Last week, after months of speculation, Warner Brothers announced what comic book movie fans have been waiting years to hear: their full ten movie superhero slate of films, with release dates through 2020. In case you missed it, it’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice in 2016, Suicide Squad in 2016, Justice League: Part One and Wonder Woman in 2017, The Flash and Aquaman in 2018, Justice League Part Two and Shazam! in 2019, and finally, a solo Cyborg film and a Green Lantern reboot in 2020. Sprinkled somewhere between all those will be a Man of Steel sequel and a Batman movie too. Let’s just say “ambitious” doesn’t even begin to cover it.
But WB/DC still has their work cut out for them. Although Man of Steel, essentially the foundation for everything they are building going forward, saw success at the box office, it received mixed reviews from fans and critics–so there is definitely room for improvement. Here are five tips Warner Brothers should consider when bringing these particular properties to the big screen over the next several years.
Harley Quinn Needs To Be In Suicide Squad
Believe it or not, right now Harley Quinn, the Joker’s ex-shrink/ex-girlfriend, is DC’s biggest selling solo character title outside of Batman. That’s no small feat. While a lot of female superheroes’ new solo series tend to debut highly on the comics charts, Harley Quinn has been consistently in the top ten of the biggest comics series every month for a year since its debut. Harley is a hugely popular character, arguably more so than almost any other DC hero at the moment, especially with female fans.
In the comics, Harley is a member of the Suicide Squad, so Warner Brothers would be wise to introduce her in David Ayers’ upcoming Suicide Squad film, with the potential to spin her off into something else down the line. According to Latino-Review’s reveal the team line-up, there’s no Harley Quinn in the script, but there’s still time to change that real quick and cash in on Dr. Harleen Quinzel’s enormous popularity.
Abin Sur Should Be The Justice League Movie’s Green Lantern
Right now, speculation is running rampant over which Green Lantern will be the team’s resident emerald gladiator when the Justice League movie debuts in 2017. A lot of people believe that despite Hal Jordan’s continued prominence in the modern DC Universe, the Ryan Reynolds movie tainted that character for film. On top of that, the Bruce Timm Justice League Unlimited animated series used John Stewart as the team’s resident GL, so shouldn’t the movie too? And what about Guy Gardner or Kyle Rayner, or even recent addition to the Green Lantern Corps, the Arab-American Simon Baz?
Despite all the potential Lanterns, I still think DC and WB are banking on Hal as the League’s Green Lantern. According to a very SPOILER-filled report in Badass Digest, at the end of Justice League: Part One, a Green Lantern shows up from space to warn the newly formed League that an even bigger threat than the one they just defeated is coming; namely, Darkseid. Imagine that the Green Lantern who shows up at the end of Justice League: Part One is not Hal Jordan, but Abin Sur, the original Lantern of Space Sector 2814. Then, maybe early on in Justice League Part Two, Abin Sur dies, and his ring passes to Hal Jordan, therefore giving us a new (hopefully better) version of Hal’s origin story wrapped up into the plot of the second Justice League movie. Then, when 2020 rolls around and it’s time for the Green Lantern reboot, the origin story will be out of the way, and we can have a proper Green Lantern Corps movie instead, set mostly in space and not in Hal Jordan’s apartment.
Re-Think That Flash Movie
Among the announcements made for the DC film slate, the most perplexing one is the casting of the Flash with broody, dark haired actor Ezra Miller (who would have made for a much better Nightwing than Flash, but that’s neither here nor there). Right now, The Flash series on the CW is already one of the network’s biggest hits ever, and it’s only been on for two weeks. Assuming the show continues to perform, by the time The Flash hits theaters, it will have been on for four seasons, cementing Grant Gustin as Barry Allen in viewers’ minds.
While it makes sense to re-cast the Flash for the Justice League movies (Flash is an essential Leaguer, and explaining where the hell the rest of the Leaguers are every season on the Flash show would be a tall order), expecting people to pay for a Flash movie when they get the Flash for free on TV seems pretty silly. What they should do is stick to the original rumored plan of having the Flash film be a buddy cop-style flick with Green Lantern. It’s the one thing the current Flash TV show can’t (or probably) won’t do, and a “buddy cop” superhero movie is something that hasn’t been done before. Otherwise, what can a solo Flash movie really offer that the television show doesn’t?
Wonder Woman Should Be a World War II Period Piece
We don’t know much about just what kind of part Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman has in Batman v Superman, but based on certain images that were leaked, where she’s wearing regular clothing and going to some kind of business event (for Wayne Corp?), it appears she’s not a new addition to the DC Cinematic universe.
So maybe this version of Wonder Woman has been in the “regular” world since the Second World War, and her big screen debut in 2017 could be a prequel movie that covers how she first left Paradise Island, and joined the Allied forces in World War II. The wartime setting worked out great for Captain America: The First Avenger, because everyone loves seeing Nazis getting taken down. They’re the bad guys everyone loves to hate.
When It Comes To Cyborg, The Sky Is The Limit
One thing that the upcoming DC Superhero movie schedule has over Marvel right now is diversity. DC will have a female-centric superhero movie before Marvel does with the 2017 release of Wonder Woman, a Pacific Islander cast as Aquaman, an openly LGBT actor headlining as the Flash, and a black superhero will finally have his own movie when Cyborg hits theaters in 2020.
While this is great news, the truth is, as a solo hero Cyborg is a giant blank slate. The comic book character, Victor Stone, has long existed as a supporting player in books like Teen Titans, The Flash and finally the New 52 version of the Justice League. He doesn’t have much in the way of his own villains or solo adventures, though, so when it comes to a movie version, go nuts Warner Brothers! Give him the coolest villains, the best supporting cast, you name it. Because this is one of those times when the comics haven’t given you a lot to work with, so you get to make this one up almost from scratch. Just be sure to make it cool (and smart) when you do.
Do you have any things that you feel are musts for these new DC movies? Let us know in the comments below.