Well, folks, it finally happened. DC’s film universe got off the ground with a successful release. Projects like Man Of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice had their fans, but neither made the impact that Wonder Woman seems to have made. It pleased critics (we gave it an A-), performed well at the box office, and seems to have inspired a sequel, judging by some of the early talks from those involved. All of a sudden it looks like there might be a brighter future for DC on the big screen, even if the company has ways to go before it catches up to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The question now is where DC goes from here in trying to narrow the gap. Here are a few ideas based on what we know and what we might speculate.
Aquaman Becomes Very Important
Justice League is actually next up on the DC film slate, and it will be interesting to see if it follows more in line with Dawn Of Justice or Wonder Woman, in terms of tone. It’s easy to imagine that it will be more like the former—which fans might just be able to forgive, given there are more character projects on the way. First up among those is Aquaman, which is set for a 2018 release. This is the film that could ultimately decide the fate of the entire DC cinematic project. If it’s as unique and enjoyable as Wonder Woman, there will be legitimate life in the connected franchise. If it’s bland, ridiculous, or disappointing then Wonder Woman will begin to look like a one-off fluke.
Gaming Could Be A Subtle Advantage
We often think of the DC and Marvel universes as existing solely on the big screen, but in fact, they also compete in other arenas. The biggest aside from movies might be gaming, where both companies have put out countless experiences making their movie characters playable. It’s in this area that DC might actually be gaining a subtle but meaningful advantage. Online casino gaming sites have hosted superhero-based slot reels for some time now, and most have been developed by a company called Playtech. If you look at this company’s selection of gaming titles now, you’ll find examples from both Marvel and DC. But it was announced earlier this year that Playtech will actually be phasing out it’s Marvel licenses while it continues to develop more titles with DC.
Wonder Woman Needs To Become Tony Stark
It’s an unexpected situation, but DC and Warner Bros. now face fans who adored Wonder Woman and shrugged off Superman and Batman (for the most part). She’s the most charismatic and engaging of the three heroes, and as such it ought to be her job to fill the Tony Stark role for the DC film universe. Frankly, it seems unlikely that DC will act on this—but it should. After somewhat disappointing and bland Superman and Batman appearances, Wonder Woman is the character capable of carrying these films.
Ben Affleck Could (& Should) Be Replaced
There’s been some speculation that Ben Affleck could ultimately leave his Batman role, given that he already stepped down from the position of director for the planned solo film. It’s nothing against Affleck to say that this would be a good idea. Dawn Of Justice just lacked the soul of Christopher Nolan’s Batman movies, and because of that, Affleck is playing from behind. He’ll always be compared to Christian Bale, and for most fans that’s not a comparison that will go his way. He may be best served moving on, and if he does, the next Batman would have more of a blank slate to work with.
Suicide Squad Should Be Rebooted Immediately
This is a bit more of a Hail Mary, but the folks at DC and Warner Bros. should consider rebooting Suicide Squad entirely and immediately. They should craft a new effort to fit in more naturally with the existing DC storylines, and they should work with an all-new cast. While Man Of Steel and Dawn Of Justice disappointed a lot of people, Suicide Squad was the project that really went up in flames. It’s a shame, because this is a fun concept working with a lot of really entertaining comic book characters. Doing it again and getting it right would represent a major step in the right direction.