Dawn of Justice: What’s next for the DC Extended Universe?

batman-v-superman-dawn-of-justice-000220568DC 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?

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10 thoughts on “Dawn of Justice: What’s next for the DC Extended Universe?

  1. After this BS debacle, I cannot muster ANY excitement for DC movies.
    Their TV shows, on th other hand…
    I’ve caught episodes of Arrow and Flash and liked what I saw (and I’m not much of a TV viewer!)
    Th latest images of th WW movie look VERY promising.
    Yes, that is Chris Pine, playing love interest Col Steve Trevor – th scene where he is washed up on Paradise Island is taken straight from th original comics.
    Th action has been put back from th Second to th First World War to avoid confusion w Cap America’s backstory.
    Gadot and extras dressed in WWI-period clothes were filmed in Surrey, England a few months ago
    Cheers!

    • I love Arrow and Flash; I’m current with Arrow but really need to get caught up on Flash. I haven’t started Legends of Tomorrow yet, but I believe it’s made by the same people. I’m excited about the WWI setting for the Wonder Woman movie; it’s something different, and brings some awareness to this historical time period.

  2. I thought that BvS was an entertaining enough movie, and I’m definitely excited to see the Wonder Woman film, but I’m not feeling much anticipation for Justice League Part One and unless it blows people away I don’t see much of a chance that DC will ever be able to match Marvel. With Marvel the universe was able to succeed by building up a bunch of characters to create the Avengers, but DC seems to be taking the opposite approach. If Justice League isn’t any good, then I don’t have any reason to see Flash or Aquaman, and if I’m not seeing those movies, I doubt I would come back to see Justice League Part Two. I’m not out on the DC Cinematic Universe yet, but they’re going to have to push out several strong movies in a row to get me hooked in at this point.

    • Agreed–Wonder Woman really needs to be spectacular, and I feel “Justice League” is really DC’s last chance. They have to knock it out of the park, or I think interest in their franchise will start evaporate. Batman and Superman are good draws just on their own, but that won’t last forever if fans feel let down by the movies.

  3. Nice article. I definitely like where DC is steering their universe tonally and how they’re differentiating it from Marvels. It feels like post the original spider man movies (not including Spider Man 3: Toby’s Dance Time) a template was set for superhero movies that has been hard to shake off for the industry. Marvel have been milking that formula for a while and have only recently changed things up. And whenever someone did do something completely different (Dark Knight, Deadpool) audiences loved it. That’s why I found BvS to be quite refreshing and different from everything else the genre has offered up recently (besides Cap 3: Winter Soldier, which was excellent). I mean seriously, Antman is the worst Marvel produced film I’ve ever seen.

    -pant pant- okay that’s my rant over with.

    Also, it’s been confirmed that the Wonder Woman film is set during WWI. Read this:

  4. Marvel has the advantage of being the first to present the team-up concept, so we didn’t have the same expectations going in. Now it has to be bigger, better, darker, funnier, grittier and ALL AT ONCE to even be able to compete!

    Also, DC has to absolutely nail Wonder Woman or the feminist outcry will steamroll it. First female superhero feature, she has to be just as good or better than the top male hero movies. Haven’t seen BvS but it seems like it’s hopefully headed that way.

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