While Warner Bros.’ DC Extended Universe films have performed well at the box office, critical reception towards the superhero movies has been divisive, resulting in ongoing feuds between fans over whether or not the dark and serious tone of the DCEU is the right direction for DC Films. With Wonder Woman arriving in theaters in less than two weeks, early reactions towards the film have been overwhelmingly positive, with many noting the lighter and comedic tone of the film as an improvement over previous entries in the DCEU. Many fans have wondered if the harsh criticism against Batman v. Superman and Suicide Squad may have prompted the creative minds behind the DCEU to change course with Wonder Woman, a topic producer Charles Roven addressed in an interview with JoBlo.
Roven explained that the different approach displayed in Wonder Woman was the result of the character’s inherent differences from her DC Comics allies rather than a response to critics.
“Honestly, we started out with a very different character. As I’ve pointed out and maybe you’ve heard me say; for all my experience with the DCEU, WONDER WOMAN is the only superhero – and I’m including Batman even though he’s not really super – even in the Marvel canons or Dark Horse, I don’t know any superhero who has wanted to embrace their destiny so much. From the time that they were little kid, Diana knew, because her mother and her aunt and all the legacy, that she needed to be heroic and able to go out there. And her mission in life was going to be to protect people who couldn’t protect themselves. That already gave you a very different perspective to be working from in terms of telling an origination story that was different than anybody else’s. Also you are dealing with a character who is extremely compassionate and empathetic, it allows for the character to be that – someone who violence is the last resort, it’s not the first resort or the immediate response. That also allows you to go about doing things in a different kind of way. And as we were crafting the movie and it was certainly enhanced by Patty, which I didn’t know from her movies to be honest, that there is this amazing sense of humor.”
Roven also discussed the future of DCEU, revealing why they have not planned as far ahead as fans may believe.
“Well, you know, I know you might find this hard to believe but it’s really true, we haven’t really… You always muse when you are making a film, particularly where you know that everybody is going to be interested, including yourself, on making the next one. In the case of WONDER WOMAN, we did some additional photography on this and we were finishing that while we were shooting JUSTICE LEAGUE. So literally, there was a period of time where Gal was working on both movies at the same time. So you go, “what is the next one going to be and you go.” We can’t be thinking about what the next WONDER WOMAN will be because, are we going to do the intervening period between the end of this WONDER WOMAN and BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN, or are we going to do something that will pick up after JUSTICE LEAGUE. Somebody had an idea about that, and somebody had an idea about this… but we didn’t really spend any time because we just finished this movie maybe six weeks ago. We took all the time that they gave us. Because when you are doing these special effects movies, you can’t actually finish the technical aspects of the movie until your shots are locked. I can’t have my composer come in and actually lay the score down, because if the frame is off by one frame, it’s out of sync [Laughing]. So the technical aspects of making a movie like this don’t really allow you a lot of time, particularly if you do some additional photography and there is a fixed release date, and stuff like that. Listen, it’s a high class problem, but it’s still an issue so you are working so hard and then you’ve got publicity and all that stuff, you don’t really have a lot of time to sit around and talk story.”
Roven did reveal that fan reactions to Batman v. Superman did have some impact on how the creative minds behind the DCEU will approach tone in the future.
“I think that the thing that we looked at was the amount of push back that we got on BVS. At least in terms of things that we should look at about tone. Even though we felt very strongly that in the making of the film – and if you actually look at the canon of when Batman and Superman fought, that that’s a very dark comic. And this movie was going to be dark. As much as everybody embraced it when we announced it, I think that nobody really thought that – but you had to take these characters and get them to the place where two guys that we really admire and like, are going to fight each other in a really tough way where one may be thinking he’s going to take the other one out. How are you going to get that and make it feel real. The good news for us was that we knew that just by virtue of the fact that we were going to be bringing these other guys into the group with this recruitment, it was going to be lighter in tone.”
You can read the full interview with Charles Roven here.
Do you think the DCEU should stay the course or could it stand to learn from some of the criticism? Share your thoughts below!
Directed by Patty Jenkins, Wonder Woman stars Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Connie Nielsen, Robin Wright, David Thewlis, Danny Huston, Elena Anaya, Ewen Bremner and Saïd Taghmaoui.
Wonder Woman will be released in theaters on June 2, 2017.