EDITORIAL: Why A DC TV/Movie-verse Has Every Chance Of Rivalling Marvel's Cinematic Universe
As of right now, Warner Bros. and DC don't really have any sort of Cinematic Universe to speak of; Marvel Studios' on the other hand is thriving! However, here is why I believe that combining the likes of Arrow and Man of Steel could result in the ULTIMATE Cinematic Universe. Check it out!
When it comes to building a Cinematic Universe, it’s hard to fault Marvel Studios. Despite a few hiccups along the way – the crowded Iron Man 2 and a short film being used to write away the ramifications of The Incredible Hulk’s mid-credits scene for example (Zak Penn's original screenplay was clearly based on the premise of an Iron Man led Avengers going after the Green Goliath – they’ve done one hell of a job. Starting with 2008’s Iron Man and culminating with last year’s The Avengers, it’s been an unprecedented success and we’re now deep in Phase Two of their plans as the build up to The Avengers: Age of Ultron continues. It’s an exciting time to be a Marvel fan, that’s for sure. However, when it comes to DC, their Cinematic Universe is...non-existent?
With The Dark Knight Trilogy existing in its own separate world, Green Lantern should have been Warner Bros.’ Iron Man. However, the ridiculously high budget and a messy story meant that the movie failed to find a big enough audience; it also failed to drop any notable hints or Easter eggs which at least pointed towards a larger DC Universe. This ultimately made it almost as self-contained as Christopher Nolan’s Batman movies. Man of Steel was of course a step in the right direction, with the sequel – which you should by now know will feature Ben Affleck as a new Caped Crusader – set to be (hopefully) the first step towards a Justice League movie. However, many fans have understandably pointed out the fact that if that is the plan after 2015’s Batman/Superman, Warner Bros. face the problem of introducing a number of other heroes to a world which is currently occupied only by DC’s two most iconic superheroes. While I’ve already discussed HERE why I think “The New 52” approach would work, it appears as if the studio has another way of familiarising moviegoers with at least a few other members of the team too; the world of Arrow and the planned spin-off featuring The Flash.
This is a suggestion which has been discussed and speculated upon numerous times before now. There’s absolutely nothing to say that the world of Arrow couldn’t exist in the same one as Man of Steel, while it’s bordering on being nonsensical that we would have a Flash on television (in full costume mind you; it’s already been confirmed that he will indeed be suited up in the planned CW series) and another possibly in his own movie and without a doubt in the Justice League. While us comic book fans would be able to just about get our heads around that, you can just imagine the thousands of confused Tweets about why there are two Flash’s – sort of like how many believed Pacific Rim to be some sort of Transformers/Godzilla crossover. It may sound ridiculous to us, but we’re talking about the regular moviegoer here!
That is why I think it would be sensible to use their TV series’ as a launching pad for a Justice League movie to the same extent that they will more than likely use Batman/Superman. Amazon may be on hold – and based on some of the details we were privy to, that’s probably for the best – but The Flash’s TV show opens the door for a number of superpowered characters. Meanwhile, Arrow is bringing in Amanda Waller. How much longer will it be until we see Steve Trevor and that character also becomes a part of DC’s planned superhero ensemble? (in the same way he was, again, in “The New 52” universe) It would be insane for two versions of these characters to exist at the same time…wouldn’t it?! The movies will have course have a much larger audience than any TV show despite how successful Arrow was in terms of ratings when it debuted last year, but as valid a point as that may be in some respects, DC and Warner Bros. would be missing a real opportunity to not combine their small and big screen universes.
It makes sense in terms of story, and more importantly for a studio like Warner Bros., is the fact that it makes sense in business terms too. Actors like Stephen Amell and whoever ends up playing The Flash will be much cheaper than any big name stars, while it’s not hard to imagine that the first thing many moviegoers would do after enjoying Justice League would be to check out these characters in their small screen outings. DVD sales go up and so do ratings. Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill and a few other big named should be more than enough to get butts on seats, so any arguments that guys like Amell aren’t big enough draws seem almost irrelevant. As Marvel uses Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as a way of creating a spin-off from their Cinematic Universe rather than expanding it (the premise of the series – bringing back Agent Coulson with an unknown team of agents – seems forced and arguably as a way of only piggybacking off the success of The Avengers) Warner Bros. and DC have the opportunity to create one gigantic universe across two very different mediums. And that? Well, it just makes a whole lot of sense.
What do you guys think?
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