ByMichael Patterson, writer at Creators.co
I Write. Sometimes.
Michael Patterson

In 2016, definitely found itself under an immense amount of pressure to make its film franchise succeed, starting with March's , which ended up controversially dividing both fans and critics — with many claiming that the film's dark tone and overcrowded story set the DCEU off to a bad start. The studio had a chance to overcome the criticism in August with the release of , but it only ended up dividing more people.

So while some may be ready to write off DC's attempt to channel Marvel's success, I have a strong feeling that DC is ready to pull out all the stops to make the DCEU work. And with that, we turn our attention to 2017 — looking at the strong lineup of films, it's highly likely that DC just might turn the tide and end up stealing the show by making its extended universe a success. Here's why.

1. Geoff Johns Is In Charge

After the negative reviews of Batman v Superman, Warner Bros. announced that DC Comics Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns would officially be co-running the DC Extended Universe and also serve as a co-executive producer on Justice League.

Geoff Johns will be overseeing the production of DCEU films.
Geoff Johns will be overseeing the production of DCEU films.

Now, in case you're wondering why this is a great thing, Geoff Johns has had an incredibly successful career both writing comics and working on mega successful superhero TV shows such as , and . To say that he knows DC and its characters would be an understatement.

With director Zack Snyder's direction being questioned by both critics and fans, it will most definitely relieve them to know that Johns will be heavily involved in everything the DCEU produces moving forward. With his vast knowledge, Johns's role will likely be reminiscent of Kevin Feige's role at Marvel. And with an expert to steer the ship with their film universe, hopefully DC can fend off the critics and ensure that their 2017 films meet a much higher standard.

2. Wonder Woman Will Be A Welcome Change

After DC's financially successful but critically reviled outings, all hope is now placed on 2017's Wonder Woman to save the day. And despite the pressure, I have no doubt that the Amazonian warrior can pull off this difficult task.

Gal Gadot made her debut as Wonder Woman in Batman v Superman and ended up receiving critical acclaim, with many calling her one of the standout aspects of the film. But despite this, the film still received negative reviews. As the grim tale followed the equally grim — both of which heavily dealt with otherworldly creatures and god complexes — we all hoped that Suicide Squad would give us something different. But despite being a completely different film, it was also rather dark and heavily dealt with otherworldly creatures and god complexes.

However, Wonder Woman will take us back in time, delving into the character's origins. And this significantly different film will be the much needed change that we are all craving from the DCEU.

Much like : The First Avenger gave us a break from Marvel's repetitive format, Wonder Woman will step away from the alien invasions and grim worlds to give us a dramatic period piece, highlighting one of the DC's strongest characters. It never hurts to change things up, and that could actually end up benefiting the franchise more than you think.

After all, not everyone gets it right the first time around. All you have to do is look at Star Trek: The Motion Picture — despite being financially successful, the 1979 film was seen as a critical failure. However, the 1982 sequel The Wrath Of Khan received acclaim from critics and is the most-loved film in the entire franchise. Moreover, while the likes of The Terminator and Batman Begins were praised by critics, their sequels Terminator 2: Judgment Day and The Dark Knight were received more positively than their predecessors and are considered two of the greatest sequels of all time.

Thus, starting the new year with a brand new direction is undoubtedly a wise move for DC, and this experiment could very well end up providing us with their greatest outing yet.

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3. Fresh Faces Will Bring Open Minds

There's no doubt about it, Batman v Superman was the most highly-anticipated film of 2016. And the reason for that is simple: after all these years we would finally see DC's two biggest heroes collide on the big screen. But the film's release understandably led to comparisons being drawn to previous Superman and Batman films — with many claiming that it didn't live up the hype of what came before.

'Batman v Superman' wasn't the first time we had seen the heroes on the big screen. (WB)
'Batman v Superman' wasn't the first time we had seen the heroes on the big screen. (WB)

Batman and Superman have been rebooted on film so many times that it's easy to claim that the newer versions don't live up the previous ones. However, with Justice League coming up, this will be the first time we see many of DC's primary heroes like Aquaman and Cyborg on the big screen.

So these heroes debuting in the DCEU films will likely draw in fans of the characters who are eager to see how they are portrayed. Justice League will also mark the first full-length appearance of Ezra Miller's scarlet speedster — we saw him cameo in Suicide Squad — so you can guarantee that fans of the series (and Grant Gustin's amazing portrayal) will be eager to see how Miller's Barry Allen differs from Gustin's.

We have never seen Aquaman appear on film before. (via WB)
We have never seen Aquaman appear on film before. (via WB)

Furthermore, with Aquaman and Cyborg having no previous solo films or TV shows to be compared to, it allows us to judge them without being influenced by any classics that came before. And this just might help the 2017 films stand alone, something that was impossible for this year's DCEU outings that relied on the same o characters.

4. Justice League Has Been Years In The Making

The only thing better than seeing new heroes on the big screen is seeing them join forces with old heroes. DCEU or no DCEU, we have wanted to see a film for decades. Watching DC's strongest unite on screen is a sight that will give me goosebumps — and I know I'm not the only one.

So, with that in mind, people will flock to the theater to see Justice League no matter what they think of the DCEU right now. And we will finally see , , , , and come together to stop a major threat.

One of the main criticisms of Batman v Superman was that it tried to cram too much into the one film, as it was too concerned with trying to set up a future Justice League film. And this is a fair point. With all the references and cameos of the heroes, it took away from the film's main characters.

However, Justice League won't have that problem. We will be going to see the film knowing what we want to see: the world's greatest heroes teaming up. And as long as DC delivers that to us, then we will leave the theaters satisfied. Just as The Avengers ended up becoming Marvel's most successful film of all time, Justice League may very well do the same for DC.

When dreams become reality: We have wanted a 'Justice League' film for years now. (via DC)
When dreams become reality: We have wanted a 'Justice League' film for years now. (via DC)

With many fans having written DC off due to its two controversial 2016 releases, 2017 could be another bleak year for the DCEU. However, there is a very strong possibility that the studio will end up surprising us all. With a new captain to steer things, Wonder Woman and Justice League may end up being the two best outings that the DCEU has produced yet.

After all, with Wonder Woman changing things up by taking us back in time, and the Justice League trailer providing us with a humorous tone, it appears that DC might have just taken everyone's concerns on board and are striving to produce two strikingly different types of films. If they succeed, they will not only prove the critics wrong; they will have put the DCEU firmly back in the game, and stand a very good chance of rivaling Marvel at the top of the comic-book movie food chain. Despite a controversial 2016, it looks like 2017 finally will be DC's year to shine.

Are you on board with DC's 2017 films?
Are you on board with DC's 2017 films?

Do you think 2017 will be the year of the DCEU? Let us know in the comments below!

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