wonder woman, hero, comics, cinema

DC’s cinematic universe could die if Wonder Woman doesn’t save the day

Words: Jason Wolf
Photos: YouTube/Warner Bros. Pictures

DC’s limping cinematic franchise is already treading water by comparison to Marvel, but can Wonder Woman rescue it from falling apart all together?

Unsure how to compete with Marvel’s Cinematic Universe, the DC Extended Universe has been kicking its hobbled feet, desperate to plant itself on solid ground. On the heels of being one of the high points of Batman vs. Superman, Wonder Woman is getting her first solo feature, which executives and die-hard fans are hoping will salvage this increasingly irrelevant DC franchise. Iron Man was an instant favourite to help launch the MCU, but three movies in and the DCEU is still weathering the invective of their most loyal fans. Could Wonder Woman turn it all around for them? It damn well better.

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the superheroes and the casting

All these big superhero movies haul in crates of cash, but DC isn’t banking nearly as much as Marvel does on a regular basis because their movies so far have been met with mixed reviews and the DC characters just aren’t jiving with casual audiences. DC repeatedly leans on Batman and the Joker as their most potent recipes for success, but Jared Leto’s interpretation of the Joker in Suicide Squad left few satisfied. Ben Affleck, after dropping out as director of the solo  Batman film, is rumoured to already be regretting his hefty commitment to the DCEU. With these aces in the hole proving wobbly and a dearth of viable franchise spin-offs –not a lot of draw for Cyborg or Aquaman – Wonder Woman and Gal Gadot needs to provide stability with a quality movie and an intriguing take on the character that will leave audiences hoping for more solo endeavours.

humour and faithfulness to source material

Despite poor reception, DC is seemingly circumspect when it comes to course corrections, but Wonder Woman is a unique opportunity for them to refresh their brand. This movie is a standalone period piece, which means they can reinvigorate the tone of the struggling series. Two chief complaints about the DCEU are their mishandling of the comic book characters and their movies being devoid of humour. Much like Captain America being set in the 1940s, Wonder Woman has that little bit of detachment from the other films because of its historical setting, and that could open the door to inject a new look, more humour, and more faithfulness to the source material, seeing as how it’s less beholden to fit into the current DCEU timeline.

justice league

In the upcoming Justice League, Wonder Woman and Batman are the impetus for the founding of the titular superhero troupe, which means DC hopes her character can be relied upon as a headlining crowd-puller to complement their typically bankable Dark Knight. DC has the task of resuscitating their dwindling brand while progressing opportunities for more female-driven blockbusters. We’ll find out how well they succeed this summer.

female strength

With Wonder Woman being released in 2017, DC finally has the edge on Marvel by being the first extended universe movie series to have a female-led film, both in its star and its director. DC is hoping to be the trendsetter between the two rival comic books by doing this, so hopefully they represent female superheroes in a deserving way. Due to previous box office bombs like Catwoman and Elektra, film studios have had an aversion to funding female-driven superhero movies, so it’s important to the future of super-leading women that DC gets its act together and delivers a good movie. The Wonder Woman character can serve as an inspiring role model to younger generations of women rather than another unwarranted warning sign for studios to avoid investing in leading ladies.

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