After the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it’s no surprise that DC wants to create a movie universe of their own. But so far, I don’t think that what they are doing will work as well as what did for Marvel.
Here is what I think that DC should do to create a universe that can stand side-by-side to Marvel’s.
Side note: So far, we don’t know much about what DC plans to do beyond Batman/Superman. The ultimate goal is, of course, the Justice League movie, but nothing official has been released about how they plan to get there beyond Batman/Superman. So even though there has been speculation of a Justice League movie being released before solo movies, I will not touch on this as nothing is official. I will only be discussing what is official.
When Marvel started creating their movies, they took huge risks. With Iron Man, they cast Robert Downey Jr. who had never been a blockbuster person, and they announced Jon Favreau, a guy known mostly for comedy, as the director. They also did something that had never been done before, or nowhere near to this extent–they introduced the concept of a movie universe, with Nick Fury appearing at the end, which single-handedly popularized the notion of the post-credits zinger. And the movie was amazing. Everybody loved it.
Marvel’s biggest risks, in my opinion, are happening right now, and they are paying off even better. They chose Joss Whedon, who had a tremendous cult following but had never directed a big-budget movie, to helm The Avengers. It worked spectacularly. In Iron Man 3, they chose not to fall back to formula, but create a movie about Tony Stark with a plot twist that defied expectations and polarized the audience. Not exactly the safest thing to do in the follow up to the biggest superhero movie of all time. They continue to make these risks and bold choices in getting the Game of Thrones director to do Thor.
Brothers known for Arrested Development and Community are directing the new Captain America, a film that co-stars Robert Redford. Guardians of the Galaxy, a lesser known comics property, is being done by James Gunn in all of its wackiness. The Avengers sequel is bringing in characters such as Ultron, Quicksilver, and the Scarlet Witch. And Edgar Wright is directing an Ant-Man movie. An ANT-MAN MOVIE! This seems to be a start of great risks, as Inhumans and Doctor Strange movies have been rumored.
DC, on the other hand, is playing it as close to the books as possible, and they are expecting results as big as Marvel is currently getting. They have relied on Christopher Nolan and David Goyer based on the Dark Knight trilogy to deliver Man of Steel and Batman/Superman. They have relied on Zack Snyder, somebody who they know for sure will deliver them huge action sequences. The big thing that they did right, in my opinion, is cast Henry Cavill as Superman, as he is one of the best parts of the movie. The mindless action sequences as done by Snyder at the end of the film are one of the lesser parts of the movie.
For the sequel, I think that the natural evolution is to create a Man of Steel sequel with only Superman. The character’s status quo is still being built up, as he only becomes closer to the traditional Daily Planet Clark Kent in the last five minutes of the movie. Batman would hinder the natural evolution of Superman’s status quo. I think that a team-up movie would be a great idea; I just think that this is a terrible time for it.
I also think that they should cast an unknown for Batman instead of Ben Affleck, but hopefully he will be to Batman what Daniel Craig was to James Bond. The only reason that DC is throwing Batman into the mix is because they want a billion dollar movie.
They can’t expect results that fast. It took time for Marvel to get to The Avengers; it wasn’t an overnight success. It took five solo films to build it up, and they didn’t pull the highest numbers in blockbuster terms. The Incredible Hulk brought in $263,427,551, Captain America did $368,608,363, Thor did $449,326,618, Iron Man did $585,174,222, and Iron Man 2 did $623,933,331. It wasn’t until The Avengers box office records were ripped apart.
In conclusion, DC needs to step away from Zach Snyder, David Goyer, and Christopher Nolan, and choose directors that nobody would expect, like Marvel did with Joss Whedon, Shane Black, Alan Davis, the Russo Brothers, James Gunn, and Edgar Wright. Select comic book properties like Wonder Woman and the Flash and Aquaman, and showcase them in all of their comic book glory. And it can’t expect success on the level of The Avengers and Iron Man 3 until they create their own Justice League.
Man of Steel raked in over $630,000,000 so far, which is higher than any lead-up movie to The Avengers. The course is already seemingly set for Batman/Superman with little risks for Zack Snyder and David Goyer. Beyond that, I hope that DC realizes what made the Marvel movies so good and implement it in their own films.
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