It’s no secret that DC’s cinematic universe efforts have experienced some difficulties winning the hearts of both fans and critics. The exception has been the most recent entry in the franchise: the largely standalone Wonder Woman, released earlier this year.
Now it seems that DC is learning from its past mistakes and successes. According to an extensive report by Abraham Riesman over at Vulture, Warner Bros. and DC will be deemphasizing the interconnected DC Extended Universe for future films, following a template set by Patty Jenkins’ blockbuster hit. It’s something that’s been hinted at before, with reports of the standalone Joker prequel and director Matt Reeve’s conflicting statements on whether The Batman would be part of the official connected universe of films, but now DC Entertainment has made the change official.
Moving forward, DC’s superhero films will be divided up into what are ostensibly two separate categories. Some will be films that are technically still set in the same DCEU continuity as Batman v. Superman and Justice League, but instead of cramming everything into one strict ongoing narrative, the films will be allowed to breathe, focusing on individual characters and the specific vision of their respective directors.
The other half will be totally unrelated films, like the upcoming Martin Scorsese Joker origin story, that will be totally outside even that continuity. Those films, which will be released under a new, as-of-yet unnamed side label, sound like a bizarro-world opportunity for filmmakers to play with DC characters no matter how they’re being portrayed in the other set of films. (For example, Jared Leto won’t star as The Joker in the origin film, which is set to be directed by The Hangover’s Todd Phillips.)