Ezra Miller plays Barry Allen in the Warner Bros. movie. “flash.”
Warner Bros. Discovery
“The Flash” is fail. “Black Adam” is a bust. Does anyone remember Shazam: Wrath of the Gods?
DC Studios needed more than just a hero, it needed a new strategy – one that differs even from its most recent reboot plans.
DC and its parent company, Warner Bros. Discovery, has the enviable Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s easy to see why. Movies from the MCU, including unreleased ones disneySince 2008, it has grossed around $30 billion worldwide. Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav directed DC Films co-CEOs James Gunn and Peter Safran to create their own shared universe, including Iconic characters like Batman and Superman.
The problem is, Warner Bros. and DC have tried, and failed, to tie their characters together through multiple films and TV shows. In the movies, DC’s Justice League simply can’t match Marvel’s Avengers.
A possible answer to Warner Bros.’ and DC’s problems lay ahead of them, though: a character-specific franchise that stuck to one filmmaker’s vision, rather than a TV-style writers’ room. Basically, let your hero go solo.
It has worked for properties in Washington, D.C. before and even recently.
read more: As failures mount, traditional media companies enter dark times
Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy wrapped up in 2012 and was a critically acclaimed box-office hit. Still, they’re all tied to previous attempts at creating DC’s cinematic universe, with 2017’s Wonder Woman and 2018’s Aquaman focusing mostly on their protagonists, earning huge sums of money and credit along the way.
More specifically, the financial and critical success of Todd Phillips’ Joker and Matt Reeves’ Batman speak for themselves. Neither movie has anything to do with the Expanded Universe.
“Joker,” released in 2019, grossed more than $1 billion worldwide despite an R rating, while starring Joaquin Phoenix won an Academy Award for Best Actor. Last year, “The Batman,” starring Robert Pattinson as an early-career caped crusader, grossed about $750 million worldwide. Sequels to both films are in the works.
But so is The Flash director Andy Muschietti’s Batman: The Brave and the Bold. It won’t star Pattinson, but as “Introduction to DCU BatmanAccording to Gunn. How many different Batmen do an already saturated audience of superhero movies need? Especially after The Flash, four different dark knights From previous movies and shows.
Marvel Studios’ Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantum Madness.
Comic books used to be a refuge for homework. Right now, in order to keep up with everything that’s happening in the Disney Marvel Universe and Sony’s Marvel Universe (which is also connected to the Marvel Universe), you’ll need to watch pretty much everything that’s been released before to keep up. That’s dozens of movies and TV shows, going all the way back to Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man.
Meanwhile, The Flash may be the most intense comic book movie pop quiz yet, despite the ubiquity of DC’s cinematic universe. It’s filled with cameos (some real, some computer-generated) from past DC movies and TV shows, all the way back to George Reeves’ black-and-white Superman.
But in order to understand all the jokes, you have to be really invested in the stuff.Unless you’re a die-hard fan of “The Clerk” director Kevin Smith — die-hard enough to watch his stand-up special, The Flash segment involving Nicolas Cage’s version of Superman fight giant spider May lose you. The joke of the film is that George Clooney returns to the role of Bruce Wayne 26 years after the critically acclaimed Batman & Robin, which is clearly aimed at Gen X and older millennials, not today young audience.
Even MCU models can sometimes go wrong. Disney CEO Bob Iger himself has said the company is working with certain characters too often after the fourth “Thor” movie and the third “Ant-Man” dismal box office. This should be another warning sign for DC Studios.
In the case of DC’s Gunn, he recently admitted that there are ‘Too Many’ Superhero Movies and display. If anyone can come up with a creative way to change course, it’s him.
After an early stint with shoddy factory Troma Films, Gunn built a solid career in Hollywood as a writer and director, alternating between R-rated flicks like “Slither” and films aimed at general audiences, like his work for the comics. Walt Disney and the Guardians of the Galaxy movie. The third entry in the series frees the Marvel Universe from mini-fears. It’s the second-highest-grossing movie of 2023 so far, behind only Universal’s Super Mario Bros. The Movie.
He already has several DC titles on his resume: 2020’s The Suicide Squad and its 2022 sister series The Peacemakers, both of which won critical acclaim.
Gunn is writing and directing Superman: Legacy, slated for release in 2025. The film aims to open a new DC shared universe. But he still has time to rethink his approach, allowing Man of Steel — and every other DC hero — to become super powerful on its own.
Disclosure: NBCUniversal is the parent company of Universal Pictures and CNBC.