While The Dark Knight trilogy set a new pattern for more mainstream comic book movies to be “dark and gritty”, Marvel Studios has, for the most part, taken in a slightly more family-friendly path with its movies. Obviously, this has caused much debate over which is the superior direction. Personally, I prefer DC’s approach, but to each their own.
Speaking with Desde Hollywood at a screening for American Hustle, producer Charles Roven (Man of Steel, The Dark Knight trilogy) comments on Warner Bros.’ more drama-driven approach to DC Comics adaptations. On the similarities between dramas and superhero movies, he says, “Whatever the kind of movie you do you should strive for those themes and nuances exactly. I think they make the films more meaningful. I always try, not always succeed, in doing films that examine in their own way, even if they are entertainment, the human condition and the things that are important to all of us. I am actually glad that you noticed that because it is an important aspect of the movies that I try to make.”
Roven also discusses the differences in tone between DC (slightly more adult oriented) and Marvel (slightly more kid friendly) adaptations, as well as the different themes. “I think that ‘Man of Steel’ played younger, to a wider audience. Even though Cris’s trilogy was more successful financially, I think you should be older to appreciate the full aspect of it. In that regard I would say that ‘Man of Steel’ played younger than that. I can’t speak for the Marvel comics. I certainly believe that they have done a great job in being very successful in what they are doing so they should continue. One of the things that I like in terms of what they are doing vs. what we are doing is that the movies are different. When you see what Zack Snyder or Chris Nolan is making in this genre, one that I am producing with Emma Thomas or Deborah Snyder, we go for certain themes that are slightly more adult even though they are very universal.” Finally, the producer briefly confirms that an official title for Batman vs. Superman has yet to be finalized. “I think that when we have the title, we will announce it.”