The Joker is getting his own standalone origin film. There is a lot to unpack in that news so go check that article out. But, it got me thinking: what other DC characters could use a standalone movie? There are plenty of characters in the DC universe that might not fit in with the larger experiment of the DC Extended Universe. Or maybe we could see very different interpretations of very familiar characters?
Here are six DC standalone movies that would make this DC fan rush to the theater.
The muck-encrusted mockery of a man has already had a couple of big screen adventures, but neither of those films has captured the mystical horror of Swamp Thing. Directors like Guillermo del Toro and Vincenzo Natali have been attached to a Swamp Thing movie over the years. That shows the kind of out-of-the-box creativity the character engenders. Slapping him into the DCEU could feel a little too weird for the approach those movies are going for. And a Swamp Thing movie needs to be at least a little weird.
A minor character like Animal Man is a perfect candidate for a standalone film. A movie could either take inspiration from Jeff Lemire’s body horror version of the character, or it could get really strange and try to do something like Grant Morrison did with the character. In Morrison’s run, Animal Man became self-aware of his fictional existence and it became an existential crisis. It’s a trippy and extremely mature idea that would never fit with the DCEU, but it would make one hell of a solo feature.
The recent Mister Miracle comic is one of the best first issues in years. The character himself is an interesting way to explore the world of the New Gods, which includes Darkseid, Orion, and Mister Miracle’s awesome wife Big Barda. It’s a spacey, epic saga that might end up being a part of the DCEU somehow, but Mister Miracle is worthy of his own starring turn. It would be excellent if a movie took the direction of the recent comic, but regardless, he’s a character more people need to discover.
Much like the Joker, Lobo is a character that is probably deserving of his own film. But, his foul mouth and uber-violent tendencies don’t really line up with the PG-13 necessity of the DCEU. Letting Lobo loose in his own film would let him be as crass and vile as he can be, and it wouldn’t endanger the mass appeal tone of the DCEU. Plus, Lobo is the kind of character whose film needs to be a little more manic in terms of filmmaking. This is the perfect character for a director to go absolutely crazy with.
Superman: Red Son
This one might actually be happening. Let’s hope so. The idea of Kal-El landing in Soviet Russia and fighting against American super-genius Lex Luthor is one of the greatest “what if?” ideas in all of comic book history. We’d also get to see an anarchist Batman rebelling against the communist system and Superman’s turn into a totalitarian villain. It’s a fascinating idea that could never work in tandem with the DCEU, but would be an awesome one shot idea.
Gotham by Gaslight… or any period Batman film
And in that same vein, a Batman film set in a distinct period is something fans have wanted for a while. The most obvious candidate would be the steampunk Gotham by Gaslight but any old timey Batman story would be cool. How about doing a Batman movie set in the 1940s when the character originally came into existence? If the Joker film is going to be set in the 1980s, a period piece Batman movie seems just as appropriate. And then we can get Batman Beyond!