With the painful critical flops of Justice League, Batman V. Superman, and Suicide Squad all now very much impossible to ignore and the planned, Jared Leto and Margot Robbie-led Joker and Harley Quinn movie already shelved, it seems that the DC Extended Universe project has officially failed.
While the success of the Avengers franchise, standalone Spider-Man, Iron Man and other name-brand superhero movies — from Ant-Man to Thor — has seen the heavily interwoven Marvel Cinematic Universe thrive over the last decade, the same cannot be said for DC’s efforts.
Speaking to the Los Angeles Times, Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara explained that upcoming “Shazam, Joker, Wonder Woman 1984, and Birds of Prey, feels like we’re on the right track,” adding that he feels the studio “have the right people in the right jobs working on it. The universe isn’t as connected as we thought it was going to be five years ago.”
With the unprecedented success of Aquaman and Wonderwoman, however, the news isn’t all bad for DC — it simply has to admit defeat on this one and now out to its longtime rival, with Tsujihara noting that, where upcoming films are concerned, “You’re seeing much more focus on individual experiences around individual characters.”
And, while it may be embarrassing to conclude the project earlier than anyone had expected or than fans of the DCEU had hoped, the current crop of movies in production holds a great deal of promise for the studio and may well see an attempt to reboot the interconnected universe at a later date. In fact, in the same interview, Tsujihara teases audiences, already floating a comeback: “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.”
With the attention grabbing Avengers franchise apparently coming to a natural conclusion with the upcoming Endgame movie, it’s perhaps no surprise to hear the Warner Bros. head already pitching a return: with its biggest rival’s marquee name apparently taking a backseat, the DC Extended Universe could well finds its niche in the vacuum.
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