It appears that the DCEU is not what we all thought it is! With just a couple more months until Warner Bros. releases the epic-sized team-up film that will finally bring together Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Cyborg, Aquaman, and The Flash, we are all learning that plans from the executives are to somewhat discontinue the “Extended Universe” aspect of their future films. That is, the DCEU will become the DC … film universe.
Speaking to Vulture, Diane Nelson and Geoff Johns, two of the heads at the topmost echelons of power for the DCEU said, “Our intention, certainly, moving forward is using the continuity to help make sure nothing is diverging in a way that doesn’t make sense … Moving forward, you’ll see the DC movie universe being a universe, but one that comes from the heart of the filmmaker who’s creating them.”
In other words, all the films they have on their slate after Justice League will exist in the same universe and will loosely acknowledge that fact, but none of them will be dependent on another one for any important plot points. In other words, where the Marvel Cinematic Universe has used their films to help set up the films to follow, Warner Bros. will no longer try to do that. Man of Steel directly set up Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice which, in turn, also set up Suicide Squad; however, their most successful movie — both critically and financially — since Man of Steel has been Wonder Woman and that film had nothing to do with anything that came before it or after.
On that point, Johns went on to add, “The movie’s not about another movie, some of the movies do connect the characters together, like Justice League. But, like with Aquaman, our goal is not to connect Aquaman to every movie.”
Our interpretation of this development is thus: the DCEU was a bit of a reaction to the success of the MCU model; however, Marvel Studios had been dreaming that up for years — they took a gamble with Iron Man and it worked. 2012’s Avengers cemented the idea of their “cinematic universe” and it’s been clicking ever since. However, in their attempts to capture that same lightning, Warner Bros. may have rushed into things, pushed an underdeveloped extended universe and half-baked scripts into production and then thrashed about in the waters of critical backlash.
Then came Wonder Woman. Audiences loved it. Critics loved it. The world was very much thirsty for a Wonder Woman film. And now Warner Bros. and their DC Division are listening.
So, Aquaman, which comes out next year, will most likely have a nod or two to the Justice League heroes, but the events of this film will not impact those other films. Aquaman will stand on it’s own.
As will The Flash.
And as will Matt Reeve’s directed Batman film.
If they’re anything like Wonder Woman, the DC not-extended universe will be pretty effing awesome.