EDITOR’S NOTE: The opinions expressed by BOF contributors do not necessarily reflect those of the Founder/EIC nor should they be considered the official position of this website…unless they do.

The writing is on the wall.

The golden age of the comic book movie is nearing an end.

Even Marvel (especially Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe), the once unstoppable box office juggernaut, is encountering strong headwinds. They’ve had some ups (Spider-Man: No Way Home from Sony Pictures) and some downs (The Marvels, Madame Web via Disney and Sony respectively) but it’s undeniable the brand has lost a significant amount of luster.

DC meanwhile has been a complete circus. The “DCEU” ended in a whimper as THE FLASH crashed and burned at the box office, and don’t even think about BLUE BEETLE.

Now they want to try again with a shared universe with the “DCU.” It’s been over ten years since a solo Superman movie came out (2013’s MAN OF STEEL), so maybe SUPERMAN: LEGACY will surprise us all…but would any of us really be surprised if it underperformed?

All the signs are there. Has comic book movie fatigue settled in? I’d say yes, but not all is lost.

We still have Matt Reeves.

Reeves is under a lot of pressure with THE BATMAN: PART II but he also has a golden opportunity in front of him. He’s got the chance to not only shake off the “fatigue” but also evolve comic book movies into their next form.

Instead of one huge interconnecting universe, what if each character had its own world? He’s already doing that with THE BATMAN SAGA. You’ve got one (soon to be two) movies, a streaming series in THE PENGUIN, a junior novel (BEFORE THE BATMAN), and a comic in THE RIDDLER: YEAR ONE. It’s a relatively simple concept that so many of the “geniuses” at the studios can’t seem to grasp.

Sometimes, simple is best. Sometimes simple can be revolutionary and Reeves can lead that revolution.

He can light the way much like Batman did with the flare at the end of THE BATMAN. The question is will anyone at the studio have as much sense as the slain mayor’s boy in the movie did and take his hand?

The path is right there, folks.

You’ve heard the refrain here on BOF many times: Hire a director with a passion and/or vision for the character then get out of the way. Here’s hoping Warner Bros. Discovery and James Gunn leave Reeves well enough alone. Gunn has said he will and should be taken at his word until proven otherwise.

Unfortunately, WB has backed itself into a corner a bit by announcing all these new projects including an additional Batman in THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD. Luckily none of them have been dated, but clearly, they haven’t learned their lesson in putting the cart in front of the horse.

Oh, and the studio has one more ace in the hole: Todd Phillips’ JOKER: FOLIE A DEUX. JOKER resonated with audiences in a way many weren’t expecting and now the sequel (an apparent musical!) looks to do the same and very well could.

Imagine that. The best shots DC has in terms of a theatrical hit are each standalone properties. It’s like the universe is sending a clear signal but they’re not paying attention.

Maybe they will this time, but it’s not looking promising.

Please, WB. Matt Reeves is giving you the playbook. It does not all have to connect. Your heroes — Superman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, etc. — each have their own unique and large worlds. That’s what makes the DC universe so special is the sheer scope of each character’s world.

Other than Batman, this new DCU is likely Warner’s last chance with DC on film. If it doesn’t work — and at this point, why should anyone be optimistic — live-action DC cinema may go the way of Krypton and explode. – Kris Burke