Warner and DC have always been behind Marvel Studios in terms of building their super hero franchises. Aside from the Batman franchise, DC hasn't been able to successfully pull off any of their other characters in the big screen. Man of Steel was the beginning of an interconnected DC universe but, while the film was financially successful, it didn't quite manage to be a satisfying film or a satisfying Superman origin story for that matter. That rocky start just raised the question if DC had really thought their plans carefully and, apparently they had with the massive slate of films they just announced starting in 2016 and going all through 2020. Starting with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, we'll also have film versions of The Suicide Squad, Wonder Woman, Justice League (divided in two parts), Aquaman, The Flash, Shazam, Cyborg and Green Lantern. This all sounds exciting but, there are a number of things to consider before we can all leap with joy.
The first and foremost is that Zack Snyder is directing Batman v Superman and both Justice League films. DC has essentially appointed him as the orchestrator of their universe much like Joss Whedon is at Marvel's. However, I don't think Snyder is a good choice to guide this massive universe. If Man of Steel is any indication, all these films are going to strive for a "gritty" look and style. Now I don't mind gritty when is done right (like in The Dark Knight Trilogy) but Snyder confuses gritty with lifeless. That's why Man of Steel felt so bland and I'm afraid the rest of the films will have a similar tone .
Next, is the order in which this films are going to be released. After Batman v Superman we'll have The Suicide Squad, Wonder Woman and it'll culminate with part 1 of Justice League. Then, we'll have The Flash, Aquaman, Shazam and it'll culminate with part 2 of Justice League. Cyborg and Green Lantern come afterwards. This release schedule is odd because it's giving the characters their solo films after the big team up films. Maybe they are trying something different than what Marvel does and while that's good, I think that giving the characters their own arcs after the Justice League films, just takes away the "event" feel of the Justice League movies.
Of course we all know that most of these characters are going to be introduced in Batman vs. Superman which should be retitled "The Unofficial Justice League Film" but I think that's just part of the problem. With all these characters making appearances in the film, I just feel it will be too little time to properly introduced them. The film feels overcrowded and if these characters do not make a good first impression (which is very important in these kind of films), people may get turned off to see their solo outings jeopardizing the whole universe. Batman v Superman has a very heavy weight on its shoulders and I honestly don't know if it can entirely succeed. I just hope we don't end with an Amazing Spider-Man 2 situation again.
I love DC and its characters. I especially love their animated universe (expertly guided by Bruce Timm and which Snyder and Co. should see for guidance) but I can't help thinking that this whole operation has not been carefully planned out. I'm glad they're finally catching up with Marvel but this whole thing feels rushed and the people that are leading this huge endeavor may not be the right ones to do it. Only time will tell if the DC universe is worthy of our attention but for now, all I have now is trepidation with a little bit of cautious optimism.