‘Gotham City Sirens’, ‘Deadshot’ and the Future of the DC Extended Universe

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Just today, Borys Kit over at the The Hollywood Reporter broke the news that Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment will reunite director David Ayer and star Margot Robbie for the all-female DC villain film, Gotham City Sirens. Robbie will headline the film as well as serve as executive producer, while Ayer is back in the director’s chair. But what does this all mean?

For starters, this could be good thing that Ayer is back. Warner Bros. definitely heard the outcry from critics and fans for giving up his version of Suicide Squad for one created by a trailer company. And while they could have very easily dumped him and looked for someone else to helm this spinoff of a spinoff, Suicide Squad made the studio a ton of cash. Enough so that it’s one of the biggest superhero films of all time, almost surpassing Batman v Superman earlier this year. That, along with the fact that Warner Bros. likes to think of themselves as a “filmmaker-driven studio”, might show that Warner Bros. feels obligated to give Ayer another chance, given the success he gave them (and because they basically took his film from him).

But what does this mean for the DC Extended Universe, which is looking less and less like a coherent universe, but rather one based off reactionary choices? Again, WB isn’t in the wrong for reacting to the response for BvS (if you know me, I think the response that film got was severely underserved, but I digress). However, the way they are trying to “correct” themselves afterwards hasn’t done them any favors either. Suicide Squad was direct result of said “course-correcting”, and that ending up backfiring on them critically. Not only that, but Justice League and The Flash have both been affected as well, the latter even losing it’s second director as a result.

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Now, we have Patty Jenkins‘s Wonder Woman and James Wan‘s Aquaman which seem to be doing fine, but the future of the DCEU beyond those two is a bit cloudy. Like I said earlier, The Flash is having the most BTS issues (funny enough, given he’s appeared in more DC films than any of the other Justice League members at this point), which will most likely move from it’s 2018 date (DC has an untitled release set for July 27, 2018, which many assumed was for the film). And with the news of Warner Bros. trying to fast-track Gotham City Sirens, it seems like they’re eyeing a 2018 for this film, possibly even that July slot.

Personally, I don’t think (and hope) that Ayer and company will get placed in that July date. The last thing we need is to see Ayer get rushed for a deadline again (as he was for Suicide Squad). However, if they do want this spinoff out sooner than later, I think Warner Bros. will move Aquaman, which is looking to start production early this next year.

Let’s say The Flash vacates from it’s March slot. That leaves Aquaman as it’s only release that year, which will certainly not be the case. That also leaves Ben Affleck‘s The Batman, which could possibly take that March slot if Warner Bros. gets things going as fast as some cast members have been hinting at. However, Affleck doesn’t sound too sure about the film being ready to just yet, so WB might hold it off until he’s ready. It could be ready for that October slot if Aquaman moves, but I don’t see a film as high-profile as a Batman film landing in the middle of the fall school year. It has been said that Zack Snyder‘s Justice League has been pushed back in favor of getting The Batman released beforehand, but I think the former won’t be ready until 2020 (at least).

As I see it, The Flash and The Batman will be 2019 releases, while this fast-tracked Gotham City Sirens will be taking the October release that Aquaman has used as a placeholder. If that is the case, it was a smart move to reserve that early October slot in an age where conventional summer releases for big-blockbusters is fading away. WB will make Aquaman it’s summer film alone with Ocean’s 8 (another female ensemble), while reserving the empty month of October with it’s “risky” superhero film. It’d be a similar tactic to the one Disney used when releasing Guardians of the Galaxy at the tail-end of the summer season and being the main money-maker for the whole month.

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Again, this is all speculation at this point, but these “villain” films are clearly more of a priority (and easier to make) than their heavy-hitter DC characters. This is also cemented by the fact that WB also said a Deadshot film with Will Smith is currently in the works. It’s a more interesting sell (villains as leads) while also being bankable enough to work (Batman will most certainly be involved these films). It’s a smart business move, but for the collective “universe” their inclusions feel odd. On one hand, it helps DC feel different from Disney and Fox’s shared universes, but like many have said post BvS, it all feels very reactionary. At least this Gotham City Sirens film will have a great cast and (hopefully) more of Ayer’s vision.

The David Ayer-directed Gotham City Sirens will star and be executive produced by Margot Robbie and currently does not have release date, but like I said earlier, is being fast-tracked by Warner Bros.

‘John Wick’ Co-Director David Leitch is The Frontrunner to Direct ‘Deadpool 2’

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Well, that was quick.

I posted a list of my potential picks for the directing gig just yesterday, but it seems like Ryan Reynolds and Fox already have an idea of who they want to helm Deadpool 2. Jeff Sneider over at Mashable got the news that John Wick co-director David Leitch is the current frontrunner for the job. And while that name might not sound familiar to you, the films he’s worked on before his directorial debut might ring a bell.

Besides currently developing The Coldest City, a spy thriller staring Charlize Theron and James McAvoy, Lietch has done stuntwork for films such as Blade and Fight Club. and recently has moved up to work as a second unit director on recent blockbusters such as The Wolverine and Captain America: Civil War. But he also has a personal relationship with Ryan Reynolds – he was the action coordinator on X-Men Origins: Wolverine, where the two met and (clearly) had a good time working together. This previous working experience between the two is good news for everyone involved after the serious behind-the-scenes drama that went on between Reynolds and the first film’s director, Tim Miller. Hopefully this all works out, because this would be a good replacement.

Deadpool 2 doesn’t currently have a release date, but has been rumored to be track for a 2018 release.

‘God Particle’ Is Apparently A Part of the ‘Cloverfield’ Universe

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Per The Wrap, the upcoming sci-fi space movie from producer J.J. Abrams God Particle is now said to be a part of the Cloverfield universe, which I guess is now a thing. Many people had assumed this would be the case, but I find this news to be somewhat disappointing. With a cast that includes David OyelowoElizabeth DebickiDaniel Brühl and Chris O’Dowd, I’m sure we’ll be getting an intriguing film, but I’d be lying if I said the Cloverfield connections” in 10 Cloverfield Lane (if you can even call them that) severely harmed the last act in an otherwise great film.

It’s also said that Paramount and Abrams want to release a film in this newly created franchise every year which, again, doesn’t sound all that great to me. I get that these films would otherwise be hard to market and release because they wouldn’t strictly be franchise films (as sad as that sounds), but I just hope the tie-ins to these films, especially God Particle, aren’t as half-assed as they were in 10 Cloverfield Lane.

God Particle is due to be released on February 24th, 2017.

Potential Directors For ‘Deadpool 2’

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Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard that Deadpool director Tim Miller has left the upcoming sequel due to creative differences with star Ryan Reynolds. Now, whether the reason for leaving was budgetary reasons or because he and Reynolds had two totally different views for how the sequel should’ve been made (I’ve heard one of the two has a huge ego – guess who that might be), Miller has jumped ship and is now attached to another Fox project, the cyber-crime thriller Influx.

Surprisingly, I’ve seen a lot of people who seem to be okay with the Miller leaving, despite the fact that he was a huge reason for the film’s success this February. Not only did he help find the right tone to make a 4th wall-breaking character like Deadpool work on the big-screen, but the action was rock-solid and Miller himself helped out with the visual effects through his own company to ultimately keep the cost of the film down. Yes, credit should also go to Reynolds and the writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick (whose script was hysterical) for helping make the film work as a whole, but losing Miller is a big deal.

Now, everyone at Fox is probably scrambling, trying to figure out who should helm their eccentric sequel. There are some who have suggested either ridiculously lazy picks (Matthew Vaughn) or ones that would never direct a project like this (Quentin Tarantino). So, let’s look at who I think should be considered for the job.

Daniels (Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan)

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You might not recognize the name Daniels, but you may have heard of their film Swiss Army Man, which I think is one of the best films of the year so far. This duo can definitely tackle raunchy humor and not be afraid to take it places that might be pushing the limit, as evident by their earlier works. But one thing that Swiss Army Man showed me (as well as their interactive short Possibilia), was that they could mix the immature fart jokes with genuine moments between the characters they create. Their weird and wild sensibilities would be a great match for Deadpool, and they’ve work in the mainstream market before (they directed the music video for “Turn Down For What” a few years back).

 

Ilya Naishuller

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Probably another name most aren’t familiar with, Naishuller was the man responsible for the chaotic first-person action flick Hardcore Henry earlier this year. Despite the fact that the film didn’t go over with critics, I thoroughly enjoyed it, thanks mostly to it’s innovative camerawork and sheer intensity. The film was bloody, fast-paced and full of colorful characters to move it’s ridiculous plot forward – tell me that doesn’t sound like a great recipe for a Deadpool sequel? Also imagine how awesome a Deadpool POV action sequence would be (something that Naishuller would definitely include if he was given the job).

 

Ruben Fleischer

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This one seems a little too good to be true. Fleischer has not only worked with screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick before on the great horror/comedy Zombieland, but he was also in contention to direct Marvel’s Ant Man a few years back. His stylistic visuals, love for dark humor and experience with studio filmmaking (Gangster Squad) only help matters, even if the latter film left a little to be desired in my opinion. Either way, I could really see this choice becoming a reality very soon.

 

Other potential directors I think would be interesting to see helm the superhero sequel would be Adam Wingard (The Guest), Tarsem Singh (Immortals), Drew Goddard (The Cabin in the Woods) and Chad Stahelski (John Wick). Agree? Disagree? Let me know. Deadpool 2 currently does not have a release date, but is rumored to be eying a 2018 release.

Is “Captain America 3” Really Going Up Against “Batman Vs. Superman”?

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This is just a mess. Apparently rumor has it that the untitled Marvel film slotted for May 6, 2016 is Captain America 3, and Marvel has no plans whatsoever to move it. Obviously one will move, but who, and how far away?

Personally, I think it’s idiotic that Marvel (mainly Kevin Feige) thinks his sequel to a modestly popular hero can match up against Batman and Superman. Yeah, Captain America is a lot more popular now than he was a few years ago, and he’ll be even more popular after The Avengers: Age of Ultron, but seriously? Batman Vs. Superman will be an event, similar to what The Avengers was.

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Granted, Man of Steel did have it’s share of haters, but at this point, you know BvS will deliever with it’s action and special effects. Oh, and the team-up of two of the biggest superhero characters ever. Just saying. Sadly, there are already rumors that BvS might move back a week to April 29, to avoid competition. But, if you live outside the U.S., you would know that Marvel usually releases their films a week ahead the U.S. release date. So, internationally, it’d still be facing Captain America 3 head-on.

If Captain America: The Winter Solider does well in it’s April slot this year, I don’t know why I’d be bad to move Cap 3 to the same date in 2016. That way, I’d be out of BvS’ way, and they’ll have a head start on them as well. However, not only is Marvel is being cocky, but they as a combined company (wether it’s Sony, Fox, or Disney) have released one of their movies on the first week of May every year since Spider-Man back in 2002. That might be one of the reasons why Feige and Marvel aren’t budging.

If Batman Vs. Superman does flinch and move to April, it’d only hurt it’s prospects. April is not usually a blockbuster month, at least not for the numbers BvS aim to hit. If they really want to move it (which would be embarrassing for a movie of this scale), they should move it somewhere in June or July. Your move, Warner Bros.

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As of right now, both Captain America 3 and Batman Vs. Superman will open May 6th, 2016.

Paramount Is Lost When It Comes To Marketing “Noah”; Early Reviews Are Solid

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Darren Aronofsky’s biblical epic Noah is one that I should be borderline-ecstatic for. But alas, Paramount has done a terrible job marketing the film to look interesting. It’s trying to sell itself as an action movie, when it isn’t. Not only that, but the ads keep showing the same footage over and over again, as if they’re afraid that they have a dud on their hands.

Well, there was some arguments between Paramount and Aronofsky, due to the fact that Paramount held early test screenings for the film. But, that wasn’t all. Paramount was also trying to make different cuts of Noah to see which ones worked the best. This resulted in a furious director and bad publicity, many from Cristian groups. The bad buzz has become so overbearing for Paramount that they’ve had to add in a disclaimer to let audiences know that this isn’t an exact retelling of Noah. You don’t say?

Here’s the disclaimer:
“The film is inspired by the story of Noah. While artistic license has been taken, we believe that this film is true to the essence, values and integrity of a story that is a cornerstone of faith for millions of people worldwide. The biblical story of Noah can be found in the book of Genesis.”

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The problem is that Paramount is hiding a portion of the film that they know will polarize audiences. Aronofsky’s version is said to be more fantastical than the ads would lead you to believe. Not only that, but Noah is supposedly a much darker character here than many would expect him to be. This was always going to be a controversial film, but Paramount didn’t help the process whatsoever by publicly butting heads with Aronofsky.

However, there is some hope. The world premiere last night in Mexico led to some tweeting about it on Twitter. Here are some tweets about the movie:

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Noah will open on March 28th.