DC has begun building up to its Justice League team-up film, although its start has been a little rockier than Marvel’s build-up to its Avengers movie. DC and Warner Bros. recently released “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice,” which serves as a teaser for their big Justice League film in 2017. “Batman v. Superman” has made an impressive amount of money at the box office, but critics weren’t kind, earning it a score of 29 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s fair to say that score is probably too harsh; there are definitely good parts to the film, namely Ben Affleck, who is actually quite good as Batman/Bruce Wayne, and of course Wonder Woman, who arguably steals the whole show. However, the film did have weaknesses, and DC’s Extended Universe is not yet on as strong a footing as Marvel’s.
On paper, I think DC and Warner Bros. have good ideas. I like that they’re not just trying to copy Marvel and give us a bunch of individual movies leading up to their team-up film. I also like the darker tone the DC films seem to be taking. Everyone knows how much I love Marvel 😉 but I think that DC does need to have its own voice. DC’s execution has just been a little hit or miss so far. Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy is a masterpiece, but it won’t be a part of the DC Extended Universe going forward. Fans are split on their feelings for “Man of Steel” and “Batman v. Superman,” and it’s probably better if we just don’t mention “Green Lantern,” which also seems to have been excluded from the DCEU.
The good news is, I don’t think DC will have that hard a time getting people excited about their Justice League team-up film. While “Batman v. Superman” proved to be a little polarizing and didn’t seem to leave fans as pumped as they were after “The Avengers,” people will still want to see “Justice League.” The Batman and Superman characters are enough of a draw on their own. That said, if “Justice League” has a lukewarm reception, that will be a big liability for the franchise going forward, and it will be challenging to build up momentum for upcoming solo films featuring characters like the Flash and Aquaman.
After seeing Wonder Woman in “Batman v. Superman,” I am really excited for her solo film next year, and if this film is good, it will definitely help build excitement for “Justice League.” I haven’t seen a lot on this film so far, other than that it will be an origin story. Entertainment Weekly recently ran a sneak preview photo that shows Wonder Woman on Paradise Island, home of the Amazons, so we know at least part of the film will take place there. It’s also possible this film will take place in the past. In “Batman v. Superman,” Bruce Wayne finds a photo of Wonder Woman taken during World War I, and I noticed one of the other people in this photo looked like Chris Pine, who has been cast as a character in the Wonder Woman film. Does this mean part of the film will be during World War I? I really loved the retro feel of the first Captain America movie, which took place during World War II, and I’m excited to see “Wonder Woman” attempt something similar, but with its own flair.
I’m also intrigued by “Suicide Squad,” which is coming up later this summer. While it’s not as direct a tie-in to “Justice League” as “Wonder Woman,” I’ve enjoyed the trailers for this film. It looks dark and zany, featuring reject heroes who are sort of a twisted DC version of “Guardians of the Galaxy.” While I don’t see this team playing nice with the Justice League, it could be a cool counter-franchise, if all goes well.
After the Justice League film in 2017, DC and Warner Bros. will follow up with solo films for the Flash and Aquaman in 2018. I’m still a little skeptical about the Flash movie, just because the CW TV show is so good and it’s hard to think of someone other than Grant Gustin in the role. However, I’m definitely willing to keep an open mind, and hopefully this film can bring something new to the character. We’ve only seen a short teaser of Jason Momoa as Aquaman in “Batman v. Superman,” but he definitely looks like a hero you shouldn’t take lightly. I think Aquaman will add a different and exciting element to the team. Still, the Justice League film will need to be REALLY good in order to convince people to watch solo films on these other characters.
So, what do you think? Are you excited about these upcoming DC films? What do you think DC will need to be successful going forward?