Rumor: Warner Bros. Pushing Hard Against Humor in DC Comics Films

August 27, 2014
Source: HitFix

Why So Serious?

There have been some commenters saying that we don't talk about DC Comics films enough, so here's a provocative rumor that should get the masses talking. HitFix has heard from several different sources that Warner Bros. is making a big push to keep humor out of their forthcoming DC Comics adaptations that have been scheduled to hit theaters through 2020. Drew McWeeney (who isn't prone to just posting any ole rumor) says he keeps hearing a "no jokes" kind of mandate for these films in the DC Comics cinematic universe, and Badass Digest has also echoed those sentiments. But that seems more than a little extreme.

HitFix hypothesizes this attitude might have something to do with the failure of Green Lantern, a superhero film that tried to incorporate a decent amount of humor into the mix. But that train of thought seems too basic, mostly because the balance of humor and superhero action and drama was hardly the biggest problem with that box office bomb. What this really seems like is an effort to differentiate the DC Comics films from the more fun and light Marvel adaptations where humor has not just been present but prominent as far back as Iron Man, the first film to kick off Marvel's big screen universe.

We doubt Warner Bros. is strictly saying "no jokes" in their movies, and Seth Rogen seems to know a bit about that. When SlashFilm wrote about this news, Rogen took the time to reply on Twitter with this:

We're not sure why Rogen would be in the know when it comes to DC Comics movies, but someone like that who works as a writer, director, producer and star on many projects may have already been approached about having some kind of hand in any of the future projects that the studio might have planned. And if they've met with Rogen about any potential involvement with DC Comics properties, that means they're probably not looking to keep humor out of their films. After all, there is such a thing as being too serious.

What's more likely in this whole scenario is that DC Comics merely wants to take the same grounded, gritty direction that Christopher Nolan took The Dark Knight trilogy and what Zack Snyder continued to do with Man of Steel. These films are certainly much more serious than any given Marvel film, but Man of Steel still had some amusing moments here and there and wasn't devoid of humor completely. Take this rumor with a grain of salt and hope that Warner Bros. unifying vision is a little more creative than "no jokes." It would be nice to have DC Comics have a universe just as successful as Marvel's work so far. Thoughts?

Find more posts: DC Movies, Development, Movie News, Rumors



Man of steel had just enough light hearted moments. Id say it had the bare minimum. as long as they dont go south from there I'm fine with it being a little darker, let Marvel have their thing and DC can do something different.

Jon Odishaw on Aug 27, 2014


Agreed. DC films shouldn't have the schlocky stuff Marvel films have, but only because they are trying to maintain cohesive, Nolan-esque tone. It will be hard to make a FLASH movie though without a nice dollop of slap stick.

DAVIDPD on Aug 27, 2014


" Corporate Product Separation " theory . they don't want the general public thinking they are just copying MARVEL's style . .. but all CBs have always had SOME humor , so they real problem is that DC is late to the game , and is trying to not look like it .. .. They risk people saying that they WON'T take their kids to DC movies tho , because they're too dark/not family-friendly ...

Dominic on Aug 27, 2014


I dont think DC has anything to worry about. Nolans batman and Snyders Superman did VERY well even though they were dark.

Jon Odishaw on Aug 28, 2014


, yes BUT only those two . as they are so well known , that they don't NEED to "be likeable" in order to increase a fan following , as TheOct8pus notes above .. So those two movies allow The Suits to see a path they can call their own .. Spectre , or darker versions of Man-Thing and DEF Constantine , could fit this ...

Dominic on Aug 29, 2014


haha this guy again! dude at least change your avatar so you can at least give everyone the benefit of the doubt that your statements arent so fkn biased.

Rock n Rollllll on Aug 28, 2014


, (shrugs) it's not bias , to note the risk involved . several other comments on this page highlight displeasure .. It's a FACT that DC was late in exploiting the movie potential of its roster( what if THEY had approached Fox and Sony , for ex ??) .. It's an OPINION of yours , that all Marvel movies have cheesy dialougue . ...

Dominic on Aug 29, 2014



Rock n Rollllll on Aug 28, 2014


Couldnt agree more.

Rock n Rollllll on Aug 28, 2014


The Batman vs Bane fight was quite funny. Humour is important, even in super serious movies surely?

Carpola on Aug 27, 2014


I support this, but not for all movies. I feel like a Flash movie should have some humor, but Batman maybe not or very little, whatever fits the tone of the hero in question.

Brian Sleider on Aug 27, 2014


YES. Some heroes were made to be funny. I am so hopeful for THE FLASH. Everything looks like they have nailed it.

DAVIDPD on Aug 27, 2014


I feel like this is an okay move for DC, not necessarily of itself, but in that it sets them apart from Marvel's current approach. I'm fine with humor in the movies, but sometimes I also like more serious films. I think it makes sense to set themselves apart, so Marvel makes the more humorous movies like guardians of the galaxy and leaves the more serious, dark knight-ey films to DC.

jay on Aug 27, 2014


Seth Rogen is an executive producer of AMC's upcoming adaptation of DC/Vertigo's Preacher. So yes, he should know.

Charles Skaggs on Aug 27, 2014


Okay. Flash needs humor though.

Xerxexx on Aug 27, 2014


I think there will be humor, just not the cheesy lines we see in Marvel movies. The humor wont take away from the tone of the movie you know. I believe thats what they're getting at.

Rock n Rollllll on Aug 28, 2014


Cheesy lines not welcome.

Xerxexx on Aug 28, 2014


I just really want the DC cinematic universe to be successful and rival Marvel. Not because I like DC better (I preferred Marvel as a kid and adult), but simply because it would create a battle to outdo the other side which would hopefully lead to better movies as time went on. Marvel is already doing this IMO though, as two of the best movies in the MCU are Cap 2 and GotG. A Monday Night War situation could also cause one of the two to jump the shark... but ultimately I think a healthy and even competition would benefit all involved.

adam lamonica on Aug 27, 2014


As Rogen says, this story is pure speculation. And wrong.

Dan B on Aug 28, 2014


"No humor" is like saying "no likeable characters".....they might as well make a Gaspar Noe DC movie

TheOct8pus on Aug 28, 2014


I like it! All the cheesyness and forced one-liners in the Marvel movies take away the seriousness of the movie and in my opinion make it feel as though Marvel only cares about making all the teenie-boppers laugh rather than pleasing the fanbase. So good! Keep separating yourselves from what Marvel does, i love it!

Rock n Rollllll on Aug 28, 2014


Considering Rogen did a comical take on a DC 'superhero' in Green Hornet, he probably knows more what DC/WB is thinking than some rumormongers. Plus, Green Lantern didn't fail because it was 'funny' (also, it wasn't funny). It failed because it was a terrible movie. And it's biggest issue was the same problem shared with Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer - the villain was just a big nebulous cloud. The general public can't accept a villain unless it's humanoid.

CoosCoos on Aug 28, 2014


I thought Peter Sarsgaard did an excellent job as the human villain...probably the only good part of the movie.

Jon Odishaw on Aug 28, 2014


That is weird considering that Ben Affleck as Batman is a big joke

Brian David Carapia Hinojosa on Aug 28, 2014

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