Younger Superman’s reboot for the new DCU puts upcoming movies in a tricky position, and DC Studios is left with a tough but necessary choice.
Superman’s redesign raises concerns about the redesign of other Justice League characters in the new DCU. While Ben Affleck is still expected to reprise his role as Batman in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom and The Flash Movie, future hero recasts for the new DCU are likely likely. With a slate of movies still on the horizon ahead of the DCU reboot, it’s hard to determine which stories and heroes will intersect or connect to the new DCU continuity, if any.
Reboots and revamps are becoming more common, but that doesn’t make them any less disappointing when they happen unexpectedly. These sudden changes can potentially negatively impact the box office success of films already in production with these characters/actors. Continuing to move forward with these projects puts DC Studios in an awkward position, potentially marking DCU’s rebranding as a mistake.
Aquaman 2 and The Flash can’t be tied to future movies if a full reboot is coming
Speculation of a wide reboot puts Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom and The Flash Movie in the unfortunate position of possibly being the farewell films for actors Jason Momoa and Ezra Miller reprising the roles of the titular heroes respectively. Additionally, their stories will either have to stand on their own or risk setting up potential future storylines that won’t be produced with the same actors. While The Flash Movie reboot is still technically possible to use as a means of transitioning into a new DCU, it still opens the door to a DC Multiverse that allows characters/actors from “the old DCU” to take over those roles at the future.
Whether DC Studios wants to open that door with a Flash reboot trick remains to be seen. If, however, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom and The Flash Movie aren’t meant to tie into the new DCU, that leaves them hanging somewhat awkwardly in terms of world building and layout. These films are unlikely to have been written with Gunn and Safran’s particular vision in mind, so they’ll either have to undergo last-minute edits or reshoots, or settle for unfulfilled franchise teases. Standalone stories are good, but only when planned that way from the start.
Why the DCU Needs a Full Reboot Despite a Talented Cast
Tongue-in-cheek references might work occasionally and even more so for short-lived roles of actors in shared universes, but Superman’s recasting for the DCU as younger justifies a full DCU reboot. Getting some of the old DCU back into the new DCU might seem like a safe middle ground, but it limits what can come next. Despite an excellent overall performance from the former DCU cast, their longevity in reprising these roles over the next ten years may be questionable. A new DCU and a younger cast can leave behind the Synderverse drama on-screen and off-screen for a fresh start.
DC Studios needs to commit and execute a clear direction for its cinematic universe with a cast that is there for the long haul as well. Therefore, a full reboot is a difficult but necessary solution to reinvigorate the franchise. A younger Superman gives the new DCU time to reboot and rebuild the franchise in a way it deserved to be built from the start.
Even though James Gunn’s DCU plan involves some Snyderverse actors crossing over into the new DCU as new characters or reprising roles from the old DCU, a distinction must be made clear about what to expect as part of the new continuity of the DCU. That being said, ” [building] on what’s worked in DC so far” shouldn’t risk further complicating the new DCU by mixing up the old with the new. The old had strengths, but the new can and should be better.
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