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Growing up in DC content, it is a shame that the fans and even the general audience have to debate on the status of the “Worlds of DC” (I will call it DCEU as it is just the more popular name for the universe). I’ve heard people say “The Batman” is in continuity, it is set in its own universe, it’s not on Earth prime, etc. This problem is not recent. This has been a problem since the launch of 2013 film Man of Steel, but the confusion grew louder after 2016 Justice League film. Ever since Justice League, Warner Bros. has been quiet, the only reference to the status of DC landscape are from reporters that tweet rumors or sources that are close to the situation. This put a bad light for Warner Bros. because the company are allowing outside people influence the public opinion. To give a clear light on the situation, I will answer the difficult question that fans have after the recent “The Batman” casting update.
YES, MATT REEVES “THE BATMAN” IS IN THE DCEU
Jeez, what’d I miss, guys…? 😀
Just to be clear: Of COURSE Batman will be part of the D.C. Universe. Batman will be BATMAN…
— Matt Reeves (@mattreevesLA) August 24, 2017
Now some fans will take this and still be confused at the tweet. Some will say “of course Batman is in the DC Universe, Batman is a DC character, but is he IN the DCEU”. Yes, Batman will be in the DCEU. Warner Bros. never came out and said the name “DCEU”, a reporter called it that, and us fans ran along with it because it wasn’t a bad name. The only official name we received from WB was “Worlds of DC”, and that is the problem. The universe started in 2013, they dubbed the universe “Worlds of DC” in 2018, that is 5 years of having an unofficial name for the universe. Warner Bros. let fans and reporters run with something they never bothered to address, and that immediately shows the problem. In my eyes, it seems as if Warner Bros. doesn’t view DC universe as a high enough priority when in reality is should.
It is obvious that DC is retconning some characters in their universe. That is natural as Marvel had the same situation with Edward Norton and Mark Ruffalo during the Hulk transition, and Terrance Howard and Don Cheadle swap in Iron Man 2 as War Machine. Matt Reeves is reportedly in talks to cast Jeffrey Wright as Commissioner Gordon. An African-American Commissioner Gordon. Many fans counter my stance that it is still in the same universe when I introduce how MCU did the same thing. The usual reply is that “at least the characters are the same skin color compared to the recast of Jim Gordon”. Simply I tell them, a retcon is a retcon. Could be similar skin or similar characteristics, if it is a different actor/actress then it is a retcon until otherwise.
Confusion has been happening since Justice League. Fans didn’t know if The Flash was going to be made with Ezra Miller or scrapped, Superman is still Henry Cavill but others feel that he is out because of the several projects he is doing, and Cyborg is in limbo as nobody knows what will happen with the character. There are rumors about a Supergirl film being developed, and Warner Bros. has not provide clarity for these rumors. DC are leaving fans and the general audience confused on what is happening. Warner Bros. need to use their resources properly and address certain topics.
WHY ARE DC FANS DIVIDED
Reason why the Marvel Cinematic Universe does not have much conflict (if they do then it is well under wrapped) is simply because their universe is consistent and not confusing. Marvel does not need to be so transparent because the general consensus is that whatever they plan, it will be good. DC does not have the luxury. DC has a divided fan base; Zach Snyder fans that feel betrayed on how Warner Bros. handled the situation with Zach Snyder and Ben Affleck, fans that overall dislike the DCEU, and fans that moved on and still enjoy the new film releases in the universe, but also acknowledge the wrongdoings of Warner Bros.
HOW TO FIX THIS PROBLEM
On the DC Universe streaming service, a show called “DC Daily” was announced last year that it will “offer fans entertaining news and insights, exclusive guest appearances, interviews and panel discussions with some of the most knowledgeable voices in the DC universe”. In my viewpoint, DC Daily has not been entertaining, as rumors spill about one of Warner Bros. most popular property, the show focuses on anything but that. Why has Warner Bros. not use that platform as a way to address Superman, Cyborg, Flash, or Green Lantern film status and then allow the guests or co-hosts give their own opinions on the matter as an example. Warner Bros. need to understand that DC has millions of fans, from both comics and television/film, and that DC should be their top priority. Good example would be to look at the financial success MCU has established. If Marvel can profit $2 billion than so can DC.
DC can not have negative reception or confusion when they are behind the scenes not revealing anything. Yes, a business is not used to revealing much to consumers, but this is not a normal business where any publicity is good publicity, when rumors fly and there is not a confirmation then people don’t have anything else to base opinions on besides the rumors. Luckily, DC directors have recently came forward several times to debunk certain rumors or officially provide updates on their films; James Gunn’s Suicide Squad casting, Reeves giving clarity on the film’s plot and casting confirmation of Robert Pattinson as Batman, Patty Jenkins with Wonder Woman, James Wan with Aquaman, and David Sandberg with Shazam!.
Finally Warner Bros., we need answers. Don’t treat the comic book community as another business, but instead as a relationship between executives and fans. You missed out on SDCC 2019 to provide clarity (even though I understand why you did not attend). Warner Bros. need to come out sometime this year with a press release, have a episode on DC Daily that confronts the several rumors (definitely will get a bump in ratings), or SDCC 2020 better be the event where everything is either confirmed or denied, and there is a clear vision on what the situation is. Even though fans may want different things, one common element that fans want is clarity.
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.