Building A Universe: Constructing the DC Cinematic Universe from 'Man Of Steel' onward.
How I would construct the DC cinematic universe using 'Man Of Steel' as the starting point. A rough plan for how the universe would unfold, along with a casting of the future films in the series.
The DC Cinematic Universe does not currently exist. However WB and Zack Snyder seem to be working, however slowly, toward making it a reality. I've decided to give WB a hand and try to help get this Universe realized a bit quicker by casting a few important roles on their behalf. Below you'll find a Fan-Cast and an overall plan for how I, HeisenbergSaysRelax, would construct the DCCU using Man Of Steel as the starting point.
The Plan Of Attack
As I stated above, I'd use Man Of Steel as the starting point for the entire DCCU, followed by the planned 'Superman/Batman' film. I've gone ahead and constructed a rough (and totally unrealistic) outline for what order I think the films should be released. I'm following a similar pattern to what Marvel has done with their Cinematic Universe, as it seems to be the best way to work a large-scale film universe without everything becoming too crowded or too sparse.
Obviously we would start in 2013 with the release of 'Man Of Steel'. The next release is the planned 'Superman/Batman' film in 2016. From there I think I'd like to see a 'Justice League' film in 2017. I know a lot of people are opposed to doing a 'Justice League' film without giving each member a solo film, but I think using 'Justice League' as the launch pad for spin-offs is what WB is planning to do, so that's the idea I've gone with. 2018 should see the release of a solo 'Wonder Woman' film and a solo 'The Flash' film. 'The Green Lantern' and 'Batman' should see solo film releases in 2019. 'Justice League 2' should be released in 2020 by itself without another DC release. 2021 would be when I'd expect a new DC property. The new DC property I'd choose would be a Booster Gold/Blue Beetle team-up film titled 'Blue and Gold'. 'Blue and Gold' would see release in 2021 alongside 'Man Of Steel 3'. 2022 would be when I'd expect sequels to the solo 'Flash' and 'Green Lantern' films. 2023 would be when I'd expect to see 'Justice League 3' get released.
Each of the solo films would be self-contained. They would have reference to future and past events in the universe, but for the most part, they would be self-contained stories. Each solo film would feature villains and allies from each characters respective casts (example: Green Lantern would feature Carol Ferris, Jon Stewart as allies and Sinestro, Red Lanterns as villains). The 'Justice League' films would feature bigger, more dangerous villains such as Darkseid, Amazo, Brainiac and any other characters that could pose a threat to a group like the League. The 'Justice League' films would also feature supporting cast from each heroes individual stories (Lois Lane, Carol Ferris, Dick Grayson, etc.) as well as various other heroes who would join The League as time went by or pop-up via cameos.
My 'Justice League' plan would see Lex Luthor as the villain in the first film. I imagine Lex will have a behind-the-scenes type-role in 'Superman/Batman'. He'll be a villain, but not the primary villain until 'Justice League'. 'Justice League 2' would have Brainiac as the villain. Brainiac would be working for a higher power (Darkseid). 'Justice League 3' would feature Darkseid as the villain and follow a similar plot to 'The Death Of Superman' with Darkseid taking Doomsday's place as the villain who comes to Earth, destroying everything in his path and ultimately fighting Superman to the death.
As I've said, this is a rough idea. I came up with this while deciding on a DCCU cast. So it isn't the most polished or thought-out idea for a film-universe. I'm sure there are much better ways to do it.
Casting The League
I've gone ahead and decided on a 7 member League consisting of: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash (Barry Allen), Green Lantern (Hal Jordan), Aquaman and Martian Manhunter. Other characters would join the team in smaller roles as the films progressed, but these 7 would be the core members of the team and the primary focus of the films.
Below are my choices for each hero, their respective allies/enemies and various supporting characters.
Henry Cavill – Clark Kent/Superman
Ben Affleck – Bruce Wayne/Batman
Gal Gadot – Diana Prince/Wonder Woman
Mike Vogel – Barry Allen/The Flash
Mike Vogel was chosen based on his looks, mostly. If you could rip Barry Allen from the page, I think he'd look a lot like Mike Vogel. That's not to say his acting isn't up-to snuff, 'cause it is. He currently stars on CBS's 'Under The Dome' and recently had a guest role on A&E's 'Bates Motel'. He played a pretty neat character on 'Bate's Motel'. I think he has what it takes to embody the character well.
Notable works: Under The Dome, Bate's Motel, Grounded For Life, Cloverfield
Scott Porter – Hal Jordan/The Green Lantern
Hal Jordan was a character I had a really rough time trying to cast. He's a cool character, but he's so generic looks-wise. I looks high and low for an actor that I thought fit the role. Finally I was suggested Scott Porter. I checked out some of his work on Friday Night Lights and some of his voice-acting on the Marvel Anime and think he'd work pretty well. He definitely has the right look to him. Thanks to the CBM user Lozzy for the suggestion.
Notable works: Friday Night Lights, The To-Do List
Josh Holloway – Arthur Curry/Aquaman
Josh Holloway was rumored to be involved with 'Superman/Batman'. There were also rumors about Aquaman having a role in 'Superman/Batman' and that his appearance would be related to The World Engine doing something to the sea and the fish. I like this idea a lot. It's a logical way to work Aquaman into a film universe. The ocean is unknown. I think I read somewhere that we actually know more about outer space than we do about the bottom of the ocean. So it seems possible, to me, that Aquaman and Atlantis could have existed the whole time, but Aquaman never revealed himself until the “land-dwellers” problems started to interfere with the seas.
Notable works: Lost, Intelligence, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol.
Christopher Judge – J'onn J'onzz/Martian Manhunter (Mo-cap/Voice)
Christopher Judge was chosen based on two things. First, his voice. He has a very deep, calm voice. Second, his stature/build. Last time I saw him was when he was on 'Stargate SG-1'. He played an alien named Teal'c. He's a fairly big guy and has the calm, wise alien thing down pretty good. I think he'd be a great choice to do the voice and mo-cap for J'onn
Notable works: Stargate SG-1, The Dark Knight Rises
Amy Adams – Lois Lane
Laurence Fishburne – Perry White
Gabriel Basso – Jimmy Olsen
Gabe Basso was originally my choice for Wally West, be he seemed a bit too young. Then I thought about Jimmy Olsen. I know we got Jenny Olsen in 'Man Of Steel', but I figure that's Jimmy's sister. My version of Jimmy would basically be an intern at the Daily Planet that keeps getting dragged around by Lois due to a lack of photographs. Gabe Basso was really good in 'The Kings Of Summer'. He wasn't the most interesting of the 3 leads in the film, but his acting was the strongest.
Notable works: The Kings Of Summer
Jeremy Irons – Alfred Pennyworth
Kenneth Branagh – Jim Gordon
Kenneth Branagh was an easy choice for me. He's a really good actor. He's also around the right age-range I think of for Gordon. He's recently worked with Marvel, directing 'Thor'. More recently he's directed and starred in 'Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit'. He was really great in 'Valkyrie'. I think he could handle Gordon.
Notable works: Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, Valkyrie, Wild Wild West, Frankenstein
Anna Kendrick – Barbara Gordon/Batgirl
This was a choice I really liked, but I imagine will catch a mixed reaction. Anna Kendrick is a really talented actress. I know she gets a lot of flack for having been in 'Pitch Perfect' and the 'Twilight' films, but she was also in some really awesome films like 'Scott Pilgrim vs. The World', 'End Of Watch', 'Up In The Air'. She's great and I think she'd kill it as Barbara.
Notable works: End Of Watch, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Up In The Air
John Gallagher Jr. - Dick Grayson/Nightwing
John Gallagher Jr. was actually one of the first people I had cast for this idea. He was great in 'Short Term 12' (which was one of my favorite films of 2013) and he kills it on 'The Newsroom' as Jim Harper. He has an awesome “Nice guy” feel to him which I think fits Dick well. He also has some serious acting ability. If someone told me I could make 1 of my choices a reality, John Gallagher Jr as Dick Grayson would be the one I'd choose.
Notable works: Short Term 12, The Newsroom
Sophia Bush – Carol Ferris
Sophia Bush currently stars on NBC's “Chicago P.D.” where she plays a member of a police squad. She isn't a huge name, but I think she's big enough. She's a pretty good actress and she is a good fit age-wise for the actor I've chosen as Hal Jordan.
Notable works: Chicago P.D.
Michael Ealy – John Stewart
Michael Ealy as John Stewart was the first casting choice I made. The rest of this project started from this choice. I was throwing around actors for John Stewart in chat and saw a commercial for 'About Last Night' which starts Ealy and it just made sense to me. He's great on 'Almost Human'. He hasn't had a ton of mainstream success and it'd be nice to see him get a big role like this.
Notable works: Almost Human, 2 Fast 2 Furious
Drew Roy – Kyle Rayner
Kyle Rayner was another character I had problems with. I was solid on my Wally West choice and my Dick Grayson choice and I knew I wanted Kyle to be in a similar age-range as those characters. I looks high and low and came up with many options but for whatever reason Drew Roy stood out to me. He did some solid acting on the last season of TNT's 'Falling Skies' and I think he could handle playing Kyle.
Notable work: Falling Skies
Ving Rhames – Kilowog (Mo-Cap and Voice)
Ving Rhames has an awesome voice. I knew I wanted someone imposing for Kilowog and who better than Marcellus Wallace himself? I'm really happy with this choice. I think he fits the character well. He also has a really imposing stature and would be great for the Mo-cap.
Notable works: Pulp Fiction, Mission: Impossible
Rachel McAdams – Iris West
Rachel McAdams was my top-choice for Wasp if Marvel ever did an Ant-Man film, but if you listen to the rumors about the Ant-Man film, it doesn't sound like she stands much of a chance. So I decided to throw her into my DCCU fancast. She was also my original choice for Lois Lane back when 'Man Of Steel' was casting. Basically, I want her in a CBM. She's a great actress and I'd like to see her do more.
Notable works: Red Eye, The Notebook, Mean Girls
Daniel Sharman – Wally West
Daniel Sharman currently plays Issac Lahey on MTV's 'Teen Wolf' and played Ares in 'The Immortals'. His character on 'Teen Wolf' isn't the most interesting character, but he makes the best of it and turns in some solid performances week after week. I think he could handle a role like this and really make it his own.
Notable works: The Immortals, Teen Wolf
Josh Dallas – Oliver Queen/Green Arrow
Josh Dallas was another choice that was suggested to me. Originally Green Arrow wasn't even going to be included in the fancast, but this suggestion was just too good to pass up. Josh Dallas played Fandral in the first 'Thor' film. He also currently stars on ABC's 'Once Upon A Time'. He's a really good actor and I think he'd kill it as Green Arrow. Thanks to CBM user Pasto for the suggestion.
Notable works: Thor, Once Upon A Time
Rachel Nichols – Dinah Lance/Black Canary
Rachel Nichols hasn't done much mainstream work that I'm aware of. She was Scarlett in 'G.I. Joe: The Rise Of Cobra' and she plays the primary character on the TV series 'Continuum”. She was pretty good in both roles and I think she fits Black Canary pretty well.
Notable works: G.I. Joe: The Rise Of Cobra, Continuum
Isla Fisher – Mera
Mera was a weird one to cast. I just couldn't think of anyone. Then I saw Isla Fisher on TV and she looked similar to Mera so I figured she'd work for now. She turned in a solid performance in 'The Lookout'. Also she has “Fish” in her last name...so, yeah.
Notable works: Now You See Me, The Lookout
James Franco – Ted Kord/Blue Beetle
James Franco is awesome. He's funny, he's charming. Ted Kord has always been a character that never seems to take himself too seriously. I think Franco embodies that perfectly. He's also a really big name, which will be needed if a Blue and Gold film is ever gonna make a profit.
Notable works: Spider-Man series, Pineapple Express, 127 Hours, This Is The End
Eric Christian Olsen – Michael Carter/Booster Gold
Eric Christian Olsen was my first choice for Booster Gold. He has the right amount of serious/comedy that the character needs. He's great on NCIS: LA where he plays a character that is basically Booster Gold without the costume. He's cocky, funny and serious when he needs to be. He's also been turning in some really good performances on the last few episodes since his character is playing a more important role to the overall story. I think he has what it takes to do the role justice.
Notable works: The Thing (2011), NCIS:LA, Not Another Teen Movie
Jake Johnson – Patrick O'Brian/Plastic Man
This is a choice I'm super proud of. I have no idea how Plastic Man would fit into everything, but I couldn't leave this out. I originally had Jake Johnson as Hal Jordan but it seemed like a bad fit. So I changed him to Guy Gardner but it still seemed off. Then it hit me. Plastic Man! I really wanted to include Jake into this list somewhere after watching 'Safety Not Guaranteed'. He's so great in that film and I just don't think he's used enough in films. He looks exactly like Plastic Man and he's great at comedy. He's born for this role.
Notable works: Safety Not Guaranteed, Drinking Buddies, New Girl
I decided to cast the villains for all three Justice League films as well as casting villains for each solo franchise. I could have cast more but I didn't want to over do it as the entire cast (Heroes, Supporting and Villains) was running a tad long.
Jesse Eisenberg – Lex Luthor
Michael C. Hall – John Corben/Metallo
Michael C Hall has a deep, monotone voice that I think would fit Metallo really well. He played Dexter for many seasons on the TV series 'Dexter' and throughout the series he did a good job of using his face to show underlying emotion. I think he can handle the role.
Notable works: Dexter, Kill Your Darlings
Luke Evans – Black Mask
I really liked Luke Evans in 'Fast and Furious 6'. He played a calm, calculating villain named Owen Shaw. If he took what he did with that role and used it for a character like Black Mask, I think we could end up with a really imposing character for Batman to square-off against.
Notable works: The Hobbit films, Fast And Furious 6
Neil Patrick Harris – Edward Nygma/The Riddler
I've wanted Neil Patrick Harris to play The Riddler for as long as I can remember. He has the upbeat, happy but still could be insane vibe that I've always imagined The Riddler to have. Also, he's very funny and funny actors tend to be really good at doing scary/insane.
Notable work: How I Me Your Mother
Travis Fimmel – Ares
Travis Fimmel currently stars on 'Vikings' in which he plays a character with similar physical attributes to Ares. He's big, imposing and has no trouble swinging around axes and swords. He also has some pretty solid acting-chops. He seemed like a good choice to me.
Notable work: Vikings
Andy Serkis – Gorilla Grodd
This one is kind of self-explanatory.
Notable work: Lord Of The Rings series, Hobbit series, Planet Of The Apes series, King Kong
Eric Bana – Sinestro
Eric Bana was a choice that I was unsure of at first. However, I've grown to like the decision. He was really good in 'Star Trek' and he's been doing a lot of other really great work lately. I think he deserves a shot at redeeming himself for 'Hulk'.
Notable work: Hulk, Star Trek, Lone Survivor
Lennie James – Black Manta
Lennie James plays Morgan on AMC's 'The Walking Dead' and he does a great job. He's only been in a few episodes but he makes the most of each one, delivering really strong performances each and every time. I think he do great with a role like this.
Notable work: The Walking Dead, Low Winter Sun
Keanu Reeves – Brainiac (Voice and Mo-Cap)
I've always seen Brainiac as an emotionless, cold being. So when I was thinking of actors who can be blank and emotionless, I thought of Keanu. He's practically made an entire career out of having no emotion. Seemed like a no-brainer.
Notable work: Point Break, Speed, The Matrix Trilogy, The Day The Earth Stood Still
Keith David – Darkseid (Voice)
Keith David has a really cool voice. He wouldn't work for the mo-cap but I imagine they could pull a Darth Vader and get someone else to do the mo-cap work. He played Mongul in the animated 'Young Justice' series. He was also pretty good in NBC's 'The Cape' and the John Carpenter film 'The Thing'. He's a great actor with a great voice and would be perfect for the role of Darkseid.
Notable work: Young Justice, The Cape, The Thing
There you have it. My entire plan on how I would cast and plot the DC Cinematic Universe. There is much more that could be done from this point forward, but I'm content with what I've got. I'm sure there are better ways to execute the universe than what I would do and if you have an idea for how the universe should or could unfold, go ahead and leave it in the comments below. I hope you enjoyed the read.
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