Wonder Woman 1984 director Patty Jenkins appreciates the shared universe format of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but doesn’t think it should be the status quo for superhero movies. Back in 2008, audiences were surprised when a scene tucked at the end of the credits for Iron Man hinted the movie existed within a broader universe, something that seemed unheard of at the time. The MCU changed the superhero movie landscape by setting all of the standalone films within the same world, thus allowing their characters to cross over and appear in other adventures outside of their solo franchises. Now twenty-three movies in, the MCU has become the biggest film franchise of all time, and will even expand to television (again) later this year with shows on Disney+.
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Marvel’s biggest competitor, DC, looked to follow in their footsteps with the creation of the DC Extended Universe. Initially, the franchise focused on building up to Justice League as its major team-up movie, akin to the MCU’s The Avengers. However, the building blocks – Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad, etc. – proved to be less than stable, and Justice League itself faltered on arrival both financially and critically. As a result, DC has begun to move away from the shared universe format by putting more focus on each individual film.
Jenkins, who previously directed 2017’s Wonder Woman, praised DC’s approach in a recent issue of Total Film magazine (via ComicBookMovie.com). She appreciates the way DC movies don’t resemble those that came before; for example, Birds of Prey was nothing like Joker. When it comes to the shared universe format, Jenkins acknowledged that Marvel found success with it and that’s good for them, but added, “But that certainly shouldn’t be the status quo. I think you should look at comic books. There’s this huge variety of comic books, and their look and tone and world are radically different.”
Jenkins then went on to explain superhero movies don’t always blend together, saying, “Sometimes they do, and that’s really fun, and that’s that thing. But a lot of times, they have their own run. I’m psyched that DC – and frankly, Marvel’s actually doing it a little bit more now, too, with some of the tone of Thor: Ragnarok, and Black Widow and Doctor Strange – they feel very different in tone.” Jenkins nearly joined the MCU herself years ago with Thor: The Dark World, but chose to step away because she didn’t want to be blamed for its failures. DC clearly seems to be a better fit for her, as Wonder Woman was incredibly well-received when it was released and Wonder Woman 1984 is one of the most anticipated movies of the year (provided it still arrives within said year).
Jenkins makes a fair point about the differences between DC and Marvel. Both have their strengths, and both have their weaknesses. The shared universe format works well for Marvel, especially since they’ve had years to perfect it. With DC, it didn’t work out as well, so they’re shifting to a strategy that’s better suited for them. While future DC films might still exist within the same universe, it likely won’t be in the same way as Marvel movies do. After all, the MCU‘s approach doesn’t necessarily work for everyone, and it shouldn’t have to.
Source: Total Film (via ComicBookMovie.com)
Key Release Dates
- Black Widow (2020)Release date: Nov 06, 2020
- Eternals (2021)Release date: Feb 12, 2021
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)Release date: May 07, 2021
- Spider-Man: Homecoming 3 (2021)Release date: Nov 05, 2021
- Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)Release date: Feb 11, 2022
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)Release date: Mar 25, 2022
- Black Panther 2 (2022)Release date: May 06, 2022
- Captain Marvel 2 (2022)Release date: Jul 08, 2022
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