Brace yourself: Warner Bros. has a new plan for the DC movie universe

DC Entertainment is developing its movie franchise in a new direction. Instead of following Marvel‘s example with an interconnected universe, Warner Bros. will expand with more standalone spinoffs.

In an extensive profile at Vulture, DC producers and writers discussed their plans to reshape the franchise. Instead of rebooting from scratch (which at this point would be a huge risk), they’re going to shake things up with films already in production, like Aquaman. “There’s no insistence upon an overall story line or interconnectivity in that universe,” explained DC Entertainment president Diane Nelson.

Batman v Superman and Justice League follow the same model as the Marvel Cinematic Universe, creating crossovers between connected sub-franchises. However, Wonder Woman proved that Warner Bros. could launch a massively popular DC movie with minimal connection to its other stories.

In the words of writer/producer Geoff Johns, “Moving forward, you’ll see the DC movie universe being a universe, but one that comes from the heart of the filmmaker who’s creating them.” So Aquaman will function as a standalone movie like Wonder Woman, even though the character will first be introduced in Justice League.

This also clarifies DC’s plans for the Joker. Many people were confused by the idea of a retro Joker backstory movie from producer Martin Scorsese. Does that mean they’re scrapping Jared Leto‘s modern-day Joker? Not necessarily. It just means Warner Bros. has a more relaxed attitude to continuity—kind of like how the comics can support multiple Batman books at the same time.

As for DC Entertainment’s overall creative direction, Warner executive Jon Berg says they routinely discuss four things: “Heart, heroics, humanity, and humor.” It sounds like they’ve learned some positive lessons from Wonder Woman‘s success.

H/T to Vulture

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