DC’s lat­est film set to spark re­newed ri­valry with Marvel

China Daily (Canada) - - LIFE - By XU FAN xu­fan@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Around six decades after the birth of Jus­tice League, one of the most fa­mous metahu­man al­liances in Amer­i­can comics his­tory, an up­com­ing movie named after the fic­tional team will bring them to life.

Jus­tice League, the lat­est DC Comics film, will be si­mul­ta­ne­ously re­leased in China and the United States on Nov 17.

A sur­prise for fans was that China is the first stop for the $220 mil­lion film’s global pro­mo­tion tour.

“China is one of the most im­por­tant film mar­kets in the world,” says Ben Af­fleck, who reprises his role of Bat­man in the up­com­ing movie.

Along­side Af­fleck, the other major stars in Jus­tice League — Won­der Woman played by Gal Gadot; Su­per­man played by Henry Cav­ill, Flash played by Ezra Miller; Aqua­man played by Ja­son Mo­moa and Cy­borg played by Ray Fisher — were on a whirl­wind tour in Bei­jing in late Oc­to­ber.

In re­cent years, it has been com­mon to see Hol­ly­wood stars pro­mote their movies in Chi­nese cities, but such a large team was un­prece­dented.

From greet­ing Chi­nese fans in Man­darin to tak­ing pho­tos with them, the Jus­tice League team won lo­cal hearts.

Statis­tics from ticket ser­vices such as Maoyan and Taopiaopiao showed that Jus­tice League was one of the most an­tic­i­pated movies in Novem­ber.

Sep­a­rately, as part of its pro­mo­tional cam­paign in China, distrib­u­tors screened a 25-minute slice from the 121minute fea­ture for a small group of Chi­nese fans and jour­nal­ists in a theater in Bei­jing on Oct 27.

The sec­tion fea­tured the mourn­ing for Su­per­man’s death, and the Jus­tice League team­ing up to stop the vil­lain Step­pen­wolf’s at­tempt to rule the world.

But the slice did not say if Su­per­man would be brought back to life in the movie.

In the DC film Bat­man v Su­per­man: Dawn of Jus­tice, which was re­leased in 2016, Su­per­man sac­ri­ficed his life to kill a deadly mon­ster, but the last scene seemed to in­di­cate a pos­si­ble re­turn.

De­spite avoid­ing ques­tions about the re­turn is­sue, Cav­ill says the death of Su­per­man has changed Bat­man, who now works with Won­der Woman to guard the planet.

Com­pared with pre­vi­ous DC su­per­hero movies, Jus­tice League has a brighter tone with more funny scenes, in­di­cat­ing DC’s strat­egy to tar­get non-fan au­di­ences.

Re­fer­ring to the “pre­view”, pro­ducer Charles Roven, who is be­hind a string of DC comics hits such as The Dark Knight Tril­ogy and Bat­man v Su­per­man: Dawn of Jus­tice, says: “You (the Chi­nese au­di­ence) are the first in the world to see that 25 min­utes.”

Jus­tice League was con­ceived by Amer­i­can writer Gard­ner Fox and first ap­peared in a DC comic book in 1960.

Over the past decades, the fic­tional al­liance has in­spired a se­ries of an­i­mated movies and TV shows, but Jus­tice League marks the first time the team is part of a live-ac­tion movie.

For most DC fans and movie in­dus­try watch­ers, the movie is a late re­ply to Marvel, prob­a­bly DC’s big­gest ri­val in the comics-adapted su­per­hero movies genre.

Marvel, the pub­lisher of Iron Man, Cap­tain Amer­ica and Hulk comics, re­leased its first movie, Iron Man, in 2008. And with The Avengers (2012) and Avengers: Age of Ul­tron (2014) and a se­ries of stand­alone movies and fran­chises, it has es­tab­lished a well-known cin­e­matic uni­verse for its he­roes.

Now, with the lat­est Marvel su­per­hero movie Thor: Rag­narok, which will be re­leased in China and the United States si­mul­ta­ne­ously on Nov 3, Marvel has 17 such movies.

Wang Xiaoyang, a Bei­jing­based critic, says Jus­tice League will be a piv­otal chap­ter in the his­tory of DC, as it will de­cide if DC’s war­riors can re­gain the au­di­ences they have lost to Marvel.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.