While the restructuring of Warner Bros. Discovery continues, new details on the plans of the company’s president, David Zaslav, DC offer hope for a mirror of Marvel’s cinematic success.
The success of Marvel Studios is undeniable. The Marvel Cinematic Universe fanbase is one of the largest franchise fanbases in the world, and the studio’s theatrical releases regularly break box office records. But it wasn’t always like that. Marvel has steadily grown its brand and the marketing of its characters over the past 15 years, beginning with the release of Iron Man and the launch of the MCU in 2008. Previously, DC was generally considered the more commercial of the two major comic book companies.
Now the chairman of Warner Bros. Discovery’s David Zaslav hopes to see DC succeed on the same scale as Marvel with a major overhaul from DC Films. DC’s more recent films have generally been well-received, but there’s no denying that while DC occasionally produces a one-shot, they lack the kind of consistency and fan engagement that the MCU has favored. All of this means the pressure is on in Zaslav’s current search for a new DC boss at Warner Bros. Discovery.
Much of Marvel Studios’ success can be attributed to studio president Kevin Feige. Although the MCU looks like a franchise in itself, it is really a vast interconnected network of small franchises – avengers, guardians of the galaxy, strange doctor, etc. Each series comes with its own cast and crew. Feige has been the man at the top since day one, overseeing all production at Marvel Studios and creating the overarching narrative threads that have driven the Marvel Cinematic Universe from Iron Man at Avengers: Endgame and beyond.
DC has generally lacked this same oversight. There have been attempts to find an equivalent to Marvel’s Kevin Feige in the past, but with limited success. Efforts to build an interconnected universe of the same type as the MCU, as of 2013 Steel man and its 2016 sequel Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice, waded on the rocks of public opinion. While Zack Snyder’s DC entries certainly have their ardent fans, they have generally failed to impress mainstream audiences. After Warner Bros.’ recent merger with Discovery, the new company is set to start rebuilding DC again, though finding someone to take the top spot proves no easy feat for David Zaslav.
As Puck reports in his latest newsletter, Kevin Feige’s impressive track record and the inevitable DC/Marvel comparisons make DC one of “entertainment’s most thankless gigs.” The newsletter report notes that few expect Walter Hamada, the current president of DC Films, to be maintained by David Zaslav, who seems determined to reshape DC along the Marvel Studios model. “DZ has decreed that DC is Marvel, so it is!” says a producer.
While the desire to replicate Marvel’s success is understandable, DC is hardly in trouble right now. the flash tests incredibly well and recent DC movies Joker and The Batman were huge hits with the public. The company seems to be on the right track and it is understood that David Zaslav is looking to get Joker director Todd Phillips more involved in future DC projects. Only time will tell if Zaslav’s plans will result in a more consistently successful DC.
Here is the DC synopsis The Batman:
“Two years of stalking the streets as Batman (Robert Pattinson), striking fear into the hearts of criminals, have led Bruce Wayne deep into the shadows of Gotham City. With only a few trusted allies – Alfred Pennyworth (Andy Serkis), Lt. James Gordon (Jeffrey Wright) – among the city’s corrupt network of officials and high-profile figures, the lone vigilante has established himself as the sole incarnation revenge among his fellow citizens.
When a killer targets Gotham’s elite with a series of sadistic schemes, a trail of cryptic clues sends the world’s greatest detective on an investigation into the underworld, where he encounters characters such as Selina Kyle/aka Catwoman (Zoë Kravitz), Oswald Cobblepot/aka the Penguin (Colin Farrell), Carmine Falcone (John Turturro) and Edward Nashton/aka the Riddler (Paul Dano). As the evidence begins to creep closer to home and the scale of the perpetrator’s plans become clear, Batman must forge new relationships, unmask the culprit, and bring justice to the abuse of power and corruption that is rampant. long time in Gotham City.
Directed by Matt Reeves, The Batman stars Robert Pattinson as the titular hero, Zoe Kravitz as Catwoman, Paul Dano as Riddler, Jeffrey Wright as James Gordon, John Turturro as Carmine Falcone, Peter Sarsgaard as Gil Colson, Jayme Lawson as Bella Reál, with Andy Serkis as Alfred Pennyworth, Colin Farrell as The Penguin and Barry Keoghan as The Joker.
The film is now streaming exclusively on HBO Max. Stay tuned for the latest news regarding the future of DC Films and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more content!