So, if you somehow missed it, the DC Extended Universe situation is a lot of chaos and “WTF?!!” at the moment. People can’t make heads or tails of whether or not Henry Cavill, aka the DC cinematic universe’s hopelessly misused Superman, is getting kicked out or if the plan is just to have him take an extended back seat while the DCEU focuses on other characters.
It’s a mess really. Sadly, it’s not the kind of mess that’s surprising to anyone who’s been paying attention since DC and Warner Bros. began their mad dash to catch up with to Marvel and Disney.
First of all, I think we can safely say that there was ZERO emotional investment in building the DCEU (aside from Wonder Woman, but with the enduring cynical view that “women movies” don’t do as well, I can’t give even that to too much credit). It was set up as “We’re NOT Marvel!” And the best way to not be Marvel was to be gloomy for the sake of gloom (NO JOKES ALLOWED!), do everything in slow motion, waste DC’s best Superman storylines, and to desaturate the color palette to the point that it’s hard to see anything.
Oh, and then there was the bright idea to try to patch together the Justice League WITHOUT Superman, making him the odd man out in his own damn universe. I mean, sure! Marvel started the Avengers with Iron Man. Let’s do the opposite and kick Superman out of the Justice League before there even IS a Justice League.
And forget stand-alone JL character movies, let’s just lazily introduce everyone with cute YouTube clips.
Did ANYONE really think this was going to work out well? REALLY?
Watching the DCEU come together was basically like watching a car crash happen in slow motion … which is actually quite fitting, all things considered. 😐
As fanboys pointed fingers at Marvel and screamed “BIAS!” to the top of their lungs, I was waiting for people to get around to finding WB/DC accountable for the mess they made of a perfectly good cinematic universe. DC has so many characters to work with. So many great story arc ideas to bring to the big screen. There’s absolutely no excuse for this hopelessly sub par try hard while not trying very hard disaster of a cinematic universe!
Say what you want about Marvel, Avengers: Infinity War was the culmination of a decade of emotional investment in characters we’ve gotten to know and like. There was a rhythm established where audiences just assumed that everything would work out. And that made Thanos’ finger snap all the more devastating. The silence and heaviness that you felt in the theater at the end said it all.
And when you inevitably go back and compare it to the (fake) death of Superman at the end of Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice it feels like an even bigger slap in the face.
Nobody believed Superman was dead. Not for a minute. We weren’t even ALLOWED to consider the possibility.
The movie runners couldn’t even let the credits roll before practically screaming at you, “Oh, what you just saw meant absolutely nothing, Superman’s totally not de-PLEASE WATCH JUSTICE LEAGUE!”
The DC Extended Universe was one big rush job from the beginning, with little or no care taken in developing the characters, their backgrounds, and their relationships with each other. There was also a blatant refusal to invest in the connection movie audiences are meant to have with these movies and characters!
As a result, while Marvel triumphs thanks to their series of investments finally paying off, DC and Warner Bros. are hopelessly lost right now. And what’s even more frustrating is that Marvel itself had a series of missteps. Daredevil. Elektra. The Punisher. Hulk. Ghost Rider.
These movies were underwhelming or outright flops. But Marvel continued on and eventually found their movie-making rhythm. Even now, the MCU universe isn’t perfect. But the point is that world building isn’t about getting it right the first time … it’s about getting it.
My question now is this: Can the DCEU actually be saved at this point?
The answer is yes. If you love DC Comics, then you’ll probably be screaming one of two things at the top of your lungs right now: “Flashpoint” or “Crisis.”
What if everything that’s been happening right now wasn’t happening on the MAIN DCEU Earth, but another Earth altogether? What if Flash reset the timeline and caused some serious (much needed) changes?
With good writing, VERY good writing, the DCEU could get right back on track. All the errors of the past? Erased, and the DCEU and its characters could enjoy a fresh start. Unfortunately, even as we’re being GIFTED a Flashpoint movie, I really don’t think there’s any cohesive idea how to make this universe work anymore. :/
And if Henry Cavill really IS out as Superman at DC/WB, the timing couldn’t be eerier. Allegedly, Marvel is currently on the lookout for a Captain Britain. After Ryan Reynolds, it wouldn’t be unheard of for an actor to make a leap from DC to Marvel.
Were it to go down with Cavill, I don’t think anyone would be surprised or able to really blame him at this point. It would be just shoe of many dropping for the DC Extended Universe and its ball of chaos.
HOW WOULD YOU SAVE THE DC EXTENDED UNIVERSE? SHARE BELOW!
IMAGE: “Justice League” screenshot (Warner Bros.)