The year 2013 was an interesting for the DC side of film production for Warner Bros. It had been about a year since Marvel Studios set the world ablaze with The Avengers. Never before had audiences had a chance to so many superheroes hit the big screen at once — and more importantly, superheroes who had each had their own established franchises.
It’s in that excitable climate that Warner Bros release Man of Steel, Zack Snyder’s foray into the DC world. It seemed like an ironically small move on the studio’s part. On the heels of one of the most successful superhero films of all time, they launched a standalone film for Superman, but still seemed hesitant to actually commit to a shared universe. Apart from seeing the Wayne Enterprises satellite, in space, they were very intent on keeping things focused on Supes, which is probably for the better. It wasn’t until the following year that the the existence of the DC Extended Universe would actually be confirmed.
But don’t think for a second that it all happened by accident.
Speaking with Comicbook.com, producer Charles Roven discussed how they had gone into Man of Steel knowing they were going be laying some foundations.
"When we started with Man of Steel, we knew that we were going to expand the universe. From the moment that we started with Man of Steel, we knew that once we opened up the Superman ... You can't do Superman without talking about aliens existing in our universe. We knew that we were going to have to really consider what the world building would be beyond the unique film. Then, as soon as Warner Brothers announced that slate, we really got intensive about it."
Also pretty important to consider is the tone. Many are quick to point out that Zack Snyder introduced the DCEU as a dark, morally gray place. However, it was never their intention that the entire universe would follow suit.
"But the thing is, each unique film in the DC pantheon is going to be unique because the directors are different except for Zack directing Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and the two Justice League movies. Each one of those directors, whether it be David Ayer or Patty Jenkins or James Wan, they are bringing their sensibilities and a different production designer and different costume designer, et cetera. That world building will still be of the same DC Justice League universe, but have its own unique point of view.”
While right now, it seems as though Warner Bros is indulging in its habit of being reactive, it seems as though they may have planned a lot more than we realized. They even apparently laying out the “broad strokes” of the universe all the way to Justice League. In short, it doesn’t sound like the direction of aligning the trinity of Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman so early was a decision from guys in suits, but was planned all along.
Interesting…you can take from that what you will. It’s easy to be cynical when hearing that. Regardless of what they say they planned, the fact is that the universe hasn’t been fully embraced by fans. However, if the buzz is any indicator, Wonder Woman may stand a good chance at being a worthy film to turn things around.
Let’s hope it does.
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