Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara believes the DCEU can't succeed by trying to copy Disney (and Marvel). After numerous attempts to launch a shared universe around their DC superheroes, the studio finally got their unofficially titled DC Extended Universe off the ground with Zack Snyder's Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice in 2016. The team-up movie was a follow-up to the filmmaker's 2013 Superman origin film, Man of Steel, of which the film's Black Zero event became the impetus for the DCEU's formation.
Snyder's Justice League united the world's finest heroes - Batman (Ben Affleck), Superman (Henry Cavill), Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), The Flash (Ezra Miller), Aquaman (Jason Momoa), and Cyborg (Ray Fisher) - for the first time ever on the big screen. The film was considered by some of those involved with the project to be the most anticipated superhero film ever (at the time). Unfortunately, Justice League's muddled theatrical cut was filled with conflicting tones and undeserved character developments, not to mention the lack of several key scenes, which is why it drastically underperformed both critically and commercially. And many fans are now petitioning Warner Bros. to release an unadulterated Zack Snyder cut of the film, one without any of Joss Whedon's comedic scenes.
Warner Bros. was ridiculed by longtime DCEU fans and some general audiences for trying to copy Marvel with their Justice League reshoots. While that's something that Warners may never explicitly admit to doing, studio CEO Kevin Tsujihara told The Wrap (in a report centered on the DCEU) that they can't move forward by trying to replicate Disney's success anymore.
“Warner Bros needs to continue doing what it’s always done: producing the biggest, most diverse slate in the business. That’s what’s made us successful. We can’t do what Disney’s done. It’s worked really, really well for them, but it’s not who we are. We need to continue to create a balanced slate of all types of movies and all genres."
Warner Bros. was arguably the most successful studio when it came to producing comic book movies until Marvel Studios seemingly dethroned them with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Aside from their various DC Comics movies, the most successful superhero trilogy ever to release is Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight trilogy. Interestingly, Nolan's films - in addition to projects such as The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter - were originally green-lighted by Alan Horn, who is now chairman of Walt Disney Studios and oversees both Lucasfilm and Marvel Studios.
At first, Warners was rushing to catch up with Marvel Studios, but it seems they've finally caught up to their mistakes. They are now taking a step back and allowing their projects to gestate properly. the next DCEU film on the docket to release is James Wan's Aquaman, due out this December, with David F. Sandberg's Shazam! and Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman 2 coming in 2019. We'll just have to wait and see what happens with the DCEU post-2019.
Source: The Wrap
- Aquaman (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018
- Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) release date: Jun 05, 2020
- Shazam! (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019