Fans and of the DC Extended Universe were excited to see footage from Justice League released at Comic-Con International: San Diego, but fans and critics alike were both struck by the difference in tone between the Justice League footage and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. The Justice League footage was much more lighthearted and featured several jokes, which is a departure from the seriousness of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Some would even say that the footage was reminiscent of a Marvel Studios film.
Film and television director Kevin Smith noticed the same thing and believes it is the result of Warner Bros. hearing what moviegoers are saying about their superhero movies.
“The audience that pays to see these things are like, ‘There’s a certain set of standards that we want when we come see these superhero movies, and, yes, most of those standards have been set for us by Marvel… regardless, this is what we want in our superhero movies. We don’t want doom and gloom. We want them to like each other. We want them to have an interplay,’” Smith tells Canoe.
“It looks like (Warner Bros. and DC Comics) heard that loud and clear and everything that was missing or perceived to be missing from Batman v Superman seems like it’s in full display on Justice League, so I’m on board,” Smith continues. “I was already on board, but I’m very happy to see that they’re taking that direction.”
We know that Warner Bros. has been struggling with the tone of its superhero universe thanks to reports on the production of Suicide Squad. According to those reports, director David Ayer conceived of a dark and gritty film very much in line with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. After the strong positive reaction to the energy of the film's trailer, Warner Bros. recut the film to better match the trailer's tone. The final theatrical cut was a mix of Ayer’s version and the studio’s version, and it left a lot of viewers cold. Smith says he gets that, though he enjoyed the movie himself.
“When I saw the movie, I said, ‘Boy, I can see people not liking this.’ I didn’t read all the criticism but I certainly got the gist that people are like, ‘This ain’t for me,’ Smith says. “I can understand it that way, but this is in my genes. I was reading (John) Ostrander and (Kim) Yale’s Suicide Squad from the moment it hit the stands. My daughter’s named Harley Quinn. I’m half in the bag for this stuff already and I love David Ayer. I thought he did a great job.”
Audience will see if the DCEU truly turns over a new tonal leaf, and whether it is for better or worse, when Justice League releases in 2017
Justice League is directed by Zack Snyder, from a screenplay by Chris Terrio. The film stars Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot, Ezra Miller, Jason Momoa and Ray Fisher. In the wake of the death of Superman (Cavill) in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Justice League sees Wonder Woman (Gadot) and Batman (Affleck) assembling a team of heroes to defend the Earth from an invasion by the Steppenwolf, a general from the Apokolips, and his army of Parademons.
Check out when Justice League and other movies are coming out in ComicBook.com's Movie Release Schedule.