comic book movies

Where will the DCEU go from Batman v Superman? (Discussion)

future of dceu after batman v superman

It’s been quite the dramatic week in the DCEU world. It’s like the universe is crashing around us when looking at the narrative a lot of the media have been painting lately. Let’s be real here, Batman v Superman wasn’t the launching pad WB wanted, but to think that the DCEU is now doomed is very ridiculous.

(Spoilers for BvS below)

Batman v Superman wasn’t critic-proof, the second weekend proved that. With no competition the movie still dropped 70% in its second weekend (typically 50% is where you want to be in your second weekend). Fans are split when it comes to the movie, but overall the general audience liked it. A lot of the comments I’m seeing from the general audience is, “Oh Batman v Superman wasn’t actually that bad, in fact I liked it”.

From that it’s clear that all the critical backlash has spread around enough for people to think that this is a terrible movie. I mean if I saw a movie at 29% on Rotten Tomatoes I would also get the impression that the movie is probably really terrible. So that negativity deterred a lot of people, and we saw that in the second weekend.

Batman v Superman has been dealing with negativity since its announcement, so really it shouldn’t be surprising. Financially speaking, the movie will still at least break-even, which wasn’t the result WB wanted. But really, more importantly it got the DC Films brand out there.

future of dc films after batman v superman

I guess you could view Batman v Superman as the Iron Man 2 of the universe. Maybe a lot of people don’t enjoy the film as a whole, but the world-building aspects have made people excited for the future movies. It’s clear that generally, Batman and Wonder Woman were very well received in the movie. So come next year when Wonder Woman and Justice League come out, it’s going to be a lot easier to sell those movies.

So where is the DCEU going after Batman v Superman? The next movie to come out is Suicide Squad. Expensive reshoots have begun for Suicide Squad, which were apparently implemented to add more humour into the movie, to have the tone match the tone of the beloved second trailer.

The idea that WB are going to try to change the tone of Suicide Squad this late in the game doesn’t seem like it would be real. I mean you have a movie with Harley Quinn and a Joker who drives around in a hot pink car and has goons that wear giant eyeballs and pandas when they go start trouble, I can’t see this movie ever being as serious as the previous DCEU films.

But yeah, we don’t know whether that’s true or not, if it is then WB know that the darker tone isn’t something the general audience are as interested in anymore. Chris Terrio has been saying even before the release of Batman v Superman, that Justice League will be much lighter compared to Batman v Superman. Batman v Superman was the necessary darkness, the bridge to bring the universe into the light.

wonder woman batman v superman character poster

Wonder Woman has nearly finished shooting, so that movie will remain as is before Batman v Superman. At the end of Batman v Superman, we heard Diana talk about how she left man’s world. So Wonder Woman won’t have the happiest ending, but the overall tone will be lighter. Gal Gadot infuses a sense of cheekiness and compassion when it comes to her Diana, so I’m sure the tone will be different.

Justice League is the biggest question mark right now. From interviews, producers have made it clear that the movie will be lighter. With characters like Flash and Cyborg, there will be more of a balance in tone. Considering they are starting shooting in a week, there’s only so much that can be changed right now. But I don’t think we have anything to be worried about right now.

The main problems with Batman v Superman was that there was simply too much going on. Chris Terrio came on board after the script had been written, this time Terrio is starting from scratch by himself. So a lot of the world building legwork has already been done, and instead of using Goyer’s story, Terrio can structure his own.

I think this is a big point of difference, and hopefully we’ll see a more cohesive and balanced story in Justice League. As for the story itself, it looks like they’re saving their big gun Darkseid for later. The word is that they will be going down more of a Throne of Atlantis route (which backs up comments Terrio mentioned earlier when discussing the script).

aquaman new 52 i am your king

For those who haven’t read the story, Throne of Atlantis was the second major story arc in the New 52 Justice League comic. In it Aquaman’s brother basically declares war with the surface world, and the team unite to stop the invading Atlanteans.

This story would make sense to do, as the very first Aquaman image we saw said “Unite the Seven”. So if the threat is from his world, then he would need to unite a team to defeat them. But we also know that Bruce and Diana are road tripping to find other meta-humans, so I guess they’ll all be uniting the seven! The other big question is how they will bring Superman back into the story…

Moving into 2018 we’re going to be getting Aquaman, Flash and probably a Batman movie. If the Justice League movie is indeed Throne of Atlantis then we will probably see the repercussions of that in Aquaman. DCEU won’t really be doing origin stories, so the timeline the movies come out will probably follow the overall timeline of the DCEU. Deborah Snyder mentioned that the films all share a plot, but are all their own individually styled movies (which is why I doubt the Batman movie will be a prequel).

As for Flash, we saw some of his powers in Batman v Superman. The whole Knightmare sequence actually took a decent chunk out of Batman v Superman, so it’ll be interesting to see if they revisit that in The Flash movie. And we might even see Cyborg appear in The Flash movie.

future of dc films dceu after batman v superman

Especially because of The Flash’s TV show, he is a much more well-known character. Cyborg isn’t. So to further expand Cyborg in The Flash movie makes sense. Because Hal Jordan is nowhere to be seen in the DCEU right now, it looks like the classic Barry/Hal friendship will instead be found in Barry/Vic. Because they are both the younger, lighter characters, they’ll be doing some bonding in Justice League.

2019 and beyond is probably the most fluid of the movies right now. Shazam is a huge question mark, and isn’t even under WB. Dwayne Johnson announced his Black Adam role a long time ago, so for them to not do Shazam would be a little odd. Shazam is also a movie that won’t work under the heavy dark tones of the previous DCEU films. Many said that Batman v Superman wasn’t very family friendly, so if the DCEU want to give a movie with wider appeal, this is the one for them. A kid who can transform into a superhero? Sounds like an adventure!

Justice League Part 2 will also come out in 2019, presumably focusing on Darkseid.

2020 is Green Lantern Corps and Cyborg. For Green Lantern Corps, that movie will need build-up before it comes out. Comments were made that we won’t see any Green Lanterns in the first Justice League movie, but that doesn’t mean we won’t see them in the next. If Darkseid is indeed the big baddie then it would make sense to bring in the Green Lanterns then, seeing as they are the space cops that are supposed to be looking over this kind of thing.

As for Cyborg, the fate of that movie will heavily depend upon the reaction to his character leading up to it. If people aren’t showing enough interest in the character, then perhaps it will become more of a Teen Titans movie, which was hinted at earlier.

A trend I’ve noticed is that before live-action movies, WB like to test the story waters out a bit by creating an animated movie first. The latest movie was Justice League vs Teen Titans. In it we saw the JL member, Cyborg, team-up with the Titans for a little while. So perhaps this might be something we see in the Cyborg movie (especially since the developing Titans show on TNT is no more).

As for Zack Snyder I don’t think he’ll be going anywhere. He has mapped out the entire DCEU and has already done a lot of the pre-production work on the Justice League films, WB aren’t just going to kick him out now. Now they don’t have to worry about introducing a whole world in one movie, that’s already been done. Terrio has said that he viewed Batman v Superman to be the Empire Strikes Back of the trilogy, that Justice League won’t be like Batman v Superman. So now you take out the problems with too many world-building aspects, and an overbearing dark tone, Snyder has a better playing field.

The DCEU need to stick to their guns, continue their mythological story-telling. But they also need to be aware of the market they are selling to. People want to have fun with these movies, people want to see their heroes be their heroes. And so Batman v Superman was the necessary ladder we needed to climb to get there.

The DCEU still needs to earn the trust of the general audience. Since the beginning Suicide Squad has been the better received movie compared to Batman v Superman. So if the film comes out, and is generally liked by critics and fans, has a good story that shows it’s connected to the DCEU yet is quirky and different, it will go a long way in helping to build a strong brand identity for DC Films. If that doesn’t happen, then the future of the DCEU will be a big question mark, but until then, they’re going to be fine.

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Categories: comic book movies

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25 replies »

  1. We will have to wait and see….Warner Bros just left a lot of money on the table, so they might rethink leaving their “big movies” in the hands of Snyder. Especially since the reception of the characters in it will have great influence on the stand alone movies. They are very lucky that Wonder Woman was received positively this time around (though I think that it partly because the audience really wanted the Wonder Woman for ages). Even if they leave Snyder on the project, I have the feeling that it will be mostly film making by committee.

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    • They need other people there overseeing decisions made for sure. The next 2 movies are non-Snyder directed movies, so it’ll be interesting to see how those are received and what effect that will have on the overall universe

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    • When you say wb left money on the table, the problem with that thinking is it assumes that another director would have made superman appeal to everyone. Because lets be honest here, that’s what most of the upheaval with this whole universe is about, Snyder’s interpretation of superman going back to man of steel. Don’t assume that another director would have made a universally loved superman, because i myself don’t think that would have been the case.

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      • I think the problems run way deeper than just his take on Superman. But I think it is possible to make a Superman movie which works if you don’t treat his boy scout image like a burden.

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    • I read something that a few directors turned down the chance to make man of steel. So Nolan turned to snyder. There has never been a line of directors waiting to make a superman film. The richard donner films along with brian singers failed attempt have made a lot of directors skittish of touching the property. Zack snyder himself almost turned it down but was convinced to do it. So, we should be careful when assuming that another director would have made superman a billion dollar type of franchise.

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  2. I feel like a better idea is to have another director be in charge of the films but keep Snyder on board to oversee the action/visuals. Does his writing skills need work? Ya, but he isn’t an incompetent or poor director in comparison to say… Michael Bay

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    • There needs to be people overseeing the whole story structure of the DCEU, because that’s where the main problem lies. And yeah Snyder definitely is no Bay

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      • As i mentioned to swan pride, i read that a few directors turned down the chance to make man of steel. Nolan went to snyder and even he was hesitant. But he was convinced to take it on. Whoever took on the job of reimagining supes would have been highly scrutinized. It was just unavoidable.

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  3. Where is Chris Nolan when you need him? I think Batman v Superman has it’s moments but overall was a movie that could have been soooooo much better and yes I believe it was a terrible movie for a launching movie.

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      • And Zach Synder is the right mind for the DC Universe? Here is a thought…DC makes great aminated movies why? because they let the comic book people write the movies , why not do the same for live action films?

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      • But at least his ideas made sense and he made full use of Batman and the cast of characters. Synder could have done more and insulted fans and wasted characters in the Superman gallery. I didn’t like the movie and I was willing to be open minded before I saw it but after ….no

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      • It’s a bit much to say Snyder insulted fans. I don’t think he cares one way or another, he made the movie that made sense to him. The comics have done Nazi Superman, Soviet Superman, Ultraman, Injustice Superman and more. Where is the uproar about those stories?
        Oh it’s not “canon” fans say, well neither are these movies, they are just adaptations of the comics, and even the comics are not terribly consistent in how they portray Superman, they all over the place.

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      • Yeah that was shit. I didn’t know until I read online articles/podcasts. On the other hand I hate Jimmy Idiot Boy Olsen, he just gets in the way. Really, why bother having him in at all as some no name random who dies? He may as well have been Santa Claus.

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  4. I mean, I was really disappointed by BvS – but I think it is an okay film. I’d agree that it’s probably the Iron Man 2 of the DC-CU, but that just makes it even more disappointing as BvS was supposed to be one of the best hero films of all-time.

    As for the reshoots for Suicide Squad? Reshoots are pretty normal, and I don’t really believe the report that they’re trying to change the tone or whatever. FWIW, I have a feeling that Suicide Squad will be a hit, and WW has a lot of potential as well.

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    • Absolutely – I mean, Captain America: Civil War had some reshoots done in mid-January, a mere 4 months prior to release – similar to Suicide Squad – and no-one was stirring the pot about that!

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  5. BVS was worse than Hitler!
    Zach Snyder hates Superman and Dawn of Justice is the proof!

    Do people actually believe this utter nonsense?
    It was a fun flick that could have been better that successfully sets up the dcu / bridge to JLA – basically it was Avengers 2 all over again. Everything was about getting to the next film and BVS suffered for it.
    I liked it and found it entertaining. I never expected it to be anything more than it was – another underwhelming Zach Snyder movie with cool visuals and rubbish story.

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