The Future of DC movies and why we shouldn’t be worried about them
Face it, it’s great time to be a comic book nerd. Superhero movies dominate almost every aspect of the entertainment business ranging from TV shows to video games. However there is nothing more divisive than the movies. The great DC/Marvel war is very real between comic fans and it is much more negative than it is positive. Marvel has been very successful with their Cinematic Universe beginning with Iron Man and Captain America: Civil War next in their lineup. DC recently released their big movie with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and it couldn’t have been more divisive between fans and the biggest comparison between it and Civil War. Even though it has a rocking box office numbers, many are wondering if its even worth their time going to their movies. I don’t believe DC should be written off and here is why.
In 1938, Superman himselfwas welcomed into the world and kickstarted the superhero comic book era. After noticing his success DC and Marvel began to get more into the comic book world by releasing icons such as Batman, Flash, Captain America and many others that have defined superheroes over generations. Not soon afterwards we started to see these icons in the media. DC themselves had great success with their 66’ Batman series featuring Adam West and George Reeves as Superman. Throughout the years Marvel and DC’s roles have switched quite often in films. For the longest time DC dominated the box office with hits like the Batman and Superman films (with of course some not so well received ones in the franchises) while Marvel hadn’t gotten into the film business as seriously as DC had.
Fast forward to the year 2000, and Fox released their hit film X-men. It was the first movie that featured a Marvel property that had great success. Following X-men were other great hits such as X-men 2 and the Spider–man series from Sony Pictures. Of course they were some critically panned films in between, but the success of X-men and Spider–man was well enough for Marvel to look into getting into the film industry. During this time DC was pretty quiet on their end but ended up releasing a few movies which weren’t that great. Cut to the year 2008 which was the biggest year for both Marvel and DC. This was the year that both Iron Man and The Dark Knight released into theaters. Let’s start off with The Dark Knight. A sequel to Batman Begin set the bar for how Superhero and movies in general should be made. With a knockout performance from Heath Ledger and wonderful directing from Christopher Nolan, The Dark Knight became an instant classic and is still today deemed the best Superhero movie ever.
A couple months before TDK however Marvel released their first film that would be a kickstart for their Cinematic Universe, Iron Man. Featuring an actor who was well known but was playing a character most weren’t familiar with, came a movie that exceeded all expectations. Robert Downey Jr. brought Tony Stark to life with great characterization and nailing the performance in the same way that Ledger did with the Joker. At the end of the credits Marvel decided to have a little fun and decided to add Nick Fury tell Tony about forming the Avengers unknowingly how successful the movie was going to become, thus creating the Marvel Cinematic Universe. From that point forward every movie and TV made by Marvel would be connected in one universe.
After the massive success of The Avengers and its own Batman Trilogy, DC decided to test the waters and release Man of Steel. A new reboot hoping to be the successful start to their own Cinematic Universe. Although it was critically panned, the box office numbers and positive fan reactions led DC to announce they were making Batman v Superman. This confirmed these characters would share the same universe. This shared universe would soon be called DC’s Extended Universe and began what many are calling an unnecessary war between Marvel and DC.
Three years has passed since Man of Steel and during that time Marvel had already completed their Phase 2 of movies in the MCU. Batman v Superman was finally set to be released in March and expectations were high. However March came and Batman v Superman has most likely become the most divisive superhero film to date. The movie was slammed by critics and suffered a very high weekend drop after having a smashing opening weekend. Fan reactions were still still very much positive and so far making a over $800 million at the box office. However it hasn’t stopped many people from making assumptions on the future of DC movies and wonder if they will suffer the same fate.
I personally don’t believe that it will and DC will learn from their mistakes. Both sides have had their up and downs. Each have had great success and have had massive flops however it’s how they learn from that mistake to make their future movies better. Look at Marvel, after Iron Man they released a series of movies setting up The Avengers. The movies following didn’t have the success of Iron Man and didn’t live up the standard that Iron man set, of course they didn’t have to. Sure their were fans favorites such as Thor but movies such as Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2 and Captain America weren’t as greatly received and while they did receive positive reviews, they weren’t as memorable as most people wanted them to be. When it came to The Avengers, Marvel took a hard look at what made the characters great and used what they learned to make a fantastic movie that had a lot riding on its success. After their risk paid off they used that knowledge in Phase 2, which has two of the most well received movies in the entire MCU.
Now after Batman v Superman I believe DC is going to take a hard look at what made BvS work and what didn’t and use that knowledge for when the Justice League releases. One thing I believe DC would have to do is find someone who can lead the DCEU just like Kevin Feige for Marvel. Zack Snyder has talent for sure, he knows how to frame a shot and knows how to direct an action movie. However he is not the head of the DCEU what DC needs. They need someone who knows the source material and can help pave the way for a successful universe. DC already has a great ensemble with Oscar winning Directors, writers and actors so all they need their own Kevin Feige.
Also one more thing I have to say is we need to wait to see how Suicide Squad and Wonder Woman does before we go out and write DC off. Both of those movies are being helmed by respectful director that have a great track record. Could they be a failure? Absolutely! However I believe that DC is taking a closer look on how they manage their movies from here on out. Hopefully they will start to realize that even though BvS brought in the money, the critical response from both critics and fans shows that it wasn’t the movie that we thought it was going to be.
Marvel started successfully with Iron Man but their following two movies Incredible Hulk and Iron Man 2 are considered the worst in the MCU. If Suicide Squad does great then they will be on par with Marvel during their early years. Though DC should still take a cue from Marvel’s success, see how they reevaluated their movies and learn from it. It doesn’t need to be an exact copy, DC is already on the right path of differentiating themselves from Marvel. The way I see it is that there shouldn’t be a war between Marvel and DC, they are very different from each other in storytelling and tone. Sure there will be favorites between the two however we should be more excited that we are getting these icons on the big screen after so many years of waiting.