In late 2014, Warner Bros and DC Comics announced their initial slate of DC Extended Universe movies that would be released 2016 until 2020. Since then, there have been some important updates announced, from Aquaman being moved to October 2018 or projects like a new Batman movie being announced as in development, but for the most part, the schedule has followed along the same path. That needs to change.
Whether you love the DCEU or hate it, the franchise seems to have hit a rut, one which may not be fixed by Wonder Woman and Justice League later this year. Combined with certain behind-the-scenes troubles, it's time to reformat and reorganize the slate, whether that means delaying a movie, moving it to an earlier release date or simply dedicating more focus to something in development. Here are our suggestions for DCEU scheduling alterations.
Move Shazam Up
Shazam is the black sheep of the DC Extended Universe. Its described tone feels very much separate from the rest of the franchise so far, and aside from Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson being cast as Black Adam, there haven't been any specific news about what to expect from the movie. Right now Shazam is slated for release in April 2019, but we suggest that Warner Bros and DC try to move that up as soon as possible. First off, Johnson is one of the biggest stars in Hollywood right now, and he's clearly excited to play Black Adam. Having him continue to wait around would be a waste; capitalize on his enthusiasm now! Second, Shazam could be just the breath of fresh air that the DCEU needs right now, akin to what Deadpool did for the X-Men franchise (and superhero movies in general). With all the complaints of the DCEU being too dark or not appropriate enough for younger viewers, Shazam can supply a fun, lighthearted tone to even the scales a bit.
Delay The Flash
Of all the entries on this list, The Flash is the most likely to be hit by a scheduling change. The main reason for this is because last October, Dope director Rick Famuyiwa dropped out of helming the Scarlet Speedster's movie, and there still hasn't been a replacement director announced yet. The original plan was to kick off principal photography at the beginning of this year, but unless Warner Bros has already hired someone else and just hasn't announced them yet, that start date isn't realistic. Even if this is the case, it would still be wise to (ironically) delay The Flash until 2019 or later. Given how popular The Flash TV series right now, it's extremely crucial that the movie establishes its own unique feel rather than come across as a blatant duplicate. That, along with the behind-the-scenes problems, it's better off if The Flash is held back so that the story can be perfected and any creative issues can be dealt with once and for all.
Don't Rush Gotham City Sirens
When it comes to female-fronted superhero movies, DC has the jump on Marvel, with Wonder Woman coming out in June and Gotham City Sirens on the way. The latter will see Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn teaming up with Catwoman and Poison Ivy, and according to the report from last month, the movie is being fast-tracked. That's not a wise decision. Although Suicide Squad was a commercial success, it was largely met with negative reception. Not only is one of Suicide Squad's most popular characters co-leading this movie, but director David Ayer will also helm this feature. Much of Suicide Squad's problems originated from the movie being a rush job, like Ayer only being given six weeks to write the script. Fortunately Ayer isn't handling script duties this time around, but nevertheless, DC and Warner Bros shouldn't begin production on Gotham City Sirens until every detail of this project is ironed out.
Move Green Lantern Corps Up
2011's Green Lantern failed to impress, but luckily for fans of the Emerald Knight, that corner of the DC universe is receiving a second chance at big screen fame with Green Lantern Corps. This time around, Hal Jordan will be sharing leading status with John Stewart in what is described as a "Lethal Weapon in space" kind of adventure. The DCEU has already ventured off Earth with the Krypton flashbacks on Man of Steel, and there's a chance we could get a glimpse of Apokolips in Justice League. Green Lantern Corps, however, will almost entirely be set away from Earth, and seeing how successful movies like Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Guardians of the Galaxy have been over at Disney, DC could benefit from releasing their own cosmic adventure a little earlier. Since David Goyer and Justin Rhodes are already working on the script, maybe it's possible we can get a journey set out in the cosmos a little earlier, like in 2019.
Fast-Track Man Of Steel 2
Superman got off to a rocky start in the DCEU, but Justice League is giving the benevolent Kryptonian a second chance, as he'll resurrected sometime during the superhero team's battle with Steppenwolf. Since Justice League 2 has been delayed so Zack Snyder can work on another movie, that means it's possible we could go years without seeing Superman on the big screen. That would be a mistake, because it's better to jump on a Man of Steel follow-up immediately. With Snyder occupied elsewhere, it's the perfect time to put Superman in the hands of another filmmaker. Of all the Justice League members, he's the only one who doesn't have a solo movie scheduled for 2018 or later. Given Man of Steel's polarizing reception. Kal-El deserves another chance to shine on his own in the near future. With different creative minds, a villain that hasn't been seen on the big screen before and a more optimistic tone, _Man of Steel 2 _is he best opportunity to give Superman a fresh start, so it should happen sooner rather than later.
Prioritize Dark Universe
It's not enough for superhero movies to be a standard "save the city/world/universe" anymore. More work needs to be put into making each of these stories feel unique. The DCEU already has some of that with Wonder Woman's World War I setting and Aquaman taking place underwater, but as far as genre differences go, Dark Universe could be a heavy hitter. The Justice League Dark's adventures in the comics are rooted in the team fighting the terrifying supernatural forces that threaten to destroy our reality. Picture something like Doctor Strange, only scarier. The DCEU movies needs movies that can distinguish themselves from the bunch, and Dark Universe could accomplish that from a horror perspective. Doug Liman is already on board to direct Dark Universe, so why wait on putting out a movie that could catch a lot more fans across multiple genres? If the animated Justice League Dark movie is well-received later this month, maybe DC and Warner Bros will consider accelerating Dark Universe's time table.