With many people continuing to reel from the release of the third “Avengers: Age of Ultron” film trailer, which Marvel Studios dropped Wednesday, a day early, DC Comics’ coming foray into a franchised cinematic universe seems like a distant dream. Still, that hasn’t stopped the CEO of Warner Bros. from clearly implying DC is going to do it better than does Marvel.
Kevin Tsujihara recently appeared confident the public will not be suffering from superhero fatigue by 2016 when his company launches its DC movie universe with “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.” Despite its clunky title, this film promises to introduce a bevy of classic characters such as Batman (Ben Affleck), Aquaman (Jason Momoa), Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg), Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) and others. The studio’s hope is that DC will be able to use this movie as a jumping-off point for stand-alone movies such as “Aquaman,” “Flash,” “Suicide Squad” and “The Justice League” — eventually yielding it its own cinematic universe.
When the Warner Bros. CEO was asked how he plans to make the DC cinematic universe more than just a mirror image of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, or MCU, Tsujihara threw some shade at the competition.
“The worlds of DC are very different,” he told the crowd at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media Telecom Conference Wednesday, according to Variety. “They’re steeped in realism, and they’re a little bit edgier than Marvel’s movies.”
It’s no secret DC and Marvel have had a comic-book rivalry for decades. As ComingSoon noted, however, it has always been a sort of polite and respectful rivalry, with those in the DC camp often referring to those in the Marvel camp as the “distinguished competition.” Now that both superhero giants are stepping into the higher-stakes, higher-budget film arena in a big way, though, the gloves are coming off.
Tsujihara’s words actually constitute the second shot fired in the battle between Marvel and DC movies as of late. In a recent interview with MTV News, actor Samuel L. Jackson, who plays Nick Fury in the MCU, said Marvel has discovered a way to get the public on board in a way that has eluded DC over the years.
“I think Marvel has figured out a way to make those movies accessible to the public that DC hasn’t,” he said. “I don’t know what that is. I don’t know why you can’t get Batman and Superman people as juiced up to be a part of that.”
While the words aren’t exactly harsh between the two camps at the moment, it’s clear that a box-office rivalry is brewing. Beginning next year, Marvel’s Phase 3 of film offerings will have direct competition in the superhero genre in the form of DC’s “Dawn of Justice” and the movies to follow.
Marvel or DC: Which side are you on? Tweet your allegiance to @TylerMcCarthy.