You’re going to have to hold your breath for a whole two extra months before Jason Momoa’s Aquaman makes his solo debut.
DC Cinematic Universe
Warner Bros. supposedly has years of DC Comics movies mapped out, but the map keep changing before our eyes. Officially announced titles include this year’s Justice League and Wonder Woman, and next year’s Aquaman and a Shazam movie featuring Dwayne Johnson. But beyond the immediate future, things look more hazy. Will we get a solo film with Ben Affleck’s Batman? What’s the story with The Flash, which has gone through directors faster than its title character could run on his cosmic treadmill. And then there’s the case of Superman. He got a sort-of sequel to Man of Steel in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, but the Man of Tomorrow was mostly a supporting character in his own movie there. Will Warner Bros. deliver an official Man of Steel 2?
With all eyes on the next entry in the DC Cinematic Universe, it’s hard to say what is under more pressure: Wonder Woman, the World War II-era superhero and savior of the modern world, or Wonder Woman, the first female-directed movie in the modern blockbuster era and a stab at social relevance for the beleaguered executives at Warner Bros. The first Wonder Woman trailer that debuted at Comic-Con hit all the right notes for an exciting and female-driven superhero movie; would additional trailers walk back that promise or deliver more of the same?
Wonder Woman may have some of the most gorgeous superhero posters of all time. The first poster, revealed last summer, saw Gal Gadot’s Diana Prince standing amongst a cloudy blue sky and pluming orange smoke. Those same burnt orange and red hues make up the visuals of the latest poster for the upcoming DC movie.
It would appear that the likes of Deadpool and Logan, what with all their foul words and visible bloodletting and brief pegging interludes, have changed the game of superhero movies. It was once basic showbiz logic that a massively-budgeted capes-and-tights flick couldn‘t afford to go for the R rating and lose the portion of the audience that’d restrict. More minor one-off projects like Watchmen, Kick-Ass, and Kingsman could take that risk and repeatedly found that it paid off, but now mainstream heroes have adopted this more daring approach and met with attractive box-office receipts. And in keeping with their tried-and-true business strategy of doing everything Marvel does, but a year later, DC Films has no stated their intention to get into more mature material.
Zack Snyder made a lot of enemies with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, but critical dressing-down and scattered fan backlash won’t stop him. To quote esteemed post-structural thinker Missy ‘Misdemeanor’ Elliott: to those of you who hated, you only made Zack Snyder more creative. The director has redoubled his efforts as he continues work on the post-production process for the Justice League movie due November 17. They wrapped shooting back in October, so all that’s left is the time-consuming and often tedious process of digitally piecing the film together in the editing suite. But ever the barker for his corner of the D.C. universe, Snyder has offered his many supporters a glimpse into the in-progress cut that he’s toying with at present.
Like any job, writing about the latest news in the world of entertainment can wear on you after long enough, so you gotta appreciate the little pearls of amusement where you can get them. Personally, watching the latest solo Batman project fall apart in slow motion has been a perverse thrill over the past couple of months: star Ben Affleck was gonna direct (maybe) the film titled The Batman, then he was definitely gonna direct it, then he backpedaled a little bit, then he requested that people stop asking him about it, then he face-planted onto the sidewalk with the costly flop Live By Night, and then look at that, he wasn’t taking the director’s chair after all. The indignities kept coming, as Warner Bros. ordered sweeping rewrites to this floundering project before landing Planet of the Apes remake maestro Matt Reeves to fill the directorial vacuum.
Since announcing that Ben Affleck would no longer be directing the upcoming standalone The Batman film, Warner Bros. has been in a full-blown crisis mode, working overtime to find a talented new director and prove all those “Is the DC Cinematic Universe doomed?” articles wrong. Back in January, Forbes reported that the Warner Bros. shortlist featured several interesting names, including George Miller, Denis Villeneuve, and Matt Reeves. And now, less than two weeks after The Batman lost its director, it appears that Warner Bros. has settled on its replacement.
These are dark days for the Dark Knight.
If the D.C. Cinematic Universe has been chugging towards its Justice League centerpiece like a well-oiled machine, then The Flash solo movie is the one janky mechanism that keeps coming out of joint and necessitating repairs. Warner Bros. executives have been unable to pin down a creative team for the fastest man on the planet’s moment in the spotlight, having already lost original director Seth Grahame-Smith (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies) as well as replacement director Rick Famuyiwa (Dope) just this past Halloween. As the search continues for a director who won’t end up with ‘creative differences’ like the others — that’s movie slang for “refused to bend to the will of the studio” — Warner Bros. is ensuring that no trace of Famuyiwa will be left in the finished product.