With the upcoming Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice (BvS) and Suicide Squad coming out next year, Warner Bros (WB) has a great springboard for a large universe. From all the heroes debuting in BvS, to all the villains debuting in Suicide Squad, WB will instantly have a universe full of characters to use as much as they want.
And although this is good, it is important that the people in charge make sure not to let crossovers get out of control. Marvel has made more than a few mistakes, and DC should learn to avoid them. Here are 3 rules they should remember to follow :
1. Don't put the same character in multiple movies in a short period of time
Don't get me wrong, it is nice to have a character appear in multiple movies. If the actor does a particularly good job, fans will demand to see more of said character. But reusing the character will often steal the screen time from new characters, and the more we see of that character the less magical it will be to see that character in a movie.
A good example of this was Loki in the Marvel Cinematic Universe(MCU). He was in one movie every year for 3 years, and in Thor: The Dark World the new villains suffered for it. Malekith and Kurse could have been fleshed out if given more screen time, but because they had to bring in Loki the movie they were just generic bad guys.
And this could easily happen in the DC Cinematic Universe. Batman and Joker are very popular characters, and it would be easy to just stick one of them in upcoming movies to draw attention to them. And it would be fine, once or twice. But if it becomes a habit of rewriting every movie to give Batman or Joker a 30 minute scene, the films will suffer for it.
2. Don't reuse the same organizations in every film
This point is similar to point number one, but I feel like this deserves it's own point. In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, we have an organization by the name of Hydra. And this organization is now pretty much the bad guy in half of the movies. From Avengers: Age of Ultron to Captain America to the ABC shows to even Ant Man, they are everywhere. And the universe feels smaller for it. The world Marvel has built is huge, why does it seem that Hydra have their hands in all of it?
And this could easily occur in the DC movies. The League of Assassins and ARGUS are two organizations that will most likely make it into the new universe. And both have the ability to be overused really fast. That is not to say they wouldn't be welcome additions, it is actually quite the opposite. Having references to these organizations can flesh out the universe. We just don't have to see them in every other movie.
3. Don't be afraid to make a smaller scale project
Batman vs Superman and Suicide Squad seem to be quite large, both in the number of protagonists and in scale. But Warner Bros needs to know when to make a smaller project that can stand alone. Not everything has to have a member of the Justice League in it. Sometimes movies just need to exist in their own corner of the universe. Guardians of the Galaxy was a good example of this, and so was Daredevil and Agent Carter.
Every character should get a chance to have their own story told, one without the other heroes sticking their noses in it. We have a long list of solo movies coming up, I just hope they are actually "solo" movies. And at the same time, not every villain should be trying to take over the world. Some fights should just be between a hero and a villain.