BySean Erickson, writer at
Exploring the area between movie geek and film nerd.
Sean Erickson

There is still a long road ahead before we see the release of Zack Snyder's Batman vs Superman movie. Even though there has been a lot of publicity about DC and Warner Bros being in a state of confusion over Wonder Woman and Aquaman - there is at least the reassurance that Zack Snyder is in control of the eventual Justice League mash-up, even if there might be a couple bumps in the road in getting there.

Beyond Batman & The Justice League

I'm as hopeful as the next superhero movie fan that DC can sort its movie universe out and start showing some signs of confidence that it knows where its going after Batman vs Superman and Suicide Squad. But with these two movies, and Zach Snyder already signed on for the two Justice League movies - there starts to emerge a sense that DC and Warner Bros are more comfortable playing the Avengers-style team-up movies rather than focusing on the solo adventures - which is practically the opposite way that Marvel started out.

And this could very well be the mistake that DC and Warner Bros made in getting their movie universe off the ground. It can be difficult to set a tone and style to different characters when everyone is being introduced together in a Zack Snyder movie - who has a very recognizable style all his own. He might be the perfect guy to direct team-up movies like Justice League and Batman vs Superman - but we're already hearing about how difficult it can be for another director to step in for a solo Wonder Woman movie after the character is already getting an introduction and lead-in to Justice League and the studio has no idea what kind of solo movie they can put together.

It's a backwards, cart-leading the horse situation that DC and Warner Bros have put themselves in. There seems to be a clear path from Batman vs Superman, to Suicide Squad and to Justice League - which means that the solo movies are likely to end up being origin stories that only serve to add some backstory to the characters. When you get reports of five writers working separately trying to come up with a decent Wonder Woman script and three writers trying to crack Aquaman - you come away thinking that connecting these solo movies to a larger, shared story isn't of the highest priority.

Is DC Making Wonder Woman Pay the Price?

It begins to become apparent that getting to Justice League - the DC equivalent of Marvel's Avengers - as quickly as possible was likely Warner Bros priority and if it is at the detriment to movies like Aquaman & Wonder Woman, so be it. The Avengers was the massive success that changed the superhero movie game and it is only natural, from a business standpoint, that Warner Bros wants some of that success as soon as it can. So we see the first two real movies in the DCMU launch, Batman vs Superman and Suicide Squad, introducing as many characters as possible and figuring out the rest when it becomes absolutely necessary.

Justice League is coming pre-assembled.
Justice League is coming pre-assembled.

In Batman vs Superman, we'll see that Bruce Wayne will get his hands on Lex Luthor's files for the metahumans he's been tracking and how he'll use this information to begin recruiting for the Justice League. So in a movie that has already introduced our new Batman and Wonder Woman, we'll also be introduced to The Flash, Cyborg and Aquaman in Zack Snyder's movie. When Marvel was leading up to the Avengers we got to spend time in each characters own unique world which made the combining of all these individual characters so much fun to see. In a hurry to get to Justice League, DC is taking a shortcut that is likely to take a good amount of fun from the team-up movie.

Using Batman vs Superman to an Advantage

That's not to say it will be a failure - many comic book fans probably have similar experiences of getting into Aquaman's solo adventures after reading some Justice League books - but in going this route DC and Warner Bros are, in a way, painting themselves into a corner that they're already struggling to get out of. Wonder Woman is in the unfortunate position of being the only solo movie before Justice League Part One - the only movie that really has to set itself apart visually and tonally from Zack Snyder's superhero style (let's say David Ayer's Suicide Squad is setting up DC's super-villain style), as well as possibly laying the template for what kind of stories, origin-story or not, to expect in future solo movies.

Here's hoping that DC and Warner Bros can figure out how to honestly create a shared universe outside of team-up movies like Batman vs Superman, Suicide Squad and Justice League. There's one advantage to having so many characters appearing in Batman vs Superman and Suicide Squad - if DC wanted to, we could see Aquaman show up in Wonder Woman or Cyborg show up in The Flash, etc. Every solo superhero movie that Warner Bros puts out could be a DC version Captain America 3 since they've already put so many major characters on screen already. There are ways to use this method to their advantage, let's hope they do.

What do you think? If you were in control of the DC movie universe what would you do with these characters after [Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice](tag:711870) and Suicide Squad? What should the solo DC movies like Wonder Woman and Aquaman try to accomplish? Let us know your plan in the comments section below!


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