The Failure of the DCEU and Its Last Hope

Recently there has been a lot going on with the inner workings of the DC Extended Universe and a lot of it hasn’t been good. I want to take a trip down memory lane of all of the recent issues the DCEU has been having, and how I think the franchise could either save itself or fall flat on its face permanently. First I feel like I should catch you up with how I feel about the movies that have been released so far.

Currently I have zero intentions of seeing Wonder Woman or Justice League because I refuse to give Warner Bros. any money for churning out such poor representations of the characters I love. I am first and foremost a DC Comics fan. I simply think that they have the stronger roster of characters and currently the better comics. I love these characters, I always have and always will. Which is just why it hurts me so much to see these characters done so poorly and just flat out misunderstood. It blows my mind that in less than a year from the release of Batman V Superman Dawn of Justice, that I have gone from one of the most optimistic fans to one of the most pessimistic. I was such a passionate defender of Man of Steel, I genuinely think that it is a good movie. I thought it was a great introduction to a new Superman. In his first moments as the hero we see him stumble and not be entirely sure of his place in our world but then at the end I thought he had become certain of his place. I was really hoping that in Batman V Superman we would have gotten a more sure of himself Superman like the one we know and love from the comics. Unfortunately despite the 18 month time gap between that movie and Man of Steel, Clark hadn’t progressed as a character. The arch he went through in Man of Steel and been completely ignored. This absolutely frustrated me but overall I did find that there was more right than wrong with the movie by a small margin. Especially in the Ultimate Edition.That leads us to Suicide Squad and I was so excited and so optimistic. The marketing worked on me, I thought this movie looked great, a nice change in tone and pace, it really looked like it would appeal to everyone. In hindsight I now know how foolish I was. Suicide Squad is now one of the worst movies I have ever seen. It is a complete mess of a film with very few redeeming aspects. However I won’t get anymore in depth on my thoughts as that’s not what this article is about. Although if you are interested in more of my thoughts on the movie check out this article I did on the Best and Worst Comic Book Films of 2016. Now that you’re aware of my thoughts on the pre-existing movies in the universe thus far let’s get into why I am no longer interested in the DCEU.

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Starting off back in October Rick Famuyiwa (Dope) left The Flash as it’s director, making him the second director to leave Seth Grahame-Smith (Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter). Fast forward a few months later and Warner Bros. have ordered a page one rewrite on The Flash. Which is concerning considering that Phil Lord and Chris Miller (22 Jump Street) wrote the screenplay. Those are two writers who haven’t had much of a misstep in their respective careers as of yet. In fact they are now directing the stand-alone Han Solo film. Which is probably why they were never officially attached to direct The Flash. So it is quite hard for me to believe that their script was anything less than at the very least okay. Certainly not warranting a page one rewrite. For me as a fan that is a huge red flag and has me very uneasy about the project as a whole.

At this point I’m pretty concerned about The Flash and the DCEU as a whole since I have had a mixed relationship with this franchise. However negative I was feeling though I did have one small glimmer of hope. Ben Affleck (Live By Night, Argo) would be directing The Batman. Sure Ben had been wishy-washy on the whole directing thing for awhile but he came on Jimmy Kimmel and chalked it up to being sick of only being asked about Batman rather than Live by Night which he was trying to promote at the time. I thought, that makes sense not much to really see here. Then it happened. On January 30th 2017 it had been officially reported by Variety (with a statement from Affleck himself) that Affleck would no longer be directing The Batman. This really pushed me over the edge and had me (and still does) hopeless for the DCEU. How could WB possibly fuck this up, so badly? People use the argument of: “Well that’s a lot of responsibility directing, producing writing and starring.” To that I quote Ryan Gosling in La La Land: “Pishy-caca!” What a line of utter bullshit! Yeah it was so hard for Ben that he won an BEST PICTURE at the Academy Awards with Argo for doing exactly what you’re claiming would be hard for him to do. Would it be difficult to pull off again? ABSOLUTELY but if anyone could do it it’s Ben Affleck. The guy is unreasonably talented beyond belief. I think he had the potential to be the best Batman we’ve ever seen. However with each passing day that becomes less and less likely. I would go more into my thoughts on Affleck leaving The Batman as the director more but I’ve already done an article on it at the great website Geeks+Gamers (click here to check it out).

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Not long after the departure of Affleck directing it was reported by Forbes that The Batman would be getting a page one rewrite just like The Flash. Now before you freak out you always on the defense DCEU fans, I have to mention that there is a conflicting report on Batman-News that stems from a tweet by Justin Kroll from Variety (who broke the Affleck leaving the directors chair story). Both reports have very credible sources and it would be reasonable to feel either one could be right. However I do believe the Forbes report and here’s why: There have been so many issues with not only The Batman up to this point but just this only universe as a whole. Ben has been on the record as saying that he will not direct The Batman if he feels that the script isn’t good enough. Now here we are he is no longer directing, so what does that say to me about the script. Well it tells me that it’s bad. Simple as that. If Affleck thinks it’s bad I’m willing to bet that I’d agree. Obviously Warner Bros. would want to move forward with this script despite how happy they may have been with it, due to Afflecks previous comments regarding the script and directing. So they move forward with a page one rewrite, which could ultimately be a good thing. Absolutely I am all for making sure we get the best movie possible but I don’t know if that’s going to happen given the current state of things at WB. Yes recently it has been said that Matt Reeves (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) is in talks to take on directing but despite how good of a director I think Reeves is I can’t imagine him not being bullied by WB. I really hope that a deal is struck and he is directing. We’ll see though. Even if he does sign on there’s no guarantee he’ll stay on, just look at the Flash or even Wonder Woman for that matter.

Now the most recent reports are than none other than Mel Gibson (Hacksaw Ridge) is in very early talks with Warner Bros. to direct the sequel to Suicide Squad. Justin Kroll of Variety has said that there are other directors being looked at but if Gibson wants it, it’s his. Gibson today even confirmed that they are in the very early stages of talking about this. Initially I thought: “Who cares? He’ll probably end up leaving anyways in a few months even if he was to sign on.” Then after thinking about it for a while the idea really grew on me. Mel Gibson isn’t just any director he is one of the best. No studio would dare try and tell him how to make his movie, so that is just what this franchise needs. Someone who will put there foot down when WB tries to get him to incorporate something that will compromise the film. Honestly I am not a fan of Gibson as a human being but there is absolutely no denying his talent. Just look at his filmography as a director, nothing but incredible work. Gibson is exactly what the DCEU needs. Some may point out well Mel has said bad things about DC films recently. He called Batman V Superman: “A Piece of Shit.” Yes he did. Good point but myself or the studio would be hard pressed to disagree with him. I couldn’t argue anybody who dislikes the film. There is too much bad to justify a real debate. I think that WB talking to Gibson is a sign that they recognize that the quality of their films hasn’t been quite up to snuff. Another thing about Mel Gibson is that he puts a crazy amount of research into any project he takes on. The guy will learn the ins and the outs of this universe with ease, just so he doesn’t make a fool of himself. The man while a despicable human being is talented, he won’t be bullied, he’ll do the research, he’ll make every effort to make the best film that he possibly can. Now if Mel Gibson is attached and then leaves, I am done. There will be no coming back from that. I won’t give any shits about DC until they show me that they change and there is huge shift in critical and audience reactions to these films or they just reboot.

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So there you have it folks.There is why the DCEU has failed me and many other fans thus far and why I personally believe that Mel Gibson is the last hope for this franchise. What do you guys think? Are you still excited for what’s coming in the DCEU despite all of the missteps? Do you think Mel Gibson is a good fit for this universe? Let me know by either leaving a comment below or starting a conversation with me @nerdycasual on twitter or instagram. Be sure to share this article with your friends or anyone else who you think may be interested. As always guys thank you so much for reading, take care.

All images belong to the respective studios and other owners.

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