SDCC 2015: 5 Things DC & Warner Bros. Need to Win Comic-Con

4. A Justice League Tease

Batman V Superman already features several Justice League team members, especially depending on how much Ray Fisher's Victor Stone (Cyborg) and Jason Momoa's King Orin (Aquaman) will be involved. However, while some fans may be hoping to see a near-formed Justice League at the end of Dawn of Justice, it's much more likely that additional heroes will only be seen in cameo. Nevertheless, just because the full Justice League won't be seen in Batman V Superman, that doesn't mean Warner Bros. shouldn't bring the cast to Comic-Con 2015 - to tease the next (big) step after Suicide Squad.

For years, fans have debated whether or not DC could play catchup to Marvel by producing team-ups first - that spun off into solo movies afterward. In 2013, the Batman V Superman announcement made it clear that had DC recognized origin story fatigue - and was planning to introduce audiences to DCCU characters that already had history in the film world (such as Ben Affleck's aged Batman). To that end, Warner Bros. started locking down key pieces of the roster - years ahead of solo film debuts. While Ray Fisher may appear in several DC movies, the studio cast their Cyborg a full six years before his solo film will debut in 2020.

Justice League Movie Cyborg

To that end, it would make sense that the studio begins to utilize the people that they have assembled - to build interest in their shared movie universe team. After all, shared universe storytelling is a key component in Marvel's record-breaking success - largely because moviegoers know that they need to see every MCU film to fully appreciate the blockbuster event team-ups (The Avengers: Age of Ultron). At this point, the idea of seeing Batman and Superman together on screen is exciting - but it's important that Warner Bros. also frames their big picture plans.

For months, we've speculated (on the Screen Rant Underground podcast) that Snyder could, for example, tease Justice League in Batman V Superman - by simply showing the Dark Knight and Man of Steel inside the bat cave, looking over a series of computer screens - each monitoring an iconic Justice League hero. A simple easter egg like that would go a long way with building excitement for the Justice League movie - without requiring the studio to actually have a Flash or Green Lantern movie, and special effects, in production.


5. A Detailed Longterm DC Movie Plan

Green Lantern Movie Reboot Corps John Guy

After DC's unceremonious announcement of their planned film schedule through 2020 - with Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (March 25th, 2016), Suicide Squad (August 5th, 2016), Wonder Woman (June 23rd, 2017), Justice League (November 17th, 2017), The Flash (March 23rd, 2018), Aquaman (July 27th, 2018), Shazam (April 5th, 2019), Justice League 2 (June 14th, 2019), Cyborg (April 3rd, 2020), and Green Lantern (June 19th, 2020) all in various stages of development - questions began to arise regarding how Warner Bros. intended to fit all of the pieces together.

In particular, Shazam remains a question mark - with different reports suggesting the film will be part of the Justice League universe and, tangentially, the storyline - while others indicate that the Dwayne Johnson-starring movie will not connect any time soon. Similarly, while it shouldn't be too hard for Warner Bros. to connect Batman V Superman, Suicide Squad, and Justice League, Phase 1 of the DCCU, as the studio branches out into solo movies, they'll soon face similar challenges as the Marvel movie universe - specifically, crafting a world where God-like aliens and tech-savvy humans face world-threatening evildoers together, then go their separate ways (and tackle smaller threats).

The DCMU might be able to side-step the now-standard question of "Why didn't X hero help X hero to defeat X villain" by relying on prequel stories as well as post-Justice League team-ups within a solo movie (think Marvel's Captain America: Civil War); yet, whatever they have planned - there's no doubt that fans are eager to hear Warner Bros.' plan, not to mention reassurance that there is a plan.

The Rock teases early Shazam

To that end, based on the investors schedule, only one core Justice League casting spot remains open - Green Lantern. Recent pre-Comic-Con rumors have suggested that Warner Bros. might be in the process of locking in actors for both Hal Jordan and John Stewart - for an appearance by multiple human Lanterns in the 2020 Green Lantern reboot. Given that Green Lantern, whichever Earth hero will take center stage this round, isn't likely to appear until Justice League (at the earliest), it makes sense that Warner Bros. hasn't announced casting yet. Regardless, with the rest of the lineup already signed, there's no better place to debut the new Green Lantern(s) than Comic-Con 2015.

Assembling The Avengers on stage at Comic-Con 2010 (with a last minute addition of Mark Ruffalo) was a milestone for Marvel - and a high-profile tease for the studio's ambitious shared universe plan. There's no doubt that a similar move by DC would help skeptics, casual moviegoers, and fans gear-up for Warner Bros.' robust slate of superhero (and villain) films - proving that the studio is developing an interweaving shared universe - not just a wish-list of post-Justice League solo movie ideas, actors, and release dates.


Of course, our list is not all-inclusive, so be sure to share your own hopes for the Warner Bros Hall-H panel at Comic-Con 2015 in the comments below! What do you think the studio needs to show in order to win over skeptical fans?

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