Kevin Smith Talks Warner Bros’ Approach On ‘Justice League’

Kevin Smith Justice League

The DC Extended Universe is going to large places next year with the release of Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman in June 2017, followed by Zack Snyder’s Justice League later that year in November. The cinematic universe of DC Comics has had its mixed reactions so far, but after the reception that the Justice League footage got at San Diego Comic-Con as well as Wonder Woman, it looks like a lot of people’s view points on the cinematic world is positively changing, including in filmmaker Kevin Smith.

During an interview with Canoe while promoting his new talk show Geeking Out with Heroes’ Greg Grunberg on AMC, Smith spoke about the way fans perceive these type of films, but that he can see how Warner Bros. is hearing the feedback and applying it to their cinematic universe for DC.

“The audience that pays to see these things are like, ‘There’s a certain set of standards that we want when we come see these superhero movies, and, yes, most of those standards have been set for us by Marvel… regardless, this is what we want in our superhero movies. We don’t want doom and gloom. We want them to like each other. We want them to have an interplay.’ It looks like (Warner Bros. and DC Comics) heard that loud and clear and everything that was missing or perceived to be missing from Batman v Superman seems like it’s in full display on Justice League, so I’m on board. I was already on board, but I’m very happy to see that they’re taking that direction.”

“Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy. Together, Batman and Wonder Woman work quickly to find and recruit a team of metahumans to stand against this newly awakened threat. But despite the formation of this unprecedented league of heroes—Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash—it may already be too late to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions.”

Zack Snyder’s Justice League, starring Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller, Ray Fisher, Willem Dafoe and J.K. Simmons, hit theaters November 17, 2017.

Kevin Smith’s Geeking Out airs on Sundays at Midnight/11c on AMC.

Source: Canoe

Andy Behbakht

Andy Behbakht

Andy Behbakht is an online entertainment journalist who has been covering television and movies since 2010. In addition, he is also a podcast producer.

  • Ambi Ent

    he should speak for himself

  • DoYouFeelInCharge?

    This is dumb, why should the genre be limited by what Marvel Studios has done so far? Donner’s Superman films, Singers first two X-Men films, Raimi’s first two Spidey films, Nolan’s Batman trilogy, all great and ground breaking CB films that came before the MCU. This kind of narrow minded thinking will kill this comic book movie boom.

    • Calum Sanderson

      “why should the genre be limited by what Marvel Studios has done so far?”

      Because the internet says so, duh.

      • DoYouFeelInCharge?

        Pretty much lol.

    • Marquis de Sade

      “why should the genre be limited by what Marvel Studios has done so far?”

      Cuz Marvel’s 4 movies (thus far) inducted into the BILLION DOLLAR+ CLUB compels dceu to try and follow suit. You can’t continue to produce big budgeted dreck with so so monetary returns.

      • DoYouFeelInCharge?

        But WB had the balls to take their own route despite the MCU’s success and now the critics may have bullied them into doing things the Marvel way. Why? Because they chose to focus primarily on the tone of BvS rather then the story problems. That’s just stupid, that narrow minded thinking is going to take this genre backwards. If we’re talking purely numbers, then DC is in a much better spot then Marvel was at this stage in their universe, Marvel’s hot streak didn’t begin until Avengers 1, five films into their cinematic universe. But oh wait, “Batman and Superman are gods and they’re supposed to make more money then anyone else!”. Well Deadpool says “hi” and that logic flies out of the window.

        • John Smith

          How does that logic fly out the window? If Batman and Superman didn’t have the name recognition to bank on, those movies would have made less. Deadpool made as much as it without having world wide recognition.

          For crying out loud, Batman Forever has a higher adjusted gross than Batman vs Superman, so I’m not sure you understand how this works,

          • DoYouFeelInCharge?

            Name recognition is a good excuse for opening weekend returns, but BvS mad nearly 900 mil after backlash and has topped the Blu-ray charts four weeks in a row. Even MOS is in the top 30 and it was released in 2013. A large portion of the public like these movies, plain and simple. Batman Forever and BvS are apples and oranges, one is cat nip for kids and the other is brutally dark and somber.

          • John Smith

            Good excuse for opening weekend returns… pretty sure BvS set records for its second week drop in box office returns. So yeah, name recognition played a large part in BvS box office returns.

            As far as the Blu-Ray sales, I have a feeling that has a lot to do with people HOPING the ultimate cut can fix the problems with the theatrical cut.

          • DoYouFeelInCharge?

            Why would people want to own an extended cut of a film that they hated in the first place? Are they masochists? Even if someone was just really curious, most young people today know how to easily find a torrent or how to watch it for free on some website. That also doesn’t explain MOS being in the top 40 on the Blu-ray charts in 2016.

          • Axxell

            Top anything doesn’t matter much when the competition is non-existent. Marvel movies are the closest thing, though a good chunk of the fans would rather wait for the Phase Collection rather than buy the individual movies. The rest of the films being released in home video are an afterthought to them.

          • John Smith

            They bought it because they WANTED to like it, because its freaking Superman and Batman, and the ultimate cut offers another chance. Not everyone pirates everything right off the bat, most people just buy the discs, including “young people”.

          • DoYouFeelInCharge?

            Ok, so you speak for everyone now and know what everyone’s thinking. Gotcha.

    • Axxell

      This is dumb, why should the genre be limited by what Marvel Studios has done so far?

      Not limited…defined. Just like before the iPhone, there were many great phones like the Nokia 3310 and the Motorola Razr. But when the iPhone launched, it set the standard for what a smartphone phone should be, to the point no one today has a mobile device that doesn’t have a touchscreen.

      That’s what Marvel did for the movie industry.

      This kind of narrow minded thinking will kill this comic book movie boom.

      Um…You DO realize it was Marvel who started the comic book movie boom, right?

      • DoYouFeelInCharge?

        Doesn’t matter, the general movie going audience will tire of seeing the same type of comic book film over and over again. Deadpool and Suicide Squad were a breathe of fresh air, they generated supreme hype because people were craving something different and the marketing promised them that. No use having this discussion now, we’ll see what things look like in eight to ten years time.

        • Axxell

          Well, Civil War had the best performance at the box office this year so, no…

          • DoYouFeelInCharge?

            Yes, a film with Spidey and everything but the kitchen sink thrown in failed to out gross Avengers 1, as did Age of Ultron. It’ll be a slow decline Marvel is king of the world right now it doesn’t happen over night.

          • Axxell

            It out grossed every other Captain America movie, so it looks like a long way down…

          • DoYouFeelInCharge?

            Of course it out grossed the other Cap movies, it was an Avenger movie with Spider-Man in it. That’s why I feel it’s more appropriate to compare it to the other Avenger films, but that’s just my opinion.

          • Axxell

            That’s a horribly reductive way to look at it…the movie revolved around Captain America, therefore it’s a Captain America movie. Having other heroes in some scenes doesn’t make it an Avengers movie.

  • batghost

    yeesh…this is exactly what we don’t want. My main issue with what WB has done with the DCEU is that EVERYTHING they do is reactionary. They never had a plan, they still dont have a plan, and everyone suffers from it.

    • Hey, as long as they can make their movies a little less crap each time, everybody wins. In a decade or so, one of them might even qualify as good.

      • DoYouFeelInCharge?

        Or you could acknowledge the Donner Superman movies, Burton Batman movies, and Nolan trilogy. Stop being a whiney troll who pretends no CB film existed before the MCU.

        • Axxell

          What matters is what they do TODAY, not what they did decades ago. And what they’re doing today is sub-standard.

        • What Axxell said. The older movies don’t factor into the quality of the newer ones. Also, not liking bad films doesn’t make me a troll. Many readers here don’t care whether the comic book movies are good or not, but some of us do.

  • Keiran S-C

    marvel have not done a good job at making superhero movies with the mcu they lost all the depth, character personalities, all the tragedy, and complexity and it was all replaced with cringy rather childish comedy and nothing else so it just feels like a barrage of endless comedy that leaves you exhuasted and bored by the end of the film and 9 times out of 10 not caring about the characters or what the narrative is attempting to tell.

    DC have some of the darkest narratives i have ever read i would be soo disappointed if they made comedians out of their heros, just imagine batman cracking wise in every scene…. almost every popular story arc from DC has horrific aspects to it whether its a 14 year old robnin beaten to death with a crow bar, wonder woman snapping maxwell lords neck on live feed to the world, superman being pummeled to death or carrying supergirls dead body to even corpses littering the streets in final crisis with their rib cages ripped open and bodies hanging from lamp posts with heir entrails hanging out, it simply isnt a lighthearted play fight crammed with one liners instead of emotion like we see in the mcu.

    • Marquis de Sade

      BLAH! BLAH! BLAH!

      “MAAAAARRRRTTTTHAAAAA!”

      • Keiran S-C

        lol diehard mcu fans are all the same xd

        • Marquis de Sade

          Pot callin’ kettle… (awww, you know the rest, dceu fangurl)?

          • Keiran S-C

            simply the worst fans of any franchise i have ever known :)

          • Marquis de Sade

            Shouldn’t you be callin’ for the total eradication of ROTTEN TOMATOES, cuz “THEY BE TOO MEAN TO dceu”?

          • Keiran S-C

            the guy incharge of that petition said it was a joke which mcu fans took way too seriously. it was supposed to look ridiculous to mirror how ridiculously bias RT ratings had become xD

            you wernt one of those guys that thought it was a serious petition are you haha ?

            ** and btw i love the old marvel movies hated DCs batmans and green lantern, superman returns havnt even seen the old superman and batman movies while i own all of marvels original films as well as iron man 1 and gotg on blu ray… not to mention all of the xmen cartoons xD not a real diehard dc fan i just enjoy good superhero movies and the mcu hardly has any

          • Marquis de Sade

            Buuuullllshiiiiit!
            Dude got flamed so hard, as a feeble display of ego-defense, he tried to play it off as a joke…Trust, as far as the whiniest, most pathetic fan nerds, you dceu fangurls has turned it into an artform of epic proportions!

          • Keiran S-C

            sorry bro its true go read up im right.

            MCU fans are appalling ppl, they cant see a DC post without throwing insults in the comment section, it didnt even start with MoS back when the dark knight was being released all i saw was MCU diehards posting memes of the avengers grossing more than batman like taking 5 heroes in the first ever big screen team up to narrowly beat out batman on his own is an achievement to brag about….. the worst fans ever

          • Marquis de Sade

            “marvel have not done a good job at making superhero movies with the mcu they lost all the depth, character personalities, all the tragedy, and complexity and it was all replaced with cringy rather childish comedy and nothing else so it just feels like a barrage of endless comedy that leaves you exhuasted and bored by the end of the film and 9 times out of 10 not caring about the characters or what the narrative is attempting to tell.”

            That was you, dceu fangurl, “NEEDLESSLY” throwin’ shade at Marvel on a jlu related thread.
            Talk about a disconnect?

          • Keiran S-C

            my post is on an article comparing them and saying how DC should follow marvels path which is ridiculous. I didnt post it on an article having nothing to do with their comparison this one sates that marvel have represented what fans want and only what they want when that is in no way accurate.

            i could list endless hate articles for the DCEU just scroll down the pages of entertainment weekly, variety, movie pilot, IGN and in the rare articles which have nothing to do with marvel such as castings or to do with deleted scenes, what we might see in future movies. There is endless hate from MCU diehards in the comment section.

          • Making good movies that understand their characters and tone isn’t following Marvel’s path. It’s doing what all movies should do.

          • Keiran S-C

            i doubt it i mean alot of the major story points in the movies would be mocked if they were done in comics. i cant see any comic fan saying the ending to the first avengers was well written that never telling you the aliens have a hive mind then suddenly and randomly killing them all off by pure luck is a great way to end a massive story ark or that quicksilver is fast enough to run infront of a load of bullets and catch them with his body but not fast enough to pause before running past them and push them aside or simply pick them out of the air… no alot of comic fans would be angry if they tried to pull that over their eyes.

            As for the tone i dont buy the comics tbf but id expect the team dynamic to be balanced in some way not have 5-6 comedians surely thats left to stark or spiderman and characters like black widow, cap, thor, hulk are all very serious. i cant see them all cracking as many jokes as spiderman does like they do in the movies and joking around while they comically beat up villians who have murdered hundreds of innocents :/ doesnt seem like a hero thing to do to me which is what puts me off the movies

          • Napi

            Marvel f*ckin’ sucks! LOL!! xD xD When do you finally realize that!!?

          • Axxell

            Sorry…Who’s the one making excuses for the fact their movies get lambasted by critics again?

          • Napi

            What are you talking about man xDxdXD

          • Axxell

            You know exactly what I’m talking about…

          • Napi

            Nope… i don’t you idiot xDxdXD

          • Axxell

            Then that would make your comment ultimately ironic…

          • Napi

            ??? Go away Loser! xDxdxDD

          • Axxell

            Ooooh! You shouldn’t have said that…Now I’m REALLY not gonna leave…

          • DoYouFeelInCharge?

            You just described your life story, you desperately troll every one of these DC threads and throw “shade” needlessly. You are sad and BEGGING for attention.

          • Marquis de Sade

            …and you dceu fangurls romanticize/rationalize mediocrity and failure…but hey, I guess we all have our crosses to bear, huh?

          • DoYouFeelInCharge?

            That’s fine, I rather be optimistic about mediocre movies then be a troll. I’m a DC fan and I don’t troll Marvel threads, but by and large there’s more Marvel trolls everywhere you look on the net. How can you be so arrogant and boastful about the MCU, yet so angry and insecure?

          • Marquis de Sade

            Howabout askin’ Sammy-rai and his evil dceu cheerleader squad/cult that rhetorical question?

          • DoYouFeelInCharge?

            Sorry, I don’t see him trolling Marvel threads so your comparison doesn’t play.

            Of course there are morons on both sides, but Marvel has the bandwagon jumpers because of their success so they have greater numbers to troll with and the proof is all over the net.

            As for you, just caught your post in an Avengers thread….

            “dceu WHO???”
            “dceu WHAT???”

            Just one of many examples of you being an insufferable troll.

          • Marquis de Sade

            You forgot to add the bass beat.

          • DoYouFeelInCharge?

            Nice response, enjoy your favorite hobby troll. I’ll be enjoying all comic book movies, and if some are just “ok” I’ll move on and deal with it like an adult.

          • Marquis de Sade

            MSN just compiled their Summer’s WINNERS and LOSERS at the movies, and I must say it’s soooo right on!

            http://www.msn.com/en-us/movies/gallery/the-5-biggest-winners-and-losers-at-the-box-office-this-summer/ss-BBvRbYY?fullscreen=true&li=BBnb7Kz#image=1

          • DoYouFeelInCharge?

            Lol nearly 600 million on a 175 mil budget, and the film still hasn’t been released in Japan or Germany yet. SS sounds like a winner to me!

          • Axxell

            Sorry, I don’t see him trolling Marvel threads so your comparison doesn’t play.

            Probably because you haven’t checked Marvel threads here…

          • DoYouFeelInCharge?

            Ok maybe he’s a troll too, I dunno. Two trolls don’t make a right though lol. We should always call out trolls even when we agree with them because they take the fun out of the fan community.

          • LORD OF GANGSTAS

            most of these trolls are paid sock accounts..the perception war is very real my friend.There’s even solid proof if you know were to look.Disney pays very well..up to $5000 for a favorable review in you happen to hold considerable sway in the fan community..why do you think THE FORCED AWAKENING was given such a pass when that movie was pure shit.a..Sony implemented these tactics same as well with the campaign leading up to ghostbusters 2016…its a shame that DC is this desperate and clueless enough to shameless copy there competition. Batman vs superman may have been divisive upon its release..but look at how strong the dvd/blu ray sales are..its clear that the movie’s getting alot of love and respect outside of what bribed critics would have people believe..yet Warners all but ignores this..Thomas Tull should be leading Warner brothers.or at least someone who recognizes a smear campaign from his competitors when he sees one.

          • LORD OF GANGSTAS

            Dont back down to these idiots.RT “is”a biasd…

    • That’s an opinion, alright.

      • Keiran S-C

        well its true isnt it, the majority of DC is very dark and horrific their fans rang in to vote for a kid to be beaten to death with a crow bar and the franchise did just that, or green lantern killing tons of other innocent green lanterns after going insane due to his city being destroyed and millions killed, even GL kyle rayner had his girlfriend beaten to death and stuffed into his fridge and hes the most lighthearted one of the 4 xD DC excel at the dark and tragic narratives and the DCEU delivers them beautifully in scenes like zods death were you really feel superman lose a piece of his soul for taken a life or batmans beautifully shot origin, The DoS.

        Im sure marvel has their dark side their old movies were fantastic such as blade or spiderman who pretty much killed a man he mistakenly thought had killed his uncle but when it comes to the mcu instead of tragic emotional scenes which get you invested in the characters and help them develop or even an epic struggle to take down a villain we get ultron comically punched into the distance after a wille e coyote pause and a one liner crammed in or lokis entire alien invasion stopped by a nuke flying around in outer space and killing all of the alien soldiers without ever foreshadowing a hive mind connection :S:S and again loki is comically thrown around by the hulk with a one liner crammed in and thats supposed to be his downfall, come on really.

        i just dont feel the selling point of their massive superhero cinematic universe should be the comedy instead of quality story telling.

        • That’s not what most of DC’s comics are like at all. Other than a few popular (and usually outside of continuity) graphic novels like The Dark Knight Returns and Watchmen, most of DC’s output has been of the traditional comic book variety. The New 52 reboot did go a little darker and less optimistic in tone, but most comic critics and readers came to dislike the New 52 so they dropped it.

          It seems that the Nolan films and especially the DCEU films have given movie watchers a false impression of what DC comics and especially DC characters are like. If you want to see what they’re actually like, look no further than the “Timmverse” Justice League, Superman, and Batman animates series.

          • Keiran S-C

            Dc reset their universe every 5 years or so changing the canon even origin stories of characters like wonder woman and cyborg continuity isnt a problem and when it comes to their cinematic universe i would be bored to see them repeat their narratives word by word from hte comics especially when some of the comics they use are dull like the Death of Superman, which was a 20+ page brawl with no narrative and a meaningless DoS

            DC most well known and best selling narratives all deal with loss and tragedy the heros have their light parts but that in no way pushes out the serious tone and tragic story points. look at the infinte crisis narratives probably DC biggest selling comic arks they have truly darkk moments we see the joker throwing acid in alexander luthors face for petes sake xD batman shooting darkseid or bdsm variants of batwoman and wonder woman lol iv never seen or read anything similar to the mcu produced by DC apart from the GL movie.

            The animated series has a very young target audience its not like their animated movies were we actually see anumber of the famous narratives i listed in my last few comments played out the red hood, killing joke, flashpoint which has wonder woman beheading mera and aquaman committing genocide, and tbh the old justice league animated series has more serious story telling than the mcu films they take the threat of villains seriously something i only saw in most of winter soldier, iron man 1 and the last 10 minutes of civil war(although i cant stand the film).

            Id say to get a good understanding of the DC heroes jusst read up on their biggest story arks on wiki or something or the best way imo is to listen to the audio books by graphic audio<< fantastic material.

    • SAMURAI36

      Excellent point.

  • Monty

    I really disagree with Smith on this one. I don’t have any problem with the tone of DC movies. I’m fine with them being more serious than Marvel films. The only problem I have is the poor editing the movies are subjected to. It seems like everyone with a title at WB gets to make a pass at editing the movie depending on what random bunch of yahoos (that is their test audience) tells them to do. Just get those idiots out of the way so we can watch the movies the way the director intended.

  • SAMURAI36

    I’ve begun to really dislike Kevin Smith more & more. I used to think he was a cool (albeit silly/corny) mascot for DC. But it’s become increasingly annoying, how he flip-flops with stuff. First he hated BVS, then he liked it.
    As someone who is supposed to be an industry insider, HTF does he NOT know that WB’s plan was to lighten up JL from the very beginning? That was announced OVER A YEAR AGO, by the writer of BVS…. You know, the same writer for JL?
    This is the guy that co-hosted the DC Films special with Geoff Johns. The guy that’s Affleck’s bff. The guy that’s directing several eps of DCTV. The guy that does “Fatman on Batman.”
    So why is he so F’ing clueless & wish-washy?

  • flavortang

    I just hope that the DC films don’t lose the edge they had in MoS and BvS. I don’t want the DCEU to be a bunch of extended Mentos commercials where people are giving big thumbs up and winking at the camera.

    It’s a bit disappointing and condescending to the source material that it seems like casual movie fans will only accept superhero movies that fall into predictable formulas. Oh well, better to have DCEU movies that have their claws clipped a little than no movies at all.

    • Marquis de Sade

      That’s the problem with you dceu fangurls, y’all always mistakingly equate coma-inducing dreck with “EDGE”.

  • LORD OF GANGSTAS

    So you’ll really ban my comment?..no free speech round these parts i guess.

  • Rob

    The Nolan Batmans showed you could go darker and people will love them. People didn’t like BvS not because it was dark, but because it wasn’t very good.