Like the recent Batman sequel — which has become the highest-grossing film of the year thus far — Mr. Robinov wants his next pack of superhero movies to be bathed in the same brooding tone as “The Dark Knight.” Creatively, he sees exploring the evil side to characters as the key to unlocking some of Warner Bros.’ DC properties. “We’re going to try to go dark to the extent that the characters allow it,” he says. That goes for the company’s Superman franchise as well.
If Dark Knight has already convinced the suits that “darker=better,” Watchmen is going to seal the deal.
Oh goody. Now, far be it from me to begrudge anyone his or her own personal “aha” moment:
Snyder remembers screening some Watchmen footage for an unnamed studio executive. Afterward, Snyder says, the exec turned to him and said, ”This makes Superman look stupid.”
To get grumpy about the mass audience discovering something that hip comic fans discovered years ago would just be elitism, and as tempting as it is, I recognize that it’s not fair.
What I’m honestly not looking forward to is the deluge of misguided imitations of the Dark Knight/Watchmen vibe, as the broader entertainment industry tries to digest this pill that the comics industry first swallowed 20 years ago and is finally, gradually, starting to metabolize. Sure, some of the influence will be good — we’re not likely to see Schwarzenegger as Mr. Freeze again — but as the AV Club put it, “the immediate impact of Watchmen was a wave of violent, ugly, and stupid superhero comics.” We’re about to see that unfold all over again, writ large.
Hopefully it won’t last too long and the next big Hollywood trend will arrive soon. Cowboy musicals or something.