To Create a DCEU Continuity or Not?

This question is kind of moot because there already is a DCEU continuity. Aquaman directly references the events of Justice League and has a cheeky WW reference in the end. Shazam is directly referential of previous films such as Man of Steel and has a Superman cameo at the end. Birds of Prey has footage from and both directly and indirectly mentions characters from Suicide Squad. And I believe James Gunn has said that we’ll see how Harley gets from where she was at the end of Birds of Prey to where she is at the start of The Suicide Squad.

Right now the only real question right now is whether the Reeves/Pattison’s The Batman will be connected, and I get the feeling that if it is successful, and the other DC hero movies are successful, WB will do whatever it takes to get Pattison involved in a future Justice League movie.

I think a better question to ask and what I think people really mean when they say they want “continuity like the MCU” is if the DCEU should have an overall big story that each movie builds up to, like The Infinity Saga. To that I think while I certainly wouldn’t mind a big DC event, like said Darkseid invading Earth, or maybe something different like the Crime Syndicate or Starro, I honestly like the fact that each franchise is able to do it’s own thing and offer it’s own unique thing. While the MCU has been enjoyable, they do all kind of feel cookie-cutter and a little bland after a while.

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I think there should be a soft continuity. Meaning that movies are in the same universe but not directly connected (each movie builds off each other). I think we can have movies like an Aquaman section, a Batman section, and so. Like the comics each character/group has their own comics that don’t necessarily build off of what happened in other comics in the universe (unless it a whole universe storyline). You can then bring them together for a justice league movie or something like that.

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I hate to say it, but I think this is true of the average movie-goer, and exactly what I wanted to see from DC since we learned way back that Iron Man was going to be part of a bigger universe. I think it is the ultimate fan dream to see this. Each Marvel movie doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with the other, with the exception of the after credits scene, or one line or scene in the film.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently. I don’t think doing an overall shared universe is the way to go. Instead, play up the multiverse that was established in the CW’s Crisis on Infinite Earths. This way creators feel free to tell the stories they want to tell rather than feeling locked down by the continuity of their universe. Plus, it allows fans to follow which ever universe they like. Plus, it’s clear you can’t copy the MCU formula; this’ll make DC stand out. Everyone wins!

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Chase references Catwoman, though. You can date someone and not be in love. Not sure why Chase over Selina, but oh well.

I think you can have characters on the same earth, so it’s easier to crossover should you want, but you don’t need to reference them.

The Reeves Superman and Batman 89 4 part, could all have occurred on the same earth. We don’t know either way.

Oh, you could still have crossovers on each earth, but not everything needs to be shared. You can have the core DCEU with the heroes crossing over like we’ve seen, and then separate “elseworld” stories like Joker or The Batman (both of which are period pieces and seem to be different characters from the core DCEU). I think playing up the multiverse and not forcing everything to support and build off of the previous allows for more creativity, options for fans, and will make DC films stand out.

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I like what they’re doing now, where yes these characters exist in the same universe, but they’re not beholden to one another. A crossover in the future would be nice, but I’d rather these films stand on their own rather than build towards something. Having said that, I also like what they’re planning with “DC Black” (if that’s what they’re still calling it) where they can do more experimental elseworlds-y films like Joker.

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Also, something that has been a big issue with the crossovers so far are the stakes. Batman V Superman, Justice League, and Suicide Squad all have stakes that require the heroes to save the entire world. We, as an audience, subconsciously know they can’t lose so it never feels suspenseful. I think focusing on smaller scale solo films like they seem to be at the moment is much better. It’s why the Dark Knight worked so well, it’s reasonable to assume Batman could lose with only a couple hundred lives at stake. Keeping stakes semi low like that makes the film work. Birds of Prey, while not a perfect film, is a more recent film with reasonable stakes.

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I certainly want them to do Elseworlds (different universes). Although to really introduce the concept of a multiverse, I think doing explicit, visually and setting wise is critical in bringing the Gen pop to the concept of a multiverse. Do Gotham by Gaslight and Red Son or Kingdom Come. These are clearly defined Elseworld stories, there would be no confusion that they take place in a different universe.

Not only would this show the clear break from going “the Marvel route”, but also show the true range and adaptability of these characters, something Marvel has never done and arguably couldn’t do easily because they are so tied to a single universe model. Into The Spider-Verse was great, but the multiverse idea felt really contrived and it was animated not live/action.

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They kind of jumped the gun with trying to build a shared universe. There’s a lot of that going around (who’s excited for the next Dark Universe movie?). Marvel Studios found something that worked; now, every other studio sees the Avengers box office returns and says “ME TOO!” without considering the five movies that led up to it. They want Avengers money, but don’t want to put in the time to build audience engagement. It doesn’t help that Marvel was first out of the gate, so DC’s efforts can’t help but seem like they’re following rather than leading.

Of course, the MCU has an entire movie studio solely dedicated to it, with producer Kevin Feige making sure everything is stylistically and tonally consistent. DC-on-film largely doesn’t have that, so comparing the two may not be fair. A looser continuity may be the better play, under these circumstances. Building up characters with successful solo films (that are dedicated to being successful solo films, first and foremost) is the best path to a successful shared cinematic universe.

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Maybe before Suicide Squad 2, they could play off of the CW COIE ending and recap general audiences on how there are many multiverses and not everything is connected. I also think James Gunn could make this digestible and funny. Then everything would make sense and everyone would be up to date.

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I can see something like that. Although I think a quick montage, like they did at the end of CW COIE could become part of the opening DC graphic for DC movies in general. That way people see it in more than one movie, because some may not have gone to see SS2. And it keeps it consistent and always a reminder that DC is not doing (completely) what Marvel did. That some universes are shared and others are not.

Of course if they could also put up the earth number at the beginning intro of the film. And do a few easter eggs of the earth number, like YJ does for “16” because they are on Earthh-16.

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Are you looking forward to the Disney+ “What If?” animated series set to drop next year? That’s not really “Elseworlds”, in the sense that it’s alternate outcomes from choices in the main universe rather than significant re-imaginings, but still.

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Actually “What if…” was one of my favorite series Marvel ever did. I remember reading it as they released it. It did often take the “path not traveled” troupe. Which was interesting, even though over used.

However I find the Elseworlds, like Gotham by Gaslight, Red Son, Gods and Monsters, etc more all encompassing and more interesting because it’s not just a character arc but, in good cases, world building. For me, that adds more depth and texture and really highlights the versatility of some characters.

Don’t know if I’d pay Disney+ for just another show. Although I might wait until they have released Loki, Scarlett Witch, Moon Knight. Maybe sign up for a month and binge.

In all likeliness, the 1989-1997 Batman film series is in the same continuity as Lois & Clark (jump to about the 4 minute mark).

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Maybe. I could never get into that show. The meta point is that there is nothing in the Christopher Reeves Superman movies or the Batman 89 4-part that specifically violates that they are in the same earth. Or that L&C isn’t in a universe where that Batman it is virtually indistinguishable from the 89 film series. Either us a possibility in a true multiverse.

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Paraphrasing Ray Charles, It’ll go how’s it supposed to be. Filmmaker has an idea that doesn’t fit into continuity, set it outside someway

Movies involving characters who are in continuity, should stay there plus any that are introduced.

The first 3 phases worked for the most part, but what happens when people lose interest, and they will? I saw all of phase1 in theaters, half of phase2, and 2 from phase3. I enjoy the MCU but good luck connecting Shang Chi to The Eternals.