2017 is nearly done and boy was it an interesting year. With all that’s been happening in the world, some good and some bad, I have to say that if you work for DC and Warner Brothers this year has been an overall good year. Injustice 2 is the best fighting game of the year and stands as a fantastic accomplishment for Netherrealm Studios and DC/Warner Brothers because of it’s amazing game play, great visuals, and outstanding story.
The Lego Batman movie was another fine animation job and serves as not only a worthy sequel to The Lego Movie but as perhaps the best told and most accurate depiction of Batman ever shown on the big screen (overall Kevin Conroy and the old DC Animated Universe is still the best), perfectly showing how important The Bat-Family is but also the relationship between Batman and The Joker. And of course the hype is building nicely to the release sometime in 2018 of the long awaited Young Justice Season 3!
The CW Arrowverse is moving along nicely with Arrow, Flash, Supergirl, and Legends of Tomorrow going along well and setting up incredible seasons, with Flash feeling especially refreshing as we have are first non-speedster villain in the shows history with The Thinker being the big bad for the season. And Tell Tale’s Batman series is giving yet another intriguing look at the adventures of The World’s Greatest Detective and is a perfect follow up to the game’s first season.
However, when it comes to the live action big screen releases for DC/WB as part of their DE Extended Universe…that’s a lot more mixed. So let’s just dive into it with a sort of a Tale of Two Movies, Wonder Woman and Justice League.
Wonder Woman- Last’s year’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice had mixed reactions to say the least, but easily one of the things that got the biggest amount of praise was the big screen debut of the third member of DC’s Trinity, Wonder Woman. Her kickass theme song, the way she came in and just started wrecking Doomsday, and Gal Gadot’s performance all had people looking forward to her first solo adventure this past June and the movie did not disappoint. The action was well done with the No Man’s Land sequence being one of the best action scenes in any movie this year, the emotion and relationship between Diana and Steve Trevor (played well by Chris Pine) kept things grounded enough in the brutal wartime background, the Amazons were awesome and bad ass for every moment they were on screen, the costumes were well made from the uniforms, the period accurate clothes, the armor of the Amazons, and of course the Wonder Woman outfit were exceptional. For the first time in a long ass time, a major DC movie release had near universal praise and love from critics and fans.
Sure the end fit with Ares was not the best and smacked with a problem that some Marvel movies have with a weaker villain, but overall with the action, humor, and overall story, Wonder Woman was an amazing accomplishment for DC and stands as easily the best movie of the DCEU so far. Hats off to director Patty Jenkins, the writers, all the major and supporting actors in the movie, and of course to Gal Gadot. Can’t wait for Wonder Woman 2 when it drops!
Justice League- This one the other hand…was a lot less positively received than Wonder Woman and when you step back and take a look, it’s kind of easy to see why. There was a ton of behind the scenes drama and turmoil, first the movie was already into production by the time BvS came out and so a lot of the things the affected the production and reception of Suicide Squad (as of this post I still haven’t seen it, but I might remedy that soon) and so much could not be helped. So when BvS was not so positively received and didn’t make the money that Warner Bros/DC made, it put Justice League in a bad spot to start.
Secondly, director Zack Snyder’s daughter died, tragically committing suicide earlier this year, which undoubtedly crushed Zack, making his first priority his family caused him to step away from the post production of Justice League. The movie comes a distant second of importance because of the loss of this man’s child, hopefully he, his wife, the mother of his daugther, and the rest of his children are dealing with the death and are doing much better. With it’s primary director gone, this caused the movie to be without the person who crafted it the most so the final product that we got was not the full vision of what Snyder may have intended.
Third, with Snyder having to understandably step away because of his family tragedy, Joss Whedon, the creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (which I enjoyed), Firefly and it’s movie Serenity (which I’ve never seen), and probably most well known for directing the first 2 Avengers movies, was brought in to complete the post production as well as do some reshoots for the movie. While I like most of Whedon’s work that I’ve seen, his flavor isn’t necessarily for everyone and while the DCEU hasn’t had as much critical and fan love as the folks over at Marvel, there is a very passionate (sometimes way the hell too passionate) and loyal fanbase for both Snyder and the DCEU as a whole and brining in Whedon may have turned off those rabid fans, which may have helped effect the movie box office results (it’s the lowest grossing of the DCEU movies so far and it looks like it’s struggling to make money). Also, while I personally like Age of Ultron, it wasn’t as nearly universally loved as the first Avengers and some of Whedon’s choices didn’t go over with some fans, so see Joss’s name may have also affected how the movie was received.
Finally, although there are probably some factors I’m not thinking of, the timing of it’s release. Justice League came out in a period near the release of Marvel’s final big release of the year, Thor Ragnork (which was both better received and made more money), Coco which is Disney/Pixar’s final release of the year, the Thanksgiving holiday here in the US (which is usually reserved for food, football, uncomfortable family interactions, and preparing for the Purge like tradition of Black Friday), and a new Star Wars movie (I also just realized that all three of the other big movies of this time period were all Disney movies, petty move by the House of Mouse!) so yeah, all those factors, a lukewarm previous movie in BvS, some people not digging how both Wonder Woman and the Amazons were sexualized in this joint (especially with all the shit surrounding Hollywood and the major sexual harassment scandals of this entire year), Ben Affleck looking like he does not want to be Batman and the constant stories of him wanting out of the franchise like yesterday (as well as his own past coming up during the year with regards to sexual harassment), all of the things I’ve talked about have made effected and made Justice League what it is.
So where is the DCEU going forward? Well honestly I don’t really know and can on say the things that are for sure going to happen. First Aquaman will be released next December, the brief Atlantis scene in Justice League has me and a lot of other people interested in how they will pull off the underwater stuff for the movie, hopefully it does well as I did like Aquaman in Justice League although I wish there had been more for him to do.
Next we are definitely getting another Wonder Woman as both Patty Jenkins and Gal Gadot are returning and Warner Brother’s would have to be beyond dumb not to follow up on such a well received and profitable movie. Seeing how they follow up on the first entry and the directions they go will be interesting to see.
I would also guess that the Black Adam movie will still happen as Rock “The Dwayne” Johnson is set to star in the movie and DC would not want to lose a chance on centering a big francshie or movie around Hollywood’s biggest star and very possibly the future President of the United States.
The biggest question mark will be Flashpoint and all that could bring with it, and it’s the primary reason why everything in the future is so hard to predict. For those who know Flashpoint was a major DC story event back in 2011 where, to keep a long story short, Flash time traveled and caused a bunch of shit to go crazy in the present (Aquaman and Wonder Woman are at war, Thomas Wayne is alive and became Batman after Bruce was killed by Joe Chill with Martha going insane and becoming The Joker, Superman was fond by the US Government instead of Ma and Pa Kent, all types of wild shit!) and him doing this ultimately lead to the hard reboot of the entire DC comics Universe known as the New 52 and while we did get Scott Snyder’s (no relation to Zack) great run on Batman, most of the changes and undoings of decades worth of stories were not well received as a whole and DC had to undo things with their Rebirth line and so far that’s had overwhelmingly positive results and reception from fans and critics.
This means that the Flashpoint live action movie could lead to a pretty hard resetting of the DCEU, this could lead to us getting new actors to play some of the characters we’ve seen so far (in all likelihood this will be how Affleck will exit the role of Batman), although Gal Gadot should feel pretty safe with her role as Wonder Woman. This also means that many of the planned movies such as Matt Reeves The Batman, Suicide Squad 2, Gotham City Sirens, Shazam, Joss Whedon’s Batgirl, a follow up to Man of Steel, could all be cancelled or heavily altered. These could be good or bad movies, we just don’t know enough about any of them to be sure.
Overall as a fan, I have actually like the DCEU movies that have come out, but I do recognize the problems that the productions, directing, marketing, etc that the movies have had. Maybe Zack Snyder wasn’t the right person to not only direct Man of Steel, but really start off and build the foundation of the DCEU, but we just don’t know as none of us have mastered time travel or dimension hopping. I see the potential in the movies and in the characters and I’m hopeful for the future, maybe DC can turn things around and get that universal love that they haven’t seen since the days of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy. We shall see!
Hope you guys enjoyed this read and thanks to anyone who took a look! What do you guys think of the DCEU, do you think there’s a chance the franchise can turn around and put out more Wonder Woman like well received movies or do you think they are just stuck in a pit that they can’t escape? Leave your comments below and let’s get a discussion going!
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Have a wonderful holiday, enjoy your time with your family and as always be safe, be cool, and I’ll see you guys later!!