One of the odd concerns of opening your cinematic universe with two of its biggest crossover events  —  Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League  —  is deciding where to place the standalone movies. Take Wonder Woman, for example. Rather than move forward in the modern era, Wonder Woman circled back to World War I to introduce the character of Diana Prince and her family history. Do you do the same thing with movies like Aquaman and Flash? Walk audiences through their origin stories and get to know some of the supporting characters in their universe? Or do you move forward after the events of Justice League and pick people up along the way?

That was the question posed to Aquaman executive producer Charles Roven in a recent conversation with Cinemablend (via Heroic Hollywood). Not only did Roven explain that his film will make reference to Justice League, he also explained how Warner Bros. will tackle the DC Cinematic Universe chronology going forward. Here’s what Roven had to say:

James [Wan] definitely knows where he’s going with [Aquaman], and that movie takes place in a world where Justice League happened, and Man of Steel happened, and Wonder Woman obviously takes place before Man of Steel — except for the bookends we have. So that’s where we have the most ability to freeform. We could do a movie that takes place after Justice League, we can do a movie that takes place after Batman v Superman… well not really. You can’t do a movie in between Batman v Superman and Justice League, but we can do movies that take place after Justice League and we can do movies that precede Justice League.

Reading between the lines, it sounds like the events of Batman v Superman and Justice League will occur in pretty rapid succession, meaning that there won’t be a lot of room for future filmmakers to muddle with that particular timeline. Wonder Woman wasn’t afraid to go back in time, so there seems to be a lot of freedom for writers to write a story that makes sense to them. Sometimes that’ll be an origin story; sometimes that’ll be a recap of events that have already happened in the DC Cinematic Universe. Whether this is a good thing or a bad thing  —  and what it means for the overall cohesiveness of their films  —  is certainly up for debate, but the franchise has to start somewhere, and this seems like as good a way of doing things as any.

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