The Future of the DC Cinematic Universe – Detective Comics Saturday #5

DC Saturday - Rebirth

Detective Comics Saturday is back! On the first Saturday of every month you’ll now see me discuss topics related to DC Comics or the DC Cinematic Universe.

I’m so happy to be back writing about everything DC! Now, after the release of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, we have to readjust and get ready for the next film in the DC Cinematic Universe (I refuse to call it the DCEU) – David Ayer’s Suicide Squad. But with two WB/DC films having been released – with both of them receiving mixed reviews (to put it nicely) – we might also have to rethink the future of the universe. So, today I answer four questions that I have been thinking about since I saw Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice – let’s get to it!

Now, I’ve been pretty outspoken about how I’ve struggled with Man of Steel a lot, but recently I actually reviewed it for the third and final time, and I ended up feeling comfortable saying that it is a good movie. However, you probably won’t see me re-review Batman v Superman, as I thought my review was pretty straight forward. I don’t think Batman v Superman was a good movie – it is, at best, an okay movie. Not awful, definitely not good, but just okay. I think I was pretty fair.

Before I get into the three questions I have to give a quick SPOILER WARNING, as I will be answering these questions with information from both Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

Should we be worried about the future of the DC Cinematic Universe?

Well, yes and no. On the one hand, Batman v Superman had too much setup for one film. People are going to be complete question-marks when they leave the theaters if they aren’t familiar with DC-lore, and audiences didn’t love the film – as proved by the ‘B’ CinemaScore (the same grade 2004’s Catwoman got). You can’t start the Justice League-film by covering how Superman returns, but you kind of have to seeing as you only have Suicide Squad and Wonder Woman before Justice League opens. Unless you’re not going to bring him back until Justice League: Part 2.

On the other hand, I can’t see how Batman v Superman wouldn’t make between $800 million and $1 billion (at the time of writing it has made $538 million worldwide, but if it somehow makes less than $800m, then you probably should be a little bit worried). Also, I think a lot of people are really excited about Suicide Squad, and people are DEFINITELY excited for a solo Batman-film with Ben Affleck, and the Wonder Woman-film.

Should Zack Snyder be replaced as the director to shape the future of the DC films?

Zack Snyder

While he’s probably doing Justice League: Part 1, no matter what (it should be filming very soon, if they haven’t started yet), I think the only right answer is yes. Now, I’d love for me to write that and then see Snyder make the best superhero film of all-time with Justice League: Part 1, but I have to say what I feel.

Zack Snyder is a talented visual director. He has a very distinct vision for his films, and they always have a great look. Man of Steel, Batman v Superman, 300, Watchmen, and even Sucker Punch all had moments that were very cool, at least visually. I am a big fan of his Dawn of the Dead-remake, as well.

But I am beginning to doubt him a little bit. His WB/DC-films have not been well-received with critics, and if Warner Bros. wants to have critically acclaimed comic book films, then they should probably consider giving creative control to someone else. Personally, I think Ben Affleck would be the perfect choice, but James Wan and David Ayer could work, as well (I haven’t seen enough of Patty Jenkins’ work, but that would be interesting, as well). Sometimes you just need new people with creative control of the universe. The Russo Brothers pretty much replaced Joss Whedon as the directorial figureheads over at Marvel/Disney, for example.

I will say that whoever directs the future of the universe, it is important that that person really does a great job with the Flash time-jump. That moment might end up being one of the better moments in all superhero films, if, and only if, it is brought up, becomes a plot-point, and done perfectly in another film.

Have moviegoers fallen out of love with Superman?

I started to think about this question after I didn’t see a lot of people being that emotional after Batman v Superman. Maybe it was the fact that the death was a misdirect, maybe it was just because people don’t care for Superman anymore, or maybe just the people I saw it with – and the people I know that have seen it – don’t care about the character anymore.

I’ve previously written about how I feel that I need to love Superman again. I used to absolutely love the character, but first the overpowered nature of the character and then the dreary nature of the DC Cinematic Universe’s version of Kal-El had me at a loss. It’s tough for me to pinpoint exactly why I don’t love the character anymore, though…

I don’t think general audiences have fallen out of love with the character, but I do think some audience-members are missing the classic Superman. I, personally, really miss the Christopher Reeve-Superman, and I really do think WB has to consider making Kal-El more like the classic Superman when he rises from the grave.

However, there is one thing DC/WB could do that would be both dark and cool. Imagine if they did the Injustice-storyline in the movies? The angry/evil Supes could be really, really cool.

Oh and if you feel like it, then please suggest some comic books that would make me fall back in love with Superman. I really, really want to love the character again.

Are you more or less excited to see Suicide Squad after having seen Batman v Superman?

Strangely, I am much more excited to see that film now. I think one of the reasons why I burned out originally when writing about the DC Cinematic Universe was that I just didn’t have that much to go on other than a polarizing Superman-film. Now, after having seen multiple key components of the DC Cinematic Universe I am interested in seeing how it all fits together.

They have to address that Superman is gone (I know they pretty much confirmed at the end of Batman v Superman that he is alive – obviously – but they can’t just say that from the get go.), and, come to think of it, they might’ve actually done that. Didn’t they say in the first trailer that some of these ‘freaks’ were showing up because of Superman? Maybe Amanda Waller meant that they are showing up because he died. Or maybe I just need to rewatch the trailer.

But we do know that we will see Ben Affleck’s Batman again in Suicide Squad, and that really intrigues me. Hopefully, we hear more about what happened to Robin (we are all agreeing that that was supposed to be Jason Todd’s costume and not Drake, Grayson, or Damian’s costume, right?). I really need for someone to just confirm that Dick Grayson is out in Blüdhaven as the Nightwing. I need to see him in the universe. Don’t ruin this for me, WB!

I will also say that I am starting to get used to the new look of the Joker. I was never worried about Jared Leto. Never. I love Jared Leto so much. I love his music, and I love him as an actor. If anyone is going to do a fantastic job as a new Joker, then Leto would be the guy to do it. And it really pleases me that I am starting to really feel good about the look. Hopefully, I don’t flip-flop on the look again prior to the release of Suicide Squad.

But what do you think? Sound off in the comments.

– I’m Jeffrey Rex

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