Welcome back to the newest feature here at DC World. For Director’s Chair we will be putting you in the hot seat and asking questions all about your cinema experiences and what you would like to see next for DC films.
For the third instalment of Director’s Chair it’s the brilliant John Hammond of DC World. John is a huge comic book fan and his passion for the subject really comes across in his answers.
Before we get started remember if you would like to be involved and have a go then please get in touch with me on Twitter and send a message to @thefilmbloke. I look forward to hearing from you.
It’s always better to see a film on the big screen, how often do you get to the cinema and what is your snack of choice?
To be honest, I tend not to eat when I’m watching a movie in the cinema. Too much of a distraction and even the slightest noise can be irritating. Don’t like to take my eyes of the screen even for the slightest moment. If pushed, I’d probably go for a hotdog; it’s quiet and not much concentration on it needed. Just lift it to your mouth and trough it.
Outside of Comic Book films what other films and franchises do you love?
James Bond. It all started as a 9year old in the winter of 1982 when, on Boxing Day of that year, around 6:30pm and I’m looking for something to watch. What did I spot? Moonraker. There was action, space and the opening sequences; I was just in awe at what I was watching. It was incredible. And that was it, fan for life. I made it my own little mission to watch all Bond movies I could as and when they appeared on television, recording them on my top loading video recorder to watch again and again.
It’s funny, there’s a book by big 007 fan Mark O’Connell, all about his James Bond discovery. Reading it and there are so many parallels to my own experiences, it’s quite amazing. Oh, it’s called ‘Catching Bullets: Memoirs of a Bond Fan.
It’s fair to say that critics weren’t blown away by Justice League but since then the likes of Wonder Woman, Aquaman and Shazam have all helped to get the DCEU back on track. What are your thoughts on the DCEU so far?
I’ve enjoyed the DCEU so far, even though it hasn’t hit the heights that I would like it to. As much as I do enjoy the movie for what it is, Justice League has been the low point. There are all the reasons that people seem to be aware of but what goes on behind the scenes we don’t know. Thankfully, Wonder Woman, Aquaman and Shazam have helped get things back on track and I look forward to what comes next.
However, as much as these movies have helped the DCEU gain a bit of pace, there is another movie that hits the top spot, and that is Joker. It might have had a low budget but it was an incredible character piece. Joaquin Phoenix put in a wonderful performance as Arthur Fleck and deserves all the plaudits he has been getting.
Incidentally, as much as I do enjoy this movie, and the others in the DCEU, I am still of the opinion that Superman: The Movie (1978) is the comic book movie all others wish they were.
Have you seen Birds of Prey and if so what did you think of it?
Unfortunately not, and it is unlikely that I will get to the cinema any time soon to watch it. It’s a shame but I will still look forward to seeing it on home release. I’m glad to see that most reviews look upon it favourably. I’ll admit, the trailer did nothing for me and I was worried that we might have had a stinker on our hands. I’m glad that this is not the case.
With Wonder Woman 84, Suicide Squad 2, The Batman and possibly the Flash movie all in the works how excited are you for the future of DC cinema?
I’m always excited for the future of DC cinema. After all, DC is my favourite of the big two comic book companies (don’t get me wrong I love Marvel too and I’m not one who gets in to this Marvel vs DC rubbish, it’s pathetic). Anyway, the future looks great. I know we are getting sequels and movies with characters we’ve seen before but I think it’s high time that we see some of those that haven’t really appeared on the big or small screen. There are so many options out there that the future could be even brighter.
Henry Cavill’s Superman almost seems to be the forgotten man of DC. The fans definitely want him back. What are your thoughts on a Man of Steel 2?
Despite what I said above I do feel that a Man of Steel sequel would be appropriate and don’t understand why we haven’t seen it yet, or even had any sort of word that one may be in the works. It’s obvious that Cavill loves the character and wants to play him again. Alas, I am not sure that it will happen any time soon. I wonder if this iteration of the character has had its day. Despite fans love of it, critics of the BvS and JL movies may have put paid to it. After all Affleck has gone so I think the Cavill will too. Possibly on to James Bond ☺
A simple one now… Keaton, Bale or Affleck and why?
No West? How very dare you. If you add Adam West to the list I would have to say him. He was my first introduction to Batman. The television show was a staple of growing up and was always on when it was being aired. I was thankful to the TV-AM strike of 1987 and it was one of a number of shows put on to plug the gap left by Good Morning Britain.
From the choices made available by yourself, I would have to go with Christian Bale, if only for the fact we saw him in more movies. They all played the Bruce Wayne/Batman character in their own was; Keaton had a rather kooky aspect to him (especially as Bruce Wayne), Bale was more the playboy Bruce Wayne than the others and Affleck like the grizzled, veteran Bruce Wayne/Batman that we saw in TDKR comic book story. Hmm, I’ve only talked about them as Bruce Wayne. Still, Bale comes out top as Batman too (even with that voice).
Now it’s time to take your seat in the Directors Chair…
Warner Brothers approach you with a huge budget of $300million to make a film that fits in with Wonder Woman, Aquaman and Shazam but which DC character are you making your movie about and how will the film play out?
So much money! The problem with movie makers is that they’ll generally go for those characters that are better known. Ok, Shazam is a possible exception. Therefore, rather that spend a fortune on a character we have seen before, I’d go for a character not really seen on screen, big or small. How about Hawkman? I know we saw him in the Arrowverse but to be fair, it was a pretty crap interpretation of the character. (By the way, I’m not including animated when I speak of not being seen on the big or small screen). Anyway, The Shadow War of Hawkman would be my go to story. As the synopsis goes, ‘Murderous beings rise seemingly out of shadows, seeking secrets of Thangarian science. Hawkman is called upon to prevent the invasion of Earth. It’s a great story and one that would no doubt be welcome on the big screen.
It’s a shame that sales of the Hawkman comic book are not as grand as those with the other main characters. Therefore, a movie like this could easily help boost that and make Hawkman the success he should be.
Oh, and I’d go for Wyatt Russell to star. I’d have said Charlie Hunnam but all the Green Arrow fans would be after my head, haha.
Of course your film is a huge success and WB want more, only this time it’s a much lower budget and they want a film that will fit easily in to the world of Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker. Which Hero or Villains are you going for and what happens?
Again, I’d go for a character that we haven’t really seen in live action, big or small screen. For this I’ll say Zatanna, played by Kat Dennings. Professional stage magician, and as readers will/may know Zatanna lost her father to the dark arts. An origin story that tells us how Zatanna manages to cope without her mentor. Inexperienced to start, we see her grow as a character, become more confident and willing to take those on who use magic against others.
Your second film cleans up at awards season and now Marvel want to be involved and they offer you any of their characters to put in a DC film. Who are you bringing over and what team up or face off would we see with our DC favourites?
A Marvel character in a DC movie. Blimey, the fanboys would have fun with that wouldn’t they? Toxic enough without all this.
Anyway, I’d go for an Elseworlds/What If? Tale here. Therefore, Superman: Red Son vs. President Captain America. I’m not entirely sure I’d need to go in to the story I’d tell but come on, the highlighted text should be more than enough. I think this is a battle that has the makings of an absolute classic. I would however, keep the same actors that have already played them. Certainly a way to get Cavill back in the DCEU and Evans as Cap is always bankable.
Do I win?
So does John win?? Let us know what you think. Thanks again to John for taking part in DC World Director’s Chair. His Wyatt Russell casting for Hawkman is spot on for me. One I’d definitely love to see.
As a tease for next week’s edition of Director’s Chair we have our first actual Director taking part! Be sure to come back and see what they have to say.