Warner Bros. Admits the DCEU Could Be "Better on the Creative"
The launch of the DCEU has been a critical failure, no matter which way you slice it. But it's been a box office success (unless you compare BvS to Avengers and Suicide Squad to Guardians of the Galaxy), and a huge financial boon to Warner Bros. So while they're still counting the DCEU as a success overall, they admit they could be a little "better on the creative." There's an understatement if we've ever heard one.
During a talk with investors at the Goldman Sachs' Communacopia, Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes said that in spite of the terrible reception from critics and many fans, the DCEU has performed well financially, which is the bottom line.
But he's not entirely cynical (only mostly), and goes on to say that regardless of comparisons to any other Marvel universes, the DCEU has revved up the devoted comics fanbase.
In a sense, this is true. The DCEU hasn't been a complete critical failure, since critics and fans have all been kind to Ben Affleck's Batman, Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn, and Gal Godot's Wonder Woman (just not the movies they're in, yet). Giving Affleck some creative control over the Batman solo movie is a good sign for the franchise, and there's no denying that hardcore DC fans are enthusiastic about these movies. But if the goal is to please both comics fans and a mainstream audience, which they will need to do if they want to rival Marvel's box office haul, then they need to actually make good movies.
In order to address those complaints about "the creative," Bewkes says they're going to increase the lightheartedness of the superheroes, which explains all the jokes in that Justice League footage.
That's one problem with the DCEU, granted, but it's hardly the biggest one. Nolan's movies were dark as well, but they were well-received because their scripts mostly made sense and actually explored the superheroes' philosophies rather than just talking about them loudly. But I suppose that any mea culpa is probably a good sign for the DCEU's future, because at least it looks like DC will make an attempt to course-correct.