comic book movies

DC Films: Why it’s Time to Get Back on Board

dc films

I’ve seen a lot of dramatic comments lately, of the “I’m jumping onto the Marvel bandwagon now” sort. First of all, is there a need to be on one side or the other? Nope. Second of all, everyone needs to take a deep breath, because its (probably) going to be okay. Warner Bros. are not a stupid studio. You don’t get as big as they do by being stupid, so if you’re concerned about the state of DC Films currently, here’s why you shouldn’t be.

So we know that Justice League wasn’t the biggest success (although if any other movie made $650 million at the box office we’d be pretty stoked). And things have seemed a bit messy with Ben Affleck currently out of action for personal reasons, and Henry Cavill rumoured to no longer be Superman (nooooo). Since Justice League it’s clear that Warner Bros. have re-thought their previous plans, with a new head, Walter Hamada, being appointed in January to oversee things. Hamada is very experienced and according to inside sources he has been tough on cleaning up the in-development slate. And this is good news, because you need someone experienced to say, hey guys, let’s not just throw s**t on the wall and see what sticks!

Let’s take a look at some progress he’s made since getting the top job – next year we are definitely going to see 3 DC movies. We were supposed to get 3 this year (Batman, Flash and Aquaman) but that obviously didn’t happen. However Shazam! is already in post-production, and Wonder Woman and Joker are in production, yay! We also now have the release date for the Birds of Prey film, which seems to be making steady progress.

dc films

But what’s the strategy? It looks like we won’t be seeing a Justice League 2, but that’s maybe a good thing. These individual films now don’t have to be creatively restrained from doing what ever they want, because they don’t have to worry about that team-up movie coming out which all needs to connect.

This is what makes me excited about Joker. Yes, we saw Joker in Suicide Squad, and yes this is a different Joker. But no it’s not a bad thing. We can get a great character study of this fascinating absurdist character, which doesn’t need to be tied down by a looming cinematic universe. It has the creative freedom to go nuts and be bold. Joaquin Phoenix is an amazing actor, so it’ll be exciting to see what he does with the role.

If you like the Joker, make sure to check out my character analysis HERE

Then you have Shazam! I loved the trailer – it didn’t feel like any other DC movie, it had its own identity. Sure, the film was supposed to be connected, with Superman supposedly going to make a cameo. And whilst I do love Supes, I can live without. The film looks fun and conveys a sense of childlike wonder, completely different to other DC Films, and that’s great.

dc films

The thing about DC characters is that they are so strong on their own, they don’t need to be connected to a wider universe to be interesting. These characters are complex and engaging on their own, they have their own tones, themes and identity. Why limit what they can do by being concerned if it fits into the wider universe? And yes some of the films will still be connected, with Birds of Prey being a spin-off to Suicide Squad, but I think Warner Bros. have accepted that they will not be Marvel, and that’s okay. I think now they are focused on getting the best stories out there for these characters. And that’s why we shouldn’t lose faith just yet.

I can’t wait for 2019, to see what DC has to offer. But what are your thoughts on this whole situation, let me know in the comments below!


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16 replies »

  1. I think that the whole thing is still looking as directionless trend chasing as beforehand. Just look at the line-up, apparently they have concluded that because Wonder Woman was such a success, they should offer as many female leads as possible. And while I certainly want more of them, I don’t like the mind-set behind it.

    Not optimistic and they have to do more to sway me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t think necessarily have decided that the solution is as many female lead as possible, with the inclusion of Joker next year. Obviously they have a lot to prove, so all we can do is go into these films with an open mind and then make a judgement.


      • Look at the other plans…Harley Quin, Gotham City Sirens, Supergirl, Batgirl…though frankly, I have a hard time to tell which projects are still on and which aren’t. It just still feels all extremely reactionary.


      • The DC/Warner partnership has long been prone to falling back on the cookie cutter approach. They copy-pasted the formula for the early Superman and Batman movies, then they copy-pasted the Dark Knight formula as a template for the entire DCEU, now they’re copy-pasting Suicide Squad and, especially, Wonder Woman. I’m hopeful for Shazam and Aquaman, though.


  2. After BVS, Suicide Squad, and Justice League the DC Movies have got their work cut out for them, but its by no means impossible for them to turn things around. I was sceptical about the Joker movie, but the more we learn about it, the more promising it seems. Aquaman and Shazam also have great potential. Overall I think the DC movies just need to lighten up a bit, they have a wealth of characters to play with so I’m hopefully things will turn out ok in the end.


  3. Two things: 1. Wow! It’s been a LONG time since we’ve heard from you. Sure hope you’re still doing good since the brief hiatus. 2. What’s mainly been hurting the DC Extended Universe (or Worlds of DC, whichever you want to call it) has been studio interference. Think about it. Dawn of Justice was going to be a 3-hour long, R-Rated film, but got trimmed to 2 1/2 hours with a PG-13 rating. Editing ended up muddling plot elements and so it felt all over the place. Then it trickled down to Suicide Squad, where a company that mainly specializes in movie trailers was order to take over and splice in some reshoots. It ended up looking like its trying way too hard with a villain that this devious group shouldn’t ever face without proper help and Joker ending up with an overly-glorified cameo. Good thing that Patty Jenkins stuck to her guns when making Wonder Woman, or it would have ended up as less of a success as it is (especially minus the “No Man’s Land” scene”). Finally, the rotten cherry on top that is Justice League. Zack Snyder leaves to deal with a loss in his family, so Joss Weadon gets hired to bring a lighter tone and to help keep the film behind the 2-hour barrier. Styles ended up clashing and Steppenwolf becomes even more unmemorable, resulting in a film that was “OK” at best. Warner Bros. execs seriously needs to stop meddling, since it’s giving them and their DC properties a bad name.


    • Hello! Yes I’m back and doing good thank you 🙂 Yeah agreed, you would think by now they would have learned their lesson, so I’m hoping we see more creative lead films, rather than exec lead films.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. As a huge DC fanboy, I am saddened by all those who gave up on DC just because of Marvel’s omnipresence in the movie business and their ability to make money and let that very money speak for their success. I know I’m super psyched for the upcoming movies DC has for us, even if their structure right now is a bit fuzzy and questionable. I do hope they’ll make it much more appealing for fans in the coming years!


  5. Glad you’re back! 🙂

    It’s great that DC is at least trying to do better, and it’s been showing with their past few movies. I feel bad for Snyder, but he clearly wasn’t the right person to do these types of movies.

    Probably the biggest problem with the DCEU movies, and some non-DCEU, is they didn’t have a good balance in tone and presentation. They either took themselves too seriously or were complete nonsense. The change we’re seeing now with Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and even Justice League is that they’re embracing the nonsensical rather than fighting it and making it entertaining. If Marvel is about characters who are relatable, then DC is about characters who are fantastical, and I think that’s awesome.


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