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DC execs say solo films will feature less universe building

09.29.2017

Marvel seems to have their cinematic universe game down pat, but so far DC has had a hard time catching up with their slate of movies. Until WONDER WOMAN, the series had yet to release a movie that was both a critical and commercial success, with previous movies being more the latter than the former. But the folks at DC Entertainment have taken note and will take steps to carve out their own place in the cinematic universe landscape, even if it means diverting from what fans have come to expect.

Speaking with Vulture, DC Entertainment president Diane Nelson and DC Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns spoke about how the success of WONDER WOMAN – which has very little connection to the DCEU in terms of story – is making them realize that not every movie needs to connect to one another, and from here on out, they won’t:

Johns: The movie’s [WOMAN] not about another movie. Some of the movies do connect the characters together, like Justice League. But, like with Aquaman, our goal is not to connect Aquaman to every movie.

Nelson:  Moving forward, you’ll see the DC movie universe being a universe, but one that comes from the heart of the filmmaker who’s creating them.

Marvel revolutionized the cinematic universe angle back in 2008, when IRON MAN kicked things off, establishing a universe wherein a character's solo story contribute to an overall arc that culminates in a team-up flick like THE AVENGERS. That may have seemed like a good idea over at DC, but movies like BATMAN V. SUPERMAN and SUICIDE SQUAD were met with poor reviews and split response from fans. This November's JUSTICE LEAGUE acts as DC's team-up flick, continuing off events from BVS. However, now that WONDER WOMAN has given them a bona fide smash, they intend to do more individualistic films that adhere to certain continuity, but not for the sake of a grander story:

Nelson: Our intention, certainly, moving forward is using the continuity to help make sure nothing is diverging in a way that doesn’t make sense, but there’s no insistence upon an overall story line or interconnectivity in that universe.

Warner Bros. caused a lot of discussions when it announced part of this plan meant to create solo films that stood out completely from the greater DCEU, starting with a standalone Joker origin story, set to be directed by THE HANGOVER’s Todd Phillips and produced by Martin Scorsese. This will kick off a new label at DC, one designed to house movies that act purely as movies, not greater pieces to a bigger puzzle. Johns said that this label will indeed have a name and that it will be announced “soon-ish.”

WOMAN indeed proved that a modern comic book movie doesn’t need to be a part of a larger story in order to be successful, as did movies like LOGAN and DEADPOOL. The same goes for this year’s SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING, which did have Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man but told a story that had virtually nothing to do with the MCU. I think fans, at the end of the day, just want great movies. If it can link to something larger that builds anticipation (AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR), then great, but the movie itself needs to be amazing. This is probably easier when thinking within the confines of one single movie, and not about a larger universe. LOGAN was its own beast; DEADPOOL did its thing and; WONDER WOMAN didn’t need Superman or Batman. All were massive hits. Not every movie needs to be a part of a puzzle, and if DC just focuses on making great movies they can truly live up to the reputation of their classic heroes, and win back love from fans and critics.

JUSTICE LEAGUE arrives November 17.

Source: Vulture

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