I don’t think it’s much of a secret that the slowly growing DC Expanded Universe is also slowly becoming a fucking a dumpster fire. Calling Batman V. Superman a disappointment would be an understatement. Apparently Suicide Squad is about as enjoyable as getting a handjob from two bricks wrapped in sandpaper. But, regardless, I was still tentatively excited for both Wonder Woman and Justice League. They both look pretty solid. I can’t imagine a movie about an Amazonian warrior stabbing German in the throat during WWI could be that bad. Apparently, I was wrong.
Gracie Law is a former employee for Warner Brothers Studios who is very disgruntled with the way the company is currently in terms of their handling of major tentpole blockbuster films. She is Specifically angry at studio head Kevin Tsujihara. The letter relates how Tsujihara laid off 10% of the studio’s workforce in 2014 and his reasoning that the studio needed more cap space to provide the best possible avenue of storytelling for their filmmakers.
“That year we pursued the storytelling vision of Adam Sandler’s Blended and Clint Eastwood’s Jersey Boys. Failures. We pursued a potentially great summer movie like Edge of Tomorrow and completely botched its release. Same with Man From UNCLE. We dug in our heels and hoped The Hobbit Trilogy would somehow stop being a mediocre case of diminishing returns. Talented, loyal people packed their boxes and went home while your story tellers dropped the ball.”
Any person who fires people to free up money that they turn around and use to make an Adam Sandler film is a ballsy individual.
Law goes on to explain the current sinking ship that is Warner Bros. Namely, how the entire studio is focusing almost solely on the DC movies. Which are not doing well.
“Zack Snyder is not delivering. Is he being punished? Assistants who were doing fantastic work certainly were. People in finance and in marketing and in IT. They had no say in a movie called Batman V Superman only having 8 minutes of Batman fighting Superman in it, that ends because their moms have the same name. Snyder is a producer on every DC movie. He is still directing Justice League. He is being rewarded with more opportunity to get more people laid off. I’m assuming you yourself haven’t been financially affected in any real way. You and your studio are the biggest lesson about life one can learn: The top screws up and the bottom suffers. Peter Jackson phones it in and a marketing supervisor has to figure out a plan B for house payments.
Your uneven Hall H presentation at Comic Con this year was a ridiculous mess that ranged from rushed to boring. When Marvel announced their full slate of films with a fun fan event several years ago, you announced yours on a shareholder conference call.
You just don’t get it. And it’s not just DC movies, it’s your whole slate. Jupiter Ascending. Get Hard. Hot Pursuit. Max. Vacation. Pan. Point Break. Fucking PAN, you jerk. People lost their jobs and you decided Pan was a good idea. You think another Jungle Book is a good idea.”
From someone who watches plenty of movies but doesn’t have a fucking clue on things work on the other side of the camera, this is all pretty eye-opening stuff. And I agree with most of what she’s saying. As a consumer, none of those movie appeal to, no matter how much marketing or money they dump into it. I don’t even know what Max is.
However, the most interesting part of the letter was her revelation about Wonder Woman.
“What are you even doing? I wish to God you were forced to live out of a car until you made a #1 movie of the year. Maybe Wonder Woman wouldn’t be such a mess. Don’t try to hide behind the great trailer. People inside are already confirming it’s another mess. It is almost impressive how you keep rewarding the same producers and executives for making the same mistakes, over and over.”
Well, fuck. That’s about as near to the horse’s mouth as we’re getting on that one. If someone with inside knowledge and connections to the production team says a movie is hiding behind a decent trailer, I’m partial to believe that it is. This is a shame. But I completely see how this could be true. And also, I definitely see how it’s a major disappointment, because these sick movies are instead turning out to suck.