With the next film in the DC Cinematic Universe, Batman vs Superman, closely approaching rumors have been flying around the webs in regards to which characters will show up or make a cameo. Another big question on everyone’s minds is with the success of Arrow and the direction they are taking on the show, will WB and DC link the two worlds together? Let’s take a look at what’s truth and what’s rumor and speculate a little.
The issue DC has, is they are having a problem launching their characters onto the big screen, yet when it comes to television they are knocking it out of the park. I believe that we are at a point in our geekly lives where MOST fans can put aside some cannon to enjoy a great movie or TV series. Marvel has been doing a solid job at delivering great movies and now a television show that builds its own universe and stories and fans are mostly accepting of this. Why is it that DC has had such difficulty with their characters? Batman is a no-brainer and has been the most successful of the lot, though I don’t agree with Nolan’s interpretation and still think that it would make a great show on a network like HBO or Showtime, with Superman coming in at a distant second. But the rest of DC’s stable has either been treading water or has drowned itself in the past. Arrow may have changed the game for our favorite second tier heroes like Green Arrow, Black Canary, and now from the looks of things The Flash and hopefully Nightwing. With talks of a shared universe, there have been some rumors this past week that there will be a few cameos in the next DC film, including The Flash, Wonder Woman, and Nightwing.
So now we have two characters that are rumored to show up on both TV and film. It has been confirmed for awhile that Grant Gustin (Glee) would be playing Barry Allen on Arrow and eventually become The Flash during the season, with a spin-off show based on the character to follow. This past week on Arrow we got a glimpse at what could be the reason for his change as a news report on the show talked about a controversial particle accelerator being built by S.T.A.R. Labs. So with The Flash showing up on television, with his first appearance being December 3rd, rumor has it that WB is courting Gustin to appear in Batman vs Superman. The next big character to be confirmed for the show this season is Batman protege Nightwing. Check out the Tweet from actor Steve McQueen (The Vampire Diaries) pumping some iron and training for his role as Dick Grayson.
With this confirmed will WB also share this character with the upcoming movie? Will they make the correct move and start to tie these two universes together? I hope so, I feel that if they don’t they will continue to fall further and further behind what Marvel is accomplishing. The rumors of a shared universe started with Stephen Amell expressing his interest in playing Green Arrow in the Justice League film, a project that is still way down the road for DC. The company has a lot of work to do before they get to that point. I believe that if this works out Nightwing will be the first character to tie everything together.
Let’s speculate a little on who will be making an appearance in Batman vs Superman. First up with the big two being featured in the movie is there room in it to introduce their final big gun, Wonder Woman. How do you bring in the character in an intelligent and strong way? My thoughts on this are you make her the “villain” of the film, well at least the Amazons. There have been a few actresses who have apparently tested for the role of Diana and rumor has it that her role in the film will only be that. But my belief is that the title Batman vs Superman is a ruse and there is something bigger planned for the two characters’ first meet up.
My worries on all of this? While Arrow‘s “City of Heroes” has been successful thus far, it is easier to tell these stories on a weekly basis than it is on the big screen sometimes, and I fear that DC may over-saturate the film with too many nods to the fans. Kind of like they did with Green Lantern, a film that I find tolerable on many levels but ultimately failed because while DC and WB did a decent job on some aspects of the film, like OA, they failed by allowing the movie to be weighed down by the Earth story. Now we have a film that could have existed with the rest of the lot, but now sits in the corner like a rejected cousin. This is my main concern when it comes to the rest of the movies, let’s use Man of Steel as an example. The movie did a good job creating a new story for the Superman mythos but also did a good job at creating a lot of criticism. Comic book films unfortunately will always be over analyzed by the fan base and sometimes that is really unhealthy for them, but again my question is why can Marvel successfully do this and DC cannot? The main reason I believe is that DC tries to take the “realism” road to often. Yes it is nice to try to imagine how all these characters could exist in the real world, but when it comes down to it you have to treat your character properly.
Let’s use Thor for example, if you tried to ground that character in the real world it wouldn’t work. When you compare the two films, The Dark World is the better of them because more of it is based in Asgard and deals with the “alien” aspect on a greater scale, while the first one is bogged down by keeping the story on Earth too much. Wonder Woman could be treated the same exact way, you have this grand world that exists outside the world of men that borrows heavily from Greek mythos and could make for an epic film, so why hasn’t DC attempted this? If you want to see how to do it right watch the animated Wonder Woman movie. My belief is that you can’t keep grounding these films because of characters like Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Martian Manhunter and more, and it is a big mistake if you alter what makes these characters so great too much. This is the perfect scenario when comparing the two franchises, you have to treat your characters with respect (i.e. Batman is a detective and would never give up his cause) in order to have fans believe these are the same heroes and villains found in their favorite comic books. It comes down to this, does WB want its superhero franchise to be successful and do they want to do something similar to what Marvel is having great success with? I sure hope so.