ByZach Griffin, writer at
filmmaker and writer, follow me on twitter @zgriffin22!
Zach Griffin

At the end of the first Iron Man, when we were all finishing the after credits scene and Nick Fury was first introduced, we knew big things were coming. I consider myself a DC comics nerd, but I knew who the Avengers were and was excited beyond words that we were going to get an Avengers film. Fast forward 5 years and rumors are running rampant about the Man of Steel predictions, who we will see and what cameos will be made. However, following the film we were left with a handful of easter eggs and the promise of a sequel, with no clear direction. As we are seeing the map of the Marvel Universe unfold, and the plan begins to make sense, us DC Comics nerds can only hope that the DCCU unfolds in a manner that is just as fun, exciting, and fresh as watching the MCU. Here is what I think can be done to ensure that it is:

“Phase 1”

We have a shortlist of what a sort of Phase 1 will be for DCCU. In 2016 we will get Batman vs. Superman, and (assuming that the delayed release will ripple through WB’s plans) in 2017 The Flash and in 2018 The Justice League. With the year push back for BvS, I think there is enough time to sneak in a Wonder Woman film in 2017, and use it for the promise of something more. With that said, we will have introduced 4 of the major characters involved in Justice League. Same page as Marvel before Avengers. Then the Justice League- perhaps the other films- can be used to introduce more minor characters, the way Iron Man 2 did for Black Widow. Let’s keep it to John Stewart as Green Lantern and (in my opinion) Martian Manhunter. Ok, fun and still new, with the team up film. How can we keep this from getting too close to Marvel’s plan in phase 2?

“Phase 2”

Team up films. In my opinion, Phase 2 of the MCU is severely lacking in keeping things fresh. Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, whether you like them or not I think what they both tried to do was top Avengers, and realistically, that just won’t happen (6 superheroes vs. 1 and hardly any cameos). So to me they should have made more personal stories for individuals OR done Team Up films! Iron Man/ Hulk would’ve been amazing! So DC, this is the chance to keep it fresh and keep the mold you’ve set in Phase 1. We should see a standalone Batman film because he hasn’t gotten one in the shared Universe, we should see a Flash/ Green Lantern team up film, Supes can get his own film but let’s have some cameos with Diana Prince or Martian Manhunter. Aquaman should be introduced with a solo film as well as Captain Marvel.

“Phase 3”

Ok so how do we continue keeping it fresh? Let’s say that the films of the DC universe are successful. Well maybe its time to actually take some risks on some properties of yours, and develop stories for each character that introduce new characters for Justice League 3. Let’s start with a Green Lantern film where we are introduced to more members of the Lantern Corps. Then move into a new solo Wonder Woman film but use it to introduce (through the League and Steve Trevor) Green Arrow. Then let’s introduce Nightwing and maybe Huntress or Batgirl in another Batman film. But let’s extend the wait for Justice League 3. Let’s do solo films for characters that haven’t been introduced. 2 more to be precise, that can join the fray. The Atom, and Firestorm.

So by the time you roll to Justice League 3 we are dealing with a long list of heroes that can be pitted against the 3rd villain (probably Darkseid). The list of which would be:

Superman, Batman, The Flash, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Cyborg, Martian Manhunter, Captain Marvel, Green Arrow, Aquaman, Batgirl, Nightwing, The Atom, Firestorm, Other members of the Green Lantern Corps. That is a lot of combatants. Specifically it would be cool to see them all team up for one last hoorah in Justice League 3. Which should be called Justice For All… and be completely scored by Metallica.

Beyond Phase 3:

If Marvel is going where I want it to and capitalizing on their properties as they have been, the logical route to go post Avengers 3 is towards a set of Civil War Films (confine it to 2 please). But DC… where should they go? I would love to see it start with The Dark Knight Returns, or a story similar to it, then, there are two answers which, to me, should both come to fruition.

The first is Justice League Dark, which should be our tide over to Kingdom Come, the final 2 part film that will end the DCCU. Justice League Dark is a film that, in the right hands (I’m looking at you Guillermo Del Toro), would be the most unique film of the DCCU. With John Constantine, Madame Xanadu, Deadman, Shade, the Changing Man and Zatanna, it will be a strange ride, but so much fun. Then Kingdom Come, for anyone that loves DC Comics and hasn’t read it I would highly recommend. Tells the story of retired Superheroes, when all things superhero are novelty and the buck has passed to irresponsible metahumans who are largely the offspring of superheroes. They start to get out of control and long story short, it pulls Superman and co out of retirement.

So in Summary, my DCCU looks like this:

Phase 1

  • Man of Steel,
  • Batman vs. Superman,
  • The Flash
  • Wonder Woman
  • Justice League

Phase 2

  • The Caped Crusader
  • Green Lantern/ Flash
  • Aquaman
  • Man of Steel 2
  • Captain Marvel
  • Justice League 2

Phase 3

  • Emerald Knight,
  • Superman/ Martian Manhunter
  • Wonder Woman 2
  • The Caped Crusader 2
  • The Atom, Firestorm
  • Justice League 3

Phase “4”

  • The Dark Knight Returns
  • Justice League Dark
  • Kingdom Come 1
  • Kingdom Come 2

Huge world building ahead DC, but I think you can handle it. What do you think? What films do you want to see? Respond with thoughts below or tweet me @zgriffin22. My other articles here. Also check out The Zach and Zack Podcast for other discussions on film.


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