The first big-budget superhero film came in the late seventies when Warner Bros. Pictures released Superman. This was followed by three sequels in the eighties. Then in the late eighties came their next blockbuster Batman, which also had three sequels. Then their next trilogy also featured the Dark Knight with the Christopher Nolan films. With all this success you’d think they’d have the blueprints to superhero box office success right?
Unfortunately no. Their lack of leadership and direction has really had Warner Bros. still looking for a way to bring the amazing characters of DC Comics to life on the big screen. For the most part, the films have been hit and miss. Besides the first Wonder Woman film and Joker, there really hasn’t been any standout Warner Bros./DC films, most of them are just “OK”. This past weekend we had the release of Wonder Woman 1984, which also fits in that “OK” category. We know that other films and series are on their way. But is there is an overall plan?
The New York Times recently interviewed Walter Hamada, president of DC films. During this interview, he talked about their ambitious plan to release not only films but tie-in series as well. According to Hamada, beginning in 2022, the plan is to release four theatrical films and two streaming exclusive films. Films based around characters like Batgirl and Static Shock are said to be examples of those that would go straight to streaming.
From those six films, DC and Warner Bros. will work with filmmakers to develop film offshoots. Series that will air on HBO Max and interconnect with the films. This is something that we have already seen with Suicide Squad and with The Batman. Both have series that will tie-in with the films. Along with these, WarnerMedia also has its traditional television division with about twenty-five additional live-action and animated series, like the ones we see on The CW.
But how will they put together these television series and films that seem to contradict one another? Simple! A multiverse! For example, Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman will continue to thrive on Earth One. While new versions of the characters like Robert Pattinson’s Batman will be a resident of Earth Two. This is an idea that has been around in DC Comics for a long time. One that was recently explored in the Arrowverse in Crisis on Infinite Earths. For future films, the film The Flash will be linking the two universes together in 2022.
It’s a bold strategy but at least Hamada is attempting to salvage what they can from the first batch of films. While moving forward with a new vision for the DC characters we all know and love. “I don’t think anyone else has ever attempted this,” Hamada said. “But audiences are sophisticated enough to understand it. If we make good movies, they will go with it.”
For Hamada who came in after Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League, I think this is a good plan. It will be interesting to see if they can keep up with their four feature films a year plus the two on HBO Max. I am actually more excited about the spin-off series from the films. It would give us comic book fans an opportunity to see characters that we would otherwise not see in theaters. Somewhat like we have seen in the Arrowverse.
What do you think of this ambitious plan from WarnerMedia? Let us know in the comment section below!
Source: The NY Times