Going Rogue

After two weeks of posts about Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (A film that I still haven’t seen due to the reasons I have already discussed), you may be relieved to know that I am not going to spend another entire post talking about the film.

But I am going to mention it briefly before I move on.  Sorry.

While BvS was still the #1 film in the US in its second week of release, it suffered a 69% drop in earnings.  This is fairly severe, even for a film of this type, earnings for which are usually front-loaded.  Now the question is whether or not BvS will make the $1 billion worldwide that has been generally touted as the film’s marker for success.  Depending on this weekend’s drop (numbers for which were not available as of this writing because the weekend hadn’t happened yet, and I don’t own a time machine), BvS might even be in danger of not exceeding Deadpool’s domestic box office, which would be a major embarrassment.  How could a film combining the two top characters in the DC comics universe earn less a modestly-budgeted film about a character very few people outside of comics fandom even know about? 

My guess is that some variation on that question is being asked at Warner Brothers, and, while they are forging ahead with Justice League Part 1 under the direction of BvS director Zack Snyder, they are also making a few course corrections to their upcoming DC films. This Fall’s Suicide Squad is going back for reshoots purportedly designed to add more humor to the film, and Deborah Snyder, the producer of the upcoming The Flash standalone film, has said in an interview that, since Ezra Miller, the actor playing Barry Allen, is “super funny,” the movie will have a different tone than the other DC films.

All of this seems to imply that future DC movies might be, you know, fun.  This week an article appeared on the Nerdist site with some suggestions toward that end.  If you have any interest in the future of the DC films, I recommend reading THIS.


What I really wanted to talk about this week, though, is the release of the first trailer for Star Wars: Rogue One, the first of the standalone movies set in the Star Wars universe, which is due to hit theaters on December 16, 2016.    If you haven’t watched it yet, watch it now!  GO!!!

I will admit that I’ve been looking forward to this one.  I like the films concept (It’s the story of the team that stole the original Death Star plans), and I have to admit that I am partial to the setting.  Yes, I know it is appealing to the nostalgia factor, but I loved seeing the vehicles, and Stormtroopers from the original films.  Even those weird white Rebel soldier helmets were there!  And that Death Star shot is gorgeous.

On the surface, the film seems kind of pointless.  They succeed.  We already know this!

True, but knowing the overall outcome does not necessarily make a film any less engaging.  Argo is about an actual historic event.  You can go online and read all about it and learn what happened to the real people portrayed in the film.  Despite this, the movie still managed to make me tense about the outcome as the characters made their way to and through the airport.

Perhaps a better example to the Rogue One situation, though, is Titanic.  We all knew that the boat was going to sink at the end, but the movie followed characters we knew nothing about.  Anything could happen to Rose or Jack, and the same is true for the characters in Rogue One.  The eventual outcome may be assured, but we won’t know who lives, dies, or possibly turns evil until we see the film.

And honestly this team doesn’t even have to be the ones to succeed.  They could fail this time around, leaving room for a sequel about the effort that does manage to snag the Death Star specs.  I don’t for a minute believe Disney/Lucasfilm is planning to do that, but the possibility is there.

The not knowing part is great.  Unlike The Force Awakens, which basically retold A New Hope and played heavily on our love of the original characters, Rogue One will be a new story set in a universe I love. 

Really, though, as I said about the new Ghostbusters trailer a few weeks ago, the test for me is if I were to see this trailer with absolutely no previous knowledge of Star Wars would I be interested?  I believe the answer is a resounding yes.  The trailer is exciting, tells just enough of the story to get me hooked, and is filled with great visuals. 

I’m far more excited for this than I was for The Force Awakens after its first trailer.  I’m even more excited for Rogue One than I am for this year’s Star Trek Beyond, which is something that I never would have thought possible.  However, as I’ve said in a previous post, its first trailer was…not good.

Come on, December 16th!

- Alan Decker

@CmdrAJD on Twitter