Plenty of news about the DC Extended Universe has been firing around the internet since Black Adam debuted in movie theaters. There is a lot to process, and I wanted to get my thoughts down on all that is going on with the DCEU going forward.
I am going to break up my thoughts into three categories. First, I want to discuss The Rock and his handling of Black Adam and the DCEU going forward. Second, I would like to address Henry Cavill and what he represents for the DCEU going forward. Third, I intend to talk about James Gunn and Peter Safran being hired to lead DC’s film, TV, and animation efforts as co-chairs and co-CEO’s of DC Studios.
For a while now it has been hard to get movies that focused on entertainment rather than focusing on social or political messaging first and foremost and then entertainment a distant second. This is a problem that has been plaguing Star Wars and the MCU for a while.
This usually leads to pushback from the fanbase, who just want quality entertainment from writers and directors who love and understand the properties as much as the fans do. This leads to the predictable attacking of the fans. The director, writer, and actors pile onto the fans and call them names and attack them for being bad people. It just gets so exhausting for those of us who just want to have fun and entertaining superhero movies and shows.
Then Black Adam came out. There were no social or political agendas. Black Adam focused on pure entrainment. The movie was classic popcorn for the brain. That is precisely what I like about my big superhero blockbuster movies.
What is also interesting is how the critics have trashed Black Adam, while the fans have praised it. This has often been reversed, like with She-Hulk or Captain Marvel. It is as if critics and fans look for entirely different things in a movie or TV show.
Dwayne Johnson on Twitter: “This phenomenal 90% AUDIENCE SCORE for #BlackAdam is so gratifying for so many reasons.15 yearsTHANK YOU for all so much for all the love and support 🙏🏾🌎🖤In the end, the only thing that matters to me is sending the people home happy.And that’s what I’ll always fight for.⚡️ pic.twitter.com/3fm0GrVSQU / Twitter”
This phenomenal 90% AUDIENCE SCORE for #BlackAdam is so gratifying for so many reasons.15 yearsTHANK YOU for all so much for all the love and support 🙏🏾🌎🖤In the end, the only thing that matters to me is sending the people home happy.And that’s what I’ll always fight for.⚡️ pic.twitter.com/3fm0GrVSQU
What has been so refreshing is The Rock’s handling of both the critics and the fans. There has been no name-calling. No labeling people who don’t like Black Adam as a bunch of “-ists.” All you see in The Rock’s Twitter feed is a ton of positive thanks and love to all the fans. Meanwhile, The Rock simply ignores the critics. At no point does The Rock attack the critics or fans who did not like the movie and start calling them names for not liking his movie.
This is the blueprint, people. Disney needs to employ this playbook in the world of the MCU and Star Wars. Black Adam is a movie that stars an actor of Samoan descent in the role of Black Adam. You have Hawkman being race swapped for a black actor in Aldis Hodge. You have Cyclone being race swapped for a black actress in Quintessa Swindell. And yet, what has happened? Fans love the movie. Because the fans are not a bunch of “-ists.” Fans just want their comic book characters to be treated with respect and to be delivered content that focuses on entertainment first.
Fan criticism about the latest from the MCU and Star Wars is because of “The Message” taking priority over storytelling. The criticism has been focused on bad writing, bad direction, and writers and directors who do not understand and clearly dislike the properties that they are handling. The criticisms have also flowed to the writers and directors also have a disdain for the fans of these properties that the creative teams simply aren’t concerned about at all.
Black Adam is proof of this. Fans just want fun stories that focus on entertainment and not being obsessed with “The Message.” Fans want writers and directors who respect the fans and also respect the comic book characters that they are handling in the movie.
Black Adam is quite like an old-school MCU movie. It is not intelligent and it is not deep. But, it is fun and entertaining and never insults the fans. Sign me up for more if this is the direction that the DCEU is going to take in the future. And hopefully, the people associated with the DCEU films will conduct themselves like The Rock when it comes to the fans.
It has been all over the news, Henry Cavill is back as Superman. We knew that Cavill was set to appear in an after-credit scene in Black Adam. However, what was unclear was if Cavill’s after-credit appearance was simply a one-off or something more. Well, wonder no more. Cavill posted the following to his Instagram account.
Henry Cavill on Instagram: “A very small taste of what’s to come, my friends. The dawn of hope renewed. Thank you for your patience, it will be rewarded. #Superman”
Henry Cavill shared a post on Instagram: “A very small taste of what’s to come, my friends. The dawn of hope renewed. Thank you for your patience, it will be rewarded. #Superman”. Follow their account to see 532 posts.
Hell yeah. This is how it should have always been. It was idiotic that Warner Bros. was ready to junk Henry Cavill as Superman.
Of course, The Rock continues to be killing it on Twitter regarding the DCEU. The Rock wasted no time sending this message to Cavill.
Dwayne Johnson on Twitter: “We fought for years to bring you back. They always said no.But to @DanyGarciaCo @hhgarcia41 & myself no” was not an option.We can’t build out our DCEU w/out the world’s greatest superhero.And fans will always come first. Welcome home.I’ll see you down the road.~ #BlackAdam pic.twitter.com/5HLtxm7a6y / Twitter”
We fought for years to bring you back. They always said no.But to @DanyGarciaCo @hhgarcia41 & myself no” was not an option.We can’t build out our DCEU w/out the world’s greatest superhero.And fans will always come first. Welcome home.I’ll see you down the road.~ #BlackAdam pic.twitter.com/5HLtxm7a6y
If The Rock played a major role in having Cavill return as Superman, then this is yet another reason for me to love my fellow University of Miami alumnus!
There were plenty of rumors about why Warner Bros. wanted to move on from Henry Cavill. There were rumors that the plan was to replace Batman with Leslie Grace’s Batgirl and replace Superman with Sasha Calle’s Supergirl. These rumors suggested that a new Justice League would spin out of the events in the upcoming Flash movie.
There were also rumors of a battle between Warner Bros. and Cavill about the amount of money Cavill should be paid for continuing to play the role of Superman. There were also rumors that Warner Bros. wanted to distance itself from the Synderverse. The belief was that Cavill was too tightly tied to the Snyderverse and that all vestiges of the Snyderverse needed to be swept away.
Look, I hated Man of Steel. But, my dislike of Man of Steel was due to Zack Snyder not understanding Superman’s character at all. My criticism of Man of Steel had nothing at all to do with Cavill. Poor Cavill had to do what he was directed and scripted to do.
Justice League was also awful. From top to bottom, it was a terrible movie. Again, none of it was Cavill’s fault. Cavill did not write the movie. Cavill did not direct the movie.
Cavill is a fantastic Superman. In the hands of the proper writers and director, Cavill has the chance to become the best Superman since Christopher Reeves. Hell, Cavill might even end up rivaling Reeves if he is given good enough material and direction to work with. Seriously, there is no other actor I would rather see play Superman at this point.
James Gunn and Peter Safran
Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav has hired James Gunn and Peter Safran to replace Walter Hamada as the co-heads of DC Studios. I was never a fan of Hamada at all. I disliked many of his ideas for the direction of the DCEU. So, having Hamada replaced is definitely a good thing.
The hiring of James Gunn and Peter Safran to serve as co-heads of DC Studios seems like a great idea at first blush. The two men will focus on different sides of DC Studios. Safran will handle the business and production side of the studio. Gunn will focus on the creative side of the studio.
I like the pairing. I have no problem with having co-CEOs of DC Studios. Placing all of your eggs in one person’s basket can be tricky. Often, an executive may be excellent at the business side of things, but be lacking in the creative side of the business. The splitting of duties between Gunn and Safran plays to the strengths of each man.
Safran has a good pedigree as a producer. Safran has been a producer on Aquaman, Suicide Squad, Peacemaker, and Shazam. Warner Bros. and Safran have been working together for a decade including the Conjuring horror franchise.
Gunn obviously has a ton of experience with superhero movies from both Marvel and DC. I am a bit hot and cold with Gunn’s work. Having said that, Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy is my favorite MCU movie of all time. I also enjoyed much of the Peacemaker HBOMax show. So, all in all, I am fine with the selection of Gunn to run the creative side of DC Studios.
What is fascinating is that not everything related to DC Comics will be under the direction of Gunn and Safran. Separate creative universes outside the DCEU will continue to exist and operate outside of Gunn and Safran. This would include the upcoming Joker sequel from Todd Phillips, as well as Matt Reeves’ future Batman projects.
I love that Zaslav is taking this approach with DC Comics properties. I know that Zaslav has repeatedly said that he needed his version of Kevin Feige to run DC Studios. That a single creative person guiding the overall direction of all the DCEU films and shows was vitally important. And I agree to some extent. However, the last thing I want to see is for DC Studios to simply ape Marvel Studios.
Sure, the shared MCU universe binding all the movies and TV shows together worked for a good while. However, Feige ruling everything with an iron fist is starting to wear thin. Feige has been the President of Marvel Studios since March 2007. That is a long time for a single person to call all the shots for every Marvel movie and TV show. Over the past few years, cracks have formed in the foundation of the MCU as it buckles under the weight of everything having to connect to each other. Not only that, but everything from Marvel Studios looks and feels the same. That is a problem when one person controls the direction of every movie and TV show.
I dig the fact that Zaslav is going to allow other people with different visions for the DCU and their characters a chance to deliver movies outside the DCEU. The Joker is an excellent example of the massive financial success this direction can lead.
At any rate, this is as bullish as I have ever been about the DCEU. It seems that Zaslav understands what needs to be done to make DC Studios successful and is willing to put the right people in place to make his vision a reality. I am genuinely excited to see where DC Studios goes from here.