Welcome to Breaking Geek, a column that just won’t go away, where uber-geek Nick Doll offers commentary, reactions, strong opinions, and theories regarding the most interesting news of the week (or whatever he feels like), using his expansive knowledge of all things geek! Today’s topic: Why DC Universe Was Actually A Misstep And Missed Opportunity for Warner Brothers.
The DC Universe streaming service is a giant missed opportunity.
No, I don’t dislike DC. In fact, Batman and John Constantine are two of my top five favorite comic book heroes. Yet, the price you pay a month for that service is not worth the limited content and its quality, even as low as the price is.
So, let’s look at the DC Universe streaming service and it’s incredibly limited library, using Disney+ as an example of what Warner Bros and DC should have done.
Where Are All The Movies And Comics At?
When I first heard of the streaming service, I thought it was cool that DC would offer comics as well as original video content and their library of movies. Unfortunately, the options in all three categories leave a lot to be desired.
DC Universe would be more worthwhile if DC put up their entire film and TV catalog that currently exists, rather than cycling through select films. Even if DC put all their video content on DC Universe at once, I’d say starting with Batman 66 on the TV side and the Christopher Reeves’ Superman films it would still have almost nothing compared to the extreme level of content on similarly priced (but slightly more) streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video. Yes, these are older services not limited to one genre of content, but DC should make everything from the past available just to hit even a fraction of these services’ content.
The comic offerings aren’t much better, with very few choices available, and a rotating library. This always sounded like the best benefit on DC Universe before more details came out… aka the knowledge of how limited the comics library is. No, I don’t expect recent books, but instead of just Court of Owls, why isn’t the entire Batman New 52 run available?
To be fair, this entire DC streaming service is cheaper than Marvel Unlimited, a Marvel service that just gives you access to older comics, but thousands and thousands more than are on DC Universe. Of course, you get no Marvel original shows or old movies on Marvel Unlimited.
DC is starting a fair number of original shows, but launching with just one was a mistake. And I’ve heard from fellow LRM writers that Titans… isn’t great.
Long story short, limiting the service to just DC content, while limiting it further by rotating old content, is why this service isn’t worth the cash. Though, I have an alternative of what DC and Warner Brothers should have done…
The streaming service should have been more like Disney+ (formerly Disney Play), Disney’s streaming service that will offer a back catalog of content (surely rotating, but an entire studio has more content that one brand within a studio), and original content from Disney, Star Wars, and Marvel.
Not only that, Disney+ has more exciting original content, using stars from the Marvel Cinematic Universe films to give more story to characters that never lead their own film, like Loki, Scarlet Witch with Vision, and Bucky and Falcon.
It’s not much different on the Star Wars side of things. Though Mandalorian will be an original series covering a new time period not featured in the films, the recently announced prequel series to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, focusing on Cassian Andor, again with Diego Luna from the film reprising his role for a streaming service show, is akin to the MCU series plan.
As far as Disney, their live-action Lady and the Tramp film starring movie star Tessa Thompson (Thor: Ragnarok, MIB spinoff) is made just for the service instead of theaters. Perhaps one day we will get Thompson again on the service in a Valkyrie show — which would be amazing — though Kevin Feige may have bigger plans for her in the films.
I’m not saying DC needs to do shows with their film actors, or connect their shows to what seems to be a less connected DC Extended Universe, now known as Worlds of DC. I’m just saying maybe it shouldn’t have been limited to DC content, and Warner Bros should have started a larger streaming service including DC, so they can both have a larger amount of content and some of their other successful brands/franchises in the mix.
The Wizarding World Is WB’s Star Wars…
Here’s an idea. If Disney+ can have original Star Wars content as well as a selection of Star Wars films, a WB streaming service could have original content, as well as a select films from the Wizarding World. That is, the world of Harry Potter films and Fantastic Beasts. If JK Rowling was down, how cool would an original live-action show set in this world be? Maybe it’s about whatever-the-wizards-are-called who hunt dark wizards? (I’m not personally a Harry Potter guy…) That’d be cool (for fans).
And what about other brands that would make great TV shows? Mad Max: Fury Road was great, but maybe with today’s budgets for original streaming content, his story is better as a TV show? A Western of sorts set in the apocalyptic future of Mad Max universe, with Max stumbling around the wasteland, meeting new allies and enemies in his travels. If Disney can get movie stars for their streaming service, why not do a Furiosa show with Charlize Theron? Maybe that would be even cooler.
Or… expand the Conjuring universe on my proposed WB+ as a TV series. Just as Disney will have a lot of content on its service besides Marvel content, Warner Bros has many great properties that could expand on their service, that still includes their DC plans. A bigger plus than Disney+, Warner Bros can make R-rated content whereas I don’t think we’ll even see anything as dark or adult as the Marvel Netflix shows on a streaming service for a company that really only makes family fare.
You could even use WB’s library of films even bigger than most DC movies. IT and IT Chapter II (in a few years) as exclusives, anyone?
Look, maybe you love DC Universe. Maybe all you want is DC content at a cheaper price than a supposed “WB+.” I’m not here to rain on your parade if you think it is worth it and full of worthy content. I could be wrong.
I just think it could have been better if DC content was just one of the options on a WB streaming service, rather than all of it on their own. After all, it’s only a matter of time until we have Paramount, Universal, and Sony streaming services, mark my words…