Warner Bros. has been trying to get a DC Cinematic Universe off the ground for over a decade now, particularly since Disney found great success with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This grand plan started with Man of Steel but began to fall apart after Zack Snyder departed 2017's Justice League and bid farewell to his Lord of the Rings-inspired plan for an epic DC saga.
In the five years since the Justice League incident, DC has been trying to get things back on track but never really found the cohesion of a cinematic universe. Progress has in part been hindered by the absence of Henry Cavill's Superman and Ben Affleck's Batman, who should be the faces of this universe, and yet haven't appeared in five years.
With the Warner Bros. Discovery merger now complete, many are eager to see how the new management plans to handle DC. There have been some worrying signs after the cancelation of Batgirl, but new comments have revealed a bigger plan for the future.
DC Makes MCU-Inspired Future Plans
During the Warner Bros. Discovery Q2 Earnings Call, CEO David Zaslav revealed that "DC is at the top of the list" of its plans moving forward as they attempt to mirror Marvel Studios' methods.
DC's top heroes are said to be seen as a "big opportunity" for the company moving forward. Additionally, Zaslav confirmed they will be building "a team with a ten-year plan focusing just on DC," similar to what Disney did with Marvel Studios and Kevin Feige:
"As we look at the opportunities that we have broadly, DC is at the top of the list for us. You look at Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and Aquaman, these are brands that are known everywhere in the world and the ability to drive those all over the world with great stories is a big opportunity for us. We have done a reset. We've restructured the business where we're going to focus. There will be a team with a ten-year plan focusing just on DC. It's very similar to the structure that Alan Horn and Bob Iger put together very effectively with Kevin Feige at Disney."
Zaslav also shared his goals to "focus on quality" to ensure projects are only being released when they are completely ready:
"We think that we can build a long-term, much stronger, sustainable growth business out of DC. And as part of that we're going to focus on quality, we're not going to release any film before it's ready. We're not going to release a film to make a quarter, the focus is going to be 'how do we make these films in general as good as possible?' But DC is something we think we could make better, and we're focusing on it now."
What is the Future of DC Movies?
Warner Bros. Discovery's new management appears eager to completely reinvigorate the studio's approach to DC moving forward. The studio looks to be aware of the potential the DC brand has to compete with Marvel in the coming years by finally utilizing its biggest heroes properly.
This goal of forming a creative team to plan out the next ten years of DC will likely come with the appointment of a Kevin Feige-like leader to oversee it all. Zaslav's search to appoint this leader will undoubtedly be a thorough one as he searches for someone worthy of entrusting Warner Bros.'s biggest brand.
Clearly, this new management knows that the approach up until now has been a mess and believes the biggest faces such as Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman deserve more spotlight. The promise of having done a "reset" is certainly an interesting one, as there is currently no telling whether this refers only to behind-the-scenes structure or also hints at a DCEU reboot.
Not only that but the comments on a focus on quality ought to reassure those who are worried this will lead to attempts to ramp up production on too many projects too quickly. Perhaps Warner Bros. will be willing to play the long game to build a universe on par with the MCU gradually.
WB may attempt to hold onto the current universe, reboot the franchise altogether, or possibly expand off Matt Reeves' The Batman world; in every scenario, big changes are coming. Maybe Comic-Con 2023 will finally be DC's big break as it's able to offer a blockbuster Hall H presentation that sets out a vision for the future after The Flash.
DC's next release will be Dwayne Johnson's Black Adam which hits theaters on October 21.