The fledgling DC Extended Universe has been doing quite well for Warner Brothers. While most of their DC films haven’t really been critical darlings (with the exception of the glowing and successful Wonder Woman), each one has done well at the box office and allowed WB to continue to build upon this universe. But, with the increase in popularity there is also a massive increase in rumors, and the rumors about the DCEU have escalated to almost ridiculous levels. They seem to come out of nowhere and they always seem to be negative. This vicious cycle of negative rumors has done nothing but bring harm to the DC brand and frustrate the fans.With this harmful energy at the forefront of reports on the DCEU it is a good time to look at why this has been happening.
The first couple of DCEU films have been poorly received from critics. Meanwhile, Marvel hasn’t had a single badly received film. Even their weaker films have good Rotten Tomatoes scores. The DCEU is a newcomer and obviously tension and rivalry can arise from that. With their films not doing well on that front, DC has become an easy target for drama. Anything bad that happens on a DC Films set makes the rumor mill start rolling, and more often than not, these rumors are damaging regardless of their validity.
Recently, some changes have been happening at WB in regards to their DC Films division. The studio’s schedule keeps changing and projects keep appearing and then disappearing at random. When Zack Snyder had to step down from Justice League because of his personal issues, I discussed the vicious attacks towards the director, but this change up has brought a lot of confusion allowing rumors to seep in and cause more damage. There have been extensive reports regarding how much Joss Whedon has contributed to the project leading fans to speculate as to how much the director is reshaping Snyder’s original vision. Warner Bros. has insisted that Justice League will still be a Zack Snyder film, but rumors are saying the pposite. This lack of faith in WB is problematic and the studio’s actions and reactions to the rumors have only further hurt themselves.
The amount of rumors that have been perpetrated is staggering. Most of them are obvious fakes, but some have been reported by major news sites and blogs. Most of these rumors have been about reshoots, but here’s the thing: every major movie goes through this process. Blockbusters often need extra scenes, pick-up shots or anything of that nature. When Marvel does it, everything’s going as planned. When it comes to DC Films, however, these reshoots are often labeled as signs of trouble. People use this as a claim to say that DC is in dire trouble, but this ridiculous cycle that is not helped by WB’s problem with publicity. It all mixes to give fans far more to fear than they should.
One of the more recent rumors regarding DC had to do with Ben Affleck’s doubtful future as Batman. WB was said to be exploring options to usher out Affleck’s Caped Crusader from the DC Extended Universe, but the actor personally shut down these rumors while promoting Justice League at Comic-Con International in San Diego this past weekend. Of course, this rumor spread like wildfire due to how well Affleck was received in the role in his debut in last year’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. But just the thought of Affleck leaving the cape behind is scary. It’s frustrating for the fans to think of the possibility that one of DC’s strongest actors could be let go. Even though Affleck already commented on the matter, the damage has been done, and I have a feeling that rumors like this will keep circulating.
The DCEU will have to face rumors like this for some time. It’s an unfair part of being an underdog. DC’s films will need to have have consistent positive reception to have the pendulum swing back in their favor. The studio’s next two films — this November’s Justice League and 2018’s Aquaman — will determine the brand’s future and hopefully the rumor mill will slow down if not stop entirely. But, the need to attack DC is just part of the problem. Another aspect is that WB needs to do a better job at showing confidence. With a constantly fluctuating schedule, WB’s reactionary attitude is allowing for vicious attackers to come in and be successful at creating problems.
With the DCEU in a new state of finding its identity I hope that there will be a less frivolous attack on them. I’m hoping rumors can slow down and that we can have successful Marvel and DC franchises at the same time. This is a possibility, but things need to change and people should always second guess any sort of negative news without confirmation for that to happen. What do you think? Let us know in the comments!