The last few years have made it pretty interesting to be a fan of DC on film. Since 2016, we’ve gotten four films from DC Entertainment (Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad, Wonder Woman, and Justice League), and to say that it’s been a roller coaster would be putting it mildly. Yet the franchise has never been more vulnerable than it has in the last 13 months, coming off of the way pop culture itself shrugged off what was intended to be DC’s biggest film ever, Justice League.
Yet here we are. It’s December 17, and the world is buzzing about the impending arrival of Aquaman. The film is already doing fantastic numbers overseas, and all eyes are now set on how the film will perform in North America when it arrives in a few days. The fact that director James Wan was able to make a film that got folks this excited after the low point that was Justice League– and the subsequent behind-the-scenes drama that film generated- has made many feel that he’s someone DC should rely on as it steers into a new direction.
It’s not at all uncommon to see fans online expressing the idea that “James Wan should be in charge.” But if you ask the man himself, who actually has experience as the architect of a shared universe thanks to his Conjuring franchise, he’s not interested in exploring the bigger DC picture just yet.
“I don’t know what the bigger picture is. But I think it’s really cool to take chances with the lesser-known characters and story lines,” James Wan said, when asked by the New York Times where DC is going next. “It’s good if all the other films have their own flavor, so they don’t force them to feel the same.“
He went on to add, specifically about taking on more of a leadership role, “It’s taken me so long just to finish this movie,” Wan said with a laugh. “I don’t want to think about somebody else’s movie at this point. I just want to survive this one.“
So, for the time being, Wan doesn’t sound keen on being the kind of shepherd Zack Snyder once was for DC Entertainment- looking over how all of these films work together to tell a larger story. And that’s just as well, when you consider that the studio is said to be focusing more on standalone stories for the present and immediate future, rather than interconnected films. They’d gotten away from being the filmmaker-driven studio that Warner Bros. was known for being, and are looking to get back to that model, so there isn’t necessarily a need for an “architect” for the time being.
One could also argue that Wan’s comments imply that having one central creative figure leads to films that suffer from sameness– a critique some level at the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
What do you think of Wan’s remarks? Would you like him to step up and be more of a leader at DC moving forward? Or are you happy to let the studio entrust each character to each director, allowing them to tell their stories however they see fit? Let us know in the comments below!
SOURCE: New York Times