The ultimate goal with many films that exist in a shared universe is to bring together all of the characters from various properties for a team-up adventure, yet Aquaman producer Peter Safran thinks it might be a while before the DC Extended Universe moves forward with such an event.
"I think that when you're making really strong standalone movies, there's really no need to bring them together," Safran recently shared with The Hollywood Reporter. "You want to give these characters room to breathe and live, and tell their stories."
The DCEU launched in 2013 with Man of Steel, hoping to follow a model similar to what the Marvel Cinematic Universe began to establish in 2008. While the MCU saw five standalone films debut before the characters began to collide with one another, the next DCEU film was Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which also saw the debut of Wonder Woman and first looks at Aquaman, The Flash, and Cyborg.
With Batman v Superman being followed by another team-based film, Suicide Squad, which was a critical disappointment, the future of the franchise looked dire. The debut of Wonder Woman, however, restored many fans' faith in the franchise, delivering one of the most successful and critically-acclaimed films of 2017. While last year's Aquaman wasn't as big of a critical success as Wonder Woman, it still earned more positive reviews than DCEU team-up films, all while earning $1.1 billion worldwide.
"Wonder Woman has shown what a great standalone property that is," Safran said. "And in Aquaman, we feel the same way. We think that there's a great sequel and beyond to tell. We introduce seven kingdoms of Atlantis, right? James Wan knows the architecture, the armory, the military, the look, the feel, the general vibe of each of these kingdoms, and I'm sure that there will be an opportunity to explore them in some way later on."
Justice League was meant to be the culmination of what the DCEU had been building with the franchise, yet it was a critical failure and took in the lowest worldwide gross in the whole franchise. With both Aquaman and Wonder Woman sequels on the way, in addition to a Suicide Squad sequel, The Batman, and Joker on the horizon, the DCEU looks to be focusing on standalone films before developing the formula in which the characters can come together to heighten their dynamic with one another as opposed to arbitrarily bringing them together when the studio feels it is obligated to.
Stay tuned for details on the future of the DCEU.
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