‘Man of Steel’ Was Always Intended To Start The DC Extended Universe

Heroic Retrospective: ‘Man Of Steel’ Heroic Hollywood 5
After Green Lantern was a significant box office bomb for Warner Brothers, plans for the DC equivalent to the Marvel Cinematic Universe were stalled in favor of new standalone Batman and Superman movies… or so we thought. As it turns out, Man of Steel was always intended to start the DC Extended Universe after Green Lantern failed to get the ball rolling.

According to producer Charles Roven in an interview with ComicBook.com, Man of Steel was always intended to be the bedrock of the DCEU, and was important in determining how they would go on to develop the budding setting.

“When we started with Man of Steel, we knew that we were going to expand the universe. From the moment that we started with Man of Steel, we knew that once we opened up the Superman… You can’t do Superman without talking about aliens existing in our universe. We knew that we were going to have to really consider what the world building would be beyond the unique film… Each unique film in the DC pantheon is going to be unique because the directors are different except for Zack directing Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and the two Justice League movies. Each one of those directors, whether it be David Ayer or Patty Jenkins or James Wan, they are bringing their sensibilities and a different production designer and different costume designer, et cetera. That world building will still be of the same DC/Justice League universe, but have its own unique point of view.”

Keen-eyed DC fans already picked up on a number of Easter Eggs suggesting that Man of Steel was part of a larger universe from the get-go. One of the buildings in Metropolis is for Blaze Comics, the publisher that goes on to adapt Booster Gold’s exploits. A supporting character in the film works for S.T.A.R. Labs, an organization that would develop a significant amount of technology in the DC Universe and would go on to build Cyborg. Most significantly, however, are the teases at Batman – during the final battle, a poster claiming “Keep Calm and Call Batman” can be seen for a scant moment, and more noticeably, General Zod throws Superman at a Wayne Enterprises satellite. So while a cynical fan could argue that DC was trying to shoehorn a cinematic universe out of the Superman reboot when Green Lantern didn’t work out, there’s a considerable amount of evidence to the contrary within the DCEU’s first movie.

The DCEU currently has three movies with given release dates: Wonder Woman on June 2, 2017, Justice League on November 17, 2017, and Aquaman on October 5, 2018. Movies that are in varying stages of active development include The Batman, ShazamGreen Lantern Corps, Gotham City SirensSuicide Squad 2, and The Flash. Other projects that are planned include Black Adam, NightwingJustice League 2, Dark UniverseCyborg, DeadshotBooster Gold/Blue Beetle, and a new Superman film.

Source: ComicBook.com

 

Grant Davis

Grant Davis

A Texan freelance writer with interests in Star Wars, superhero movies, and entertainment in general.

  • Maxi Iroh

    If this is true why the DCEU didn’t have movies in 2014 and 2015?

    • KungFuCthulhu

      The same reason that the Marvel Cinematic Universe didn’t have movies in 2009.

      – Grant

      • Caped Baldy

        haha

      • Maxi Iroh

        And what would be that reason?

      • Axxell

        Marvel only took 2 more months to make good on their promise of bringing a shared universe (both Ironman and the Incredible Hulk released in 2008). Not the same.

    • Caped Baldy

      wow

      • Maxi Iroh

        ??

    • Because after MoS it was supposed to be a stand alone Batman movie, followed by a MoS Sequel — they decided to go scrap that idea to do a combined film, BvS.

      One reason being – they figured people have been given enough Batman solo films to the point when news got out people kept saying “how many origin movies of Batman do we need!”.

      This is also backed by the MoS fans who were pissed that we got BvS before a contained MoS sequel.

      • Axxell

        None of that precludes the fact that MoS was NOT initially intended to start the DCCU…Not only are we still getting a solo Batman series, but Snyder himself admitted to his Superman being a self contained world without other heroes, in the same vein as Nolan’s Dark Knight:

        https://youtu.be/2uEgIONT2vo?t=60

        Don’t know why WB surrogates are still trying to convince people of this false claim…

        • I see it more as semantics. During the 1st steps of planning Zack probably wanted it self-contained, but by the time they hit actual production it’d probably have already been decided.

          Whether or not you consider the idea phase as “the definite start of a project that determines what is or isn’t planned” (which I’d disagree as every project that’s in idea phase has dramatic changes) – then sure.

          As for “still getting a solo batman movie” – never said we’d never get it – but it was planned to have a solo origin Batman before a “superheroes meet each other” movie.

          • Axxell

            It’s not “semantics”…If they decided to make a shared universe, it must’ve happened during post production of MoS, and you can clearly tell by the lack of shared universe in the plot and script that it was originally meant to be it’s own world…even as late as 2012 Snyder made no mention of there being a shared universe in interviews, rather jacking off to the comparisons of Nolan’s Dark Knight series…

  • Nick Farina

    Cool. Still want a proper Superman sequel. ; )

    • SAMURAI36

      And we’ll be getting one, at some point.

  • Math

    Didn’t Christopher Nolan once said that this was it’s own separate universe with no Batman while the movie was in production or did he simply meant it was a separate from his Batman universe maybe? I can’t recall but I remember being frustrated by the fact they didn’t want to build a shared universe at first.

    • SAMURAI36

      It’s the latter.

      • Math

        I’m not convinced of that. I remember them telling a different story before Avengers came out.

        • Axxell

          I believe you’re talking about Snyder’s comments, as recorded in the video above.

      • Math

        Here what I think happened. I have no proof of that so maybe my theory is completely wrong. Only they know what really happened. But I think Snyder wanted to build a shared universe but Nolan did not. WB sided with Nolan as he was his golden boy, but once Avengers broke all kind of records at the box office, they changed their minds. MoS was already too deep into production to add significant hints of a shared universe so they let Snyder add a few Easter eggs in post production. That’s what I think happened and so from the point of view of Snyder, yes, a shared universe was planned from long before. It was just never approved before late in production. Again, just my theory based on comments made during MoS production.

        • SAMURAI36

          I would say that this is about 95% correct.
          I would only add that WB trusted Nolan alot more than they did Snyder (at least, at that time), because Nolan was there golden boy that could do no wrong (and still is), especially when it came to a superhero franchise.
          So yes, I think it is fair to say that the DCEU was in Snyder’s plans all along. His account doesn’t seem to change in all this.

        • Axxell

          Yet Snyder says that the idea to introduce Batman came AFTER MoS, when they were discussing what to do next…

          You’re close…except for the idea that Snyder had any wish to do a shared universe. You can tell in early interviews how many times he compared MoS to the Dark Knight series that he really wanted to do the same thing, but for Superman.

    • As Sam stated – the latter. They went to to Nolan with the option to incorporate his Batman into the DCEU but everyone came down to the notion that his Batman didn’t fit, and that it’d be better to leave the Nolan trilogy as is because it was so self-contained.

      If memory serves me right, I believe Belle stated he was kinda disappointed.

      • Math

        Didn’t all that happened after Avengers was released? I’m convinced I read somewhere that MoS was supposed to be it’s own self contained universe until Avengers made a ton of money and WB then changed their minds. MoS was already filming at that point. It’s a little far now so I don’t remember all the det

  • SAMURAI36

    This was always a given from the start of the project. Snyder said as much in earlier interviews after MOS’s release. Also, it’s quite apparent from the film itself, that the intent was always to extend the universe (see what I did there?).

    • Axxell

      Um, no…MoS was gonna be a solo franchise. Snyder said it himself, until they saw Marvel making money hand over fist with the Avengers movie.