When the first reactions from critics rolled in for “Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice” earlier this year, there were reports that Warner Bros. brass were genuinely surprised by the largely negative response. And with “Justice League” scheduled to go into production just weeks after ‘Dawn Of Justice’ opened, some might have guessed the studio scrambled to make sure they wouldn’t make the same mistakes again. Indeed, one of the biggest complaints about ‘Batman v Superman’ was its dour, mostly humorless tone. Well, “Justice League” won’t be gritting its teeth, pretty much confirming that DC exec Geoff Johns‘ desire for “hope and optimism” is likely going to come shining through.
Chatting with THR, producer Charles Roven pretty much reveals that DC Films learned their lesson on ‘Batman v Superman.’
“We knew we were making a very serious, compelling, driving film with ‘Batman v. Superman.’ Now the bell has been rung and the whole tone of the movie is lighter,” he said of “Justice League.”
Again, that makes total sense given the feedback they received, and looking at the Marvel model of success which sees them balance “mature” themes with pure popcorn entertainment. But if you need an indication of how out of their depth Warner Bros. was first announcing their DC Films slate, Roven is candid about why he had to step away from his day-to-day duties.
“The studio made me the producer of all the DC movies, and they announced eight. When we finished the [timetable], we looked at each other and said, ‘This is incredibly ambitious, but we haven’t taken into consideration if something goes wrong.’ We also hadn’t decided where we were going to shoot those movies,” he explained. “As difficult as it was for me to commute from Toronto to London to Italy, it became really clear I couldn’t do the job that I do as a producer [with ‘Aquaman‘ likely to shoot in Australia]. I’m for sure producing the sequels of the movies that I have made.”
Again, one gets the sense that Warner Bros. really put the cart before the horse at the beginning, and are now trying to right the ship and take the kind of careful approach that Marvel has built an enviable business model upon.
“Justice League” opens on November 17, 2017.