With the numbers steadily dropping for BvS, rumors have already begun to circulate that DC may be cutting back on some of the films they have slated to release. With Batman and Superman being the powerhouses of the DCCU, together in one movie, experiencing a huge slide in ticket sales one must question if the rest of the DC roster is strong enough to warrant their own films.
I guess the ultimate question is whether or not the remaining Justice League members are interesting enough to the general public that they would be able to pull in figures big enough to help the DCCU stand firm. I am not a DC hater by any means, but I’m pretty sure it’s safe to say that Aquaman, Cyborg and a cinematic version of The Flash are destined to be incredible flops. In fact, I don’t think they will even generate enough buzz in the Justice League films causing DC to put a permanent halt on production of those films. One of the biggest problems I see is that there isn’t enough time in movies to allow the general audience to become familiar with those characters. There best option would be to take full advantage of their TV line. With smaller scale characters (anyone beyond Batman and Superman would be considered smaller scale) like Arrow, The Flash and Supergirl making a huge splash, pulling in constant ratings, why not follow suit. Having a TV show dedicated to a particular character allows for something the cinematic versions can’t do, and that is their ability to truly develop a character and create a familiarity with them that would take a slew of films to achieve. The reason this was never needed for a Superman or Batman is because they have been around forever and pretty much everyone in existence already knows everything there is about Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne.
Aquaman...to be brutally honest...I would absolutely tune in to watch an Aquaman television series, but I would be lying out of my ass if I said I'd run to the theatre and shell out the bucks to watch him on the big screen. I’m totally familiar with the character, but I just can’t see them making a story interesting enough to captivate myself let alone an audience full of non-comic fans. This is a character, like Arrow and the Flash would make for good television because you can focus on so many different aspects of Aquaman that you wouldn’t be able to on film. It would allow for writers and producers to follow the ratings, consistently see what is and isn’t working, then tweak it. On film, once it’s done, it’s done. There is no going back to fix a big budget flop, and Aquaman suffering at the box office wouldn’t even warrant a reboot. Another key factor, again being brutally honest, is that Jason Momoa is not the type of actor that is going to have great mass appeal. He’s a solid b-level actor at best, and though he adds a much needed badass, ultra-macho look to Aquaman, he doesn’t have the acting chops to really pull people in on that level. But on a television series he can easily reign supreme as well as develop as an actor.
Cyborg has all the makings of a great Television series. Former athlete, near-fatally mutilated, practically brought back from the dead with cybernetic parts. As mentioned previously the amount of time they can devote to character development on a series would be invaluable. With a series you can greatly explore his past before he became Cyborg, dedicating full episodes to the person he was and the things he went through in his personal life, much like they have done with Arrow. After a pilot season you can gauge the success of the character to see if another season is in order, then if his popularity grows out of control you can consider the option of putting together a movie. Introducing brand new characters straight to cinema is an extremely difficult procedure. It can be done, but I don’t feel Cyborg is a name that registers with anyone outside of comic book readers and young kids that watch Teen Titans.
This one rubs me in such a non-pleasurable way I almost don't even want to speak about it. The Flash is already part of their television line and is doing extremely well for itself. The show is highly entertaining with a cast that is interesting enough to draw you back every week. With Grant Gustin’s increasing popularity as The Flash, I don’t get why they had to hire someone else to play the big screen version. The groundwork has already been laid out, people are familiar with Grant Gustin and enjoy watching him on the series, so why the change up? Had they included Grant Gustin into the mix, The Flash, may have had the biggest shot at expanding onto the big screen. People know him as The Flash, people like him as The Flash, so why on earth would you toy with that? If they gave out awards for boneheaded maneuvers, they’d be at the top of the list this sh!t.
Now there is one member of the Justice League I didn’t include in this list and that is Wonder Woman. Gal Gadot, despite a painfully short appearance, brought forth a standout performance in BvS. In fact, many of those that complained about the movie have labeled her to be the shining light of the film. I honestly don’t think I would have ever given a Wonder Woman feature the time of day, but after her epic introduction, I’m on board. With the right story behind her and the ability to showcase a strong, powerful woman as the hero in a male dominated market, she has all the makings of a successful character. Wonder Woman, at this point is a necessity to the super hero genre. To have a strong woman in the lead brings forth a breath of fresh air. For ages boys have always had their favorites to look up to like Batman, Superman, and Spider-Man, while young girls were almost forced into loving those characters as well because that is all they saw pushed to the front. It would be a nice change to give them a hero that they can relate to as well. People in general are already familiar enough with her character and after the praise she received from BvS, the transition into her own feature film should go quite smoothly. In fact, I’m willing to go out on a limb and say that if she has the right screenplay behind her, the Wonder Woman solo venture will experience greater success than the Man of Steel film and pull in numbers worthy of a sequel.
The DCCU really needs to play their cards right if they want to stand toe to toe with the MCU. Rather than making the competion the focal point of their attention, they should evaluate their tactics and place their attention on putting out quality material. Listen to the complaints and fix them. Don’t worry about an extensive lineup of films…move toward damage control and get Superman back on track, help Ben Affleck put out the right Batman film and give Wonder Woman the proper welcoming. They are the so-called “Holy Trinity,” so treat them as such. All the other characters should be nothing more than an afterthought, especially if they have no intentions of incorporating them into the television universe. You have a very successful television line, so use it to your advantage DC.