I love Marvel Comics.If you are new around here, I need to be transparent and tell you that I just love their characters more than DC’s. That’s no knock to DC. I love them as well. I just have a preference. With that out of the way, if there is one thing that I love undisputedly more than Marvel comics, it’s being able to say, “I told you so”. I can’t quite yet, as I don’t think anything has been made official. However, I feel more confident than ever in saying that Joss Whedon will be the savior of the DCEU. Let’s look at the timeline of events.
The DCEU Begins
Days before the release of Man of Steel in 2013, word got out that Zack Snyder was confirmed for a sequel that would be fast tracked by the WB. The following month at SDCC, WB revealed that Batman would be in the planned sequel. In October 2013, Warner Bros. announced a ten movie slate for what fans began to call the DCCU. In July 2015, the official name for this shared universe was announced as the DCEU and Zack Snyder had the keys.
Trouble In Paradise
On March 25, 2016, Batman V Superman released to a very mixed(to put it lightly) response. The movie flopped critically earning its place as a failure. The prevailing response from defenders of the movie was about how much money it made. To that I say, “DUH”! For the first meeting of Batman and Superman on the big screen, money is inevitable. What everyone who tries to defend “bad” movies with box office numbers fails to realize is that the amount of people who pay to see a movie aren’t necessarily the amount of people who like it. Especially for opening weekend. After opening weekend, the two factors start to line up more. More of the public has seen it and they can now start to convince their friends to either see it or skip it. Batman V Superman has one of the sharpest second week declines at the box office in history.
On March 31, 2016, news leaked that Suicide Squad was going to go through major reshoots costing millions of dollars. The rumored reason was because one of Batman V Superman’s biggest complaints was the dark, gritty, depressing tone throughout the entire movie. So, they felt they needed to make it more fun. Shorty after those rumors came out, people involved started to deny them. They said things like the reshoots were to add more action or to make the movie more like the trailers. The movie came out on August 5th. We found the latter isn’t true because one of the biggest complaints of the movie was how the trailers were misleading. The promotion for this movie was top notch and it definitely had the star power so again, opening weekend succeeded. And just like Batman V Superman before it, Suicide Squad had one of the biggest second week box office drops in history.
On May 17, 2016, we found out that Geoff Johns would now be in charge of the DCEU along with Jon Berg. It was amazing seeing WB realize and then try to actually fix their problem and it showed that they actually cared about what the fans were saying. However, Geoff Johns was a part of the post production of Suicide Squad and that movie wasn’t too much better than BvS. Also, I don’t know much about Johns so I still wasn’t too hopeful for DC’s future in movies. But Zack Snyder no longer in charge was a good thing even though he was still the director for Justice League…
Accountability From The Top
In his first interview since becoming head of the DCEU, published on September 8, 2016, Geoff Johns addressed problems with the universe so far. He didn’t ignore that there was a problem and he didn’t make excuses. He named the chief problem as the movies being way too dark and gritty. Johns went on to say, the studio thought they had created stories in the vein of the Dark Knight trilogy. Ultimately that wasn’t the case.
Whedon Gets Batgirl
On March 30, 2017, word got out that Joss Whedon had signed on to write, direct and produce Batgirl. This was shocking to those thinking Whedon was done with superhero movies. There is also the fact of going from Marvel to DC. At this point my pipe dream started.
Zach Snyder Mourns
On May 22, 2017 Zack Snyder announced that he would be stepping away from Justice League. We all know the reason. If not, look it up. No need to dwell on that unfortunate incident. The good news to come out of the situation is that Joss Whedon was named to take Snyder’s place. Going from directing Batgirl to directing the freaking Justice league movie is a huge jump in 2 months. My dream had now become its own living being. My mind immediately began to race with the possibilities that Whedon could bring to the DCEU.
I mounted my phone up and recorded a video as soon as I could. I finished and threw it up on my Youtube channel, then shared it to FB. As soon as my mood elevated, it was squashed. I received all types of comments on my post and in my inbox that served to kill my dreams. One commenter went so far as to post a comment on my actual video.
It was a quote from the exact article I got my info from. In my excitement, I hadn’t finished reading it.
Even though people thought I was crazy, I still had my hope.
But You Said No Additional Characters
Let’s revisit the above quote, “We’re not introducing any new characters. It’s the same characters in some new scenes”. Fast forward to June 13 and it appears that wasn’t quite true. Reports show that Robbin Wright and Connie Neilson are on set at the Justice League reshoots reprising their roles from Wonder Woman. Although I’d attribute this more to Johns than Joss, this is extremely telling.
More Changes For Joss
Once shooting resumed for Justice League, it was announced that Junkie XL who was doing the composition when Snyder was in charge, had been replaced. On June 14 we found out that Joss Whedon brought in Danny Elfman who has worked with Whedon before on the second Avengers movie.
What Am I Saying?
Let’s get into conspiracy mode now. It seems like all the Whedon related events imply that either Warner Brothers wants Justice League to have his vision or at least they are allowing it. Their actions don’t match up with their words.
If it’s me reading the signs, they are glad they didn’t have to fired Snyder. That isn’t to say that he won’t have any role in the DCEU in the future. He has his strong points. But, I’m willing to bet that if JL comes out different than Snyder’s plan(which I think it will) and is a critical success, a couple things will happen. Joss Whedon will have a bigger role in the overall DCEU. Zack Snyder will have even less of a role, possibly including him not directing the second JL movie. Lastly, as a result of those two changes, the DCEU will take off and become a legitimate competitor to the MCU. If that happens, as comic book fans, we all win.