It's never a good thing when negative press gets out about a film, especially a major studio project, weeks and months before release. Look at what happened on Fox's Fantastic Four. The narrative of a troubled production hampered that one long before it ever hit theaters, and when the film stunk it confirmed everything. Warner Bros. is starting to deal with similar negativity when it comes to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which would be a disaster given all they have banking on it. The last few days have seen the bad buzz kicked up another notch, due mostly in part to comments from Hitfix's Drew McWeeny. Here's what he had to say...
"Warner is a little bit worried. This movie is starting to scare them. It's scaring them because they're showing it to people now, people are actually laying eyes on the film now, and the response has not been what I think they wanted. If I were going to lay a bat on how it may happen, Suicide Squad, they'll go all-in on. They'll push all their chips in on that and I think Suicide Squad's going to be a hit for them. I think Wonder Woman will be finished the way they're working on it right now and they'll release it. I would be surprised if Justice League starts shooting when they say it's going to, and I would be equally surprised if Zack Snyder directed it."
"My guess is what's going to happen is based on what I'm hearing... I've talked to enough people who have seen the film now that I'm starting to sweat a little, is Justice League is going to get moved back and that Ben Affleck Batman movie, that's what's going to end up in that spot. My guess is they're going to throw whatever money it takes at Ben Affleck to make that Batman film happen sooner rather than later. They're going to need to rebuild again, they're going to need to win people over, they're going to need to lay some different groundwork. I don't think this is going to be the springboard into the Justice League that they wanted it to be."
Have things gotten so bad that WB would actually consider bumping Justice League down the ladder and removing Zack Snyder as director? Some would say that's a step in the right direction, and maybe it would be, but it would also be a sign of franchise-wide turmoil because Snyder is a key cog in the machine.
On the other hand, Latino Review's sources say things aren't nearly as dire as McWeeny makes them out to be, saying the studio is merely a bit nervous about the audience reaction to it. That's to be expected, especially if the reported $400M budget turns out to be accurate. They say Batman v Superman could be as polarizing as Man of Steel, which isn't good when one considers that arguments about that one persist to this day. It also only made around $660M worldwide, which may seem like a lot but isn't in today's age of $1B blockbusters. Remember The Amazing Spider-Man 2? That one made $700M and still caused Sony to panic and strike a deal with Marvel.
So who knows how this will pan out. WB brought in Ben Affleck and a starry cast to help the film appeal to a larger audience, but if Batman v Superman fails when it opens March 25th then expect some major repercussions.