One of the dreams of comics fans is that comic book movies will get popular enough that some of the smaller but durable concepts will hit the screen. It’s part of the reason Arrow has a fan base. But apparently DC Comics has big plans for the smaller characters.
Essentially, DC is allegedly planning to start churning out lower-budget action movies at a pace of two a year, to complement the big tentpole movies that likely will start hitting every summer if the plan to get the Justice League on screen comes together. Mostly starring supervillains and Steve Trevor, actually.
Suicide Squad is one specifically mentioned as only needing a $40 million budget, pre-marketing. Some could be made for as little as $20 million. And with two-a-year scheduled for Spring and Fall/Autumn, Warners can expand the Man Of Steel/Batman universe significantly, and make a decent profit in the process.
Other ideas include Deathstroke, Booster Gold, and Team 7 (…really, DC?) The idea, as you may have guessed, is to make these movies more like, say, Dredd than Man of Steel in terms of scale, and build them more around the concepts than the lead actors. They’d also be spring and fall movie releases.
Honestly, it’s an appealing idea. Really, the only way movies like Suicide Squad are going to get made is if they’re well below the standard $100 million budget for a movie. That said, though, it’s going to require a lot more than just the character to sell these; Time Warner and DC are going to have to both pick good directors to get these movies made and loosen the leash a little bit.
For these to stand out, they’re going to have to break from the mold of “Here’s the origin” and play in other genres. Dredd should really be the leading light, here; get an arty director, write a great screenplay, and make these about more than corporate synergy.
Besides, this might finally goad Marvel into making Nextwave as an R-rated superhero comedy. So we all win.