Warner Bros. is reportedly looking to reset their DC movie universe. After their first financial disappointment in Justice League, the studio has been slowly making changes in an effort to help their superhero film series bounce back. DC Films went through management shake-up with IT and The Conjuring producer Walter Hamada named as the new president of production followed by the appointment of Chantal Nong as vice president of production. Now, with news that Henry Cavill will no longer play Superman in the superhero franchise, it seems like the major changes are still coming to the franchise.
Kicking off with 2013's Man of Steel starring Cavill and directed by Zack Snyder, the DC Films struggled to build their own cinematic franchise. Between having a hard time figuring out how to properly approach the task at hand and the pressure to compete with Marvel Studios' MCU, the budding franchise suffered through several critically panned movies and has only one smash hit in Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman. But now that Snyder and Cavill (and more likely Ben Affleck, who plays Batman, too) are both no longer linked to the franchise, it seems like Warner Bros. is significantly veering away from their initial plans regarding their own superhero franchise.
In conjunction with the article claiming that Cavill is out as the Man of Steel, THR is reporting that Warner Bros. is looking to hit the "reset" button with the DC universe. An anonymous source familiar with the matter says that "there's a recognition that some parts of the previous movies didn't work" prompting them to make the necessary changes to ensure that the film series is headed to the right direction. But instead of rebooting everything in one go, the studio is slowly changing the course of the franchise.
It's difficult to imagine how the existing DCEU lore will function without two of its most prominent heroes, and some might argue that it would've been easier if Warners Bros. just goes with a total reboot. But things are a bit complicated than that considering that they also don't want to let go of Gadot's Wonder Woman - especially since both the character and her film were greatly received by the public. Additionally, there are projects like Aquaman starring Jason Momoa, not to mention Wonder Woman 1984, both part of the established lore, and which people are very enthusiastic about.
It remains to be seen how the studio is looking to tackle this big move but many are looking at a potential Flashpoint film to allow Warner Bros. to rewrite the franchise's history but also retain some of its good parts. For a time, the forthcoming The Flash solo film set to be helmed by Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley and starring Ezra Miller was supposed to be based on the quintessential comic book run featuring the Scarlet Speedster, but it's no longer the case. Perhaps they can revisit their initial plans and go with it in accordance with the latest happening in the franchise.
If plans to course correct the DC movie universe fails, Warner Bros. can focus on a brand new continuity which they are planning to launch soon. The new label which will be called either DC Black or DC Dark is set to be kicked off with the Todd Phillips-directed Joker film starring Joaquin Phoenix. As of now, the movie is supposed to be standalone, but previous reports claim that it may eventually connect with Matt Reeves' The Batman movie depending on people's reception of the upcoming DC Film releases.
- Aquaman (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018
- Shazam! (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019
- Joker (2019) release date: Oct 04, 2019
- Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) release date: Jun 05, 2020