So the DC Extended Universe has now had three movies released — Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and Suicide Squad — and the response has been...not good. The best of the bunch, it seems, has been Suicide Squad, and even those who like it can tell that it’s deeply flawed. So where does the DCEU go from here?
There is one movie that is pretty much too late to be changed: Wonder Woman (2017), directed by Patty Jenkins. The trailer was released at San Diego Comic-Con and it’s gotten some pretty great responses:
However, the Suicide Squad trailer got great responses, too, so is there going to be a problem with this film? I hope not. The trailer isn’t at all similar to the Suicide Squad one and it’s not going for the wacky Guardians of the Galaxy-tone that Suicide Squad was, so hopefully, WB/DC will leave the editing up to the professionals.
The movie after this, then, is Justice League (2017), directed by Zack Snyder. The Comic-Con trailer has already shown that it will be at least a bit funnier than Batman v Superman:
Here’s the problem, though: it’s Zack Snyder. His best film is probably the Dawn of the Dead remake, which is also his first film. His past two DCEU films have been...divisive. So can he make a good Justice League film?
Well, maybe. For one thing, he has to make sure that he doesn’t do what he did with Batman v Superman and film a three hour film and then cut it down to two hours, because that just resulted in an editing nightmare and a film that was incomprehensible in places. He’s also great at filming action scenes, but terrible at connecting those scenes together, so he needs to hire a good DP and a great editor. And then we hope for the best.
And after that? Well, these are the films that should be coming up:
The Flash (2018), directed by Rick Famuyiwa. Honestly, this is a movie that I am greatly anticipating, because Famuyiwa has directed some great films, including Dope. According to Wikipedia, his films tend to explore themes of racial diversity and friendship, the latter of which seems like it would be a great theme for the Flash. Honestly, if the WB/DC just allows Famuyiwa to do what he wants, this might be a great film.
Aquaman (2018), directed by James Wan. Wan is well known for directing Furious 7 as well as a number of great horror movies, like The Conjuring. Aquaman can certainly benefit from this type of director. Not sure how well you can make a film if 90% of the plots you can use take place underwater, but we’ll see.
Shazam (2019), no director. Honestly, I think this project just exists because of Dwayne Johnson’s insistence on being Black Adam. Certainly, there hasn’t been much movement on a director. However, I think I have a perfect person to direct this, someone who has directed bright, colorful superhero films before, superhero films that were earnest and yet slightly campy: Joe Johnston. The style he use for The Rocketeer and Captain America: The First Avenger would definitely fit for Billy Batson and the Marvel Family.
Untitled Justice League Sequel (2020), directed by Zack Snyder. See my previous notes for the first Justice League film. Also, if they use Darkseid, he should be voiced by Michael Ironside. Seriously.
Cyborg (2020), no director. I seriously have no idea why they even announced this film, since Cyborg has barely had his own comic book and has very little storylines associated with just him and not the Teen Titans or the Justice League. Perhaps they simply wanted all the members of the Justice League to have their own movies, which is kind of silly. In any case...I have no idea what this movie would be about. At all. Perhaps it’s better if they scrap it and replace it with something that has a built-in storyline, like Blue Beetle (the Jaime Reyes version, which is also an incredibly fun comic).
Green Lantern Corps (2020), no director. A chance to do the Green Lantern story better than the Ryan Reynolds film did. A chance to show the epicness of the Green Lantern Corps. Hell, they should throw in either the Sinestro Corps or, if they want to hold onto Sinestro, the Red Lantern Corps, which would be awesome. Honestly, though, the Sinestro Corps War storyline would be awesome for a two hour movie. Hmm, maybe J. J. Abrams can direct. (You think I’m kidding, but his style from Star Trek might actually work well for the GLC.)
And then there’s the Untitled Batman Film (20??), directed by Ben Affleck. Affleck has directed some great movies, like The Town and Argo, but can he direct himself as Batman? Well, I hope he includes the rest of the Batfamily, including Nightwing and Oracle.
Furthermore, there are now reports that there might be a Harley Quinn spin-off, which would be interesting. I hope they don’t include the Joker and instead have her do a Thelma and Louise-style film with Poison Ivy.
Honestly, the thing I want the most out of the DCEU is more variety and better editing. It might be wrong to pin all our hopes on Wonder Woman, but that’s probably what people are doing (it’s sad that the hopes of the DCEU and the hopes of female-led superhero films look to be riding on that film).
What movies do you want to see the DCEU tackle? Where do you want it to go next? (And don’t say “reboot” — the only way the DCEU could reboot now would be if they made the second Justice League film an adaptation of Crisis on Infinite Earths and then destroyed the entire universe and...dammit, I’m giving Zack Snyder ideas now, aren’t I?)