After a disastrous few years, the DC Extended Universe is finally being put out of its misery. Despite starting strong with Man of Steel, the DCEU has been on a sharp decline, ensuring that it’ll go out not with a bang but more a pained little whimper.
Almost a decade before the inception of the new DCU, Warner Bros announced a slate of films back in 2014, but that vision hasn’t exactly aged well. Although some films like Wonder Woman and Batman v Superman did indeed come to fruition, they never reached the same level of acclaim as Marvel’s superhero movies. In fact, watching the DC movies in order is kind of a minefield of varying quality – from the good, to the really not so good.
But despite the DCEU underwhelming us in so many ways, it has over-delivered in at least one way. Back in 2014, the DCEU was promised as ten new movies, while in total, they actually delivered us 14 – whether we wanted them all or not, is a different matter.
There were some bright spots, including Superman actor Henry Cavill and Batman actor Ben Affleck, but at the core of the DCEU was some unfortunate mediocrity. Sadly, the cinematic universe could never escape the legacy of Justice League. After director Zack Snyder had to leave following a family tragedy, Joss Whedon drastically changed the film, much to the chagrin of fans and the rest of the cast.
It led to Ray Fisher leaving the role of Cyborg, meaning one of the best DC characters had their time cut short. It also meant we never got to see a Cyborg solo movie, nor a solo Batfleck movie. Despite some confusing messaging in Black Adam, Henry Cavill hung up his cape as Superman, and the first Suicide Squad was so bad, its sequel was more of a reboot. Above all, I’m just grateful we never got another Green Lantern movie.
Still, James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad opened up a whole new world where DC movies could actually be good, leading not only to Peacemaker, but the whole rebirth of the franchise with Chapter 1 Gods and Monsters.
Funnily enough, the best movies from DC in recent years haven’t even been connected to the wider DCEU. Joker and The Batman, for instance, allowed us to understand these DC heroes and DC villains in a darker, more unique way as Elseworlds stories.
Speaking of, check out our guides to The Batman 2 release date and Joker 2 release date. Or, if you’ve already washed your hands with DC, you can look around the other side of the superhero sphere and get excited about Deadpool 3.