Ok, so thus far Aaron Sorkin has only said he has taken some meetings with Marvel and DC, but even the prospect of ‘The Wally West Wing’ or ‘A Few Good Supermen’ (I could go on) has me very excited.
True, they would not be the titles, I was being silly. What’s not silly though is my belief that Sorkin is one of the best screenwriters alive. As one of the biggest issues DC especially has contended with is the quality of the screenplays they’re working with, so the chance of having someone as skilled as Sorkin involved in any way gives me a little hope that the DC Extended Universe movies could get better. I can’t imagine Aaron Sorkin resolving a mortal clash between two diametrically opposed heroes merely by invoking their mum’s name!
I have a sad feeling it’s one of those partnerships that is discussed but never develops to the point of actually getting the film made. Even so, just the knowledge that someone over at Warner Bros has raised the idea of involving a writer of Sorkin’s calibre is the tiniest glimmer of hope in an otherwise increasingly bleak and ever-darkening franchise.
Hark, wait, that’s not all! The other recent development is in the form of a high-level ‘defection’ of sorts. Mr Joss Whedon (he of geekdom fame) has reportedly been signed to make a Batgirl movie for DC.
It’s not entirely fair to call this a defection, as some may know, Whedon once tried to get a ‘Wonder Woman’ reboot going, with Adrianne Palicki in the lead role though it never got past filming a pilot. He’s well-known for bringing strong female characters to the screen, so putting aside the notion that a female protagonist must be directed by a female director, I challenge anyone to come up with a better person for the job.
I love Joss Whedon’s work, so his move from Marvel to DC is in my opinion the most promising hope of a shot in the arm for the DCEU. We have already seen him at work in the big-stakes hero genre, pulling off the mammoth task of ‘The Avengers’ and following up strongly (if not as satisfyingly) with ‘Age of Ultron’. It’s too late to hope he will be brought on as a steadying hand for ‘Justice League’ but as DC’s lineup enters a second stage (not ‘phase’ as Marvel have coined that term) he could be a hugely beneficial influence.
Imagine if both of these prospects came to fruition! That could bring in a new era and palpable shift for the world of comic book movies like no other that’s come before. In this increasingly ‘R-Rated’ phase of the ongoing phenomenon, Sorkin especially could usher in a move towards serious thinking more than serious fighting that would offer a lot for those of us who want the depth and complexity that many of the comics and graphic novels have long offered only to be simplified for screen so they’re more box-office friendly. Studios are now aware that audiences will turn up for these movies not just despite but possibly even because they break from the mainstreamed and family-friendly norms.