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7 Reasons Why DC Comics Has Flourished On TV, But Failed On The Big Screen

DC Comics [Public domain]
By Mario Perez

Recently the CW has picked up most of the TV series produced by DC comics based on some of their most iconic characters. Shows like the Flash are pretty well established with a loyal following heading into its 7th season. While others such as Batwoman are still obtaining their footing, but it was still brought back for a second season. With other shows like Gotham and even Arrow, it is clear DC knows TV. Why hasn't that success translated to the big screen?

1. They Are Chasing A Ghost


DC and Marvel have always competed in the comic book realm. They have actually also worked in some instances. In this case, the DC cinematic universe was basically built to compete with Marvel. This lead to the production of a lot of movies in a short amount of time. A lot of these movies just felt like they were totally rushed. A perfect example was pushing the Justice League Movie even though Batman vs Superman was pretty much a flop. DC has to find its own ideas and not try and just play catch up.

2. DC Has Really Deep Backstories


One of the reasons why the TV format has always been kind to DC is because of its character development. It is hard to find an important character in the DC universe that people just don't know much about. There is an argument to be made that DC comics developed their characters a lot better than Marvel did back in the golden age of comics. Since people know the story it can get tiresome to see it played out so many times. That can end up hurting a movie big time.

3. More Mature Content


If you take a look at the DC movies that have succeeded as recently as Todd Phillips' Joker and as far back as Tim Burton's Batman Forever the reality is that they are not really kid-friendly. Whereas Marvel can play a more kid-friendly game. The reality is DC is geared towards a mature audience. Aside may be from the first Batman TV show. That really used a lot of slapstick humor. Which is more a sign of the time. The character has evolved a lot since then.

4. Bad Casting Choices


A lot of the DC characters had gotten memorable portrayals from A-list stars in earlier films. When the new DCEU rolled around the new actors were just no able to fill those roles. Then there are situations where they have recast characters even though there are actors currently playing the same characters on TV. As is the case with the Flash. Where Ezra Miller plays Barry Allen in the movies while Grant Gusting plays Barry Allen in the series. The list could go on with these issues.

5. The TV Format Seems To Fit Better


With TV, writers are able to develop stories in a more natural way. You are getting real dialogue and intrigue. While in movies, it just seems like DC have been way too action happy. That is why there are a lot of DC, TV series animated and acted by real people that have worked. Yet, most of the action crammed movies have flopped. The fact that they are trying to catch up to Marvel so bad may also play a role in making people feel this way.

6. Staying True To The Source Material or Not


This is a tricky point because certain directors both in TV and movies have put their own twist and certain plot points and characters and made it work. With the recent Joker movie, you can look at a take on the character that is completely new. There is an argument to be made that it was just a movie that had some DC theming, but just told a different message. Certain directors such as Zach Snyder have taken certain liberties with the characters without first earning the respect of the fans. That has really rubbed a lot of folks the wrong way.

7. Exploring Multiple Formats


Animation has always seemed to be relatively kind to DC. From the Batman the animated series days to teen titans and other hit animated TV shows. DC has been widely successful in videogames as well. All of these different formats have allowed DC to explore different aspects of their characters mostly to successful results. By the time a new movie rolls around, there is a just a lot that it can be compared to and that usually makes things hard for potential success.

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