We're just a year or two away from DC Studios' DCU reboot, with everything from Superman: Legacy to The Brave and the Bold and Lanterns set to usher in a new era of storytelling under the watchful eye of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 director James Gunn.
However, as exciting as that is, there's a lot less excitement for 2023's DCEU movies.
Shazam! Fury of the Gods flopped a couple of months ago, and there's been a great deal of negative buzz surrounding the likes of The Flash and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. This year will see the release of what's essentially the dregs of the DCEU that unofficially began with 2013's Man of Steel, and we have some thoughts on why the rest of the year's slate is, unfortunately, doomed to fail.
To take a look at our breakdown, all you need to do is click on the "Next" button below...
6. Celebrity Praise For The Flash Feels...Fake
Look, we're not going to accuse Warner Bros. of paying for celebrity endorsements, but it certainly feels like it might be a possibility.
After a story about Tom Cruise's love of The Flash was fed to The Hollywood Reporter in time for its weekly geek-focused newsletter, Stephen King is the latest to weigh in. His Tweet feels rather similar to the quotes he often provides for other people's books, and it doesn't help that it comes on the heels of over-the-top claims from David Zaslav about this being the greatest superhero movie he's ever seen.
Yes, Miller playing two versions of himself alongside an actor who hasn't suited up as Batman in three decades is supposedly better than The Dark Knight, Avengers: Endgame, Spider-Man 2, and Superman: The Movie...
5. Who Cares After The DCU Slate Reveal?
The new DCU is in safe hands with Gunn (and Peter Safran), but the leaders of the newly formed DC Studios may have made a costly misstep in January.
Despite being frustratingly vague when it comes to which actors will and won't return as part of this upcoming reboot, this slate reveal featured a lot of very exciting movies and TV shows. They're clearly not set in the DCEU as we know it, hence why characters like Superman and Batman are being recast. The downside to this is the fact it means all of this year's releases no longer really matter.
During Shazam! Fury of the Gods' press tour, no one involved with the movie could answer whether Shazam would return after the sequel. Is it really surprising then that the movie went on to become the DCEU's lowest-grossing title? The announcement lessened interest in all these movies, especially when moviegoers now expect these adaptations to set up the next big story!
4. Ezra Miller Remains An Issue
It's hard to believe, but it wasn't that long ago when there was talk about Warner Bros. scrapping The Flash. That's how bad the situation got with Ezra Miller.
The studio has since attempted damage control, and Miller is said to be receiving treatment. If that's accurate, we wish the actor (who uses the they/them pronouns) nothing but the best. However, it doesn't really excuse their past behaviour, nor does it instantly make us forget some of the undeniably horrible accusations which have been levelled at The Flash star.
The internet doesn't forget, but will moviegoers? Talk of an opening weekend between $115 million and $140 million suggests they might, but a resurgence of negative headlines in June could be off-putting for many people. There are plenty of fans who are heading into next month with a bad taste in their mouths too.
3. Blue Beetle And The Batgirl Problem
Blue Beetle is a great character. However, if the trailer for his first movie is any indication, the hero's DCEU debut may struggle to do him justice.
Once again, it looks like Warner Bros. has gone for a Marvel-lite tone, while it's not remotely difficult to tell that it was once going to be released on HBO Max (it looks very much in line with The Flash, for example). The decision to pivot to a theatrical release was seemingly made as a knee-jerk reaction following Batgirl's cancellation and the negative headlines which would have followed had another comic book movie starring a Latin lead been thrown in the garbage.
Even if Blue Beetle is a great movie, this is an incredibly obscure character to the wider audience and, with the DCEU having already caused them to lose faith after a series of bad movies, asking them to invest in a newly introduced hero at this stage is too much, especially during a busy summer season at the box office.
2. Aquaman And The Lost Kingdom Is In Trouble
It wasn't to everyone's liking, but Aquaman was a box office hit that received mostly positive reviews back in 2018. Like Shazam! Fury of the Gods, however, the sequel may be coming too little too late, especially when it's been half a decade since that first solo adventure.
Interest in the DCEU and the character has waned greatly since then, and almost every single leak from test screenings has ranged from it being a bad movie to it needing a lot of work. Like The Flash, it's been put through the wringer in post-production (say goodbye to Ben Affleck and Michael Keaton), and the budget has increased massively as a result of the delays and reported reshoots.
This doesn't bode well and almost certainly means the DCEU will end 2023 with yet another movie that probably won't turn a profit. That's not a good look.
1. A Franchise On Its Last Legs
Even before Justice League was released in 2017, the DCEU had delivered critical and commercial disappointments. Since then, there's been a few hits, but the franchise has done little to restore faith in this shared world, with Wonder Woman 1984 and Black Adam among those helping to make this a shared world to avoid.
That would explain why the last few movies have flopped, anyway, and when your biggest selling point in a blockbuster titled The Flash is an actor who played Batman three decades ago...well, what does that really say about the series at this stage?
The DCEU's time is up and, if we're being honest, these movies are likely only being released because they have to be. We don't want them to fail, but it feels like an inevitability, and the sooner DC Studios' DCU gets here, the better. For now, though, 2023 promises to be a rough final ride for these characters.