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August 09, 2012
Warner Bros. and DC Want a Justice League Movie, And They Want... Ben Affleck as Director?
Not a name that pops out at me, despite his good work on Gone, Baby, Gone.
Let me suggest the Justice League movie will fail, and not because of Affleck, per se, and not because I don't like the Justice League (I like them better than the Avengers).
It will fail because the hidden story in the success of the Avengers is a business story: Six competent-to-good-to-very-good movies, all by different writers and directors, are not made accidentally. It's not just chance that the Marvel movies are good-to-better.
In the 90s, if I'm remembering right, the Denver Broncos had a great, great running back. Thousand-plus yarder. Who knows, maybe 2000 yards.
Then he got hurt. ACL. Career-threatening injury. Next guy comes in. Now he runs for like 1600 yards.
That guy gets hurt, or gets traded, or whatever. Another guy comes in. Also burns up the field.
At this point you have to begin to think it's not that the Denver Broncos just got lucky three times; at this point, you begin to suspect the team surrounding the running back is just a really good running team.
Everyone talks about Joss Whedon. Well, certainly he did a good job. As did Jon Favreau. As did, unexpectedly, Kenneth Brannagh directing, bizarrely, Thor. Justin Thereaux turned in a good script for Iron Man 2; a little known French director, whose name escapes me, turned in a terrific (and unexpected) reboot of The Incredible Hulk. A film I thought was utterly unnecessary, and saw absolutely no reason for, but then really enjoyed once I saw it (and I only watched it because of the three-second Tony Stark cameo).
When Joss Whedon was doubting he could bring the Avengers together, he got in touch with Jon Favreau, who advised him: "Trust in the machine, the machine will not let you fail." By "the machine," I assume he meant the production team assembled by Marvel Studios for the films, the producers, the... much-maligned "suits."
It's commonplace to say "the suits" are responsible for every bad thing that happens in Hollywood; but when a production team produces one good-to-better movie after another, maybe it's time to consider the fact that these particular suits know what the hell they're doing.
Compare this team's track record to other superhero films: The last two Spider-Man pictures were bad (I'm told the last one was bad; I know the one before that was bad, because I unfortunately saw it). The Superman reboot was misbegotten. I loves me some Nick Cage but I'm not going to claim the Ghost Rider movies were any good (though the sequel was, well, watchable, at least).
Let me bring this around to two connected political points:
1. Gee, sometimes people with business acumen are kind of competent at their jobs, huh?
2. Gee, it's amazing how well people perform when the people above them, creating the environment for work and business, actually know what the hell they're doing, and attempt to assist in the business rather than retarding it and sabotaging it at every step, huh?
It Occurs To Me... That if Obama wants to take credit for the now-rare business success, he must also take "credit" for the much-more-common business failure, yes?
You didn't build that. You didn't build an environment calculated to undermine you and sabotage you at every turn.
Obama did that.
Clarification: Let me clear this up: When I say "Marvel Movies" I mean those produced by Marvel Studios -- not merely Marvel characters whose movies are made by other studios.
Marvel Studios does not do Spiderman, or the X-Men, or Ghost Rider, because they sold those properties off to other studios. Sony owns Spiderman, Fox owns X-Men. I forget who owns Ghost Rider. Probably someone down the foodchain like Lionsgate or something.
This is actually why the Avengers happened-- Marvel had sold off most of its headliners, and was left with its B-team; they can't do Spiderman as they don't own it (at least not the movie rights).
Everyone forgets this now but like six years ago Iron Man was kind of a nobody. Beyond geeks and fanboys, who the hell knew who Iron Man was? Nobody, that's who.
All of these movies have that 'Marvel" thing at the beginning, the flipping pages, but they're not done by Marvel Studios, which I believe is a sub-studio of Disney, now.
Completely Forgot: Buzzion reminds me that Warner Bros. animated division knows what it's doing with Superman, Batman, the Justice League... even The Spirit!
I completely forgot about that and I love the DC animated stuff.
So: Okay. If Warner Bros. comprehended it has a team in the DC Animated properties division, and trusted that division and put them in charge -- yes, this could, possibly, work.
So That Was You:
One of my favorite memories from college was kicking all of you weirdos out of your dorm so we would have a place to live after the Alpha Beta house burned down as a result of a freak fire blowing accident. -- Gristle Encased Head
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