Written by James Reilly – Student Pages Entertainment Journalist/Film Critic
I am still committed to Marvel, maybe its Stockholm Syndrome at this point, its the wider reach of Comic Book Movies that I am starting to have my patience tested with.
For a cinematic universe that, up until now, only has four movies in it I have heard more about the DCEU than I have ever heard about the MCU. Since the beginning of the year ‘Affleckgate’ is all I’ve been reading about. If you don’t know, Ben Affleck (the Batman of the DCEU since Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice) is strongly rumored to be dropping out of the role. Then we’ve been told he is committed. Then he is rumored again to be leaving. Then we’ve been told again he is committed to the role, and back and forth and back and forth and back and forth for the last 9 months.
Since the MCU started in 2008 with Iron Man, we have had (arguably) three DC movie universes – the Dark Knight trilogy, Green Lantern and now the current DCEU with Man of Steel, Batman V. Superman, etc. While the Dark Knight trilogy is arguably the best comic book trilogy of all time, its been difficult post The Dark Knight Rises to get invested with anything DC have produced. Green Lantern was supposed to finally kickstart their own cinematic universe to rival Marvel! It came out, flopped and that whole universe was canned. Man of Steel came out, and despite not achieving critical or financial success, DC stuck with their guns and continued to create their own cinematic universe. Hopes were not ridiculously high as not many people liked Man of Steel (me being a rare one who did) but we held our breath for the next film in the series. It was Batman V. Superman and it fell short on expectations, followed by Suicide Squad, which whilst trailers billed as the adult Guardians of the Galaxy, fell short again. Wonder Woman on the other hand was arguably the best blockbuster of the summer. It was fun, smart and heartwarming – everything DC should have been up until this point but failed to be. So why am I now pessimistic when DC have finally got their stuff together? Well its because I don’t think they have.
Man of Steel, Batman V. Superman and upcoming Justice League director, Zack Snyder, tragically had to drop out of the film due to family reasons. Despite not everyone being happy with his vision for the DCEU so far I would rather have his messy vision than a even messier vision because they’ve needed to bring someone in to finish his job. Enter stage right, Joss Wheadon director of Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron. If there was ever a antithesis of Zack Snyder – it’s Joss Wheadon. He has the pedigree, arguably the best in the business for what DC need at this stage, but boy has it come late in the game. Hearing how months before release the entire film is getting reshot with some of the biggest reshoots in cinema history for a film of this scale? How the composer got changed, Joss has been given a directing credit (unheard of for directors of reshoots) and the overwhelming sense of what we have been expecting is going to turn out very differently. I would have welcomed a change to Justice League from what we have seen in the first trailers, however this late in the game and in this way? For me it can only spell one thing – disaster.
The last time I have heard behind the scenes chaos, from Wheadon to Affleck, was with Fan4stic which proved to be a disaster, only here, we are working on a bigger scale. A film that should be a sure thing to gross 1 billion + worldwide at the box-office. Yet if the film releases and it performs as I critically expect it, thus affecting its box-office, I fear this could be the beginning of the end of the DCEU as we know it.
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