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Sports Illustrated
Sports Illustrated
Rohan Nadkarni

How Brook Lopez Would Fix DCU Movies

If there’s one thing Bucks big man Brook Lopez might care about more than slowing down opponents, it’s the state of comic book movies in America.

“I can go on this for a long time,” Lopez says, pivoting from a discussion on pick-and-roll strategy in December.

Lopez is an avid comic book fan, so much so that the New York Post dubbed him the league’s biggest comic book geek in 2014. In August 2021, Lopez and his brother Robin (currently with the Cavaliers) even published their first manga, “Transition Game.”

Lopez specifically has been a fan of DC Comics his whole life, he says. (For the uninitiated, that’s not to be confused with Marvel, which has come to dominate the comic book film landscape with franchises such as Black Panther and Avengers.) DC, under the stewardship of Warner Bros., has struggled to make movies as financially and critically successful as Marvel'S, and the studio has been in a state of upheaval the last few months as it tries to catch up. New executives have been brought in, while stars of previous movies (such as Dwyane “The Rock” Johnson and Henry Cavill) appear to be on their way out.

These matters are serious to Lopez.

“I still probably go see every other comic book movie or something like that,” he says. “It is tough for me watching some stuff as someone who reads the comics so religiously. It’s tough for me to see what they put on the screen. Sometimes you just think, ‘Why are you doing it like that?’

“With DC Comics, I don’t understand some of their decisions. It really sticks with me. I text my friends, ‘I just don’t understand.’ ”

Lopez says his complaints to his friends became so frequent some finally texted back asking him to consider if maybe he wasn’t exactly the target audience for these movies. He says he’s trying to appreciate the actual comics still as well as the popularity of the films, even if the content of the latter doesn’t sit right with him.

DC at least appears to be aware of the issue. Last October, Warner Bros., DC’s parent company, hired director James Gunn (who helmed Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy franchise) and longtime producer Peter Safran to oversee the DC Universe and create a coherent vision for the films moving forward. This has created a little bit of tension as Gunn and Safran have effectively decided to start fresh and move on from previous actors and directors, even the ones who did find some success for DC.

Here’s what Lopez says he would do if he were in charge of charting DC’s future:

“My game plan? I think the problem with DC in their movies is, since The Dark Knight—and The Dark Knight was a great movie—they try to tend to go darker, more adult, more serious. They’ve almost become ashamed of what a lot of their characters are. Like how Superman traditionally is. How bright, colorful and bombastic their characters are.

“I would try to make movies that were abashedly DC. … I think that would mean something to a lot of the fans. Eventually, that would reach the normal moviegoing public they’re trying to reach, because it’s fun. A lot of these DC movies are not fun to watch, and it’s not the same feeling I get reading a DC comic. There’s these crazy, wild, out there, Silver Age-y ideas and concepts DC is built around, and I don’t think they have the right feel and attitude in their movies to take advantage of all that fun stuff.”

For now, Gunn and Safran have yet to officially announce or outline their upcoming plans about which movies may be coming out in the next few years. That means there is still time to consult Lopez if they want their movies to appeal to their biggest fans. 

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