The Uncertain Future of the DC Extended Universe
It's amazing what a year can do...
In 2016, the DC Extended Universe appeared to be in shambles. We all know what happened. Last summer I remember watching the Suicide Squad trailer over and over convincing myself this movie was going to restore faith in the DCEU. And I was wrong, god I was so wrong. But that was then, and this is now. So far in 2017, (it's only been a couple weeks but) Wonder Woman has won both the hearts and wallets of movie goers world wide. The film is a commercial success as well as a hit among critics; two things the DCEU had yet to experience at the same time.
I will not deny the impact of Wonder Woman. You can check out my review on this site if you don't believe me. Long story short, it's good. The movie is so good, I'm still surprised it came from the same anything as its predecessors. I have a feeling that no matter how history remembers the DCEU, Wonder Woman (so far) will be hailed as it's crowning achievement and a groundbreaking staple of the superhero genre.
I now worry Wonder Woman may have set the bar too high. As always I remain cautiously optimistic but you have to think about it like this; the differences in the audience response between BvS and Suicide Squad compared to Wonder Woman are astronomical. In sports terms, going from high school to the pros. A major jump in the right direction. In the months ahead, the focus will shift to The Justice League and as fans we have to wonder...
Will lightning strike twice? What happens if it sucks?
I think many people were skeptical about Zack Snyder (which dates back to criticisms of his handling of Watchmen) and if he would be able to make up for some of the shortcomings of BvS. Unfortunately tragedy struck his family and the weight of the circumstances forced to step away from the production. We at Nerdbot of course wish him and his family the best during these unfortunate times.
The completion of the film was left in the hands of Joss Whedon, who couldn't be a better person for the job. For those of you who do not know, he directed The Avengers and The Avengers Age Of Ultron, which means he practically wrote the book on ensemble superhero movies. He'll be there in the editing room, making sure that what we see in November is the best possible product.
If you were wondering exactly how much rides on Justice League being a hit, let's take a look at the slate of upcoming projects for DC... Notice how there not much on the horizon? Sure we've heard about all the news involving with Whedon (Batgirl), Matt Reeves (The Batman), and Chris McKay (Nightwing) but none of those have started production. Aquaman is the only movie set for release in 2018. Don't forget that Suicide Squad 2 is looking for its director and Gotham City Sirens is supposedly in development.
If The Justice League bombs it is a whole other article all together but for now let's stay positive and I'll offer up some advice to help us all get through the next couple months:
- Do your best to not get wrapped up in the rumor mill. The internet is a busy place and getting emotionally invested in them will set you up for disappointment. Don't believe it until it's confirmed.
- You will hear about re-shoots. A couple months ago, the internet was buzzing about possible turmoil in the production of Justice League. In reality, it was all a rumor. A May 22. 2017 story on Collider.com, studio executive Charles Roven, dismissed these fables about a substantial amount of the movie being re-shot. People hear the word "re-shoot" and immediately think trouble, especially when it comes to the DCEU, but they are a common practice in the film-making business. Moviepilot.com and other media outlets have reported this week that set of Gotham City has been built in Bedfordshire, England so the finalization of the project is underway.
- Avoid podcasts, articles, fan theories, everything. Do your best to stay uninformed.
Youtuber ComicBookCast2 posted the video below back in October which breaks down a mysterious copy of The Justice League script that leaked online:
(If what they say in the video is true, this could be one of the best superhero movies ever made. Also as far as a youtube discussion goes, it was very good. I can appreciate the hosts playing into my opinions by assuring me the Flash gets a new suit at the end (I mean come on, look at what went with)
- Lastly, have faith. Warner Brothers is a billion dollar company, and you don't get to be a billion dollar company without making mistakes, and then learning from them.
We still have time but it's best to break some of these habits now. And don't think this advice is only applicable to the DCEU. But until November us fans can take a breath of fresh air and enjoy the direction these projects are going.
By Adam Chmielewski
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