Why DC Fans Need To Remain Calm
If you are just waking up this morning then I am sure you have opened your Facebook or Twitter app and saw what is being headlined as the end of the world and no I am not talking about something Donald Trump has done. Instead I am talking about the news that broke last night regarding Ben Affleck stepping down as director for the upcoming (hopefully) Batman film. Last night fans of the DCEU took to social media to express their fears and worries now that Ben has stepped down. “Why is this happening?”, “The DCEU is dead…RIP!”, “WB and DC have no clue what they are doing!” were just some of the messages I saw. It did not take long for the hate to flood the airways, site after site could not wait to bash this news and call out Warner Bros. for its failures at establishing the DCEU. Many people claiming they new this was coming weeks ago but could not say anything about it. I even saw some of the more optimistic people lose hope now that Ben stepped down, it was not a pretty site last night and this morning was no better. People are now starting to spread the rumors that Aquaman is a mess and that the reports of Wonder Woman being a mess are all true. These types of comments and articles will be the sort of negative attention Warner Bros and DC will not want right now. Aquaman is just getting started on production so it being a mess is absolutely absurd. The only thing that would make that comment true would be if James Wan suddenly left. Patty Jenkins has defended Wonder Woman on several occasions and the news about it being a ‘mess’ was a poorly written hate letter from a former employee. Wonder Woman comes out later this year so only time will tell how well the movie truly is.
So where am I going with all this you say..the headline does read ‘Why DC Fans Need To Remain Calm’. Let me tell why to remain calm. Ben stepping down as director is not the end of the world – in fact its actually good news. I know many of us wanted to see him direct the film, I know I did, but have you seen Ben lately? The man worked so hard on Live by Night and the only attention that movie got was from fans who support Ben. The movie is an absolute flop at the box-office and when he was out promoting the film the only questions he got was “Are you directing Batman?”, “How is the Batman movie coming along?” “Do you have a script for Batman?”. I truly think Ben never imagined the level of dedication it would take to making a superhero film. It is all anyone seems to care about these days and Ben wants to continue to direct and make other films as well as make Batman films. I have said it several times, Ben does not need Batman but Batman needs Ben. His performance as Batman/Bruce Wayne in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was phenomenal and it has raised the hype for the next Batman film. The hype might have been raised a little too much though and it has put tons of pressure on Ben.
Ben will stay on as producer and will work closely with the new director to make sure the film is the best possible film it can be. The pressure is now off Ben and now will be on the director. Ben can focus on getting prepped for the role and giving his full attention to the script. The Batman movie would have been a huge task for one person to direct, write, produce, and star in. Getting a trusted director like Reeves or Miller would benefit the film and Ben tremendously. Ben stated he is fully committed to making the film and just wants the film to be at the level it should be. I am sure people will spin this into even more hate, something the DCEU seems to get a lot of. I think the pressure of not having to direct the film will allow Ben to relax. I seriously think fans should look at this as a positive and just sit back and remain calm until we know more. If Ben had stayed on as director then the stress might have driven him away from the project entirely and we could be faced with DC having to recast the role. That would not be the end of the world but it would be catastrophic and would see more fans jumping ship.
When Green Lantern came out in 2011 it was supposed to be the start to the DCEU and well that movie did not turn out so well so Warner Bros. hired Zack Snyder and in 2013 we got Henry Cavill as Superman in Man of Steel. While the film was mixed with critics it was still highly successful and was a great start for the DCEU. Warner Bros. and DC have had some hiccups along the way losing its first Wonder Woman director but hiring Patty Jenkins was a brilliant move and I trust her fully. She seems committed to the film and the established DC Universe. James Wan has been the choice from day one on Aquaman and he seems excited and committed to the film as well. Actor Jason Momoa is all in for the role as well so I have faith that movie will proceed as planned. After the backlash that Batman v Superman got from critics, DC hired writer Geoff Johns to take over. I think we are seeing some growing pains with Geoff Johns taking over but I think his vision will lead to a bright future for DC. The DCEU train is not stopping any time soon and even if the Batman movie is delayed they are still prepping Man of Steel 2, Gotham City Sirens, Shazam, Black Adam, and Green Lantern Corps. The problem with DC is that there is too much comparison to Marvel. Marvel can seem to do no wrong even though they are not without sin. Marvel changed Hulk actors after a dispute with Edward Norton and went with Mark Ruffalo. Marvel also had disputes with Terrance Howard after Iron Man and recast him in Iron Man 2 bringing in Don Cheadle. Edgar Wright was replaced as director for Ant-Man and Joss Whedon received countless amounts of hate for his sequel Avengers: Age of Ultron. Kevin Feige has his hand in the cookie jar and its his way or the highway. Warner Bros. tried to take a different approach and let the directors make the decisions. Problem is too many people complained and Geoff was brought in to oversee the movies and make the decisions now. This led to Rick Famuyiwa being released from the Flash and them starting over but I feel that we will get a great director and Ezra is still 100% on board.
My point is that every studio has issues but when its something announced for WB/DC then sites run with it and spin it any way they can to get clicks. Fans of Marvel and non DCEU supporters flock to social media to blast the films and the studio. Despite the fact that a majority of the fans love the films and in its first three films has grossed over $2.2 Billion dollars. The studio also has announced that more movies are to come and trust me if the DCEU was a sinking ship then Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson would have been taking his business elsewhere instead of staying committed and talking with Geoff Johns. I have faith that we will see an excellent and well received Wonder Woman film, the first female led comic-book film at that. I also believe that Zack Snyder will deliver an amazing film when Justice League opens up this fall. I stay committed to the DCEU and I will support the actors and directors who pour their hearts out into these films. They give up so much of their time and lives to make sure we as fans have something to enjoy. Ben Affleck has been working non stop since Batman v Superman plus trying to be a father and a husband. The man needs a break and he needs these vultures who call themselves reporters to cut him some slack. You can see that he is just tired and beaten down with all the pressure and hounding he has gotten over the Batman film.
Bottom line is that Ben is COMMITTED to the franchise and fans should remain committed as well. Do not let this news cause you to abandon the franchise because I feel Geoff Johns will make sure that we get the best possible films, the best actors, and the best directors. The DCEU is only a little over 3 years old and only 3 films in, like you would with a child, lets be patient and see where this goes. Take a deep breath and remain calm…”The night is darkest just before the dawn but the dawn is coming”
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