The Batman and DC: How will the Batman franchise continue in theaters?

The Batman and DC: How will the Batman franchise continue in theaters?

The Batman and DC

It feels like a new superhero film or series is announced every week. If you don't regularly follow news on the topic, you can quickly lose track of things. That's probably why Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige always presents a list of appointments at the Disney presentations that fans can call up if they are wondering what will appear in the MCU in the near future. If, on the other hand, you look over to the competition from Warner Bros., who also wanted to combine numerous comic franchises with their DC cinema universe into a divided film cosmos, you might need your own app with a news ticker, roadmap and an explanation as to whether and how the individual ones Projects are actually related in terms of content.

Brief Chronology of Chaos

So let's start chronologically: Launched with "Man of Steel", the DC universe should actually have a singular continuity, to which all subsequent films should be subject. Originally, Zack Snyder's Superman reboot was planned as a stand-alone series, but in response to the success of Marvel, Warner Bros decided to adopt a divided universe strategy with Snyder as the lead figure. The first crossover was not long in coming and so Wonder Woman appeared for the first time in addition to the two title characters in "Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice". And the remaining members of the Justice League were also briefly seen. The DC films "Suicide Squad", "Wonder Woman" and "Aquaman were not made under Snyder's leadership, but were part of the same cosmos.

Shazam (2019) Source: Warner Bros. After the "Justice League" movie, in which the heroes allied against the villain Steppenwolf to prevent the end of the world, the end of the world was over Snyder era. Warner Bros. and filmmaker David F. Sandberg may have deliberately kept open even the affiliation of "Shazam" to the DCEU.

Snyder's departure should not necessarily have meant the end of the project. In my opinion, the fatal blow was the exit of Henry Cavill and Ben Affleck. Justice League was widely perceived as a flop, and Aquaman and Wonder Woman were more successful in their solo films than as part of the crossover event. The old model had proven to be unsuccessful and without Batman (buy now € 12.99) and Superman a revival was completely obsolete anyway.

So it is not surprising that "Wonder Woman 84" has its predecessor continued, but had nothing to do with the timeline of the previous main series. Guest appearances or a mention of other heroes were also consistently avoided. In the "Suicide Squad" sequel "Birds of Prey" there are allusions to other heroes, but like in "Shazam" it remains vague whether there is actually a reference to the well-known film versions. In "Aquaman 2" this tradition will certainly be continued. Instead of knitting a common universe around the central six members of the Justice League, Warner Bros. decided to split the characters.

Justice League (2017) Source: Warner

Some announced projects like the "Aquaman" horror spin-off "The Trench", solo films for the characters Deathstroke and Cyborg as well as "New Gods" have been discontinued, but "The Flash" and "Black Adam" are still in the works. Likewise "The Batman", which was originally directed by Ben Affleck and should have been shot with him in the title role. He has been replaced behind the camera by Matt Reeves and as Batman / Bruce Wayne by Robert Pattinson. His film nemesis, played by Jared Leto in "Suicide Squad", also experienced a reboot with "Joker". However, despite the similar naming conventions, the films are not related.

My dance area, your dance area

So now there are several DC universes with different actors, of which the original may no longer be continued becomes. It is speculated that "The Flash", in which several parallel worlds are supposed to collide, will mean a repair of the DC continuity. How exactly this should take place is still unclear. I would prefer Warner to finally bury the idea of ​​an MCU-like franchise.

Even though I didn't like "Joker" at all, I like the idea that not all DC films are subject to a route as is the case with Marvel. I am therefore a little afraid that the "Flash" film will again open the door wide for a merger of all films. I would prefer the individual stories to stand for themselves. At the moment, however, there is no concrete reason to assume that this will not be the case.

In my opinion, Batman in particular benefits extremely from having his own film universe. The battles that the Justice League fights are not Batman's battles. They are waged against gods and aliens and for the fate of entire planets. In a universe where Superman flies around, telling a story about Mr. Freeze trying to raid the Gotham City bank or the penguin running for mayor feels downright silly. Sure, you could try, but the conditions for an exciting Batman story are much better in an isolated film world.

Away from the DCEU: This is how it should go on with Batman

The Dark Knight Rises (2012) Source: Warner Bros. Christopher Nolan's "Batman" films are considered by many fans to be the standard for a modern, realistic adaptation of the character. However, it is often forgotten that it is precisely the unfashionable elements that have saved his films from drifting into the ridiculous. "The Dark Knight" is from 2008 and therefore from an era before smartphones were widespread. Where back then it took quite a bit of will to believe the premise that the richest man in town disguised as a bat goes hunting for criminals at night, and that nobody notices, this is actually impossible nowadays. At least if the filmmaker wants to present what is shown in a realistic environment. With the 24-hour news cycle, cameras in every pocket, social media and the extreme personality cult surrounding the world's super-rich, Bruce Wayne's double life is becoming increasingly implausible.

So I suggest ditching all of these elements and to take the approach that worked for Tim Burton in the late 80s. His films, especially "Batman Returns", seem so timeless because Gotham City seems to have completely fallen out of time. The architecture, the clothes and the cars that are in the streets are a finely tuned mish-mash of contemporary and extremely classic. The Gothic cathedrals, the absurd gargoyle statues, the shabby cityscape and the wintry atmosphere give Burton's Gotham something otherworldly. We visit a magical place where the gangsters look like the actors from Michael Jackson's thriller video have attacked an SM shop and where the night belongs to the freaks. When the sun goes down, the rulers of Gotham show their true villainous faces as Batman cloaks his and patrols his realm. The dark knight may be involved in dark stories, but he has less in common with antiheroes like the Punisher or John Wick than with Prince Adam / He-Man from Masters of the Universe or a mythical figure from a fairy tale. Tied to a place that reflects its innermost being.

New start with "The Batman"?

Of course I'm not saying that a new movie should adopt Burton's aesthetic, just that Matt Reeves or whoever is directing the next "Batman" after "The Batman" shouldn't stick to it, Gotham to have to show as a modern American metropolis. Just because Christopher Nolan used real cities like Chicago and New York as backdrops for his films, that shouldn't set any limits to the imagination. I also wish that the city would simply take center stage again and have its own character.

Danny DeVito as Penguin / Oswald Cobblepot Source: Warner Bros. The trailer for the remake with Robert Pattinson at least suggests that this time it will be more of a detective story than action fireworks. Nevertheless, the preview has numerous moments that could be described as "badass". Unfortunately, this aspect leaves me quite cold. Batman as a brutal, hateful bone breaker who intones sayings like "I am Vengeance" as if he were Dirty Harry, may cause a certain part of the audience to cheer, but for me such scenes arouse the fear that we are dealing with an adolescent fanboy -Film that tried to be as dark, serious and cruel as possible. Only the excellent casting (Paul Dano as Riddler, Colin Farrell as Penguin, Zoe Krawitz as Catwoman and Andy Serkis as Alfred) stirs my hope. After all, the franchise has always lived off its villains and supporting characters. If even one of the characters comes close to the brilliant performance of Danny DeVito in "Batman Returns", I mark the start dates of "The Batman" 2 & 3 in red on the calendar.

Recommended editorial content Here you will find external ones Contents of [PLATFORM]. To protect your personal data, external integrations are only displayed if you confirm this by clicking on "Load all external content": Load all external content I agree that external content can be displayed to me. This means that personal data is transmitted to third-party platforms. Read more about our privacy policy . External content More on this in our data protection declaration. Maybe the pulpy violence in the finished film wins me over. In the Harley Quinn series it is omnipresent, even if it is presented with plenty of humor. And even if my skepticism is justified in the end, at least the harshness seems to have been part of the concept from the start. After the success of "Joker", I wouldn't have been surprised if Warner suddenly insisted on cutting all films in development into brutal crime dramas. So it looks like you've learned your lesson from "Suicide Squad" and "Justice League".

Michael Keaton as Batman Source: Warner Bros Pictures Since the claim to create a closed universe died too seems to be, it would even be conceivable to have several parallel "Batman" films with different actors in the title role. After all, Michael Keaton and Ben Affleck are coming back as the Dark Knight for "The Flash". If every film or series stands for itself, the potential to confuse or even frighten the audience is not that great. But the variety would be all the greater. And that's the one thing that the competition seems to have trouble with. As different as the Marvel line-up is, the individual films always have to be connected to one another in a meaningful way. With a few exceptions, the solo films therefore have the same rhythm, the same structure and a similar plot development. DC could oppose this monotony and formulaicism and surprise the audience with really radical and exciting ideas. The only question that then arises is what do we do with the remaining characters?

The rest of the squad

As it currently looks, "Shazam" is already independent of the previous DCEU and the easiest way to continue. In addition to "Shazam 2", the spin-off "Black Adam" is also in the works. Dwayne Johnson has been associated with the role since 2014. It has been known since 2019 that he should appear in a solo film. Why the superstar is not simply introduced as an opponent in "Shazam 2" is a mystery to me, but one probably believes that the audience impact of "The Rock" is enough to get asses in the cinema seats. Fair enough.

K Wonder Woman 1984 (2021) Source: Warner Bros. It is already niffliger with the brands "Aquaman", "Wonder Woman" and "Suicide Squad", whereby steps are already being taken here, too. to delineate future offshoots and shake off the shared past. In the case of Wonder Woman, the solo films have so far only been prequels and thus had no need to point out the existence of other superheroes anyway. Aquaman, on the other hand, could simply have returned to his kingdom after the events of "Justice League" and stay there from now on.

In case Gal Gadot and Jason Momoa don't want to quit after the next sequels and DC is still interested To produce films with the two of them, the absence of Flash, Batman, Superman, and Cyborg doesn't even really need to be addressed. At least not as long as the characters are sent on personal adventures and do not fight world destroyers like Darkseid, Zod or Steppenwolf. Aquaman, as Lord of the Seven Seas, can theoretically appear anywhere, far from the metropolises in which his colleagues fly around. Maybe he will take a trip to Australia with Willem Dafoe and his Manbun or visit the North Sea. And space still remains for Diana Prince's adventures. After all, sending Wonder Woman to different planets is more interesting than watching her, after over a hundred years in civilization, still not have a date with someone who hasn't been dead since WWI.

The Suicide Squad (2021) Source: Jessica Miglio / Warner Bros. I don't see a real future for "Flash" after the numerous friction behind the scenes and because of the expired contract with Ezra Miller. Likewise for a sequel to "Birds of Prey". After "The Suicide Squad", a quasi-reboot of the James Gunn franchise, most of the antiheroes appearing there will already be over. Another revival would definitely be conceivable if Margot Robbie continues to want to play Harley Quinn. The concept of uniting obscure villain characters from the DC universe for a mission and then cheering on who survives and who dies can actually be carried on indefinitely.

What do you think of Warner's change of course Bros.? And which DC character would you like to see a solo film of?

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