Hey Warner Bros! Wanna Know Why The DC Extended Universe Is Imploding? Read This!
What exactly is wrong with the wildfire that is the DC Extended Universe? Click on, as I attempt to provide an answer to this very, very, very provocative question.
(Geoff Johns and Jon Berg, respectively. The men who run the place.)
Got your seatbelts on? Good, let’s start.
Man of Steel soared into theaters in 2013 and by the time it stumbled its way out, audiences were divided. The 55% the film currently has on review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes is a prime example of this division. Despite the divide, audiences, no doubt, was eager to see what the DCEU would throw on the table next.
Man of Steel 2? No. A standalone Batman film? Eh, no. How about a solo Wonder Woman movie? No way!
Warner Bros.’ DCEU Division decided that they were going to make Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice! The announcement got fans and movie execs excited, but no one in DCEU offices really took a step back and asked themselves the following questions: How do we get a "Batman v Superman" film from just ONE Superman film? Did we even lay the proper groundwork to create such a project? Are we rushing into this?
Simple questions like that could have stopped what was to come. But come on, the guys who run the DCEU division are all successful men with college degrees (hopefully). They’re not morons, right? Surely they had to pose some questions?
Yeah, they did. But the questions they asked didn’t spark a new project entirely (like Man of Steel 2), instead, those questions were answered with a 40 year-old Batman who kills, a wacky Lex Luthor, an out of place Wonder Woman, Doomsday (wait, what?), and the death of Superman! As if killing off DC’s greatest hero in his second outing would help the universe flourish.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’s RT score – 27%
With the above paragraph, I could easily write a few pages talking about the flaws of "Batman v Superman" and how they could have fixed it, but that’s not the reason we’re here. Let’s continue.
After Batman v Superman, the untimely death of Superman would go on to shape the direction of the DCEU going forward. Just to make clear, that’s not something you should be shaping your franchise off of when your only two films into your extended universe. You got that, Warner Bros? Take notes.
At that point we asked: What’s next Warner Bros.? What are you going to do to get the DCEU on track? A Man of Steel sequel focusing on Superman’s resurrection? A solo Batman flick, showing what the Dark Knight got himself into after the events of BvS? How about that solo Wonder Woman film? No, no, and no.
The “intelligent” people over in the DCEU offices announced a Suicide Squad film. Who in their right minds thought this was a good idea! Really, DC? A film about a group of villains will serve as a follow-up to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which featured THE DEATH OF SUPERMAN! Yeah, that makes complete sense (sarcasm!).
How can we get a film about a reckless band of villains BEFORE we even get the JUSTICE LEAGUE! That’s like Marvel Studios releasing a Masters of Evil film before The Avengers in 2012. That would have been complete foolishness! That’s something you don’t do! Even though something like that is clear and obvious to us, it somehow goes right over the heads of the DCEU executives.
Anyhow, the Suicide Squad film should not have been the third film in the DCEU. What did they think? Did they think they were getting the Will Smith of old? The one that was actually capable of carrying a film on his own? Did they think that Margot Robbie showing off a little skin would save the film? Oh, they probably believed that spamming a whole bunch of loud music and colors would make the film enjoyable? Who did they think they were!? Guardians of the Galaxy?!? Then, David Ayer approved all of it, believing he could make a film that was “funny, thrilling, full of heart, and packed with visual splendor.” Who did he think he was? James Gunn?!?
25% on Rotten Tomatoes for you.
After the release of "Skwad", that was three straight rotten films in a row. And the funny part is, each and every one of those films had potential, however, the guys at Warner Bros. and the DCEU offices couldn’t do their jobs correctly, so we ended up with three messy films and a few directors sitting there with their heads down and their mouths open, saying what they “wish they would have done” and what they “were trying to do”! Moving on...
Wonder Woman. The DCEU’s first success.
The film sits at a 92% on Rotten Tomatoes and it’s grossed over $800 million worldwide. A film with a female lead and a female director was deemed the best DCEU film to date. Wonder Woman got right what the first three DCEU films got wrong, making it truly a remarkable film. Starting with Wonder Woman, the DCEU will get back on track. No more negative reviews, no more division between fans, just fun, enjoyable movies all-around.
You know those last two sentences were a lie, right?
Please don’t try to convince yourself otherwise. Despite Wonder Woman’s success, the DCEU is still a mess. And based on recent events, it’s only about to get messier.
If I’m Warner Bros, I’m obviously hoping for Justice League to be successful. They should hope for nothing else…but they should prepare for something else. You see, Justice League is a timed bomb just waiting to go off. Hear me out before you get triggered: There’s a few possible scenarios that could happen and I’m going to take you through each of them.
In this scenario, Justice League is well-received (70%+ on RT), makes well over a billion dollars in the box office, and it finally teaches the people in the DCEU offices how to make a good movie. Due to the success of Justice League, DC is provided with a clear direction going forward. Nothing more.
In this second scenario, Justice League is another mess, leading to a wide array of panicking within the DCEU offices. Actors and directors begin to drop out. The direction of the DCEU gets more flustered then it was before and from there, after a few months of wild reports… the end. The end of the DCEU.
And then we have one final scenario that many people wouldn’t think of. A scenario that I believe is going to become reality. You heard it here first.
3. Whedon v Snyder: Dawn of Justice
This scenario has two parts or two different versions that all lead to the same place.
THE GOOD VERSION: Justice League is a success. The film is critically acclaimed and it makes a lot of money. Even though Snyder did a lot of the work, a lot of the praise will swing towards Whedon’s way, due to the immense changes he made in the film - Changes that may impact how people view the film. In turn, the DCEU execs gain the utmost faith in Whedon, putting him in a Kevin Feige-like position with DC. Snyder’s going to be very bitter. And as time passes, Snyder will say subliminal things and we'll slowly begin to see that Snyder does not like the changes Whedon made to his film. As even more time passes, Snyder’s words won’t be subliminal. The whole world will know that he hates what Whedon did with Justice League and we’ll know that he hates that Whedon got offered a higher position and not him. #WhedonVSnyder is a go!
THE BAD VERSION: Justice League is another failure. Joss Whedon couldn’t save it. The aforementioned panicking of my second scenario begins. As everyone is trying to sort out why Justice League was a mess, Zack Snyder does something to this extent.
Yeah, you know what that means. From there, Snyder takes an interview and makes his feelings clear - HE HATES HOW WHEDON CHANGED HIS MOVIE! After that, Whedon will vigorously respond, and…#WhedonVSnyder is a go!
So…Warner Bros., you have two problems on your hands with Justice League. One, the possibility that your blockbuster film could fail. And two, a clash between directors (for me this is inevitable).
We have one last stop before the end.
After the release of Justice League, we look forward to Aquaman, and just as we do with all DCEU films, we hope and pray that DC doesn’t mess it up. After Aquaman, the DCEU has a pretty clear direction going forward. Here, to show you how clear it is, I've mapped it out for you below.
First off, after Aquaman is Shazam, a film that will feature Black Adam, wait, nevermind, Black Adam gets his own solo film, which is sure to feature Shazam, er, no, wait, they don’t appear in each other’s film, they get a versus film after their solo movies debut, then we can get prepped for Wonder Woman 2, and after that Cyborg, then Flash, I think, then Green Lantern Corps, and don’t forget Joss Whedon’s Batgirl, and after that we get Reeves’ The Batman, which is not part of the DCEU, oh, wait, no, nevermind, it IS part of the DCEU, I think, so is the Flashpoint movie that were getting in 2018(?) or 2019(?) or 2020(?), then were expecting a Gotham City Sirens movie that will feature Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn as the lead and other female villains, oh snap, no we’re not, that film has been replaced with a Joker and Harley Quinn film, wait, no it hasn’t, it is now a solo Joker film that will be part of the DCEU, oh wait, no it won’t and they’re casting a new joker (maybe DiCaprio, I think), and Gotham City Sirens is still a go with Margot and Leto, I think, and after that we have Justice League 2-, or is it Justice League Dark, er, nevermind, it’s both, then from there, we have Suicide Squad 2, which is delayed, and after that we finally get Man of Steel 2, then we get that Lobo film they were talking about in 2016 because why not, oh, and don’t forget about that solo Nightwing film they announced, and then after that we get th-
The DCEU is a shitfest.
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