Producer Roven Talks About The DCEU, Multiverses, And Detaching From Nolan

– by LRM

Charles Roven is a busy man these days. With the imminent arrival of BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE, the producer knows that Phase 1 for DC's own Cinematic Universe is about to get into full swing. Of note, this is a total departure for Roven. He's no stranger to DC films, having served as producer on BATMAN BEGINS as well as Christopher Nolan's subsequent sequels. But when he began, he did so alongside Nolan who had a "one movie at a time" philosophy. 

Roven says that's the biggest difference between then and now. When he began working on DC, they only focused on making the best film they could. Now the WB/DC philosophy is totally different. Long before BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE was close to premiering, they'd already announced a 10 film slate.

"Gosh, when I got involved with 'Batman Begins,' we would talk very vaguely about how, if the movie is good, we’d make another one and what it would be. We knew we were ending the first one with the Joker tease, so it would probably be about the Joker. We never really got drilled down on the story, though. First of all, the Nolans and I are superstitious and we didn’t want to count our chickens. We just focused on making “Batman Begins” the best it could possibly be and then did the same with 'The Dark Knight.' After 'Man of Steel,' we started with 'Batman v Superman' and we announced this whole slate of Justice League universe characters. The stories will, in some ways, be interactive. That’s a big change. To be thinking about not just the movie you’re making and making it the best it could possibly be, but to have some eye on the future about where these characters will go. In 'Batman v Superman,' you’ve got two intense characters that are dominating. You’ve got one really great bad guy. But you’re also giving a taste of others. Wonder Woman being the most [featured], but there are tastes of other metahumans or superheroes. Now that I’m working on a number of them at the same time, it’s thrilling. It’s challenging. It’s exciting. And also sometimes, you know, you get your stomach in some knots."

These comments come from an interview with Coming Soon, where the producer spoke candidly about DC's ambitious plans. Roven delved a bit into the other interesting metamorphosis in the world of DC: The idea that the comic shingle is going to have two live-action versions of the same characters soon. Since the TV universe is separate from the cinematic one, there's going to be a point soon where there will be two Flashes running around- Grant Gustin's and Ezra Miller's.

"Television is interesting. It’s going to be interesting to see if you can have two characters in two different mediums have the same name, have many of the same attributes and still coexist harmoniously because they’re from two different universes. The Flash on the television show and the Flash in 'Batman v Superman' don’t have anything to do with one another. They don’t exist in the same time, place, universe or even dimension."

It's notable that he said "see if you can" when asked about this. Sounds like they're just as intrigued about how that'll play out as we are. 

Part of their success with the idea of a live-action multiverse is the assumption that the audience is smart enough to understand what's going on. Roven sounds hopeful that there's room for all of these films and TV shows, and that audiences are sharper to the machinations of comic book stories.

"I think that, like anything, as long as you keep the stories engaging and have great characters and find a way to keep those characters fresh, people are going to be interested. They’re going to want to know more and they’re going to want to find out what’s next. Think of James Bond as an example. I can’t remember what Bond we’re on or even how many different Bonds there have been. But they found a way to keep it interesting and they found the right time to refresh it. But James Bond isn’t the only agent guy out there. There are always movies about agents whether it’s Jason Bourne or Jack Reacher or whatever. That genre is a very vibrant genre. The more successful movies, though, are the ones where the characters are interesting and relatable. We try to make movies that have scale and scope, but we also want you to A) have a great time and B) think about the movie when it’s over. We want the characters, even if they’re fantastic in many ways, to have something to say about the human condition. Those kinds of things. I think that that engages people more. We want to keep that high bar."

Of note, the producer's lofty goals may not have been met with BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE. While it's still early, the film currently sits at a "Rotten" 41% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with many critics calling the film an incoherent drag. While that rating can definitely change, with 66 reviews in, it's unlikely that the film will leave the 40%-60% "take it or leave it" range. 

We'll see how everything plays out, but here's hoping the DC slate can get on track!

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SOURCE: Coming Soon

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