The DCEU has been the subject of much criticism over the past few years since the first DC shared universe film Man of Steel had been released. The complaints have varied but one that always seems to be a major complaint is the tone of the movies DC seems to be striving for. Many have been unfavorable to the dark tone DC seems to be embracing in their films and seem to be more in favor of a more hopeful lighter tone like Marvel. As apparent Batman v Superman was absolutely bashed due to many reasons but one reason that seemed to stick was the dark gloomy tone the film had. People want DC to be more "fun" and embrace the lighter side of their superheroes. Not to say there anything wrong with that but I think to put some freshness into the genre and to differentiate from Marvel having a little bit of a darker tone from DC makes sense. With all that being said though I do think DC later down the line in their films are gonna embrace the lighter side of their heroes with it still being more thoughtful to their characters in their universe. Not to say Warner Bros. is doing this in panic after the critical response of Batman v Superman, but because it's all part of the plan and story progression of this universe. Here some of the reasons why I think that for mutiple reasons.
1)Batman v Superman Ending
Batman v Superman for a majority of the film was very dark and serious, the ending though is where the movie had more of a hopeful and uplifting tone. Major spoilers ahead for those who haven't seen the film but Superman sacrifices himself in the battle with Doomsday to save the world from destruction. Superman sudden death around the world was mourned and he was given a proper burial and a monument with the following words saying:
"If you seek his monument look around you"
Pretty powerful words if you asked me. While you may have thought his death was just adding on to the somber tone of the film it was actually an uplifting one if you think about. Despite all the controversy and burden he carried with him, his death gave new hope to the world. Those words written on the monument means people are now embracing the idea of a Superman and the good that it can do. It's asking one to help your fellow man and strive to create a better world...one Superman intended to make. Bruce words at the end saying "Men are still good" go along with the words that were written on that monument. Not only that but when dirt is thrown on Superman casket we see the dirt slowly rise foreshadowing his ultimate return in future films.
2)Superman Inspired Batman
Snyder's interpretation of Batman was very dark for a majority of the film. He was a man who lost faith in the cause and in doing so became more brutal and careless of how he went about taking care of criminals. He branded people which got them killed in prison and he used lethal force when taking care of criminals, not caring if it killed them or not. Add into the fact he had one goal set to kill Superman as he thought that was the only thing he could do left not only to ensure the future of the planet, but for his own legacy as well. When he finally got his wish to fight Superman he mocked the alien protector stating he wasn't brave during the events in Metropolis and how he wasn't a God at all. When Batman was ready to deliver that final blow to kill Superman say one word. That one word Superman say made Batman realize he was no better than the man that killed his parents when he was a young child. He no longer looked at Superman as a thing but as a human being who had loved ones, not just some alien who fell from the sky looking to cause havoc. When Superman told him that his loved one was in danger we seen Batman became the Batman we all knew and loved from the comic books and other various forms of media. He made him a promise that Superman wouldn't go through what he went through as a child and at the very same moment we saw him rise again. When you first seen the Batman warehouse fight scene in the final trailer, I bet you assumed that would be our introduction to the character. But it holds so much more weight knowing where it takes place in the film and a light into how the character of Batman changed in such a short period of time. After Superman death we see a man who in such little time is also mourning the death of Superman who he barely knew but felt like he let him down in life. Superman burden was greater than Batman but despite that Superman still gave his life for the world because he knew that their was still good in this world. That sacrifice redeemed Batman and gave him a second chance to become a hero. Creating the Justice League in honor of Superman is that second chance. Superman bought Batman out of the dark and into the light.
3) Superman Return
In a lot of ways Man of Steel, Batman v Superman, and likely Justice League is one saga circling around Superman. Man of Steel was his birth, Batman v Superman was his death, and Justice League will be his resurrection. It sort of biblical how they're portraying the character of Superman in the DCEU as a Christ like figure and the themes and imagery there painting in these films. But what really interesting is how troubled the character really is even with all this power he ultimately holds. This unfortunately has been the subject to much criticism with some even saying Snyder doesn't get the Superman character at all. I find that to be untrue because Snyder has been able to make this interpretation of Superman the most human of them all. Snyder's Superman questions his role as protector of the world and the burden he carries on his shoulder. At one point he questions his own morality as he tells Lois "No one stays good in this world", after finding out what Lex did to his mom and what he making him do. He seriously considered the thought of killing Batman in saving his mom and I know long time Superman fans would never even dream of their favorite interpretation of Superman coming up with that thought. But this is what makes this particular Superman so special and why this characterization will work out in the long run. Because even though this Superman went through all this trial and tribulation he still found it in his heart to save the planet twice from human extinction despite all the tribulations he was going through as a person. In Man of Steel he could have easily been persuaded by Zod to bring Krypton back to life on Earth and wipe out mankind, I mean many forget that is race after all not us. But no, he saw the evilness of Zod and chose mankind over his own race and even killing the last of species. In Batman v Superman you see him give his life to save the world from Doomsday saying "This is my world", even after the world has shunned the very idea of Superman all along. But the very idea of a "Superman" has now bought the world together and has inspired hope after what he did to save it once again. When Superman does come back he will be considered Earth champion and be the ideal of hope his father always say he would be. He will become the beacon of hope that Superman is supposed to reflect on mankind and what it can be. He will finally become...Superman.
4) Justice League Tone
Justice League is rumored to have a lighter tone after the darkness that was in Batman v Superman. This rumor is basically confirmed after Chris Terrio recent comments regarding the upcoming Justice League film.
I expect “Justice League” will be tonally not quite as dark as “Batman v Superman.” From that point of view, I felt compelled to go back and try to lift us and myself into a different tonal place because I think when you write a darker film, sometimes you want to redeem it all a bit.”
His comments make sense seeing as how the ending of Batman v Superman had more of a hopeful tone to it which could could easily carry into Justice League. Also when you have characters like the Flash and Cyborg, who by nature are light-hearted characters it makes sense the mood of the film will be a bit lighter. That not to say the movie will be filled with jokes every five seconds, I'm sure the movie will still have it dark moments but still be more hopeful and have uplifting themes peppered throughout the film. Justice League should go through it dark moments but in those dark moments prevail and ultimately accomplish the mission they ultimately try to achieve. Which is peace on Earth.
Overall DCEU Story
To wrap it all up I think this is the story Snyder an co. are going for in this newly created DC Extended Universe. Tell a story where these heroes are in dark times and question their own morality and the ability to do actual good in this world. Only to now tell a story where they will rise up from that darkness and become the hopeful heroes we're all accustomed to seeing in the DC Universe. You can even see in this concept art how the light is slowly creeping up towards these heroes as they finally embrace who they are and the good they can do in the world. I can't help but think of a quote from The Dark Knight where Harvey Dent says "The night is always darkest before the dawn". The dawn of justice...
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