One of the major strengths of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe (MCU) is its relative cohesion. Everything from its movies to its Netflix shows all take place in a single, unified world, carried by a shared narrative. Even when Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is dealing with an Inhumans crisis, we still see the effects of Captain America: Civil War. When Daredevil begins in a ruined New York City, we see the direct fallout from The Avengers. In the words of your neighborhood conspiracy theorist: it’s all connected. That’s not so for the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) though, and soon, it may have prove to be the kiss of death for their own fledgling superhero franchise.
The what of it all: DC has commissioned Greg Berlanti to make a Booster Gold movie, but they don’t want the film taking place in the DCEU timeline set in Man of Steel, Batman v Superman, and Suicide Squad. The thing is, even with Warner Bros.’ history of separating Berlanti’s properties on The CW from the main DCEU, it’s a move that does their already struggling franchise no favors.
1. Booster Gold is the hero DC needs, not the one it deserves
For anyone not familiar, Booster Gold is from the future, and as a gifted football player, finds himself banned from the sport after being caught throwing games for gambling purposes. After stealing a collection of devices from a superhero museum, he travels back to our time to use his knowledge of the future to become a superhero himself.
The general tone of the comic is generally humorous, and Nathan Fillion’s named has been bandied about to assume the role. Basically, it’s everything the decidedly humorless DCEU needs to infuse some life into a universe in desperate need of a lift. But Warner Bros. seems to think it wise to separate it entirely.
2. Greg Berlanti is the only person at DC who understands the strengths of their superhero universe
Berlanti is known as the mastermind behind The CW’s expansive (and insanely successful) superhero franchise. He single-handedly proved that comic book characters can work in a full-blown TV series with Arrow, and then pioneered the shared TV universe with The Flash years later.
All this was made possible because Berlanti understands exactly what it is that makes a superhero appealing on-screen, while recognizing the inherent ridiculousness of a dude running around in a leather suit fighting bad guys. If there’s one thing the DCEU needs right now, it’s a guy who knows how to properly use the heroes he’s given, and Berlanti would do just that.
3. Continuing to cordon off the pieces of the DC universe is a losing strategy
Setting itself apart from the MCU is an important goal for DC to accomplish. But it would also serve them well to understand what it is that makes the MCU successful. Part of that is a well-constructed, cohesive story that spans the entirety of their movies and TV shows.
Yeah, Grant Gustin and Stephen Amell aren’t exactly bankable movie stars for the Flash and Green Arrow respectively, but it’s not like Ezra Miller (aka DC’s movie character, Flash) is much bigger. Keeping The CW’s shows out of the DC movie-verse is already a questionable call. To take a whole movie and cordon that off too is downright insanity.
4. No really, the DCEU needs Booster Gold
Part of Booster Gold’s appeal is the fact that he’s generally disliked by the rest of the Justice League heroes, choosing to use his status as a superhero as a means to an easy life. He’s the NASCAR equivalent of a hero, focusing more on marketing his personal brand than actually helping humanity (please, please get Nathan Fillion on board). Because of that, his movie holds all sorts of potential as the hilarious meta-commentary the dismal DCEU needs to lighten the mood.
Having him exist outside of the primary DCEU timeline though demonstrates one thing: that Warner Bros. and DC take their universe far too seriously. We know Marvel is willing to poke fun at itself. Hell, they’re even employing two guys known for their work on Arrested Development and Community as the de facto gatekeepers to their franchise. Meanwhile over at DC, we see the studio trying to distance Zack Snyder’s murder-verse from all semblance of humor and joy. That said, it’s not a good look for the future of the DCEU.
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