Welsh Rat wrote: DC are risking a lot with their treatment of SHAZAM! (using their word to differentiate from the Other Captain Marvel coming soon)[...]
-Technically, it stretches back a lot further than that. I can't recall the specifics, but the character now known as Shazam was more accurately called Captain Marvel, and has been since the beginning- that is, in the 1940s.
But he was also a separate entitiy, owned by a different comics company from what eventually became DC, and even after DC bought the IP, the character wasn't used as much as he could have been, owing to some continued copyright issues, and the simple fact he was basically just a palette-swapped Superman.
Later, when DC did
finally start getting some mileage out of the character, there were infringement issues with Marvel, both from the name of the company and the fact they, too, had a character called Captain Marvel (technically known as Mar-vell, almost specifically to avoid the copyright thing.)
To either dismiss a lawsuit or to prevent it from happening in the first place, DC decided to rename the character Shazam- and this was all back in the mid-90s, as I recall. (And I probably have some details wrong anyway.)
and they risk alienating the fans in the same way Disney did with John Carter of Mars when they made that film and tried to sell it to non-fans at the same time as they alienated potential fans by dropping the 'of Mars' from the title like they were hiding the fact it was a sci-fi film.
-Well, to be perfectly honest, the actual fan base for Carter
was pretty damn small to start with, being a century-old property that had never been particularly popular, and had rarely ever been produced in any other medium outside the original books. I'd wager that 90% of the people that DID see the movie, had never heard of the books prior to it.
Then to try and make a $200 million blockbuster movie out of it was just silly. Yeah, it would have been very hard to film it without an incredible amount of CGI, and good CGI costs a bundle, but yeah, it was basically badly handled from stem to stern.
Kind of like the Golden Compass
movie. I'd never heard of the books prior to the movie coming out, and that's another movie that required fabulous amounts of CGI to even hope to pull off, but while the film was visually
amazing, holy crap
was it a mess.
Marvel has some people, I used to know who, that are both fans of and part owners of the IP for the characters. (Stan Lee has some input, I think, but he's almost entirely a figurehead at this point.) Those people have the power to tell the directors and actors and whatnot, "this is how the character is, this is how the character acts, this is what the character wears." And if the director doesn't like it, he gets replaced- which as I recall hasn't happened in a Marvel movie yet, but the point is, it's not a Tim Burton thing, where the director says "I have a vision for this character, and we'll film it my way or we don't film it at all!"
And with mature, solid, widely-known and widely-respected IP like Marvel and DC comics, featuring characters that in several cases have been around longer than any of us here (with the possible exception of Mark-T
) have been alive, if the owners of the IP want to maintain that respect, they HAVE to impose that kind of control.
Marvel is, DC isn't, and we can see which one is the more successful brand.