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!