Justice League didn’t go the way that Warner Bros wanted it to, that’s for sure.
A critical drubbing, audience apathy and disappointing box office shows that the DC Comics Extended Universe is in need of a good fix. Movies In Focus is going to throw its hat into the ring, joining the million other think pieces written about how Warner Bros should proceed with presenting its iconic superheroes on the big screen.
Justice League saw Batman (Ben Affleck), Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), Aquaman (Jason Momoa), Cyborg (Ray Fisher), The Flash (Ezra Miller) and Superman (Henry Cavill) join forces for the first time, but rather than following the Marvel model by introducing each character in an individual film, the studio decided to go ‘all in’ and throw them into the mix in one go (although, they had a dry run when Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman teamed-up in Dawn Of Justice).
From Man Of Steel, Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice, Suicide Squad through to Wonder Woman, Warner Bros has tweaked each film mid-production according to audience and critical feedback hoping that the next film would be the one to crack that elusive billion dollar mark at the global box office. The success of Wonder Woman made it seem that Warner Bros had figured a way forward, but last minute tinkering to change Justice League made a hodge-podge of a movie that was neither fish-nor-fowl. The studio is now at a critical juncture, because it can’t totally scrap the DCCEU because a sequel to the Patty Jenkins’ received Wonder Woman is currently in pre-production and James Wan’s Aquaman is already in the can. They shouldn’t panic and do anything too rash, that’ll put them back to square one. Here’s what needs to be done…
Let Jenkins and Gal Gadot make the Wonder Woman film they want to make. The original scored over $821 million globally and it even has some Oscar buzz. Just cut down on the CGI-fueled finale and we should be ok.
Don’t tinker too much with Aquaman. James Wan’s film is what it is (whatever that may be). Warner Bros tinkered with Suicide Squad and Justice League after the negative reaction to Dawn Of Justice and because of that, both those films had narrative and tonal inconsistencies. Have faith in your convictions.
Give Ezra Miller his own movie as The Flash ASAP – the dude was great in Justice League and Warner Bros could do with a light superhero flick. This could be a Flashpoint flick, but just a straight-up ‘I’m The Flash’ movie would suffice. Throw in some Ray Fisher action and everyone’s happy.
Make sure that Henry Cavill finally gets a proper Superman movie. You’ve done the ground work, you’ve developed the character, hell – you’ve even killed him off and brought him back from the dead. Let him fight Lex Luthor as intended.
Keep Ben Affleck as Batman! Affleck is the best ever incarnation of the Dark Knight on screen. He’s got the look, he’s got the chops and he’s got great chemistry with Jeremy Irons. Let Matt Reeves make a pseudo-prequel, but make sure Affleck fights crime in Gotham City! Just keep his stories ground – and let him fight the fuckin’ Riddler, or something.
Stop using all that CGI. All of the DCCEU films have ended with overblown CGI battles which look like a hard drive hell. Cut back and use more practical action. That goes for CGI villains. What the fuck was going on with Steppenwolf?
Warner Bros, should learn from its mistakes. Spend time developing these movies as their own thing and then bring the gang back together for Justice League: Reborn.