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How to Make the DCEU Better (With What’s Already There)

dceu

DC Comics arguably has some of the best characters of all time. However, they haven’t had the success they deserve on screen. The DCEU had a promising start with Man of Steel in 2013, but then rushed to catch up to Marvel and the MCU by releasing Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad, Wonder Woman, and Justice League by 2017; the majority of those films were not great.

Things have started looking up for DC as they released more individual, unique films from different directors. The most recent DC film, The Batman, is one of the best movies of the year so far. Warner Bros. Discovery has the bones and upcoming projects to build a sustainable cinematic universe that could compete with the MCU. Here’s what I would do in order to fix the DCEU:

Change the Name from DCEU to DC Multiverse

Multiversity Map 2400 53ee6b4c22d9a9.11031355
The Map of the Multiverse from DC Comics

DC can save itself by leaning into the Multiverse. They are doing so many different things on screen that it’s going to be hard to tie them all together; the solution is not to. Rebranding themselves as the DC Multiverse allows them to build cinematic franchises out of the projects already released. They also have the advantage of using HBO Max to create new content for. With that being said, here are the cinematic franchises that can make up the DC Multiverse:

The Universe of Gods & Magic

Henry Cavill as Clark Kent/Superman in Man of Steel
Henry Cavill as Clark Kent/Superman in Man of Steel

This cinematic franchise has so much potential! Since this is the Universe of Gods & Magic, it would make sense to begin with Wonder Woman. You then have the world of Shazam!, which was so well received by audiences and critics. Black Adam is also introducing the Justice Society of America, which is especially notable because of Dr. Fate and the potential of magic in the DCEU.

The Universe of Gods & Magic timeline could be planned out like this:

  • Wonder Woman (2017)
  • Man of Steel (2013)
  • Aquaman (2018)
  • Shazam! (2019)
  • Wonder Woman 1984 (2020)
  • Aquaman: King of Atlantis (2021)
  • Black Adam (2022)
  • Shazam! Fury of the Gods (2022)
  • Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (2023)
  • The Flash (2023)
  • Blue Beetle (2023)

Future projects in this cinematic franchise could be:

  • Shazam v Black Adam that also features Henry Cavill as Superman
  • Black Manta as an HBO Max limited series with Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as David Kane/Black Manta
  • Doctor Fate limited series on HBO Max that introduces Zatanna

Also Read: 5 Actors Who Could Replace Ezra Miller as The Flash

The Batman Universe

Robert Pattinson as Bruce Wayne/Batman in The Batman
Robert Pattinson as Bruce Wayne/Batman in The Batman

Matt Reeves was given full reign to establish his own Gotham and the results were nothing short of fantastic. The Batman is one of the best films of the year and it’s a great starting point for a new cinematic franchise focused on the Dark Knight. There are already plans for two projects on HBO Max: a Penguin limited series starring Colin Farrell and an Arkham Asylum series.

The Batman Universe timeline could be planned out like this:

  • The Batman (2022)
  • Penguin limited series on HBO Max
  • Arkham Asylum limited series on HBO Max

Future projects in this cinematic franchise could be:

  • The Batman II that introduces Harvey Dent and Mr. Freeze
  • Catwoman film starring Zoe Kravitz as Selina Kyle/Catwoman

The Universe of Villains & Vigilantes

Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn in Birds of Prey
Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn in Birds of Prey

This would be the most collaborative cinematic franchise, combining the talents of Cathy Yan, James Gunn, and Adil El Arbi/Billall Fallah getting things started. There’s a lot of potential here for a wide variety of characters, especially strong female characters (the highlight being Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn). There is also potential for a lot of crossover between the big screen and projects on HBO Max, which James Gunn started with Peacemaker this year.

The Universe of Villains & Vigilantes timeline could be planned out like this:

  • Birds of Prey (2020)
  • The Suicide Squad (2021)
  • Peacemaker (2022)
  • Batgirl (2022)

Future projects in this cinematic franchise could be:

  • Waller series featuring Viola Davis as Amanda Waller
  • Black Canary starring Jurnee Smollett as Dinah Lance
  • Gotham City Sirens featuring Harley Quinn, Catwoman, Poison Ivy, and Batgirl

The Black Label Universe

Joaquin Phoenix as Arthur Fleck in Joker
Joaquin Phoenix as Arthur Fleck in Joker

Joker is going to stay its own thing, which is perfectly fine because it doesn’t fit into any other cinematic franchise. So, it would make sense to start The Black Label Universe where DC can explore stand-alone, R-rated stories and not have them tied to any other franchise.

The Black Label Universe could be planned out like this:

  • Joker (2019)
  • Joker: Folie à Deux

Future projects in this cinematic franchise could be:

  • Lobo as a limited series on HBO Max
  • Deathstroke starring Joe Manganiello as Slade Wilson/Deathstroke

The Milestone Universe

Icon, Rocket, Static, and Hardware from Milestone Comics
Icon, Rocket, Static, and Hardware from Milestone Comics

Michael B. Jordan is on board to produce a Static Shock movie (and hopefully star in it as well, fingers crossed for that one), so let’s give the characters of Milestone their own universe to tell the stories of these iconic, black superheroes!

The Milestone Universe could be planned out like this:

  • Static Shock
  • Icon
  • Rocket
  • Hardware

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Written by Elliott Wishnefsky

Elliott Wishnefsky is an Entertainment Writer & Critic for FandomWire. He's a graduate of Millersville University with a Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education. Elliott is also a content creator for his own brand, Learning at the Movies! Twitter: @Learning_Movies | Facebook/Instagram: @learningatthemovies | TikTok: @learningatthemovies