Top 10 Ways To Fix the DC Extended Universe

The DCEU was dealt another blow by the underwhelming performance of JUSTICE LEAGUE at the box office. While Warner Bros wrings their hands to try and figure out how to fix their fledgling franchise, we all have ideas of our own as to what can be done. Here is our ranking of the ten ways that WB and DC can fix their extended universe. As always, if you disagree or have your own suggestions, feel free to share your comments in the talk backs below.

Don't try to imitate Marvel

One of the most divisive elements of JUSTICE LEAGUE was how drastically different the tone was from BATMAN V SUPERMAN. DC was going for bold and dark under Zack Snyder's direction but ended up releasing a film that could not tell what type of superhero movie it wanted to be. Dark and brooding or funny and hopeful? Marvel has found their formula and they stick with it, but that doesn't mean DC has to drink the same Kool-Aid. Try something and stick with it and the fans will come whether they complain or not.

Solo first, team-up later

Marvel spent years releasing solo superhero movies before they teamed them up for the first AVENGERS movie. Since then, there has been more crossover but it came after investing in building up their roster of characters. DC needs to make sure that the superheroes who have not gotten their solo franchises built get their screen time before going for the event film. Give us Flash, Cyborg, Aquaman and any other heroes before you do another JUSTICE LEAGUE.

Hire more filmmakers

Of the five films released in the DCEU, three were directed by Zack Snyder. As much as I like Snyder, even Joss Whedon left the MCU after two AVENGERS films. David Ayer and Patty Jenkins both delivered their own visions of superhero movies that played with Snyder's palette but managed to strike their own tone. DC and Warner Bros need to find more unique and varied filmmakers to bring their films to life and make sure they feel comfortable doing more daring things with the material.

F*ck continuity

Marvel is reaching a critical point with their films now that they are thinking of phasing out some actors/superheroes and making way for fresh talent. DC can eliminate that potential issue right away by not making all of their films tied to one cinematic timeline. Comics constantly reboot their universes and tell stories in parallel dimensions. FLASHPOINT is going to be a great opportunity to reset the table and possibly open a door for a way to change actors and characters before they get stale and blame it on The Flash f*cking with the timeline.

If you are going dark, go really dark.

JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK has been in development hell for a long time but has also been one of DC's most intriguing properties. Like GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, the DARK team could be a way to introduce a lot of characters that most audiences are not familiar with and do so in a way that pushes the envelope. DC has always been grittier than Marvel, so why not pull a DEADPOOL and go all the way by making a hard R comic book movie? Disney doesn't have the balls, so Warner Bros could do something their competition never will.

Make Superman great again

JUSTICE LEAGUE was clearly a studio influenced offering that got some things right and other things wrong. One thing that worked well was making Superman fun again. While I really would have loved to see an evil Superman for more than a few minutes (he would have been a much better villain than Steppenwolf), watching Henry Cavill crack wise and kick ass was the most rewarding live action Kal-El I have seen since Christopher Reeve. The world needs Superman more than ever, especially when he smiles as he smashes bad guys left and right.

...or create new ones

Since the DCEU is it's own fictional timeline, why does there even need to be a source story to be adapted? Get great writers and tell stories unlike what is on the written page. Look at WONDER WOMAN moving from WWII to World War I: as long as you achieve a faithful adaptation of the main superhero, throw the rest away and rewrite from scratch. As much as we want to see Darkseid, Black Adam, The Riddler and all the other DC villains, creating a brand new one we have never seen before would be damn cool. Get DC's best and brightest and partner with them to come up with something no one has ever seen before.

Either adapt the right stories...

There are a lot of great stories out there in the annals of DC history, but why aren't they being adapted for the big screen? It may be new, but when BATMAN V SUPERMAN teased a future where Superman was following the events of the video game Injustice, fans went nuts with the potential that held. Injustice offers a lot of thematic material that could truly allow DC to make a statement with their stories. There are so many arcs for every superhero that could be made into brilliant films (FLASHPOINT) that could help distinguish the DCEU from Marvel once and for all.

Listen to the fans...to a degree

It is very clear that DC and Warner Bros have course corrected multiple times with their cinematic universe. MAN OF STEEL destroyed Metropolis, now every movie makes mention of how the sites of battles is devoid of civilians. BATMAN V SUPERMAN was too dark, so JUSTICE LEAGUE lightened it up. What fans have to say is important, but don't make yourselves beholden to everything we say. Not everyone will be happy with every movie, but fans definitely know which stories they want to hear and how they want their characters portrayed. Take that advice but don't throw away everything you built because one vocal minority complained.

Don't listen to critics

Have you ever noticed how often critics and writers on sites like this one are branded as Marvel Apologists? I truly enjoy most of the MCU offerings even if I don't think they are always great. But, there are a lot of critics who will rip a movie to shreds for not being a great cinematic event (SUICIDE SQUAD) even if it is fun to watch. Warner Bros needs to stop catering to the professional critics and make whatever their filmmakers want.

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