Despite making lots and lots of the money at the box office, neither Batman v. Superman nor Suicide Squad were the successes that Warner Bros. needed them to be. Say what you want about Marvel playing it cheap, but their films are tailor-made to hit that profit margin. So, is it that the DCEU films are too expensive, too dark, too violent, too adult-oriented, too “creator-driven?” One way or another, Warner Bros. needs to make like Bob The Builder and Fix It!
Thankfully, Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes seems to agree there is a problem. Bewkes said to shareholders today:
“We do think there’s a little room for improvement. We can do a little bit better on the creative. The DC Comics characters have a little more lightness in them than maybe what you saw in those movies, so we’re thinking about that.”
Hopefully this introspection continues to be the DCEU prerogative. So far each film has learned only from the surface-level mistakes of the others, never diving deeper to find the core problems. There’s something inherently troubled about the three current films in the DCEU, which just means there’s so much to improve upon.
Those hopeful of change have reason to hold out. The trailers for Wonder Woman and Justice League showcased far more interesting worlds than their predecessors (and color!), apparently trying to actually branch out with the creatives in the Director’s Chair. And let’s keep our fingers crossed that Geoff Johns can start to pull these disparate pieces to create a single beautiful frame that could become the full DCEU.