Justice League is going to be an important film for the DC Extended Universe. This team-up film will be a big indicator as to what direction the DC heroes and their movies are going. But what happens if Justice League doesn’t hit the mark? Where does that leave the rest of the DC Extended Universe?
It’s important to remember that DC Films is going to go forward with the films they have in production. Aquaman is in the middle of shooting so it’s definitely coming out. DC has spent way too much money on Aquaman to kill it. In fact, they are probably going to position Aquaman as a central and likable figure in Justice League.
DC has certain irons in the fire that they are heavily invested in — Aquaman, Shazam!, and Wonder Woman 2 are all definitely happening, but Cyborg and Flash’s movies are up in the air — and deviating from that plan would cost them way more money and fan credibility than they can afford. It makes more sense for them to try and fix what they have than start from scratch.
But, on that note…
Splinter the Brand
The news of a standalone Joker movie has fans wondering: will there be DC Extended Universe movies and standalone films running concurrently? This isn’t a bad strategy. While the DC Extended Universe takes its time finding its groove, the standalone films can be riskier and not feel contained by the formulaic structure that a shared cinematic universe needs to succeed.
It could also allow for an eventual crossover with the DC Extended Universe thanks to the idea of the Multiverse. I’ve talked about that possibility before and it’s one that would give the DC movies a distinct flavor that separates them from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Now, let’s get on to the Amazonian in the room…
Don’t Throw the Wonder Woman Out with the Bathwater
The enormously positive response to this summer’s Wonder Woman is a win that DC is not going to forget. The studio is going to hold onto that property and make the best of it. The DC Extended Universe will continue to exist as long as Wonder Woman is popular.
They’ve already committed to Wonder Woman 2. It’s a sequel that fans are eagerly awaiting. If nothing else, the DC Extended Universe can thank Wonder Woman for its continued existence.
The DC Extended Universe will survive no matter what happens with Justice League. Will it change trajectories? Probably. But, we’ve already seen that change with Wonder Woman. Hopefully, Justice League continues that trend. We’ll find out when Justice League opens on November 17.