Warner Bros. delighted fans this week with the announcement of several new properties, following on from the succeess of Suicide Squad. These future films include: Gotham City Sirens, which centers around Harley Quinn; a solo outing for fan-favorite, Deadshot; and, of course, Suicide Squad 2. These new films are a welcomed addition to the already packed slate of DCEU films, that chart the franchise releases through 2020.
Watch the trailer for the next DCEU film, Wonder Woman:
The film that these spin-offs originated from, Suicide Squad, grossed over $745 million worldwide, shattering box office records for August. From a business perspective, Warner Bros. cashing in on the success of Suicide Squad is a strong move, but it may cause more harm than good in the long run. Why is it bad to profit of the success of a film? Well, it's not, but Warner Bros.'s reactive scheduling may have them cutting of their nose to spite their face. This type of reactive behavior could affect the future of the entire #DCEU, if the problem isn't addressed. To understand why this approach might be a problem in the future, let's take a closer look at the new movies announced today.
Want to read more on the DC Extended Universe? Check out:
- 'Make the F****** Donuts Kevin'- This Open Letter to Warner Bros. CEO Reveals the Company's Behind-the-Scenes Problems
- Here's Every DCEU Movie On The Way By 2020, From 'The Batman' To 'Justice League' & Harley Quinn
- 5 Reasons To Celebrate The DC Extended Universe!
Gotham City Sirens
Fresh off the heels of Suicide Squad, Warner Bros. promised fans more of the characters they loved from the movie. At first, they announced a #HarleyQuinn solo film, but as seeing as she hails from Gotham City, they went with an ensemble film based off the popular comic book . The announcement of the Gotham City Sirens film took me by complete surprise. The first question I asked myself was: how does this film fit into the current DC slate?
The short answer to that question is that it doesn't. Sure, it's a cool idea to have a movie with 3 badass female leads causing chaos all over Gotham, but it only serves as a reactive measure to the popularity of of Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad.
As you can see in the image above, the initial plan for the DCEU was very non-Gotham-centric; the plan was to establish the Justice League via solo films and ensemble tentpole projects, with nary a mention of Batman or Gotham after 2016.
Warner Bros. responding to the warm reception of both Harley Quinn and Batfleck could definitely be construed as a positive — but it shows Warner Bros. are thinking in the short term, revising their schedule based on fan zeitgeist of the moment When you are building a cinematic universe — as we have seen with Disney/Marvel — it's all about the long game.
As it stands right now, it seems that the folks at Warner Bros. are keen to capitalize on positive fan sentiment wherever they can — which would certainly explain why they squeezed in #GothamCitySirens. Warner Bros.'s next move was to double down on the Suicide Squad spin-offs, with the announcement of a #Deadshot film.
The Deadshot Solo Film
Warner Bros. is eyeing a Deadshot solo film to be the second spin-off from Suicide Squad. Will Smith's performance in Suicide Squad was unanimously praised, and fans are clamoring to see more of him — but is a solo movie the right move? He was great as part of an ensemble piece, but that's where the character should stay — much like in the comic books, where he is a complimentary character, rather than a lead.
The logical response to the box office success of #SuicideSquad is green lighting a sequel - which they have done as well as these 2 spin-off films. But rather than single out Deadshot and try to build a solo mythos around him, why not stick to the plan and have him be the crowning jewel in the Suicide Squad 2 ensemble? A Deadshot solo film could certainly be a solid financial investment for the franchise — but if this reactive, on-the-fly scheduling continues, the DCEU could be headed for trouble.
Less Reacting, More Planning
As I have already stated, Warner Bros. has announced several films due to the response to Suicide Squad. If this trend continues following their financial successes, what happens when Wonder Woman and Justice League premier?
Let's say they are both huge successes — even bigger than Suicide Squad. Both films have characters that win the hearts of audiences. If Warner Bros. sees the popularity of these characters — continuing to be reactive instead of sticking to a set plan — they announce more films to placate the fans of these new properties, and so on and so forth.
This problem becomes compounded ad infinitum. The narrative of the DCEU shifts yet again, causing more confusion, and more films get scrapped. More over, fans become irritated (more than they already are), their faith in the franchise dwindles, and then the studio could suffer financially.
It's also going to be very challenging to build an overall narrative arc for the universe — particularly if the stories need to converge again for Justice League 2 — if Warner Bros. keep taking an ad-hoc approach to their schedule.
At the end of the day, all we want as fans is for the characters we love to be handled with the same respect and adoration we have for them. As we have seen with other properties, when the studio focuses on the characters and the overall story, we all win. If all else fails, we can always send Barry Allen back in time and un-fuck the movies for us. Until then, you can catch Wonder Woman in theaters June 2, 2017!
Sound off! Lets your voices be heard in the comments section below!
Do you like Warner Bros.'s reactive approach to the DCEU?