The DC Universe reminds me a little of The Divergent Series, in that the studio behind it clearly invested a lot of money with the expectation that it would become a giant franchise and once they unleashed it, they felt compelled to follow through on it, whether anyone cared or not. The box-office returns on the Divergent movies have never been great, but they haven’t been flops, either — they earn just enough that the studio heads can keep their pride and push another installment. Divergent even split apart the last two novels, Harry Potter/Hunger Games style in the hopes of extracting every last penny out of the franchise, only now they are stuck making a fourth and final film after the most recent one badly underperformed. (Budget cuts ultimately had to be made to the final film, which will be released next summer, by which point no one left on Earth will give a damn, including franchise stars Shailene Woodley and Miles Teller, who curl into a ball and weep every time a Divergent scheduling conflict prevents them from making a movie they actually want to make).
That’s a really long way of saying that the DC Universe might want to consider rebooting now, before they get too far down the line with their existing commitments (10 movies over the next five years). Batman vs. Superman should have been an ending point, instead of the second film in the universe. Take a cue from Alien vs. Predator, right? Sure, it’s made $800 million worldwide at the box office, but it’s already staring a loss in the face, and now DC may have to pull the purse strings on future movies in the hopes of eking out a profit.
Anyway, it’s now been confirmed that one of the ten films over the next five years will be, as rumored, the stand-alone Batman film directed, starring, and written by Ben Affleck, who is having one hell of a midlife crisis. The script has been described as “very cool” by someone with no vested interest at all: Ben Affleck’s talent agent, Patrick Whitesell.
Maybe it will be “very cool.” It can’t be any worse than the Zack Snyder flicks. And if it bombs, who cares? DC has another one in the pipeline, and one of them has to catch fire eventually, right?
Honestly, Warner Brothers should take a step back from DC for a while and go back to what works for the studio: Mid-budget adult oriented films.