San Diego Comic-Con did what I thought was impossible. It got me excited for DC movies. In case you missed it, the DCEU has been officially dubbed Worlds of DC and they launched trailers for two of their upcoming films. I am genuinely excited off the charts for Shazam! and I’m getting excited for Aquaman. These are the first DC films that I am excited for. So, what happened? What follows is my own opinion and speculation. I don’t have any secret insider knowledge of DC or Warner Bros.
I think the change-ups really helped. Worlds of DC has about five movies and only one has been positively received by critics and fans. The others were either mixed or straight up garbage that no one really liked. When I saw Man of Steel, I walked away entertained, but not wowed. Then, years later, I saw Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad which were complete rubbish. Wonder Woman came out next, and I was floored. It was great! DC had done something right. Then, all the drama with Justice League happened and I pretty much lost any desire to see it.
If you go back, you’ll find that most or all of the DC movies have had big problems due to the studio. By changing things up at the studio to allow a more streamlined process, I think they’re starting to really get their footing and getting actual visions through.
Another thing that helps is I don’t feel like they’re trying to be dark and gritty for the sake of being dark and gritty anymore. One of my big problems with Man of Steel after seeing it was how washed out and dark the cinematography was. I saw a video where someone edited it to not have a filter on and it was brighter, more vibrant, and felt more Superman.
For a while, I’ve felt like DC is stuck on this idea of The Dark Knight worked and it was dark and gritty, so we have to make all our movies this way. Dark and gritty works really well for a character like Batman who is dark and gritty. I don’t agree so much with characters like Superman. Just look at the disaster that was Justice League. It started out being made as a dark and gritty Zack Snyder movie. The studio then brought in Joss Whedon who decided to make it less dark and gritty. To say it was controversial would be an understatement.
However, with Aquaman and Shazam! I feel like they’re setting the tone based on the character and not making the character match a tone they’ve already decided on. Shazam! tells the story of a 14-year-old boy who magically gets superpowers. It’s going to get ridiculous and light-hearted. It looks like Aquaman is trying to find more of a middle ground between jovial and dark, but the trailer mostly showed the jovial side. I think this was an attempt to appeal to a wider audience who is used to fun comic book movies and later trailers may have a bit more grit. There is also a possibility that DC has decided to say, “screw it!” and gone full Marvel, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. After all, Marvel’s been doing extremely well with their movies.
I know many of you are already furiously typing saying I don’t know crap about what I’m talking about, but the trailers they recently dropped give me hope that they’ve finally found their footing and figured out how to handle their cinematic universe. I think the casting has been spot-on for the upcoming films and I can’t wait for a second Aquaman trailer.
Do you have any hope left for Worlds of DC?