The DC Extended Universe has traveled a pretty rocky and winding road to get to the release of Justice League this fall, and there have been a lot of developments along the way that have left fans upset.
From casting, to characterization, to major milestones in the storytelling, there are plenty of DCEU elements that fans wish could be done over in different fashion.
Well, like the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the DCEU can be sectioned off into phases or chapters of its larger saga - and Justice League is a perfect close-out to what can be considered "Phase I" of the DCEU. And, once that milestone has been reached, there will be new opportunity for the DCEU to recalibrate and revamp itself for the next slate of films.
Here's How to Fix the DCEU's Biggest Problems After Justice League.
The New Batman
There's been a ton of speculation about Ben Affleck's role in the DCEU, ever sine the actor dropped out of directing his solo Batman movie. Yes, Affleck has gone on public record to say he loves playing Batman, and loves the DCEU; however, rumors continue to swirl that he's just biding time until he can make a formal exit.
We've already broken down several great ways that Ben Affleck's Batman can be replaced in the DCEU (Click HERE for that explanation). With the Flashpoint movie offering a chance for a Batman from another timeline to come to power, or Justice League 2 offering the chance for the Caped Crusader to earn himself a heroic death, Affleck has several avenues out of the DCEU.
The Fix: Replacing Ben Affleck's Batman with a new person under the cowl would be a big challenge for the DCEU to circumvent; however, once the old Batman was retired, DC Films would likely be able to cast a younger actor in the role - one who will be able to carry the franchise much further into the forseeable future. There's also a lot of Batman affiliates (like Joss Whedon's Batgirl) who will take the stage in the next phase of the DCEU, helping to widen the character's entire universe.
A New Joker
Fans weren't happy with Jared Leto's Joker performance in Suicide Squad, and Leto himself was notably unhappy with the way that DC Films, Warner Bros. and director David Ayer left so much of his Joker performance on the cutting room floor. Since Suicide Squad, Leto's enthusiasm for more outings as The Joker has seemed forced, and there more than a few fans who vehemently disagree with him holding the iconic role.
The Fix: Replacing The Joker is not as simple as replacing Batman, as there is little to no DC Comics precedent for the character to change so drastically. However, there are several fixes available:
- Standard Recast - this would be hard to explain, but since Joker has done things in recent years as drastic as removing his own face (and wearing it like a mask, or wrapping himself in mummy-style bandages), there's room for the character to be recast while still being the established version of Joker in the DCEU - and have that change be smartly downplayed onscreen.
- New Continuity - Fans heard that The Flash DCEU movie will be called Flashpoint, and that storyline offers a unique opportunity: In DC Comics "Flashpoint" timeline, The Joker is actually Martha Wayne, who went insane when her son Bruce was gunned down by a random crook. In the DCEU, Martha Wayne is played by Walking Dead star Lauren Cohan - and fans having been calling for Flashpoint to establish her as official new Joker of the DCEU.
A New Lex Luthor
Besides Joker, Jesse Eisenberg's Lex Luthor is one iconic DC Comics villain that fans are almost universally unhappy with. Eisenberg took a boldly different approach to Lex in Batman v Superman, but the gamble definitely didn't pay off like DC/Warner Bros. hoped.
The Fix: Like The Joker, or Batman, Flashpoint (which will likely arrive soon after Justice League) offers opportunity for a change to the entire DCEU timeline, in which Lex Luthor could undergo drastic change. Sure, no timeline change would erase the fact that Lex looks and acts like Jesse Eisenberg; however, Batman v Superman made it very clear that Lex had an not-so-great father (Lex Sr.), so maybe after the main DCEU timeline is twisted into new shape by the events of Flashpoint, Lex Sr. is who we get - and hopefully, he's a lot more in the traditional vein of the character than his son was.
The New Green Lanterns
DC and Warner Bros. had several early casualties before the DC Extended Universe started, and no doubt, one of the biggest was Green Lantern.
The 2011 Green Lantern movie with Ryan Reynolds wasn't just a financial disappointment - it was a veritable brand-killer. Fans rejected the entire approach to making DC movies that Warner Bros. showed with it's GL film, and the character has stayed on the bench, ever since.
The Fix: According to Justice League's latest trailer, Earth has no active members in the Green Lantern Corps - but that will change, once Earth has been invaded by both Zod's Kryptonians and the Steppenwolf's armada from Apokolips. Based on those events, our sector of the universe will clearly need protecting. There's speculation that the Green Lantern(s) will actually appear in Justice League; but regardless of whether the emerald space cops appear in the film, or after its game-changing events, Justice League will provide the perfect launchpad for Green Lantern's story to begin again.
The One True Superman
Henry Cavill is now an international star for his depiction of Superman in the DCEU - but for a lot of fans, the sentiment of "ain't my Superman" is still running strong. DCEU Superman turned heads for the wrong reasons with his somber, violent, and reckless depiction in Man of Steel, and even though Batman v Superman corrected some of those issues, it wasn't enough for a lot of viewers, who want the sort of boyscout, all-American Sueprman that Christopher Reeve embodied.
It doesn't help that rumor points to Cavill's Superman coming back in Justice League as a possibly evil version of the character - as was teased in the "Knightmare" sequence of Batman v Superman.
The Fix: The latest Justice League trailer suggests that Superman will indeed come back as evil, but eventually find his way back to his own heroic nature. Once that process is complete, the DCEU has a chance to end the character's prolonged origin arc, and finally arrive at the bright and hopeful symbol that fans know and love. If that's the Superman we get by the time Man of Steel 2 finally arrives, the DCEU will be exponentially better for it.