Do you remember way back in 2008 when Marvel Studios released Iron Man? The film was met with great success and the studio moved forward with the creation of a cinematic universe, ultimately leading to the blockbuster The Avengers.
Marvel Studios and producer Kevin Feige took a big risk moving when they decided to lead off their film series with a character like Iron Man. The Armored Avenger wasn't a well known hero at the time and the character of Tony Stark is pretty much an ass. What made Iron Man work was that it was presented as a neat little package, free from the baggage of decades of Marvel Comics continuity. The only hint that the movie existed within a larger universe was the post-credits scene featured Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury. As each of the other solo movies were released, the universe began to become more developed. Not overwhelmingly at first, but naturally enough for the fans to clamor for a movie where all of these characters teamed up. Marvel Studios built up the universe piece by piece, character by character, never forcing it, just letting it evolve and expand on its own with each new movie. When movies were not as successful, such as 2008's The Incredible Hulk, the studio rolled with the punches and kept moving forward with the master plan, known as Phase 1. The success of this phase led to Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy all being released by the end of next summer in preparation for Avengers: Age of Ultron, a film that will probably gross over $2 billion. So that's the right way to do it.
DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. have a different plan on how to handle their universe. They released Batman Begins in 2005 and jump started a franchise that had been almost killed at the hands of Joel Schumacher. So of course the studio struck while the iron was hot and released Superman Returns in 2006. This film was not as successful as Batman Begins mainly because the film that Bryan Singer made was thematically more similar to Richard Donner than Christopher Nolan. The obvious reaction by DC and Warner Bros. was to shelve any attempt at another Superman movie for seven more years. In the mean time, Nolan finished his Dark Knight trilogy and the studio produced another bomb with 2011's Green Lantern. After the success of Zack Snyder's 2013 Man of Steel, DC and Warner Bros. decided they it was time to pull out the big guns and give Marvel Studios a run for its money.
At the 2013 Comic-Con they unveiled the idea of a Superman Vs Batman movie as a sequel to Man of Steel. This was a great idea. Drag Christian Bale back with truckloads of money. He could growl at Henry Cavill for 90 minutes and then they could both murder Lex Luthor. Great movie. While that movie is being filmed, get to work on a Wonder Woman movie, a Flash movie or even take another crack at Green Lantern. Put out two of three more solo films and then in a few years Justice League: The Movie. DC wins, Marvel goes back to making Howard the Duck 2: How Howard Got His Groove Back.
Except that's not what DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. are doing. They are going to release Untitled Batman/Superman Movie Featuring Wonder Woman, Nightwing, and Maybe Green Lantern. They are basically making a movie where Supes and Bats should just be punching each other a lot into a backdoor pilot for a Justice League movie. Wonder Woman might walk by in the foreground of one of the big collateral damage porn set pieces that Zack Snyder is furiously story-boarding right now. Maybe she'll wave to the camera. Maybe we'll just see her in a teaser at the end. Who knows? To make thing even worse, Christian Bale isn't playing Batman. The whole thing is getting rebooted again and Ben Affleck is playing an older, more cynical version of Batman, an announcement that practically broke the internet. For the record, Ben Affleck is two years older than Bale. But the big problem with doing the movie this way isn't going to be the disservice to the development of Wonder Woman, and frankly whoever else David S. Goyer can cram into the script, as real characters, but the impact to the future Justice League movie.
Imagine if after the success of Iron Man, Marvel went on to make Iron Man 2, except now it was Untitled Iron Man Vs. Thor Movie Featuring The Incredible Hulk, Captain America, Black Widow and Hawkeye. That might be a decent movie, but it would diminish the eventual team-up in The Avengers. In my opinion, this is what will happen to the DC cinematic universe. Man of Steel 2: When Clark Met Bruce might make a lot of money, maybe even enough to rebuild Metropolis. The Justice League film will not make as much and DC and Warner Bros. will go back to the drawing board. And do you know what that means? Marvel Studios will make a Forbush Man movie before we ever get a Wonder Woman solo movie.