After being burned by the DCEU repeatedly, some may be skeptical about this new direction that’s being taken. That’s fair, but there’s also plenty of reason to be optimistic. Wonder Woman was a step in the right direction, and while Justice League took a giant step backwards, creative shakeups in its aftermath promise a more fan-friendly approach rather than Zack Snyder’s dark and gloomy. We’re already hearing good things about James Wan’s Aquaman; Wonder Woman 1984 has a fun retro vibe goin’ on; and Matt Reeves’ The Batman is moving on from Bat-fleck. And yet there’s still a lot more to come.
Part of THR’s report on Reeves’ film includes some small but important updates on Todd Phillips’ Joker movie, and a solo film featuring the Flash. So let’s start with the Joker film, which is proceeding ahead even though another one starring Jared Leto is in the works. Warner Bros. is launching a parallel brand of standalone movies, possibly branded “DC Dark” or “DC Black”, that Phillips’ film will be part of. Joaquin Phoenix appears to be confirmed to play the infamous Bat-villain, with shooting set to begin this fall at a budget of only $55M. That’s on the low end of superhero movies and I’m assuming most of the films in this banner will be modestly-priced.
As for the Flash, Ezra Miller is still ready to suit up as the scarlet speedster, but gone is somber tone that surrounded it when announced as Flashpoint nearly a year ago. With Game Night directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein on board, the film is taking a Back to the Future-style approach that will play with time travel in a way that’s more crowd-pleasing. Production will kick off early next year.
With Shazam!, Birds of Prey, Suicide Squad 2, and more, new DC Films chief Walter Hamada has a lot on his plate. “He walked into a sh**show, and he’s trying to clean it up”, one insider noted about the heavy workload facing Hamada. Part of his “specific plan” to fix things is to stop announcing and dating movies so far in advance, an irritating practice DC Films had that I’ve bitched about a lot on this site. It never led to anything good, only frustration by fans who want information on movies that were going nowhere. We also won’t be seeing Warner Bros. establishing any writers rooms, which became popular a few years ago but have produced mixed results at best. Ask Paramount what their writers room did for Transformers: The Last Knight.