Kevin Tsujihara Confirms DC Movies Will Be Mostly Standalone Moving Forward And Teases Plans For Superman

Kevin Tsujihara Confirms DC Movies Will Be Mostly Standalone Moving Forward And Teases Plans For Superman

In a new interview, Kevin Tsujihara, Warner Bros. Entertainment CEO, has confirmed that a shared DC Universe has been put on a back burner, while he promises that there are plans to get Superman right.

Aquaman was very much standalone in nature and after it grossed well over $1 billion at the worldwide box office, it's no great surprise that Warner Bros. is now changing its approach to its DC Comics adaptations. After all, the likes of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League were very much interconnected but struggled to turn a significant profit. 

Now, Warner Bros. boss Kevin Tsujihara has confirmed that the strategy at the studio has changed and standalone stories are the plan moving forward, as opposed to something similar to what we see in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

"The upcoming slate, with Shazam, Joker, Wonder Woman 1984 and Birds of Prey, feels like we’re on the right track," he explains. "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."

That's going to disappoint a lot of fans but Tsujihara went on to explain that while Wonder Woman showed them that they don't need to rely solely on Batman and Superman, the plan is to get both of those characters right (something which hopefully debunks reports that the Man of Steel has been shelved).

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."

Do you think this is the right approach to the DC Extended Universe moving forward?

What might the future hold for Superman? Hit the "View List" button
below for our recap from when the news about Cavill broke last year!

It Might Not Be Over Yet

Something which it's important to note is that while it may currently seem as if the door has been closed on Cavill returning as Superman, this could all be a very public negotiating tactic. If the actor's people have leaked the news of his departure to the trades, it may force Warner Bros. to give him what he wants regardless of whether that's another Superman movie or a larger, higher paid contract.

After all, if this whole thing was just a ruse, it's worked wonderfully because the outpouring of support for Cavill's Man of Steel has been huge and there's no way the studio hasn't seen that fans, bloggers, and celebrities alike would all like him to stick around as Superman, especially as he's so hot after starring in Mission: Impossible - Fallout. Now we'll just have to wait and see if it ends up working!


The DC Extended Universe Is Being "Reset"

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros. is attempting to hit the "reset button" on this shared universe, taking these characters in a very different direction in the process. That's not a great surprise based on what we've heard in the past but in what world does it make sense that we're getting three or four different Joker movies but literally nothing featuring DC's most iconic superhero.

The new direction of the
DCEU is something of a mystery but Aquaman, Shazam, and Wonder Woman 1984 may give us at least some ideas, even if they were already in the works before leadership changed at the studio. Something that is clear, however, is that there will be few ties between each release.

Supergirl Is The Priority

It's no secret that Warner Bros. is developing a Supergirl movie and while that could have easily featured the Man of Steel. Some sites have reported that he wouldn't be needed because of the age difference between the two heroes but that's incorrect because while she may have been a teenager when he was a baby, he's actually older than his cousin by the time she finally crash lands on Earth. 

Not including Superman feels like a huge blunder and is something that the TV series did wrong at first. Regardless, her movie is now a priority for the studio as they look to launch more female-led franchises. Seeing as Wonder Woman is the studio's only real success since Man of Steel was released in 2013, it's understandable why they're now looking to shine the spotlight on the DCEU's women. 


Henry Cavill Responds

Hours after the news hit, Henry Cavill shared a rather bizarre response on Instagram, describing the day as being "exciting" and showing a video of himself holding a Superman action figure. Was he making fun of the stories claiming that his time as the Man of Steel is over or taking some satisfaction from seeing everyone lose their sh*t over him no longer playing the character? It's hard to say but it certainly feels like there's still more to this entire story than meets the eye after seeing this video...


Today was exciting #Superman

A post shared by Henry Cavill (@henrycavill) on

A Shazam! Cameo Which Didn't Happen

It's said that talks between Henry Cavill and Warner Bros. broke down after the actor was forced to turn down a role in Shazam! due to a "scheduling conflict." Apparently, that would have featured Clark Kent (it's not clear whether he would have been in his Superman persona) tracking down Billy Batson and telling him that "they" would be keeping an eye on him, a great tease for a Justice League 2

It's hard to imagine Cavill saying no to this cameo due to money and it seems more likely that he didn't want to make what would essentially be a meaningless appearance before being put on the shelf again. This also points to plans for Superman to appear in Black Adam - which probably won't ever happen at this rate seeing as it was first announced in 2014 - being put on the backburner for quite a while.


Warner Bros. Remains Vague

What was Warner Bros.' response to reports that Henry Cavill is hanging up his cape? "While no decisions have been made regarding any upcoming Superman films, we’ve always had great respect for and a great relationship with Henry Cavill, and that remains unchanged," the studio claims.

That's a terrible response and the fact that they haven't made a decision about Superman's big screen future shows that the character isn't a priority for them. In all honesty, it's a typical sort of statement from a studio which is very 
non-committal and tells us nothing about what's really going on here.

The End Of The Trinity

Well, don't get used to seeing this sight! While we've known that the critical and commercial failings of Justice League have put the team on the backburner for the foreseeable future, fans have been holding out hope for them to reunite somewhere, regardless of whether that's in the Flash's movie or something else altogether. Unfortunately, this iteration of the Trinity will not be seen on screen again.

We did get two movies featuring this iconic trio standing side by side but no time was ever devoted to fleshing out their relationship and exploring the dynamic between them. Regardless of how you felt about Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League, Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman standing side by side was truly epic and it just sucks it won't be repeated any time soon.


There's Going To Be A Long Wait For A New Superman Movie

Something which was very interesting about that story from The Hollywood Reporter is the fact that they claim Warner Bros. is unlikely to make another Superman movie for at least "several years." That pretty much debunks each and every report we've heard about what might come next for the character on screen, including names like McQuarrie and Matthew Vaughn being eyed to direct. 

During the press tour for Mission: Impossible - Fallout, Cavill had plenty to say about where he'd like to see Superman going next, mentioning Brainiac as a possible villain and pointing out that he was waiting to hear from Warner Bros. about what might be on the horizon for the hero. Alas, it seems he was every bit as in the dark as he claimed and nothing concrete is being developed for Superman.


...But We May Know Who The Next Man Of Steel Is

While nothing is set in stone, Deadline claims that Michael B. Jordan is one name that's been thrown around at Warner Bros. in regards to what comes next for Superman. The Black Panther star is often linked to big roles because he's such a hot commodity but this report could point to Warner Bros. looking to deliver a much more diverse take on Clark Kent and that could actually work really well.

It would mean moving away from everything we know about the character but there are some very interesting parallels which could be made between a black man in America dealing with racism and the fact Superman is often persecuted for being an alien. For now, though, it's still very, very early days.


What Comes Next For Henry Cavill?

Justice League could have killed Henry Cavill's career, especially as he became an internet meme thanks to the terrible CGI face Warner Bros. gave him in the superhero ensemble. It's just lucky that Christopher McQuarrie cast the British actor in Mission: Impossible - Fallout because he's been praised for his villainous turn there and it's quickly turned him into someone every studio wants to cast.

His schedule is looking pretty light at the moment but he recently signed up to star in Netflix's The Witcher TV series, a big budget production which adapts both the video games and series of novels. Apparently, being unable to come to terms with Warner Bros. about Superman is what led to him joining the show and while it's not exactly a consolation, we can look forward to seeing him in that.


The Ramifications Of No Superman

The DCEU can survive without Superman but the impact of us not having a Man of Steel is bound to be felt. There's now no one to go and "recruit" Shazam (Wonder Woman, I guess?) and that hero won't have any backup against Black Adam if and when that movie finally becomes a reality...which it probably won't. So far, the DCEU has made Supes a shining beacon of this world and even Suicide Squad touched on his death so how will his absence now be explained? It probably won't be, sadly.

This also means we can say goodbye to the likes of Lois Lane, Perry White, and Martha Kent as well.


What Happens To The Justice League?

Well, nothing! Warner Bros. was initially planning a sequel which would have pitted the team against Darkseid, while the after-credits scene set the stage for them to square off with Lex Luthor's Injustice League. Unfortunately, the critical and commercial failings of the movie have resulted in the Justice League being put on the shelf and the spotlight moved to most of the individual team members.

Is The DCEU No More?

As of right now, it might as well be. While movies featuring the likes of Aquaman and Wonder Woman are on the horizon and sequels could become a reality, it seems as if standalone adventures are the name of the game moving forward. That's why we're getting Joker movies featuring both Joaquin Phoenix and Jared Leto and we should prepare ourselves for the links between all these movies to be minimal or possibly even nonexistent. So, the Zack Snyder DCEU at least is indeed dead and gone.

Oh, And Batman's F****d Too!

Something which was buried in The Hollywood Reporter's story was the news that Ben Affleck is unlikely to return as the Caped Crusader in The Batman. That's actually not a huge surprise all things considered but it means Gal Gadot is the last woman standing from the Trinity and the Justice League now only consists of her, the Flash, Aquaman, and Cyborg (who is also unlikely to be seen again). 

Chances are Matt Reeves will find a new Batman for his solo movie, of course, but these heroes are in a state of flux and it's going to be hard coming to terms with not seeing Affleck as the Dark Knight again.


Could He Play Captain Britain?

Perhaps the only good thing to come out of this news is the fact that Cavill no longer playing Superman frees him up for two other big roles that playing the Man of Steel meant were off limits for him: James Bond and Captain Britain. We know that there are problems with Bond 25 and Daniel Craig is obviously getting on in years now, while I wouldn't put it past Kevin Feige trying to sign Cavill up for the MCU.

After all, it would be the ultimate "f*** you!" to Warner Bros. to put Cavill in a superhero movie and do it right and rumours have been swirling that a Captain Britain and the Black Knight film is in the works.
What do you think the future holds in store for Superman and Henry Cavill? As always, be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments section and stay tuned for further details.
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