Fury of the Gods is the end of DC movies as we know them – The Hollywood Reporter

The dawn of a new DC Universe is upon us, with James Gunn and Peter Safran planning a new slate of film, TV and game projects. But before we get to that, we have nine months of what feels like the last gasps of the DCEU, coming to an end, almost poetically, a decade after it debuted with Steel man in 2013.

The first released is that of David F. Sandberg Shazam! Fury of the godsFollowing Shazam! (2019), which turned out to be a modestly sized hit and was seen as another course-correcting step in the right direction for the DC franchise, the third to be exact, but who’s counting? Some critics even called it the best DCEU movie to date. A sequel should, in theory, be a big draw as the opening salvo for the other three DC movies scheduled for this year, the flash, blue beetleAnd Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. So why does it feel like the DCEU is limping towards a conclusion rather than culminating in a celebration of a decade of storytelling?

First reactions on social networks Fury of the gods were enthusiastic and positive, while reviews were relatively positive, albeit milder than the original. But box office projections suggest a less enthusiastic opening. Certainly, aware of the numbers facing the film, the marketing of Warner Bros. and from New Line for the movie has become a desperate plea to “come see,” with TV spots spoiling the movie’s big cameo that somehow feels sadder and sadder than black adam Star Dwayne Johnson nearly revealed Henry Cavill’s Superman cameo during the red carpet press.

So what is it Fury of the gods who prevents him from being a lightning rod? Well, it depends on a number of factors. While the sequel doesn’t lack for talent, bringing in Helen Mirren, Lucy Liu, and Rachel Zegler as antagonists. They play the Daughters of Atlas – Hespera, Kalypso, Anthea, respectively, non-comic book characters. This makes it a bit more difficult in terms of marketing and directing audiences to specific comics that they can reference and get excited about. The second problem is that Shazam’s most iconic antagonist, Black Adam, got a solo movie, which flopped at the box office last year, and stole the thunder of any possibility that audiences Shazam vs. Black Adam had been hoping since the movies were announced. But the biggest rock that stands in the way of Fury of the gods is that with a new DC Cinematic Universe on the way, what are audiences invited to invest in?

Now, you could say that the merits of the film should be considered individually, and not in terms of what it sets up, or post-credits scenes that may never come to fruition in another film. In fact, that’s what I would say myself. See the movie for the movie and not for the quality of its trailer. But I think, if we’re being realistic, that’s not how people watch these movies, at least not entirely. A Shazam movie that has the guaranteed promise of a showdown with Black Adam or the character joining the Justice League just plays differently with audiences than a Shazam movie that teases the return of Sivana and the Monster Society of Evil in a movie that doesn’t seem likely to happen. It shouldn’t be like that, but it is. Already, social media chatter has returned to the same question about those pre-reboot movies, “what’s the point?” The point is to see a good movie, but I don’t know if that’s a strong enough argument for a franchise that, at least critically, but not for me personally, has had more hits than misses.

While new DC Films co-director James Gunn said everything is on the table to possibly continue in the DCU, and Shazam!, at least the first movie, has no continuity break references, it all seems a bit confusing in explanation to audiences who have been told a reboot, with a new Batman and Superman, is coming. Words like “soft reboot”, with elements of The Suicide Squad And Peacemaker grandfathered, may be tossed, and it might be, but that means nothing to the general public who have been brought up on MCU movies highlighting a single continuity in which “everything matters,” although it’s is a marketing ploy. But it’s a scheme people believe in, and it’s something that Warner Bros. Discovery hasn’t when it comes to their current crop of DC Films, which between the frequent changes in leadership, the adversarial nature of the films, actors uncertain of their future like these characters, and an entire Batgirl movie being shelved, the current situation has taken a “hey, we don’t really know if that still matters” stance.

Gunn’s announcements about Chapter 1: Gods and Monsters, the start of the DCU, was certainly exciting and, in general, made a lot of people more optimistic about DC’s future onscreen, outside of the Batman movies, than they have been in a long time. . But we have the impression that the announcement is made at the expense of films whose release is already planned and which do not fall under this. It reminds when 20e Century Fox is out dark phoenix And The New Mutants after the Disney merger, and everyone was already anticipating the rebooted version of the MCU’s mutants. And of course, we can hope that the quality of DCEU movies this year will surpass those movies, but if the marketing for Fury of the godswho hasn’t even played a Super Bowl spot, is an indication of what we can expect for the rest of 2023, so it looks like WBD is already counting its losses and really just hoping for Michael Keaton’s return as batman can push the flash to a billion.

There’s a lack of clarity as to how these DCEU films connect to the DCU of Gunn and his co-boss Peter Safran, if at all, and the wait-and-see approach may make the most sense, but it also does not sell tickets. Fury of the gods was originally supposed to come out after the flash, and Sandberg recently gave this as the reason for costume changes in the film, which have now changed simply because of magic. It’s not a big deal. But when we consider that the flash was originally going to lead to some of the changes seen in Fury of the gods And Aquaman and the Lost Kingdomwith now-deleted cameos referencing these events, it feels like the issues of a comic book event have been mixed up and pages removed.

In the same way, the flash, the next film set to be released, would serve as a conclusion to the DCEU and a set-up for the DCU. And it would be nice if it wasn’t immediately followed by blue beetlewhich is supposed to launch a new franchise and the Aquaman sequel which was to be the second chapter of a trilogy. Oh, and by the way, Jason Momoa will likely be playing a different character in the DCU, but according to Peter Safran he won’t be playing two different characters, which contradicts Momoa’s statement that he will always be Aquaman. So what we have is the end of a cinematic universe and a new one being born simultaneously and potentially using pieces of the ending one if it seems financially viable, which even for comic book fans is an overly complicated crisis.

It would be great to see these 2023 DC movies succeed, both financially and critically, and maybe Fury of the gods will beat predictions and show that audiences are still invested in these films despite a behind-the-scenes reboot. But I think there needs to be some clarity on where these franchises stand in terms of the DCU. If the plan is to end them here, within the confines of the DCEU, then I think the audience deserves some definitive conclusions and a transition that makes sense, like the flash being a true finale and leading into a reboot rather than the DCEU ending with an Aquaman sequel kicking off a third installment that the studio doesn’t actually plan on doing. Whether you’re excited about the DCU or not, I think the actors and filmmakers who contributed to a decade of stories unfolding in the DCEU at least deserve clarity and nobility as they deliver this final chapter.

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