Before Warner Bros. struck gold with Wonder Woman, the DCEU’s outlook was looking a little bleak. While Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad were both successful at the box office, both films were lambasted by critics and audiences alike for their crushingly grim tones, lack of character development, and narrative structures that left something to be desired. The studio felt a change was necessary if its cinematic universe was going to truly thrive moving forward, so it brought in DC Comics vet Geoff Johns and producer Jon Berg to reshape the direction of its once promising film slate.
In an interview with Variety, the two new architects of the silver screen’s DC Universe spoke about what takeaways they felt were important to note after previous failings. “There are lessons from every movie,” Berg explained. “You would be silly not to analyze how a movie was received — what went right and what went wrong on the making of a movie. On Suicide Squad, the movie did incredibly well commercially. It didn’t work narratively. You had some great casting and some great characterizations, but where the story fell down was on narrative, on plot. We could do better. Batman v. Superman was tonally dark. People didn’t respond to that.”
While Berg was clearly alluding to the drastic tonal shift that Wonder Woman has brought to the DCEU, Geoff Johns (who reportedly had a lot of input on the film’s script, albeit uncredited) made it clear that not every film in DC needed to share the same outgoing sense of heartfelt positivity. “Wonder Woman celebrated exactly who the character is, but looking at it, it’s not like we should change everything to be about hope and optimism,” Johns said. “There’s nothing to change. That’s what these characters are.”
Fans will get to see exactly what Warner Bros. approach will consist of going forward when Justice League arrives on November 17. The film will star Ben Affleck as Batman, Henry Cavill as Superman, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Jason Momoa as Aquaman, Ezra Miller as The Flash, Ray Fisher as Cyborg, Willem Dafoe as Vulko, Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor, Jeremy Irons as Alfred Pennyworth, Diane Lane as Martha Kent, Connie Nielsen as Queen Hippolyta and J. K. Simmons as Commissioner Gordon.
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