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In 2016, two of the most-hyped comic book movies of all time were released. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was met with tepid reviews and a relatively lacklustre box-office performance. Captain America: Civil War earned near universal acclaim and is the highest grossing film of the year, so far.
What went wrong with Batman v Superman? One of the breakout stars of Civil War may have the answer: Black Panther himself, Chadwick Boseman.
In an interview with the Radio Times, Boseman revealed he was one of the first people in line to see BvS:
“I was there the first night to see Batman v Superman, got my popcorn and everything, and I’m not exactly sure what they did wrong. But I feel like sometimes you see a movie – and I could be wrong, or saying this because I’m in the industry – you can see that there’s at times [too] many people deciding something. That there’s not a clear voice from the director. Sometimes when you watch movies you see that the producers are saying something, someone else is saying something, the directors are saying something. And sometimes, it doesn’t work. I don’t know if that’s why it doesn’t resonate, if it’s because maybe the director didn’t get his cut, I have no way of knowing that. I just feel like, what I have experienced at Marvel is that the directors are very much making the movie. So maybe that’s it.”
It’ll be interesting to know if Boseman has watched the Ultimate Edition of Batman v Superman. His theory about the theatrical movie not being the director’s vision is evident as a result of the extended cut’s existence. The same could be said of David Ayer, allegedly, losing control of the final cut of Suicide Squad to Trailer Park.
Boseman also opened up about his experience working with Fruitvale Station and Creed director, Ryan Coogler, on the upcoming Black Panther film.
“You know, in his prior movie (Creed), I think there was a certain grit to that fighting, to that boxing, a certain realism that he brought to the table, with the choreography and just the way he was looking in terms of the story. Because there’s always storytelling in fighting. I also just feel like [Black Panther] in general is a strategist. He’s the person that tries to stay a step ahead. He’s not necessarily the comedic element, the sparky stuff that actually works with many of the other characters that you see in comic books. That’s not necessarily who he is. There’s a mystery and a mystique to him. So all those things to me sort of present a recipe for a darker drama than you might normally see.”
With one or two exceptions, Marvel Studios does have a great track record of making creator-driven movies. Guardians of the Galaxy feels like a James Gunn movie, Iron Man feels like a Favreau movie. Many other MCU films feel like they came from one creative vision, or a group of people so in-sync with each other that it comes across as a singular vision. But we’ll see if that track record can continue when Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther releases in July 2018.
Images: Walt Disney Co./Marvel