5 Tips For Building the DC Movie Universe

Published 3 years ago by , Updated July 19th, 2013 at 1:28 pm, This is a list post.

5 Tips For BuildingThe DC Superhero Movie Universe

DC Comics Movie Universe Justice League DiscussionAfter the success of Marvel's The Avengers, we've seen DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. actively taking steps towards building a shared movie universe for their lineup of superheroes. While details on the exact nature of this endeavor are still taking shape, we do know that DCE/WB wants (needs) superheroes to replace Harry Potter as their fiscal centerpiece. The defunct Justice League movie has been dusted off, and while Chris Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises might not mark the beginning of the DC Movie Universe (DCMU), Zack Snyder's upcoming Superman reboot Man of Steel very well could.However, Marvel didn't just jump from the success of Iron Man to the Mega-success of The Avngers: there were missteps and growing pains along the way. While it can be intimidating to have to follow a successful act, we have five suggestions that could help the DCMU give the Marvel Movie Universe a (literal) run for its money.

Pick a Shepherd

After the success of The Dark Knight, it was rumored that Chris Nolan could "godfather" the DC Movie Universe, starting with his story and producing credits on Man of Steel, possibly leading to a directorial job on Justice League. With The Dark Knight Rises ending Nolan's take on Batman, it remains doubtful that the acclaimed filmmaker will hang around to manage the board for DC/WB in the same way that Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige oversaw the construction of that universe.Of course, DC has other strong contenders for the job: Bruce Timm being one of them. If you don't recognize the name, Timm has been the prominent mind behind the DC Animated universe - starting with Batman: The Animated Series in 1992 and continuing through the current line of (often excellent) direct-to-DVD animated features. There is arguably nobody better than Timm when it comes to telling an authentic DC superhero story onscreen. While his work has largely been in animation, Timm is a well of knowledge and insight that could be tapped to build a DC movie universe.At the end of the day: Kevin Feige proved that having a shepherd is the best way to steer a shared cinematic universe. DC/WB just needs to tap the right guy (or gal) to lead the flock.

Form a Small Circle

Sure, movies are collaborative endeavors that involve hundreds of people, but sometimes a small cabal gets things done more efficiently than a big team. Once DC/WB has a shepherd leading the way, they should keep their creative circle small. Marvel had some serious shakeups with their directors and writing teams during their "Phase 1" Avengers rollout, and are learning that sometimes, fewer cooks are more effective in the kitchen.DC/WB has big names already in its stable: Chris Nolan, Man of Steel director Zack Snyder - other talents like Bruce Timm, longtime DCU director Lauren Montgomery (Wonder Woman), Writer/director Greg Berlanti (Green Lantern, The Flash), Jonathan Nolan, acclaimed comic writers like Grant Morrison and DCE Exec/comic book writer Geoff Johns (Green Lantern). Basically, the writing and directing talent for the DCMU is already in house - all that's missing is studio trust (example: Berlanti and J. Nolan have both been in line to direct some DC movie projects).Think about this: Marvel has parted ways with all of the "big-name" directors who helmed their lead-in films; so maybe utilizing a small circle of in-house talent would save DC/WB a lot of headache in the long run.

Tie the Branches Together

DC Comics Warner Bros Movies TV Shows Cartoon Animated SeriesDC Superheroes has been tearing up the competition when it comes to cartoons - especially when it comes to animated features on the home video market. Not only should DC/WB be tapping the minds behind that successful animation branch for their feature films (as we keep suggesting) - they should be tying all of these lanes together into one big shared universe.Marvel scrapped their acclaimed Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes cartoon - in order to reboot it as a more direct extension of the movie universe. See, DC? The competition is already learning this tactic. With DC having a vastly superior animation branch, this multi-platform extension should be a no-brainer (and let's not forget the success of Smallville and the buzz surrounding the upcoming Green Arrow TV show). Unfortunately, Nolan's Batman films are (currently) the only successes on the film front. That's all to say: A DC multi-platform shared universe is already there in loose form, and has been successful on all fronts. Just build bridges between the different properties and you're golden!TV Green Arrow in a Justice League movie? Movie characters guest-starring on the TV shows? Second-tier characters and side-storylines getting animated features? Heck, we could play in that sandbox all day long. But god help the men and women who have to tie it all together for Justice League...

Change the Formula

DC Superhero Movies Batman Supeman Wonder Woman Flash AquamanThe Marvel films have been great - but they have also unfolded according to a pretty strict formula (comedy/action, three-act/three-battle story arc). But the formula works, so why change it?Because any comic book fan will tell you: DC is not Marvel. Different heroes, different worlds, different styles and tones. The intrigue of The Justice League is just how different the respective characters truly are: a Wonder Woman film and a Batman film should be nothing alike, as each character and their mythos have a different tone and feel to them (dark/gritty vs. sword and sandals mythological epic).Take a page from the book of Nolan: don't be afraid to make bold creative choices; make art (not just entertainment) out of your superhero films; chase that next Oscar nomination, even. If Green Lantern demonstrated anything, it's that maybe the Marvel approach just isn't a fit for DC heroes.However, the game has changed. Things are different now. The Avengers upped the ante. Some would say DC/WB needs to at least entertain the possibility of switching things up and jumping into a Justice League movie sooner before later (possibly after a Batman/Superman movie) - launching the lesser-known characters in their own films after the fact.

Learn from the Competition

Marvel Movies vs. DC MoviesWhile it's important to know where and when to do your own thing, it never hurts to study the competition, either. Marvel Studios had both great success and some serious missteps while learning how to build their cinematic universe; DC/WB would do well to note what worked and what didn't - where tactics should be imitated, and where to diverge and build their own brand, in their own way.Take the lessons that Marvel had to learn the hard way: maybe big-name directors aren't always the best way to go; guys with both comic and TV/Movie experience can be assets (Joss Whedon, Bruce Timm); standalone films need to be able to truly stand alone; a well-picked star can carry the franchise (and that star need not be a young guy). Go big, and you can go home happy (read: rich).I would still maintain that DC superhero films need to have their own distinct tones and styles - and at this point there's still question of how soon to do a team film - but regardless of those issues, there is still plenty to be learned from the path that Marvel blazed - and will continue to blaze, as they enter "Phase 2" of their own movie universe.

What Are Your Ideas?

Justice League movie scriptWe've laid out some ideas for how the DCMU could be built - but there are tons of DC superhero fans out there who have been sitting on their own ideas for how this movie universe should be built, which characters should be included, which stories should be told, and whether or not characters like Batman and Green Lantern need to be rebooted for the shared universe.So let's discuss:
  • Which characters should be in the DCMU?
  • What kind of ideas (or grand visions) do you have for a Justice League film? Your favorite solo character film?
  • Should Man of Steel be the launch pad for the DCMU?
  • Who should play some of the other DC superheroes?
  • Which writers/directors would you like to see involved?
  • Can the DCMU ever be greater than the MMU?
Check back with Screen Rant on the regular for the latest in DC movie (or Marvel Movie) news.
TAGS: aquaman, arrow, batman, green arrow, green lantern, hawkman, justice league, lobo, superman, the flash, wonder woman


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  1. Dc blows!!!they dont need to do a justice league movie.do a superman batman movie instead

  2. I think Timm/Morrison team would be the perfect choice to guide the whole project.

    Supes,Batman and Wonder Woman should get their own movies. Maybe GL and Flash as well. Manhunter should be a supporting member in one or two of the solo films but be a primary on the JL movie.

    • i really dont like morrisons all star superman at all .

  3. I’m sorry, but I really don’t think a major studios like Warner Bros. is going to take filmmaking tips from a second rate review website like Screenrant.

    • @Gary – Their loss.

      And please refer to us as a “second rate review website that I read all the time.” Thanks.

      • LOL!

    • Um, don’t sh*t where you eat?

      • good verbal joust my lad!

    • First of all, Kof’is advice was insightful and
      Warner’s should take it under advisement.
      The approach outlined is indeed doable.

      Secondly, there is nothing second rate about Screen Rant.
      The Screen Rant team of professional writers who review
      the industry here are strictly first rate across the board.

      Screen Rant is an island of excellence in a web of mediocrity.

      • Word. and great article kofi.

  4. Totally agree with you. JLA is a long way to go but batman superman were alrdy well established. So it shld be easier to get there.

  5. My thoughts:
    5. I totally agree that they should get Timm to be their “Kevin Feige”. They have him RIGHT there, ready to use and the poor guy doesn’t get to do anything :(
    4. Agreed again, but the “small circle” would have to consist of some very talented and especially dedicated people…
    3. Not a fan of that idea: I think they should keep the cinematic universes, tv universes, and comic universes separate form each other (otherwise it’s just a matter of time before someone messes up the continuity) – that goes for Marvel and DC BTW.
    2. & 1. Again, completely agree on both accounts… DC should learn from what Marvel did (the good and the bad) and use that when making their “DCCU” However, it’s also very important for them to be original and keep things fresh (not just a “rip-off” of what Marvel did). They need to take Marvel’s “formula” and modify it.

    Great list Kofi… let’s hope they take your advice.

  6. @Gary
    Stick to your ego & you shall wipe out from the competition. Was it to be humbled & open minded?

  7. Director/writer is most important Mathew Vaughn would’ve been good to write/Direct but Zack Snyder can do well, have Bruce Timm since he know the character so well and has done work with animation JL movies or find some awesome genius fanboy with clarity with special fx experience that nobody has thought of… They should try to keep with the core team Batman,Superman, Wonder Woman then Flash, Green Lantern, and Aquaman and I think they should build leaders of Justice League first then spin-off character after a JL movies, with Supes movie coming out in 2013 a Wonder Woman movie in 2014 then either reboot Batman or Green Lantern then a Justice League movie with a new Batman in the movie since Bale wont do it then add Flash, Aquaman, Manhunter in JL movie then spin them off…. I always felt like Batman was an Lonewolf of the Justice League he never really seemed like he wanted to be in the JL… It was always like the old school western gunslinger i work alone mentality so you almost want to have Superman, Wonder Woman, & maybe even Martian Manhunter(even though not a big fan)be at the forefront for putting this team together because they have the most power and you then tie-in Batman to help solve some type of mystery because he is the Worlds Greatest Detective, which is the very thing that makes him special at least when it comes to the JL… It should have aliens which would help include Green Lantern(even though movie bombed) either be Martians or Brainiac which would help explain why Manhunter would be in there Darkseid probably will be saved because of Thanos comparisons of GP inevitably and it should be a Biological/Technological problem which helps tie-in Aquaman & Wonder Woman because of a problem in the Ocean and Paradise Island having to do with on a grander scheme a problem with Earths atmosphere/core/gravitational pull… Another great article Kofi one of hardest working men on Screen Rant…

    • paragraphs……good

      wall of text…..bad

      • ^^^ This.

  8. Can the DC Universe be better than Marvel? Absolutely NOT!!! Not enough popular characters.
    They should sart with the justice league and branch off indivdually.
    Start off with a bunch of nobodies. no need for big names for a no nmae universe in comparison to Marvel

    • “Not enough popular characters”?
      You’re kidding right?
      Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman alone are way more popular than Iron Man, Thor or Captain America.

      • Yes Kidding, and I am a Marvels Fan, just saying that Marvel has cornered the market when it comes to superhero movies.

        All DC really has is Batman, and how long before they stop recycling superman movies.

        When will the give fans what they want with Superman, DOOMSDAY!!!

        They decdie to bring back ZOD and we’re still talking about his father and mother which has no bearing on earth.

        Wonderwoman is non-existant, i dont think there’s an actress that wants that roll, and if there is, one that would look good being Wonderwoman and since DC decided to make the Green Lantern Adrogenous, maybe Ellen Degenereate would be the optimal choice for WW.
        Flash is equivalent to Hawkeye as far as roles and maybe aquaman would be causght swimming in someones pool.
        Bottom Line, DC is waaaaaayyyyy behind the curve

        • Well, you kinda got a point there…

        • not really dude…it’s a matter of creativity…and the right people to put in the creative shoes…doesn’t matter if they are DC or Marvel characters…definitely, WW can be in a modern context….Superman is still significant…Batman is the one we can relate to because he is purely human…the Flash (Barry Allen) is pretty much interesting because he is forensic dude who is also a superhero…GL is very expanisve in terms of universe and character development…

          again, they only need the right people to make this happen and successful…yes, DC is “behind the curve” but that’s what makes it interesting…how will they get back on the map? well, hero’s journey stories were always successful…just make things fresh

          • I’m with you on this, mistermastermind.

            They have to start somewhere.

            The whole Avengers plan first started as an idea in someone’s mind and there were some bumps and potholes along the way.

            Can’t make an omelette without breaking some eggs.

            One thing’s for sure: they’re not going to get anywhere if they don’t try.

            It’s definitely doable, but Warner Bros. needs to stop with greed and desperately foolish moves. The executives are almost acting like drowning people in a pool, flailing because they forgot how to swim.

            Take it one good idea at a time, one movie at a time and hire the right people and trust them.

      • I’ve never gotten this opinion either. But maybe “popular” isn’t the same as “familiar.” I grew up preferring Marvel, but I always saw DC as way more familiar to the general public. Marvel has gained a lot of ground in the past 20, and especially past 10, years.

    • Idk if you’re kidding or not? If we’re talking straight out Comic Book characters, then DC has the more Iconic characters by a landslide. The X men and Spider man are probably Marvels most iconic figures, but those two aren’t owned by Disney/ Marvel studios. Batman, Wonder woman, Super man hell the whole Justice league is as iconic as it comes in terms of comic book characters.

  9. i really think number 2 is key – especially the bit about chasing oscar nominations. i say go all out with thoughtful, intriguing stories. i believe that will really help DC to shine. In the end, fans benefit the most. In one universe they have the humor, laid back style and in the other they have a more grounded approach.

  10. Frankly I don’t see why there has to be a shared universe with these characters! Why can’t writers and directors just find good material, great actors and other film talents and tell great stories and make awesome films. Nolan did it with his Batman trilogy. A superman/Batman movie, why not, a stand alone Flash movie sure, a killer Green Lantern story with Ryan Renolds or not, if the stories are great and the production values are there why can’t the creative powers that be just make great movies with out being restrained by following the rules of a coherent all encompassing DC universe?
    These are comic book characters not comic books, where stories unfold over months. These are 90-120 minute films.
    Look at how many Dr. Who’s there have been, the same with Tarzan, Sherlock Holmes (who’s now getting a redo for TV with a female Watson). People bitched and moaned about Smallville yet it ran for 10 years and some of the continuity issues that were complained about are now fairly well accepted. All interpreted differently. With nods to cannon, or not.
    I Justice League film would be great but who ever plays the Flash in a stand alone film, or Superman or Wonder Woman, don’t have to be in the JL film.
    In some ways I feel like it’s enabling the audience, talking down to us, like we won’t get it if everything doesn’t stay exactly the same and function in the same reality.
    Case in point the other camp (Marvel, has had 3 Hulks and it appears that the third one is the charm, but there’s a TV show in the works, and a new cartoon all in slightly different continuities) I get it and in fact I like it. More diversity and more freedom for the film makers.
    I don’t know, I’m just saying why not?

    • I agree. I’ve been spouting this same rhetoric on this site.

      • It makes too much sense for anyone to actually take it seriously. Too bad… we just have to follow like drones where ever the powers that be lead us even if it’s down the dark path…

    • Good points.

  11. “Marvel scrapped their acclaimed Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes cartoon – in order to reboot it as a more direct extension of the movie universe. See, DC? The competition is already learning this tactic.”

    This is the only thing I really disagree with. You talk about “tying in the branches” but an animated show doesn’t NEED to have ties to movies or TV and is largely irrelevant to anything live action.

    I think canceling A:EMH (and the recent Spider-Man and Wolverine and the X-Men shows) was actually a huge mistake because it now cuts us off from the comics and stories we have all seen and read about in lieu of an Ultimates universe that’s only a scant 10 years old. Let live action tell their OWN story and the animated features tell the original stories. To have both be the same seems a bit….redundant. It might also create unwanted expectations when one side uses characters and stories that the other isn’t.

    • ^ My older self speaks the truth… 😉

      • lol, yeah I noticed your post above after I posted mine that states about the same thing……imagine that. 😀

  12. DC/ Warner bros doesn’t have to follow anything that marvel has done. A Justice movie in my opinion is not only not needed, but restrains the filmmakers from going all out on the individual super heroes. A movie like Green Lantern was an ambitious effort that suffered from various problems. One, they were too ambitious with creating a full CGI world. Two Ryan Reynolds was severely misacted as was half the cast. Three, Martin Campbell and that script effectively killed that movie. DC cannot follow what marvel has done because DC characters are movie intricate and trickier to translate to film. Characters like aqua man, wonder woman, hell even green lantern have so many layers upon layers to their world and character that make them hard to translate to film. Marvel selling the avengers that doesn’t mean that formula works for DC. These are vastly different characters and worlds. The only real remedy for DC is to go out and keep being ambitious, but tighten up on the little things like casting, choosing the right scripts, and choosing the rirght directors.

    • That’s an interesting viewpoint. I can’t entirely disagree. I think part of what Marvel did was to build buzz for their solo characters with the promise of Avengers. That’s something DC could do as well.

  13. I would like to see Aquaman done well and taken seriously. No jokes or plot points about his supposed “uselessness” away from water. He has plenty of superpowers on land as well. Make his look a fusion of classic and new; No mullet, no beard, and no hook for a hand, but awesome like his animated counterpart from the Justice League cartoon.

    • The Submariner is way better than aqua-man

      • Not really.

      • I dunno, the New 52 Aquaman is pretty bad ass…
        What does Namor have going for him lately? He doesn’t have his own book and he isn’t even a main character in the X-Men books.

    • Well he has always been a kind of 5th wheel until the 90’s when they turned him into a more Namor-esque type (go Marvel…again :) ). Being a more neutral hero that has the oceans of the world to rule with precious little time for the land dwellers. From a global perspective I would have to agree with that PoV considering the Earth is over 70% water.

      Strictly speaking though his powers are not all that impressive on land; He is bullet resistant, has combat skills, superstrength (able to lift about 60 tons), can see in the dark and…..that’s about it. Plus extended periods away from water weaken him.

      I actually liked the hook because it made him unique but the coolest thing he recently got however was the magic water based hand from the Lady of the Lake. Like the hook it give him a unique ability.

      • Read the Alex Ross storyline “Justice”…Aquaman can intact be extremely powerful, impressive, and necessary to the JLA.

        • I so very much HATE predictive text. That should be “can in fact be”.

        • Well I never said he wasn’t powerful, impressive or unnecessary to the JLA. As I said, considering how much of the Earth is water he is looking after more of the Earth than most of the other heroes combined.

          All I said was that his land based power set is a bit generic, becoming your average brick type superhero. Now combine that with his water based powers and he is a formidable hero.

          • …but as you also said, most of the world is covered in water, so that would not become as much of an issue…especially if he is used as a power hitter on the team simply as a complement to his duties in the seas and oceans of the world, NOT as just a swimming version of Superman…or Flash…or __________ (fill in the blank).

            That is all I am saying.

            Aquaman is actually one of the most powerful heroes on the planet and can bring A LOT (dramatic tension and otherwise) to the team, even without a nearby body of water.


          • …just saw your last sentence. We seem to agree, actually.


            • yeah I think we are on the same page. :)

              Aquaman has been much maligned for his early portrayal in the comics and the Super Friends cartoon only added to the negativity. DC has really made an effort to turn him around but the stigma still lingers no matter what they do.

  14. @Kofi Interesting article and I agree with most of it. One question though. If they create such tonally disparate “stand alone” stories, how then do you succeed in meshing them together? One of the things I think Marvel got RIGHT was that tonally the movies were different enough with their themes and characters, yet similar enough so it was easy to buy into them existing in the same place. If the tones are TOO different, it becomes difficult to forge cohesiveness from all that.

    • Completely agree.
      I was actually just about to post pretty much exactly what you just said…

      For example, you can’t have a character like Nolan’s Batman standing next to the Green Lantern from last year’s movie… it would look and feel completely off.
      The characters should still be unique and different from each other, but as you said, they should be able to “mesh” together easily enough as well.

      But on the other hand, Marvel did change Thor’s background so that he could blend in more easily with the rest of the characters, but I still don’t think it was necessarily… a Norse god is just as far out as an advanced alien.

    • That is going to be the tough part in selling it.

      Marvel’s Cinemtatic Universe tweaked some things to get these characters more believable on screen, as stated Thor’s origin to be on par with Iron Man’s heavily technological world. While each film had their own motifs there did seem to be a universal tone. I feel that for the most part it is a lot easier for Marvel to mesh its characters in a live-action adaptation of their propterties than DC. It may be that most of the major character/teams were the brainchildren of Stan Lee and thus share similar background or origins. DC major characters are very different from one another and while it works in animation and comic strips, I feel in live action some major tweaks and transition from page to screen is needed to bring together, which could be troublesome for writers and fans alike.

      Personally, I feel their must be a balance of creating a universe/world in which all these characters can inhabit together yet in their solo movies be unrestrained to take on different tones ect. I agree the Nolan’s Batman and Ryan’s GL would look weird together on screen. I wouldn’t have mind seeing a Thor movie that was unrestrained by the Iron Man movie to go all out and epic but despite the quality of the film in the audiences however could believe these more fantasy-elements of Thor could coexist with the more realistic scientific technological world of Iron Man.

      It is going to be a challenge but thats why DC need to be careful and think of what they are going to do. Its not impossible but a balance can be found to avoid the same feel in every movie and unattentionally trapping heroes from their full potential.

      • “most of the major character/teams were the brainchildren of Stan Lee” — AND Jack Kirby
        Sorry for nitpicking, but ya know… (equal) credit where (equal) credit is due…

        (You made excellent point though)

        • @Avenger

          Yeah you are totally right! I forgot to include Jack Kirby :/ I usually make point to mention him and I loved his work and I am below 25 yet lol. Thanks for the catch

    • I simply understood it as being differently composed films…In other words, the structures of the films reflect the heroes being highlighted (WW being “swords and sandals”/mythical, Batman having a noirish/shadowy/mysterious feel, Flash moving quickly with fast transitions and contrasting slow-mo elements, etc.). MOS will ideally present a legendary Superman (at least evolving over the film’s progression).

      As for the other points Kofi made, I agree with those as well, for the most part. I DO, however, think the films might be better served by a separation between them and the cartoons/animated films.

      Great suggestions, Kofi…I remain ever hopeful.

      • @Archaeon
        Yes i totally agree, with both of you, it would be very uncomfortable to see Christian bale and Ryan standing next to each other if they left the movies like they were. personal i think that both need to be remade. but with the issue of cohesion, the dc characters are already so different on there own, if the writers and art directors especially, stay true to the i.individual character and there location then the job will be done. they don’t need to over do it, yes chase the Oscar, please do! but if they try to stretch each individual character’s movie to the extremes it would throw off the balance of the team. dc in my eyes has a great sense of character not because of the actual hero but because of there location and the people that live there. wonderwoman is so resemblant of themescara that it tells her origin story for her, as well as the beautiful locations of batmans gotham.wb already has the differences woven so well into the characters that they don’t need to push it much. my advice is to keep the writers the same for the whole ride and for the individual hero movies have different teams of artists and production designers that are responsible for one member and have them work under one guy/girl art supervisor that is incharge of maintaining fluidity within the movies. and then have all of these writers and art visionaries working under Bruce timm!

    • TOO much of a good thing is not good, right? you have a point there.

      i think it’s about the visual chemistry of the films. even if Batman lives in a dark world, and Superman in a colorful metro-seemingly-clean-but-still-corrupted-city, we must be able to appreciate the variety and the cohesion of the two. it’s tough though. but i think the idea with Bruce Timm as a central figure is good enough to create a visual chemistry in all DC heroes films.

  15. I know we all heard this or at least thought of it, but why doesn’t DC just do a death of superman movie with introductions to other charecters to start the universe off. And play it that way untill his return.

    • thats what i have been saying for years … death of superman is an amazing storyline .. i dont know why it doesnt get any love .. instead we get real estate agent lex luthor

    • before you kill a character, make him live first. make him matter in the universe first. that’s why starting with a death of superman in a franchise may not work because the universe he lives in (not the audience) won’t feel his importance and the death becomes meaningless. at least that’s my opinion in a more cinematic thought…

  16. I think the whole Justice League movie possibility comes down to making Superman a success. If Man of Steel comes off as dopey as the last one, or corny like the Reeve ones then this project is doomed to fail. I think a major factor in the success of Avengers was having a kick-ass cornerstone like the Iron Man movies to hinge on. Batman isn’t really a team player anyway, it’s going to be a well-played Superman that will make or break the whole thing. They need that movie to rock.

    Oh and Bruce Timm is a no-brainer, his work has been top-notch for decades now. Someone should throw him the keys for this project.

  17. Good article – don’t agree with everything (tv, animated should all be seperate IMO) but I am curious how much backlash there will be with the perceived saturation of CBM in the market going forward. A lot of the paying audience that doesn’t follow comics will go with the old “isn’t this a copy of the avengers?!”

    But I guess if you can make [b]good[/b] movies that tell a solid story, then you may be able to transcend the CBM stigma.

    • need to use arrows and not brackets for the html to work 😉

      • LOL – my html skills have eroded in my old age!

        • I did the very same thing the first time I tried to make a text change. I was just used to BBCode which is what most forum sites use and use brackets instead of html arrows. My only mistake was thinking this was a bulletin board type site. :)

  18. DC UNiverse Online trailer was the best DC did in a long time

  19. Just a thought but why not take a look a turning one of there newer ideas into live action. Young Justice is a killer show, well written, and has connections into the Justice league. they can use this bring in the children and establish lines for a JL movie int he future. think outside of the box don’t reinvent already failed ideas

  20. Yes, yes, YES, agree 100%.

  21. What’s the hurry? Wait a while to do a Justice League movie. They need to make a Wonder Woman movie, Flash movie, and either a Batman or Green Lantern re-boot in order for it to make sense. Each movie has to have a similar tone as well (something the Marvel movies did right). Chris Nolan’s Batman was too realistic to fit in with the other universes and Green Lantern was just terrible. That’s just my opinion.

  22. i know that most of the filming if not all of the filming for man of steel is done BUT i would like them to do a simple scene with an older hawkman .. and bascially have him find clark and tell him about the jsa and inform clark that its now his time and he needs to find his own team as a great threat is on the horizon darksied…

    and in my opinon the justice league movie should get fast tracked and they should fiml 2 at once similliar to lord of the rings and martix ..
    and it should have a new batman and green lantern ..

  23. 1) Soft reboot/sequel of Green Lantern which will also open the door for the JLA movie (like Iron Man).

    2) A two-part JLA movie. Shot all together and released in consecutive summers.

    3) The actor hired to play Batman is the new Batman for new solo films (assuming he’s liked).

    4) Unless he’s just terrible, Henry Cavill returns as Superman. Sorry, Chris Nolan.

    5) The best characters get solo films.


  24. I just wanna see a jl movie get made be a dream come true just like the avengers :)

  25. Not sure if it’s an American thing but over in the UK (so far as I’ve been able to tell in the past almost 3 decades of living), more people are familiar with Marvel characters and have no idea who Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Arrow, Aquaman and others are.

    The only DC characters known over here are Batman and Superman and that’s because of the movies and the excellent Batman: The Animated Series from the early 90s while Marvel has been all over the place, dominating cartoons, tv shows and movies for a long time (2 different X-Men cartoons, Spiderman in the 60s and 90s, Fantastic Four and Hulk cartoons, plus the 70s Hulk tv show everyone knows and loves).

    They know more about Blade than Wonder Woman and even then would be totally surprised to discover Blade is a Marvel character, mostly thanks to the Wesley Snipes movies.

  26. @ Kofi Outlaw

    Great article Kofi. Id love to see Bruce W. Timm helm the DCMU,always did. As someone said on CBM.com i think it was, it sounded like a good idea to me aswell if DC seperated themselves from WB to have more freedom with the all the characters. Be their own company as Marvel did. I just hope they don’t rush into makin Justice League & i prefer Snyder’s MOS Superman franchise to be it’s own thing. Same goes for Reynold’s Green Lantern. Id like to see John Stewart (Green Lantern) part of the Justice League. I think Tyrese Gibson might play a good John Stewart. I think it would be cool to start with a Batman/Superman film based of the “World’s Finest” comics & go from there.

  27. Can’t say I am interested in a justice league movie little to late with me especially with that scene in I am legend. If I would do a movie I would quite a lot on keeping bale/Nolan. If they were just to do a batman and superman movie it should not be vs that is just retard.
    That s like two police officers from areas getting into a fistfight about arresting a criminal. The villains should only be fighting each other like in real life.

    Two superhero regardless the company shouldn’t not be fighting all the time thats like

  28. (Sorry for the super long post, I have put a lot of thought into this!)

    I think there is little doubt from the entertainment community that DC must work on a shared Cinematic Universe. The level of character and story complexity provided by this type of franchise is the future. DC has already started prep work by aligning a lot of their properties for this type of event.

    “The Man of Steel” is obviously the best place to start. If DC does not take advantage of this movie in 2013, they will be sabotaging themselves for years. They only need to do little things to accomplish this. Small Easter eggs in some scenes in the movie and a post credit scene will get the buzz and speculation started. DC needs to start here by selling their DCCU to the diehard fans that will pick up on these Easter eggs and spread the word to the general populace.

    Let me also get this out of the way…..I am as big a fan of Marvel as I am of DC. I love characters and stories from both universes, so for me there is no competition. I want both companies to succeed and continue to provide me with great superhero entertainment!

    In order for DC to succeed in their own right, and not be seen as a Marvel knock-off by the general viewing public, they need to stick to the comic roots and attack the motivations and societal issues that have always had a presence in the DC universe. Humanity as a whole is portrayed very different in Marvel than it is in the DC Universe. I always felt that DC portrays a much more realistic view of mankind and their inherent distrust in things they do not understand. I think DC should approach their movies with a darker tone and really focus on the relationship between the Justice League and the world, much more so than Marvel did.

    I will admit that even I am finding it a little difficult to construct an ideal way of introducing the Justice League and the individual members. Marvel did a good job of this, but they also had fewer super powered characters to introduce. Marvel did it in 5 movies, but with just 4 primary characters (Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Hulk). DC could take this approach, and trim down the DC roster for their first outing, but who could be left out? The Justice League has always felt the same with Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Flash and the Martian Manhunter. The New 52 subbed Cyborg in for Manhunter, but Cyborg has never stood out for me as a hero.

    I think something like this may work:

    The Man of Steel – Introduces Superman, supporting characters, and DC’s version of humanity, which is distrustful and cynical of super heroes. Needs to paint humanity on the brink and Superman and other heroes as a beacon for humanity. Has Easter eggs referencing some or all of the following: Gotham, Wayne Enterprise, Bruce Wayne, Batman, Ferris Aricrafts, Mars Exploration, etc. Post credit seen shows Batman, in the shadows or just from behind, sitting at this bat computer, reviewing news feeds of Superman and the events of The Man of Steel.

    Flash Movie – Introduce the Flash, origin story, etc. Begin to introduce the primary villain for the Justice League. Either an organization or villain, pulling the strings of the main villain in the Flash movie. Post credit scene of that villain plotting.

    Batman/Superman movie – Have the story told from the perspective of Batman. Do a montage of Batman’s origin and beginning years (similar to what they did at the beginning of The Incredible Hulk). No need to go through another origin story for Batman. Have some event that Batman and Superman work together on, creating a friendship. Post credit scene should be something about Wonder Woman.

    Wonder Woman – Origin story. I think this movie should take place mostly, if not all, in Amazonia. The villain here should be tied into the Justice League villain, still pulling string and plotting in the background. Post credit scene teases John Stewart as Green Lantern.
    Green Lantern 2 – A semi reboot. Introducing John Stewart as a new green lantern for Earth. Don’t disregard Green Lantern 1, but don’t let the events of that movie dictate GL2. Have Ryan Reynolds in there, but in a limited capacity. Villain should be Sinestro. Post Credit scene teases Martian Manhunter, perhaps having some history with the villain, leading into the Justice League.

    Justice League – Manhunter approaches Batman, and the two bring them all together.

    • Your thoughts are awesome, but there is one problem: what if DC/WB and Christian Bale want to continue with the Batman from Nolan’s trilogy? This would be easier, I think, than your ideas. Fans are familiar with his story line and obviously love him so that is a money maker. But there would also be no need for a Batman origin story/flashbacks. I think it would be cool to put Batman in all of your post credits scenes as he is connecting the dots.

      • That is a legitimate point. The only reason I did not include that is because ALL indications have pointed to this being Bale’s last Batman. He has said it several times in the past that he will make Batman movies as long as Nolan is directing. Nolan confirmed that TDKR is his last. However, there is always a chance!

        There are pretty much three ways Batman can play out moving forward in the DCCU.

        1. Bale stays on, and Nolan’s Batman is involved.
        2. Bale does NOT stay on, but DC simply recasts Batman, keeping the DCCU in the Nolanverse with a new actor. (Risky!)
        3. Batman gets rebooted. I think it would have to happen quickly, with a double character movie with Superman in order to keep any sort of realistic timeline. With the line-up I put out there, we are looking at late 2015 or 2016 at the earliest for a JL movie.

      • Because Nolans Batman would be horrible in a shared universe. That is by design, Nolan PURPOSEFULLY distanced his world from the larger DCU to add to the realism of his character. Not to mention that any other character done in the style of the Nolanverse would suck out loud.

        • I have a different take on this point. Nolan’s Batman is realistic but that does not stop other elements of more mystical and Alien origin come into play. It just has to be done with finesse. Yes the current arc is more focused on reality based foundations but that can lead to a bigger world on the horizon, where supernatural beings are present.

          If done properly, the overall world will have a darker tone. Who says Batman world as it is now needs to remain isolated ?

          • “Who says Batman world as it is now needs to remain isolated?”
            Christopher Nolan.

      • Yeah… no 😉
        Nolan has said countless times that his Batman can’t coexist in the same universe as all these other heroes – nor should it IMO because I can’t see Nolan’s super realistic Batman ever standing next to a character like Green Lantern or MoS – it would just look wrong.

        Plus, Nolan said TDKR is his last Batman movie and Bale said he won’t return if Nolan doesn’t return so…

    • I think The Man of Steel should be it’s own thing, not the start of the DCMU. I think i could agree with Green Lantern 2 if aslong that film happens after Justice League’s events. Id prefer John Stewart be part of Justice League & be Hal Jordan’s replacement at the end of GL 2 near the end of the film while the film itself serves as semi-reboot like The Incredible Hulk.

      For WonderWoman film, The film should be set on Themyscira along being about her origins. The villain id pick would be Lord Ares. The costume should be WW’s armor-like costume then she’ll have a different one for the Justice League film. The film could end with her being curious about entering Man’s World despite her mother’s approval knowing there’s good that can be done beyond their shores. But i wouldn’t have any cameos of heroes make a appearance to her in the film. I mean she would etheir have to leave the island by film’s end or leave at the around the beginning of Justice League.

      As for a Batman/Superman movie, i prefer not to see Batman’s origins again but that he’s been Batman for a number of years just as Superman has just as they both begun to be in their prime.

      As for Flash movie. Again start with a origin story. A really great choice for a villain, one villain i would suggest. I wouldn’t include the villain into a Justice League film yet. Id like to have Bruce & Superman make the arrangments that would bring the team together. But have the Martian be last to add the final touches in a sorta surprise way.

      • I’m not sure how we can justify “The Man of Steel” not being part of the DCCU/DCMU. It would be too confusing to the public, OR DC would have to wait years to start their shared movie universe.

        I think Green Lantern has been readdressed before a Justice League movie. Either with a full or semi reboot. If they simply jump into a JL movie with tons of changes to Green Lantern, it would be to confusing for the general audience.

        I agree with you about Wonder Woman. Ares could be a decent villain, but there has to be a tie back to the JL villain. This would draw Wonder Woman out into the world and give her a reason to join the Justice League.

        Yeah, that is what I mean with a quick montage of events showing Batman’s origin and couple years of events at the start of the Batman/Superman movie.

        • Snyder already wanted his Man of Steel film to be it’s own reboot franchise just as Nolan’s Batman trilogy is. I think it would be better to leave it at that. They only speeded up that film to be made before losing the rights. Besides i doubt anyone could be so confused if a different actor started up a diffrent Superman franchise after the Justice League film if he was to wear a different Superman costume that looks nothin like Cavill’s. Also they made Superman Returns while Smallville was still on the air & people knew there was no connection between the show & the movie. They were thinkin about having Bruce Wayne on Smallville but Batman Begins was in developement & prevented the show from doin that.

          As for the tie back villain of WW, i wouldn’t go for it for a Justice League film, same goes for Flash,etc. Id hate for the Justice League face off against a Legion Of Doom like team in the Justice League film.

          As for Batman, i think you misunderstood what i said. I don’t think we need to go over Batman’s origins again as it’s been covered in Burton/Schumacher films via flashbacks aswell as Nolan’s Batman Begins. IF they were do go over Bruce’s parents murder again, they should include the character Dr.Leslie Thompkins to comfort Bruce as she was a friend of the Wayne family & could be of use in later Batman films to tend to Bruce is became injured/infected where Alfred isn’t able to help Bruce enough. For the next Batman reboot, id like to see more of Bat-Family be explored properly.

    • I agree with much things that you said.

      Man of Steel can defintely be the start up of a new cinematic universe and I like the idea of introducing a world which is cynical to old-fashion heroism. One- Man of Steel’s many alteration of the Superman mythos is an attempt to modernize the hero for a real-world context. What better theme to bring to the film than an actual theme existing behind-the-camera? Two- This characterization of cynical world not only relates to real-life viewpoints on heroisms (Superman v. Elite + What’s So Funny About Truth Justice and the American Way) and allow for better characterization of Superman but also traces back to the 1930s when Superman was created to give America and the World a Hero that was needed.

      This theme of Superman facing a world cynical to heroes will also affect other heroes in later films and can set up the beginning of Amanda Waller and Cadmus/Checkmate program- which can lead to the proposed “Suicide Squad” film. Now I am not sure if there would be scenes/dialouge references other heroes but I suppose last minute addition to the film is possible. Not much but possible.

      Flash and Wonderwoman should be made priority. Since we haven’t heard any significant news in those fronts while hearing about Justice League film, I pray that these films be finalized before and let DC work more on the script for JLA movie. Flash can easily continue the idea of a new hero facing public opinion as he has been in other adaptation (JL: New Fronteir + Justice League TV series). Stories of government action can be introduced here, continuing from MoS. Flash can be a new hero whose film introdues larger science yet still grounded as the MoS film seems to be (relatively) and who has much admiration of Superman.Wonderwoman introduces supernatural themes into this realistic world, isolated but intimately grounded such as Games of Thrones first two seasons, sort of. Wonder Woman’s weapons can attribute to higher science presented in Flash as well. The events in her film and MoS leaves Diana to leave for Man’s primitive gritty world and tries to bring some “truth” to us.

      Now as stated before by other commentators, of which I agree, is the ability to tie these characters together if DC decides to reniforce the different tones of the character, such as the example of Batman and Wonder Woman as presented in the article. But if they balance creation of a complete (read: unrestrained) world of the character and the creation of a world in which all these characters can come together yet remain grounded and plausible (almost as if we wake up tomorrow in which we slowly realize of these Supermen and Wonder women in our world with each passing day). Think of a cross of a Thor movie that felt to restrained in order to fit in the world of Iron Man and the rest and the unrestrained wild Green Lantern which loses resonance with the audience and isolates itself from plausible movie match ups. It would tricky with such a diverse cast of characters and origins that DC bring in a team. Which is why I understnd that some want solo films and a JLA film seperate from each other so both will be free to reach potential without handicaps but I believe the challenge is worth a shot and this is where a strong creative consultant is needed, either in the form of Bruce Timm or someone else. Original creative choices can totally be used to tweak the characters where needed yet make tribute and reach the potential the character has to offer on screen and make it work (Nolan’s Batman Trilogy). Besides this will be a nice way to challenge the formulaic structure of Marvel’s Phase 1 films.

      Now Green Lantern needs another shot on the big screen as a solo feature. As many have stated it is totally possible in making the new reboot being part of the DCU on its own like the Incredible Hulk did without bringing in the first film. The first film will be seperate but function as the origin story/introduction of the characters, while the second film retcons major the plot points and tone of the first film making any changes known through flashback and/or dialogue. The Incredible Hulk did not need the first Hulk movie plot mentioned and recreated much of the facts of how/why Bruce became hulk, but did not retread old waters and put itself in the middle of the story in which some can think is a continuation of the first movie but is not neccessary. GI JOE is doing something similar and GL could totally do it. Hal Jordan has the ring but only a few know of his secret (not Carol Ferris) and he continues training with Sinestro. Hammond and Parallax are not mentioned but an alien attack did happen but was quickly covered up as a terrorist attack to the public- flashback can be used to show a different obscure attack in which only a bright green light was remembered by the general public. While no one knows anything of the green lantern- only seen his light- The Corps see Jordan as a hero and becomes an official Lantern at the beginning of the film. So it fits the ending of GL but does away with some of the more controversial elements of the film. As a pilot in the Air Force he can have ties to Steve Trevor (which directly references WW) and is friends with Barry Allen (Flash), a confidant. A new tone, less CGI and grounded storyline will be present. Ryan Reynolds can defintely return after seeing him give a good peformance inSafe House opposite Denzel Washington. John Stewart can be a supporting character who is hinted at becoming a gl. A great way to tie into the cinematic universe also is having him away on training or a mission during MoS and have him say he needs to investigate. Or maybe Martian Manhunter. Or maybe alien life (invaders) on earth. Amanda Waller can also tie up beautifully as she can be rewritten reconned character from the first GL movie.

      Batman is one of my favorite heroes but a reboot to soon might kill it for fans (Amazing Spiderman looking at you) and can be risk after two successful (three?) Batman films. So I rather Batman next show up in the JLA movie. The character should be slightly redesigned character from the Nolan films. Think Batman who was redesigned visually and in tone for the new Batman adventures and JL after the original Batman: The Animated Series. The new Batman appears in the JLA movie as character who has been working as crimefighter for years (Nolan’s film) and we see the film through his eyes like Captain America in the Avengers. The character of course is dealing with the huge scale of change happening in the world and its affect in humans ( he is the only truly human character besides GL but grounded). Change in character and motive is now writing itself as Batman has come from gritty realism (Dark Knight Trilogy events mentioned) and over the years has seen stranger events. He is older, less trusting but his strong morality and humanity such as in the Nolan films still there. Its his role and POV that can drive the film as it would relate to the cynical world aspect of before and wondering what he can do. His legacy as the first hero is taken by the first superhero Superman.

      Other hero movies I am not sure of as of yet. Martian Manhunter should be a key character introduced in the JL film similar as he was in the animated series and I don’t know whether to have aquaman or someone else but that I am tackling later. I think the flash film will be a great way to introduce the world as MoS was written without the DCMU in mind. In terms of bridging Nolan’s film style for Batman and Man of Steel. Batman Begins defintely showed the comic book roots visually and the Dark Knight Rises show a mixture of that and the hyperrealism of The Dark Knight. The Flash, as he is a cop and down-to-earth(not in space or mythical islands) can bridge the realism with the more fantasical. But in the end it will be a creative effort of the filmmakers and the “godfather” to bridge all the characters together. I am just saying it could start there.


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