There seems to be a lot of confusion over the fate of the Warner Brother’s DCEU movie franchise. Especially after the failure of Justice League, the departure of Ben Affleck and the uncertain future of Henry Cavill.
The release of Aquaman and Shazam, which have done extremely well at the box-office, shows a change in direction. In response to Justice League’s failure, Walter Hamada was made President of DC Films. With him, it feels as though the movies are slowly moving away from the shared universes and focusing more on character-driven movies.
Failure Of DCEU
The Man Of Steel, directed by Zack Synder was always intended to be a stand-alone series like Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight series. However, during this time the MCU was gaining popularity. This led the Warner Brothers to imagine a similar movie with Justice League being the beginning of this universe. Synder was given the job of fleshing this franchise out. In Batman Vs Superman, the world of Man Of Steel and Batman is shared and also several other heroes are introduced. However, the underwhelming performance of the movie at the box office made the studio start to second guess Synder’s vision. This resulted in reshoots and edits to change the other films into more audience-friendly movies.
This only made Justice League worse and the final result? The film bombed at the box-office and this destroyed the dreams of launching a shared universe. This was a dark time for the studio. Their experiment had failed and there was no idea of what would come next. However, within that darkness, there was a glimmer of hope.
In the midst of studio interference and indecision about movies like Justice League and Suicide Squad, there was one exception. Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman which felt like a breath of fresh air. It felt like the product of a filmmaker who was truly able to execute their vision and bring it to life. It didn’t feel like a DCEU movie. At least not in the way that Suicide Squad or Batman Vs Superman did. It felt more like the Avengers, James Gunn’s Guardians Of The Galaxy or even Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight. These movies have the imprints of their director all over them. Directors who are here to tell their own story. Aquaman too feels like this. Of course, it is not as good as the other movies mentioned here. But it no doubt, feels like a James Wan movie.
Wonder Woman and Aquaman are the two movies which hardly resemble the DCEU and are the ones with the most critical praise. Clearly, the key to success is in the power of the director and Walter Hamada knows this. His work on Shazam was what led to his promotion, after all.
Now the DC movies seem more likely to focus on individual stories rather than interconnected ones. It might sound simple, but the studio just needs to focus on good movies. Hiring talented directors and giving them the space they need is of vital importance to bring their ideas to life. This will give them a unique feel. And at a time where there is a lot of choices for the audience, the ability to look different and unique has never been more important. The failure of the DCEU movies will give rise to better DC movies. Hopefully, we will now get the quality of DC movies that we deserve.