With fans having been left scratching their heads and mouthing obscenities at recent developments within Warner Brothers’ DC Extended Universe and beyond – most notably the call to do a Joker origin movie – it’s now been confirmed that the studio is indeed looking to change-up its cinematic DC output.
Following the news that the aforementioned Clown Prince of Crime picture would take place outside of the DCEU and its continuity, not to mention that it wouldn’t feature Jared Leto as the nefarious Joker, it seems as if the plan is to develop more and more DC movies which aren’t hamstrung by the DCEU.
Speaking to Vulture, DC Entertainment’s Diane Nelson explained, “Our intention, certainly moving forward, is using the continuity to help make sure nothing is diverging in a way that doesn’t make sense, but there’s no insistence upon an overall story line or interconnectivity in that universe.”
In fairness, you can quite easily develop plenty of shared realm movies without having to bang your audience over the head with the fact that said film exists within the confines of a larger world. For example, you can develop Matt Reeves’ The Batman without having to feature a cameo from A.N. Other hero. Similarly, much like certain of the Marvel Cinematic Universe efforts, you could just have some nods and winks here and there to the idea that this is indeed a much larger shared world.
What is going to be a tad confusing in that case, though, is why do you need to make a point of making films that are purposely not within that shared DCEU continuity? You want a movie that centres on The Joker? Fine, you can do that movie within the greater DCEU world but just focus purely on the Jester of Genocide. To make a point of developing movies that don’t have any ties to the larger shared world is a danger game, and one that will likely cause mass confusion amongst casual moviegoers. For instance, if your average Joe Bloggs sees a Joker movie fronted by someone who isn’t Jared Leto then he’s likely to just think that Leto has been replaced in the role and that this film is still focussed on the same incarnation of The Joker seen in efforts such as Suicide Squad and the upcoming Gotham City Sirens and Suicide Squad 2. Given that it will then be Leto playing the character in GCS and SS2, that's when things can get a tad muddled.
Of course, the benefit of doing separate, non-DCEU-based DC films is that it will allow for stories to be shown which don’t have to be tied to what’s already been seen in the DCEU or its continuity. Then again, why bother developing the whole shared universe in the first place if you’re going to then look to deviate from it and create DC films which exist outside of it already?
Anyway, we need a bit of a lie down or a stern caffeine boost after all of that. As ever, though, expect to hear more on all of this as we get it.
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