EDITORIAL: Is Warner Bros. Following The Animated Plan?

Many fans paniced and screamed that Warner Bros. had no clue what they were doing by rushing into Justice League, but many of those fans don't realized this is the exact same plan they've used before. Take the jump to read more!

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By yonny616 - 6/5/2014
Ever since Marvel started their beautifully crafted cinematic universe, many fans have wondered when, and how, were Warner Bros. going to give us a shared DC cinematic universe. This all intesified when Man of Steel was released and Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Trilogy was over. Many asked how Warner Bros. was going to catch up to Marvel's cinematic universe. Then came the announcement that the follow up to Man of Steel would have Batman, then Wonder Woman was announced, and now Cyborg is also apperantley in the film. This caused a panic among fans as they screamed that Warner Bros. has no clue what they're doing, that they're just rushing the DC cinematic universe, but it seems a very few calmed down and saw what Warner Bros plan actually was.

The plan that Warner Bros. seems to be using was one used by their first shared universe. Bruce Timm's DC animated universe. Everyone seems to have forgotten how that universe was built. That shared universe truly started with Superman: The Animated Series, which had cameos from many heroes, such as everyone's favorite speedster, The Flash. Then came the four part episode, which quickly became a fan favorite animated film, The Batman/Superman Movie, and from there came the Justice League and Justice League Unlimited. Warner Bros. seems to be building their shared universe the exact same way. First we got Man of Steel, now we're getting Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and if rumors are correct about Justice League shooting back-to-back with Batman v Superman, then it's the utmost obvious this was their plan.

Sure you can say Wonder Woman and Cybrog weren't in the animated film, but this helps introduce these two characters faster. Wonder Woman is said to not be a major role in the film and Cyborg is nothing more than a cameo, most likely it'll just be Victor Stone at the football game which was shot earlier this year. Now Justice League only has to really introduce about one character, or none if they opt to use just the big five since they are are extremely well known characters. These characters don't really need origin stories. Superman and Batman's origins are as known as the palm of your hand, Wonder Woman's could be explained in one scene, they can make 2011's Green Lantern semi-canon by keep somethings and pretending other didn't happen, and The Flash is getting a TV show, which you can make semi-canon the same way 2011's Green Lantern could be made. Afterall, the only heroes Bruce Timm had actually made an origin series for was Batman and Superman, and even then Batman: The Animated Series originally didn't feel like it was part of a bigger plan until Superman: The Animated Series came along and it was all still extremely successful.

So what do you guys think? Could Warner Bros. be using the Bruce Timm formula? Or do you still think Warner Bros. are just coming up with this thing as they go along? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below! Also, don't for get to hit the red glove!
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Knightrider - 6/5/2014, 3:25 PM
Some similarities. However, the DC model is actually simple: Get bigger very film. If there is a one issue with the MCU, in my opinion, it was the Origin Story. I get that is an odd point, but it got tiresome. Even when Thor was already powered, they took them away so he could have the traditional human to super human story.

Personally, I don't think every character needs their own movie... If anything Avengers proved this by the fact not everyone had watched some or all or any of the other films before watching Avengers, and it did not dampen the enjoyment.

Glad they are finally doing a JL movie and not copying the Marvel way in either tone or direction. Not that one is better, but it provides choice rather than a clone.
phantom1527 - 6/5/2014, 3:51 PM
This is good point and gives me some hope. Thank you
soforizo - 6/5/2014, 5:01 PM
I like this way better. We're not talking about unknown characters and even then you don't need to see origin stories to enjoy be able to it.
SniktBub - 6/5/2014, 5:23 PM
We need an Atom-Smasher movie
staypuffed - 6/5/2014, 5:25 PM
I have faith in WB. Nice write up.
MrBlackjack - 6/5/2014, 5:38 PM
Well, technically the animated universe began with Batman: The Animated Series, but I can kinda see what you were going for. Kinda. There are similarities, but I don't think they're basing one off another.
MrBlackjack - 6/5/2014, 5:40 PM
That said, this is a nice editorial. Thumbs up.
davidwiz - 6/5/2014, 6:01 PM
aaaargh why cant wonder woman have a major role in bats vers. supes sob lol
Chrome - 6/5/2014, 6:36 PM
Nice one
Forthas - 6/5/2014, 7:12 PM
Starting a universe in a comic book setting is completely different You already have characters established with a following. That is not the same as movies.
ChuckV - 6/5/2014, 7:19 PM
The Bruce Timm - produced animated universe was intelligent, well-written and TRUE to the characters. Those series provided a benchmark for how superhero-related animated series should be done... unfortunately, WB is NOT following that plan simply because they aren't working with the same people who understood the DC Universe and how the characters worked.

Zack Snyder is NO Bruce Timm.
yonny616 - 6/5/2014, 7:23 PM
@BlackJack Yes, technically, but the universe didn't really start connecting until Superman: The Animated Series started.

@Forthas Who said anything about comic books? I was talking animated and so far in the animated universe you only had two established characters, Batman and Superman.
ChuckV - 6/5/2014, 7:28 PM
My tribute to the animated #Batman75-
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Mike89 - 6/5/2014, 7:35 PM
There are some similarities. Though not directly based off one another but they are sort of skipping some origin stories to introduce certain characters. I think if done well it can work.
acheronmagnuz - 6/5/2014, 8:07 PM
@Yonny

Nice write up bro! Thumbs up!
ChuckV - 6/5/2014, 8:10 PM
Origin stories in movies are played out.... These characters don't need whole movies devoted to their origins, do they??
JasonBlue - 6/5/2014, 8:26 PM
This was pretty obvious. Warner Bros realized that their strongest asset was their animated series and films. People associate what they see on the films and what they grew up watching on cartoon network with what they now see on film. Its part of the reason why Green Lantern didn't perform, a big chunk of their audience was just... confused.

JasonBlue - 6/5/2014, 8:27 PM
They are following the recent animated series plan... not the old one.
POTUS - 6/5/2014, 8:30 PM
I'm POTUS

Well thought out analysis, reasonable conclusion, and nicely written up. Well done!

Assuming you're correct, the only problem, and its the same problem for any movie studio, is that once a film fails, the money lost is too great to risk a second time. MOSII will not lose money, but will it and Justice League be profitable enough to justify continuing with the plan? It's a risky plan, whatever the plan is. MOSII has to ignite a lot of interest in order to get butts in the seats for Justice League; everything will have to be right, and I think a lot will be riding on Affleck and Gadot. If they're not believable, this could be bad.

But cool story, bro.

I'm POTUS
JFogg - 6/5/2014, 8:49 PM
This is nothing we dont already know...
BlindJustice - 6/5/2014, 9:26 PM
@Potus - There's a recent animated series plan for DC? Your not talking about all the fan-loved shows like GL and Young Justice that were suddenly cancelled for no (real) reason are you?

I love DC animation, but they've really been going downhill as of late... or at least since they cancelled Young Justice and GL. The recent Batman was so-so and was cancelled mid-season. The only place to see it now is in the middle of the night Saturdays on Toonami (Cartoon Network).
BlindJustice - 6/5/2014, 9:27 PM
Oops that was meant for @JasonBlue. Sorry, POTUS.
EarOne - 6/5/2014, 9:35 PM
IF this is really the case, then...What da heck's da problem..?? BRING Bruce Timm and his buddies and let em do their THANG. i mean, it's not like there's never been an animator doing well in live action (Brad Bird - Mission Impossible 4), BUT...then again, there's the case with Andy Stanton (John Carter)..OUCH!!

but, seriously, if this is the master plan for WB/DCU, then please get Timm & co. involved. they know what to do..they've DONE IT.
Mankzin2 - 6/5/2014, 9:42 PM
I agree that they are almost the same format. Not everyone needs a full origin story when a flashback will do, even though some people didn't like this in MOS (I personally liked them and thought they were essential to the overall story).

oh yeah "Hail Kobra"
CorndogBurglar - 6/5/2014, 9:47 PM
Actually, I think these characters do need origin stories.

Sure the characters are well known. Everyone knows who Batman and Superman are. Everyone also knows who Wonder Woman and Flash are. But ask the random, non-comic reading person on the street hiw Wonder Woman got her powers. Or how the Flash got his. Or Cyborg. Or Martian Manhunter (yes I'm still holding out hope that he doesnt get screwed out of the movies.)

Bottom line is, even though people know who these characters are, most probably dont know their actual back stories.
Nubase - 6/5/2014, 11:19 PM
WB/DC are following the Harry Potter route, the first movie was the origins of harry then each movie after that had its own story, growth of harry and the characters around him, its own villains and in the background the bigger threat was growing until the final movie where final battle happened, this is what the DCCU will be, and as for wonder women, cyborg, they will get thier origins explained.

l'm glad WB/DC are doing things thier way but its a way that has been done before with LOTR trilogy, Harry Potter, and the Hobbit Trilogy and also not everyone on the world read those books and the general public still understood the characters and story.
AontheheadStarontheChest - 6/5/2014, 11:22 PM
Nice write up, and I agree. I think they're doing a reverse pyramid type of thing by building on top of each film but going bigger on the next film.

The only problem I see with this is fan's clamoring for origin films for each and every league member.

There's no pleasing fans, people say they get tired of the origin story and there are others who want each hero to have their own film. I just want to see more of what DC's plan is either way.
blkyank - 6/5/2014, 11:36 PM
I'v been saying this along.if you look at the box office revenue of the first Captain America and Thor films verses
The Avengers,its clear that the vast majority of people who showed up for the team up film at best had only seen the Ironman films.

In fact I would argue the biggest selling point of The Avengers to the casual film goer was it was a de facto third Ironman film that raised the stakes by bringing in other superheroes and a cosmic threat. Average people were drawn to see RDJ's Ironman interact with other superheroes but my point is it wasn't really that important knowing who those other heroes were going into the film.

While it was great for the minority of hand core fanboys and casual fans that did see those earlier films to go into The Avengers armed with the knowledge of the events of those films,the team up film was presented in a way that you really didn't need to have seen Thor or Captain America TFA to get where those heroes were coming from.

In The Avengers, the film tells us Cap is from the WW2 era,was frozen, and is a man out of time.The opening scene of Rogers and the punching bag effectively shows us his power set and state of mind. Having seen CATFA is a big help in fleshing out Cap,but its not needed to enjoy The Avengers.

We are shown that Thor is from an advanced race that once were considered gods and Loki is his evil (adopted) brother.The Tesseract is from Asgard and can open doorways in space. Again,seeing Thor beforehand would be
a big help,but one wouldn't need to have seen it to get the basic backgrounds of those characters and the situation in the team up film.

Only Ironman is presented in a way that assumes the audience has seen his solo films.

WB is using the DCAU playbook in building its DCCU and I would add some other ways besides the ones already given how this is so.

I agree,that the true building block for the DCAU was Superman The Animated series which introduced the Man of Steel,other super powered allies like the Flash,Supergirl and Green Lantern as well as his main rival Lex Luthor.

If you look back on the whole thing the DCAU was built around the Superman/Luthor rivalry which was one on one in the Superman series then expanded as each character gained allies such as Batman and the Joker in the Batman/Superman crossover episodes and to a much bigger degree in Justice League.

The Superman series also brought in cosmic threats like Darkseid and Brainiac who at first took on Superman by himself, then later when he had first Supergirl then the League at his side.

Batman The Animated series established Batman and Gotham and the new adventures continued to flesh out the Bat family but for the most part they didn't have much impact on the later Justice League series.Even Batman Beyond had a bigger presence in Justice League then the earlier Bat series.

In live action I look at the Nolan films as serving much the same purpose to the DCCU as the Batman Animated Series
did for the DCAU. True the Animated Bat series were offically part of the same continuity as the Superman and Justice League series. But one could re watch them and look upon them as being part of a solo Batman universe as well due to the famous Bat Embargo which limited crossover of Batman supporting characters and locations with the Justice League Universe. Sure Alfred,the Batcave and Wayne Manor were featured,but Gotham,Gordon and every major Bat villain outside a one time Joker episode,did not show up.

The Nolan Bat films serve the purpose of filling in the general audience on Batman's origins and early career.
People are free to look upon major events from those films that still apply in Batman's life and career as background info while being free to disregard what doesn't fit his DCCU continuity.

Wonder Woman,will have a basic version of her background put out in Batman V Superman and if she's a hit with fans in Justice League,that backstory can be expanded upon in a solo film.

The Flash can show up in Justice League as the tv version with an established origin or a new film version who gives a quick explanation "I had a lab accident" to cover his superspeed before getting into the action. Again, a Flash spin off could be used to flesh out the character if he wins over movie fans. I agree,the 2011 Green Lantern film should at worst,be semi canon with "a dying purple alien gave this to me" to explain his power ring and maybe a line from Batman about Hal working for an intergalactic police force.

WB using the Animated Universe route has worked for the studio and will work again.
Demongod20 - 6/5/2014, 11:46 PM
@ AlphaAndDecima

There are 3600 Green Lanterns members guarding different sectors. Remember GL sectors are massive and only one GL polices each sector. They can't instantly respond to every crisis at the drop of a hat. Just think of it this way the events of Man of Steel happened. The Green Lantern Corps are made aware of it after the fact and send a GL out towards earth to investigate.
RobtimusPrime - 6/6/2014, 12:02 AM
Nice editorial.

I'm with Corndogburglar regarding origins. DC has a problem going 2nd because audiences may grow tired of origin tales(if not cbm's in general). No one but themselves to blame.

I believe The DCcu has to surpass the Mcu by miles in terms of quality for the general audience to not feel like there "Wannabe Marvel Movies".

I prefer Marvel COMICS to Dc, but a I sure as hell don't want to see the DCcu flop. Pre-new 52 would work better Imo.
jimdotbeep - 6/6/2014, 12:16 AM
Seriously? You do realize that the Bruce Timm Audience has always been people who were already familiar with the DC Universe. Bruce Timm even said that Batman the animated series was a gift to those who loved the comic. Even the people in the Bruce Timm audience that don't read comics are FAR better acquainted with the Universe than people who up until the last decade or so turned their nose up at the notion of genre.

In order to Make this anywhere near as much as a big Deal as the Avengers was you have to show the general movie going audience who these characters are and why the should BEFORE a Big Crossover Team up movie.
Brainiac13 - 6/6/2014, 12:21 AM
Great Ed Yonny :).....Great if they are.
Brainiac13 - 6/6/2014, 12:22 AM
Thumbs up.
Foxpaw - 6/6/2014, 12:33 AM
Don't worry, we don't read good either.
RyKnow - 6/6/2014, 12:43 AM
It seems like they're making it up as they're going along. Expectations are through the floor for this film.
113 - 6/6/2014, 2:11 AM
I think it's appropriate to post this once again. THE most brilliant theory on what WB is doing, and ought to do:

http://www.sixokay.com/2013/11/23/man-of-steel-isnt-about-superman/
Nomis1800 - 6/6/2014, 2:23 AM
LOL you lost me at: "Marvel started their beautifully crafted cinematic universe"

HAHAHAHAHAH ridiculous
loki668 - 6/6/2014, 3:39 AM
As opposed to what other option? It's easy to laugh when you have nothing out there.
BruceWayneNewton - 6/6/2014, 3:51 AM
We don't always need origin stories for the fringe characters ie: Black Widow and Hawkeye. The major players have well known origins. Flash could really jump from TV and GL has already had his established. All we need is those 5! Add Cyborg and Martian Manhunter in the JL sequel.
KingNTheKong - 6/6/2014, 3:54 AM
I think this is awesome!!! Batman: TAS could be compared to TDK Trilogy in the respect that it was more isolated than the others.
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