(Spoiler Alert: If you have not seen the movie, plan to read this after watching it).
When we meet with a new or prospective client the number one thing we do is listen. Because no matter our experience or familiarity with the industry sector, we need to first hear and appreciate goals, objectives and needs directly from the horse’s mouth. To that end, DC/Warner Brothers finally and truly listened to its customer – the fans – and delivered a superhero move that delivers in “The Flash.”
Many have long bemoaned DC’s propensity toward dark, poorly-written stories lacking in character development, emotion and charm. In recent years they have been getting warmer with “Wonder Woman,” “Black Adam” and “Shazam.” With “The Flash,” though, we finally see deliverance; proving that, in any medium, content (and presentation) truly is king.
Utilizing fan-Batman-favorite Michael Keaton prominently in marketing, branding, and promotion, his superior performance is coupled with “flashback” specters of Supermans past or never were including from Christopher Reeve and, even more surprisingly, Nicholas Cage as a long-haired version of Kal-El from the Tim Burton movie that was never made (but was memorialized in a worth-watching documentary several years ago). The time-traveling, multiverse movie ends with an even more shockingly welcome appearance by George Clooney as Bruce Wayne. You might recall his appearance as the Caped Crusader in 1997’s disastrous “Batman & Robin.” Clooney has actually said in intervening years that he singlehandedly destroyed the franchise. While far from true, this and other nods to fandom are greatly appreciated and special.
And, despite his personal trials and travails, star Ezra Miller, as Barry Allen, brings real charm, personality and multi-dimensional (literally) likability to his roles (plural), again, all traits that fans have been screaming for for years. It is suspected many have stayed away from the actual box office because of his off-screen troubles yet, now available on On Demand, more are sure to watch and marvel.
A good case study in client/customer development and service (and a good recipe for success in any industry), “The Flash” literally “woos” us and “wows” us and strikes us with lightening. We’ll see if DC can strike twice (and beyond) as they continue to move in a new creative and mindful direction.