It seems as though almost every conversation about the DC Extended Universe eventually ends up focusing on tone. After a polarizing response to the tone of Man of Steel and Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, and an apparent tonal shift in Suicide Squad after reshoots, it seems like that’s also the focus of the creative minds at DC and Warner Bros.
Even before the release of Batman V Superman and the outcry over tone and critical reviews, the stated intent was to move toward a lighter tone with upcoming features. According to BvS and Justice League writer, Chris Terrio, there has always been a plan for a tonal shift. This sentiment was only reinforced during the Justice League set visit. In our interview with Zack Snyder, he said Justice League would naturally have a different tone – partly because of the demands of the story, but also as a reaction to fan backlash from Batman V Superman.
As the DCEU continues to develop and more future movies are sliding into place, Dwayne Johnson went to the DC offices earlier this week to meet with Geoff Johns and other creative heads to get moving on plans for the future, including his long promised Shazam movie. Though Johnson previously commented on the upcoming “tonal shifts” of the DCEU, he now reveals on Twitter he’ll “help usher in a new DC era.”
This news comes at a time when there is plenty of speculation surrounding the future of the DC cinematic universe, especially when it comes to Ben Affleck’s plans for Batman. But, the message on all fronts seems to be consistently stating a drive for change and improvement.
Writer Will Beale recently gushed about the upcoming Justice League and Aquaman, emphasizing the word “fun” for both properties. With similar language coming from all the creatives involved, Snyder, Johns, Terrio, Affleck, Beale, and now Johnson, hopefully that means a similar cohesion and commitment to excellence on the big screen moving forward. The passion is definitely palpable.
For fans that think each movie has just been more of the same bleak tone, this is good news. Whether the movies will also lose the edge and the depth heralded by franchise supporters has yet to be seen, but the first taste of the DCEU following Johns’s appointment as the overseer of the universe will be here in just a few months when Wonder Woman hits theaters.