The Frustrating DCEU News Cycle
I’m getting annoyed.
DC’s Extended Universe is constantly in the news lately and it’s getting stranger and stranger. Wonder Woman’s box office success aside, it’s almost ALWAYS bad news, speculative bad news or absolutely confusing news.
And they were doing so well post San Diego Comic Con. They announced a definitive slate and let the footage do the talking.
Let’s start with the Justice League. The film has been divisive among fans since the moment Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice premiered. Was the DCEU too dark? Did they spend too much time world building? Could a Justice League movie work? It’s unfortunate for such a high profile project to be surrounded by such high levels of uncertainty.
Rumors of re-shoots swirled, Avengers helmer Joss Whedon was brought on board for rewrites. Eventually, he stepped in to the director’s role full time after the tragic loss of Zack Snyder’s daughter. Rumors persisted that enormous chunks of the movie were being re-done. Several claimed that the re-shoots focused on strengthening Cyborg’s role in the film.
Those are the types of rumors I can handle. It’s the stories about Henry Cavill’s ‘mustache’ that drive me nuts. The absolute controversy of digitally removing a mustache thanks to the Man of Steel’s commitment to the next Mission Impossible film. Here’s my theory on why it’s news. It’s not because the visual effects team has to remove a mustache. It’s the timing. Warner Bros/DC has vaguely maintained that the re-shoots were planned and a normal part of the production process. If that was the case, then why would Cavill be free to legally commit to mustache in the first place?
What about The Batman? This is probably one of the most frustrating projects currently in development. Ever since Ben Affleck stepped down as director, people have speculated if he will hang up the cape as well. Even with a new director on board to start from scratch, people doubted Affleck’s enthusiasm for the role. At Comic Con he finally stated he is committed to the role and to Reeves’ vision of the character. That didn’t stop his brother Casey from casting doubt on the project once again. (Even as a joke)
Just this week, comments Reeves made were taken out of context and people began questioning whether The Batman would even be a part of the DCEU. What? (For the record, the director has clarified his words and shed more light on how closely people behind the DCEU are scrutinized.)
THE DCEU SLATE
What confuses me about the news surrounding these projects is how little Warner Bros seems to care about their messaging. Every single tidbit of information is carefully dissected by dedicated fans around the world. Why wouldn’t you take better care of the details surroundings such highly anticipated films?
I truly thought they had figure it out when at this year’s Comic Con. As their giant press conference came to a close we had a better sense of what was in store for the DCEU. Didn’t we?
Justice League, Aquaman, Suicide Suicide Squad 2, Batgirl, The Batman, Flashpoint, Green Lantern Corps and Shazam.
It’s a strong lineup. But let’s dig deeper.
Justice League and Aquaman are both solid. Production issues with JL aside, the film looks like it will be a ton of fun.
-Suicide Squad 2 has to overcome the negative critical and audience reactions to the original
-Flashpoint wasn’t Flashpoint until recently. It was just The Flash. There was even rumors of a Flash/Green Lantern team up.
-Speaking of Green Lantern, unless we are getting a glimpse of him (or they?) in Justice League, this project feels like it isn’t actually real.
-Shazam seems more focused on The Rock’s casting as Black Adam than the titular hero. They’ve even announced potential solo films focusing on the villain.
-With Joss Whedon focused on Justice League, the announced Batgirl film is a long way off.
In short, what the hell are we doing here? To me, this feels like Warner Bros/DC never had a really good plan to begin with. I suppose you can argue they are very good at adapting and evolving their approach but would they have made so many changes if BvS and Suicide Squad were critical darlings?
THE DCEU 'EXTENDED' SLATE
Not mentioned at Comic Con this year?
-The ‘confirmed’ Nightwing movie?
-David Ayer’s Gotham City Sirens?
– I guess Justice League Part 2 isn’t happening any time soon?
– Will we ever get a sequel to Man of Steel?
This week, we got a whole bunch of strange rumors.
How do you feel about a Joker origin movie produced by Martin Scorsese?
Not enough Joker? Would you like to see a Harley Quinn/Joker team up? There are now rumors that the Harley/Joker film is replacing Ayer’s Gotham City Sirens on the slate.
Here’s the part that frustrates me the most. Even if these rumors actually exist, why didn’t they just announce the projects a month ago at Comic Con? Everything seemed so much easier when they were showing off logos and footage from their upcoming films.
Now we’re hearing rumors of a different DCEU movie every day! They may not be confirmed but it doesn’t matter. The confirmed projects are difficult to keep track of as it is.
I’m trying really hard to follow along but Warner Bros isn’t exactly inspiring confidence in such a flimsy slate of films that may or may not happen. Featuring stars that may or may not be happy with their roles and facial hair situations. All I want is some definitive news. The speculation is killing me. I thought they figured it all out a month ago.
I was wrong. The doubts have returned.