Superman is going to die! Don’t worry, he’ll be back, though not until next year. Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment are adapting The Death of Superman once again. This time, it’ll probably hew a little closer to the original comics, only with an updated Justice League roster. A new trailer came out today, it’s not looking bad at all. Here’s the trailer, courtesy of IGN.
Lex Luthor’s presence feels a little tacked on here (he really has nothing to do in this story), but the action on display is pretty exciting. It’s well-animated, and does a nice job of communicating just how dangerous Doomsday is. Watching him rip through members of the Justice League as though they were nothing really builds excitement for the climactic battle with Superman. Even though we all know exactly how it ends, it’ll still be cool to watch it play out in full motion. Especially when the animation looks this good.
The DC Animated movies have been hit and miss, but there’s still plenty of good in this series. Sure, The Killing Joke and Batman and Harley Quinn were tone deaf and shoddy, but Batman: Under the Red Hood, Justice League: Doom, and Batman: Gotham by Gaslight were all fantastic animated adaptations of some of DC’s best storylines. And besides, after Batman v. Superman, we can all use a reminder that this story can be done well. When it doesn’t have to share a movie with a bunch of Dark Knight Returns references.
Even better, they’re using these next two animated movies to go into the Reign of the Supermen story that followed Superman’s death in the comics. The Death of Superman will release later this summer, and it’s follow-up Reign of the Supermen will hit early 2019.
Over in the live-action DCEU, Warner Bros. is trying to line up more directors to bring DC superheroes to the big screen. One of those directors is apparently Peter Jackson. TheOneRing.net, generally a reliable source for things like this, reports that Jackson is currently deciding between helming a DCEU movie and helping Amazon with their Lord of the Rings TV series.
So which should it be? Mr. Jackson: I know there’s no possible way you’re reading this, and should by no means make career decisions based on the whims of some guy writing on the internet, but please. Go with DC. Do something new. Bring all the vision and grandeur that made the Lord of the Rings trilogy so great to a series that really needs it. A DC movie directed by Jackson could be amazing. Especially if he dived into his horror movie roots and gave us a real nightmare-inducing villain. I’m still not entirely recovered from watching Dead Alive/Brain Dead as a kid.
So what DC superhero could use the Peter Jackson touch? Well, given his experience with making movies about rings, Green Lantern seems like a natural step. Jokes aside, a story with a cosmic scale like that would actually suit his talents really well. He could probably do something cool with the planned Black Adam movie too. Or who knows? Maybe he could be the one to make DCEU superman finally work with Man of Steel 2. Thinking about it more, you could make a beautiful Superman movie with Jackson in the director’s chair.
Honestly, though, I’m confident he can make any DC movie great. Just please don’t go back to the Lord of the Rings well. Those three movies were such a labor of love for everyone involved, and there’s just no way this Amazon series will feel the same way. Remember the last time Peter Jackson was pulled back into Middle Earth after being done with it for years? We got The Hobbit trilogy. Nobody wants that again.
Still more uncertainty in the DCEU, The Flash movie may have lost its plot entirely. It’s been in development hell for so long, and Warner Bros. just can’t seem to get this thing off the ground. It’s lost directors, dealt with rumors of actors leaving or being recast, and now there’s news of yet another possible setback. The rumor comes from a tweet from The Wrap reporter Umberto Gonzalez. He’s been extremely reliable when it comes to the goings on of the DCEU, so folks tend to take his tweets pretty seriously.
That’s Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Thomas Wayne, fading away just like half the planet did at the end of Avengers: Infinity War. The Marvel movie’s climactic moment has been turned into a meme in the weeks since its release, and Gonzalez appears to be implying that Thomas Wayne as Batman is no more. Those familiar with the Flashpoint story arc in the comics will remember that in the alternate timeline The Flash creates, Thomas Wayne, rather than Bruce, becomes Batman. That was going to be the plan for the first Flash solo movie, rumored to be retitled Flashpoint. Now, it’s looking like that idea might be scrapped.
That could be a good thing. Flashpoint is the kind of story you do later in the game. After we’ve been introduced to all the characters in The Flash’s story. An alternate universe doesn’t mean anything if we aren’t already familiar with the original one. It’s an extremely poor choice of story for the DCEU’s first Flash solo flick. But this move has already been through so much change, all I want is for them to just pick a plot and make the damn thing. You’d think after Ezra Miller’s Flash was the only universally liked part of Justice League, getting his solo movie out would be a top priority. Instead, it feels like nobody can decide what they want to do with the character.
Hopefully the decision, if it actually has been made, turns out to be a good one. The Flash deserves the chance to be in his own movie without any distracting gimmicks or other superheroes stealing the spotlight. He’s one of my favorite DC heroes, and I just wish they’d get on with this movie already.
Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad (Photo via Warner Bros.)
Finally, there’s some exciting news coming out of DC concerning the Cathy Yan-directed Birds of Prey movie. The film will feature Harley Quinn, and Batgirl, in addition to a few other characters that haven’t been announced yet. Not much beyond that is known at this point, but we now have an idea of the kind of tone the movie will go for. Actress and producer Margot Robbie talked about the movie in an interview with Collider.
“I pitched the idea of an R-rated girl gang film including Harley, because I was like, ‘Harley needs friends.’ Harley loves interacting with people, so don’t ever make her do a standalone film. She’s got to be with other people, it should be a girl gang. I wasn’t seeing enough girl gangs on screen, especially in the action space. So that was always a big part of it,” Robbie said.
That’s… a really good idea. That’s a movie I want to see. Not that an R-rating would automatically make a superhero movie great, but it fits a character like Harley Quinn. Especially with the kind of tone Robbie’s talking about here. A bonkers girl-gang action movie could be exactly what the DCEU needs. And with the tone it’s established so far, an R-rating would be nearly as jarring as it would be coming out of, say, Marvel Studios. It’s also encouraging to hear how dedicated she is to this character and this movie. She’s put a ton of thought and work into this, and that can only make the eventual movie better. Now, it just can’t come out soon enough.
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