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Why So Serious? Warner Bros. Doesn’t Want You to Laugh During Their Superhero Movies

Batman vs Superman jokes
DC Comics

If you thought all of the official images released from ‘Batman vs. Superman‘ were dour, just wait! According to a baffling new story making the rounds on the internet today, Warner Bros. has decided that their superhero films will be joke-free. Yes, they’re apparently instituting a “no jokes” policy on their upcoming DC comics movie universe, which means we’ll get an ‘Aquaman’ movie with no humor to be found. (What’s the point of making an Aquaman movie if you can’t crack a joke or two?)

The news comes from Hitfix and their explanation for WB’s bizarre decision makes sense in a narrow-minded, five-years-ago sort of way. In the eyes of the studio, Christopher Nolan’s deathly serious ‘Dark Knight’ trilogy smashed box office records and the snarky, joke-filled ‘Green Lantern’ (which borrowed liberally from the ‘Iron Man’ template) bombed. Therefore, one is obviously better than the other.

This is a bizarre story for a few reasons. First of all, there’s plenty of levity in Nolan’s films, much of it supplied by Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman. Heck, even ‘Man of Steel,’ the first film in this new series, has its fair share of big laughs. Second of all, Marvel has found incredible success by filling its movies with as much comedy as action, which is the kind of thing that endears potentially weird and complicated characters to audiences.

But, here’s the biggest problem: by creating a strict “no jokes” policy, Warner Bros. isn’t fighting to prevent another ‘Green Lantern’, it’s putting all future filmmakers and screenwriters into a box. Some of the best adventure movies of all time, from ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ to ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ function because they seamlessly work gags and laughs into the narrative, giving audiences a much-needed break from the intensity of the plot. By not allowing humor from the outset, it feels like WB is missing a big opportunity.

C’mon, everyone wants to see a scene where The Flash makes fun of Aquaman!

We can only hope that this news is somehow exaggerated or that WB will prove more flexible. Otherwise, we’re in for what looks like a very dour, grim and gritty series of superhero movies.

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