Mamo #361: How To Train Your Batman


It’s the movie many of has pegged as the blockbuster of the summer – Mamo talks How To Train Your Dragon 2! Plus that enormous Nikki Finke Justice League rumour, which may not (strictly speaking) be “true” but certainly is “interesting.” Strap on your squirrel suit and let’s fly…

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12 Comments on "Mamo #361: How To Train Your Batman"

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Robert Reineke

Nikki Finke will spin any inaccuracies in her “scoop” into a SHOCKER! headline if it doesn’t pan out. This isn’t the kind of thing that will hurt her at all if it turns out to be inaccurate.

Frankly, 4 of the 7 projects announced, BvS, JL, Sandman, and Shazam, have been pretty much givens for a while. Dwayne Johnson has been rumored for awhile to be attached to Shazam, which I think is a good bit of casting if they don’t take themselves all that seriously with that property. WW and MOS2 aren’t exactly stretches either. That just leaves the Flash/GL movie and the timetable as the only real stretches.

Matthew Fabb

There’s generally all sorts of DC Comics live action movies stuck in various points of development hell, but it’s rare for to get out of there. They have been trying to make a Flash movie for a good decade or more, with the closest they got was when David Goyer wrote a script and was set to direct. A Wonder Woman movie goes back in the early 2000’s even before it was handed to Joss Whedon, producer Joel Silver worked with several writers to get it off the ground. The Sandman has been in the works since the late 1990’s, unfortunately for quite some time each script apparently worst than the next. People have asked for him to be involved and he often mentioned somewhere along the lines that “no one should have to barbecue their own baby” (paraphrasing).

So I wouldn’t be surprised if this is DC Comics ideal schedule if everything runs smoothly without any problems. However, they couldn’t even get Batman vs Superman out for 2015 and I doubt this will turn out.

Remember back in 2013, the San Diego Comic Con rumor was that a Flash movie would come out in 2016 and a Justice League movie was going to come out in 2017. I don’t doubt behind the scenes they were hoping for those dates, but Warner Brothers were smart not to announce that with it being too far from happening. I doubt that even if these new dates are real that WB will announce them.

Matthew Fabb

With MAMO often talking about the future of movies and how the landscape might change, I’m curious if either of the MAMO boys have had a chance to use an Oculus Rift and their thoughts of VR films.

The Oculus Rift still isn’t available yet for the general public, but there has been some Toronto installations using it. The Game of Thrones exhibit at TIFF had an Oculus experience and further back the ROM had a some sort of dinosaurs Oculus experience.

Quite recently it was announced that one of the Paranormal Activity directors was doing a live action horror movie for the Oculus Rift. Also James Cameron has said that he is interested in the Oculus Rift. Not that you can just take any feature movie like Avatar and just throw it into an VR experience, but I imagine being able to see a world like Avatar’s Pandora in VR would be incredible.

It’s a very different medium, but I wonder if some of the more spectacular elements in big blockbuster films, such as seeing dinosaurs or visiting alien planets might have more of a draw in VR. Or in some cases compliment each other, more so than what you would get in a video game. Like where any film with a large amounts of CGI environments could easily be used for an Oculus Rift experience. The Game of Thrones Oculus Rift experience allowed you to see the Wall. As mentioned Avatar 2 experience were you could before or after the movie visit Pandora. Hang out in Mos Eisley Cantina before the new Star Wars movie comes out. Beyond just experiencing the environments up close, there could be small little narratives that pull into the main feature.

Anyways, I’m currently working at a company that has been doing some Oculus Rift work, so I’ve been giving more thought to how VR might fit in and was curious what others’ opinions.

Matt Gamble

Who is paying for the VR install?

Matthew Fabb

Matt Gamble, you mean who’s paying for the installations right now? Various companies as a promotional tool that set up at events. The project that I’ve been doing is for a US network. I can talk more about it at the end of the July when it launches.

If you are asking for who pays for the hardware when it is available the consumer models would be bought by the general public. The Oculus Rift dev kits have been going for $350 but with Facebook backing them, they are talking about lowering the prices and initially selling them at cost and just breaking even. So perhaps at $300 or lower. You can then hook them up to a computer to see the software. There’s also even now examples of VR that can run through a basic web browser thanks to WebGL. In that case if you have the hardware, you would even have to install anything, just go to a browser page. That said the toolset for browser based VR is quite limited now.

Sony’s Project Morpheus you would connect to a PlayStation 4. Samsung is apparently working on a VR unit that you could just connect to smartphone.

Right now VR software is generally being shared for free, as it’s mainly developers sharing with other developers. Later, I imagine some promotional material will still be for free but other content you would pay for.

Matt Gamble

I meant more for theatrical. Who is paying for install in auditoriums if they are going to be making VR movies? 3D was initally subsidized by the studios to help push the format and get digital projectors into theatres. But now that theatres have already paid to outfit all of their auditoriums with digital projection (and the early adopters are already replacing those with newer models) they are strapped for cash, especially Independent operators.

On top of that, I can’t see theatres being happy about a viewing experience that would be exactly the same at home or in a theatre. What is the draw, and how is it not cutting off their primary consumer base? Especially if they are going to be cheap enough that people are using them for gaming.

I’m not against VR (in fact I think it’s kinda cool) but to me it signals the death of theatrical viewing far more than blockbusters being to expensive and bankrupting studios.

Matthew Fabb

Yeah, I don’t see them being installed in movie theatres, but something that people would buy for home. VR is a very individual experience, so there would be no need to experience it with a large crowd.

I meant it as further competition to theatres in some ways, although complementing movies in other ways. Big blockbuster that are built on spectacle I think would have a problem competing against VR where you can be further in the action than you ever could in a movie. That even 3D movie wouldn’t compare to being able to look around and feel more immersed.

Complementing and promoting movies in a way that say a video game tie could never manage. As mentioned Avatar’s Pandora being on the planet. With James Cameron’s interest I wouldn’t be surprised if he puts out an Avatar VR short film to go along with one of the sequels.

Sean Kelly

I was quite impressed by the Game of Thrones VR simulation, despite the fact that it lasted just about a minute.

Rick Vance

As not a fan of most SuperHero films I want the DC stuff to be true so it floods, saturates and drowns the market.