4. KEEP THINGS REALISTIC
Part of what worked well with Nolan’s Batman movies, Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man and at least five of the six Marvel Studios movies was their basis in the real world so that it was easier for non-comic book readers to relate to the characters and the situations. In some cases (like Lobo), there’s only so much realism possible, but something like the Flash or Wonder Woman need to be placed within the real world in order for the more incredible aspects of their origins to be believable. Green Lantern kind of ignored that, going for something fantastical because so much of it involves outer space and alien races, and that ultimately lost many moviegoers.
If moviegoers who don’t read comic books can’t understand where these characters are coming from in a simple, easily-explained origin story that takes place in a world we can relate to, there’s very little reason for them to care. Although Captain America: The First Avenger and X-Men: First Class both defied the odds by taking place in the eras in which the characters were created and were done as period pieces, they still maintained some sense of realism when it comes to America during World War II or during the early days of the Cold War. These were fantastical movies set during times that have been well documented in history books, and they maintained the realism of what people learned in school as a background for superheroes. It was a brilliant move and it’s one Warners needs to mirror whenever they approach other DC Comics characters.