Why The DCEU Is Set To Take Over The Superhero Film Genre

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The superhero film genre is currently the most crowded it has ever been. With multiple studios throwing their hats in to make superhero films they all want a piece of the action. The rampant success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has led others to want to copy that success. Studios want to create long lasting and extremely profitable series. Any business wants to do well and have something that they can make money off of. The superhero genre trend is so popular that it’s an easy target. Arguably the MCU is the most popular series right now, but there is a shift  coming soon. Warner Brothers has launched their OWN connected universe property with that of the DC Extended Universe. Like the MCU, the DCEU is a comic property that makes sense in being a connected universe. With the beginning of DC’s Universe, it is very probable that DC has the potential to take the reigns from Marvel and easily become the king of the superhero film genre.

With all of the competition including multiple companies producing Marvel characters into films some variety is very much needed. The genre is getting extremely crowded. The only way in which these films can evolve and find loyal fans is to do things differently. It’s time to explore new characters and new ideas. Fox has done a great job recently jumping into R-Rated territory for their X-Men characters. That has given them some needed growth and continuation of their successful franchise. In the vein of continuing to diversify, while still drawing in the crowds, DC have been focusing on tackling things differently. Critical reception to their first few films having been mixed up until Wonder Woman, but their spirit of change is something to be admired.

Wonder Woman is the DCEU’s first huge critical and commercial success. Grossing high at the box office, while also getting universal critical acclaim. This is a major feat and it has caused a lot of conversation. In addition to it being a great film, Wonder Woman does things differently. It finds a way to balance humor with heart and action. While Marvel for the most part does this well sometimes their comedy shines brighter. This isn’t a bad thing, but the balanced tone to Wonder Woman has made the film stand out. It has set itself apart and has brought new people back to the superhero genre because of her iconic presence. The character embodies what a hero is and the film is about hope, while many recent superhero films focused on the darkness and separation. Even the DCEU focused on that with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. This separation has allowed DC to have a major win. This major win could carry them into the next several films that they will produce over the next several years.

Justice League is set to hit theaters later this year. This is a massive event movie and will be their biggest collaborative effort so far. It’s similar to that of when the Avengers first hit the screen in 2012. This has the potential to do stellar numbers and win many people over. If this is the case then I could very well see DC placing a firm foot in the floor and eventually take over the superhero film genre. With other DC films like Aquaman to follow we could see this franchise continue for many years to come depending on the success of Justice League.

It’s not too far fetched to believe that DC’s continued dedication to making great films within their established universe that feel different could give them an edge over Marvel. Marvel makes great films but they sometimes lack variety. A variety that could easily be assuaged with characters from DC’s vast list of fantastic superheroes. A list that has appeared in some of the most critically acclaimed comic book storylines of all time. 

Within the next few years I could very well see the trend lean towards DC as the champ of the superhero genre. Their characters, which are already household names, could help them become the quintessential comic book universe. Marvel is impressive and Fox has done great work, but DC has the financial support and talent to make something really special. The ability to make films that feel distinct and to make films that accurately represent the characters that we know and love from the comics is at their fingertips. If they keep making films as good or better than Wonder Woman they would have no problem in climbing their way to the top as the reigning champs for the superhero film genre. I see the likelihood of this happening to be very high and I for one am looking forward to it. Having them gain the top spot would usher in newer superhero films that avoid following a singular formula.

DC is on the verge of breaking through and becoming a dominant force in the genre. As a fan of both companies seeing DC have some wins is certainly well-deserved.

So do you think DC will be at the top of the genre? Let us know in the comments!

Christian Michael Stoic

Christian Michael Stoic

Christian Michael Stoic is a writer, filmmaker, and comic lover from Los Angeles, CA. Heroic Hollywood is his introduction into the world of Journalism which...

  • Thanostic

    HA! I love this statement: “Arguably the MCU is the most popular series right now”

    Nothing to see here, no fanboyism at play, move along….

    Wonder Woman was terrific – by far the best thing so far in the DCEU – but one big win doesn’t give them a leg up on the MCU, which has been dominating for a decade. That’s especially true with Spidey getting his own MCU treatment, and with Infinity War being less than a year away. The DCEU still has a looooong way to go before it can rival MCU’s dominance in the genre.

  • Bezet

    It will. Just a matter of time.

  • Marquis de Sade

    Oh Christian, your dceu fangurlisms is adorable…overly-optimistic, but adorable.

  • Mahmud Wasif Nafee

    one good Batman film. Just one
    praying hard for it

  • Stephen Silver

    Of course DC will succeed over MCU, why? Because DC was the first in comic book with incredible characters, and even with the hate of marveliebers it’s movies are relevant like MOS or WW, and we hand on the other hand totally forgettable movies like civil war or Ultron, big box office yes, but nothing memorable to say about them.

    • 39steps

      You hate Age of Ultron but just wait until November when we get Joss Wheden’s Justice League movie.

      • David

        Joss Whedon is not making Justice League…not even close! He is doing a few extra scenes and reshoots the way that Snyder would want him to do them. Batgirl is Whedons project. DC never gave up the title of king of the comic books. The reason people are so divisive over their movies is because everyone is overly involved emotionally. As in, most people care more about DC than Marvel. I enjoy every comic book movie, but DC is heads and tails above…for me and most people.

        • 39steps

          You should take that to an open-mike night at a comedy club.

          Oh, and Snyder is out. It’s Whedon’s movie now. You’ll see. Don’t throat the press release.

        • Marquis de Sade

          MCU’S box office says otherwise…+ Whedon and crew will be in London for 3 months+. Trust, he’s shooting a new jla movie from a hollowed-out shell of Zack’s original cut. Pick-ups and adding a new scene or two on average takes anywhere from a month to 5 or 6 weeks.

        • Axxell

          If more people cared about DC than Marvel, BvS would’ve easily surpassed $1B in profits…

          The bravado of DC fans is sometimes charming, but it’s past time they accepted the reality that Marvel, from a marketability and public consciousness standpoint, is still firmly in front of DC.

          • Justice League is my absolute favorite comic, so I guess that makes me more of a DC guy, but I love Marvel, too. I would agree that the MCU is firmly out in front, and DC still has a ways to go, but it only takes a couple DC hits or Marvel misses to change the tide. Ultimately, I don’t care who’s out in front as long as they’re competitive because competitive means the fans get better movies from both companies.

  • 12stepCornelius

    I’ve been over the MCU as a franchise since Winter Soldier. There’s still a few interesting ones here and there: Ant-Man was good, Doctor Strange was good, and I’m looking forward to Spider-Man, Black Panther, and Cpt. Marvel. But the Avengers-centric stories have gotten tiresome. Fox seems to have something very promising in their X-Men films with New Mutants and the prospect of some great X-23 stories and I’m loving the variety the Netflix side of the MCU is offering (Punisher series coming!!).

    The DCEU for me is where its at right now though. I personally loved MoS, BvS, and thought Suicide Squad was their real technical misstep as a film. But imagining seeing all these mythic characters together in 200+ million dollar movies, the likes of Wonder Woman, Superman, The Flash, Aquaman, Batman with the great DC stories WB can pull from and their unique and honestly superior cinematography just has me all sorts of excited for how truly special this new shared cinematic superhero universe could be.

  • Hinscher

    I was excited for the DCEU until Snyder stepped down and Wheden took over along with hiring a new composer. Wheden is no better than a TV director. Sadly comic fans are blind cult fans of him cause of Firefly and Buffy. Elfman hasn’t had anything good in like 10+ years and his iconic works do not hold up to today, imo. Anyone saying hearing the classic Batman or Superman theme (I know he didn’t do superman) in the new movies is being moronic. They do not fit movies of today. You are letting nostalgia deafen your ears. Justice League’s soundtrack is going to now be like Marvel’s. Forgettable. I listened to all of his “greatest hits” and see all these articles about how he is one of the top 10 composers of all time and yet all I can hear is like high school quality concert songs or songs I would hear at a play. Seriously no news has hit me as hard in regards to Justice League as his coming on.
    Justice League was my most hyped movie for the longest time, and since the announcement of Elfman, I’ve just been down. I’ll see if for sure, but i have very low expectations now.
    Just like how I would have liked to have seen Ayers vision of Suicide Squad, (wouldn’t fix the bad plot regardless) I would like to see Snyder’s trilogy in it’s original vision. Now I will never see that because Wheden and Elfman are finishing it.

  • Hinscher

    But it’s funny. MoS was great. BvS ultimate was great. Wonder Woman was great. All three, WB had zero hands in it and let the directors do their thing.
    Suicide squad was garbage, BvS theatrical was messy. Both had WB dabbling and trying to do what they thought was best.
    I really wish Snyder would have agreed to push back release date while he recovered. Any fingers of WB in a movie has me insanely nervous.

  • Fardarie Lawrence

    One ok movie and folks are carrying on like is the 2nd coming lol To be honest with you If Marvel put out an OK movie like Wonder Woman the reviews Would-be down in the seventies or eighties. Wonder woman benefited greatly because Batman vs Superman man of steel and suicide squad were such terrible movies.If Josh Whedon is able to salvage Justice League then I’ll say that DC has become a force to be reckoned with but right now it looks like they just got lucky.

    • 12stepCornelius

      Whedon ain’t salvaging anything. He’s wrapping the movie up for Snyder while he takes time to grieve, as he should. Whedon had already come in because Zack was wanting to add more scenes after he watched a rough cut. Snyder then let Whedon write the scenes and they reviewed the rough cut together. Then Snyder stepped down to take some time off so he and his family could heal. So Snyder let Whedon direct the scenes he wrote. There’s no takeover. Its still Snyder’s movie. Whedon was told by WB to stick to Snyder’s directorial template. End of story.

      • Marquis de Sade

        Uhhh, lets be honest, adding a scene or two and pickups on average takes a month to (maybe) 6 weeks. Joss and crew will be in London for 3 months+…Trust, a half of that original script has been rewritten and will necessitate massive reshoots and simultaneous editing to meet their November release date…Sorry, but Joss is shooting a new jla movie from a hollowed-out shell of Zack’s original cut.

  • Pranav Patil

    I am a marvel fan.. I love Every marvel movie. but one thing is true that i am little bit tired of watching same type of movies or same superhero team movie… after watching few animated Justice league Movies and Wonder woman Movie i think that Justice league is way too powerful and has great stories too… So I am hyped for Justice league and all of its members too…. I Would love to see Movie of every JL Character …..

  • Axxell

    Ah yes…I remember this feeling. It’s the same hype that people were pumping into BvS, claiming that it was the Avengers-killer and that it would make Marvel irrelevant…

  • Blue 2201

    Oh man it was just that one time with Wonder Woman and you people are all going over. If that movie is a success then let it be, stop comparing with Marvel please. No matter what u guys say no matter what storylines Marvel are using whether its the same or different, they are still a successful franchise, DC has just started so take some time. Its like you guys are comparing Dark Universe with a Star Wars franchise. Stop u guys are making everyone laugh with your childishness, especially this guy Stephen Silver who said Civil War is forgettable…..hahahahahaahahahahahaahahahahahhahahaahahaha………..if u ask what are the plot lines for all the DCEU movies, no one would even know or care to answer, they are stupid films, u can ask the critics if u want. If DC can do it so can Marvel but why they didnt do it? It is because ppl love their formulae and enjoy watching it, they use the same thing because its succesful and gives them lots of money……..dont worry after Wonder Woman DC will go back to normal with their so called rotten tomatoes formulae๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚. DCEU have one thing amazing which is their rotten tomatoes movies. Wonder Woman just did a few things better, it is actually the combination of Thor 1 and Captain America 1. I personally felt it has the most boring and unbelievable third act ever. Some of the movie goers in my cinema fell asleep and some even walking out. But i still enjoyed the movie’s messages and cinematography. Thats all. I realise some DC fans are so desperate until they start bringing and comparing the comics side of the company๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚. I think the reason why this article are written is to attract readers not to prove the DC is good or anything. Well keep it up. Also DC wants to keep up with Marvel so badly until they forgot giving their big character standalone films first before the team up……..but instead they give a shitless standalone film that kicked of the franchise(Man of Steel), straightly to their version of a flopped Civil War(Batman v Superman), to their version of Guardians of the Galaxy, (the horrible Suicide Squad, actually Sucide Squad does not deserve to be compared with Guardians of the Galaxy), to actually what should have been the intro to the DCEU(Wonder Woman) to their version of Avengers, the fourth movie in DCEU(Justice League), in which one of the cast in the movie said it is not gonna be as good as the Avengers(2012), they clearly have no patience!!! Already gave a superhero vs superhero movie, superhero team up movie, a villian team up movie in the first freaking five DCEU entries.๐Ÿ™ˆ๐Ÿ™ˆ Actually Yes DC is unique for their impatience..hahahahaaha.

  • jrvc

    Agree. If they keep making movies as distinct as they have done until now, they can give something fresh to the audiences.

    Don’t get me wrong, I like the MCU a lot for the most part, but we can’t negate that many movies/stories follow the same pattern. When they don’t we have jewels like Winter Soldier and Guardians, but the majority of them are ingrained in that pattern that can be tiring in a medium to long run

  • Philly Gannon

    No. Just…No…DC has great Characters, but make horrible decisions when choosing writers and directors. They will NEVER be where Marvel is because you can tell that they are trying too hard. Wonder Woman was good, but it wasn’t groundbreaking or anything. sure, it was the first female solo film, but that is all. it had a predictable story like all other superhero movies and was only an origin story at best. People have been claiming online that the MCU is over and DC will take over for YEARS now…get over it…it’s NOT going to happen. how many times do you have to be wrong before you just shut up already? seriously, how many times does someone have to predict something totally wrong before they stop making predictions altogether? get a new hobby, as you are NOT good at telling what trends will be. and when people say stupid self absorbed things like “I am so done with Marvel movies” or “Marvel movies are no good anymore”, you just sound like pompous idiots. men lie, women lie, numbers don’t. Online nobodies need to stop thinking that their little opinion is anymore valid than anyone else’s. So go ahead, hate on Marvel, it will do nothing but stress you out as the continue to succeed.

    • Way back in the day when the only good superhero movies were either Batman or Superman, DC had the stranglehold on the superhero genre, but they dropped the ball and fumbled it for a couple decades and now Marvel is firmly in the lead. But that doesn’t mean that Marvel won’t ever drop the ball. If Spidey or Thor under-perform and JL crushes it, we’re having a different conversation at the end of the year.

      As far as Wonder Woman not being ground breaking, if you really believe that, you haven’t been paying attention. And if you only want to go by numbers because numbers don’t lie, here’s a fun fact for you to think about. The first four movies of the DCEU absolutely crush the first four movies of the MCU numbers-wise. In fact, Man of Steel, the lowest grossing (if you count Wonder Woman’s projected numbers) DCEU movie beats Iron Man, the best of Marvel’s first four by over 80 million. Do you think Man of Steel was better than Iron Man? Because I don’t. While numbers do count, they’re obviously not everything.

      • die hard dc fan

        ” Do you think Man of Steel was better than Iron Man? Because I don’t.”

        it’s was actually.

        • That’s definitely not the prevailing opinion. While I do like that Snyder tried to explore more of the Kryptonian aspect of the origin, and I thought it was a pretty good movie, I can’t say I liked it as much as Iron Man, and I’m a DC guy.

      • Philly Gannon

        your little lesson on numbers is…well…its validity in inaccurate. look at the years that they came out. One movie started the new Super hero universe craze while another came out YEARS later when people were already in the “gotta go see the newest superhero movie” time frame. so, comparing the numbers of a movie that came out in 2008 to a movie that came out in 2013 is stupid. Also, look at the 2 heroes you are comparing…you are comparing a virtually unknown hero at the time to an iconic hero.

        as far as the movie being ground-breaking, well, I have been paying attention and this topic is all a matter of opinion. Just like I know tons of people didn’t like it, it’s all opinion. when I say it is not “ground-breaking”, I am speaking SOLELY about the story, and THAT is all. It was just ANOTHER predictable superhero origin story. There wasnot one surprise during the whole movie, which is how all of these origin stories are, which makes it boring. It is by far the best DCEU movie so far and even better than some Marvel movies in my opinion, but ground-breaking? nope.

        • Please. MoS came out only 5 years after Iron Man so the financial comparison is apropos. And don’t try and act like the MCU started the whole “gotta go see the newest superhero movie” fad. They may have been first to start a connected universe, but Batman, Spiderman, X-men, and Superman were all putting out the “gotta see” superhero blockbusters since 2000. They made it possible for the MCU to do it.

          The only reason I brought up my little lesson on numbers is because you said numbers don’t lie. The fact is, numbers can be made to say whatever the person putting those numbers together wants them to say. A simple comparison of the first 4 movies of each franchise shows DC made a lot more money, but that’s exactly what I wanted to make it say to show that numbers can be misleading. Yes Superman is iconic and Iron Man wasn’t as well known at time, and yes, even though Mos made more money, I think Iron Man was a better movie.

          And while Wonder Woman may be just another origin story, it’s an origin story that hasn’t been done before. It’s also the first female origin story of either connected universe, and it’s about to become the highest grossing film by a female director of all time. All of that makes it a ground breaking origin story, and it was a darn good film. Obviously, you’re entitled to your opinion, but it’s almost universally praised, and I don’t know one person that didn’t love it.

          • Philly Gannon

            I skipped the first 2 paragraphs, as it is an argument going knowhere, we both have our own views, so, whatever.
            I know a lot of people that didn’t love Wonder Woman, but I don’t know anyone that didn’t like it.
            I liked it, but, as I stated, there was not one single surprise in the movie, which made it kind of dull like Age of Ultron, BUT, for different reasons…where as Age of Ultron COULD have had some surprises if they could have kept all info about Civil War secret, Wonder Woman really couldn’t haave ANY surprises due to it kind of being a prequel (in the sense that it took place before her appearance in BvS). I hate prequels as they are unneeded. most prequels could have been told in flashbacks (this is why I didn’t like the Star Wars prequels, as you basically walk into the movie knowing how it is going to end…I mean, ANY lightsabre battle Obi Won was in, you KNEW he wasn’t going to lose)…
            This could be why I didn’t like Wonder Woman as much as a lot of people, as I felt that it should have come BEFORE BvS or it could have been like the upcoming Spider-Man movie, where it took place with her alredy being a hero but through flashbacks they told her origin.
            I hate stories that I already know the ending to.

  • Timothy O’Brien

    No way. Marvel makes great movies from lesser known characters. The DCEU has only shown the Trinity so far. Let’s see how the DCEU does with their lesser known properties.

  • Ozymandias

    Marvel greatest triumph is to surpass DCEU with lesser material in his hands…DC has like 50 oscar winning stories just from batman…but in hands of a mediocre directors (snyder,ayer) …with no sense of storytelling at all…the dish is serve….

    To bring people that understand material and make something vibrant out of it should be DC priority, Would love to see JJ abraham directing superman 2 or Matthew Vaughn directing the flash…