It's funny how fast things can change, isn't it? One week ago, this column took its time in trying to hash out both sides of the Man of Steel sequel's impending July 2015 release date and the implications it would have on a possible Justice League sequel. Not even 48 hours later, Movies.com's headline story detailed that the highly anticipated film that would team up Henry Cavill's Superman with Ben Affleck's Batman had its release date pushed to May 6, 2016, nearly a full year after it was originally intended to bow in front of worldwide audiences.
Naturally, the Internet did what it so often does best, and it came up with a multitude of conspiracy theories and doomsday scenarios (no pun intended) about how the future of this most ambitious of DC Comics films is in grave doubt.
The official reason given for the delay, according to Variety, is that casting remains incomplete as we're now apparently less than a month away from production. This is all well and good, as well as perfectly legitimate, but it also gives both audiences and the film time to cook. For many fans across the world, I'm sure that this new time is the greatest gift of all.
There's Now Time to Develop a Plan
One of the points that last week's edition of Comics on Film attempted to make was that this whole new development of a DC cinematic universe seemed to be happening way too fast. Especially when compared with the efforts of Marvel's cinematic universe unfolding in its film and TV properties, the release of a sequel to 2013's Superman film just over two years after the first effort, and introducing the likes of Batman, Wonder Woman and potentially Lex Luthor into the mix all at once, seemed a little too quick. Not to mention the rumors that continued to persist about a Justice League film following nearly on the sequel's heels.
In the past, this column has accused Warner Bros. of a chronic case of cold feet in relation to its ability to exploit its DC Comics-based properties, an accusation with at least 15-20 years of evidence with which to back it up. Now, all of a sudden it seemed that the once cautious studio had gone from nervously dipping its toe in the water to running full blast into the shape of a cannonball, ready to make as big a splash as possible.
It was certainly thrilling to see the studio outwardly display more confidence in its catalog of characters with nearly a century of publication history, but, in an odd way, it also spat of unbecoming desperation. After the Man of Steel sequel, would a massive team-up film follow so quickly? Could the creative minds behind these efforts really have a solid plan for sustainable success knocked out with less than a year of solid planning?
With the change in release date now in effect, the people who will be overseeing the future of DC Comics on film can breathe a little bit. The fact of the matter is that if Warner Bros. expects audiences to turn out for whatever may be coming after walking out of the theater in May of 2016, they have to be excited for the future. The best way to ensure audience excitement and enthusiasm for future Batman and Superman adventures, including the formation of the Justice League, is to make the film immediately in front of them the best it can possibly be.
I'm not sure anyone would disagree with a statement that submits that the best way to ensure the integrity of the Batman/Superman team-up film is to have more time to flesh it out. More time means more careful decisions can be made, and that things can be fine-tuned.
Why Time Is Important
The importance of that extra time can be summed up thusly: fans have waited too long and hoped for far too much for the studio to blow its chance on a single effort in a blindsiding fit of uncharacteristic confidence. It's very simple: more time gives each decision that Zack Snyder and David Goyer have to make a far lesser degree of urgency, and it's just human nature that decisions in most facets of life are generally better when made more methodically. As I saw on the wall of a pizza place situated on the Oregon coast, "Be patient: quality takes time."
More time also likely means greater confidence from the fans. How many sequels have genre fans been exposed to that have been awesome when released just under/over two years from the last installment? Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II? Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer? Was Iron Man 2 the best of the bunch? How about... Batman & Robin? Sure, there are examples where a sequel in that window does excel (like Spider-Man 2), but they're far less common than the reverse.
The moral of the story, dear Internet, comes in the form of Arnold Schwarzenegger's immortal words as Mr. Freeze from the aforementioned Batman & Robin:
Chances are that more time is only a good thing for this film. And, on the chance that it still manages to fall short of expectations? Now, there will be even less of an excuse than there was before. It's all in the hands of Mr. Snyder and Mr. Goyer, especially now that they have more time in the kitchen with their highly anticipated superhero team-up epic. No pressure.
Chris Clow is a geek. He is a comic book expert and former retailer, and freelance contributor to GeekNation.com, The Huffington Post, and Batman-On-Film.com. You can find his weekly piece Comics on Film every Wednesday right here at Movies.com. Check out his blog, and follow along on Twitter @ChrisClow.
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