Paeter wrote:Hopefully Geoff Johns, as creative liason for DC, will be able to convey the importance of character to any moronic, money-grubbing studio suits who want to do the JL movie first. Yikes.
Ouch. I know there's a whole wide world of disappointments to back up the cynicism, and it's unfortunate that the bottom line that influences the "artistic development" is making money. Yet, these fan-ish projects are getting the attention of some of those execs who are fans themselves, even if they influence the creative process in ways that we may not like, we don't know what the circumstances are behind the scenes. I can easily see an exec encouraging a story revision that compromises the original material's continuity in order to maximize audience appeal, against that exec's own personal desire as a fan. There could be many variations on a sympathetic set of circumstances; pile a bunch of them up and you can occasionally get from point A to a very unexpected/disappointing point Z. Sometimes, there's the happy circumstance of getting to a point C that has vitality and quality innovation. Should Iron Man have stayed to it's "pure" roots and shown Tony Stark trying to escape Vietnam, and combat Mandarin, a magic-using opponent? Aerospace engineers will tell you that the Iron Man movie's tight focus resonated with how the technology they help develop is used in the world and how emotionally charged a concern it can be for a technological innovator. Would Mandarin have diluted the point? Obadiah Stane's machinations maintain thematic focus very clearly.
I remember reading somewhere a very accomplished director speaking of a film that had a rocky development, and he had to fight tooth and nail for "artistic integrity." At the end of the day, while acknowledging the behind-the-camera strife, he expressed gratitude to the same movie studio he fought with, who took the risk on his film and artistic vision with their money. A risk they were under no obligations to take on. And which has no guarantees for a successful turn around. How could Transformers: Dark of the Moon have such a big opening after the disappointment of Revenge of the Fallen? Why did Battleship not succeed, when it's equated to being along the lines of that kind of Michael Bay film? Are the execs being reasonably spooked as they are about GI Joe Retaliation? Lord of the Rings could have utterly destroyed New Line Cinema. Titanic was a fearful menace that threatened to sink a lot of ships.
Yes, the bottom line is about making money. And there totally are the execs that are utterly calculating. But unless we're prepared to pre-pay money on a movie ticket 2 or 3 years in advance so the movie can be made from those funds, it's on the goodwill of the movie studios to put forward the money and risk their jobs, their workplace, their livelihood, on a production that can never, ever be a sure thing. No matter what the past track record is. On the surface level, the success of The Avengers might well suggest that JLA is a good idea to pursue. Will we perceive it to be moronical of the studio execs to commission JLA because it looks like an easy bangwagon opportunity, or will we consider them moronical to play it safe and keep doing Batman and Superman individually? A lose-lose situation for them; if they invest their money we win the hope of good movie (yet, good or bad, always in the wake of endless purist complaints). They've test-piloted Green Lantern, they're giving Superman a second (third?) flight, they ditched Wonder Woman a few years ago. The Batman films are working great, but those movies operate on a philosophy of keeping things grounded; and they show Batman working just great as a solo character. Martian Manhunter is out of this world, comparatively speaking. Barry Allen hasn't had a run at the silver screen, and we don't know if Aquaman will keep his head above water in the cinema. I guess we'll see what kind of ideas emerge, if any.