DC’s Extended Movie Universe Needs To Hold A Big EVENT… Soon!
For the last few years, comic book movie fans have always looked to the ‘next’ DC film as the savior of the series. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was supposed to take all the good things from Man of Steel and multiply it by… Batman. Unfortunately, Zack Snyder’s epic gladiator match-up was divisive to say the least.
Regardless of what you thought of the film, we now have an elaborate setup for the main players in 2017’s Justice League. (That’s something right?) Fans next looked to Suicide Squad to right the ship. Unfortunately, the reviews were even worse.
Now it’s Wonder Woman’s turn. If that movie fails, it’ll be Justice League’s turn… You get the idea. Eventually, this series of films needs a big win.
So let’s get the obvious out of the way. We can’t keep waiting for the ‘next’ film to finally get it right. (Although, I sincerely think Wonder Woman will deliver… Hopefully.) DC/Warner Bros have been relatively silent since a they unveiled their entire slate of film… During a… (Wait for it!) Conference call!
That was their first big mistake.
We live in a world where press conferences and conventions rule the major news cycle for technology, video games and massive blockbuster movies. Look no further than Marvel for perfect examples of how a well put together panel can elevate the hype to limitless heights. DC’s initial reveal was lackluster at best and they’ve never really tried to give fans a truly epic event. (With the exception of San Diego Comic Con of course.) This event can’t wait for Comic Con season given the ridiculous amount of rumors and perceived turmoil surrounding some of their films.
It’s time for some answers… Right? Maybe?
The DC/Warner Bros series lacks a front man like Kevin Feige but they can’t afford to wait any longer. Currently, The DC Extended Universe is a mess of rumors and speculation. It’s time for a huge DC Event to finally set the record straight. March the collective brain trust on stage and show us a confident team. I want to see Geoff Johns, Zack Snyder, Ben Affleck and more high-fiving each other on stage! Bring out the talented actors and actresses and let them be heard. Make the big announcements and give this universe the boost it desperately needs!
A New Justice League Trailer
Zack Snyder recently stated that a new Justice League trailer is coming… Soon… If I had to guess, I’d say they are waiting for a movie like Guardians of the Galaxy 2 which arrives May 5. However, it’s probably more likely the trailer will arrive alongside Warner Bros next big movie, Kong: Skull Island (March 3)
If that’s true, time is running out for this huge (and currently fictional) event. Let’s assume it’s real and the plan is to hold a huge DC Movie Event in the next few weeks…
A new trailer for Justice League can open the show with a bang. Give fans a look at the team in action. Tease Superman’s fate. Show us a glimpse at the villain Steppenwolf. No more world building. No spoilers. Just give us a few amazing moments to talk about and dissect.
Wonder Woman Hype!
Wonder Woman looks like a ton of fun. I think it’s best chance to become the best DC film lies in it’s simplicity. This is a Wonder Woman story. Set in the past. Free from all the forced references and world building that plagued Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad. Director Patty Jenkins was free to create a Wonder Woman story and it looks amazing. (Except for the awful theme that debuted in BvS.)
Bring some clips to this imaginary event and show us some character building for a change. We don’t need to meet Aquaman’s grandfather for 4.5 seconds just to ‘justify’ a reference in Justice League 5. Wonder Woman is a great character. Keep it focused on her.
The State of The Batman
Throughout 2016, writer/director/star Ben Affleck gave fans updates on the next Batman solo film. We learned the title of the film is The Batman and it will feature Deathstroke (played by Joe Manganiello) in some capacity.
Just over a month ago, Affleck offered this update on the script:
“We’re still working on [the script], taking a little extra time and a little extra care to really get it right on paper first… It’s looking very good and I’m excited about it.” (Cineplex)
Weeks later, Affleck vacated the role of Writer/Director igniting speculation around the web that he would eventually leave the role of Batman as well.
So why would he leave? Let’s look at two options.
Option A: The script is actually a mess and he decided to bring in a fresh pair of eyes. I find that hard to believe for such a successful writer/director. Especially with DC wizard Geoff Johns on board to help script something amazing. Perhaps pressure from Warner Bros pushed the film in too many directions at once. If this is true, The Batman may be heading back to early development instead of pre-production.
Option B: The script IS in great shape but Ben Affleck is too busy to do it justice. So he does the noble thing and hands the project over to a talented director to ensure the best possible film gets made. If this is true, it’s incredibly encouraging. But there’s a problem…
Director Matt Reeves (Cloverfield, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) was approached to step in as director. But negotiations broke down days later and he left the project faster than a Flash cameo. Reeves is certainly a talented director but leaving the project that quickly doesn’t exactly inspire confidence.
However, Warner Bros probably has an aggressive schedule for The Batman and Reeves in deep in post production for War for the Planet of the Apes. It could be as simple as scheduling conflicts. The point is, there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding The Batman.
[UPDATE: In a surprising twist, Matt Reeves has officially signed on to direct The Batman! #stability]
A big event featuring updates on The Batman could go a long way. Tell fans what is happening. It’s still too early to give away plot points but make a statement. Show us how confident you are in a new solo Batman movie.
What's Up With The Flash?
Late in 2016, director Rick Famuyiwa (Dope) left the project due to ‘creative differences’ stating:
“I was also excited to work with Ezra Miller, who is a phenomenal young actor. I pitched a version of the film in line with my voice, humor and heart. While it’s disappointing that we couldn’t come together creatively on the project, I remain grateful for the opportunity.” (THR)
It’s been radio silence ever since. Has a new director come on board? Is The Flash film still happening? How about an update DC?
Aquaman has a confident director in James Wan (Saw, Insidious, Furious 7) and pre-production is moving along well! Just last week we caught a glimpse of star Jason Momoa training for his role in the film.
With the exception of Justice League and Wonder Woman, Aquaman is by far the most promising film in DC’s slate. Unfortuanely, to qualify for ‘promising’ we just need confirmation that it’s actually happening.
Again, everything depends on Justice League and how Aquaman is received. Personally, I think he’ll be a bad ass and the underwater moments will set up the 2018 film well. However, there is always a possibility that fans won’t care about Aquaman and the solo film will suffer as a result.
Take Aquaman out of the Justice League and give fans a reason to be excited to a standalone adventure. Show us some underwater tests, costumes. Anything!
Suicide Squad 2 & Gotham City Sirens
Suicide Squad was just… okay… Full disclosure: I thought it was going to be absolutely amazing.
While it wasn’t amazing, it did feature stand out performances from Will Smith (Deadshot) and Margo Robbie (Harley Quinn). The later will star in a spin off directed by Suicide Squad helmer David Ayer called Gotham City Sirens. Presumably, that film will feature the DCEU debuts of Poison Ivy and Catwoman. It will also, no doubt, feature the return of The Joker. Hopefully the Joker will be more than just a forced cameo before he takes on The Batman… maybe… if THAT film ever happens?
(Side note: I still love the trailer featured above. Amazing.)
So where does that leave Suicide Squad 2 with original director Ayer working on Sirens? A massive update dropped last week with Mel Gibson reportedly in talks to direct the sequel. During a recent Q&A event for his film Hacksaw Ridge, Gibson stated negotiations were still in the ‘first date’ phase.
According to Variety reporter Justin Kroll the job is his if he wants it.
If Gibson takes the job, it automatically adds a new layer of intrigue to a franchise that could ended after a single film. Especially with stand out Harley Quinn attached to a new potential series like Gotham City Sirens.
It’s a big IF but fans who attend this mystical DC movie event would explode if Mel Gibson walked out on stage and stated his intention to make something incredible.
What About Black Adam... I Mean Shazam?
It’s easy to forget the DC Universe has already locked up arguably the biggest movie star on the planet. Dwayne Johnson is set to play the role of villain Black Adam in a Shazam movie. There are also rumors of a Black Adam spinoff (already?)
I get it. You want to capitalize on Johnson’s popularity and feature the character in as many films as possible. But what about Shazam? How is that movie coming along? It’s been announced. We know that much but what’s happening with development?
Shock the world and let us meet the actor who will bring Shazam to life!? It probably won’t happen… But we can hope can’t we? In the meantime, here’s some awesome fan art featuring Johnson as Black Adam:
Don't Forget About Cyborg!
We know Cyborg (played by Ray Fisher) is intimately connected to one of the Mother Boxes thanks to his BvS cameo. However, it was recently reported that Cyborg IS a mother box. We know Justice League will feature three mother boxes and Steppenwolf will be sent by Darkseid to retrieve them. If the rumors are true, Cyborg will play a vital (if not central) role in the film.
But let’s not forget DC/Warner Bros officially announced a solo Cyborg film as well. How will that film take shape? It’s still early on in the process so I can forgive DC for omitting details on this film in my fictional press conference. Having said that, some concept art or brief story details would be appreciated.
The Grand (Green) Finale
We’ve met all the members of the Justice League in some capacity with one exception. The Green Lantern. Green Lantern Corps has yet to get the (ahem) green light but fans have long wondered WHICH Lantern we’ll meet in the film. Some rumors suggest there will be multiple Green Lanterns. The title would certainly support that theory. But which Green Lantern will be the focus? Who will join the Justice League?
Will it be Hal Jordan (played by Ryan Reynolds in the 2011 adaptation.) or John Stewart? Prominent actors like Tyrese Gibson (Fast and Furious) and Common (John Wick Chapter 2) have repeatedly expressed interest in the role but we still don’t know enough.
I believe The Green Lantern will be revealed when Justice League hits theaters on November 16. More than likely as a post credit scene setting up Justice League 2 and Green Lantern Corps simultaneously. If that’s the case, it’s better to leave Green Lantern news out of this event.
But maybe something as simple as confirming which Lantern will join the Justice League will be enough?
Potential Mic Drop Moments?
What else could DC drop during an epic event like this? More concrete details on the recently announced Nightwing movie? News on the Man of Steel sequel? The reveal of Darkseid concept art or perhaps the villain in cinematic form?
However they close the show it’s clear there is an enormous amount of projects to talk about. Why not create an event? Give us an updated release schedule. Show us your vision for the DC Extended Universe. Above all else, show us a little confidence.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad may not have spiked the Tomatometer but they still made a ton of money. There will always be an audience for giant movies like these. We’re getting a Justice League movie this year! It’s amazing.
Set the record straight DC. We don’t need full reveals and massive spoilers. (Like your Doomsday trailer reveal?) That doesn’t mean you can’t execute a legendary event and set us up for years of epic and unforgettable movie moments!