With the news that Marvel and Disney’s plans to dominate film and television just got kicked up a notch by a massive deal with Netflix to churn out four new original programs and a miniseries, it appears that Warner Bros. and DC are now getting in on the whole franchise universe/world conquest gambit.
Guillermo del Toro, who is currently working on Justice League Dark film, spoke to Cinefilos.it about the progress with his project — and spilled that it would be fitting into an entire DC world, something that hasn’t really been discussed at length. Guillermo.
“We’re still on [Justice League Dark], writing, and hopefully it will happen but there are no developments that are new. We’re still at Warner Bros., they are making plans for the entire DC universe. All the superheroes, all the mythologies, and part of that is Justice League Dark. They’re planning on TV, movies, and all the media, so we have to fit into that plan.”
The revelation from del Toro is not all that surprising; with 2015’s Batman vs. Superman on the way, featuring potential appearances by Wonder Woman and Nightwing, and tentative plans for both Justice League and The Flash movies down the pipeline in 2016 and 2017, the door has been open for some time for DC superheroes to have their interconnected heyday. With del Toro’s Justice League Dark, the more monster-y of the DC universe’s characters, like Constantine, Swamp Thing, and Deadman are also headed for the big screen.
While DC has this expansive armory of characters to take from, their current television and film projects have been disjointed affairs, like the CW’s Arrow TV series, Man of Steel, the Batman films, and Green Lantern. Del Toro is not only saying that his film is a go, but that Justice League Dark is fitting into a larger plan for a connected universe; what that universe includes in terms of the specific films and TV shows is still under wraps, but it’s probable (and hopeful) that this means some of the DC characters that haven’t gotten their own features will get a chance to serve some justice. Maybe like that Wonder Woman film we’ve been hearing so much about since the dawn of time?
But the fact that an intertwined DC world is blooming, and even exists at all means that Marvel is going to have a bit of competition coming their way. What DC is lacking at the moment, that Marvel has an abundancy of, is that legitimacy in creating hype around their behemoth of a franchise. Marvel, despite not wanting to be known as “those five characters,” right now has those five to thank for billions and billions in sweet cash money and loyal fans willing to line up at the movie theater for anything that the studio slaps with their label; when they continue to expand, those fans are going to follow. DC doesn’t have that following right now because the Man of Steel fandom and the Batman kids aren’t exactly running in the same crowds yet.
What’s interesting is that Stan Lee has spoken openly about how he created “The Avengers” and “The Fantastic Four” comics after reading “Justice League of America” in the 1960s and seeing its massive success. Now, with The Avengers on top as a movie franchise, Marvel might have to start watching its back; DC has the potential to get back to the top once the Justice League bands together again, especially if Fox keeps X-Men and Fantastic Four and Sony keeps Spider-Man away from Marvel. There’s that caveat to media domination.