Revenge Report: STATE OF THE DC UNION
What More Could We Reasonably Expect?
I know we live in an age where we’re used to an over-abundance of great content delivered at a breakneck pace, but how much more can we reasonably expect DC to do for us?
Remember, in many ways, DC is starting over. Their previous attempt at a shared universe didn’t click so well with general audiences, so Aquaman is seen as the start of a new chapter for the studio.
And on the subject of beginnings, let’s not forget how Marvel started:
Two movies in 2008. No movies in 2009. One movie in 2010. Two in 2011. And two in 2012.
Then, once they’d established a winning brand with the public, they upped things to a consistent “Two films per year” until 2017 when that jumped up to three!
I’m not suggesting that DC wants to copy Marvel, but I’m pointing out that we’ve all become slightly spoiled these last few years and we need to remember that it takes time and discipline to get to a point where you’re dropping more than two movies a year based on the same property (in this case DC).
And a big part of the way Marvel Studios was able to start delivering movies at this fast a clip was by running it like a TV series, slotting in talent to take over the different “episodes” of one overall saga. DC doesn’t want to do that. They want to be able to hire, honor, and support the works of talented filmmakers telling stories that are unique to their visions.
You can’t accomplish that by saying, “Hey, we want you to make a Plastic Man movie. And we already announced it’s arriving on a specific date 18 months from now. Oh, and it also has to setup movies X, Y, or Z.”
You accomplish it by giving filmmakers tons of breathing room with which to tap into their own creativity and come up with something special for you.
And that’s what the new DC Entertainment is doing.
“But What About…?!”
Look, I’d love to hear something about GLC, New Gods, or Superman today. Or five minutes ago, for that matter. I understand your hunger for more, more, more. But I also like to step back sometimes, look at big picture, and realize there’s really nothing to be stressed out about here. We’ll get those movies when they’re ready to happen.
And that’s enough for me.
As for films like The Flash or Black Adam, here’s what I’d like to say:
- I wouldn’t get my hopes up about The Flash filming later this year, despite Ezra Miller’s schedule opening up due to the delay of Fantastic Beasts 3. Things seem fairly unsettled within the cinematic Speed Force…
- Dwayne Johnson was out there dropping teases about Black Adam in April, but was generally very hands-off with the promotion of Shazam!, and hasn’t exactly been publicly thumping his chest and pounding the drum for that film’s sequel or his spinoff. That’s very uncharacteristic of Johnson (which I touched on in last week’s The Fanboy Podcast), and it wouldn’t surprise me one bit to hear that Shazam!‘s somewhat muted box office success led to conversations about consolidating Shazam! 2 and Black Adam into one film- something Johnson isn’t keen on.
Also, I remain a firm believer that the studio’s stance on bringing Henry Cavill back as Superman is a factor in Johnson’s relationship to the Worlds of DC. Here’s hoping having “The Rock” in his corner helps Cavill return- especially if his return would keep Johnson in the DC universe.
Still, until we’re told otherwise, we know that The Flash, a Shazam! sequel, a Black Adam movie, and an Aquaman 2 are being developed. On the subject of the latter, star Jason Momoa said this week that they’ve locked in the story for the sequel about the Atlantean King.
Also, Geoff Johns is still working on Green Lantern Corps and Ava DuVernay is still developing New Gods. Therefore we already have an idea of what’s coming after 2021.
So should we really be worried about the Worlds of DC? No.
Are we really being starved of news about DC on film? No.
Do we have several years ahead of us of good-looking DC titles on the big screen? You bet.
Will we ever get to see our other favorite characters soar again? Absolutely.
When? When they’re ready, and not a second sooner (especially if “sooner” means before 2021).
I’ll take it. And I think you should, too.
Thanks for reading, and I’ll touch on this in today’s show if you’re interested in exploring this further!
Mario-Francisco Robles (@I_AM_MFR)
[Credit for the awesome banner image at the top of this post goes to our own Josh LeGuern!]