Should the DCEU focus heavily on the Justice League in DC Elseworlds? Or should James Gunn’s relaunch at DC Studios remain as the core of the universe?
If you love DC Comics, it’s a hard time to be a fan of the movie adaptations right now. The Flash is currently in theaters. But it has been decimated online over the past couple of weeks due to the release of leaks and screenshots that have revealed the film’s dismal CGI quality and shocking cameos. Also, it didn’t help matters that the film ended up receiving a B CinemaScore, which is lower than even Black Adam’s B+ CinemaScore. Suffice it to say, The Flash is in huge trouble and so is DC’s reputation for their big-screen adaptations.
Earlier this year, Shazam! Fury of the Gods flopped hard, making less than $200 million in its ENTIRE global box-office run. And while The Flash has already almost surpassed Shazam 2‘s egregious earnings in a few days, the film will need to make much more money to succeed. And that seems far-fetched considering how poorly the film is being received. At least here in the States. There is, however, a DC movie that came out recently that not only did well at the box office but also earned acclaim among critics and audiences with an 85% Rotten Tomatoes score and an A- CinemaScore. You probably know which movie this is: The Batman. Did you guess correctly?
The Batman could’ve easily been another DC failure. Robert Pattison, the actor most people associated with being the “Twilight Guy,” was cast as Bruce Wayne/Batman. The movie would’ve devolved into another DC mistake if he hadn’t been a great choice as a younger version of the iconic caped crusader. Instead, he was a great Batman surrounded by a fantastic cast of characters that resembled the dark, edgy tone we had begun to associate with the character since Christopher Nolan’s trilogy.
And therein lies the problem. I’ve been saying it for years. The DCEU was trying too hard to be like the Marvel Cinematic Universe. They rushed to cobble together a Justice League film helmed by Avengers director Joss Whedon. And you remember how that turned out. Every film was bright and colorful and tried to infuse that comedic tone that the MCU had become so good at. And yet, this strategy coalesced into a myriad of subsequent bad movies that drove fans and casual viewers away from the franchise. Hence, The Flash‘s current debacle of a situation.
THE FUTURE OF DC
Meanwhile, films like The Batman and Joker sit off to the side as a beacon of DC’s potential. What if, somehow, Gunn seamlessly created the Justice League with the heroes from the DC Elseworlds projects over the next decade? Currently, we have Pattinson’s Batman, who would, of course, be the leader of the Justice League. Ta-Nehisi Coates is working on directing a Black Superman movie which would most likely be a part of DC Elseworlds.
What if we saw other standalone stories focusing on iconic Justice League characters such as Wonder Woman, The Flash, and Cyborg? Or perhaps even Green Lantern? And what if every single one of these films were handled with the same love and care that is so apparent with The Batman? It would be an incredible ensemble that would lead to genuine excitement for the implications of the Justice League.
Alas, this will most likely not happen. Matt Reeves is content creating his personal Batman verse with his movies and series tied together in an epic storyline. And honestly, that alone is very exciting. In my opinion, Matt Reeves crafted one of the greatest trilogies of all time with the Planet of the Apes. Now he has the chance to produce maybe the greatest storyline surrounding the dark knight in live-action, and I couldn’t be more excited to see what he’s cooked up for us.
And on the other side, we at least have James Gunn to right this ship, hopefully. We all know his work in the MCU – his most recent film, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, was an emotional rollercoaster praised by critics and audiences for its powerful storytelling. And his previous three works before have also been received with a lot of excitement. The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special (93% Rotten Tomatoes), Peacemaker (94% Rotten Tomatoes), and The Suicide Squad (90%.)
Considering that all of his comic book movie-related projects have never had rotten scores and that each of his films (besides The Suicide Squad, but the film came out during the early pandemic stages) have been box-office successes, it seems like the DCU might finally be in good hands.
In 2025, James Gunn’s Superman: Legacy will soar into theaters. It’ll be the first standalone Superman movie to hit the big screen since 2013’s Man of Steel. That honestly still baffles me. If the film does well, it’ll be an exciting launchpad for the rebooted franchise. If not…yeah, maybe stick to DC Elseworlds.
Should the DCEU focus heavily on the Justice League in DC Elseworlds? Or should James Gunn’s relaunch at DC Studios remain as the core of the universe? Is The Flash a disappointing film in your eyes? Sound off with your opinions below.
Annlyel James is a Senior Correspondent of The Future of the Force. She is passionate about Star Wars and Marvel but loves a wide variety of movie genres. Aside from her role with Future of the Force she also writes for her blog: annlyelonline. Follow her on Twitter where she channels the Force frequently!