Back in 2013, five years after the start of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Warner Bros. attempted to replicate the success by using ‘Man Of Steel’ to launch the DCEU (DC Expanded Universe). With that film being a moderate, yet divisive, success the studio fully hitched their wagon to Zack Snyder’s Ayn Randian, nihilistic, dead end style of storytelling.
Either Snyder didn’t tell the studio his plan or there wasn’t one and, as soon as it became apparent what kind of story he was trying to tell, the rug was quickly pulled from under him. Warner Bros wanted a franchise that could run for decades, not their main heroes dead by the end of the second ‘Justice League’ film and Lois Lane pregnant with Bruce Wayne’s child.
This has lead to the level of quality of the DCEU films being wildly all over the place with every success followed by a crushing failure with the filmmakers constantly second-guessing what audiences want and no direction for the line. For every ‘Wonder Woman’ there is a ‘Wonder Woman 1984’. We have now even reached the point where fully shot films (‘Batgirl’) are being binned, with the studio preferring to take a tax write off than risking more damage to the brand, and multiple delays to all films with the hope that something can be rejigged enough to be successful.
And don’t get me started on JJ Abrams, a man who took a $500 million dollar production deal with Warners, claimed control of a large amount of DC IP and the proceeded to produce absolutely nothing. Fortunately he has now been all but drop kicked from the lot.
This week sees the latest attempt to inject some life into the DCEU with the release ‘Black Adam’. This is Dwayne Johnson’s passion project and he seems to be trying to make sure that this will happen through sheer force of will and charisma and if rumours are to be believed the audience might finally be getting what they want.
Here are the top five DCEU films as decided by user rating on IMDb.
(Note – This list ignores ‘Zack Snyder’s Justice League’. The film is consider separate to the DCEU and its rating was inflated by fanatics and bots.)
5. Aquaman (2018) 6.8/10 from 469,238 ratings
4. Shazam! (2019) 7/10 from 332,233 ratings
3. Man Of Steel (2013) 7.1/10 from 766,128 ratings
2. The Suicide Squad (2021) 7.2/10 from 344,669 ratings
1. Wonder Woman (2017) 7.4/10 from 653,288 ratings
‘Black Adam’ is released on 21st October.
What’s your favourite DCEU film? Comment below.