Comic book movies are incredibly popular and make a lot of money. Marvel seemed to pave the way in the early 2000s, building out a world that contained all their characters across film and television.
You know all this. I know all this. More importantly, DC Studios knows this. So, they hired James Gunn and Peter Safran to help them play catch up. After years of toiling with the Snyderverse and executives coming and going, they wanted to right the ship.
But I think the key to DC's success is not going to come from emulating Marvel. In fact, they have one huge advantage they should be used to the fullest extent.
DC is not afraid to make movies that do not connect. They should be prioritizing that immediately.
If you look at the biggest titles across the DC landscape, Todd Phillips's Joker, Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy, and Matt Reeves's The Batmanare all standalone worlds directed by auteurs without commitments to a greater universe.
I think that to make a lot more money, DC should be out there trying to get the best filmmakers in the world to come in and make a superhero movie in a connected universe. DC has an insanely deep catalog full of some of the most famous heroes in the world. Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, etc. would all entice huge filmmakers to tackle a variety of stories.
But locking people into a greater narrative of connecting universes and a story that has to drive other characters forward can be a slog.
While Marvel has shown little to no leeway in this area, DC has been ahead of the game here. And while Gunn plans to use the "Elseworlds" moniker to keep it going, I think there is a stronger reason to make it the focus of the new referendum. They could make a ton of money if they made their sole focus attracting filmmakers and storytellers who don't want to commit to something huge but can make a great movie under their banner.
'Black Adam'Credit: Warner Bros. PicturesThe best thing DC can do is to make great movies. Threading the needle for interconnectivity is hard on its own, and, as we've seen with Marvel, you have to build at an incredibly slow pace to work out the kinks.
Gunn is a great writer and director in his own right, but I think allowing people to use a big playground to invent their own games seems like a better path to success than forcing people to all join in on one royal rumble.
It will be interesting to see how this next wave of DC movies fairs. We've been enjoying comic book films for a while, but the question of whether or not the bubble will burst soon still lingers overhead.
Will DC be in time to capitalize on its own gigantic world? Only time will tell.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments.