Everyone on the Internet is all up in arms over Henry Cavill’s recent comments about Warner Bros.’ DC Extended Universe. We keep seeing headlines declaring that he “blasted” WB and “knocked” DC Films. That simply isn’t the case.
While speaking to The Rake in a recent interview, Cavill admitted that the “style” adopted by the DCEU entries, short of Wonder Woman, “hasn’t necessarily worked.”
“It hasn’t given everyone that sensation which superheroes should give the viewers,” Cavill said before praising Wonder Woman‘s alternative approach. Both Cavill’s Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice were criticized for their dark and gritty tone, while Wonder Woman was celebrated for its optimism (we have no idea what was going on with the god-awful Suicide Squad). While darker superhero material can certainly work like gangbusters (see: The Dark Knight trilogy), Cavill was merely pointing out that fans and critics haven’t responded well to it this time around.
“I think it is a wonderful time for the female hero,” Cavill said of Gal Gadot’s celebrated heroine. “It is the perfect setting in social politics right now, we need it, we want that perspective, and Wonder Woman has struck at the ideal time and has become a phenomenal success, which is fantastic.”
While we don’t necessarily agree with Cavill that superhero films always need to be bright, shiny and positive, we can’t accuse him of ripping his own movies. He even said he hopes to “keep telling the Superman story; selfishly, that works for me.” We need to stop treating honest reflection as mudslinging. Would we rather Cavill fire off a generic, “We make movies for the fans, not the critics,” or offer a genuine appraisal of his divisive blockbusters?
“I feel like now, the right mistakes have been made and they haven’t been pandered [to], and we can start telling the stories in the way they need to be told,” Cavill continued. “It is even better to come back from a mistake or stylistic error into the correct vein because it will make it seem that much stronger. Wonder Woman was the first step in the right direction.”
Again, we’re not convinced that all future DCEU films need to take all their cues from Wonder Woman, but Cavill’s comments are not the “bite the hand that feeds you” type of remarks some are trying to make them out to be. He’s acknowledging the general reaction audiences have shared: that these movies were flawed.
Settle down, Internet. Unless, of course, Justice League is awful. Then you may continue.