Warner Bros. Is Pulling The Brakes On A DC Cinematic Universe

In a way the timing has been strange that Warner Bros. and DC Films would make wholesale changes to the DCEU just as Wonder Woman set them on the right course. But the last few weeks have seen a major shake-up. An entirely new banner of non-continuity projects was launched, with the first being an all-new Joker movie directed by Todd Phillips. It signaled, at least on the surface, a break away from the continuity binding the DCEU, and now we're finding out that is becoming the overall strategy.

In an extensive piece by Vulture, Geoff Johns and Diane Nelson reveal that there will be less of an emphasis on continuity, allowing their directors more freedom to tell the stories they want to tell. Being a "director-driven" studio has been a mantra for them lately, and they see this as a means of making good on that. Nelson says...

"Our intention, certainly, moving forward is using the continuity to help make sure nothing is diverging in a way that doesn’t make sense, but there’s no insistence upon an overall story line or interconnectivity in that universe. 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."

“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,” Johns adds.

It's a bold move, one that should quiet those who claim DC Films is merely aping the Marvel approach. Being saddled with that stigma hasn't made things any easier because they've been so disorganized. That lack of an overall strategy is one Johns admits to, at least partially...

"Some of the stuff is true, some of it isn’t true. When we talk about things or we’re making deals for people to develop scripts or whatever, sometimes, things leak; sometimes, things are misreported, and it’s frustrating. Because we do wanna go out there and talk about what our strategy is, and this stuff just muddies the water. There’s a lot of internal conversations going on about, How do we help kind of clean that up a bit?"

I'm not so sure this is the way to go about it. As I've often said, audiences craze simplicity, something that is easy to follow and understand. Marvel has been building the MCU since 2008 and there's nothing complicated about it. There's no reason DC Films couldn't do the same with a it more planning. To me this smacks of a desperate overreach that could cause more problems than it solves.