J Michael Straczynski

J. Michael Straczynski definitely isn’t the first person to notice that Marvel Studios is currently running circles around Warner Bros./DC. However, as a guy who’s worked with both companies and written for both comic book publishers, he’s in a unique position to say something about it. “I think Marvel is really kicking DC’s clock,” he said. “I’ve talked to the people at Warner Bros. and said ‘What is wrong with you people?’”

But while Straczynski has some intriguing ideas about what WB should be doing, he won’t be running the show there any time soon. He has a full plate right now with several other projects — including a new mystery film for Disney. Hit the jump for slightly more on that project, plus his comments on DC’s mistakes.

Film Buff Online reports that Straczynski teased the new Disney project during his spotlight panel at New York Comic Con, saying he was in the middle of revisions to the first draft of his screenplay. While he wouldn’t divulge a title or any story specifics, he revealed that the movie would be for “Disney proper,” as opposed to a subsidiary brand like Marvel, Pixar, or Lucasfilm.

Straczynski has worked with Marvel Studios in the past, though, receiving a story credit on Thor. And having seen the Marvel-DC box office rivalry from the inside, he has some thoughts on what DC is doing wrong.

I’ve talked to the people at Warner Brothers and said “What is wrong with you people?” They think that they have a very narrow bench – Superman, Batman and then nobody else. We’re trying to get them to understand that we have a really good bench of characters if you treat them properly.

Specifically, he named three heroes he’d like to see brought to life.

I would love to see the Flash. Ever see The Man With The X-Ray Eyes? There’s a scientist in pursuit of knowledge and information and receives this power and uses it to try and see deeper and deeper what’s going on on the physical scale and the metaphysical scale, trying to burrow through to the core of the universe to understand things better. Make it obsessive like that I think you could make a really good film about the Flash.

There’s a fan made trailer for Wonder Woman online. Have you all seen that? (Embedded below.) Is that not well done? And that’s what the Wonder Woman film should be. If you treated the Wonder Woman film the way we treated the Thor movie with some seriousness and also focus on her family you’d get a really good film out of that.

Oddly enough, the Haunted Tank could be a really good movie. Set it in Iraq or somewhere the Middle East, update it and it writes itself.

Nor does he seem all that impressed by the films Warner Bros./DC has put out, like Man of Steel.

I thought that it had one fight more than it should have had. And it was a good movie that could have been a great movie had they put more time in on the characters. In the end, I don’t care how good your effects are or the battles or the CGI, if we don’t care about the characters you got nothing and nowhere to go.

Again, Straczynski isn’t saying anything about the studio that hasn’t been said. But he’s collaborated with Warner Bros. in the past (they produced his TV series Babylon 5), and he’s written Superman and Wonder Woman for DC Comics, so maybe his comments won’t fall on deaf ears. Film Buff Online goes one further and suggests that Straczynski would be good pick to serve as a Kevin Feige-style creative lead for the Warner Bros./DC franchise.

For now, Straczynski is plenty busy with other endeavors. In addition to the aforementioned Disney film, he’s working on the Netflix series Sense8 with the Wachowskis, has several comics due out from Image Comics, and is preparing to direct the World War II drama The Flickering Light.

[Photo credit: Gage Skidmore]

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