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DC has hit strides as of late in making some movies that are successful both critically and financially, but there's still a way to go before they hit MCU status. Part of that road includes finding new franchises to kick off, and new heroes to rally behind as ideas with others collapse. I think DC's resident magician Zatanna is the perfect heroine for DC to rally behind as it looks to the future. Here are some reasons why.
Female Superheroes Are In
Female superheroes are a hot commodity in superhero films right now, and those who don't believe that need only refer to the stellar box office numbers of Captain Marvel as evidence. DC has a good thing going with Wonder Woman and has Birds of Prey in the pipeline, but there's no rule that says it needs to cap the amount of female-led films in development.
The climate is right for audiences to embrace a Zatanna film, and if DC does right by the character, there's a potential to deliver a good number of films from the magician heroine given her numerous villains and adventures she's had over the years. That's the kind of security the studio should be looking for, especially now that it's more focused on individual characters and not ensemble features.
The World Needs More Big Budget Magician Movies
There's nothing like a big budget magic film, but unfortunately there's not many of them to enjoy. Sure, we've been blessed to live in a timeline where someone adapted the Harry Potter series, but there's a big difference between wizards and stage magicians. Of course, Zatanna is a mixture of both, but it's fair to say her powers definitely look closer to stage magic than not.
Stage magic can look cool on the big screen, as evidenced by the Now You See Me heist films. Other movies like The Prestige show the allure of a magic movie that flirts with the supernatural. Granted, Zatanna would go deep into the world of the supernatural, with enemies like Brother Night and other demons gunning for her. Still, her side gig as a professional stage magician will allow for some high budget magic scenes that will mystify even those who know it's all Hollywood effects.
She Works Well With Just About Anyone
One of Zatanna's strongest attributes is her ability to be a team player, and she's teamed up with quite a few heroes over the years. Batman, Constantine, Black Canary, the Justice League, she's been a part of several heroes journeys in one way or another. Part of this is due to her versatility and the other bit is just her general likability and ability to get along well with others.
Obviously DC isn't too worried about combining film franchises, but should some minds be changed down the stretch, Zatanna is a great hero to have in the fold. Her character can work seamlessly into just about any adventure, and she can make a cameo appearance in any currently existing DC franchise without it feeling forced or out of place. DC could even tease her ahead of making a movie by having her appear in The Batman or Birds of Prey.
She's One Of DC's Most Unique Heroes
DC has a lot of heroes they've kept out of the movies, and it's a shame so many haven't had a chance to shine. This is especially true with Zatanna, who is arguably one of DC's most unique superheroes. She's a stage magician and one of the world's greatest magic users, what's not to love?
Folks could argue there are DC heroes more unique than Zatanna and they'd be right, although not in regards to selecting a hero who could shoulder their own film. I don't think a Doctor Fate standalone film is right for Hollywood, and we'll all be surprised if Animal Man ends up getting a cameo, let alone a movie to showcase all that weirdness. Outside of Blue Beetle, there's really isn't another hero who could carry a film like Zatanna.
Unknown Characters Often Lower Expectations
The more history a mainstream audience has with a hero, the higher the expectation. It's why folks are so critical of every rumored choice for the next Batman, and probably why Hollywood has struggled for decades to make a critically successful Superman film. Unless you're Brandon Routh, who's never had anyone diss Superman Returns to his face, you're probably aware the hero has struggled at the cinema.
Conversely, look at the tremendous run Guardians of the Galaxy had at the box office. In mainstream audiences' eyes, these heroes were nobodies, but now Star Lord, Gamora, Groot and the gang are household names and some of the most beloved characters of the MCU. Would they have been as big of a hit had it been the second or third time someone tried to reboot the franchise? We'll never know, but there's something to be said for unknown heroes in movies.
A movie about a superhero magician is the perfect excuse to work the City of Sin, Las Vegas, into the DC Extended Universe. Imagine Zatanna flying through the main strip in a heated battle against The Royal Flush Gang. The neon flashing lights drenching everybody in different colors as fists and spells fly. It already looks so fantastic in my mind, and the right director could make it look even better on the big screen.
Let's also face facts, neither DC or Marvel is going to get a lot of organic opportunities to use Las Vegas as a back drop for a hero movie. Zatanna is the answer to that, as magic acts are one of the biggest things folks associate with Vegas. Plus, if the movie is a hit, just think of how long the hero would live on in the city as a legend. I can see her face on slot machines now!
I'm of the opinion that Zatanna is DC's best option for an awesome superhero franchise, but that's just one man's opinion. Others are free to share their thoughts on Zatanna, what a movie about her could focus on and/or what DC should be focusing on instead in the comments below. For more on what's happening with DC Movies, be sure to check out that hilarious and fake Aquaman 2 trailer that was released on April Fools Day.