David S Goyer, the writer behind Batman Begins and Man of Steel, reflects on the time spent trying to build DC’s cinematic universe.
David S Goyer knows a thing or two about building out cinematic superhero worlds. He wrote 2005’s Batman Begins, a film which laid superb foundations for one of modern cinema’s greatest superhero trilogies, that being Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight films (Goyer penned the other two films as well). He wrote 1998’s Blade before his pen expanded that world into three films too. And yes, he also wrote 2013’s Man of Steel, the first building block in what would become the DC Extended Universe.
You don’t need us to tell you that the DCEU did not work out as intended, either for the creatives involved, nor for the executives who wished to see it generate the incredible profits that Marvel Studios were generating throughout much of the last decade. The DCEU draws to an end later this year, replaced instead by James Gunn’s new-look DCU, and despite producing some great moments will be largely remembered as a missed opportunity.
Considering that he laid the foundation stone, not to mention also writing the franchise’s crossover follow-up, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Goyer has been reflecting on the problems that plagued the series from the beginning. Speaking on the HappySadConfused podcast, Goyer covered a broad array of topics; he revealed that he and director Guillermo del Toro almost worked on a Star Wars film together, and also opened up about his memories of the DCEU.
“I know the pressure we were getting from Warner Bros., which was, ‘We need our MCU! We need our MCU!’ And I was like let’s not run before we walk. The other thing that was difficult at the time was there was this revolving door of executives at Warner Bros. and DC. Every 18 months someone new would come in. We were just getting whiplash. Every new person was like, ‘We’re going to go bigger!’
“I remember at one point the person running Warner Bros. at the time had this release that pitched the next twenty movies over the next ten years. But none of them had been written yet! It was crazy how much architecture was being built on air… This is not how you build a house.”
It’s sad (and yet entirely predictable) that each new profit-focused executive that came was focused solely on getting out big crossover projects that, in Goyer’s own words, had to “go bigger” – ironic, too, considering that’s the exact opposite route that Marvel took to develop its own, far more successful cinematic universe.
Ah well, with a creative firmly in charge this time around, perhaps we’ll see a take on DC’s characters that will can rival Marvel’s success. James Gunn’s DCU opener will also focus on the Man of Steel. Superman: Legacy is set to debut in 2025.
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