Hey there movie fans! Sorry for the gap in posts, I was out of state attending a wedding of some very close friends. As time passed however a great many fun conversations among friends spurred the momentum behind the next few posts I’ll be writing over the next week or so.
This post however concerns legendary filmmaker George Miller’s next big budget project through Warner Brothers. Word around the web is that Miller is currently being offered to direct “Man of Steel 2” and/or “Justice League Dark” now that well documented Monster lover Guillermo Del Toro has left the project. Assuming that Miller’s next project isn’t another Mad Max sequel, which should he choose, and why?
The case for Man of Steel 2
Think back for a second, if you will, to earlier this year when almost out of nowhere this bombastic, full throttle, completely insane car chase movie erupted onto silver screens all across the country! Can you remember the last time you had that much absolute and refined Fun with a capitol F at the theater? Maybe Joss Whedon’s “Avengers”, but that movie had years of anticipation and expectation to live up to. The world had almost forgotten Max Rockastansky, and now everyone knows who the road warrior is again.
Now think back to when you saw Krypton’s last son gracing the silver screen once more. Bleak. Muted colors. Hardly a smile to be seen. Granted, I must admit, I quite enjoyed the film, but it isn’t without it’s faults. Chief among these is the lack of any exuberance and joy. I also believe an argument could be made that Henry Cavill’s Superman isn’t quite the one we all expect and know, nor that he should be. Growth through multiple films is something that Marvel Studios has been experimenting with and I can’t think of any reason why DC’s golden boy can’t experience character moments and plotlines that drive him to eventually become the character we want and need. At the end of Man of Steel I think he is closer to this, but not yet. By the time “Batman VS Superman”s credits roll we will be even closer, hopefully, to that depiction. My point being that beginning in “Man of Steel 2” Clark Kent should be settled into his role and thus be able to tackle the greater challenges that sequels themselves impose.
George Miller’s style and precision should bleed deeply into this property if he so chooses to take it on and I can only foresee greatness coming forth from this pairing. Miller’s visual flair will elevate this iteration into it’s own form. My own particular fascination is with the rumor that the villain will be Brainiac. The potential for such a powerful Superman villain that will only endorse the deep sci-fi undertones established in the first film is overwhelming. “Man of Steel” did well to incorporate this tone and building upon that in the followup will only empower it to transcend the problems of the first while remaining faithful to the core of this new Superman mythos and yet become a tonally different, but critically substantial film. I can’t claim to be able to dream up the perfect Superman sequel to the incredibly divisive origin tale, but I can’t imagine a better director to tackle the misgivings of the first, and become something truly super.
The case for Justice League Dark
Now that monster connoisseur Guillermo Del Toro has left this veritable Monster Squad remake its time to choose who should fill his shoes. With Characters like John Constantine, Deadman, Zatanna, and the Swamp Thing this is a movie that is rich and lush with possibilities. It also something completely and utterly different from Miller’s own “Mad Max” movies, let alone anything else he has made. It might just be the perfect palette cleanser before dropping back into the north African desert to, most assuredly, flip more insanely designed vehicles through the air once more.
What I love about the Justice League Dark comics is that the content is supernatural and mystic in nature, horror themed throughout really, but it never feels like a terrifying tale. The varying abilities of these characters along with their own according sets of sass, charm, and solemnity make these characters mix well because they are so different from each other. This only emboldens dialogue heavy scenes but fear not as the series is constantly mucking through the.. well, muck of the DC universe and it allows for slight cameos to be something of a reminder that Superman, Batman and the Flash also reside in this universe, and that’s a fun advantage to have.
One of the more palpable aspects of this film over Man of Steel’s sequel is that it seems to me that on set locations and practical filmmaking actually benefit this type of film more so than Superman slugging it out with Brainiac. This film needs lived in sets, on location filming, and real practical effects when possible. CGI is important in this day and age, but if you can get the visual feel of the film down without resorting to full blown green screen, then you have earned my money as a filmgoer. Heck I saw The “Avengers 2” twice in theaters, but “Mad Max” had me talking, writing, and generally not shutting up about it ever since I saw it, while Ultron’s musings were entertaining they weren’t as impressive when you know how both films were made. No hard feelings CGI coders, programmers, and math genies, we all appreciate you! George Miller can do “old school” filmmaking and I believe this is needed in this particular film, he can also inject a healthy dose of demon slaying fun right into the vein of this piece.
However, while I cannot think of another director for the Superman sequel, I have to say I would be incredibly intrigued by whatever Sam Raimi could do with this property, the man that made “Evil Dead” surely could have a great time with this. If George Miller chooses Justice League Dark though I will most certainly be checking it out.
So now that the seventy year old madman himself George Miller is back on everyone’s radar I can’t wait to see what he does next! Whether it is Superman’s next solo adventure, a haunted romp with Constantine and pals, or another desert run with the road warrior, I’ll be at the movie theaters, and ecstatic!