The DC Extended Universe is reportedly undergoing another reshuffling in the wake of the underperforming Justice League. Following the film's disappointing box office and critical response, Warner Bros. will pivot yet again with the goal of building a superhero shared universe that can rival Marvel's. New people will be put in charge, and tough decisions will be made, with the fate of Ben Affleck's role as Batman in future films being near the top of the list.
One might hear this news and believe nothing about Justice League is salvageable. However, that's far from being the case, as the film's introduction of Aquaman (Jason Momoa) and The Flash (Ezra Miller) were two bright spots for fans of the DC Comics heroes. Add Gal Gadot's performance as Wonder Woman not only in Justice League, but also her solo film from earlier this year, and the DCEU has three pillars it can confidently say fans want to see more of. In fact, it's simple to argue Wonder Woman, Aquaman and The Flash should be the holy trinity of the DCEU moving forward.
The DCEU's Original Trinity of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman
Of course, when fans think of DC's three most recognizable stars, they immediately point to Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, commonly referred to as DC's Trinity. Zack Snyder's Man of Steel in 2013 was the first film in what would become the DCEU, reintroducing audiences to Henry Cavill's Superman. In what would soon become a pattern, the reception to Man of Steel was mixed. Overall, fans seemed to enjoy Cavill as Superman, though there were some issues with Snyder's take on Superman and his alter ego Clark Kent.
Man of Steel was soon followed by 2016's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which pitted Batman (Ben Affleck) against Superman in what turned out to be a misunderstanding, before they put their differences aside to fight alongside Wonder Woman.
Just as Aquaman and The Flash were the highlights of Justice League, Affleck's portrayal of Batman and Gadot's brief appearance as Wonder Woman stole the show in Dawn of Justice. A Wonder Woman solo film was released the year after (the first in her long career), and talks began for Affleck to direct and star in yet another Batman movie.
However, Affleck stepped down from the director's chair for The Batman, and soon rumors began to spread that the star may not put on the cape and cowl for the film. Even though Affleck denounced the rumors at Comic-Con International in San Diego, he's contradicted his own statements on more than one occasion. Adding to the confusion, recent reports indicate Warner Bros. is looking for a way to gracefully transition away from Affleck. As the march towards Justice League's opening grew closer, fans were left to wonder whether Affleck truly has a future in the DCEU.
The same hesitancy can no longer be placed on the Wonder Woman franchise. Sure, some people were worried about audience reaction to a superhero movie starring a woman, and directed by one as well, but those fears were unfounded. Wonder Woman was a resounding success, as the film now holds the title of the highest-grossing superhero origin movie. Fans are genuinely pleased with every appearance by Wonder Woman in the DCEU. Among the Trinity of Wonder Woman, Batman and Superman, who would have guessed Diana Prince would be the hero fans would want to see more of the most?