How to Save DC Films in 2 ‘Easy’ Steps

How to Save DC Films

I was thinking out loud back in April, 2017 on the Twitter. I started throwing some images together. It was too good!

It was something that had been haunting me that week. But not enough to write about it.

Then in January ’18 I finally had a look at Justice League. Oh my. 😬 😰 😱 😳 🤪 😵

From all of the yelling online during 2016-17, I knew DC Films could be doing a lot better. I decided to have a look at the first five films they released (2013-17) and chart audience and critical sentiment. The Dark Knight Rises is included for context. Check out this graphic and then join me underneath.

Fan & Critic Sentiment Analysis of DC Films First 5 Movies
Graphic by Massive Kontent.
I bet Warner Bros misses those Christopher Nolan Batman days – but that Patty Jenkins WW situation is looking pretty damn good.
Here’s the box office totals to put things into perspective.
box office charts for first 5 DC Films

Now let’s play a game called “imaginary studio head”. You can play along at home – and in the comments (please do).

Contrary to popular belief, most of us filmgoers aren’t ‘Marvel fanboys’, or ‘Team Marvel’. When we pay our 13 bucks at the theater, we’re not looking for a DC movie to fail. We just wish the new DC films were better. Like a whole lot better.

Step 1: Get Dark Knight Returns with Michael Keaton into production.

And don’t crib from the graphic novel. Don’t adapt elements of it. Just fucking make it whole hog. Michael Keaton turned 66 last September. The time is now.

Hell, just get MK to recommend a writer and director. His taste in movies is damn near impeccable.

Or choose someone inspired this time. Korea is putting out some of the best movies on the planet now. How about Jee-woon Kim (A Bittersweet Life, I Saw the Devil, The Age of Shadows) or Joon Ho Bong  (The Host, Snowpiercer, Okja)? Not only do they know how to make mainstream films that are loved worldwide – they have vision.

And after 80 years in existence, Batman is pretty ‘bendable’ to different styles. Remember back in 2008 when DC did a pretty rad anime anthology, Batman: Gotham Knight?

Or how about the upcoming Batman Ninja?

Let’s do this!

Step 2: Hire Brad Bird for 10 years / 3 films.

Drop 2 or 3 stacks of cartel-sized bushels of cashola off at Brad Bird’s offices.


Brad makes Darwyn Cooke’s DC: New Frontier [as a 2-parter] and then follows up with Mark Waid and Alex Ross’ Kingdom Come

Now Brad is already clocking in at 60 years of age. He still has to do the promotional circuit for The Incredibles 2. And filming these 3 movies will probably kill him.

Which would be a shame, as the man is a goddamned national treasure!

Step 3: Collect 7 billion dollars

And while we’re at it DC / Warner could do worse than getting a low budget [~$40 million] production of Arkham Asylum helmed by James Wan in the queue.

But who’d want to make an extra $3-500 million? That’s crazy talk.

Now it’s your turn to play. How would you turn all of this around?

About Jason Thibault

Jason Thibault  is a writer, artist, & owner of boutique content marketing agency Massive Kontent. Follow him on Twitter (@jasonthibault) and Instagram (@jay_thibs).