Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice turned a profit (possibly before it was even released, due to ad tie-ins), but the audience reception often centered around the film being too dark and/or depressing. Even industry insiders seemed to agree, with Time Warner chairman and CEO Jeff Bewkes saying the DC movies needed “more lightness” and DC’s Jon Berg saying they “may have been too dark in parts.” Does this make Ben Affleck a sad Batman? Probably not, considering what he said about “fair criticism” in an interview with EMPIRE.
“I can understand people saying [Batman V Superman] was too dark, or this was outside the tone of what I’m used to seeing with a Batman story, and I think that’s a fair criticism,” Affleck said. This was in a studio-approved feature about Justice League in the magazine, which means Warner is continuing their mea culpa about criticisms of BvS. Wonder Woman has a more optimistic vibe, and both Affleck and Gal Gadot stressed that the tone of Justice League is lighter. Affleck said, “Zack [Snyder] wanted to make a movie that was more fun, that was a little bit light, that wasn’t so encumbered with heavy melodrama.” Gadot said the film “is not a dark or heavy movie. It doesn’t have the weight Batman V Superman had.”
Affleck also called the lighter tone of Justice League a “natural progression” and said it was planned that way before Batman V Superman was released, not as a reaction to criticism. I’m skeptical about that, but it could be true; Warner started talks with Joss Whedon long before he was involved in Justice League, which suggests they were already looking for a lighter tone for some of their movies.
If only they’d known about the complaints they’d be getting about BvS. They could have instantly lightened the tone with some new theme music…
Kinda makes it better.