With rumors swirling that Ben Affleck would be stepping down from his role as Batman after Justice League, I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to say that Warner Bros. needs to have a big day this weekend at Comic-Con. They need to be prepared to discuss Affleck’s rumors directly - confirming or denying as they see fit - and show off some footage for Justice League that keeps fans excited about the movie, regardless of the rumors circulating around it. Even those who believe that Warner Bros. has charted a new direction for itself with the addition of Joss Whedon and the success of Wonder Woman would admit that the studio has its work cut out for it.
Studio math might be one part proprietary data and one part alchemy, but here’s something I feel pretty confident saying: when your trailer sets the all-time record for most views in a day, you’re about to make some moolah. We all remember that the first teaser trailer for It had 197 million views in its first 24 hours online, shattering the previous (albeit short-lived) record of 139 million set by The Fate of the Furious. Those would be extraordinary numbers for any movie, but for an unapologetic horror film about a demon clown? Not even the most aggressive Warner Bros. projections could have predicted that.
We all know that Ben Affleck’s performance as Batman was one of the few things both critics and fans of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice could completely agree on. From his shallow playboy persona as Bruce Wayne to his thinly veiled rage as the Dark Knight, Affleck’s take on the character got everyone very excited to see what the actor-writer-director could do with a free hand for his standalone The Batman movie. Unfortunately, things have slowed considerably since, with rumors of mediocre scripts and a shifting release date taking some of the buzz off the upcoming release.
Look, all things being equal, I really didn’t mind Jared Leto’s take on the Joker in Suicide Squad. Yes, the constant news items about what latest “crazy” thing he did to get in character were pretty annoying, and yes, the number of people who seem to think that Joker and Harley Quinn’s relationship is something to emulate is downright disturbing, but Leto seemed like a perfect fit for the gloomy and angst-ridden universe that Warner Bros. has created for its DC Comics characters. At another studio, he’d be woefully out of place. In this one? He’s fine.
We have our 'Wreck-It Ralph,' various video game-adapted movies, and even a feature-length 'Angry Birds' film on the way, but now Hollywood is continuing the rich traditional of creating worlds around our favorite nostalgic items with the announcement of a 'Space Invaders' movie.