A little over a year ago, the head honchos over at Warner Bros. released a slate of ten titles that were all in development over the next few years. From Batman v Superman and Wonder Woman to The Flash and Cyborg, a host of fan-favorite characters are now headed to the big screen. At the time, many of us assumed that this was just the first wave in the attempt to build a cohesive movie universe around the beloved DC characters.
Many hoped that Warner Bros. and DC would combine forces with their counterparts on television, but that idea was quickly shot down with the casting of Ezra Miller as Barry Allen in the big screen adaptation of The Flash. The two realms are separate, just like the multiverse that has become a solid part of DC canon.
A few days ago, the other shoe dropped when our friends over at The Tracking Board broke the news that Warner Bros. was developing a Booster Gold and Blue Beetle movie, and that Greg Berlanti would be at the helm. Yes, Greg Berlanti, the force behind the CW’s Arrow and The Flash, as well as the upcoming Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl.
But wait, there’s more! That same night, our own Umberto Gonzalez broke the hot rumor that Zak Penn is being eyed to write the script. Not only will both Booster Gold and Blue Beetle appear in their own movie, but they are slated to fulfill their comic book legacies and join the Justice League at some future date on the big screen. (Commence Fangirling!)
It makes sense. A Booster Gold Easter egg was carefully placed into Man of Steel, and we’ve known for a while that he was off limits to the expanding CW universe. Some may disagree, but I believe that both he and Blue Beetle are too popular and interwoven into the history of the Justice League to be ignored.
Before we dig deep, I want to clarify that I am not saying DC’s fledgling universe needs help. First off, it’s just getting starting. And secondly, I love the apparent creative choices they’ve made so far. That being said, let’s explore why a Blue Beetle and Booster Gold movie could work well in the DECU!
It Opens Up the Universe Even Further
If you’ve read my repeated impassioned articles lauding the more serious approach that the DCEU has been taking, my eagerness for this project might come as a surprise. Some of the earliest Justice League stories I read featured these two lovable techies. One from the 25th century, one from present times. Together, they both make use of advanced technology to become heroes. Sounds like the perfect premise of a promising movie to me!
It also sounds like a way to grow the DCEU under the science fiction umbrella that was opened in Man of Steel. Booster uses advanced tech stolen from his time period, but once his power cells are drained, he’s as helpless as the next guy. Beetle has been the beneficiary of both technology and a scarab that was revealed in 2006 by DC to be of alien origin. Sounds fitting, doesn’t it?
What is the world like in the 25th century? What alien race did that technology come from? The answers to these questions could be used to open up this universe in a clever way while maintaining tone and continuity.
It Gives The Justice League a Broader Technological Base
From the comics to each of the successful cartoons, the Justice League has always maintained a certain level of technology. Stealth planes, orbital habitats, flight rings, it’s all there at the league’s disposal. We already know that Cyborg is coming. Throw these two in the mix with him, and you have a huge technological base to build upon.
Ezra Miller recently said that his Flash costume will have a post-apocalyptic look to it. It may be homemade, but I doubt it can hide inside of a ring. Technology like that could come from the future, or a crafty inventor who has the benefit of alien tech. See where I’m going with this?
This is all speculation, but it happens to fit the facts available to us. We know that despite the appearance of metahumans and aliens, this movie universe will be as grounded in realism as possible. Once a league is formed, who knows what kind of sharing might take place?
Genre Movies Can Help Spice Things Up
I’ll be honest by admitting that buddy cop movies aren’t typically my thing. I don’t really enjoy campy winks to the audience or slapstick comedy that has become the norm with the genre over the past two decades. Those in charge of the DCEU have made it apparent from the first glimpses of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice that they are hellbent on not copying Marvel’s trademark humor. However, there have been plenty of good buddy cop films that were funny while still maintaining a serious tone. (Anyone remember the first Lethal Weapon?)
Over the past couple of years, the MCU has benefited greatly from the addition of genre films. Captain America: The Winter Soldier was one of the better spy flicks made in the last ten years. Ant-Man was a good old fashioned heist movie, and Guardians of the Galaxy was a space opera. Each of these films was bent to fit comfortably inside the MCU. I have no doubt that Warner Bros. could do the same with a buddy cop film.
No matter which way a Booster Gold and Blue Beetle film ends up unfolding, I have little doubt that it will take us on one hell of a ride. Boosters legendary cockiness and Beetle’s tenacious sense of responsibility have blended well together in the comics for decades, and I’m better that formula would work just as well on the big screen. We don’t know when or where it could end up being placed in the order of expected titles, but as long as they maintain some level of tonal continuity, we’ll be all good.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to go start a letter writing campaign to make sure that Nathan Fillion gets cast as Booster Gold. Do you hear me Warner Bros? Cast Nathan Fillion, now!