The DC Extended Universe seems to be in turmoil. There appears to be a lot of issues with the future of the DC movies as of late. With Ben Affleck dropping out of directorial duties for the upcoming Batman movie due to allegedly terrible script quality for the film and there are still rumors circling around that the upcoming Wonder Woman film isn’t all that great. There was already a test screening for the Wonder Woman film and someone leaked some of the plot points from the film. The general reaction for the film was okay. When the best thing the leakers can say about the film is that it’s “good, if not great” seems like a huge upgrade from the other DC Extended Universe films, but it hardly means that it’ll be critically acclaimed.
To be fair, it was a pre-screening for test audiences so Warner Bros. can tweak and edit the film to make it better than just “good, if not great.” But Warner Bros. is in desperate need of a home run right now and, if things don’t really get any better for their superhero flicks, it may be time to reboot the entire thing. Now, I personally don’t really like reboots but I will admit that they may be necessary from time to time. Without reboots, we wouldn’t have gotten the phenomenal Dredd 3D (which didn’t make all that much money sadly) or Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy (even if The Dark Knight Rises kind of blows). And, if Wonder Woman and the upcoming Justice League fails, I think Warner Bros. may take a good, hard look at restarting the entire thing from scratch.
Now, I may not know things about the entire business of making movies and whatnot. There is probably a whole lot of behind-the-scenes politicking involved as well as budgetary issues, meeting deadlines and even a good deal of people who don’t really care if the films are any good as long as they make boatloads of cash. But I can give my opinion on how I would like to see the entire thing reboot. And it would be drastically different from the way Marvel did their entire cinematic universe for the most part.
The first thing I would do with a DC reboot is to actually start with a new Justice League movie. Yes, you’ve read that right! We’re not going to restart with the individual movies. We go to the big team up from the onset! We’ll have Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Aquaman and
Captain Marvel Shazam right in the first movie. It seems counter-intuitive to start off with these many superheroes in your first movie but I have a good reason for this: it seems totally unnecessary to introduce a lot of the DC superheroes.
It kind of made sense for Marvel to begin their cinematic universe by giving individual movies to Iron Man, Captain America and Thor, the main Avengers. That’s because the casual audience aren’t really familiar with them. It seems crazy today, but when it was announced that Marvel was releasing an Iron Man film, nobody thought it would succeed because most people, even comic book fans, considered the character to be a B-list superhero. But the film was such a fun romp and Robert Downey Jr. gave such a charismatic performance as billionaire douche Tony Stark, it became the cornerstone of a new franchise!
But DC superheroes aren’t as unfamiliar to the general public. We’ve already had a dozen of films that feature Superman and Batman. We’ve had different television shows like Super Friends and the Justice League cartoons that have already featured them before. And, from a totally unbiased point of view, I think the characters from DC comics are just more iconic than the ones from Marvel in general. They’re just more popular than the Marvel heroes and practically knows who they are. So, why not start out with everyone in one movie? There shouldn’t be a need to introduce these super-recognizable cast of heroes, should there?
Set this new Justice League movie in a world where everyone knows the existence of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and most of the other heroes. Take note, I said “most.” Some of them, like maybe Aquaman, haven’t made their debut yet. Anyway, none of the “big named” heroes may know of each other’s existence but they’ve never really had a need to join forces as there hasn’t been a threat big enough to warrant a team up before. Of course, they’ll have to join forces now to try to defeat one huge opponent… and fail. The combined forces of Superman Batman and Wonder Woman are defeated by the villain/s and this is where the rest of the heroes step in.
Now, these other heroes would be the lesser known heroes like Aquaman and The Flash. These are the heroes that never felt the need to use their powers in public before since, well, why would they need to when there’s Superman and Wonder Woman? But, with the main heroes defeated, they feel the need to help out and use their powers to help their heroes. They join forces with Superman and the others and, when the battle’s over and the dust settles, the heroes emerge victorious.
It would be important to introduce the lesser known heroes this way so they can actually showcase their abilities without being overshadowed by the bigger named heroes. We all know what Superman, Batman and, to a certain extent, Wonder Woman can do. But how about Aquaman? He’s been ridiculed for being a lame hero since, for most casual fans who are unfamiliar with him, think his main power is talking to fish and he’s useless if he’s not in the water.
But he’s definitely not like that. He’s actually super strong and has near impenetrable skin. Swimming in the deepest part of the ocean, where the water pressure can crush an ordinary person like a grape, will do that to you if you’ve lived there your entire life. But, if you put him side by side with Superman and Wonder Woman, all you’ll remember is that he’s the “fish guy.” The same thing can be said about The Flash since Superman has super speed. And what good is Cyborg if Batman already carries around whatever he brings in his utility belt? But, if you take them out early, they can prove that they can be more than capable of standing on their own and actually work with the more established heroes.
Of course, Warner Bros. will have to create origin stories for these new characters. So, how would they do this if we start out immediately with them joining the Justice League? Well, just because you have new heroes, that doesn’t mean you have to give them an entire movie to show their origin. Instead of giving their their own film to show how they came to be, make their origins part of the marketing material. Instead of making trailers and posting them on YouTube, DC and Warner Bros. should make different mini-movies showing how DC Extended Universe’s versions of The Flash and Cyborg came to be and explain why, in a world that has other superpowered beings, they kept their powers a secret until the events of the Justice League film. With that, you also build up hype for the movie without having to reveal all that much about the film itself.
And with that, Warner Bros. instantly builds up an entirely brand new DC Extended Universe that feels incredibly lived. It introduces an world where you have established heroes who have been in action for quite some time. Yet it adds new, somewhat unfamiliar heroes into the mix but the movie-going audience already know from watching the “trailers.” From there, Warner Bros. can go ahead and make solo adventures or even have some of the heroes team up once in a while ala Brave and the Bold.
Of course, there wouldn’t be a need to reboot if Wonder Woman is actually good. So, as much as I do want to see this radical reboot of the DC Extended Universe, I would rather get a good Wonder Woman movie. I bet everyone does.
How would you reboot the DC Extended Universe? Let me know in the comments section below!