Skeptics like me have long complained about Time Warner's (NYSE:TWX.DL) plan with Batman vs. Superman. You know the list:
Batman vs. Superman promises to be every bit as brooding as Man of Steel, and fans want comic book movies to follow the funny, popcorn formula pioneered by Marvel Studios.
Too many characters means the main players won't get the attention they deserve.
It's up against Captain America 3! How can Batman vs. Superman hope to compete against Marvel's newest blockbuster property?
Ben Affleck as Batman? Come on!
Or at least that was the tally yesterday. Zack Snyder may have since turned around "Batfleck" doubters with this photo, posted to Twitter a few hours ago:
Users had retweeted the photo more than 26,000 times as of this writing. Another 14,000-plus, including yours truly, added it as a "favorite" as commenters pushed the "#BatmanvsSuperman" hashtag toward the top of Twitter's list of trending topics. Most appear to like what they see (although granted, the sampling is far from scientific proof that the doubting masses have been converted):
The notion of a Zack Snyder visualized Batman is like an impending Christmas gift to Batman fans. #BatmanvsSuperman— Adrian Askarieh (@AdrianAskarieh) May 13, 2014
Why Time Warner investors should care
Every Rule Breaker faces skepticism at some point. For Warner, Batman vs. Superman is a Rule Breaking enterprise in that it seeks to disrupt the established order -- Marvel's established order -- when it comes to creating a comic book movie franchise.
Specifically, the rules say you have to introduce new characters one movie at a time, building slowly to a team-up. Your TV universe should also be subservient to your movie universe so as to not risk overshadowing the properties headed to the big screen. Warner and DC don't seem to care about any of this, and that's probably a good thing.
Or at least it should be a good thing. Rule Breaking only works when market rebels take the necessary steps to steadily, strategically reduce objections. Think of how Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) built a national charging network in response to skepticism over electric cars. Or how Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) created an electronics store where you could sample its most advanced products before buying them.
Snyder, in snapping and posting a high-quality photo of Affleck wearing the new Batsuit, is taking steps to reassure skeptics that the Batman coming to cinemas in 2016 won't be some construct but rather a familiar face that may remind us of one of the most famous of all Batman stories:
Now it's your turn to weigh in. Are you more or less interested in seeing Batman vs. Superman after having seen the costume? Why or why not? Leave your take below, including whether you would buy, sell, or short Time Warner stock at current prices.
Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team and the Motley Fool Supernova Odyssey I mission. He owned shares of Apple and Time Warner at the time of publication. Check out Tim's web home and portfolio holdings or connect with him on Google+, Tumblr, or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.
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