The upcoming Justice League movie looks very bad, based on its new trailer – in fact, it could be mistaken for its own parody film. That’s not stopping Warner Bros. from exploring all possible media tie-ins to capitalize on what it hopes will be its success at the box office, including using virtual reality. The VR project Warner Bros. has planned for Justice League includes a series of original VR experiences, created in partnership with IMAX and with an exclusive first launch window in IMAX’s new VR centers.
In addition to a VR tie-in for Justice League itself, IMAX and Warner Bros. will also be creating unique VR features for Aquaman, and for a third future disastrous DC comics movie adaptation to be revealed later. These will provide content fodder for IMAX’s VR Centres, the first of which launched in LA in January, with five more planned for NYC, California, the UK and Shanghai. These are all pilot spots, designed to help IMAX refine the concept ahead of a broader rollout.
Beloved characters with existing appeal to audiences is a good vector for helping bring more mainstream audiences to VR, and it could help introduce people to IMAX’s new concept for theatre-style VR experiences, which use “pods” to provide individual virtual reality interactive stories.
VR as an arcade-style entertainment has done well in certain markets, including Asia, but has yet to really get started in earnest in North America. Let’s hope that allegiance to an ill-conceived cinematic universe doesn’t actually harm its changes.