This summer, a blockbuster came out that was accused by many of being bloated and having too many characters running around at once. This was of course, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 which had its web slinging hero face off against three villains while implying a fourth and a fifth and maybe even one more for the heck of it. These accusations ended up giving the film a tepid critical reception and domestic audiences seemed to relate.
"But The Amazing Spider-Man 2 made $700 million" I hear you cry.
"Yes, worldwide." I reply
In the domestic sphere The Amazing Spider-Man 2 grossed only $199 million dollars against a budget of $200-255 million. In the old days where studios didn't have emerging markets in Europe and Asia, that would have been a surefire flop.
Still, another superhero movie is on the horizon with the same concerns from fans. Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice (the title even exudes excess) is already slated to have Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Cyborg and possibly Aquaman appear in various capacities. This movie will also see the return of characters like Martha Kent, Lois Lane and Perry White and introduce even more such as Lex Luthor and Alfred Pennyworth.
Some more fuel was put on the fire with the announcement that Scoot McNairy (Argo, Halt and Catch Fire) is joining the film in an unspecified role. The internet has been abuzz with speculation, with the top three guesses being that McNairy is playing Hal Jordan (Green Lantern), Dick Grayson (Nightwing aka adult Robin, remember Batman is older in this film) or Barry Allen/Wally West (two versions of The Flash).
McNairy is definitely and up and coming talent and has prospered these last few years, and it look like this will be a platform for him to get a big break, but one wonders if this rush to get Justice League together so quickly is just an attempt to try to compete with Marvel directly. It seems defintiely to be the case, and it might not be a good idea. One of the benefits of Marvel was that it allowed audiences to know characters in their own space before assembling The Avengers (sure Black Widow was a supporting character in Iron Man 2 but no other Avengers were with her).
We shall see if it all pans out May 6th, 2016 when Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, or A really expensive prologue to Justice League opens.