A kindly couple adopting a super-powered alien, an orphan growing up to be the world's greatest crimefighter, an Amazon princess with an invisible jet... the DC universe is a place where anything can happen. Well, anything but a joke, if this ridiculous, but entirely plausible, rumor is true.
According to Hitfix, Warner Bros. has issued a mandate that its DC superhero movies all be joke-free. And I don't mean they don't want to make comedies, I mean they don't want to have a single joke in any of the nearly 10 movies they have coming up.
I could get into a whole thing about how I think the DC pantheon is infinitely more suited to being less serious than Marvel, but I won't. Instead, please think about the future ramifications of this. Are we really going to have a Flash movie where Barry Allen isn't allowed to crack wise? Is The Flash going to be as dark and tormented as Man of Steel? Because that sounds horrible. Will the Shazam movie be joke-free? Will we watch a movie about a 10-year-old who turns into an adult superhero without any humor whatsoever? That's madness.
Look, whether you really love DC's movies or not, the thing that kills me is that humor is a basic narrative tool. That's like trying to write a book without metaphors — yes, you probably can, but why would you? I'm not saying Man of Steel 2 needs to be screwball comedy, but can you really tell me audiences will enjoy it more if they're never given a single reason to smile? You'd think the Marvel movies — all of which had humor, and the most recent, Guardians of the Galaxy, was pretty close to an outright comedy, might have shown WB that perhaps audiences might want more from their superheroes than brooding and angst, but apparently not.
Hitfix suggests that WB has made this decree after the joke-laden Green Lantern bombed, followed by the success of the dour Chris Nolan Dark Knight films. A couple of things, guys — 1) Green Lantern's problem wasn't that it had jokes, it's that the jokes weren't funny, oh, and also the rest of the movie was also terrible and 2) dour works exceedingly well for Batman, but believe it or not ALL OTHER DC CHARACTERS ARE NOT ALSO BATMAN. IT MAY BEHOOVE YOU TO TAKE A DIFFERENT GODDAMNED APPROACH WITH THEM.
Even if all the future DC movies are fine and make a lot of money, that doesn't change the fact that this is a draconian and completely insane response to fix a problem that doesn't actually exist. And if Warner Bros. thinks banning humor from its superhero movies is going to make them an iota better, well, then the joke's on them.
[Via The Dissolve]