Can the DC Extended Universe Be Saved?
Hello everyone. I hope everyone is doing well as the season starts to transition into the fall. Here in Michigan, that means colder weather, apple orchards/cider mills, pumpkin spiced crap, marching bands, and disappointing football.
There’s been a lot of recent news out there about many transitions going on with the DC Comic Extended Universe movie franchise. Most notably is the recent news that Henry Cavill will no longer carry the “S” on his chest (yes, I’m well aware it isn’t really an “S”), yet even more recent updates say that the door isn’t entirely closed on a Cavill return. In addition, it was in the news a few weeks ago that Ben Affleck has checked back into rehab for alcohol abuse, and at 46 years old, we can say his Batman days are over as well.
So where does that leave the DCEU? Is it time for a massive rebuild and start anew? Like a sports team that’s trying to fill in new talent for those that have left, I personally believe the DCEU has pieces left over that prime it for a great opportunity.
Most people are well aware of the DCEU’s past - hot garbage. Starting with Man of Steel in 2013, these movies have not been able to even come close to what the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been able to do. But the MCU is about to enter a transition period of its own after Phase III ends when the second part of The Avengers Infinity War comes out in May of 2019. Yes, other movies are already scheduled, but what is to happen with Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), and Thor (Chris Hemsworth). Also bear in mind that Guardians 3 is having plenty of issues right now too.
Personally, I thought Henry Cavill did a great job as Clark Kent/Superman, it’s just the movies themselves were poorly written and poorly done. Affleck however may be a tie for last place alongside George Clooney as the worst Batman ever. So what can DC do with its two biggest superheroes in flux? Ignore them and go with the talent they already have if you ask me.
I think lots of people will agree with me that the most redeeming thing about the DCEU is bringing in Gal Gadot to be Wonder Woman. Her stand alone film was a great movie, and like nearly all the MCU movies, was very accessible to so many movie goers, regardless of their knowledge or experience in those comics. Gadot has offered something I think MCU has actually been behind on - a strong lead female role that kicks ass and is intelligent. Marvel’s use of Black Widow has always made her a sidekick for other male superheroes, and while Captain Marvel comes out in 2019, I think DC has actually won this battle (the film made $821 million at the box office globally).
In addition, the DCEU has Jason Momoa as Aquaman, and Momoa may very well be the next Dwayne Johnson (hey, they both have Hawaiian backgrounds). His too small of a role in the Justice League movie was really good, and brings a lot of hope for what could be a great future. And while I didn’t like the Justice League movie, I thought Ezra Miller was the best part of that movie, playing the role of The Flash. He was witty, and had a Spider-manesque personality that made him very likable.
With a packed list of films coming soon from the DCEU (Aquaman in December ‘18, Shazam in April ‘19, Wonder Woman in November ‘19 and The Flash currently in pre-production), forget about Batman and Superman any time soon, they are not needed. What will determine the true success of these upcoming films is if they can offer some great story telling, while getting audiences to truly have an authentic care and investment in these characters and actors. The MCU have made some great movies, and it is the personal relationships we have developed with those characters that keep bringing us into the theater every 3-6 months for a new MCU film. DC truly has an opportunity to do that too, it’s whether or not they can build off of the few strengths they have. Long live Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa, and Ezra Miller. Oh, don’t bring this guy back, that would be the nail in the coffin.
P.S. - I actually love pumpkin spiced stuff.
UPDATE FROM MY PREVIOUS BLOG POST - In case you didn’t hear the news, The Academy Awards have changed their mind on the best popular film category, and have eliminated it from current discussion. It must have been because of my thoughts on the matter...