How to Build a Better DC Movie and TV Universe


The DC Films universe is in complete disarray once again, after a week of the shocking announcement of new entity Warner Bros. Discovery. Major DC Movie Projects in Production or Completed (Wonder Twins, Batgirl) have been completely cancelled; tv series like the flash (and the larger Arrowverse with it) are also coming to an end, and no one really knows what the franchise as a whole has to offer in terms of competition with the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

That’s not to say DC and Warner Bros. have no glimmers of hope on the horizon: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is about to open the door to a whole new franchise path with black adam; DC has a series of sequels to its biggest franchises already in the works (Aquaman 2, Wonder Woman 3, Joker 2, batman 2), with some DC franchises spawning tie-in TV series like the hit show Peacemaker, or the upcoming Penguin spin-off of The Batman, starring Colin Farrell. There are good pieces all over here, just waiting to be positioned in a more cohesive franchise model – after the flash film provides an opportunity for a complete reboot of the franchise’s multiverse. But how to do it?

Here’s how to create a better DC Cinema and TV Universe, in four key steps:

1. Get a Feige

(Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez)

We hear that term a lot these days when it comes to DC and Warner Bros. – but what does that mean? Exactly.

Well, Marvel’s Kevin Feige started out as a humble assistant and co-producer, before finally getting his chance to realize his own vision (and that of executives and investors, of course) with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Feige’s true talent lies in being a near-perfect balance of a creative collaborator and a tax-conscious executive, who keeps both sides of the film world happy and steeped in success.

He’s exactly the kind of figurehead fans imagine when they say DC needs a Feige: someone who can bridge the often wide gap between what Warner Bros. executives want. and the creative whims of the ambitious directors they hire. Sounds easy, sure, but it’s far from it: the tumultuous changes at Warner Bros. just one movie on – let alone an entire franchise.

Right now, there’s plenty of analysis indicating that Dwayne Johnson and his producing partners might be the best bet to build the shared-universe corner of the DC Films universe – starting with Black Adam this fall. The movie has a big buzz behind it and seems like something (much) different in terms of DC’s blockbuster movie. So can The Rock be DC’s Shepherd? If we are talking about appointing him president, why not?

2. Set level goals


Amid the flurry of news about all the changes at Warner Bros. DISCOVERY is the clear subtext that the DC franchise doesn’t have a clear, cohesive franchise vision that everyone is on the same page about. The new CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery’s David Zslav clearly doesn’t fit DC Films President Walter Hamada’s vision of what the DC Films brand should look like. Batgirl is the clearest case of this discrepancy, with the $90 million film seemingly falling in the middle, not big enough for theaters, but too expensive for a streaming feature.

With things being pulled in so many different directions, DC needs to set level goals and stick to them. By creating a formal structure for tiered project tiers – blockbuster movies, tie-in streaming content, and broadcast TV series – that are separated into clearly formalized tiers of budget costs. The benefit of doing this would be clear: the price would dictate what decisions will be made about which characters and which story arcs are used where. Marvel Studios is a machine when it comes to budgeting and producing its film and television content. DC needs to refine its formula.

3. Always embrace variety

(Photo: Warner Bros.)

This goes hand-in-hand with the level goals that DC needs to set: budget levels are needed so that DC/WB can finally feel fully confident to embrace the franchise’s greatest advantage over Marvel: content variety. DC is a franchise that can have high-profile movies like Joker, hit independent franchises like The Batman, animated adult spin-offs like Harley Quinn, and a shared universe with two Batmans (Ben Affleck and Michael Keaton) appearing at the same time. time – everything is happening at the same time. Why settle for less? With budget frameworks in place, DC should still pursue a strategy of having eggs in many types of baskets, as variety has been the only real spice in this franchise’s life for the past few years…

What’s your take on what DC Films needs to do to right the ship? Let us know in the comments.

4. Make blockbuster movies

(Photo: Warner Bros.)

That might seem like stating the obvious – but when it comes to DC, it’s not. It’s also the only piece we’ve heard David Zslav proclaim that seems to deserve resounding applause. Ultimately, DC and Warner Bros. taking risks on ambitious artistic films like Joker is great – but not if Justice League fails to deliver to fans and keep the franchise’s hit core alive. Zack Snyder made stylistically ambitious films that tried to blend blockbuster spectacle and deep cinematic prestige – with mixed results. Still, movies like Wonder Woman and Aquaman showed DC had the potential to make the classic, audience-pleasing blockbuster movies the heroes arguably deserved.

Joker receiving a billion dollar payout is the icing on the cake, but DC needs to aim for that billion dollars with its core universe of superhero movies. Right now, only Black Adam seems to have that kind of potential; for all its increased budget and fun factor, Shazam: Fury of the Gods looks like another DC movie that will make a respectable, but not big enough, haul for the new Zslav era.

DC must be confident in producing billion-dollar blockbusters with just about every shared universe or event movie it releases. This budget level of over $100 million must mean something. That’s why it’s in place.

The DC Movie Universe will continue with black adam October 21.

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