comic book movies

DC v HitFix: Let’s not be the stereotypical herd of angry fans

drew mcweeney dc hate justice league

So I wasn’t initially going to talk about this but after seeing the craziness going on online I thought I should add another pointless opinion out onto the web as well. So what’s the drama? It all has to do with Drew McWeeney and the Justice League is in crisis report.

I talked about this before, but in case you haven’t heard, recently there was a report that Batman v Superman may be in trouble. This report came from Drew McWeeny from Hitfix. He said that Batman v Superman wasn’t testing as well as WB may have hoped for. From that Drew made his own conclusions based off what he had heard, that he didn’t believe Justice League would end up releasing on the date WB initially stated. And also that things would be reshuffled to put out a safer movie first, that movie being the Ben Affleck solo Batman movie. Drew went on to say that he didn’t believe Snyder would end up directing Justice League because of the reactions to Batman v Superman.

Here’s the thing with news like this, and any news in general really: we typically have a desired outcome we want, in this case most fans want Batman v Superman to do well. So when an unconfirmed report came out months ago that Batman v Superman had a standing ovation after its screening, we’re quick to accept that report because it helps achieve our desired outcome. However, when a report comes out saying that maybe Batman v Superman isn’t as good as what we wanted it to be, then we’ll find any bits of information to cling onto to refute that report, because it doesn’t help out our desired outcome. In this case it was reducing the credibility of Drew. Most reporters don’t have a 100% hit rate, it’s impossible to do so when things are constantly changing. So yes he did once report Joseph-Gordon Levitt was going to continue on as Batman and that Warner Bros had a no jokes policy.

Here’s the thing, I don’t have ears inside of WB so how can I be sure that this wasn’t ever a point of discussion at WB? Maybe after the success of The Dark Knight trilogy they wanted to see if they could persuade those involved to continue on. Maybe the no jokes policy was a case of Chinese whispers where WB had discussions on making their superhero movies more serious and that in turn lead to this report. I don’t know, but I’m not going to say that Drew just pulled those reports from his ass, he probably got it from somewhere he thought was reliable. Because Drew and HitFix have been spot on with many things as well (even reporting months before the official announcement that Momoa was Aquaman). That’s typically the nature of entertainment journalism, sometimes you can be very right, and sometimes you can be very wrong.

hitfix dc hate

People claim that there is some kind of hate campaign against DC Films by many of these journalists. Yes I agree a lot of people are unnecessarily harsh on WB and DC (*cough* Faraci) but Drew is by no means some DC hater. He’s one of the few who fully supported Man of Steel after it came out.

The point is that we can’t instantly claim this report is total bullshit because Drew has sometimes made reports that ended up being false, and that he’s a DC hater, because that’s simply not true.

But I get it, we don’t want to hear this news, I’ve been following Batman v Superman since its announcement nearly 3 years ago, I sure as hell don’t want it to be bad. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a possibility that it won’t be as amazing as I want it to be, I can’t simply reject any criticism because I don’t want to hear it, it wouldn’t be fair.

Anyways after Drew’s report simmered online for a little while, WB knew they had to do something to respond to all this negative PR they were getting from the report. The last thing they want is this much negativity surrounding their movie and universe, when they are a month away from the biggest DC movie there ever was. So to counter the report WB, or more specifically Snyder, spoke to EW to announce that Justice League was to begin production April 11.

dc brand batman v superman

It’s very clear with how the article was worded that this was a direct response to Drew’s claims that WB were maybe going to be hesitant pushing forward with Justice League. Comments from Snyder in the article discuss how WB are super eager to get started on Justice League as soon as possible. It was a clever PR move that shifted the conversation from, oh is the DC universe in trouble, to, finally the DC universe is moving forward!

So we got some news that was something positive for our desired outcome, and it’s exciting, but that doesn’t mean we need to get our pitchforks out. I’m not going to defend Drew too much, because the writer of the EW article pointed out himself, we shouldn’t use his article to attack Drew. Drew decided not to be as polite and in his article talking about the Justice League production announcement was very, to put it simply, bitchy about the whole thing.

But that doesn’t mean we need to be bitchy back. There’s a terrible stigma surrounding fans online, that we’re all a crazy, sad no-life bunch. Why further that stigma by acting immature and attacking Drew? There’s really no point. From now until Batman v Superman comes out, and even after that, there’s going to be a lot of negative articles surrounding this world, no doubt. But there’s no need to completely freak out every time this happens, and to start name calling journalists because they happen to write something we don’t want to hear. There’s so much nastiness going on right now, let’s not add to it ourselves. Any time I’m feeling angry or annoyed at someone, I just gotta ask myself, what would Superman do? And I really don’t think he would start harassing people online that he had a problem with.

justice league set photo costumes

Anyways let’s have a little positivity, like this sweet behind the scenes Justice League image! Snyder the sneaky bastard had to go release a picture in a place full of costumes and concept art that everyone is trying to uncover now. Looks like Aquaman might get a shirt later on, The Flash’s costume looks armoured, there looks to be Mera concept art on the ground, a black suit that may be the underlying for Batman’s suit, and some mysterious helmets that look like they could belong to Atlanteans (are we going down the Throne of Atlantis route here?). Let the speculation begin!

 

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Categories: comic book movies

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4 replies »

  1. I wondered how many people who complained about him actually bothered to watch the interview. Because what he actually said was that he heard that Warner Bros is worried about the movie (which, yeah, is to be expected) and IF it doesn’t turn out the success they want it to be, it MIGHT result in them replacing Snyder and focussing on more Batman. The first one is one of those “really? I could have guessed this myself without any source” rumors, the latter ones are two educated guesses which always make sense. When a director doesn’t manage to hit the nerve of the audience two times in a row, it makes sense to replace him (most studios would do it after the first try), and DC always reverts back to Batman as a safe fail. They literally just did by going Batman v Superman instead of doing a Man of Steel sequel first.

    That DC now announced the Justice League officially doesn’t actually mean that he was wrong. The negative buzz forces their hand, and nothing prevents them to focus the Justice League movies and the marketing for them on Batman. (That was actually the part of the prediction which stroke me a little bit odd – I would think that movies like The Flash are way more in danger than the Justice League movie, but okay, everyone has his own opinion).

    All in all I agree. This is nothing to worry about. Press screenings will start soon, and then we should get a sense if the movie falls more on the “good” or the “controversial” side. I doubt that it will be outright bad.

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    • The biggest problem people had with his comments was that he said that he highly doubted that JL would go ahead and that Snyder would stay on board, and because he said it with such confidence everyone freaked out. But yeah we’ll just have to wait and, at worst I think it could just be average

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  2. This seems similar to another contoversy regarding Kotaku and Fallout 4 that I saw on Jim Sterling’s video series Jimquisition. Basically what happened was Kotaku released some info about Fallout 4, such as scripts and stuff, that the developer/publisher Bethesda wanted to keep such details as a surprise. Sterling then went on to discuss companies blacklisting journalists for both justifiable and unjustifiable reasons. Justifiable in the sense that the journalists leaked out documents and other stuff regarding a project that the company wanted to keep as a surprise reveal to the public, unjustifiable in the sense that companies blacklist journalists simply because they didn’t like them or something petty. Sterling has also had experience with this himself from people like Konami and others.

    The point I’m trying to make is that it just seems that Drew was just reporting on stuff that he felt was reliable and people are divided on it. I mean, I’ll take the info with a grain of salt, sure sometimes I can overreact, but later on I calm down and just wait until something else happens, if at all. That being said, I’ll wait until the movie comes out or reviews come in. So far from what I’ve seen, the movie looks good. It’s had a rough process getting made, no doubt, but I think that when it does come out it should be judged on its own merits and not because of what was reported.

    However, compare this to the crappy Fantastic Four reboot. To be fair, NO ONE expected it to be good. It had its promises, sure, but after the last couple unsuccessful attempts to adapt FF, Fox’s iron grip on em despite said lack of success with it, hardly any promotion from Marvel for it aside from labelling, it didn’t seem like anyone knew what they were doing with it, ppl both justifiably and unjustifiably overreacting to it before it came out, and of course production problems which even Josh Trank himself sorta revealed about and it was reported on. This all seemed to correlate, especially with how the final movie turned out. Do I think Batman/Superman is going through the same thing? Not really. For one, WB/DC is in control of their stuff, plus they at least have a better idea of how to handle their stuff unlike Fox with FF, the trailers look ok, the concept is questionable but solid, and it’s got a lot of talented ppl involved and so far things sound good. I think a lot of ppl do have reasonable doubts, but then there are the ones that overreact and should either calm down or shut up.

    The only thing that makes me cautious about this movie is that it could try to make Batman all-powerful and wise and everything with the Extended Universe (still can’t get over that name) should be revolving around him somehow, which shouldn’t be the case because there are lot of other characters just as and/or even more than awesome than Batman, and they should be given a chance and not have to piggyback off him too much. I mean, there’s finally a live-action movie in featuring Batman, Superman, AND Wonder Woman together, so why can’t people be happy about that? Sure, they can have doubts, but not overreact to the point where they don’t give it a chance until it comes out and see it for themselves. Regardless, I’m still seeing it and judging it for myself when I do.

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    • Drew reported on what he heard and that’s fair enough, but he did make some very bold predictions that maybe the project seem very troubled. I think it’ll be fine as well, but everyone just needs to go into the movie without any bias beforehand without all this negativity clouding their judgement.

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