Mark Millar Says DC Movies Aren't Working Because The Characters Aren't Cinematic

Justice League didn't stink because it was cobbled together. It stunk because Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, and the other superheroes in the DC Comics stable simply aren't cinematic. At least, that was comics writer Mark Millar's answer when asked about the current state of Warner Bros.' DC movies. Read the full Mark Millar DC movies quote below.

Mark Millar DC movies quote

In a recent interview with Yahoo (via BleedingCool), Millar was asked what Warner Bros. and DC are doing wrong with their comic book adaptations. Here's his response:

"I think it's really simple: the characters aren't cinematic, and I say this as a massive DC fan who much prefers their characters to Marvel's. Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman are some of my favorites, but I think these characters – with the exception of Batman – they aren't based around their secret identity, they are based around their super power. Whereas the Marvel characters tend to be based around the personality of Matt Murdock or Peter Parker or the individual X-Men. It's all about the character. DC, outside of Batman, is not about the character. With Batman, you can understand him and you can worry about him, but someone like Green Lantern, he has this ring that allows him to create 3D physical manifestations and green plasma with the thoughts in his head, but he's allergic to the color yellow! How do you make a movie with that? In 1952 that made perfect sense, but now the audience have no idea what that's all about.

People will slam me for this but I think the evidence is there. We've seen great directors, great writers and great actors, tons of money thrown at them, but these films aren't working. I think they are all too far away from when they were created. Something feels a little old about them, kids look at these characters and they don't feel that cool. Even Superman, I love Superman, but he belongs to an America that doesn't exist anymore. He represents 20th Century America and I think he peaked then."

Respectfully, Millar is wrong

Saying these characters aren't cinematic is an odd claim to make, considering they've been the focus of tons of major Hollywood adaptations. But more than that, I think the biggest draw of the main batch of DC characters is that they're larger than life figures – they're aspirational warriors who show us the best versions of who we can be. That's an inherently cinematic idea. Richard Donner knew that when he made Superman: The Movie. Tim Burton knew it when he made Batman. Chris Nolan knew it when he put a twist on the formula with The Dark Knight trilogy. And Patty Jenkins knew it when she made Wonder Woman, one of the most inspiring mainstream blockbusters in recent memory.

The problem isn't that these characters are not cinematic. Maybe the specific stories being told about them could be a bit more cinematic, and of course it'd be ideal if there weren't any behind-the-scenes clashes to contend with. But even a movie that was cobbled together under extreme circumstances like Justice League managed to largely get Superman right. These characters just need to be put in the hands of storytellers who know what to do with them.