The upcoming “Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice” is under tremendous pressure to perform financially, but perhaps more importantly for the long run, it must provide a firm platform for the future of the DC Expanded Universe. Although the second film in the planned connected universe after “Man of Steel”, the film will introduce many of the characters from the planned standalone DC Comic film adaptations.
Wither Warner Bros. Pictures having a less than stellar year at the box office, with flops like “Pan”, financially the DCEU properties will need to perform to secure the studios future.
This pressure, is transferring to all involved from Warners CEO Kevin Tsujihara and Batman actor himself, Ben Affleck. Affleck was initially subjected to a barrage of online hatred and criticism for his casting as the caped crusader, but public opinion on that seems to be somewhat on the turn, no doubt thanks to his rising stock as a filmamker. Even so, he’s more than aware that he’s not out of the woods just yet and tells Variety:
“I think there is a ton of pressure on it. I mean I would be bulls–ting you to say there isn’t… We are a very kind of instant gratification culture when it comes to analyzing the film business. And there is a lot of hyperbole involved. Nonetheless, there’s a lot of pressure on it. If it doesn’t do well, that will be extremely disappointing.
You’ll see next year they [Warner Bros.] are going to have a great year. They are now developing … probably the single greatest under-exploited IP asset in the entertainment business, the DC comic world. And now they have started to exploit that and you are going to see that blossom. And, when it does, it’s going to be massive.”
Affleck went on to praise Tsujihara (who is basically serving in the Kevin Feige Marvel overseer role for all DC film properties), for his involvement in the franchise and his overall plan for the shared DC universe going forward:
“I was really impressed by that and by the intelligence of his notes, and the fact that he cared. It was not like some guys, especially at that level, where it would be, ‘We need a franchise movie… we just need a movie with the names ‘Batman’ and ‘Superman’ on it and it doesn’t matter what it is. For him, that wasn’t it. He was willing to take longer to make the movie to get it right to make it a movie of higher quality.”
Affleck’s is expected to have a long working relationship on DC films now, with an appearance in next year’s “Suicide Squad” and a rumored appearance in “Wonder Woman,” along the “Justice League” films. The actor turned director is also heavily rumored to be in the frame to helm the standalone “The Batman” film.