The DC Comics cinematic franchise seems to be back on track after the success of Aquaman while anticipation for Shazam! continues to grow. But after the setback of Justice League, it seems like Warner Bros. Pictures will focus on developing stand-alone movies moving forward, with Superman and Batman taking a backseat.
While speaking with the LA Times, Warner Bros. Entertainment CEO Kevin Tsujihara spoke about the new strategy for DC-based movies going forward, teasing that there could be a renewed focus toward a shared universe in the future.
"The upcoming slate, with Shazam, Joker, Wonder Woman 1984 and Birds of Prey, feels like we’re on the right track," said Tsujihara. "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."
When asked what caused the change in their strategy, the WB boss pointed toward one very specific turning point that revealed a future of possibilities, showing that they don't need to rely on Batman and Superman in the future.
"What Patty Jenkins did on Wonder Woman illustrated to us what you could do with these characters who are not Batman and Superman," Tsujihara explained. "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."
While Batman might not be the focus moving forward, Warner Bros. has not forgotten about their flagship hero. In fact, they seem to be taking that direction with the Caped Crusader in their next film.
Writer and director Matt Reeves explained why The Batman will be disconnected from the other films, possibly revealing why they needed a change from Ben Affleck's version.
"Aquaman is going to be very different from the Todd Phillips Joker movie, and that's going to be different from Shazam and Harley Quinn," Reeves told the Hollywood Reporter. "Warners believes they don't have to try to develop a giant slate that has to have all the plans for how it's going to connect. What they need to try and do is make good movies with these characters."
We'll see the next phase of the DC Comics movie universe when Shazam! premieres in theaters on April 5th.
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