Is the DCEU Lost?

One thing is for certain: the DCEU has had one hell of a turbulent ride the last year. It’s undeniable that the film universe has become highly polarized, and with the recent “bomb” that was Justice League there was a feel of “Could this be the end?”. But things (for a moment) had been appearing to stabilize, and the sun started to peek out, with things like Walter Hamada‘s appointment to head of DC Films, and James Wan’s highly anticipated Aquaman.

But now — in cringy fashion — the universe is getting shaky again.

If you remember correctly, there was a rumor that hit the ground running several months back that stated the Joker was getting an origin movie. Of course I laughed it off as someone who values continuity across the board, and in the rumor, it made clear that current Joker actor, Jared Leto, would not be gearing up for this “solo origin movie”.

There was some wishy-washy back and forth over the last few months on whether or not it would actually be happening, but now it’s apparently “confirmed” that Joaquin Phoenix will be starring as the Joker in a Joker Origin. As reported by The Hollywood Reporter,

The Joker origin movie is officially a go at Warner Bros.

Joaquin Phoenix recently finalized his deal to star as the arch-nemesis of Batman and shooting is set to begin in September in New York.

Most may ask why I’m so cautious about something that at face value is good… that’s because we’re getting this very mixed picture out of DC Films. As in THR’s article, they went on to point out, “Warners has a possible second Joker movie in the works as Jared Leto… now has his own solo film project in development.”

Two Joker movies, with two different actors doesn’t look good for a film universe that was supposed to be reeled in by its new Head.

My other concern comes from a recent interview with Dwayne Johnson (who was cast to play Black Adam), in which he was asked what he could tell about the movie, and he responded, “Let’s see, uh, Black Adam is coming along— the script is coming along, uh, I’m very happy with it— that’s a project that obviously you wanna take your time.” That does not send a good message to me on the future of a movie where Johnson was cast as the character 4-years ago.

Johnson also stated, “There’s some reconfiguration going on— there’s, there’s looking at the macro map of the DC Universe.”

And thus my overall point in why it seems the DCEU is a bit lost at the moment, and not sure what it wants to be. On the one hand you have the Zack Snyder vision with Aquaman (and perhaps SHAZAM!), but then wanting to branch out into non DCEU movies like Phoenix’s Joker Origin, and now an unknown overall feeling with Black Adam and the reassessing of the macro universe. It leaves me with an uneasy feeling in the pit of my gut, and hopefully things all fall in line to produce quality movies (and not just quantity).

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