doddleDIGEST: Worlds of DC and Marvel Cinematic Universe Heads Speak

By Danny F. Santos (doddleNEWS)

This week we get some words from head honchos at both Warner Bros. and Marvel Studios about the future of their superhero films. Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara talks about course correcting the Worlds of DC films, while Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige talks about what we can expect for the MCU after Avengers: Endgame.

Worlds of DC

We’ve been speculating about this for a long, long time but we’ve finally got confirmation that Warner Bros. is stepping back from barrelling through a DC shared universe. Here’s what WB CEO Kevin Tsujihara told the Los Angeles Times about the Worlds of DC movies:

The upcoming slate, with “Shazam,” “Joker,” “Wonder Woman 1984” and “Birds of Prey,” feels like we’re on the right track. We have the right people in the right jobs working on it.

The universe isn’t as connected as we thought it was going to be five years ago. You’re seeing much more focus on individual experiences around individual characters. That’s not to say we won’t at some point come back to that notion of a more connected universe. But it feels like that’s the right strategy for us right now.

[…]What Patty Jenkins did on “Wonder Woman” illustrated to us what you could do with these characters who are not Batman and Superman. Obviously, we want to get those two in the right place, and we want strong movies around Batman and Superman. But “Aquaman” is a perfect example of what we can do. They’re each unique and the tone’s different in each movie.

And speaking of Aquaman, Variety has confirmed a release date for the sequel as December 16, 2022. No word on whether James Wan will be back but I’m sure Warners is dying to sign him to helm the film.

So, basically, instead of racing to catch up to what Marvel Studios did, the WB stepping back and building it slowly. It does look like they still plan on tying things together but it’s more of an organic plan now– kind of how Marvel successfully did it in the first place. If only they decided to do this from the get go.


Marvel Cinematic Universe

Meanwhile, around two years ago, Kevin Feige commented that they had some preliminary discussions with Guardians of the Galaxy writer/director James Gunn about Vol. 3 and beyond. From the sound of it, it seemed that he had some hand in what was being dubbed the Cosmic Universe. Feige seems to have backtracked or clarified that statement telling CinemaBlend the following:

His influence was Guardians. It was his input on Guardians and the Avengers films, as you’ve seen in Infinity War, and on the Guardians 3 script, which we’re still using. So you’ll see that influence. I think online, sort of the notion of ‘architect across multiple cosmic things’ was slightly blown out of proportion.

I have to think that Gunn had some input on what Marvel was planning beyond Avengers: Endgame. Having said that, Marvel has let each franchise’s creative team do their own thing so I suspect that Feige is being honest when he says that Gunn wasn’t an architect across multiple cosmic things. The thing that we should all be taking away is that Feige confirms Gunn’s Vol. 3 script is still in play.

Next up, Kevin Feige shot down the rumor that the Scarlet Johansson Black Widow solo film would be rated-R telling the following:

It never was going to be. Somebody writes, ‘I hear it’s R-rated!’ And then everybody writes it up.

Anyone who believed this piece of news would have to be crazy. I know Deadpool has proved that an R-rated superhero movie can work (so did the original Blade, BTW) but Marvel has honed in the PG-13 formula. I don’t see them stepping away from that for the foreseeable future.

Finally, Feige had a chance to talk about the Disney+ Marvel shows. Here’s what he revealed to Slash Film:

It will be MCU proper. Sometimes it will take place as Captain Marvel did in a time before current events, sometimes it will take place during. What I will say, whatever happens in those, in those shows and with characters that have been in the films, they’ll undergo transformations, not Loki necessarily, but will undergo transformations in their series and those transformations will be reflected in their next film appearances because we’ve been developing long form narrative stories for Disney plus at the exact same time that we’ve been developing a post-[Avengers: Endgame] MCU, we’ve been able to do something we’ve never done before, which is interweave them from the start, from the plant.

Did you notice he called it MCU proper? Can’t help but see that he is further distancing the MCU from the Marvel Television series headed by Jeph Loeb.

Now is a good time to reiterate that Warner Bros. is making a smart move with a soft reboot of the DC universe. Marvel may be talking about interweaving these series but all of the series that are rumored are based on previously established characters. In short, they’ve created an environment where they’ve earned creating the connective tissue. Hopefully, Warner Bros. will be able to do the same in the near future.

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