The rivalry between DC and Marvel existed long before the advent of shared cinematic universes. However, the growing prominence of superhero movies has shined an unprecedented light on this long and storied conflict. Although there's room for debate, it's pretty clear that Marvel stands on much firmer ground on the silver screen, and DC actor Jai Courtney seems to have a very clear understanding as to why. He explained:
During a recent interview on the Happy Sad Confused Podcast, Jai Courtney took the time to explain what works so well about the Marvel Cinematic Universe. By his own estimation, Marvel Studios has had the time to let all of its fundamental pieces fall into place, and audiences have slowly come to know all of Marvel's characters over the course of the last eight years. In his own words, they took their time and allowed the MCU to "marinate." That's a beautifully simple way to put it.
He's definitely not wrong. Although Marvel has clearly shown no fear when it comes to trying new things with its franchises, we often take the MCU's current stability for granted. Everyone seems to forget that the early days of Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, and the rest of the Phase 1 films had to do a ton of legwork in order to properly introduce fans to these characters and these worlds. Now that fans have actually gotten to know the core Avengers ensemble, the studio has the luxury of bringing these players together for big tentpole movies like Captain America: Civil War.
Just think about it, Marvel gave audiences five standalone movies before producing team-up movie in the form of 2012's The Avengers. For comparison's sake, the DCEU has only really had one movie focusing on a single hero. Following the lukewarm response to Man of Steel, DC then expanded exponentially by producing seriously polarizing ensemble films like Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad. This inherently puts DC at a disadvantage when compared to Marvel. Warner Bros. has had to move considerably quicker with regards to establishing the DCEU, and that has arguably made for a somewhat sloppier start than Marvel experienced.
Perhaps the biggest takeaway from Jai Courtney's comments is the idea that DC will eventually get to Marvel's level. Just as Marvel had to take the time to familiarize audiences with its own world, DC is currently in the midst of that process. A few more DCEU movies, and fans will know exactly what to expect from each and every one of these characters - paving the way for better team ups.
One thing is clear: the rivalry between DC and Marvel will only get more intense in the future. The Marvel Cinematic Universe will continue to expand when Doctor Strange hits theaters on November 4, and DC will take the action back to WWI when Wonder Woman hits theaters on June 2, 2017. Stay tuned for more details!