What the Hell is Happening With the DC Extended Universe?

Ever since the release of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice last year the superhero fandom has been looking towards Warner Bros. Pictures and their ambitious plans for their own shared-universe, i.e. the DC Extended Universe, with massive question marks above their heads.

Quite clearly they haven’t got a fucking clue what they want to do with this universe, besides the more obvious notion of attempting to outdo Marvel Studios with supposed better films and supposed better cross-over events at a faster rate. But they have failed at nearly every turn, with Batman v Superman feeling far too convoluted, tonally awkward, and having one of the most confusing superhero plotlines in the history of superhero films, whilst Suicide Squad is a fucking mess caused by a studio that don’t trust their directors to create a final product that perfectly represents their designated idea.

I’ve heard that things got better with Wonder Woman, pushing the DC Extended Universe within the right direction, but things haven’t been so kind for Justice League due to a production nightmare, namely its director, Zack Synder, being forced to leave the project due to tragic personal issues, and then having Avengers director, Joss Whedon, coming on-board to clear up the mess with an extensive reshoot.

On top of this you have the mad film slats over the next couple of years, including a sequel to Suicide Squad, a Deadshot solo film, a film featuring the Gotham Sirens, a Nightwing solo film, and a film where Harley Quinn will versus The Joker (originally intended as a Harley Quinn solo film). Most of these titles are completely baffling and seem like an April Fool’s joke, but sadly are talked about in a serious manner, with most of them confirmed to be in either development stages or preparing for production.

Things get even more complicated due to the tremendous strain on Warner Bros. part towards developing key films, such as Aquaman, The Flash, Cyborg, and The Batman. All of these films had specific scheduling slots to fit around their original slat to allow their shared-universe to flow, but things have hit a brick-wall due to many complications which have kicked those ideas right in the bollocks.

A lot of the major problems lay within creative differences, to which the directors being assigned these films feel the studio is interfering with their vision too much, thus don’t wish to continue knowing they’ll be nagged at by annoying executives, who will naturally clip the director’s wings and ruin their creative juices. Not to mention the bad reputation that the DC Extended Universe has been getting doesn’t fair well with creative people’s confidence, thus even the likes of Ben Affleck are apparently unsure about their future within this shared-universe (despite his fan-pleasing portrayal as Batman).

The problem lies with the fact that Warner Bros. have always been trying to play catch-up with Marvel Studios, and their own Marvel Cinematic Universe, thus this has caused them to make hasty decisions that have quickly backfired. Because they didn’t allow time to shape their universe (and most importantly, it’s characters) it has left things feeling rather rushed, or questionably shoehorned in for the sake of creating reasons to suck in their audience.

But without a solid film to back-up their promises they quickly became a hated studio, with many superhero fans asking them to either buck-up their ideas or just give-up entirely.

It’s at this point they really need to re-evaluate how they’re going to continue the DC Extended Universe, and where the Hell it can possibly go from here, especially since they have started to find their footing with Wonder Woman, and Justice League seems to be heading in the right direction as well. But, it seems like Warner Bros. can’t help themselves and have to continue their streak of making terrible decisions that only serve to do themselves further up the arse.

I’m just going to be blunt. Warner Bros. doesn’t have a fucking clue! They have no clear direction for the DC Extended Universe, and the problem is they aren’t allowing the creative team behind the shared-universe to have any real control because they keep sticking their noses in and messing things up. Make a plan! Lay out the simple ground-work of how the universe is going to be set-up, which characters will be included, and where, along with establishing a certain tone for the universe to have, as well as creating a good enough reasoning as to why these characters are interconnected, i.e. a good story-arc threaded throughout the different films.

Although it looked like they may have had a plan in the beginning things quickly turned into the predicted notions of them trying to rush films out. I mean they had the cheek to plan a two-part Justice League film a mere year after doing Batman v Superman, which only really served to be a teaser for that very cross-over event, and this was before they’d even properly introduced all the characters. It’s utter madness!

And now their just picking names and ideas out of a hat and then randomly announcing them, and we’re meant to go along with this, and nod our heads, as if they know what they’re doing and that all these upcoming films will come together harmoniously. Wrong is the correct answer! It seems like Warner Bros. are becoming aware of their fuck-ups and wish to do something about it, thus the simple solution comes to mind of simply rebooting the entire franchise from scratch.

A bit drastic, I know, but it seems like the best way to create a clean-slate. Sure, you run the risk of repeating yourself by rebuilding all the same characters back up again, but if the films are more structured, and flow-together more coherently, thus giving time for the shared-universe to develop naturally, then the fans will be more appreciative and will more likely be on-board. Plus, they could always introduce new characters in order to shake things up.

But of course their reliance on Batman is the sole reason that this idea probably wouldn’t happen, hence why most of the upcoming films that have been announced are Batman related, making fans wonder if they should even call this shared-universe the DC Extended Universe. Mind you, I’d be very happy with a shared-universe revolved around the Bat-Family, which could easily produce spin-offs including the Suicide Squad, and the Teen Titans, but that’s mostly because I really like Batman.

Since there have been talks about The Flash’s solo film revolving around “The Flashpoint” arc it makes one wonder whether or not this is their get-out-of-jail-free card, thus re-establishing everything, fixing their clear structural, and tonal problems, whilst discarding any dead weight without having to start totally from scratch. This, by and large, would be the best approach of restarting the DC Extended Universe, especially with the fun notion of exploring what has changed, and how these changes will affect the characters.

Although, considering we haven’t seen much of these characters (despite the shared-universe having started back in 2013), nor have many of their films been very good at representing the iconic DC characters, “The Flashpoint” idea might not seem as effective, not like when it was done within The Flash, to which you actually gave a damn about the consequences of Barry Allen’s selfish actions to try and gain some sort of reward for all his harsh sacrifices.

But, things once again become confusing because Warner Bros. have now started to announce even more crazy announcements, including a solo film that features The Joker which will revolve around his origins. Things get even better when you add in the factor that this film will not be a part of the DC Extended Universe (thus beginning a brand-new film universe where Warner Bros. will produce random solo films for all kinds of DC characters [some of which already feature in both the DC Extended Universe and the Arrowverse]) and will not star Jared Leto, who played the iconic DC villain in Suicide Squad.

It’s almost like Warner Bros. have been watching what Sony Pictures have been doing and thought to themselves, “That’s good, we should try that.” In the words of Bubsy (and I never thought I’d be saying that sentence), “What could possibly go wrong?” Fucking everything! How can you have a shared-universe on the big screen, whilst you already have a shared-universe on the small screen (which is clearly doing better for itself, so hurry up and cut your loses and just concentrate on that!), and also have another set of films that feature outside of both of those established universes? It makes no fucking sense!

Apparently even The Batman, which was set to feature Affleck’s version of the iconic DC character within his first solo outing, is now going to be a separate film. What is going on now? Seriously? I am absolutely lost for words in how to describe this cluster-fuck of ideas streaming out of Warner Bros. arse. There was a time I wanted to defend this universe, specifically in how brave it was in trying something different, thus bringing the characters together in a sharper way, but this has only lent to serve the studio a Viking funeral whilst their still alive!

To be honest I’ve gotten to the point now where even this article makes no sense because putting this whole situation into words doesn’t make it sound any clearer. In fact, it just makes it sound even madder and frustrating because we are forced to see a roster of brilliant comic-book characters repeatedly thrown under the bus because of the meddling of a studio that doesn’t think logically and only cares about money (so, I guess like most studios then, but you get my point).

I guess what this articles is trying to convey (if anything at all) is that Warner Bros. are fuck-ups that need to re-evaluate their own existence before even considering to continue with the DC Extended Universe (or anything really). Get your head out of your arse and start actually considering a proper solution out of the mess you’ve dive-bombed into through rushed, inconsistent ideas.

Want to be like Marvel Studios? Well try and actually put the fucking effort into your project! Sure, you’ll get called out for copying, but at least people will like your films more because they will actually work and deliver good content.

Also, here’s another side-note Warner Bros. You can’t have creative control and creative direction. You either have one or the other. You want everything to be connected, thus be more like Marvel Studios, then hire directors who work around that kind of environment, i.e. television directors. You can’t hire massive Hollywood directors with their own personal artistic approaches to filmmaking and then slap them round the face with a massive (misguided) rule-book because they’ll just tell you to fuck-off! So, yeah, get your shit together!

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