The Direction of the DCEU

I’m loving the new DC movies that have come out over the past few years, especially everything after 2017’s Justice League. But I can’t help but wonder what the heads at WB and DC are planning on doing moving forward. Unlike Marvel, it seems that DC doesn’t have any clear direction forward; they’re not building up to anything like the MCU was. I mean, we’ve got Birds of Prey next, then WW84, then another Suicide Squad movie. Plus, some side stories like Joker every now and then. I’ll be honest, I’m glad for the variety, especially since a lot of Marvel’s stuff feels very samey for the sake of staying consistent in their universe. But does anyone else wish, like me, there was some further goal? I mean, if they’re gonna hold on to these actors and creators and bring them across to different movies, why not conceive of some way to bring them together in a more purposeful and climactic way? I’d love an Infinity War/Engame level of Crisis on Infinite Earths movie event, or the Sinestro Corps War, or a Darkseid story.

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The problem is the people in charge HAD a clear goal: create a shared movie universe like Marvel, bring it all together in a Justice League movie, collect a billion dollars. The problem is they rushed through Step 1 WAY too quickly (we can debate the merits of Snyder’s films or Whedon or the BTS stuff all day, but ultimately, THIS is what caused JL to underperform), so now they don’t really know what to do and have entered “throw everything at the wall and see what sticks!” as the NEW strategy.

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The only plan or strategy I care about is ‘make good movies featuring DC characters.’

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True that, I feel you.

Though a series of movies with continuity between them building up towards something huge would be awesome. I’m liking a Blackest Night build up :thinking:

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Honestly, anything revolving around a buildup that follows the inspiration of Geoff Johns would be welcome

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I’m fine with that too. If we get a lot of movies in the vein of ‘Joker’ I’d love it. I just kinda wanna have my cake and eat it too, yknow?

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They really did rush it, I guess because executives tried to capitalize on Marvel’s success way too quickly, and didn’t realize why Marvel was so successful in the process.

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So, is it true that the majority want an interconnected continuity? It seems as tho – even the reason we have Monsters Universe at the other studio – that the reasonings here are for studios to no longer be afraid to play with all the toys and tell a cohesive tale across multiple films.

The thing about the DC Universe tho, is that it can be the company/studio to not dive full force into interconnectedness. Here, we have genre film. We have characters and themes that can be played with on a commercial and indie level. Titans shows us that when the box is open, it works.

Personally, I prefer the one-off films. In a cohesive, shared film universe, there’s really only room for the A-listers. But with one-offs, you’ve got the possibility of a live-action Hawkworld movie, or the Atom, Outsiders, etc.

Sure, the line-wide crossover would be awesome. But we’re talking about a major, decades long investment with only a dozen or so characters. Marvel’s done this (so it’s possible), but why play copy-cat?

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Personally, I’m happy for the variety and appreciate the risk taking (even when it has failed) I think it’s very important for DC to establish what makes it different, and in my opinion better, than Marvel and for the time being I think it’s a more loosely connected universe,

It’s also worth remembering that the MCU didn’t really start to connect the way it is well known for until the second avengers. Up until then it was essentially an easter egg here and there and a stinger at the end

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Individual movies are actually a breath of fresh air right now. They allow a character to develop and the story to progress at its own pace.

The problem with an expanded universe is that sometimes too much time is spent setting up the next phase of things at the expense of the narrative in the current movie. Then there’s the issue of will this payoff even happen. If things don’t go as planned movies get cancelled or changed. If there isn’t someone overseeing things then there’s inconsistencies and continuity errors.

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I use to think that the expanded universe was such a cool idea, but not anymore. I feel like @Beagle made a lot of points that I didn’t think about. Plus I feel like the MCU is getting to a point where it is just to big to not have a ton of inconsistencies and continuity errors.
@harley.333 I agree that DC should not be playing copy-cat. I hate that so many people just compare the MCU and DCEU as if they are all the companies have to offer.

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Justice League can work at any time, and I liked their buildup. Unfortunately audiences didn’t like what they got with Batman V Superman (I did though) and so they were skeptical to show up for Justice League, and word of mouth wasn’t great so they didn’t come. DC just has to focus on good movies and shows and people will come, as can be seen with Joker. It’s kind of funny that people would argue that DC was “too dark”, but everyone loved the Nolan trilogy which was dark, and everyone is loving and seeing Joker. Some of my friends that never go to the movies plan to see Joker twice! DC shouldn’t worry about what Marvel is doing, just HOW they are doing. If audiences continue to show up for superhero / comic book films from any studio, then that is a good sign for DC too. Just because someone saw Endgame doesn’t mean they don’t have $12 to see Joker, or Wonder Woman 84, etc.

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The last thing I read about this was that DC was now going to have two different movie timelines. The current one that has Aquaman, Wonder woman, Shazam, Justice League, etc. The second that starts with the Batman, a new Superman, in other movies in that vein.

And that they’re now looking to use The Flash movie as a way to combine those two universes. Using a story similar to Flashpoint.

Joker would be a whole different universe and they will continue to have a series of one off movies.

I could see that working, trying to take what work from the movies now, Wonder woman, Aquaman, and Shazam and allow new people to play Batman and Superman without being weighed down by continuity of the current movies.

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I’m excited about the current direction. However I do wish they would stick with the actors from the earlier films. I want Henry Amy and Jared back. I know Ben is done. I do worry about how the Batman will be involved with the new films. They said there will be small connections to the DCEU. I know I may be in the minority but I do want these films in the same universe. They don’t have to be like marvel but I love how they tied them together with aquaman and Shazam.

I do think Joker showed WB that directors visions are key and that not every comic film has to be about the end of the world. Smaller budgets with smaller stakes can result in better story telling. Love seeing where this universe is going.

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The reality is a shared continuity (MCU style) isn’t needed. Besides it’s been done.

If you have the idea that, yes, some of these characters might know each other, or at least be cognizant that other heroes exist.

I would like for DC films to go the other direction. Do kingdom come, do Gotham by Gaslight, do some elseworlds that are very specifically elseworlds. DC Animated has great success with it. So much that they decided to package Death of Superman and Reign of the Supermen as a single film. Gotham by Gaslight would be ideal. It’s a low vfx budget. Very grounded, imagine the trailer. “It’s 1896. It’s Gotham City. It’s Jack the Ripper. Can Batman stop the serial killer Sherlock Holmes never did? Find out in Gotham by Gaslight.”

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I think we can have both, an interconnected universe and elseworlds. Just don’t do the interconnected thing in a serial fashion like Marvel did. It just screams “me too”. If the audience feels like DC is trying to copy Marvel, they probably won’t support it. Doing a JL, Blackest Night, or what have you, does not require 6 movies to set it up. It just requires good storytelling, directing and production values.

One thing DC/Warner is not doing though is marketing their vision for upcoming movies, whatever that might currently be. Feels like Kevin Feige always has some kind of presence talking about the plans for the upcoming slate of Marvel movies and creating some excitement. Whereas DC’s focus seems to mostly be on the next movie. Maybe because that vision is currently in flux. In any case, hoping for many good movies to come, stand-alone or otherwise.

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I mean, Iron Man 1 had an avengers tease in the post credits, and The Incredible Hulk had a cameo from Robert Downey Jr. I take your point but the MCU was very deliberate from the start.

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I think it would be incredible if DC could create a cinematic universe of its own that actually works and was planned out, not just rushed through like the current DCEU. I think with the right people making the right decisions, they could produce something equal to or GREATER than the Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, if something like this will ever happen, its hard to say. But I am pretty confident it will be a good 5 years at the least until the big wigs at WB and DC get something like that started.

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@moro

I agree. I really want DC to just come out and say what their plan is so the confusion and rumor mill goes away in regards to their plans and how it’s all connected.

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