After scathing critical reviews for their latest blockbuster Batman v Superman, and the lukewarm response to 2013’s Man Of Steel, DC parent company Warner Bros. have been quick to respond.
After upcoming Aquaman film director James Wan promised his film would be more fun than the current installment in DC’s burgeoning Extended Universe, and producer Deborah Snyder stating that the Justice League film would be “lighter”, it’s been clear that the negative reception to the latest blockbuster has had an impact. However, their statements have done little to persuade fans, many of whom have complained that they were also promised a lighter Superman in Batman v Superman than the one who appeared in Man Of Steel.
Seemingly as proof of their good intentions, Warner Bros have announced that the proclaimed new lighter tone will be reflected in upcoming “special edition” DVD and Blu-Ray releases of the two films. Taking a cue from a YouTube video showing Man Of Steel with brighter colors, the studio will be enhancing the visuals through color correction to make the heroes’ costumes and scenery brighter and more in keeping with the images from the comics.
Other changes to be made in their promised lighter “special editions” will be minor digital alterations of facial expressions, complimented with re-dubbed dialogue from the films’ actors. While the dialogue itself will remain as it was, it is believed that the delivery will be warmer and more personable to viewers. It has also been claimed that scenes will be re-edited to tell a more cohesive story.
As Warner spokesperson Kevin Upgood stated, “We understand that there have been concerns amongst the fans. We still believe in [director] Zack Snyder’s vision and have complete faith in the platform he has created for the film. This isn’t in any way an indictment of his work. Rather, we’re working to enhance the experience and enjoyment of the viewers. With future films being lighter, we need to ensure that all the pieces fit together cohesively. This is something that DC Comics is committed to as well.”
DC has recently announced that their comic book line will also be taking a different approach in a bid to win back some of their older fans who feel that they’ve lost their way. Whilst the “special edition” films may not be a perfect solution, many within the industry feel that it makes more sound business sense than simply scrapping the current films and launching another reboot.
One of the most dramatic changes in Man Of Steel is said to address the controversial snapping of villain General Zod’s neck by Superman, a moment which has divided the comic book community. In the new version, Superman will apparently use super-breath to blow the innocent bystanders in the scene out of the way, as Zod uses his heat vision. The heat vision will now strike a mirror behind the bystanders and reflect back at him, his death now being self-inflicted.
“This in no way alters the story,” Upgood said. “We’re just giving the viewers the hero that many of them have asked for, the one who finds a way to avoid killing intentionally. We’re aware that the term special edition has some negative connotations from other franchise films, but this is the best of both worlds with no downside.
“These versions will fit with the lighter tone we have planned for the future, making the change in tone less of a dramatic shift,” he added. “And for those who were content with them as they were, we aren’t negating that.”
The level of alterations to Batman v Superman have yet to be disclosed.
– The special edition versions of Man Of Steel and Batman v Superman will be available to purchase on 1st April 2097