Remember that fantastic trailer for Man of Steel? The trailer that made it seem like DC and Warner Bros. would continue hot off the heels from the Dark Knight trilogy by introducing us to a breathtaking new Superman movie. Man of Steel was ultimately a disappointing beginning to a severely underwhelming cinematic universe.
Superman hasn’t worked, and the actor playing Batman has become a meme. Wonder Woman is the only film in the film universe that has made anyone excited about DC Films, and Justice League is starting to look like a box office bomb. So, where do we go from here, DC?
Well, first off, Aquaman is happening. They’ve already finished filming, and you’d have good reason to be optimistic about it — James Wan is a great director. Aquaman could, however, be the last film remaining from the days of the Snyderverse. Things will change, but not necessarily by dropping everything from the slate of upcoming DC films.
Shazam should still be going forward. They’ve got their Captain Marvel, their Billy Batson — and they’ve got a good young director in David Sandberg. This film doesn’t need to be bogged down by references to other films to be in the same universe as the rest of the film. Add a post-credits scene to the final production to show the way forward for DC Films and you are golden.
One should expect a sequel to both Suicide Squad and Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman 2 has to happen, and it will. As for Suicide Squad? Well, I guess they could go in three directions: a straight-up direct sequel to the David Ayer film, a Joker and Harley Quinn film with Leto and Robbie, or — my personal favorite — do that Gotham City Sirens film with Catwoman, Harley Quinn, and Poison Ivy (although, maybe change the name — I know it’s a comic book reference, but I don’t love the title).
So, what movie can effectively fix their cinematic universe? Flashpoint is the answer, even though Barry Allen in Justice League didn’t seem capable of doing what he’d need to do just yet — he still seems like a rookie. In a perfect world, we’d get a normal Flash-movie before Flashpoint — but this isn’t a perfect world. With this movie you can, potentially, write certain actors out of roles — thus letting Matt Reeves do whatever he wants with his Batman movie. Gyllenhaal? Jon Hamm? I’m all for it.
On the flip-side, I expect two films to be dropped from the slate — Cyborg and Nightwing. To me, it seemed like Cyborg was given the short end of the stick in Justice League, based on the trailers there were clearly more scenes with his character that they cut. Cyborg also isn’t a safe movie, so don’t expect it to happen. I feel bad for Ray Fisher.
Nightwing is one of my favorite DC Comics characters. I love Dick Grayson. But with Reeves wanting to, apparently, do his own thing with Batman — one should expect Nightwing to be dropped to let Reeves do whatever he wants to with the Batfamily. Here’s hoping Reeves is interested in Grayson.
Personally, I think it’s time they give us a new Green Lantern film. Sure, the Reynolds film wasn’t very good, but it came out six years ago. People have mostly forgotten about it, and with a different take on it, I think it could be a hit. I’d love a buddy cop movie a la Shane Black or, maybe, a Jessica Cruz movie? Just thinking out loud.
But Superman is, and should be, DC’s crown jewel. A Man of Steel II needs to happen. Don’t screw that up, Warner Bros.
JANUARY 2018: Early 90th Academy Awards Predictions — Special Features #14
– Jeffrey Rex Bertelsen