So I watched Batman v Superman
twice thrice now, and I loved it. I understand that that’s not for everyone and I respect their opinion. I ask only that you respect mine. Back on track – now that Warner Bros’ tentpole film has entered the market (and seems to be killing it financially, if not critically, at least for now), we can’t help but wonder – what comes beyond Batman v Superman? And yes, we are going to be heading into spoiler territory, as some of this post is based on the Easter eggs shown in Dawn of Justice, as well as interviews with people given after the film was released (and some before, as well). You’ve been warned.
Fan favourite character Green Lantern, who has traditionally always been a founding member of the Justice League, has been snubbed, and will not appear on screen until the second Justice League film in 2019. While disappointing, to say the least, this does make some sense – after the failure of the Green Lantern film in 2011, they’re probably trying to distance themselves as far away from it as possible, and get as much time as they can to do the character’s mythology justice.
Let’s hope that he joins the League in time for their great fight against the coming threat.
Amber Heard has confirmed that she will be playing Mera, the wife of Aquaman, in Justice League: Part One and Aquaman. Far from just arm candy though, Mera has proven herself to be an invaluable ally to the League, and is more than capable of going toe-to-toe with most enemies that come across her way. And if her family and people are threatened, people better watch out because Mera can sweep out armies to sea in an instant and match her husband’s strength as well (who, despite all the jokes over the years, is actually an incredible fighter).
THE DEAD ROBIN/BATMAN SOLO FILM
Having seen Batman v Superman, I can confirm that the owner of the Robin suit showcased in the BvS is still unknown after the events of the movie. Personally though, I’m hoping it’s Jason Todd, just so we can see him return as the Red Hood. With this older, more brutal Batman, a darker parallel with the Red Hood is honestly going to be a interesting counterpoint, particularly since he seems to be abandoning his darker path of justice by the end of Dawn of Justice.
Ben Affleck has recently teased that he and Geoff Johns (Chief Creative Officer of DC Entertainment and all-round comics guru) have been working on something big, which is very likely the planned solo Batman adventure scheduled to be released before 2020. With Scott Snyder, writer of the Batman title for DC Comics since 2011, expressing a willingness to help write the script, ’twill be interesting to see how everything plays out. After the critical panning of Batman v Superman, yet at the same time, near universal acclaim for Affleck’s take on the Caped Crusader, a solo Batman film is no doubt quietly being fast-tracked. If the rumours that Affleck is also going to direct the film pan out, so much the better. It’s been reported that he’s already written a script…
The Flash/Aquaman solo films
Both films have been confirmed to be taking place after Justice League by Charles Roven, producer of many of the DCEU films slated for release.
Is Doomsday going to make another appearance? In Batman v Superman, Lex Luthor creates the mindless beast Doomsday by genetically mutating the body of General Zod from Man of Steel in a Kryptonian ship, donating some of his own blood in the process. Before he does so however, the AI in control of the ship tells him that it is forbidden, that – can’t remember the exact wording – ‘something so hideous in sight and memory’ is forbidden from existing. He ignores it of course.
The implication then, is that a Doomsday has already been created at some point in the distant past. This would make sense, given that Zack Snyder has said in the past that Doomsday has his own mythology and that it will definitely be touched on in the future. In the comics, Doomsday was created by science on a prehistoric Krypton, so there is precedent in the source material. It’s likely we’ve not yet seen the last of Doomsday. If he does come back, hopefully he’ll be much better looking.
Is Darkseid already active? In Cyborg’s cameo in Batman v Superman, we see what many fans will recognise as being a Mother Box – an alien AI, supercomputer, and transport for the ‘New Gods’ of the realms New Genesis and Apokolips. An e-cookie to the person who guesses which realm is good and which is evil.
Darkseid is the leader of the ‘New Gods’ of Apokolips, and is one of the most powerful beings in the entire DC Universe. Now, in the New 52 version of the Justice League’s origin, Victor Stone became Cyborg via alien technology, including a Mother Box. The question though is – has Darkseid already been active behind the scenes in the DC Extended Universe?
Why would a piece of technology from a godly planet be on Earth? Cyborg’s scene shows us for certain that Mother Boxes are already operational, and at least one of them is on Earth, so is Darkseid going to make his move in the first Justice League film? It’s a bit of a headscratcher, as whilst he has certainly struck first in the past (in comics), if he did so in the first Justice League film Earth would be toast. That said, there’s certainly precedent for him to strike quickly – in the New 52, the Justice League themselves assembled to defeat his invasion of Earth in their very first adventure together, so perhaps the idea isn’t so far fetched. Personally, I think it’s more likely that he’ll be taking on more of a mastermind role, sending a lieutenant in his place. After all, no Justice League is complete without a Green Lantern, and if Green Lantern will only appear in the second Justice League film onwards, then I’d hope that Darkseid only appears on the front lines then.
However, for the sake of avoiding comparisons and/or confusion in the short-term with Marvel’s own cosmic ape Thanos, perhaps Darkseid will indeed be fighting in the first Justice League film.
TONAL VARIETY: THE TRUE DC EXTENDED UNIVERSE
The screenwriter for 2017’s Wonder Woman, Jason Fuchs, has apparently been hired to develop a screenplay for a film centred around Lobo. An alien mercenary and bounty hunter, he is an anti-heroic biker with a foul mouth and a penchant for violence.
Now, this is purely speculation and I certainly can’t speak for DC Entertainment or Warner Bros. Pictures’ plans, but if Fuchs has been hired to develop a new story for them, it seems safe to say that he turned in a good, if not great script for Wonder Woman. Moreover, this seems to be a tacit confirmation that Warner Bros. has taken on board criticism of its grimdark, serious, ‘gods among men’ tone established in Man of Steel and Batman v Superman.
If true to the character, Lobo would be vulgar, violent, but very likely not filled with philosophical introspection. Neither would be the Blue Beetle/Booster Gold film reported to be in development, directed and executive produced by Greg Berlanti, who is a driving force behind the TV side of DC Comics live-screen adaptations (Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, Supergirl). Pitched as a comedic, superhero buddy cop film, Blue Beetle/Booster Gold and Lobo will be welcome additions to a universe that critics have slammed for not being ‘fun’.
I don’t necessarily agree with that – for me there were plenty of laughs to be had during Batman v Superman – but I do concede that having the entire universe copying that tone would be detrimental in the long run. With a ‘gods among men’ tone must also come a correspondingly large threat – nothing so esoteric as the end of all reality, just something a little more small-scale, like the end of an entire civilisation, or planet. Hopefully you see what I’m getting at.
Whilst it didn’t gross much compared to the other films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Ant-Man was a breath of fresh air after Avengers: Age of Ultron, and in my view, chiefly because:
- It had much smaller stakes, comparatively speaking.
- Its comedic tone, whilst a little too ‘try-hard’ perhaps, was exactly what we needed after Age of Ultron.
- A heist movie, it was far different from the political thriller Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the space opera Guardians of the Galaxy, sci-fi Age of Ultron.
In short, it was different.
It’s fine and dandy for films that star Superman, and Wonder Woman, and arguably even Aquaman, to have a godlike tone, considering their powers, but a complete cookie cutter approach applied to the entire universe would be a self-defeating strategy. Not to mention asinine.
If Warner Bros. Pictures truly wants their answer to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, then . I would argue that a world in which the ludicrously flamboyant Booster Gold can live side by side with the foul-mouthed Lobo and the godlike Justice Leaguers is the truest expression of the DC Extended Universe. James Wan, who has been chosen to direct Aquaman has certainly expressed a desire to leave his own trademark sense of fun with the film, so we’ll have to wait and see.
After the well-received debut of Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman in Dawn of Justice, it’s safe to say that the buzz about her solo feature film next year is well and sufficiently stoked, and will likely only rise over the coming year. Given that she was apparently Dawn of Justice‘s biggest draw according to a survey by Fandango, and has by all accounts more than met them (you can include my tentative approval as well, for what it’s worth), the pressure is on for Gadot to keep this up.
Suffice to say though, in the little screentime she had, Gal Gadot communicated a lot to us. Diana is confident, composed and with a graceful poise and absolute certainty in her abilities. Earned, no doubt, over her 5000 years of existence by the time of Batman v Superman. She’s also willing to be a team player when it counts, not only assisting the titular heroes in the final showdown, but also by returning a ‘borrowed’ flash drive to Batman earlier. And whilst she certainly loves a good fight and is more than willing to engage in combat (shown AMAZINGLY when she takes on Doomsday), she also understands the value of restraint, refraining from beating the hell out of Lex Luthor to get what she wants. Her calm, level-headed approach and the wisdom of the ages will complement Batman well as they embark on a Seven Samurai-esque pilgrimage to form the Justice League.
There are a fair few questions, and given how long this post is already shaping up to be, I’ll just end it here, and link you to a separate post, currently being written by myself and a fellow blogger, which should be up very, very soon.
We live in exciting times. Viva la revolución, and please share this post if you enjoyed :)!
PS: I’m sure that there are other things I missed – let me know what else you think I should add :).
Sources: ET, ESJ, Tracking-Board, IGN