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Why the DCEU is being poorly handled

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It's been a while since I've written a blog that isn't a movie or game review, so I thought I'd write up an article for you wonderful readers that discusses a topic and not analyzing a piece of fiction. Today I will be discussing the Detective Comics Extended Universe, or the Detective Comics Cinematic Universe. This cinematic universe launched in 2013 with Man of Steel, a grittier re imagining of Superman directed by Zack Snyder, written by David S. Goyer, produced by Christopher Nolan, the direction of The Dark Knight Trilogy and Inception. In this article, I will discuss why I am skeptical of the DC Extended Universe and how I think they're mishandling (or in some ways, properly handling) their property.

I will start by saying that this universe already wreaks of corporate drive and that it already isn't off to a good start. Generally, acclaimed franchises start off with a successful film to lay the groundwork for the rest of the franchise. I will use examples for this. For example, Star Wars launched with A New Hope, a successful motion picture with groundbreaking special effects and met with successful response. Harry Potter started off with The Chamber of Secrets, with a tomatometre of 80%, also met with positive critical response. Hell, audiences loved it too. The Marvel Cinematic Universe launched with Iron Man (2008) one of the highest rated films of all time. Adored by almost all critics and audience. This movie also pulled in $585 million in worldwide box office and $318 million in domestic gross, turns Iron Man, a relatively unknown character, into a household name.

The DC Extended Universe on the other hand, begins with Man of Steel: pulling it a tomatometre score of 56%, polarizing critics and splitting fans. Controversial film that has gotten 50% of people skeptical instead of excited for the next installment in the franchise. Grosses a worldwide of $668, only $83 million more than relatively unknown character Iron Man, for a superhero who wears the second most recognizable symbol in the world. Also makes a domestic gross lesser than Iron Man. With a $225 budget in mind, it is also to be noted that a Superman film made an overall less profit than Iron Man, who was an obscure character at the time.

What I'm trying to say is that this franchise is already naff. They're - DC - are already approaching their franchise in all the wrong ways, as seen by critical reviews which were mixed, audience response which split people in two, and box office, in where a film of the most popular superhero in earth made less than an Iron Man film. This would hopefully tell DC that bringing in an insufficient direction isn't enough to make a successful film, even if you have the name of Superman himself on the project. Instead of properly responding to this by bringing in a capable director and a better film, DC instead makes the stupid decision of signing up Zack Snyder, known for "style over substance" to direct Batman v. Superman, and both the Justice League films. In the words of Lucius Fox from The Dark Knight:

"This is too much power for one man."

Especially someone like Zack Snyder, who is not all that as a direction, to have the responsibility of a) launching off the universe with Man of Steel, b) directing the debut of Wonder Woman, Batman, Cyborg, Flash and Aquaman into the universe, and c) directing the team up(s). Even then, hand those responsibilities to someone capable, not someone who directed Sucker Punch (25%), 300 (60%), Legends of The Guardians (50%) and Watchmen (65%). What I mean to say is that he is an unspectacular director to burden all of these responsibilities, especially characters that mean so much to people. DC is incapable of learning from the mistakes they committed.

Another problem with the DC Extended Universe is the pace. The Marvel Cinematic Universe is often brought up as a good example as it took it's time to establish all of the characters on screen to bring them together for The Avengers, one of the biggest events in cinematic history. Marvel was so patient and calculative that they created such an enjoyable ride for all us comic book fans as we anticipated all the after critics sequences, waiting 4 years for the Avengers movie. Heck, one of my favorite superhero movie experiences was after the credits rolled for The First Avengers, then they showed a sneak peek to The Avengers. That is how you reward and make your viewers, comic book fans, dream come true. This event was built up masterfully for 4 years. Then you have DC: who are already bringing all of the iconic characters into the fold in 1 film. I know any DCEU supporter is going to tell me that this is fine because "these characters are already iconic and there's no use in introducing them in individual films" and all, but if so... then what remarkable thing is this franchise achieving? Why does it exist? To provide us with what? What is it compensating for?

Could you imagine if you watched Man of Steel, then you'd follow patiently for a Batman reboot. Then that movie would come out with Ben Affleck as Batman, and say after the credit's rolled, you'd hear The Dark Knight Returns's monologue, then the logo for Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice would show up? Yeah, that would've been exciting build up for what should be, an exciting event. Ask yourself why you are excited for Batman v. Superman. The only reason is probably that the names of the 2 biggest superheroes on this earth are on it, not because it's actually been built up in an intriguing way. It's actually being built up very sloppy & it's a frustrating, rushed experience for us comic book fans, especially after we were treated so well with the crazy, clever build up of The Avengers.

What is even the point of introducing all the flashy superhero cameos in Batman v. Superman? To hype me up for a universe you've already done a subpar job in hyping up? If you're going to tell me there's no point in introducing these characters in standalone films because everybody knows them then what is the point of 2017's standalone Wonder Woman? It seems clunky for her to show up in Batman v. Superman, only for her to have her own standalone film, then return her in Justice League? Vice versa, if you're planning for her own standalone film, why not just wait it out to introduce her there? I'll tell you why: because DC wants so desperately to slap is many names of major players possibly to get your ass into the seat.

Because I don't want to end on a negative note, I'm going to praise them on Suicide Squad. I have absolutely no complaints in that department. That movie looks great, the characters look perfect, and I'm really hoping that that'll be the DC Cinematic Universe's redeeming film. What do you think about the DC Cinematic Universe? Are you happy or unhappy with the direction they are going? Would you like to add or detract to what I've already said? Don't forget to add your own thoughts below. Thank you for reading.

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