I was so ecstatic when Joker was first announced. One reason was because I love DC so any film pertaining to that I enjoy, but another reason was the potential this film can bring. The idea of an elseworld Joker film that adds another origin to Joker’s other lists of origins was a great start to the “DC Black” idea (even though it seems like Warner Bros doesn’t want to fully commit to the idea just yet. There are several criticisms/concerns that I won’t discuss in this article as everyone has their own view on the impact that Joker could/could not have in this society, but according to box office expectations and Warner Bros. estimates, this film so far will be a hit critically and financially. This would give Warner Bros the confidence to not only create PG-13 content for the DC Extended Universe, but also tap in to the market of solo storytelling for their Elseworld movies.
R-RATED & STAND-ALONE STORIES
There have been several R-Rated Comic Book movies; famous ones are of course the Deadpool franchise and Hugh Jackman’s “Logan”, but audiences have shown that they are interested in not only R-Rated films, but also films that aren’t in need of a build-up such as Into the Spider-Verse for example. What Joker provides is an audience that is not interested in the traditional comic book movie, but is instead interested in character dramatic cinema that simply features a comic book character.
Toby Emmerich ascended to chairman of Warner Bros. Pictures Group spoke with The Hollywood Reporter in January and mentioned that, “We’re playing by the DC playbook, which is very different than the Marvel playbook. We are far less focused on a shared universe. We take it one movie at a time. Each movie is its own equation and own creative entity. If you had to say one thing about us, it’s that it always has to be about the directors”. Emmerich is not saying that there isn’t a universe anymore, but that the DCEU is loosely connected as Warner Bros. decides how to handle several behind the scenes issues, but as we’ve seen from Aquaman and Shazam! DC is still connected, but not in the traditional sense of the MCU, or the potential Venom-verse.
POTENTIAL “DC BLACK” STORIES
The idea of Warner Bros. allowing creators to produce their ideas should excite any comic book fan as this brings variety in the landscape of superheroes where people are now mentioning “superhero fatigue”. Joker director Todd Phillips made the DC Black pitch to Warner Bros., and I can understand their hesitation as they are focused on the shared universe idea, and don’t want negative publicity to hurt their reputation with the general audience, but with Joker winning a prestigious award, and several critical acclaim reviews, I hope Warner Bros. allows more filmmakers to create their visions in a non-canon universe. Another reason why Warner Bros. should tap into this market is that it allows DC to create content that either the mass audience will find either too confusing (Dark Knights: Metal for example) or a story that is too out-of-character for a hero such as Injustice. The internet has explained some potential ideas for DC Black films as well.
Sheraz Farooqi (Editor-in-Chief of ComicBookDebate) had a great idea of an Elseworld story of Lex and one of his followers continued the plot of the hypothetical film.
After JOKER, it would be absolutely insane to see a LUTHOR film
Imagine a film that deep dives into the psyche of Lex. Have Superman appear through silhouettes & news broadcasts as we see Lex devolve into a super villain
Aaron Sorkin is meeting with WB..this would be a home run pic.twitter.com/QmXLHTv6JK
— Sheraz Farooqi (@SherazFarooqi_) September 11, 2019
Until at the end of the movie, after Lex is cleared and pardoned, it is revealed that Lex could have saved that friend but chose not to because his death would help his quest in destroying Superman
— BLEACHED DANIELLE (@DanRemnant626) September 11, 2019
A Mr. Freeze film about him finding the cure for his wife and every time he gets closer to his goal, he has Batman who always brings Mr. Freeze back to the drawing board. We always see Batman’s perspective on how he views villains, but a emotional romantic story that focuses solely on Mr. Freeze, and write Batman as the antagonist would create a very interesting film depending on how well the writer and director can execute it.
SUPERMAN: RED SON
Luckily DC Animated is reportedly producing fa Superman: Red Son film, but the live-action version would be to reach a bigger audience. The story of Red Son is Superman’s rocket ship lands in Ukraine rather than in Kansas, an implied reason being a small time difference from the original timeline, meaning Earth’s rotation placed Ukraine in the ship’s path instead of Kansas. Instead of fighting for “… truth, justice, and the American Way”, Superman is described in Soviet radio broadcasts “… as the Champion of the common worker who fights a never-ending battle for Stalin, socialism, and the international expansion of the Warsaw Pact.”
I can’t believe I almost forgot about Jonah Hex, but luckily ComicBookResources reminded me that this character needs to be on screen; especially after the critical success of Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, I believe that people wouldn’t mind a well-written western film. CBR wrote,
“Jonah Hex has to have a standalone feature in a different universe. Doing it any other way wouldn’t work for the character. Putting a cowboy into modern America would come off as weird and almost a little tacky. This has to be a completely separate Western project. That doesn’t mean it has to follow any conventions though. What if the alternate gritty world that this film was set in, never surpassed the Western era. If the whole country had descended into this kind of lawlessness, Jonah Hex would have to step up as one of the more powerful sheriffs. This should be a fun take on the character”.
HEROES IN CRISIS
I know, did I really just say Heroes in Crisis? The same event that fans dislike tremendously. I wasn’t the biggest fan, but I don’t dislike it as much as other fans do. I believe one criticism that is common with the event is how Tom King handled Wally West and how he was weirdly characterized in the story, but the concept of Heroes in Crisis was interesting. A Sanctuary that heroes and anti-heroes can go to as a confession place, as heroes cannot go to a traditional therapist and grieve out their superhuman troubles. Tweak a few things, and I believe this would be an interesting film that can dive into the mindset of a person with abilities, and seeing how it will be non-canon, fans will not have to worry about it being part of Wally West’s history.
There are a tons of ideas that I believe would be great, but these five are the ones that I believe DC should set their eyes on next. How do you feel about the idea of DC targeting this market of film making? What Elseworld ideas do you feel should be displayed on the big screen?
Just a guy that grew up on DC and the MCU, anime, and video games and loves traveling across the world and learn about different cultures.