Special Features

Taking Stock of the DCEU: Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off?

Batgirl is caput (for now.) Flashpoint’s directors haven’t started work yet because their contract has yet to be finalized even after a month of negotiations. And Justice League continues to get trounced at the box office by Marvel. As our Lex Luthor-in-Chief would tweet: sad. It’s time to take stock of the DCEU.

It took Black Panther just four days to outgross Justice League domestically. Give it another week and Black Panther will have eclipsed Justice League worldwide. And all of this after Justice League already failed miserably to keep up with the domestic and worldwide pace of Thor: Ragnarok last November.

So, can we just call it, already? DC Extended Universe. Time of Death: Fifteen hundred hours on February 23, 2018.

That might seem a bit melodramatic. Also, I’m pretty sure that’s not how cinematic universes are put to death nor do I have the authority to make that kind of decision. But, really, what’s the point of going on with this charade any longer when the first on-screen meeting of DC’s heavy hitters can’t even hang with Marvel’s B-squad?

Don’t get me wrong. Black Panther is a transcendent piece of pop culture which has arrived at just the right time in history, and Thor: Ragnarok is a neon-colored burst of intergalactic whimsy. They are each fantastic and entertaining films, albeit in very different ways, and they each caught fire at the box office for largely justifiable reasons in terms of quality, marketing, and fortuitous timing. But for Justice League to lag so far behind both culturally and financially, turning into a mere disposable blockbuster that makes millions ($600m worldwide, to be exact) only to then be promptly forgotten, is a complete condemnation of everything WB is doing with its superheroes.

How on Earth (or Earth-2) did we get here?

Not to go all playground on you, but DC got here first. As a comic book company, DC got a five-year head start on Marvel, which was plenty enough time to introduces the world’s first superheroes and be forever associated with the genre; decades later, as a film studio-owned subsidiary DC managed to overwhelm the playing field with multiple Batman and Superman movies and live-action TV shows before the first Spider-Man or X-Men movie came along. Those films had to react to what DC had already done, not the other way around.

When Marvel Studios started up and launched its first movie in 2008, Iron Man punched above its weight classic both critically and financially, but it was no match for The Dark Knight, which not only made more money but broke through the critical glass ceiling, netting a posthumous Oscar for Heath Ledger and even inspiring a Best Picture category rule change. More than that, The Dark Knight showed what the superhero genre could be and how it could be used to speak to real-world concerns.

Four years later, the baton-passing was undeniable when The Avengers outgrossed The Dark Knight Rises both at home and abroad. The problem was in those four years between-Dark Knight entries Marvel Studios launched a steady stream of enjoyable superhero movies building up to the geekiest of geeky team-ups. WB, meanwhile, mostly whittled its thumbs and waited for Christopher Nolan to find the motivation/time to finish his trilogy, which resulted in the wildly ambitious Dark Knight Rises but a lot of lost time to the competition.

To be fair, WB did crap out Jonah Hex in 2010 and Green Lantern in 2011, meaning at least someone over there feared the looming superhero arms race with archrival Marvel, but Batman remained the crown jewel. After his inevitable rise and fall, there was no exit plan. Green Lantern was supposed to be that exit plan, set up its own cinematic universe and all that, but it failed, to the point of being actively mocked by the film’s own star (Ryan Reynolds) in his next superhero gig (Deadpool).

Smash cut to today and WB is over there busy hyping up the home video release of its wannabe Avengers team-up Justice League at the same time that Marvel Studios is over here showing us something new. Justice League is where we’ve been; Black Panther and Thor: Ragnarok is where we’re going.

WB, the company that had control over the longest-tenured and thus most recognizable superheroes and is only 6 years removed from a Batman trilogy that grossed over $2 billion worldwide, has, at this point, yielded the floor to Marvel. Kevin Feige (in charge of Marvel Studios) and, to a lesser degree, Simon Kinberg (in charge of X-Men at Fox) are setting the template, and WB is merely following, with the sole exception of being the first studio to take a chance on a female-directed and female-led superhero movie.

This happened largely because WB deeply, deeply misread the market and hired Zack Snyder to double down on the grit of The Dark Knight Trilogy and turn Man of Steel and Batman v Superman into joyless, leaden, grimdark marches of plot holes, wooden characterizations, groan-worthy dialogue, and nausea-inducing visuals. While Marvel was bringing fun back to superhero movies, WB entrusted its marquee characters to a director who doesn’t seem to even like Superman and doesn’t fully understand Batman. That’s not to say superhero movies can’t be serious [see: Logan], but WB misfired.

Now that that’s flamed out, WB has been caught flat-footed and is struggling to adjust on the fly, which has lead to a series of transparent knock-offs. Luckily, one of them – Wonder Woman, obviously – managed to work because even if you tell a familiar story as long as you tell it from a fresh point of view it can seem new all over again. Moreover, that movie was made by a woman with a deep passion for the material and a literal decade under her belt of lobbying for the job and thinking through how best to bring Wonder Woman to the screen. Such advanced planning and careful consideration seems to be missing in everything else they’ve done.

  • Misfits fighting along to a hip soundtrack (Guardians of the Galaxy)? We will literally take the movie away from the director to make that happen (Suicide Squad).
  • A period piece about heroism & romance in a time of war with an ending where the man sacrifices himself and causes the girl’s heart to break (Captain America: The First Avenger)? Huh. Mind if we mix in a bit of Thor and Richard Donner with that? (Wonder Woman).
  • A team-up movie with actual jokes? We’ll hire the guy who made The Avengers to make that happen for us, no matter how much it costs in reshoots or whose mustache we have to digitally erase (Justice League).
  • An R-rated comic book movie actually made money (first Deadpool, then Logan)? Well, let’s see if we can finally get Lobo off the ground and throw a lot of money at Joaquin Phoenix to get him to do a solo Joker movie.

The result has been a steady decline at the box office. With the exception of the largely standalone Wonder Woman, every DCEU movie since Batman v Superman has made less than the film that preceded it. Even with James Wan at the helm, it’s going to be a challenge for Aquaman to change that later this year, not when this is our most recent memory of Jason Momoa as the character:

Never change, Aquaman, you bromeister you.

Now, Marvel Studios and Fox lead the way in superhero entertainment, and WB…well, apart from Wonder Woman WB has turned DC into the Michael Bay of the superhero realm. The movies make money, but they don’t exactly inspire a passionate following and can’t win with the critics.

It’s not like the studio isn’t trying to make better movies. In fact, the excessive studio meddling has been an obvious culprit in the recent creative failures. There’s been some actual accountability on that front. Producers and executives at the studio have been fired or re-assigned. New people like Geoff Johns and Jon Berg have been rotated in to oversee things, and then promptly rotated out at the first sign of trouble. At last check, Roy Hamada is in charge of DC Films, a move which excited a lot of people online last month since Hamada comes to this fresh off the success of helping launch The Conjuring universe over at New Line, WB’s genre label.

But we’re nearing two months into Hamada’s tenure and we’re still missing clarity on what exactly their plan is. Earlier this week, reports surfaced suggesting the next two DC Extended Universe movies to go in front of the camera will be Batgirl and Flashpoint. It’s now the end of the week and both of those projects hang in limbo. They are but two of the nearly 20 DCEU different projects thought to be in some stage of development. Only 3 of them have specific release dates – Aquaman, Shazam!, and Wonder Woman 2 – and we somehow still don’t know if Shazam! should even be considered a DCEU movie or a standalone entry.

We’ve previously learned the studio intends to keep making DCEU movies while also establishing a new label for non-continuity titles with lower budgets. But what’s that label going to be called? How (and when) will they decide which movies go to which label? Are they really comfortable with potentially producing a solo Joker movie starring Joaquin Phoenix while also making a Suicide Squad 2 or Harley Quinn moving starring Jared Leto’s Prison Meth Addict Joker?

To recap, these are the DCEU movies with release dates:

  • Aquaman (12/21/18)
  • Wonder Woman 2 (11/1/19)

This is the DC movie which may or may not be set in the same Justice League universe as the Gal Gadot Wonder Woman and Henry Cavill Superman:

  • Shazam! (4/4/19)

And these are the DCEU movies thought to be in some stage of development:

  • Green Lantern Corps
  • Batgirl
  • The Batman
  • Black Adam
  • Flashpoint
  • Gotham City Sirens
  • Justice League Dark
  • Nightwing
  • Suicide Squad 2
  • Harley Quinn and the Joker
  • Joker Solo Origin Movie starring Joaquin Phoenix
  • Deadshot
  • Deathstroke
  • Lobo
  • Justice League 2
  • Man of Steel 2

Sadly, the Booster Gold movie I was kind of excited about seems dead. 

Oddly, both the DCEU and MCU are in similar positions. Instead of over-promising and announcing spoilery titles and release dates (the ole “How is there any tension if we already know the hero has an officially announced and dated sequel?” problem) both WB and Marvel Studios are holding their cards a little closer to the vest. Which Marvel movies should we expect to see after Avengers 4? A Spider-Man sequel has been confirmed, and Black Panther 2 is a slam-dunk. Beyond that, it’s all just speculation. What about the DCEU? What does that playing field look like beyond Wonder Woman 2? No idea.

The level of uncertainty is the same, but the amount of unease it causes is wildly different because we, or at least I, trust Marvel Studios. There have long since been reports that Marvel Studios has its release slate planned well into the next decade. In Kevin Feige we trust, right? WB, though, not so much. They just hired a new guy to turn things around, but they already fired the last guys with that job after just two movies (Wonder Woman, Justice League). So, the DCEU’s behind the scenes reality isn’t exactly the bastion of stability.

If Hamada, however, is given a little longer to succeed my guess is he uses Flashpoint to blow up the entire DCEU and pursues a more standalone-inclined release slate where the films are about as connected to each other as Wonder Woman is to Batman v Superman and Black Panther is to Civil War. A lot of those in development projects should probably just be siphoned off to DC”s upcoming streaming service and turned into original TV shows. Plus, Hamada comes from a horror background. He should lean into that. Finally find a way to crack a Sandman script. Get serious about Justice League Dark. Finally, use Wonder Woman and Black Panther’s success as a mandate to hire more diverse voices behind the scenes to bring fresh, new perspectives. Joss Whedon couldn’t find a story for Batgirl. A female writer and/or director could.

Similar to how we felt back in 2008 after The Dark Knight, everything in the superhero game feels different after Wonder Woman and Black Panther. We’ve seen what can be done with this kind of movie when the filmmakers actually get serious about the mythmaking inherent to the superhero story, and we’ve seen how well diversity and largely standalone storytelling pays off. What Hamada does with that as well as what order he brings to the DCEU’s chaos remains to be seen.

First things first, though: cut your losses and simply release Ben Affleck back into the wild. Some birds aren’t meant to be caged. Their feathers are just too bright. Or, to put it more direct terms, some actors make really stupid decisions to take soul-crushing jobs which they immediately regret. Let him off the hook.

Where do you stand on the DCEU now? Are you a Zack Snyder defender, steadfast in your belief that his version of Justice League would have been vastly superior to what we got? Or did you actually kind of like Justice League? Or are you simply waiting for the next Wonder Woman and everything else is just noise? Let me know in the comments.


  1. –> “As our Lex Luthor in Chief would tweet, sad. ”

    Almost half the country voted for said Chief. Why do you feel the need to interject politics into a review that both liberals and conservatives can appreciate? Why risk alienating up to half your audience just to get a cheap jab in? Your review works just as well (or better) without interjecting that line.

    –> ” Moreover, that movie was made by a woman with a deep passion for the material and a literal decade under her belt of lobbying for the job and thinking through how best to bring Wonder Woman to the screen.”

    Same with this (though it’s not as aggregious). What difference did it really make that the director was a woman? I think the key here was the next part of your statement. The director had a deep passion for the material. Just like Batman vs Superman’s failure was most likely due to Zack Snyder not understanding or even liking the character than the fact that he was a man.

    Race and gender are not key factors in actors or directors. It’s their skill and creativity that matters. A director who did not understand or like the Wonder Woman character would have produced a terrible movie even if she was a woman.

    I love your reviews and agree with most of them, but I just shake my head when you insert politics into something that really has nothing to do with politics.

    1. Sports used to be something both liberals and conservatives could enjoy, side by side. As long as you were rooting for the same team, you didn’t care who the other person voted for for president.

      Enjoying a singer was the same. Movies was the same. We could all come together and love or hate a movie or a song without even considering politics.

      Now everywhere we go, people are alienating one side or the other. Conservative now have a hard time enjoying football or watching any kind of sports commentary. Conservative movie lovers can’t enjoy an awards show and just appreciate the talents of their favorite actors. Instead they have to put up with being called stupid or racist or sexist.

      There’s just really no need to mix it up like that. Football appears to be paying the price. I expect the most rabidly activist actors are going to start losing fans, too. It just makes no sense to me.

      1. I’m sorry. You are just a moron. Did you know that a significant portion of the population is not permitted to vote? Children form a huge demographic. Of course, you form a huge majority of the morons allowed on the web.

    2. Are conservatives such “snow flakes” (to borrow a term out of their vocabulary) that they can’t handle a little jab which is reflecting the absolute truth? I also doubt that this would alienating half of the readers of this blog because statistically speaking, people who read blogs like this tend to be more liberal leaning anyway. Or at least smart enough to see Trump for what he is.

      1. So your point is that YOU have the right to complain but nobody has the right to call you out on your complaining? Also, you might want to bother looking at the names of the ones answering to you.

    3. “–> ” Moreover, that movie was made by a woman with a deep passion for the material and a literal decade under her belt of lobbying for the job and thinking through how best to bring Wonder Woman to the screen.”

      “Same with this (though it’s not as aggregious). What difference did it really make that the director was a woman? I think the key here was the next part of your statement. The director had a deep passion for the material. Just like Batman vs Superman’s failure was most likely due to Zack Snyder not understanding or even liking the character than the fact that he was a man.

      “Race and gender are not key factors in actors or directors. It’s their skill and creativity that matters. A director who did not understand or like the Wonder Woman character would have produced a terrible movie even if she was a woman.”

      I would like to address this point. While Wonder Woman is an example, I would like to talk about Jessica Jones as a better example. There are plenty of representations of abusive relationships, power dynamics, superheroes, criminal investigators, alcoholics, etc. in media. However, the female showrunner brought these elements together in a new way that hadn’t been seen together before, that told a powerful story that resonated with audiences. The whole thing came together well, and it’s not like we can discount things like the power of some of the male actors (Luke Cage and Kilgrave are amazing), but a strong whole points to a strong leader. And to back up my statement, the statistics that found that Jessica Jones was the most common first-watched Marvel NetFlix show suggests that interest in this show exceeds that for the others, and therefore also makes a show like this (or movie like Wonder Woman) a good business decision. https://www.usatoday.com/story/life/tv/2017/08/22/you-wont-believe-what-shows-lead-viewers-watch-netflixs-marvel-series/587947001/

      Now, Hollywood frequently learns the wrong lessons from its successes and its failures. So will there be some really bad movies made by female directors that they prop up and market heavily? Sure. They don’t guarantee success, and as you say, the passion in the project matters the most. But to take the example of Joss Whedon being given a year to try to come up with something for Batgirl, and just not finding the passion there – could they more easily have found that passion and vision in a female director or writer? My intuition says yes. There seem to be people out there saying they would be interested. But many other options would take a leap of faith that is different from a tried-and-true director like Joss. The fact that it’s a leap of faith, however, is also what makes it a political point about female directors: just not many of them have had the opportunity to make enough big films to get a resume like a Zach Snyder, a Joss Whedon, etc. One element of taking the leap of faith on a lesser-known female director is the politicized decision to give her a chance.

      Finally, movies (and TV, and all media) are full of tropes, conventions, expectations, limitations, all of these things. There’s a whole website on it (http://tvtropes.org/). “Diversity” to me shows itself best in the ways that different people approach these tropes, these underlying assumptions of filmmaking, of creating a product in a visual medium. Let’s go with Thor Ragnarok: you have a director who does not normally make films like that, and who is from New Zealand. So he brought a new way of looking at making a film like that, as well as an international eye for approaching the tropes of filmmaking. And his film beat our Justice League. If you can get that much of a difference in filmmaking with “diversity” like that, how much more might you get from more female directors (like with Wonder Woman), more people of color (like with Black Panther), more international voices (like with Lucy)?

      I think that’s my answer for why it matters that the director is a woman.

      1. That was a well stated and non-combative reply, which is rare. And appreciated.

        Some random thoughts…

        * Every director, regardless of gender had someone take a leap of faith on him at some point. Being male doesn’t mean they automatically get a pass. And being female doesn’t automatically mean they’re automatically a bigger risk. Gender should be neither the reason a person gets hired nor the reason they are passed up on.

        * Plenty of directors of both genders have put out stinkers. And both genders have created masterpieces. Joss being a male did not seem to hinder him at all in creating the massively successful Buffy series. And having done Buffy didn’t automatically make Joss ideas for Bat Girl. Nor did being a man make him a bad pick for Bat Girl. It was other factors in both cases.

        * My main concern with commentary that features the race or gender of an actor or director is that it suggests one race or gender is superior or inferior to the other and that’s demonstrably false. There are female directors that are vastly superior to male directors and vice versa. And I feel like when you say someone is better because of their gender, for example, you are insulting that person’s effort at actually BECOMING better. You’re saying they’re better for no reason other than they happens to have a slight difference in chromosomes.

        * I honestly feel if people stopped calling everyone else racists or sexist that people would stop SEEING race or gender as reasons for differences. Leaders keep saying “Stop treating us differently! Look how different we are!”

      2. While it’s true that giving the reigns and the money to any director is a risk and a leap of faith, from an investment standpoint, a proven track record is a safer and less risky investment. And in the super specific case of Justice League, it really just feels like DC brought on Joss in a sort of literal make-The-Avenger-again play – further reducing risk (in theory) by bringing in a director who has made a similar product before. So I would argue that the most relevant feature of Joss at that point was his past experience, his resume.

        Meaning that, to build such a resume in a wider selection of people, studios in general just need to take more risks, and select more directors who don’t have the proven track record in the way they’re used to. Because if the same people keep making movies you’re more likely to keep getting the same results – and in this case, I’m pretty much literally talking about the same people and not even the same race, gender, etc. of people.

        Let’s stick on DC. Already mentioned Joss and Avengers. But you take Snyder too, and Batman v. Superman to me really just felt like he wanted to do Watchmen with it. And he’s literally the guy who has already gotten to make Watchmen.

        And just to stick with superhero movies, there are some risks taken recently that we’re sure to see people trying to repeat – Wonder Woman and female lead and director and such, Black Panther and people of color, and Deadpool and Logan with an R-rating. Heck, maybe they’ll even try to repeat the zany humor of Thor Ragnarok (DC certainly tried to copy the feel of Guardians in Suicide Squad). Anyway, it’s not inherently bad that they’re going to try to do these things, and hopefully after a few more, it won’t be a big issue who the lead is (male/female/POC) or who directed the thing.

        But by the same token, I don’t particularly want to see people saying things like “see women can’t direct because look here’s this one bad movie a woman directed” – in the same way that there’s been a lot of talk in the industry about how female superhero movies don’t work (based on the horrible examples of Electra and Catwoman). But I’d bet good money that we see that reaction happen, and in some ways it’s precisely because of that reaction that the initial act of selecting these stories or creators in the first place is a political act.

      3. I pretty much agree with everything you said there.

        I just now realized that I probably misinterpreted Kelly’s comment in the original article: “Moreover, that movie was made by a woman with a deep passion for the material and a literal decade under her belt of lobbying for the job and thinking through how best to bring Wonder Woman to the screen.”

        I think since I was annoyed at him making a dig about Trump and so when I saw the part “made by a woman”, I leaped to the conclusion that he was suggesting that WW was a success BECAUSE it was made by a woman and less because she’s a great director who loves the character.

        But, I just went back to re-read it and realized it’s probably more likely his MEANING was “made by a person with a deep passion…” but used the term woman because she was a woman and not to suggest that BEING a woman made here a better fit for this movie — though I CAN see the advantage of a woman’s perspective.

        So, I think I overreacted at that part.

        Your most recent post matches my feelings — choices should be on skill and though past success reduces risk, relying on past experiences tend to give us more of the same. Thus there’s value in diversifying and possibly giving more chances to talented people that might not have as much of a track record.

        Again, I think I allowed myself to be “triggered” by your initial use of the word “diversity”. In the context above, I’m in total agreement. Most people today tend to use diversity in a manner suggesting companies should throw in people of color and strong females and a good representation of LGBTQ as well — without regard to talent (or at least less so). And that’s what I took minor exception to.

      4. I did say “diversity” in quotes 😉

        And in an unnecessary defense of the Trump joke, the presidents from the comics that Trump most resembles are Lex Luthor and Norman Osborn – as a businessman rather than as a political insider. At this point, the president is also the supervillain in many people’s lives – so it’s an easy joke to make. Easy jokes are just another trope!

      5. –> Easy jokes are just another trope!


        For a long time, comedians were very good at poking fun at presidents no matter in which party. For the most part, they were funny, even when at the expense of “my” president. I laughed at most of SNL’s portrayal of Reagan and George W just as much as I did their portrayals of Clinton.

        That’s not been the case with Trump. The jokes are hardly jokes. Just nasty jabs.

        And easy jokes aside, it would be nice to come to a place where I can share an interest in something (sports, movies, tv, music, gadgets) without caring talking about politics.

        In such a polarized environment, even an innocuous joke against one political side or another can ignite a nasty argument. Just look at Elwyn Chow’s nasty response to my comment. It’s possible Elwyn and I have similar interests and opinions about this movie or any of the other things Kelly reviews. We could likely have friendly banter about this plot or that character and have a great time. And I’d never know Elwyn was liberal and she’d never know I was conservative. It wouldn’t matter because we’d be sharing our interest in movies.

        That all goes away when a review that has nothing about politics inserts a political dig. Now it will be very hard for Elwyn and I to have a friendly conversation about anything.

        As you pointed out, there WAS a reasonable case for mentioning the director of WW was a woman. But comparing Trump to a comic book villain added nothing to the review. It was just a political dig, which had a very real chance of alienating anyone who thinks Trump is taking the country in the right direction.

        I love Kelly’s reviews and I’ll continue to be a fan. But, I wanted to point out the danger he takes when inserting political jabs into something that’s not inherently political. I think I was pretty even handed in my comment.

        And as Elwyn’s reply shows, many people get RABID when talking about opposing political views.

      6. I appreciate your defense of me, and I know I’m coming to this a little late. I’m not even sure which specific comment to respond to, but I will just add to your argument about women directors and diversity:

        We need look no further than the difference between Snyder/Whedon’s leering, porny version of Gal Gadot and the Amazons in Justice League versus their costumes and the camera angles used to film them Wonder Woman for evidence in the “sometimes a female pov is better suited to the material than a male’s.”

      7. “But, I just went back to re-read it and realized it’s probably more likely his MEANING was “made by a person with a deep passion…” but used the term woman because she was a woman and not to suggest that BEING a woman made here a better fit for this movie — though I CAN see the advantage of a woman’s perspective.”

        You’re re-interpretation of what I was saying there is generally right. You can’t just fill a diversity quota, hire a woman or person of color or woman of color and call it good. You have to, first, know how to evaluate talent, obsessively consume prestige TV and monitor emerging names on the film festival scene to keep tabs on who you might want to work with and take a chance on. Then you have to find someone with a real passion for the material. Patty Jenkins grew up on Wonder Woman just as Ryan Coogler grew up on Black Panther comics and both connected to the inspiration the characters gave them as little kids, but not every woman or black person can say that. That level of background knowledge doesn’t have to be a prerequisite for the gig. In fact, there are other instances throughout film history where coming to a project from a place of fandom can be a hindrance, especially if the goal is to produce something more universally accessible and less insular (ala JJ Abrams and his fresh-eyed view of Star Trek). But even if the person doesn’t have a long history with the source material they need to have a passion for the material now and a clear idea of what kind of story to tell.

        Then if you hire the person you have to a) give them the resources necessary to do their job and b) back off and let them do their thing, trust and support their vision and only offer notes in a constructive criticism kind of way and less of restrictive we-have-to-change-that-to-appeal-more-to-China or whatever kind of way. That’s not always Hollywood’s strong suit.

        Really, the fear is Hollywood will look at Wonder Woman and Black Panther and simply see a formula to be mimicked and not the step-by-step process and years of creative collaboration which led to each film’s success.

      8. But the sad truth is that gender DOES play a role in this. Female directors get less opportunities, especially in the movie business (they have better chances on TV, though female show runners are rare there, too). And because they get less opportunities, their voices don’t get heard. Which is really noticeable.

        I am actually not sure if the Batgirl project even exists, it is entirely possible that it was just a smokescreen to bring Whedon into the Justice League project which eventually wasn’t necessary anymore because of the personal tragedy. Either that or they are reactionary again. In any case, I am not particularly exited about the notion anyway and I am not sure if I would pick Whedon for that particular project. I actually think that he is better off creating his own characters.

        Race and gender ARE reasons for differences. There are biological differences for starters – and I am not talking “this group is smarter” bs, but stuff like being pregnant being a very female experience and, being female, I am very comfortable to say that the male body is built differently. There is nothing wrong with acknowledging those differences. It becomes problematic though, when you don’t get judged based on your abilities anymore because of said differences. As a result, a male director can be good in writing female characters, but he is also more prone to stumble over something a female director would have most likely recognized as potentially problematic or not done in the first place. The whole Black Widow “I am a monster” controversy is a good example of that. The ability (or inability) to bear children is a very sensitive topic for most women, that isn’t something you throw into a side scene for some added drama, it has to be handles very carefully.

      9. Sounds like we agree on that too, but perhaps with a variance in passion behind the beliefs — and I don’t mean that as a dig.

    4. “Almost half the country voted for said Chief. Why do you feel the need to interject politics into a review that both liberals and conservatives can appreciate? Why risk alienating up to half your audience just to get a cheap jab in? Your review works just as well (or better) without interjecting that line.”

      Short answer: I simply thought it was a funny joke, one tailor-made for comic book-leaning audiences who get the similarities between Trump and Lex Luthor, who has been President in the comics.

      Long answer: So, Trump can call Elizabeth Warren Pocahontas, Kim Jong Un Little Rocketman, Steve Bannon Sloppy Steve, Dianne Feinstein as Sneaky, Hilary Clinton Crooked Hilary, and a crapton other nicknames and I can’t call him Our Lex Luthor-in-chief?

      More Congenial, More Serious Answer: Ever since I wrote my op-ed about #MeToo I’ve stepped back and made an active decision to be less overtly political and more review-oriented and journalistic. The reason being I’d rather, at least through this website, talk to people online about the latest Netflix movie than, for example, the burden of proof in sexual harassment scandals, largely because I feel like I clearly have more authority and knowledge to talk about the former than I do the latter. However, in truth I’m still a liberal guy, and if I’m discussing my personal reaction to a film or something it’s hard to get away from that, particularly if it’s germane to the film in question, such as Del Toro’s commentary on the state of the world through his adult fairy tale The Shape of Water.

      Which means that, yeah, sometimes I’ll make a Trump joke. But I’m not going to go off on a Trump rant anymore because this isn’t the forum for that.

      As you noted, though, this particular article is in no way about Trump nor is it even a movie review. So, what gives? Well, like I said at the start, it was just a quick joke, my liberal leanings obviously seeping through. But it’s also about knowing your audience and I made almost the same exact joke several days earlier in a different article and no one complained.

      I get your frustration. I’ve been in your shoes. There’s a sports site I read for months and then one day, out of nowhere, they ran an article full of a bunch of anti-liberal/Democrat jokes and I realized the writers clearly had completely different political views than me. It was certainly annoying. But in that particular example the site was part of a larger corporate network where you’d more expect them to stay on topic. WeMinoredInFilm, though, is just my blog, this weird collection of reviews, box office breakdowns, lists, film history/trivia stuff I’ve put out into the world. It’s not a politics blog, and I’m not a politics person. But I am a liberal and that’s going to come through sometimes. You can’t stay neutral on a moving train and all that. I’m sorry it rubbed you the wrong way this time.

      1. –> “So, Trump can call Elizabeth Warren Pocahontas, Kim Jong Un Little Rocketman, Steve Bannon Sloppy Steve, Dianne Feinstein as Sneaky, Hilary Clinton Crooked Hilary, and a crapton other nicknames and I can’t call him Our Lex Luthor-in-chief?”

        If Trump were hosting a forum about business or reality TV or Real Estate investing and he inserted those jabs, I’d be annoyed at him, too. Actually, I don’t think his constant name calling does him any favors and I don’t care for it. But, in the context of a political discussion, jokes against the other side are perfectly appropriate.

        But, if Trump were holding a Real Estate forum and started slamming Democrats, I’d say that was inappropriate and not the place for it.

        Same here. For the most part, Kelly, you and I are in sync about what we like or don’t like in TV shows and movies. We could (and have) talked about those things for hours and never know our political leanings.

        When you take a forum that can and should join people on all sides together it’s not, IMO, a good idea to risk alienating those who have opposing political beliefs by making fun of their side. We have something that truly brings us together in harmony — our love of movies and TV. It’s nice to have a place like that and sad when it devolves into political debate.

        Obviously, it’s your forum so your rules. I just wanted to give my feedback about the risk of offending potentially half your audience by inserting political attacks — even in jest.

        Love you, Kelly.

  2. Except for Wonder Woman, I am not excited about any of the DC movies coming out. I don’t understand why they would have two different actors, who physically don’t look at all alike, play Joker. The whole tone of the DC movies seem off.

    1. I also don’t understand why they’re keeping Jared Lareto (or why Jared agreed to do more) given what he’s said about the role. He actually said they told him his Joker would be more “artsy”. He slammed his own role in the movie. Why is he or the studio going ahead with another one? Crazy.

      But, I agree that it just sows confusion to have the same studio put out two movies with different actors playing a key role.

      1. Plus, Ben Affleck seems ambivalent about his role as Batman. How about hiring actors that don’t self-sabotage their roles?

      2. I can’t swear to it, but I think he was blinking in Morse code throughout Justice League. In translated into something like: Kill. Me. Now.

        Last I heard on this, seriously, is Affleck said something about working with WB to look for a way for him to ease out of the DCEU gracefully. So, I’m thinking Jeremy Irons’ Alfred will go to a nice European cafe and look over at a table and see Affleck, Bale, and Hatheway sipping Mai Tais or whatever and when Irons looks alarmed Michael Caine will come screaming in, “Do you see them too? Oh, thank bloody hell, I’m not crazy!”

      3. All I want to say is- the comments on this post are AWESOME to read! I’m not able to respond or like to other comments, but the discourse between several of you debating political and movie points has been interesting to read. Once you moved beyond your differences, I found the comment section just as fascinating to read as the original post! 😉

      4. What were we originally talking about? I wanna say Ben Affleck. No, that’s not right. Was it institutional racism and sexim? No. THat’s not it. I’m pretty sure it had something to do with comic books. I remember that. Maybe it was just us praising Black Panther? No…it was how screwed the DCEU is! That’s right.

        No, seriously, you are absolutely right. This comments section has somehow managed to take this conversation far away from where it originally began and then get things back on track to the point that we’re again discussing the impracticality of a Green Lantern movie and the curious problem of having such a wildly successful film like WW surrounded by such lesser efforts. It’s been an entertaining and encouraging journey there and back again.

      5. With Jared Leto, they’re kind of stuck in a weird position. Suicide Squad made way more money than expected. Due to the lengthy reshoots, it’s thought it still only barely hit its breakeven point at the box office, but that’s at least more than you can say for Man of Steel and Justice League (and maybe also BvS). So, Suicide Squad 2 should be a slamdunk, but there’s still the “yeah, but did anyone like Suicide Squad?” question. Plus, that film’s success seems to be built atop so many different pillars – Will Smith’s global appeal, Margot Robbie’s ascending stardom, Jared Leto’s social media following and widely shared stories about going method on set, the media blitzkrieg marketing, getting to be the first Harley Quinn movie, the buzzy trailers, early August release slot, Viola Davis’s presence, Batman cameo, etc. – that to remove even one of them might risk causing the whole thing to come crumbling down in the sequel.

        To put it differently, I don’t think WB has any idea why Suicide Squad did so well, and for a sequel, they’ll just want to mimic the first film’s formula’s as much as possible.

        Or at least that’s my cynical take on the ability of the WB leadership to learn from their successes and failures. The wild card, obviously, is the new guy in charge and what he might do differently. Free piece of advice for him: don’t take the movie away from the director and ask the company which made the trailer to recut the movie.

        All of that might be why they feel stuck with Jared Leto even though neither party seems to much like one another. Plus, there’s the Harley Quinn problem here. They have, what, 4 different movies in development for her, but the last time we saw her she was running off with the Joker. The next part of her story will be to realize the truth of her relationship with the Joker and reject him, but to do that they’ll either have to break them up off-screen (which can’t be done quite as simply as Thor and Jane Foster), pull some shady flashback business with a lookalike or recast Joker, or stick with Jared Leto and see if he might do better with a different director.

    2. Completely agree. They’re already pushing it with having a Flash on TV, Flash on film, little Bruce on Gotham, old, grumpy Bruce in DCEU, Superman on Supergirl, Superman on….well, you get it. They’re already running around with lots of doubles, but when they are in different mediums there’s kind of a line we can all draw in our minds. One is different than the other. Once you start putting two Jokes on the big screen in entirely different continuities is when you start teetering over into saturation and needless confusion.

      What I want to know is whether the new guy in charge of DC Films is going to stick with that plan to keep up the DCEU and a separate line of non-continuity entries or if he’s going to pick one or the other.

      That all being said, I have a vague curiosity about Aquaman entirely just because James Wan is directing it and I liked his work on The Conjuring movies. Other than that, couldn’t care less. Shazam! actually has some promise with its “Big, but with superpowers” premise and Zachary Levi attached, but the oddness of where that film fits in continuity-wise has kind of overshadowed everything about it for me.

      Really, though, it’s Wonder Woman 2 and then just a bunch of noise.

      1. –> “What I want to know is whether the new guy in charge of DC Films is going to stick with that plan to keep up the DCEU and a separate line of non-continuity entries or if he’s going to pick one or the other.”

        If the stories are good, I’m okay with a line of DCEU and a line of stand alones. But only with different characters. It’s stupid to do two movies with the Joker and one of them is DCEU and one stand alone.

      2. Agreed. I can roll with them carrying on with different continuities. X-Men has really leaned into that recently and I dig it. But, as you said, it’s the unnecessary duplication which has to go.

      3. –> ” Shazam! actually has some promise with its “Big, but with superpowers” premise”

        I never read any Shazam comics. I think it was in the 70s that they had a live action tv series, but the human version was a young adult not a teen. And when he became Shazam, it really wasn’t the same personality.

        What’s the comic book canon on that? A kid in a man’s body with powers? Or really a full transformation?

        The comics did something similar with Thor. My comic books had Thor as a crippled human and transformed into the god of thunder — new personality as well as body — not a cripple in a god’s body.

      4. Oh, Shazam goes way, way back. It began its life as Captain Marvel in 1940, and back then, as now, the general set-up is as follows:

        A normal kid named Billy Batson is chosen by a wizard to be a force for good in the world. So, whenever Billy says “Shazam!” he turns into a Superman-like hero, with Shazam actually being an acronym for wisdom of Solomon, strengh of Hercules, stamina of Atlas, power of Zeus, courage of Achilles, and speed of Mercury. It’s the inherent wish-fulfillment of the superhero story for little kids made manifest. The thing I said about it basically being “Big with superpowers” is actually how Zachary Levi described it when discussing his excitement over getting to play the hero in the movie.

        There’s a whole legal history I won’t get into in too much detail, but basically, Captain Marvel was created by a rival company and turned into, for a hot minute in like 1941, the best-selling superhero in all of comics. So, DC sued for copyright infringement since the actual Captain Marvel hero was drawn just like Superman, albeit with a different style of cape. After a decade in the courts, DC won and eventually just bought the dang character off of Fawcett Publications. However, by the time they did that Stan Lee had created Captain Marvel and trademarked the name. DC then changed their Captain Marvel to Shazam, but Marvel has to keep publishing its own Captain Marvel book every couple of years or else DC can swoop in and challenge their copyright.

        You are right about there being a Shazam TV series in the 70s. I’ve never actually seen it, though.

  3. Well, the long version of what I think is this:


    The short version is: Warner Bros has been too reactionary and really needs to regroup. And I have the slight feeling (or desperate hope) that this is actually what they are doing, but they are trying to hide it for now because Aquaman is in the can and they sure as hell don’t want to tell the fans that he is part of a failing universe before the movie was released.

    The Ironic thing is that this would have been easier if Wonder Woman hadn’t been a success. Because then they could just throw out the whole thing and start anew. But I still think that they should. And while doing so, they should remind themselves that they have a few things Marvel doesn’t have, and which they can use to make their movies special in a different way.

    1. Their heroes are gods! So let them be gods. Don’t worry about making them flawed, go the captain America route to surround them with interesting characters while examining what it actually means to be a god among men.

    2. Their stories are set in fictional cities. So let them create those cities. Visually they could blow Marvel out of the water if they just went all in there.

    3. Their heroes tend to have side-kicks. Again, use this. Figure this out damnit! It can’t be that difficult to do a proper movie featuring Robins origin story (honestly, how interesting would it be to have a movie in which Bruce Wayne and Batman is seen from the perspective of someone else?) and then go from there to built a whole mythology around it.

    4. They have some of the best villains. How the hell did they manage to get Lex Luther wrong?

    1. I just finished reading the long version. Thanks for the link. I somehow missed that one when you dropped it last November.

      In general, I agree with you about WB’s biggest problem being that they’ve been reactionary for far too long now, and your point-by-point arguments all indicate DC inherent strengths and unique attributes have been oddly minimized in WB’s strategy. What, however, do you think of the view, recently argued by Mark Millar, that DC’s heroes are simply outdated and not attuned to modern needs for superhero storytelling on the big screen? The ole “they’re too god-like, too alien, too cartoony, and too unrelatable” argument.

      1. Yeah….BS. They were always too god-like aso, and people liked them anyway because they liked the power fantasy. We haven’t changed that much, we still like the power fantasy. The problem is not the “modern needs”, the problem is that characters like this, they need a strong supporting cast in order to humanize them.

        Remember, they claimed that Captain America was outdated, too. Turns out that the audience actually responds pretty well to an old fashioned hero who fight for higher ideals and doesn’t need to see the broken man-child who struggles with his inner demons again and again and again (not that I dislike those characters, but there is more than that out there). And look what they did with Cap, he has easily the strongest supporting cast in the MCU, because he needs those people to bonce his straightforward personality off. Superman is exactly the same, which is why Donner contrasted him with the more cynical point of view of Lois. This would still work today, you just need to do it right and embrace what those heroes are instead of trying to force them to be something they aren’t. Because, as I pointed out in my article, Gods with flaws, they are freaking terrifying.

      2. To be fair, if you haven’t seen Mark Millar’s exact argument here’s the direct link: https://io9.gizmodo.com/mark-millar-has-an-interesting-about-theory-why-marvel-1823282223

        And here’s part of the quote:

        “I think it’s really simple. The [DC] characters aren’t cinematic. And I say [that] as a massive DC fan who much prefers their characters to Marvel’s. Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman are some of my favorites but I think these characters, with the exception of Batman, they aren’t based around their secret identity. They are based around their super power. Whereas the Marvel characters tend to be based around the personality of Matt Murdock or Peter Parker or the individual X-Men, it’s all about the character. DC, outside of Batman, is not about the character. With Batman, you can understand him and you can worry about him but someone like Green Lantern, he has this ring that allows him to create 3D physical manifestations and green plasma with the thoughts in his head but he’s allergic to the color yellow! How do you make a movie with that? In 1952 that made perfect sense but now the audience have no idea what that’s all about.”

        I don’t think he’s entirely wrong. There are certain visual elements at play with some of the DC characters which doesn’t translate quite as well to the screen, Green Lantern especially.

        But I think you are right, too. If you can find the core of the story and contrast any old school rigidness with crucially picked supporting characters the “created in another era” can fall away. After all, they always said Wonder Woman and her Invisible Jet would never work on film, and then Patty Jenkins came along and said, “You realize we don’t actually have to include the Invisible Jet, right? That’s not actually important to the core of who Diana is.”

        “Because, as I pointed out in my article, Gods with flaws, they are freaking terrifying.”

        F’n A, they are.

      3. Well, to be fair, he is right that outside of the Batfamily and maybe Arrow, most of those heroes don’t really work all that well for a character driven story. But I would contest that a movie needs to be character driven to be good, or that the audience only wants character driven movies. It wants to like the characters presented, but that doesn’t mean that it has to be character driven. It can be theme driven. It can be driven entirely by emotions, like a lot of early Disney movies are. WB has to stop trying to turn DC characters into Marvel characters.

      4. Well I didn’t enjoy Doctor Strange tbh but it did well in the box office so I take your point and he was good in Ragnorok I suppose. I suppose Guardians of Galaxy also translated. I just think Green lantern is too bizaare whereas Strange still had an earth reliability.

  4. As previously mentioned I am a fan of both Man of Steel and Batman v Superman and never expected the bubble gum tone of Marvel. Having read the DC comics as a kid I always find DC comics dark and brooding and gritty over Marvel. I remember at the time WB was coping with the disappointment of the squeaky clean superman returns that aped Christopher Reeve originals at a time where that kind of superhero wasnt entertaining enough. Man of Steel was a bold move and I did expect to hate the movie. I agree with a lot of what has been said and why shouldn’t I as it is mostly facts and statistics. I do agree that the DC universe should be scrapped. These characters should be able to hold their own without pairing up like Marvel characters so need to do. Dont believe me? Would you have watched Thor 3 if it didnt team up with Hulk? Do we need a fourth Iron Man movie or Captain america solo outing? Ditch Afleck for reasons you stated but also ditch Batman for now. God I am sick of hearing about his gloomy origin and another actor coping with the mental challenge of portraying the Joker. Gotham works on TV without the Bat as the villians are the best bit. They could focus on Robin or Nightwing like those impressive Youtube videos have tried to demonstrate. They could do Batgirl as she is still yet to be portrayed properly on screen (thinking 1960s and Alicia Silverstone). But please dont copy the tone of Marvel. Your source material are characters who are broody loners not team players. Justice League just wasnt needed. Let Green Lantern do his own thing without other heros (and please dont be Hal Jordon). Wonder Woman was dissapointing in JL compared to on her own although Gal Gadot sure can wear tight jeans.

    1. I apologize that we have to keep doing this. I do remember that you like BvS and Man of Steel. To be fair, I actually like parts of Man of Steel, and ultimately think WB panicked when that movie didn’t do Dark Knight-level money and rushed Batman into a team-up sequel. They should have just made a proper Man of Steel 2. I was actually looking forward to that at the time, and considering how close we still were to Dark Knight Rises I sure as heck wasn’t jonesing for more Batman. Flash to today, and I just can’t bring myself to care about Matt Reeves solo Batman movies. Like you, I’m ready for DC to take a break from Batman or at least movies built around him. I like the idea of maybe doing a movie from Robin’s point of view.

      “Wonder Woman was dissapointing in JL compared to on her own although Gal Gadot sure can wear tight jeans.”

      It was remarkably startling how overly sexualized she is in JL compared to Wonder Woman.

      1. Man of Steel 2 would be great. Was looking forward to that. Yep done with the Bat. Oversexualisation is genius. In an age of woman power and all the things in the news I think it is bold of WB to go this direction with Gal. 🙂

      2. I didn’t love Man of Steel, but I liked parts of it and really loved Henry Cavill’s performance. I distinctly remember walking out of that movie thinking, “Well, now that the origin story is out of the way they can finally have some fun with this.” I was genuinely looking forward to a full movie of Henry Cavill’s Superman having his own adventures with Lois, Perry, and that one girl who we all thought was a gender-swapped Jimmy Olsen even though she totally wasn’t. You’ve got Clark with his silly glasses. He’s working at the paper. Lois already knows who he really is, which would be a nice new twist going forward. The world is going to feel naturally conflicted over Superman’s presence and Zod’s Doomsday Machine. It’s a natural set-up for the rise of Lex Luthor. Yes, Man of Steel 2 is going to be so much better than the first one.

        But then they just made a Batman movie that happened to feature some of the Man of Steel people in it and had Jesse Eisenberg as Lex.

      3. Yeah WB took all their gambling chips and bet it at once hoping to win big instead of a stead approach. Second Man of steel 2 then wonder woman then aquaman then a Nighwing movie. Ok suicide squad without reshoots. Then maybe a two part justice league roviding the other films all cement. Instead they just rushed JL out and in doing so cheapened the Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman franchises. Still its better than Batman and Robin of 1996 and actually that film would have made a good intro to JL with clooney and co winking at the audience while the other heroes band together. I watched a documentary about David S Goyer who said back in the 1990s that you shouldn’t do a BvS movie as it’s a sign that you have exhausted those stories when you do a team up. Totally makes sense. Look at Freddy vs Jason. However 10 years later and what does he agree to write?

  5. The DCEU’s failure is painful to watch, because they have great heroes on their side. Unfortunately, Marvel has amazing writers. But it’s their insistence on making a “universe” that is killing their movies, kinfda like the Dark Universe. they shouldn’t force it, imo.

    1. Dhame. Batgirl has legs. Can really be something in the right hands but flashpoint is not a good idea following the success of flash tv show. If they get it right the tv show will suffer. More likely will be a pale imitation of the tv show.

      1. Flashpoint is a terrible idea and not just because of the TV show, which already worked through a half-assed version of the Flashpoint storyline. No, Flashpoint is a terrible idea because it’s way too early to go there. You don’t use your first solo Flash movie to put him into an alternate timeline where are all the twists and alt-versions of characters only means something if we’ve spent a lot of time with those people before. You also don’t use your first solo Flash film to potentially reset your entire cinematic universe. Flashpoint, instead, should be like a Phase 3 kind of movie, like Captain America: Civil War, something you’ve built up to over time.

        The only real reason to do Flashpoint now is that it is actually a clean way to draw a line in the sand between what came before and what’s going to come ala the way Flashpoint was used in the comics was the signal clean break between what came before and the New 52. If they go that route it will ultimately make Flashpoint a sacrificial lamb of a movie, ala Iron Man 2 and it’s Avengers set-up stuff. With the Flashpoint storyline, after.

        That is if they actually adopt the specifics of the storyline. It could just be a title they threw on there when they had that idea and it ended up sticking even if they’ve already moved on to a different idea. We are, after all, onto our third different iteration of this project, with Seth Grahame-Smith and Rick Famuyiwa having already come and gone as director and John Frances Daley and Jonathan Goldstein still hammering out their contracts.

    2. It’s not the insistence on making a universe, it is that they never really sat down and fleshed out a viable plan how to get there. They just rushed it forward.

      1. kinda the same issue, imo. they ruined a classic story in The Dark Knight Returns in Batman V Superman just to establish the universe. They also clearly do not understand the characters, which I think is another big issue with the DC movies, except WW of course.

      2. Including WW if you ask me. Don’t get me wrong, WW is an okay movie, but I just hate that they put her into a chosen one plot. The point of wonder woman is that she presents what woman can become if they are able to develop unhindered by male influence (and yes, I know it is BS, but that is the fantasy which made her into a feminist icon). But now she is no longer simply the best between even the Amazons, oh no, now she is special, and the Amazons are mostly around in order to get killed.

        I mean, it could have been worse, but it could have been the hell better, too.

      3. You said it in an earlier comment, but you are right – WW is actually kind of a problem for WB. It’s perhaps a good problem to have, but a problem nonetheless. Without her, they could just call the whole thing off and start over, give the new guy in charge of DC Films a clean slate. But, damn, WW made so much money and it connected with so many people. How do they really walk away from such a high-grossing and well-liked movie/character? The answer is they don’t.

        To be fair, btw, I get what you’re saying about putting WW into a Chosen One plot and the following probably doesn’t fully exonerate the filmmakers in your eyes since they have the freedom to execute editorial control, but the movie didn’t invent that plot. It’s from the comics, albeit not the original Professor Marsden version but instead the New 52 where Zeus became Diana’s dad, but, still, that idea didn’t come from Patty Jenkins and her screenwriter

      4. Yes, I know, but that is not the version people know. The version which became a feminist icon is the Lynda Carter version, which was mostly based on the Professor Marsden take. And yes, it was often silly, but I still feel that they should have taken her as a starting point. Because that was the version which resonated so much that it is still known till today. Not that I oppose an update, but I still felt let down that there was the need to attach an explanation which makes her “special”, because I feel that is makes the feminist message less if the story allows a “yeah, but that is Wonder Woman, she is different” read.

      5. I think the decision to move away from WW’s “made from clay” origins is very similar to Marvel’s choice to drop the whole “Tony Stark pretends like Iron Man is just his personal security guard” or “Whenever Thor goes to Earth he enters the body of a random, non-powered scientist.” It’s just one of those instances where what makes sense on the page might not translate so well to the screen. So, I understand the impulse, first on the DC comic book writer’s standpoint and then on WB, to move away from Diana’s long-standing origin story. As such, I always sort of took it as a given that the WW movie was building to the reveal about Zeus, so much so that I hadn’t even really stopped to think about what that choice and its related chosen one mythos does to WW’s feminist standing.

    3. “But it’s their insistence on making a “universe” that is killing their movies, kinfda like the Dark Universe. they shouldn’t force it, imo.”

      Agreed. With the Hollywood studios, it is remarkably easy to tell the visionaries and passionate filmmakers apart from the trend-chasing number crunchers, and pretty much ever since Avengers cracked a billion worldwide the entire industry has been caught up in this race where everyone is trying to be like Disney. If it’s not cinematic universes (WB, Universal, Sony) it’s building up different content silos from different corporate subsidiaries as part of some synergistic strategy (Paramount), and they all just really, really suck at it.

      So, WB is now stuck in an odd position. They have been flailing in their ongoing chase of Marvel and would be better off starting over or completely switching strategies, but, damn, everyone loved Wonder Woman and she’s already been in two other non-Wonder Woman movies. So, you can’t just completely scrap the DCEU, can you? Doing so would technically mean losing her and they’re not going to do that. However, I do believe, as I argued in the piece, they will look at WW and JL’s critical and financial performances and make the decision going forward to move further away from these highly interconnected narratives and more toward barely connected, largely standalone narratives.

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