With VR an up-and-coming storytelling medium, all the big studios want in on the action. Gone are the days of 4-D pirate adventures with seats that spit water into your face. The people don’t want to be in the movie anymore, they want to be the movie. The latest studio to get into the biz is Warner Bros., inking a deal with IMAX’s new VR component for virtual reality experiences based around the Justice League.
Whether you choose to overlook the accusations of whitewashing levied against Paramount’s upcoming Ghost in the Shell movie is entirely up to you, but there are certainly some who are rooting for the film to open doors for other anime projects. Studios aren’t exactly hot-spots for innovative thinking; if Ghost in the Shell bombs next weekend, there will no-doubt be executives at Paramount who claim the only real lesson is that American audiences don’t like Anime. That would be a real blow to fans of the long-gestating adaptation of Akira, the seminal 1988 animated movie by Katsuhiro Otomo that has been an inspiration to countless science fiction movies and television shows that follow.
Earlier this week, a few little birdies spoke with /Film about Warner Bros. standalone superhero film The Batman being rewritten completely from scratch. According to the site’s sources, the studio has chosen to start all over again with input from director Matt Reeves; additional sources also noted that Reeves wouldn’t even meet with prospective cast members until sometime this summer. This came on the heels of comments from a Variety reporter that Reeves is still under contract for War for the Planet of the Apes through the end of June, meaning The Batman was unlikely to even enter production until 2018.
Since announcing that Ben Affleck would no longer be directing the upcoming standalone The Batman film, Warner Bros. has been in a full-blown crisis mode, working overtime to find a talented new director and prove all those “Is the DC Cinematic Universe doomed?” articles wrong. Back in January, Forbes reported that the Warner Bros. shortlist featured several interesting names, including George Miller, Denis Villeneuve, and Matt Reeves. And now, less than two weeks after The Batman lost its director, it appears that Warner Bros. has settled on its replacement.
We all know that Ben Affleck’s performance as Batman was one of the few things both critics and fans of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice could completely agree on. From his shallow playboy persona as Bruce Wayne to his thinly veiled rage as the Dark Knight, Affleck’s take on the character got everyone very excited to see what the actor-writer-director could do with a free hand for his standalone The Batman movie. Unfortunately, things have slowed considerably since, with rumors of mediocre scripts and a shifting release date taking some of the buzz off the upcoming release.
Listen. I know that the DC Cinematic Universe gets a lot of criticism for its dour visuals and themes, but let’s give credit where credit is due: Jason Momoa’s Aquaman is really shaping up like the sleeper hit of the whole endeavor. With a visual aesthetic stolen directly from an episode of Sons of Anarchy — and perhaps the most talented director of the Warner Bros. slate behind the camera — this is shaping up to be the best movie about people who talk to fish since Disney’s animated adaptation of The Little Mermaid.
For as much as Tim Burton and Christopher Nolan’s Batman movies varied wildly in tone and aesthetics, one thing both franchises got right was the character of Catwoman. Michelle Pfeiffer played Selina Kyle in Batman Returns as a demented femme fatale, the true star of Burton’s sequel, while Anne Hathaway’s high-tech criminal was the perfect updating of the character for Nolan’s urban Batnoir. One unhinged and unbroken, the other sleek and urbane, the perfect summary of two separate directorial styles.
Listen, impressionable young men and women of the world, because this is important: you should not watch Suicide Squad and think that the Joker and Harley Quinn represent any kind of reasonable #RelationshipGoal. This is an abusive and possessive relationship, start to finish, and while there may be a more consensual love story scattered among the footage on the cutting room floor, we won’t know until we see it. This is a pretty important disclaimer to throw out there before we talk about this footage
Look, all things being equal, I really didn’t mind Jared Leto’s take on the Joker in Suicide Squad. Yes, the constant news items about what latest “crazy” thing he did to get in character were pretty annoying, and yes, the number of people who seem to think that Joker and Harley Quinn’s relationship is something to emulate is downright disturbing, but Leto seemed like a perfect fit for the gloomy and angst-ridden universe that Warner Bros. has created for its DC Comics characters. At another studio, he’d be woefully out of place. In this one? He’s fine.
For those of you anxiously anticipating the next round of Wonder Woman trailers, I have some good news, and I have some bad news. The good news is that we have a brand new international trailer for you to enjoy, complete with a tweaked color scheme and a tighter sense of rhythm for the fight sequences. The bad news? It’s all footage you’ve seen before… and it’s in Russian.