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The DCEU is Focusing More on Standalone Films, Which Is Probably For the Best

This probably means no Justice League 2 for a while.

It seems as though Warner Bros has decided against trying to push a connected universe for their DC characters. In a recent interview with the LA Times, studio executive Kevin Tsujihara talked about the franchise and why they’re deciding to switch more to standalone focused films after the misfires of Batman v. Superman and Justice League and the successes of standalone features Wonder Woman and Aquaman.

“The upcoming slate, with Shazam, Joker, Wonder Woman 1984, and Birds of Prey, feels like we’re on the right track. We have the right people in the right jobs working on it,” he said. “The universe isn’t as connected as we thought it was going to be five years ago. You’re seeing much more focus on individual experiences around individual characters. That’s not to say we won’t at some point come back to that notion of a more connected universe. But it feels like that’s the right strategy for us right now.”

I think I can probably put a pin in my dreams of The Flash rebooting the universe. It looks like we’ll get more standalone films rather than an MCU-esque build up to an endgame. While I feel for those who were hoping for a more connected universe, it also isn’t surprising that Warner is more focused on the characters who’ve been selling well rather than trying to piece together a full on storyline and universe when they’re still figuring out what works and what doesn’t.

The MCU succeeded because each film in Phase 1, even Iron Man 2, was building towards The Avengers. Most of the films advanced the plot and introduced the audience to the characters they should care about; the only character who got short-changed was Hawkeye.

Batman v. Superman assumed we’d care about Batman at that point in time, and so the team-up didn’t feel as earned as The Avengers did. Similarly, Justice League introduced three new heroes and assumed you’d care about them based on caring about them in the comics.

While Man of Steel was a fumble, Wonder Woman and Aquaman did just fine without needing to rely on the team-up films. Aquaman especially opted to avoid many callbacks to Justice League, and instead presented an origin story for Arthur with a whole new cast of characters; the film is one of DC’s most successful ventures. Neither Patty Jenkins or James Wan were beholden to follow what was set up in the team-up films, and their films are just better than the others.

This isn’t to say that they’ll never do a team-up film again, or that the DCEU is canceled. But for now, as they work through the kinks of what they want to actually be doing, they’ll be sticking to solo properties. We’ll still get a variety of excellent properties, just no Justice League 2. Overall, this might be for the best, as letting individual directors with vision take the helm has proved to work well for DC, rather than just aiming to follow one set story.

Which DC character would you love to see in their own standalone film?

(via The LA Times, image: Warner Bros)

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Kate (she/her) says sorry a lot for someone who is not sorry about the amount of strongly held opinions she has. Raised on a steady diet of The West Wing and classic film, she is now a cosplayer who will fight you over issues of inclusion in media while also writing coffee shop AU fanfic for her favorite rare pairs.