with someone at Marvel or pass along my script?” is a pretty modest request.

    If I could be blunt, any friend that would not be willing to speak to a coworker on your behalf is either not a friend or has deep reservations about the quality of your work.

  53. Nayanon 13 Jun 2013 at 3:01 am

    “Instead of Superman bashing be a little constructive, JL might be doom, Superman is clearly not a character you like! You sound like an Iron man fan, good for you but keep your crap to you.”

    This is a six month old comment by someone named ‘Ur mum’. I just want to say that B. Mac sounds more like a Spider-Man fan. In his articles, B. Mac writes about relatability of the characters as the most important points. I think Spider-Man is the most relatable superhero as he faces common problems of life such as getting late for school/work, financial troubles, relationship troubles etc. Most of us has faced these problems.

  54. B. McKenzieon 13 Jun 2013 at 6:25 am

    “In his articles, B. Mac writes about relatability of the characters as the most important points.” While relatability can be helpful (and has been for Spider-Man), I think personality and the ability to make memorable/unusual choices is more important. For example, Batman, Iron Man, Wolverine have a lot more personality than demographic relatability, and it generally works out well for them. (Alternately, outside of superheroes, see James Bond, Sherlock Holmes, and Captain Kirk).

    In my own writing, my two main characters are an IRS agent and a mutant alligator. I guess the IRS agent might be somewhat relatable on a personality level to some readers, but I think quite a lot of Americans despise the IRS.

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