Ever since I heard that Hugh Jackman was returning for a soft adaptation of Old Man Logan for #Fox, I've been oozing with anticipation. Old Man Logan is hands down my favorite comic of all time. It's disappointing to see all the changes that had to be made due to contracts and character licensing, but from the early reviews it seems that #Logan isn't being handicapped by this.
By the title of the article your probably thinking that I'm not a big fan of the #DCEU; well, you're right. That being said, I am a huge DC Comics fan. I love both DC and Marvel, but I do lean more to the DC side of things as far as their characters. Marvel is winning the movie war and that even extends to Fox's #XMen.
When I tell you that Logan is going to end the DCEU I obviously don't mean that Warner Bros. is just going to automatically shut down production of any movies after the release, but it will sting what DC has been trying to build and how they wanted to differentiate themselves from Marvel in the superhero movie genre.
'Logan' Does Dark And Gritty Better
Ever since we were introduced to Henry Cavill's Superman in Man of Steel we knew that DC was trying to be darker than Marvel with their films. Where Marvel tried to entertain you with laughter, DC tried to entertain you with thought-provoking plots and dark tones. Problem was, they never found a successful way of launching this formula. All three current DCEU movies — Man of Steel, Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad — suffer from DC trying to be super serious, but getting lost in their own plots.
Suicide Squad attempted to bring a little comedy to the universe, but then the film just became a mess of different tones. It was obvious DC was trying to make their films a little more comical due to fan and critical complaints, but they still ended up short. So, this means DC is already struggling to get their films grounded into one tone.
Logan is essentially taking the idea DC had with a dark and gritty movie and ramping it up to a maximum level. DC wanted to be dark, but not willing to pull the trigger on a rated-R film. Fox, however, wasn't hesitant to do this and it's paying off in a big way.
DC should be embarrassed that they were the first to try the dark superhero franchise, but failed to execute it. Now, Marvel and Fox are establishing that they can do both comedy and darker themes balanced across their many films perfectly.
DC Is Running Out Of Ways To Execute Their Film Universe
It was obvious after Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice was announced that DC intended to try to put their own spin on the superhero connected universe. Where Marvel focused on continuity and all characters getting introduced one by one, DC elected to go from 0 to 100 real quick.
They wanted to build a universe that appealed more to comic fans and bring them the characters and stories they loved quickly. Whether this was done to try and keep up with Marvel or they felt that this was a better formula to follow, it seems to be proving false.
DC didn't want to take the time to develop characters and interconnecting stories, they just adapted characters to screen and knew diehard fans would get what was going on and didn't seem to care if the casual moviegoer followed. This is something that works for them in their animation department when fans are going to be watching them anyway, but when you try to do this is with a major blockbuster movie being released around the globe, it becomes messy.
Fox attempted to follow the Marvel Cinematic route and connect their films into one string of continuity, but soon realized that they weren't going to be able to clean up the mess they had already made. So, they made Days of Future Past and essentially soft rebooted the whole universe, but decided to go a different route with their world building.
Instead of every film being connected and having to worry constantly about continuity, they focused more on developing great stories and not getting caught up in making sure that everything is connected. So, essentially every movie and show is in their own little pocket universe. Some super fans may be able to connect the dots between them, but Fox isn't stressing over that.
This lead to a great film in #Deadpool, a great show in Legion, and what some are already calling the greatest superhero movie to date in Logan. So, unless DC wants to become copy cats, they can't soft reboot their franchise and try a new formula.
Many DCEU supporters try to argue that film critics have been sour to the DCEU because of its tone not being lighthearted, but early reviews of Logan suggest this is not the case. DC can't hide behind the unfair treatment card with critics anymore.
Where Should The DCEU Go From Here?
I said at the beginning of the article that I love DC and I wasn't lying. I want the DCEU to succeed and I hope Justice League and Wonder Woman redeem the franchise and put it back on the right track. However, I personally believe it's too far gone to be saved. The latest news on Ben Affleck's Batman is what's slowly pulling the plug on Warner Bros.' DCEU.
Logan won't flatline the whole universe, but it will officially prove that Marvel and Fox not only can do their own universes better, but take on the DCEU's preferred tone better. This is more than likely going to sit with fans when Wonder Woman rolls around in June. If early reviews go the way they've been going for DC, then fans might start to wonder why even bother going to a DC film?
Logan is going to paint DC into a corner where they are going to either have to copy Fox's formula or completely reboot the entire universe from scratch. Even then, they'd need to copy either Fox's or Marvel's strategy to try and compete.
I personally hope that if Wonder Woman and Justice League continue DC's struggles that they cut their losses and attempt to build a more prototype universe like the MCU. As much as it'll sting Geoff Johns and Zack Snyder's pride, I think it's something that would lead to success in the long run.
If you can't beat'em, join'em.
What do you think needs to happen in the DCEU in order for it to continue?