The Daily Beast just posted a lengthy interview with director Zack Snyder about his upcoming DC Comics movie slate. In it he declares that ANT-MAN is just a flavor of the week and that Batman and Superman will endure because they are “transcendent of superhero movies.”
Ant-Man may not be the most famous of superheroes by a long shot, but a fifty-year-old character hardly feels like a trifle. He was a founding member of the Avengers and the star of his own surprisingly entertaining movie that came out this summer.
This seems like a fairly bold claim coming from the director of the much maligned MAN OF STEEL and the upcoming BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE, which feels like it could be the sullen IRON MAN 2 of the DC Universe. That said, I don’t necessarily disagree with him. I feel like there are probably more opportunities to reinvent the characters of Batman and Superman than there are to reinvent Captain America and Iron Man.
The DC characters have been through so many seismic changes over the years that there is not much that they can’t do with these characters. I’m pretty sure there is an animated web-series where Batman is a vampire happening at the moment. Steve and Tony, on the other hand, are a bit more firmly sketched and the movies that have featured them so far haven’t missed a beat with how they treat these characters.
Fans are going to take this article as an attack on the fact that Marvel is drawing from their stable of lesser known characters to create their upcoming blockbusters. That’s okay! The second tier characters of the Justice League are probably just as, if not more, well-known than the main players of the Avengers. Ant-Man really doesn’t compare to Superman or Batman as a character.
However, the quality of these movies aren’t dependent on longevity of the funny pages they are based on. They are dependent on the vision of the filmmakers, the talent of the cast, and the strength of the material put in front of them. DC has a long way to go in matching the highs of THE AVENGERS, IRON MAN, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER, and even the aforementioned ANT-MAN. These are wonderful films that will absolutely stand the test of time.
Zack Snyder and Warner Bros. should be thinking less about creating “mythic” and “serious” bouts between their heroes and focus more on what makes them so special: Their personality. Superman always struck me as someone who would much rather smile and say something reassuring than grimace and punch someone. Their dedication to the doom and gloom of more serious comic book fare has depleted these movies of their well-defined identities.
But don’t worry… You can always find something with a bit more going on in your “flavor of the week.”