The DCEU is riding high thanks to Wonder Woman, but Warner Bros. is reportedly waiting to see how Justice League performs before moving forward with their extensive slate. After divisive receptions to the first three DCEU films, Wonder Woman has been a breath of fresh air – receiving very positive reviews and performing well at the box office. This goodwill is great for the universe at large, but also as WB nears closer to the release of Justice League – where Gal Gadot will next reprise her role as Diana.
Similarly to how Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was the true beginning of the universe, Justice League will help launch the DCEU in a new way. Following Batman V Superman‘s polarizing reception, WB quickly shifted the narrative by bringing press to the set and lifting the embargo immediately for Justice League. The production has maintained a relatively positive outlook ever since, but that is not allowing WB to get ahead of themselves.
Forbes writer Mark Hughes wrote an extensive article discussing the future of the DCEU slate in a post-Wonder Woman world, with the specific angle on what it means for their other female superhero-led films. Well, it appears that WB is taking their foot off the gas pedal for the next few months to wait and see how Justice League performs before moving forward with any films that are not Aquaman:
The truth is, a lot is riding on how 2017 pans out. The studio wants to see how Wonder Woman performs (so far so good on that front) and how Justice League turns out, before they barrel ahead with multiple more films every year. More films will get made, don’t worry, but it makes sense to ease off the gas a little and be certain about the best route ahead.
Even though fans are eager to see the future of this universe after Wonder Woman, it is a very smart move by WB to take a wait and see approach. Justice League should have no problem making loads of money just like the other DCEU films, but just how much it makes will be dependent on the reviews. If they’re great, it should be able to cross the lofty $1 billion mark. So, if it will make its money back, why should WB wait to move forward with their slate?
One of the simplest reasons could be to see which characters pop in Justice League. Jason Momoa is already filming his Aquaman solo movie, but this will really be the true introductions to Ezra Miller and Ray Fisher as Flash and Cyborg respectively. Both have future standalone movies planned, but if Cyborg is the breakout character of the film, it would make sense for WB to move the film up and off the current 2020 release. The Flash, meanwhile, has been in limbo for a while, but if audiences love Miller’s character, WB could then find a way to move the solo movie up.
This does not mean that WB will not develop any films for the next several months, but instead they could just work to get several in the position where they could begin filming in 2018, and then decide which ones will film after Justice League hits theaters. WB may have several films in development at the moment, but there is no way to predict what parts of Justice League will hit with audiences. Waiting to see what those are and then shaping the DCEU and the future slate around those could be a great move on their part. So, Aquaman may be the only 2018 release, but once Justice League hits, we should gain a better understanding of what 2019 and beyond looks like for the DC Extended Universe