Tag: dceu


Flashpoint: The Defining Film of DCEU?

September 11, 2020
The Flash DCEU Justice League

Originally announced way back in 2014, The Flash movie has had a troubled development. Various writers and directors have signed on then left the project, with the film ironically being delayed several times. Now though it seems as if things are finally moving. Things have changed a lot since it was announced, with DC opting to tell more standalone tales rather than fast-tracking a marvel style universe. The films have done a tonal 180 and the landscape is very different. But could all of this have worked in its favour? Could Flashpoint set the standard for DCEU going forward?

Flash of two worlds

Ezra Miller's Flash meets Grant Gustin's Flash in "Crisis on Infinite Earths"
Ezra Miller’s Flash meets Grant Gustin’s Flash in “Crisis on Infinite Earths” (WB/DC 2019)

Ironically, The Flash is having a very slow journey to the big screen. The film was announced in 2014, with Ezra Miller in the title role, along with several other DC comic films. Many were disappointed that Grant Gustin, who plays the character in the CW/Arrowverse series, wasn’t going to be involved. Instead, this version was going to feature in Zack Synder’s Justice League, but that’s a whole other story. The character had a cameo in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and another in Suicide Squad.

Seth Grahame-Smith, author of Pride & Prejudice & Zombies, was announced to make his directorial debut with The Flash, as well as writing the script. He left the project in April 2016 and was later replaced by Rick Famuyiwa. This seemed promising, as we got news that Iris West and Henry Allen were cast, but Famuyiwa left the project later that year over “creative differences”. A new writer and several other directors are considered, notably Robert Zemeckis, with Back to the Future cited as an influence.


The orginal Flashpoint was used to reboot much of the DC universe (Flashpoint, DC Comics, 2011)

The film is currently due to be directed by It‘s Andy Muschietti. Miller and comic scribe Grant Morrisson wrote a draft of the script, but this was apparently dismissed by the studio. It seems as though the movie will be inspired by the “Flashpoint” storyline. In the comics, Flash accidentally altered the timeline, causing the world to look very different. After regaining his powers with the help of Batman, Bruce died in the alley instead of his parents, and stopping a war between Aquaman and Wonder Woman, Flash cancels out the timeline and returns to his own, with some small changes.

The original Flashpoint story was a mini-series that served to relaunch the DC Comic universe, by simplifying continuity and bringing in characters from other universes, such as Vertigo. The series was designed as the end of the old, convoluted continuity and the launch of the “New 52”. It has also been adapted into a direct to video animated film, as well as a (very different) plotline in season 3 of the show.

The film following this approach could mean that DC is embracing it’s now disjointed continuity, with its films being set across multiple worlds, unburdened by the continuity of individual films. This would allow them to do more experimental and different films, without having to worry about how it affects any other films. Another interesting thing is that these worlds could still crossover with each other, and themselves, like Into the Spider-Verse but with Batman.

Batman Returns

Michael Keaton as Batman (WB/DC 1992)

Speaking of Batman, it was recently announced that Micheal Keaton, who played Batman in the Tim Burton films, is set to be reprising his role for the film. A short time later, it was also revealed that Ben Affleck would be reprising his role as Batman. That’s two Batmen in one film (three if Robert Pattinson has a cameo). The film could retroactively make the original Batman films canon, similar to how the Arrowverse’s “Crisis on Infinite Earth’s crossover made various old shows part of its canon.

Ben Affleck’s return is surprising, after the uncertainty with “The Batman” (now going forward with Robert Pattinson). Affleck’s return, along with the Snyder Cut finally being released, suggests that DC may not want to move entirely away from their “shared universe” quite yet. Perhaps the original plan of a Justice League trilogy could go ahead, but with “Elseworlds” films as well? The Flash could open up worlds of possibilities.

Also Read: DC FanDome Recap

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What The Snyder Cut Could Mean For The DCEU

June 16, 2020
Justice League

Things have never gone quite smoothly for the DC Extended Universe, often seen as the poor relation to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and always playing catchup. The DCEU does not seem to have had the same overall guidance that the MCU had and with the announcement that HBO will screen the “Snyder Cut” of 2017’s Justice League things are only going to get more complicated.

What Is The Snyder Cut?

Justice League - The Snyder Cut
Zack Snyder’s Justice League (credit: Warner Media)

When DC wanted to create its own superhero universe, the DCEU, one director was pushed to the front – Zack Snyder. Snyder directed the first film in the DCEU, Man of Steel, in 2013. He then went on to direct Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice, which brought Batman and Superman into conflict and introduced the character Wonder Woman. Naturally enough, a Justice League film was planned, this being a team of superheroes that worked together from the DC comics. Again, Snyder was to direct. However, after a family tragedy Snyder stepped down from directing and the project was taken over by Joss Whedon. Many fans were disappointed with the finished product with some believing Whedon had taken the film in a different direction to which Snyder had wanted. And so an internet campaign was born for the so-called “Snyder Cut” to be released.

The Two Film Problem

Doc explaining the diverging DCEU timelines (backtothefuturefandom.com)

This has created a rather thorny philosophical problem – which is the real Justice League film? To use the correct term – which is canon? In the past this wouldn’t have been too much of a problem, canon was not something that worried the people who made Batman Forever, whilst nominally a sequel to Batman Returns it was very much its own film. But in the DCEU this is important as it will have repercussions to the other films and tv shows. In the world of comics, canon is at once incredibly complicated and incredibly simple. There is no one story for a superhero, there are multiple stories, they can be set in different time periods, change important details of the story, retell old stories in a new way. This is a perfectly natural part of comic books that allows them to remain refresh when characters can be decades old. Such a reset is probably coming to MCU relatively soon.

The DCEU machine is already winding up for the release of The Batman with Robert Pattison taking on the role. Obviously this will be a younger Batman/Bruce Wayne than Ben Affleck’s Batman and raises the question of where does this sit in the DCEU storyline? I have tried to find this out but it seems very unclear. Similarly what about Suicide Squad, The Suicide Squad, and Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey? Affleck’s Batman briefly appeared in Suicide Squad and as Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn runs through them it could be assumed they are all in the same universe.

I doubt in terms of plot too much would be different between The Snyder Cut and the original film. I can’t imagine that Snyder’s will feature a massacre of the main characters or a completely different outcome but if nothing else fans obsess over small details.

The Darkest Timeline

Abed in Community wearing his evil beard (www.community-sitcom.fandom.com)

My own rather impractical solution is to have two separate DCEUs running alongside, each branching off from their own version of Justice League. The idea of having two competing DCEU timelines with the same actors and same plots is certainly intriguing, given that it’s DC you’d have to assume that each would be competing to be the darkest timeline – in the vein of Abed’s infamous belief, in TV show Community, that of six possible different ways for the show to go, there was a “darkest timeline”. Like in Community (as inspired by Star Trek) all characters in DCEU would wear goatee beards, the acknowledged universal symbol of evilness.

Abandon The Universe

Joker (deseret.com)

My unpopular opinion on the MCU is I don’t think it promotes good storytelling. The MCU currently consisted of twenty-three films (as well as tv shows that are meant to take place in that universe) and every new film has to fit in. There can be a lot said for telling a story over multiple films and adding scope to the narrative but I see it as so much baggage.

Joker is probably the most critically acclaimed comic book film ever as well as being hugely financially successful and popular with traditional fans and it is not considered part of the DCEU. I would like DC to embrace this idea. They didn’t have to worry about how this film would fit into the wider story and just make a great film. If they want to do another Green Lantern film there is no reason for it to fit in with an existing story, it can be it’s own self-contained entity, allowing them to be more experimental. This will allow DCEU to have over-the-top minor character mad-cap adventures like the recent Harley Quinn and their brooding dark Batman films.

If nothing else the release of The Snyder Cut could be an interesting watershed for films with huge fandoms, fans made this happen. Much has been written about what effect fan dissatisfaction had in relation to the recent Star Wars films and it’ll be interesting to see how fans will use this new power.

Also Read: The Snyder Cut Saga

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