Ten years ago, the idea of a comic book movie not being beholden to the source material was usually met with the sound of a thousand keyboards being furiously hammered away on as fans flocked to forums to whinge and cry about Hollywood molesting their childhood. But then again, great comic book stories don’t necessarily transfer very well to the silver screen. Most of the time at least. Let’s not harp on about how much better The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen would have been if its story wasn’t thrown out of a moving plot-mobile.
Point is, taking liberties with comic book source materials can be beneficial when done right. It’s an idea which worked out terrifically for the first Iron Man movie, Captain America films and Deadpool. Especially Deadpool. One other film property that’ll get a chance to flex some creative muscle? Doug “Edge of Tomorrow” Liman’s upcoming Dark Universe, which unites the more supernatural elements of the DC Universe into one big adventure.
Speaking to IGN, Liman explained how his approach to the DCU would be “unconventional to say the least:
Yeah, I mean first of all, I love those characters, and I love Warner Bros., and I love [producer] Scott Rudin, and it’s — and you know, I get asked to come in and do things that are “unconventional.” If people want conventional, they don’t come to me. It’s why doing Invisible was like right up my alley — because how can you be conventional when there aren’t even conventions that exist? And so you know when Warner Bros. wants to sort of turn the comic book genre on its head, they call me.
There’s a big difference between being naturally unconventional and forcing the direction of the film to take an unnatural path to attempt to score some weirdness points. Pretty much compare Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy to DC’s Suicide Squad to get an example of this being done right and wrong. But as Liman explained, Warner Bros. is essentially allowing him the creative freedom to craft Dark Universe as he sees fit:
Yeah. It’s like how do you fundamentally reinvent what people are doing? And that’s the good and the bad news of this sort of box I’ve been put in. I mean, you’d think it was by design, but it wasn’t. It is exactly what I should be doing, but I’m just so grateful that — you know sometimes I’m working on a project and I pitch an idea that’s too conventional, and the producers will say back to me “That’s not Doug Liman enough.”
Which is like a weird thing, because I’m like “Well that — it was my idea! How can you say it’s not me?” And they’re like “No, because when we think of you, we think of like, you know — that just seems too ordinary.” So even if I wanted to be a little bit more conventional, like, the system doesn’t want me to be.
Interesting comments. Right now, DC and Warner Bros. need to start trusting the big-name creatives that they hire for these projects a lot more, instead of meddling with the projects behind the scenes and making fans wait an extra couple of months for a more superior director’s cut on DVD. And with a movie that features John Constantine, Zatanna and all manner of supernatural threats, I’m hoping that Liman really will be able to build Dark Universe into a project that features his signature eye for visuals.
Last Updated: October 31, 2016