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The Batman Proved Snyder’s First Dark Knight Mistake Was The DCEU’s Worst



With the massive success of The Batman, Robert Pattinson’s turn as the titular vigilante has proved that Zack Snyder’s first mistake with the character also created the DCEU‘s biggest Batman problem. Matt Reeves’ The Batman sees Robert Pattinson don the cape and cowl in a much grittier and more grounded take on the character. Reviews for The Batman have been distinctly positive, praising both Pattinson’s performance and the film’s general characterization of its eponymous protagonist.

The Batman‘s story is wholly independent of the DCEU, whose version of the character has so far been played by Ben Affleck. The DCEU itself has been plagued with issues, both behind-the-scenes and in the critical response to its films. One of the franchise’s biggest problems lies in its tone, often considered over-serious, with other criticisms also leveled at how the DCEU handled Affleck’s Batman overall.


While The Batman‘s tone is equally serious, it has generally managed to avoid these same criticisms, which highlights exactly what the problem with the DCEU’s Batman has been. Batman himself is a dark and brooding figure, but forcing a character of his nature to interact with other DC heroes (who are traditionally much less dark) affects the overall impact the heroes in question have on their own stories. Being independent of these other heroes, the Batman allows its titular character to be dark and serious with no risk of contradiction or any undermining elements. This DCEU problem is compounded by the approach Snyder took to the character in his early franchise installments.

Batman Is One Of DC’s Most Iconic Heroes

Batman’s status as one of the most iconic pop culture figures is undeniable, and therefore, he was always going to be given a place of importance in DC’s cinematic universe. Robert Pattinson’s Batman is but the latest in a long string of cinematic iterations of the character, and the Caped Crusader’s movie history has seen him undergo several significant changes, with many actors associated with the role over the years. As such, almost every audience member has certain expectations of the character, and these are often an important consideration for filmmakers.

Batman’s iconic nature makes him an inherently integral part of any wider DC franchise, but his specific story and characterization can prove difficult to reconcile alongside other heroes. As the character is defined by witnessing the murder of his parents, Batman’s tragic backstory is always a key part of the character, but it often makes him relatively humorless (especially in comparison to other heroes). However, as Batman is such a recognizable and well-loved hero, keeping him out of the DCEU (or any major DC franchise) is unthinkable.

The Dark Knight Trilogy (And The MCU) Secured Batman’s Place In The DCEU

The DCEU officially began in 2013 with Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel, but the franchise’s foundations were initially intended to be built by Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy. The overwhelming popularity of Christian Bale’s more grounded version of Batman led to Snyder’s similar approach to Superman in Man of Steel, but it also proved that Batman was a character that audiences still wanted to see. After Nolan’s insistence that his Dark Knight trilogy remains separate from the DCEU, the role was recast and rewritten for Ben Affleck to appear in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

However, the birth of the franchise was also inspired by the massive success of the MCU, and Batman’s inclusion was a key part of DC’s plan for their own rival cinematic universe. The MCU has its own superpower-less billionaire benefactor in Tony Stark, and Bruce Wayne is the obvious choice for this role within the DCEU. Once the success of the Dark Knight trilogy was also factored in, the darker, grittier Batman of the DCEU was subsequently born.

Why Ben Affleck’s Batman Didn’t Work In The DCEU

Many believe that the DCEU failed Ben Affleck’s Batman by making the character too dark and serious and not allowing him any real emotional range. While this is generally true, the DCEU actually failed Ben Affleck in a much broader sense, as his Batman had genuine potential to be one of the franchise’s most interesting and complex characters. This ultimately wasn’t the case, as the DCEU rarely explored the deeper levels of the character by only having him appear in its movies alongside other heroes.

While Batman’s role in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League was substantial, Affleck’s version of the character was never given a story that didn’t revolve around his work with (or against) other heroes. This is a fundamental failure of the character, as many of Batman’s greatest stories are solo ones. While this is something that Ben Affleck’s solo Batman movie possibly could have fixed, the issues with the DCEU version of the character were potentially too deep-seated within the franchise to ever be fully redeemed, and the project was ultimately abandoned in favor of The Batman.

How The Batman Proves Batman Is Better Working Alone

The Batman was immediately praised by critics and audiences alike for its fresh take on the character that still afforded a certain reverence to his comic book roots, and it continues the trend of successful Batman movies in which the character works independently of other prominent DC heroes. In doing so, the film allows for a consistent tone that establishes The Batman‘s Gotham City as a dark and gritty setting, and its brutal action and noir story feels far more organic than the world of the DCEU.

By taking the character of Batman back to a more recognizable format, The Batman is able to capture the established tone of the character while still offering something new and exciting. Pattinson’s Batman is a vigilante detective who maintains a “no-kill” rule without the need for outlandish technology to keep up with other heroes, and that’s far more in line with what’s expected of the character than the version that currently exists within the DCEU. While Ben Affleck’s Batman certainly had potential, the way the franchise used him in conjunction with other heroes rather than alone wasn’t the right approach, and The Batman‘s success proves that the Dark Knight is best viewed working alone in his current form.

Why The DCEU’s New Batman Plan Will Work

With The Flash set to see its titular speedster explore alternate universes, the DCEU will soon introduce its own Multiverse narrative. This will alter the wider context of the DCEU in an obvious way, but it also allows for a shift in tone – namely, one that moves away from the over-serious nature of Ben Affleck’s Batman. Through The Flash‘s Multiverse story, the DCEU will bring Michael Keaton’s Batman into the franchise, with the current indications being that he will replace Affleck as the franchise’s resident Dark Knight.

The reasons that Michael Keaton’s return as Batman will work are the counterpoint to the reasons that Affleck’s version of the character didn’t. Keaton’s Batman is dark without being overly brooding, and most importantly, his version of the character has a sense of humor that will play well with the characters of the DCEU. While most cinematic versions of Batman work far better independently of other DC heroes, Keaton’s version is very different from Pattinson’s. This allows The Batman‘s sequels to handle solo Batman stories and Keaton’s Batman to inject a little brevity into the DCEU‘s version of the character.

  • DC League of Super-Pets (2022)Release date: Jul 29, 2022
  • Black Adam (2022)Release date: Oct 21, 2022
  • Shazam! Fury of the Gods (2022)Release date: Dec 21, 2022
  • Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (2023)Release date: Mar 17, 2023
  • The Flash (2023)Release date: Jun 23, 2023
  • Blue Beetle (2023)Release date: Aug 18, 2023

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China Box Office: ‘Shazam!’ and ‘M3gan’ Open Weakly



Hollywood’s new release titles fantasy action adventure “Shazam! Fury of the Gods” and horror thriller “M3gan” made only modest impressions on the box office in mainland China in their opening weekends.

The box office chart was led by “Post-Truth,” a Chinese comedy which probes the impact of social media in a story about a wronged small-time businessman. It earned $18.8 million (RMB130 million) in its second weekend of release, according to data from consultancy Artisan Gateway.

That was an increase of more than 10% on its opening frame. After ten days on release, “Post-Truth” has a cumulative of $51.2 million (RMB353 million).

Unchanged in second place was Chinese-made crime drama “Revival.” It earned $6.3 million over the weekend for a cumulative of $22.3 million.

“Shazam! Fury of the Gods” was the highest-placed new release with a $4.3 million (RMB29.5 million) haul over three days.

Fourth place belonged to the enduring Chinese New Year title “Boonie Bears: The Guardian Code,” part of a long-running local film franchise. It earned $1.7 million (RMB11.6 million), barely lower than the previous weekend, and now has a cumulative of $214 million.

“M3gan” placed fifth with $1.6 million (RMB11.2 million) over the first three days of its release period.
Chinese ticketing firm Maoyan forecasts that “Shazam!” will only run on to make RMB54 million ($7.8 million), while “M3gan” might only get to RMB22 million ($3.2 million).

While the numbers are weak, studio sources say that they are happy with current direction of Chinese film regulation and importation. Not only are Hollywood titles getting in to China at a greater pace than during the last two years, they are doing so with more advanced notice – a factor which allows better marketing and promotion.

Additionally, there is a growing expectation that, for the rest of this year, nearly all of Hollywood’s major titles will be able to get a launch in China that that is closely coordinated with releases in North America and other territories.

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Monk Movie Story Details Teased By Tony Shalhoub



Tony Shalhoub is providing new details about reprising his iconic role in the recently announced Monk movie. Shalhoub led the cast of the USA Network police procedural as the eponymous eccentric private detective solving a variety of cases in San Francisco, including the case of his wife who was killed by a car bomb years before. Over a decade after its emotional series finale, it was revealed first by Shalhoub then Peacock that a Monk revival movie was in development entitled Mr. Monk’s Last Case: A Monk Movie.


While speaking with Entertainment Weekly, Shalhoub provided new insight into the Monk movie. The star explained how Monk will have changed, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and how that will influence the story of the Peacock revival. Read Shalhoub’s full comments about the movie below:

“It’s Monk present day after however long we’ve been away from him, 13 years now, going on 14 years. This is post-COVID. Monk has been knocked back on his heels because of COVID. He’s older. He’s not going to be chasing down things on the street and things like that. Hopefully [laughs]. We’re going to have to write to the fact that Monk’s older. It’s a really interesting story. I can’t say too much about it, but it’s got all of the good elements that the show was always striving for with a few new twists.”

Why It Is The Perfect Time To Continue Monk’s Story

The new story details that Shalhoub teases are not only intriguing, but also prove why continuing the story of Monk is a good idea. The COVID-19 pandemic radically altered many lives and continues to do so. The story of the intelligent Monk and other characters always struck a balance of humor, heart, and exciting plot twists. Through this approach, Monk will now be able to thoughtfully tell a story of a beloved individual deeply impacted by COVID-19 and who continues to deal with the effects of the pandemic.

In certain respects, Monk was sometimes a relatable character, and showing him older and not able to do some of the same things he used to will definitely continue to make him relatable. Though the series finale worked as a satisfying ending, enough time has passed for there to be substantial interest in seeing how Monk has changed and navigated life not only through the pandemic, but after finally solving Trudy’s case that haunted him for years, and after meeting his step-daughter Molly, of whom the new case will revolve around.

Shalhoub confirming original cast members returning is another compelling draw. This could include Ted Levine as Captain Leland Stottlemeyer, Jason Gray-Standford as Lieutenant Randy Disher, Bitty Schram as Monk’s first assistant Sharona Fleming, and Traylor Howard as Monk’s second assistant Natalie Teeger. A 90-minute movie is also the perfect medium to continue Monk as it is more manageable for all the original cast members to return for instead of an ongoing revival series, as has already been proven by the Psych movies.

Source: EW

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Twenty Years After U.S.-Led Invasion of Iraq, Filmmakers Examine Build Up to War, Challenges in Present Day Baghdad



Monday marks the 20th anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. CPH:DOX will reflect on the repercussions of the war, which ousted Saddam Hussein, but never led to the discovery of weapons of mass destruction, by screening two documentaries: Greta Stocklassa’s “Blix Not Bombs” and Karrar Al-Azzawi’s “Baghdad on Fire.”

“(The invasion) was an event that has shaped international politics over the course of the last two decades in unpredictable and often devastating ways,” says CPH:DOX head of program Mads Mikkelsen. “Not least inside Iraq itself. (‘Blix Not Bombs’ and ‘Baghdad on Fire’) provide two different takes – a shot and reverse shot – on the course of events back in 2003 and on the current situation in Iraq as seen from the inside and through the eyes of the young.”

“Blix Not Bombs” follows Hans Blix, the former head of the U.N. Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission, who was sent to Iraq in 2002 to determine whether U.S. suspicions that the country was manufacturing weapons of mass destruction were founded. Though the final report found no evidence of an Iraqi weapons program under Hussein, the U.S. and a coalition of allies nevertheless decided to invade the country. Now in the final stretch of his life, Blix questions whether he did enough to prevent a war whose impact is felt to this day.

“Blix Not Bombs”

“To me, Hans’s story is not only an intriguing behind-the-scenes of one of the most important events in modern history, but it’s also the story of the limits of diplomacy, moral dilemmas, and personal responsibility in shaping the world,” Stocklassa told Variety while working on the film in 2021.

Meanwhile, “Baghdad on Fire” follows 19-year-old activist leader Tiba and her friends from the pro-democracy movement around Baghdad’s Tahrir Square. In the docu, Tiba and her fellow activists discuss and plan how to bring freedom, democracy and change to Iraq. They are done with militias, corrupt politicians and foreign troops defining the country. Together with friends Khader and Yousif, Tiba starts a medical team that helps young protesters when they have been bathed in tear gas.

“Both Tiba and I wanted to show the world what is really going on in the country,” says Al-Azzawi, who fled Iraq in 2016 after being a vocal advocate for democracy. In October 2019 when protests erupted in Baghdad, the director knew it was time to make a film. So, he found a production manager and two cinematographers.

“My dream main character was a strong Iraqi woman,” Al-Azzawi says. “A brave, Iraqi woman, who is fighting for freedom, justice, and equality and her country.” The helmer’s dream came true when he met Tiba.
“Tiba and I both want to show that Iraqi women are not living the life the (international) media portrays,” says Al-Azzawi. “They are always portrayed as controlled by society or their husbands. This is always the narrative. I think that Tiba, who left a marriage she was forced into at age 14, is an example of an Iraqi woman who is not a victim. This was important to show because Iraqi women are not victims. They are resilient and can lead and be in control.”

Both docus will be making their world premieres at CPH:DOX on Monday. “Blix Not Bombs” will be followed by a live video discussion with Blix and Stocklassa. Following “Baghdad on Fire,” Al-Azzawi, will take part in a live discussion with Aida Al-Kaisy, co-founder of Iraqi media outfit Jummar, and journalist Waleed Safi. Both Q&As will be moderated by Politiken international editor Michael Jarlner.

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