It has become a bit of a running joke and a sore point for fans of DC Comics that the films based on the popular comic books have not been as well received as those from Marvel Studios.
For years, the films of the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) have had a mixed reaction from critics and fans. The result was a perceived lack of quality or consistency, which was quite frustrating as the potential for the films and various DC characters was squandered. Two examples are Superman and Batman. After their joint film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice turned out to be disappointing it seemed as if DC Comics’ owners Warner Bros. (now Warner Bros. Discovery) gave up on the two characters, especially Superman, and focused on DC films not set in the DCEU.
Then there were extensive behind-the-scenes production problems, the most recent and glaring were the issues behind The Flash and its star Ezra Miller. Other properites were announced then abandoned. These issues in turn gave the perception that properties from the DCEU were inferior or at the very least were inconsistent as the film universe lacked direction.
This will all change thanks to the hiring of James Gunn and Peter Safran who will take over the newly formed DC Studios. The duo promise to bring a creatve and consistent approach to the DC films, TV shows, animation and other media. While the non-DCEU films and TV shows will continue to be made, such as sequels to Joker and The Batman, the two film executives will have a firm hand on the DCEU films and TV shows. Needless to repeat to fans that the two are well known for their work in previous DCEU films such as Aquaman, Shazam!, The Suicide Squad, and Peacemaker.
Also worth mentioning is that Warner Bros. Discovery has had a change of heart when it comes to Superman. Henry Cavill who originated the role with the first DCEU film Man of Steel, has already reappeared in the DCEU with a cameo in Black Adam, and will star in a new solo Superman film.
Meanwhile, Ben Affleck, who played Batman in the early DCEU films is also slated to return and in fact will appear as the Caped Crusader in The Flash, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, and future DCEU films.
After the release of next year’s Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, it is not clear what exactly lies ahead for DCEU films. At this point, all we can speculate on are reports of another Wonder Woman film being developed, as well as sequels to Black Adam and The Flash. But keep in mind that David Zaslav, the president and CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery has committed to developing a 10-year plan for the DCEU films. With the proven and talented guidance of James Gunn and Peter Safran, DC Studios will be quite successful with the effort.
It is an exciting time for DC fans, as the future holds a lot of promise for the DCEU. Now, if only we can get some kind of confirmation of a Green Lantern film…
Agreed, I think James Gunn and Peter Safran will turn things around for WBD and the DC movies. Black Adam has really shaken things up in ways few could’ve predicted. Perhaps it fed into the desire in audiences for something more fun an upbeat and not so formulaic as some MCU Phase 4 projects have been. Henry Cavill retiring as Superman is another bonus and I’m really hoping we maybe get a solo Bat Fleck movie too! Branding will be a key factor as well, and I suspect the DCEU moniker will be dropped in favour of a more streamlined “DC Universe” perhaps?
I heard that the DCEU will be rebranded as just the DCU, which works for me. As long as DC Studios puts their creative efforts towards a cohesive and entertaining film universe then it’s a win. I also hope we do get the solo Bat Fleck film that was planned some time ago with Deathstroke.
I really think the DCEU may be in a unique place right now. It’s poised to have a bit of a rebirth and – hopefully – can stop worrying about playing catch-up with Marvel and forge it’s own unique vision/path. Also, I worry Marvel’s starting to hit it’s own version of the Star Wars Problem in putting out too much material too fast where things start to contradict each other and the coherent universe they spent a decade crafting begins to crumble a bit (Raimi and Waldron owning the didn’t watch ‘WandaVision’ before writing ‘Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness;’ there not seeming to be a coherent vision of the multiverse between ‘Endgame,’ ‘Loki,’ ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home,’ ‘Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness;’ etc. and so on).
All this is to say, DC may be in a place to not just forge their own vision of a cinematic superhero universe but overtake Marvel/give Marvel something to challenge their supremacy at the box office and in pop culture at the moment. I think it’s a very exciting time indeed, for DC and to be a fan of superhero movies in general!
It would be the best thing not just for us but Marvel Studios if DC Studios became a real competitor since that woukd Marvel to tighten and shake things up. We are seeing the results of being the king of the hill for too long: complacency and no real focus. But getting back to DC as long as they deliver on their promises soon then they should be on solid ground to excel.