With WONDER WOMAN 1984 finally out, what’s in store for DC on film going forward?
Via an interview with THE NEW YORK TIMES, Warner Bros. Picture’s DC on film chief, Walter Hamada, talked about the studio’s superhero future. The President of DC Films tells the trade that the company is looking to release up to four theatrical films — as well as two HBO Max-exclusive films/projects — per year starting in 2022. A few things of note…
On the immediate horizon for the big screen, WB is releasing THE SUICIDE SQUAD, BLACK ADAM, THE BATMAN, THE FLASH, BLACK ADAM, SHAZAM! 2, AQUAMAN 2, and the recently greenlit and announced by Warner’s Toby Emmerich WONDER WOMAN 3.
On HBO Max, there is, ZSJL coming in March of 2021. Additionally, there’s GREEN LANTERN CORPS series, PEACEMAKER — a spinoff of James Gunn’s upcoming THE SUICIDE SQUAD — and a yet to be titled spinoff prequel of Matt Reeves’ THE BATMAN focusing on the Gotham City Police Department. Hamada also says that with each big-screen DC movie, the studio is looking at spinoff projects for HBO Max.
RELATED: WONDER WOMAN 1984 Film Review by Bill “Jett’ Ramey
Even though HBO Max spent (Or set money on fire?) $70 million-plus for ZSJL (in order to prop-up the streaming service), the article pretty much confirms what most people already know: ZSJL is a one-off. “At least for now, Mr. Snyder is not part of the new DC Films blueprint with studio executives describing his HBO Max project as a storytelling cul-de-sac — a street that leads nowhere,” reports the trade.
The NYT feature also talks quite a bit about Warner’s new “Multiverse” philosophy when it comes to DC on film…
When Mr. Hamada arrived at DC Films in 2018, the division was in urgent need of stability.
Two terrifyingly expensive movies, BATMAN v SUPERMAN (2016) and JUSTICE LEAGUE (2017), both directed by Zack Snyder, were deemed almost unwatchable by critics. Ben Affleck, who played Batman in the films, wanted to move on, complicating sequel plans. At the same time, filmmakers were developing other DC movies that had nothing to do with the existing storylines — and, in fact, contradicted some of them.
Mr. Hamada and Mr. Emmerich had two options: Figure out how to make the various storylines and character incarnations coexist or start over.
The answer is the multiverse. Boiled down, it means that some characters (Wonder Woman as portrayed by Ms. Gadot, for instance) will continue their adventures on Earth 1, while new incarnations (Mr. Pattinson as THE BATMAN) will populate Earth 2.
THE FLASH, a film set for release in theaters in 2022, will link the two universes and feature two Batmans, with Mr. Affleck returning as one and Michael Keaton returning as the other. Mr. Keaton played Batman in 1989 and 1992.
“I don’t think anyone else has ever attempted this,” Mr. Hamada said. “But audiences are sophisticated enough to understand it. If we make good movies, they will go with it.”
What do you think about Mr. Hamada and WB’s plan for DC on film (and HBO Max) going forward? Sounds good to me especially because THE BATMAN and THE BATMAN-verse are coming. I’m also quite looking forward to seeing Michael Keaton as Batman/Bruce Wayne in THE FLASH. Post your thoughts in the comments below. – Bill “Jett” Ramey