New from Jonita Davis on The Black Cape: Musings on the Missing Pieces of FanDome

Last Saturday, DC Entertainment held the sophomore edition of their virtual annual multimedia convention dubbed the DC FanDome. From panels on the multiverse, featurettes on the diverse voice artists dubbing iconic DC characters, and teaser announcements for Zack Snyder’s Justice League and director Matt Reeves’ The Batman, last year’s lineup was always going to be a tough act to follow. What viewers didn’t expect, however, was a much shorter event that felt like an uninspired shadow of the previous installment.

The Lackluster Revelations

 The metaphorical piece-de-resistance of this year’s FanDome was the launch of a brand-spankin’-new trailer for Reeve’s stab at the Dark Knight of Gotham (a.k.a Batman). Once the trailer aired, that left not much else to look forward to.

 Among other revelations of note were sparse first looks from Andy Muschietti’s The Flash and Jaume Collet-Serra’s Black Adam. Viewers were also introduced to the teaser of James Gunn’s upcoming HBO Max series Peacemaker, which is a spin-off to Gunn’s own The Suicide Squad, which was released earlier this year. Unless we’re counting the behind-the-scenes mini-featurettes of James Wan’s Aquaman and The Lost Kingdom and David F. Sandberg’s Shazam: Fury of the Gods, you could swear there were more than a few pieces missing from the event’s roster.

A Possible Fix? The Ayer Cut Announcement

There are a few things that could have filled out the roster.  Among some considerably achievable fixes to the virtual convention, a potential announcement of David Ayer’s unsullied version of 2016’s critic-proof hit Suicide Squad stands the tallest. Starring Will Smith (Bad Boys for Life; 2020), Adam Beach (Juanita, 2019) Jared Leto (Blade Runner 2049; 2017), Karen Fukuhara (television’s The Boys), and Jay Hernandez (Toy Story 4), among others.

Ayer’s take on the bad-guy ensemble action film reportedly went through a considerable amount of rewrites and reshoots after his original cut, in his words, “[…] scared the s—t out of executives.” Responding to Collider’s editor-in-chief Steven Weintraub on Twitter, the director stated in a tweet last May that his cut would be, “[…] easy to complete.”

Announcing the process to finish the film wouldn’t just have been a show of goodwill to both Ayer and his fans—which seemed to have vanished post-WarnerMedia CEO Ann Sarnoff’s interview with Variety this March, in which she curtly stated, “We won’t be developing David Ayer’s cut.”—but it would also call for an extended engagement both online and offline, keeping both the brand and the event in memory for months.

Another Fix? Restoring the SnyderVerse

 A more complicated endeavor—but one that could have led to better results in the long run—would have been a call to restore the original plans for the DCEU. Today, it’s been lovingly dubbed the SnyderVerse by director Zack Snyder’s fans. The initial lineup included a Cyborg movie starring Ray Fisher, sequels to Justice League, a Batman spinoff starring Ben Affleck (on the grave of which Reeves would eventually be called over to build a completely disconnected Batman franchise).  And lest we forget, the Snyderverse also included an American Chinese collaboration to further the journey of Ryan Choi from Zack Snyder’s Justice League.

It would admittedly be tricky to fund, schedule, and sort out the legalities of bringing all of this back. The Snyderverse doesn’t sound too far-fetched, considering the studio had no problems pooling in an ungodly amount of money for reshoots back in 2017. Back then Snyder stepped down from post-production of Justice League and the studio changed more than 80% of the film, let Junkie XL go, and hired Batman (1989) composer Danny Elfman to score the entire movie for a second time. (And no, we’re not going to talk about the mustache.)

 And Yet Another Fix, An Overdue Apology

 Speaking of Fisher, his unrelenting tweets reminded the world that the participants of the Justice League investigation still haven’t received an apology from Hamada. Those tweets are a consistently depressing look into the ease with which WarnerMedia (and DC’s recent focus on diversity and inclusivity) has been weaponized. That faux social change was used as a false flag to keep the importance of his fight out of the public lexicon. A public apology during FanDome would have been an incredible way to extend an olive branch to the actor and to boost the morale of Black and Brown fans. But I guess that’s easier said than done. Fisher is set to appear in the upcoming ABC historical drama series Women of the Movement.

There Were Also Some International Wrongs to Right

 The above are just a few of the most important missing pieces of DC FanDome’s incomplete puzzle. Among others are to potentially remedy a historically constant erasure and/or dismissal of fans the world over. If not for a throwaway recognition through fanart, the international fandom rarely gets recognition. Last year International fans were represented with fan questions during the panels coming from around the world.

FanDome could have also made some gesture toward ceasing an obsessive focus on domestic box-office results in a globalized economy to decide their next steps. A lot of Hollywood’s most enthusiastic film and television consumption comes from outside North America. There’s a reason why Paramount didn’t hesitate to greenlight a sequel to Transformers: Age of Extinction—or shift their priorities to Bumblebee when the sequel failed to generate as much as its predecessor. They know that international funds spend just as well as the domestic.

A Thin and Hole-y FanDome

If we were to list out the number of still gaping holes that still leave the sophomore FanDome incomplete it would be a novel. It would be a book investigating the many mishaps of both DC Films and WarnerMedia. The timeline would probably date all the way back to their complicity with the Salkinds’ decision to oust the late Richard Donner from Superman II, which allegedly followed his candid remarks during the first film’s promotion.

Then again, the wall is probably way too broken for one fan convention to remedy—we’d need a whole lot more than that. A complete overhaul of the structure, maybe? Who knows?

 You can find links to DC FanDome at dccomics.com. 

The post Musings on the Missing Pieces of FanDome appeared first on The Black Cape Magazine.

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