With the runaway success of the extended Marvel Universe in film, you’d think DC would be copying everything Marvel did that was successful. They may have been slow on the uptake – or maybe they were absolutely certain that their way was better – but finally, the DC universe is starting to get a slate of films worthy of bringing their vast stable of interesting characters to life.
Insisting that women couldn’t be the star of a film was the first mistake that DC – and to be fair, Marvel – made in their outdated assumptions. Wonder Woman proved that by smashing box office records. There are few films more eagerly anticipated than the Wonder Woman sequel film – Wonder Woman 1984 – except perhaps Marvel’s Black Widow film starring Scarlett Johansen. Another gigantic hit was Marvel’s Captain Marvel, which did very well indeed, ranking in the top 30 for all-time box office earnings, drawing almost half again as much revenue as Wonder Woman.
Birds of Prey was disappointing to many people, and I don’t think it got a fair shake. I thought it was a fun film, plus it introduced several important DC characters – Huntress and Black Canary for starters – and it was another that showcased a predominantly female cast in the lead roles.
Justice League was also considered disappointing, though unlike Birds of Prey it made plenty of money. Frankly, I was satisfied with it, and I have no interest in seeing Zack Snyder’s ‘untampered vision’ for the film in a re-release. So far, my experience with Zack Snyder films leads me to believe that, given a free hand, his Justice League remake will be less appealing to me, not more.
So now, with the implication that the mega-villain Darkseid is waiting in the wings, DC needs to bring in a few more of the Justice League – and soon. The global pandemic has stalled everyone’s plans for everything, but DC needs to lay the ground work for the next batch of films NOW while they have nothing else to do. First, they need to re-cast Green Lantern, and get a new film out that is NOT his origin story again. The movie-going audience of today is most familiar with the Green Lantern of the animated series, Jon Stewart, and I think that would be a vast improvement over the worn-thin Hal Jordan character. With the inter-galactic nature of Darkseid’s threat, adding Martian Manhunter is an easy choice, and Doctor Fate’s supernatural powers will come in handy against such a mighty foe.
The Big Brains at DC have already laid the groundwork for a rival supervillain group in the mid-credits easter egg from Justice League, and bringing in some of those characters is a good way to introduce their Justice League Rivals while building up to the ultimate confrontation with Darkseid and his formidable posse. The stable of characters they have at their disposal is vast, diverse, and pretty interesting, if only they are willing to invest in screenwriters that can do justice to those characters. I’m looking forward in hope to what the DC film-making division kicks out, and while my expectations aren’t high given their past history, I’m hoping to be pleasantly surprised.