The other day Drew McWeeny and I were talking after a screening and we discussed something we both heard about the DC movies at Warner Bros, something that had baffled us both when we heard from our sources. Drew wrote about it, so let me quote him:
Last week was about the fifth time I've heard that there is a mandate at Warner Bros. regarding any of the DC superhero films in development, and it's very simple and direct and to the point.
Drew was as confused by this as I am. He dissects this a bit more in his piece, so allow me to do the same here. See, I don't think we'll never get a joke in a DC movie, but I do think the tone of Man of Steel is probably the tone of the rest of the films. Serious, convinced it's deep, allowed to contain elements that are perhaps chuckle-worthy at best. But there are no comedic relief characters, Superman doesn't display much of a sense of humor, and the overall tone of the thing is 'very serious business.'
They don't want their heroes being funny. They don't want to open their heroes to ridicule. They want to maintain the opposite tone of Marvel, which is to present these characters and their adventures as Important, having Mythic Resonance. They're bringing the DC characters back to their Silver Age roots, which is making them essentially a pantheon of Gods. It was in reaction to this that Marvel created their feet-of-clay characters, and it was that humanity - which included humor - that made the Marvel characters so enormously popular.
I think that Warner Bros, lacking a central Kevin Feige type, has no idea how to make these films work. And coming while Guardians of the Galaxy is being very funny and very successful for Marvel, news of this mandate must make fans wary.