Even though we didn't know it at the time, the DCEU kicked off with 2013's Man of Steel. The Dark Knight Rises had brought that particular story to a close the year before, and while there had been rumours about Green Lantern making a cameo appearance during Superman's return to the big screen, the response to that movie seemingly killed the idea.
Warner Bros. later announced Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and a slate of movies that looked set to finally give fans a shared DC Universe on screen akin to the MCU.
We all know how that ended.
Now, DC Studios' James Gunn and Peter Safran are creating a new DCU. While it will mostly be a reboot, some actors and characters are sticking around for a franchise that promises to have the same people playing the DC Universe's heroes and villains across film, television, animation, and video games...unless their stories are set in an Elseworlds reality!
Talking during Monday's event, Gunn reflected on the legacy of everything from the DCEU to the SnyderVerse and Arrowverse, sharing his take on what went wrong and how they'll fix that.
"I wanted to take care of these characters. We all know it's been a f***ed up road for many of them, for the past few years and I really thought it is a challenge, but I think it's a possibility to create something really wonderful with these characters," he said (via Screen Rant). "The history has been sh*t! It's been a real f***ed up journey for DC."
"I think that there was basically no one minding the mint and they were giving out IP to any creative that smiled at whoever was in charge. There was never any real power given to the people in charge, and so somebody could always go over their head and do whatever they wanted," he continued, possibly alluding to what happened with Black Adam star Dwayne Johnson when he went around DC Films boss Walter Hamada to bring Henry Cavill back as Superman.
"We had the DCEU, which then became the Joss Whedon Justice League but it also became the Snyderverse, which became this. And then we have Wonder Woman and Wonder Woman 2, which doesn't even match what happened in Wonder Woman 1 and then we have the Arrowverse and even us coming in with The Suicide Squad and Peacemaker."
"What is it exactly? And all of a sudden Bat-Mite's a real guy," Gunn added. "So how can we take these things together and make them make sense and have them unified and have them be one real universe - one real world."
That one real world is the DCU, and we get ready to embark on what looks set to be an exciting new era of storytelling for this franchise, it's clear that the DCEU, SnyderVerse, and Arrowvese (as we knew them) are dead.
Do you agree with Gunn's assessment of the DCEU up until now?