Warner Brothers had lofty expectations for its DC Comics movies and felt justified in spending hundreds of millions to pack them with big names and visual effects out the wazoo. Also, in order to differentiate their films from Marvel’s, WB decided to kick things off with team-ups and then spin the individual characters off into their own movies. None of this went according to plan.
Reportedly, WB brass was legitimately floored when Zack Snyder‘s ‘Batman V Superman’ hit theaters and was universally trashed. After all, the studio had entrusted Snyder, who’d previously helmed ‘Man of Steel’, with overseeing their entire DC movie slate. And while Marvel’s ‘Avengers’ capped off their first phase of movies, uniting their previous solo stars Captain America, Hulk, Iron Man and Thor, and broke records, ‘Justice League’ was actually the least successful of WB’s DC movies.
In fact, due to overspending on the first few movies, the only DC movie that was truly a success was ‘Wonder Woman’. While WB has tried to remain quiet, rumors have steadily surfaced about the turmoil behind-the-scenes as executives and creatives are shuffled around, in a desperate attempt to course correct this franchise.
It doesn’t help that WB has okayed a ‘Joker’ movie that will have nothing to do with their previous films. Now questions have arisen as to whether or not Matt Reeves’ ‘The Batman’ will follow suit and exist in its own reality apart from ‘Justice League’ etc.
Twitter user “Daniel R,” who has reported several DC rumors that have turned out to be true, shared a tweet in which he stated that Warner Brothers was shifting away from this shared universe concept and allowing its directors to simply craft the solo movies they want to make.
The future is Stand-Alone, with very few crossovers. Probably for the best. I trust Jenkins, Wan, Reeves and Sandberg to deliver their own great stand-alone Superhero films. Then someday down the road they’ll crossover again (and this time they’ll make it work) #DCEU
— Daniel R (@DanielRPK) July 4, 2018
James Wan’s ‘Aquaman’ and David F. Sandberg’s ‘Shazam!’ are in post-production, with ‘Aquaman’ due in theaters on December 21 and ‘Shazam!’ following on April 5, 2019. Patty Jenkins is currently filming ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ to be released on November 1, 2019. As stated, the fate of Reeves’ ‘The Batman’ is up in the air for now.
At this point, fans’ patience with the brand is waning. Even though ‘Justice League’ came after ‘Wonder Woman’, it failed to cash in with fans, who expected the Snyder-directed ‘Justice League’ to hew closer to ‘BvS’ than ‘Wonder Woman’ and snubbed it when it hit theaters. All eyes, including those at WB, are on ‘Aquaman’ and ‘Shazam!’ to determine in what direction WB needs to take their future DC projects.
Are you disappointed that WB could be abandoning the shared universe plan for their movies, or do you think it’s better to just showcase these character on their own?