Doing Comics Justice on Film

Doing Comics Justice on Film

Contributor Tim Beyers sits down with The Motley Fool's Rick Engdahl to talk comics, TV, movies, tech, and related geekery. Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team, as well as the real-money Motley Fool Supernova Odyssey I growth portfolio.

Marvel Studios has shown that it truly gets comics, and understands what's important to fans of the medium. In this video segment, Beyers says DC is heading in the right direction, but that Warner Brothers CEO Kevin Tsujihara has a ways to go in terms of truly engaging the fandom.

A full transcript follows the video.

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Richard Engdahl: If they actually start filming Wonder Woman, with Joss Whedon writing the script, I will buy shares immediately.

Tim Beyers: Absolutely. That one was shelved, but it's one that people were hungering for.

You know, you bring up an interesting point here. The other side of this story is that Marvel has done a very smart thing by hiring creators who understand the medium, and understand the characters.

Joss Whedon, big comic book guy, has actually written comics. Joe and Anthony Russo, big comic book fans, they're making Captain America: The Winter Soldier. They've also consulted Ed Brubaker, who wrote the original story of The Winter Soldier that the movie is going to be based on.

Marvel's being very smart about getting people who understand what fans want. The secret, I think, to making a comic book property that can transcend media is engaging the fans first, and then allowing it to blossom.

Once you get the fans out, and the fans get the word out, then it becomes a property that has legs. But if you don't engage the fans, the wider world doesn't care to begin with. You have to get the fans excited first. Marvel's figured out a way to do that. DC, I think, can do that.

Engdahl: They seemed to with The Dark Knight. That was a big step forward from the Clooney days of Batman.

Beyers: Right. Absolutely.

Engdahl: That seemed to engage the fans. The hard-core comic book fans liked it, and then the general public bought on as well, right?

Beyers: Absolutely. Unfortunately, Christopher Nolan is only going to be involved in these DC properties at the executive producer level. He isn't like the universe show runner that Joss Whedon is, over at Marvel. You can tell that Marvel has given Joss a lot of freedom to look at the entirety of the Marvel universe and say, "What do you want to do?" That's very powerful.

They haven't done the same thing on the DC side of things. But, having said that, Man of Steel was a good film. Christopher Nolan's involvement does suggest good things, and Diane Nelson, who runs DC Entertainment, is thinking broadly about how they can leverage those characters and influence the guy at the top, Kevin Tsujihara, and get him thinking broadly about how to engage the DC universe.

They're taking the right steps, but they have to get those DC universe creators more intimately involved in the process. Right now, the difference is that Warner Brothers looks at DC as a pool. There isn't a DC equivalent of Marvel Studios.

Walt Disney has Marvel Studios and Kevin Feige runs it. It is its own thing. Warner Brothers is Warner Brothers, and when they want to make a DC movie they say, "Hey, we like this character. We want to make a movie." It's just not the same thing.

If they do engage the talent at the top of DC Entertainment, I think it'll change things.

The article Doing Comics Justice on Film originally appeared on

Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team and the Motley Fool Supernova Odyssey I mission. He owned shares of Walt Disney and Time Warner at the time of publication. Check out Tim's web home and portfolio holdings or connect with him on Google+, Tumblr, or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.The Motley Fool recommends Walt Disney. The Motley Fool owns shares of Walt Disney. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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