Few modern franchises have evoked more heated debat among fans than those in the DC Extended Universe. And while it can be fun to get into it with friends, how does someone involved with the comics that are a part of these movies actually feel about them?
Our intrepid Jeffrey Taylor sat down with legendary comic book writer John Ostrander (Suicide Squad, Grimjack, Hexer Dusk) to discuss the DC Cinematic Universe. As it turns out, he still has hope that things will only get better from here.
Movies.com: What do you think about the DC Movie Universe so far, including Man of Steel and Batman v Superman?
John Ostrander: There have been some struggles. Part of it is that DC is coming into it a little later in the game. Marvel got a head start and did a spectacular job. They had a clear vision of what they wanted to do, and boy did they execute. I think that Warner Brothers and DC has stumbled a bit, but I think Suicide Squad shows just in the number of tickets sold that it’s getting a good response. And now Geoff Johns is more firmly in control. And Geoff’s a great guy who really knows his stuff, knows DC and knows these characters really well. I think from here on out it’s just going to get better and better.
Movies.com: What’s your opinion of this backlash among critics and fans?
Ostrander: I don’t know everyone’s opinions and everyone has a right to their own, even if in some cases they’re wrong. The wrong opinion of course being defined as anything that’s not my opinion. But that’s typical for the internet. There’s a lot that I’m looking forward to. I think Wonder Woman looks like it’ll kick ass. Gal Gadot showed in Batman v Superman that she can really do that part.
And in terms of some of the naysayers, there were a lot of them when Ben Affleck was announced as Batman/Bruce Wayne. And guess what, Ben Affleck did just fine. There are a lot of people complaining about Will Smith being Deadshot. Well guess what. Will Smith did a great Deadshot. Not necessarily my Deadshot, but he was a great Deadshot in the film. So let’s not prejudge. Let’s see what happens as they come out. I think DC has had some missteps just getting things out the door to begin with. But I think it’s coming along great.
Movies.com: What would you like to see next coming out of the DC Cinematic Universe?
Ostrander: I’m looking forward to Wonder Woman. I’m interested to see how they’re going to handle Justice League because that will be bring out the movie versions of these characters. There’s a lot of good material. It’ll just come down to what they pick and how they adapt it.
I would really like to see a movie version of the Spectre series I did with Tom Mandrake. I think that could be very cinematic and would make a wonderful film. Other than that, there are so many different teams and characters. I know Ben Affleck is writing The Batman solo film and I’ll be interested to see how they go about that.
Movies.com: And finally, what are you working on these days that our readers can keep look for?
Ostrander: I’m working on several things. First there’s a one shot issue that comes out at the end of month called Suicide Squad: War Crimes. They asked for a real Ostrander/Squad story, and this really is. It came from the idea that I’d read that real people like George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld can’t really travel overseas because there are countries that want to put them on trial for war crimes coming out of the Iraq War. So I took that idea and conceived of a character like them who is grabbed in the streets of Manhattan and hustled over to the ICC in the Hague in Netherlands to be put on trial for war crimes. This starts a big hullabaloo in the US from congress and the military who want to stage a military intervention, but that would be invading an ally. So someone hits on the grand idea that this is what the Suicide Squad was made for. So they send over the squad, the mission goes sideways and hilarity ensues.
Another thing that I was working on with artist Tom Mandrake who I worked with on The Spectre is a book called Kros: Hallowed Ground which is about vampires in the Battle of Gettysburg during the Civil War. It’s nearly complete and should be out in the next month or two.
I’m also working with artist Jan Duursema who I worked with on Star Wars: Legacy and we’re doing our own space story called Hexer Dusk. It’s got space ships. It’s got magic. It’s got a thing called “The Weird.” And there’s a charismatic hero in the center. And robots and monsters.
Plus there are one or two projects I’m starting that I can’t talk about yet.