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After Batman v. Superman, Can Suicide Squad Save DC From Itself?

After Batman v. Superman, Can Suicide Squad Save DC From Itself?

Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice is a very serious film about very serious heroes, with our two protagonists fighting at the darkest of night while giving speeches about trust and humanity.  This very serious origin film, (meant to spawn a universe of DC Comics-related Justice League films), also was a critical failure, clocking in at a 28% “fresh” rating on compiler site Rotten Tomatoes. Combined this with a 75% box office drop from week one to week two (and a 55% drop from week two to three), and the future of the much touted “DC Extended Universe” and its” ability to perform at the box office is suddenly very much in doubt.

This brings us to the next film on Warner Bros. DC-related slate: August’s Suicide Squad. The film has a much smaller budget vs Batman v Superman (only $100 million compared to $250 million+), so expectations initially might have been a bit lower, but with the first film in the shared universe creating so little positive buzz, Suicide Squad suddenly finds itself with a heavier burden to bear.

Fans can see the film try to evolve as the trailers for the project have been released. The first trailer coming out of Comic-Con had a very dark, and somber tone:

The second trailer then brought out the color and shed the dark tone for a wild romp featuring Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody:

Our third look at the film (released in the past week), furthered the preference of manic pace and comedy over the dark brooding tone of the first trailer:

That said, tone isn’t the sole concern coming out of Batman v Superman. The director of that film, Zack Synder, has long been criticized for his style over substance approach in films like 300 or Sucker Punch. The director of Suicide Squad, David Ayers, has a good number of well-received films like Training Day, End of Watch, and last year’s Fury, but has still had to defend the film over recent re-shoots rumored to make the film “funnier.”

Suicide Squad could be the irreverent villain-centric film DC is hoping for, but it still has some hurdles to jump as fans are already upset with the film’s objectification of fan favorite Harley Quinn, which is worth an article all unto itself, and it remains to be seen how this film will fit into the larger DC film universe.

Many critics (and fans), criticized Batman vs Superman for it’s very dark tone and emotional detachment from the title characters. There are a number of superhero movies with clear focuses on humor doing very well at the box office (2016’s Deadpool, $754 million, and 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy $774 millon alone as examples), so Warner Bros. has strong evidence to prod itself into making its live-action DC movies funnier and more joyful. We will have to wait till August to find out if Suicide Squad fits the bill as one of those films.

Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. 

About Bradford D Harrison

Bradford D Harrison is the co-publisher, managing editor, and webmaster at Playmaker Magazine. He covers the Houston Texans and Dallas Mavericks, as well music and film festivals like Austin City Limits and South by Southwest. He currently lives in Houston.