After a string of disappointments compared to the smash hits being brought by Marvel, the DC film world needs a boost. The same old strategy isn’t working and the bosses over at WB think they’ve figured out why.
Speaking to EW, Warner Bros. film chairman Toby Emmerich talked around the DCEU’s struggles while emphasizing that quality films will bring the superhero universe back from the brink. And Aquaman is the upcoming film they’re all hoping will do it.
Speaking on Aquaman’s success, Emmerich notes that “it’s important that it works.” But for how it’s going to work, he’s a little less straightforward. “I think the good movies work better, Emmerich said. “Somebody once said the best business strategy in motion pictures is quality. And I think in a world of Rotten Tomatoes and social media, what’s been proven the better the movie — particularly in the superhero genre — the better it performs. You can’t hide the bacon anymore.”
The bacon - which in this instance seems to refer to the lackluster elements of would-be blockbusters - is something Aquaman looks to cut from its diet entirely. Emmerich compares its authorial style to Wonder Woman, saying that as director Patty Jenkins brought her style to the film, James Wan brings his to Aquaman. That’s something that helps the film catch the “global culture zeitgeist” Emmerich sees around him - a sign of a successful movie.
While he doesn’t necessarily say that the previous movies have been of lesser quality, the film head does imply that Aquaman is more right for its time than movies like, say, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. “You need a movie whose quality is recognized at the moment of release so it’s in touch with the culture of the moment,” Emmerich says, and he’s placing all his hopes on Aquaman to be that movie.