Look, I hate to rehash this, but a little backstory is never a terrible thing. Batman V Superman brought in a respectable $800 million+ at the box office, but reactions from critical media sources and general fandom were surprisingly…scathing. And this left Warner Brothers in an inopportune spot. You see, they were so convinced BvS was going to shift the hell out of comic book movie paradigms, future DC films were already on the fast-track to completion; Suicide Squad finished production, Wonder Woman was in the midst of filming, and the Zack Snyder-helmed Justice League film was a few weeks away from beginning production. How could Warner Bros. steer the ship clear of any more negativity with so many ships doggedly committed to their course? Through the appointment of DC’s Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns to the head of a new arm at WB, DC Films.
Talking with our friends at the Wall Street Journal (via Collider), Johns revealed that the timetable for bringing the DC Movie Universe “into the light” was pushed up due to the critical, BvS backlash. He also brought up the fact that Warner Brothers seemed to misunderstand the general tone of DC heroes.
“Mistakenly in the past I think the studio has said, ‘Oh, DC films are gritty and dark and that’s what makes them different.’ That couldn’t be more wrong. It’s a hopeful and optimistic view of life. Even Batman has a glimmer of that in him. If he didn’t think he’d make tomorrow better, he’d stop.”
Johns also admitted that Justice League would address the near-psychotic behavior of Batman, from the murdering and branding of criminals, to his brutal war with Superman. Will Aquaman shake him until he asks for forgiveness? Maybe.
With Johns more firmly rooted in the creative process of future DC Movies, will Batman V Superman, and perhaps Suicide Squad, stand out as filmic sore thumbs when we’re graced with the likes of Wonder Woman and Justice League? This writer is very curious to find out.