In December, DuVernay hinted at her interest in “New Gods” as she tweeted that Big Barda was her favorite superhero. On Thursday, she tweeted a photo of Kirby.
Darkseid is considered by many to be DC Comics’ top villain. Many fans were upset that Darkseid wasn’t the villain in the much-maligned “Justice League” movie, a move that makes a little more sense now if it turns out a “New Gods” movie was being developed while “Justice League” was in production.
If DuVernay and WB/DC can get this adaptation right, fans will likely forgive the decision to use the much weaker and a heck of a lot less interesting Stepphenwolf as “Justice League’s” antagonist.
DuVernay has a wealth of comic book treasures to utilize with the “New Gods,” from the initial run of Kirby and the late ’90s works of John Byrne to the current critically acclaimed “Mister Miracle” miniseries from Washington-based writer Tom King and artist Mitch Gerads. Fans will no doubt be anticipating the drama of Darkseid and Orion’s complicated father-son relationship. Orion was raised in New Genesis and taught to believe that the ways of his father’s world of Apokolips are wrong. But at times Darkseid’s DNA can take control of his temper, in contrast to Darkseid’s typically calm demeanor alongside the chaos of his world. Mister Miracle would be expected to be a master escape artist, and Big Barda could have a Wonder Womanlike impact on a “New Gods” film, given her strength and fearlessness.
In 2015, it was widely reported that DuVernay was in contention to be the director of Marvel Studios’ billion-dollar behemoth “Black Panther.” That role eventually went to “Creed” director Ryan Coogler after DuVernay took herself out of consideration for the job. Now this “New Gods” news distracts slightly from the buzz of Marvel Studios’s new “Avengers: Infinity War” trailer, which dropped Friday morning. Whether that was an intentional move by DC against its rival is hard to say, but surely DC has to be happy with the (for now) positive movie news trending online.
Any live-action “New Gods” movie would be an expensive, CGI-heavy production, two facets with which DuVernay is very familiar after directing “A Wrinkle in Time” for Disney. A “New Gods” movie represents the type of bold decision-making that shows WB/DC will not let previous failures and polarizing films stop them from trying to return to their glory days of superhero movie making.
The DC Extended Universe has seen other hopeful signs recently. Patty Jenkins’s “Wonder Woman” was a hit and has led to a soon-to-be-in-production sequel, and there’s the hope that James Wan’s “Aquaman” (starring Jason Momoa and coming to theaters this November) will have the same impact. “Shazam!” is in production (starring Zachary Levi), but so far leaked photos aren’t inspiring much fanboy approval.
WB/DC is likely hoping DuVernay can boom-tube them in the right direction and that the “New Gods” can give them a new classic.