Dear Warner Bros:
I am all powerful. So you really should LISTEN to me. My opinion is IMPORTANT. It DESERVES an AUDIENCE!
I LOVE your movies, old and new. Your brand is a part of my childhood memory and your library of classics plus corporate sheen helped fuel my passion for film. But right now? You seem to be under siege (pardon the pun).
How DARE you go around making videos about super-heroes when you are not ‘Marvel’. I know! The Horror! The Horror! Gracie Law: I FEEL your pain. I KNOW why Gracie ‘girl with green eyes’ Law felt she had to send THAT letter to your top brass. She was aggrieved! Let Down! Let GO! Shame! But remember old Chinese proverb: if you swim with sharks, you might be gobbled up.
Lay offs are a genuinely terrible thing but in fairness that is not restricted to the film industry and neither can it be attributed to a few bad choices about comic book movie franchises. So Warner Bros DON’T feel held ransom by this mawkish manipulation.
Yes! PAN was a misfire. Sure..BATMAN V SUPERMAN did not do as well as expected. And SUICIDE SQUAD is kinda messy. But do not fret. Endure! Fact is you were damned if you did, damned if you didn’t. You’d been under pressure to structure things more like Marvel for years. You finally succumb and what? Everyone suddenly HATES you?
Sure, you are not busting billion dollar records..but then neither did Marvel in its initial movies, right? They did well enough to keep going, and NOT every film was super popular, contrary to nerd worship belief system legends. In short, you have a re-invented product. And you are making a return on monies invested.
Suicide Squad has mixed reviews but is doing better business than you could have imagined, frankly. Maybe even better than it deserves for something so..well..’messy’ (lovely and all but..messy). Things can only get better.
And if things don’t improve? Well, you have an entire STASH of DC characters at your disposal and unfettered legal access. Contrast with Marvel, who need to get permission from Sony / Fox just to take a look at Spider-Man /X -Men / Fantastic Four. Perhaps harness the ‘multi-verse’ theory more pro-actively and prepare returns of the Burton /Nolan Batman universes? Even as one off animated movies? Park money trucks outside the relevant houses. As it is, the ADAM WEST Batman is making an animated comeback and the trailer alone is going viral.
USE the television popularity more and integrate the CW stuff to the movies and not just as quick hint or in joke. Argue that new visions of the characters can be boshed out all the time and even co=-exist in a way that Marvel could only dream of! IE you turn your rival’s strength into a weakness.
Where Marvel are all pre-planned and packaged and monitored, so DC/ Warners can embrace a Joker like chaos with gloss: your strategy is that the visions of the characters and diverse direction take priority over signing up to some uniform agenda. It MIGHT just work?
Equally, be pro-active with the Harry Potter and JRR Tolkien people. Make sure you have iron clad deals on new Potter book adaptations (woo the talent now) and any possible Silmarillion film (Jackson directed if possible but even he can be replaced).
Oh and a little spy called JAMES BOND has his distribution rights up for grabs very soon, apparently. GO and GET those, now! Before Disney tries to buy Bond just like everything else. Note, also: Christopher Nolan..did very well for you with a certain Dark Knight trilogy? MASSIVE, massive Bond fan. Just sayin’, like..THINK! LONG TERM! BIG PICTURE!
Corporate synergy! Become an old school den of the best talents in town: nominally let them be free to play with other studios..but be so good and encouraging of both their creative efforts and commercial successes that they simply will not want to look elsewhere. A third way model of sorts. 1950s meets 1990s via today’s zeitgeist of comic book as King genre.
The reality is one CANNOT ‘plan’ a truly flawless run at a studio. I give you none other than Bob Daly /Terry Semel from peak era 1990s Warner Bros. They had Mel Gibson, Clint Eastwood, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Kevin Costner on the books! The Fugitive and Batman Forever were huge successes. Life was sweet 😉
And then? Batman and Robin. 1997. Followed by a cancelled Superman Lives. Yes: comic book films always count. Always have. Always will. But then so do luck and timing and in that sense, laying into a studio CEO is a bit like shooting the messenger boy, no?
That is all. And as for Gracie? The Girl with Green Eyes? I will marry her. And we will get his and hers Waner Bros tattoos.
Yours and with best wishes
David Lo-Pan (immortal God type..bit like a CEO only more evil / all powerful)
(I can be reached in Little China).