It wasn't Batman V Superman, the first time these heroes ever shared the big screen together in live-action, that managed to bring hope to the DC Extended Universe. It wound up being Wonder Woman, which totally ruled the box office this past weekend and wowed critics and fans alike. One might think that would lead Warner Bros. to respond and firm up some future plans based on that success, but it sounds like they are actually going to play the waiting game a bit. According to one analyst, it is Justice League that will really determine the future of the DCEU.
Forbes writer Mark Hughes recently wrote a fairly extensive article on the future of female superhero movies within the DCEU. Given the success of Wonder Woman, one might think that we will be getting a whole bunch. And soon. But that doesn't sound like the plan. Instead, they are waiting to see how Justice League turns out before firming up their future plans. Here's what Mark Hughes had to say about it.
"The truth is, a lot is riding on how 2017 pans out. The studio wants to see how Wonder Woman performs (so far so good on that front) and how Justice League turns out, before they barrel ahead with multiple more films every year. More films will get made, don't worry, but it makes sense to ease off the gas a little and be certain about the best route ahead."
The truth is, Warner Bros. has seemed to be very reactionary and has changed their plans quite a bit since first announcing their DCEU movie slate. The divisiveness of Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad is something that they had to account for, but both movies did very well at the box office as well. This, coupled with some trouble behind-the-scenes with movies like The Flash and Justice League Dark, has caused some movies to shift release dates, and other movies to be announced. Gotham City Sirens, Suicide Squad 2, Nightwing, The Batman and Batgirl are all in various stages of development and those are movies that were not announced initially. Not to mention that Wonder Woman 2 seems inevitable at this point.
The fact that Wonder Woman is going to be a huge financial success and the first major critical hit for the DCEU is important, but it is just one movie. Justice League is a major event and something fans are truly looking forward to. If the movie is divisive like previous DCEU movies, that could be problematic. It doesn't mean the DCEU is going off the rails, but it just means that Warner Bros. may want to rethink their approach. On the flipside, if Justice League crushes in all phases, they will building on the back of two huge hits and can more accurately plan things moving forward. It just makes sense. Zack Snyder was responsible for the lion's share of what the movie will ultimately become, but Joss Whedon is handling reshoots on Justice League and is going to be finishing it up. So he will be at least partially responsible for whatever blame or praise is heaped upon it.
Looking at the one, possible negative thing here is that 2018 will, according to this report, see a single DCEU movie hit theaters in the form of Aquaman next December. That means it will be more than a year from the time that Justice League hits before another DC Comics superhero graces the big screen. That could be a bit of a bummer for fans, but it could be the right play when it comes to the long game for Warner Bros. Things could change, but whatever changes come will certainly have a lot to do with Justice League.