Hey girl, we’ve got to get out of this place. There’s got to be something better than this. I need you, but I hate to see you this way. If I were Superman then we’d fly away. (Wish I Could Fly Like) Superman, written by Ray Davies.
This past week has been quite full of two things, the first one being news.
Among the very few items in the news that promoted a sense of hope and tranquility was the communication from the very fan-friendly co-head of Warner’s DC Studios James Gunn, who tweeted the eventual possibility of a big-ass Marvel / DC crossover movie. He pointed out that he remains good friends with Marvel Media Emperor Kevin Feige, particularly with Gunn’s third and final Guardians of the Galaxy movie set to drop any day now, and that they talk all the time.
Well, that’s amusing. Maybe it will happen, although I have no doubt that would come off no earlier than a year with a “7” in it at best. But I’ve been through this before over on the publishing side, and you’ll note that the last time a DC / Marvel comic came out was well before any of Marc Alan Fishman’s multitude of children were born. When the first such effort was announced the word around DC Comics was “why should we give Marvel such a massive promotion opportunity?” Yet the 1976 Superman vs. The Amazing Spider-Man tabloid tome was published, and it was worthy.
Historians will observe the publishers’ hubris in their attitudes. By 1976, Marvel owned the American comics racks, and DC would be thought of as an also-ran if there had been any competition in the superhero genre. Some folks over at Marvel felt exactly the same way but they had the benefit of having actually comprehending the sales figures charts. Greener heads prevailed and the companies got together to print money.
Today, it would be completely fair to say that it is Marvel Studios that would be giving DC Studios this rare promotion opportunity. Of course, if this crossover movie didn’t happen until my predicted 2027 — Kevin Feige’s 20th anniversary exec-ting the House of Idea — things might change. DC might have pulled their movies and media out of their dumpster fire, and/or Marvel movies might uniformly suck, or theater-goers might have become entranced with other genres. Anybody up for some post-apocalyptic romcoms?
I have absolutely no doubt whatsoever that they would, and will, completely screw it up by overloading the movie with tons of heroes and villains. Such is their way; it’s how they think. They could not keep it as simple as, say, Batman and Deadpool playing off of each other while conquering still another menace that threatens the multiverse, preferably an original baddie. The two can even debate the different Earth numbering systems:
Batman: Earth-1 is first. One is one.
Deadpool: Earth-616 is bigger. You know bigger is better, Mister A!
Batman: Numbers are just a construct. Earth-1 is better.
Deadpool: Earth-1 is full of monkeys! They’ll be flinging shit at us!
Batman: This job isn’t supposed to be easy. We must get those monkeys!
Deadpool: Yeah, sure. Everything is better with a monkey…
OK, you get the idea. You also understand why they’re not likely to hire me to write the screenplay. But a tight, uncrowded two-hour actioner with end credits scenes that set up the next Marvel movie and the next DC movie could be great fun, and lord knows they’ve got the A-listers on both sides of the camera to pull it off. Warners could distribute the movie in North America and Disney the rest of the world. Or vice versa. And they could debut on both Disney Plus and HBOless Max at the same time. And Tinker Bell could place a chocolate mint on our pillows every night!
Plus… there’s the possibility of such a movie becoming a major boon to superhero movies and to theater owners alike. Instead of worrying about whether DC benefits more than Marvel or Marvel makes out better than DC, this movie could bring attention and excitement to a genre that just might be more than a bit overplayed. That would benefit both studios, the industry, and life on Earth as we know it.
Yeah, I know. It’ll never happen. Bureaucracies have sunk much, much smaller ships and, besides, somebody will sue both studios for anti-trust. Ironically, that very well could be Amazon, with Joey Quesada over there now.
But, hopefully, Roger Rabbit could make a guest appearance.