One thing that is increasingly rare in Hollywood is candor. It’s understandable—trashing one movie could potentially lose you major opportunities in the future, and moreover, it’s in somewhat poor taste. No one sets out to make a bad movie. Some work better than others, but rarely are the folks behind the scenes just not even trying. So it comes as a bit of a surprise that an actor from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is being decidedly frank about the film’s quality—especially given that he’s locked into the DC Extended Universe for some time now.
Speaking with the Daily Mail (via CBM), Jeremy Irons minced no words in talking about the poor reviews for the Zack Snyder-helmed superhero smackdown, saying he found the less-than-glowing critical response to be warranted:
‘Deservedly so. I mean it took £800 million, so the kicking didn’t matter but it was sort of overstuffed…It was very muddled. I think the next one will be simpler. The script is certainly a lot smaller, it’s more linear.”
That “next one” is the currently filming Justice League: Part One, which Snyder is directing but which is being watched ever-closely by the media and Warner Bros. alike. Indeed, the studio has been doing some major course-correction in the wake of BvS, from upping Ben Affleck to an Executive Producer to setting an official head of DC Films to scaling back the roles of those that have been intimately involved in the crafting of the DC Extended Universe thus far. So while Irons’ words may be a bit harsh coming from someone who was in the movie and will be part of the universe for some time to come, it’s not as if the studio is pretending that everything is hunky dory.
Irons reprises his role as Alfred in Justice League but presumably will have a bigger role to play in the standalone Batman movie that Affleck is developing to direct. Affleck co-wrote the script with DC CCO and new DC Films co-head Geoff Johns, and the film is rumored to involve a bevy of classic Batman villains. But that film is still a bit of a ways off, and Warner Bros. has Suicide Squad and Wonder Woman on tap before Justice League is unleashed upon audiences next November. It’ll be interesting to see how the Snyder-helmed team-up film differs from Batman v Superman, but there’s one thing we can count on: if it’s no good, Irons will say as much.