2016 was meant to be the year that Warner Bros. cemented its DC Extended Universe as a formidable alternative to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Instead, this year’s two releases – Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad – were savagely mauled by critics, and while both films have their supporters, it’s clear that the movies left a bit of a sour taste in the mouths of many DC fans.
In an effort to course-correct its DC properties, Warner Bros. enlisted DC Comics chief creative officer Geoff Johns and executive Jon Berg to steer the DC Films slate, and both have been chatting to the Wall Street Journal about their role.
“In the past, I think the studio has said, ‘Oh, DC films are gritty and dark and that’s what makes them different,’” said Johns. “That couldn’t be more wrong. It’s a hopeful and optimistic view of life. Even Batman has a glimmer of that in him. If he didn’t think he’d make tomorrow better, he’d stop. We’re trying to take a really hard look at everything to make sure we stay true to the characters and tell stories that celebrate them.”
Berg went on to reveal that the fan reaction to Dawn of Justice led them to “accelerate the [Justice League] story to get to the hope and optimism a little faster”, as well as stating that Zack Snyder’s next DC offering will “directly address Batman’s extreme actions in [Batman v Superman], such as torturing criminals and nearly killing the Man of Steel, rather than accept them as par for the course.”
The Johns/Berg era will get underway next year with the release of Wonder Woman (which Johns has co-written) on June 2nd 2017, followed by Justice League on November 17th 2017. Are you feeling optimistic for the future of the DCEU? Let us know in the comments below…