Ever since Justice League tanked at the box office and became a public embarrassment, Warner Bros. has steered further away from an interconnected DCEU. The record-breaking success of Aquaman was in a film that only barely touched upon its ties to other films, and the same appears to be the case for Shazam, Birds of Prey, and James Gunn’s rebooted Suicide Squad. But is it the right path to take going forward? Warner Bros. boss Kevin Tsujihara sure thinks so.
Speaking with the LA Times, Tsujihara talks about what he learned from the DCEU’s many ups and downs over the last few years…
“The upcoming slate, with Shazam, Joker, Wonder Woman 1984 and Birds of Prey, feels like we’re on the right track. We 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. You’re seeing much more focus on individual experiences around individual characters. 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.”
So you probably won’t be getting as cohesive an experience as the one Marvel provides, at least not for the time being. But to be fair, not every MCU film leaned heavily on those connections, anyway. Guardians of the Galaxy was had little to do with anything involving the Avengers, and the same goes for Thor: Ragnarok. And yet we recognize them as vital components of the MCU, anyway. There’s no doubt Warner Bros. could follow a similar formula.
And that’s what Tsujihara sees, drawing inspiration from the critical and financial success of Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman…
“What Patty Jenkins did on ‘Wonder Woman’ illustrated to us what you could do with these characters who are not Batman and Superman. Obviously, we want to get those two in the right place, and we want strong movies around Batman and Superman. But ‘Aquaman’ is a perfect example of what we can do. They’re each unique and the tone’s different in each movie.”
Translation: don’t let Zack Snyder direct anything and all will be fine. He also seems to be teasing plans for Batman and Superman, but it’s interesting that they need to have an established set of films around them first, when lower-tier characters like Aquaman and Wonder Woman have been just fine on their own. Weird.
Next up for the DCEU is Shazam which opens on April 5th, followed by Todd Phillips’ Joker which opens in October and was developed as a standalone effort.