Warner Bros’ DC Extended Universe (which encompasses Man of Steel, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad so far) is thus far the only successful “cinematic universe” launched to properly rival the groundbreaking model of the Marvel Cinematic Universe – despite having not earned anywhere near the same level of critical praise. WB and DC are looking to both change the DCEU’s critical prospects and raise its commercial prospects even higher in 2017, with the release of Wonder Woman and Justice League.
Things are already changing on the creative personnel side of things in the DCEU, what with Geoff Johns being made the president of DC Entertainment and Zack Snyder (who helmed Man of Steel, Batman V Superman and Justice League) stepping away from the DCEU for at least a while, after he finishes post-production on Justice League. Now one of the other main producers behind the DCEU, Charles Roven, has spoken about how the DC movie universe will be changing over the next year.
In an interview with THR (due to him being named “Producer of The Year” by the publication), Roven was asked to explain Justice League and Wonder Woman are going to differ from Batman V Superman in particular. He replied as follows:
“Wonder Woman is an origination story, so the whole dynamic and the plot moves are different than other DC movies. There’s also a great relationship between her and the guy [played by Chris Pine] who crash-lands on her island and is the trigger mechanism for her going back to man’s world.”
“We knew we were making a very serious, compelling, driving film with Batman v. Superman. Now the bell has been rung and the whole tone of [Justice League] is lighter.”
Roven was also asked by THR if the budgets for upcoming DCEU movies would be lower than those for Batman V Superman and Suicide Squad – with the producer replying that both of those films were commercial successes, with global box office takes around $873 million and $750 million, respectively. WB’s commercial projections for Batman V Superman in particular were nonetheless higher than what it actually took in (read: over $1 billion worldwide), in turn making the movie something of a mixed success – at best – in this regard.
Wonder Woman will thus serve as the next significant test for the box office durability of the DCEU brand, followed by Justice League and possibly the Ben Affleck-directed The Batman, before James Wan’s Aquaman hits theaters in fall of 2018. Although Roven was originally set to produce every DCEU film, THR notes that he’s now scaling that involvement back – possibly to include only sequels to the DCEU films that he’s already produced.