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Screw the Marvel model, Warner Bros is all about 'wholly original, wholly unique' superhero movies

'Nightwing' writer/director Chris McKay told Metro he is very happy with the studio
Chris McKay at the Lego Batman premiere
[Photo: Getty]

The rivalry between the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the DC Extended Universe is mostly facetious. While those involved like to throw the odd, playful barb at each other, both parties are very much aware that their joint continued success is only good news for the two of them.

But there are still huge differences between their approaches to these mega franchises. This is something that Chris McKay, who is writing and directing “Nightwing,” is well aware of, as he recently explained to Metro how and why Warner Bros aren’t copying the Marvel Cinematic Universe with the DCEU. In fact, they're entirely focused on creating DC superhero movies with something unique at the heart of production: the director.

“Warner Bros is a more director-driven studio. Period. The end,” McKay emphatically began. “More than any other studio you’re ever going to work at. Just look at the roster of world class filmmakers that have worked at Warner Bros and made it their home. Warner Bros is a director-driven studio, and that’s exactly how they are operating these movies.”

“That’s the kind of filmmaking you are going to see, and have seen with Patty Jenkins on “Wonder Woman.” That’s what they have done and what they will continue to do, and that’s why these movies are not trying to follow the Marvel model, they’re trying to do their own thing with filmmakers that they like, and produce things that are wholly original and wholly unique.”

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Warner Bros is still intent on building a cinematic universe as successful as Marvel’s, but it's a lot easier said than done. During our discussion, McKay opened up about why it has taken the DCEU quite a bit of time to figure out exactly what to do with their impressive roster of films, which includes the characters of Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg, Green Lantern and The Flash.

“They still want to build a universe, and that’s why it takes a lot of time and a lot of people banging their heads together trying to figure out what to do. Because it’s hard. It’s hard to get all these people, and all these egos, and all this stuff in one place and get it all to work out. But they are committed to that, and that’s what’s amazing about working with Jon [Berg] and Geoff [Johns]. They’re real partners, and so is everyone at the Warner Bros family.”

Chris McKay’s take on Nightwing, the solo Robin film, is still currently in development over at Warner Bros’ DCEU. But his latest film with the studio, “The Lego Ninjago Movie,” which he produced, will be released on September 22. 

 
 
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