The studio’s goldmine director Christopher Nolan concludes his Batman trilogy, and recently confirmed last week in various press interviews that he would not be involved with any future films under the DC Comics brand, including Justice League. Nolan is attached as a producer to Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel, which is slated to be released June 14, 2013, however, he declined to produce the future Batman reboot, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Warner Bros. expects Nolan’s finale to put up similar numbers to its predecessor, The Dark Knight, which was one of the highest grossing films of all time by crossing the $1 billion mark. The studio still has high hopes for the Superman and The Hobbit franchises, and it’s DC Entertainment has found success in other mediums such as video games and television (a show based on Green Arrow debuts this fall on the CW Network), but the company still falls short of its Walt Disney Company-owned rival, Marvel Comics. Warner Bros. flopped with Green Lantern and Jonah Hex, however, Marvel Studios successfully introduced audiences to Thor, Iron Man and Captain America. The well-reviewed Marvel movies built up the mega-blockbuster that is The Avengers, which has generated a more than $1.4 billion worldwide.
Following Man of Steel, the studio does not plan on releasing any DC films until 2015, which is when it hopes to assemble the Justice League. By contrast, Marvel announced last month its plans to release four films in the next two years (sequels to Iron Man, Thor and Captain America, and a Guardians of the Galaxy movie).
Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment have plenty of catch-up to do, but that does not mean they should rush a movie out to the masses for the sake of profit and competition. Landing Nolan as director was as good as winning the lottery, and the studio just needs to finds someone who shares the same passion and vision for the character they are filming and writing. If Disney/Marvel can successfully put out a film about Thor, then any superhero can have a movie. All Warner Bros. needs to do is understand fans of DC heroes, and give them what they long for. Let’s hope “Man of Steel” finds success to erase any fear from WB executives.