Multiverse: a hypothetical group of multiple separate universes including the universe in which humans live. Together, these universes comprise everything that exists: the entirety of space, time, matter, energy, the physical laws and the constants that describe them.
If you’re familiar with DC (as I hope you should be if you’re at a dedicated DC news site), then you should be familiar with the DC Multiverse. A place with 52 different types of Earths and 52 different iterations of some of our favorite Superheroes.
The times are changing with streaming services that are creating original content, while cinemas (in my own opinion) are putting out forgettable, flavor of the week movies. We’re getting Game of Thrones seasons that feel to me, like cinematic, 10 hour films, and exclusive, original films like Bright from Netflix. Allowing the director/creators to have full creative control over how THEIR film should be, without executives meddling or critics steering how a general audience spends their money.
Almost if in response to that, Amazon is creating a film studio that is allowing filmmakers more freedom than ever. The downside, is that has also led to movies becoming generic at the box office because studios want to make films by committee. With a how-much-can-we-squeeze-out of certain name brand franchises, to putting out 3 movies a year to build up to a two-part movie, they’re beginning to feel bland.
Add that, because bloggers/critics want to create imaginary victims in buildings they never see, the general audience is now dictating what content is appropriate for their 4-year-old to watch in a theater, while at the same time, allowing things to become very beige. That color represents safe and mediocrity at its core. In a world full of very colorful Superheros, how did this happen?
If a Superhero movie comes out now, it seems it has to make sure to include quips and jokes in-between serious moments, for fear of taking itself seriously. The filmmaker also has to make sure the audience knows there is NO ONE in danger of being killed in the ensuing brawl from the heroes/villains, because collateral damage is forbidden now except in certain films.
Why should a film highlight real world consequences? No one wants to feel real emotions anymore, I guess? Films used to be about who starred in them and how they made you feel. Now, these movies have become a check box of mainstream sellouts, designed to highlight its next movie. And if the Superhero movie is a stand alone that isn’t connected to a formulaic cinematic universe (i.e. 2 hour episodes with end credits to advertise the next episode), the general audience is offended that a property would even make an original film that begins and ends one time.
To quote Sun Tzu, in The Art of War:
“Engage people with what they expect; it is what they are able to discern and confirms their projections. It settles them into predictable patterns of response, occupying their minds while you wait for the extraordinary moment — that which they cannot anticipate.”
DC has an opportunity of a lifetime right now if they understand that “The greatest victory is that which requires no battle.” They don’t have to create a Cinematic Universe like Marvel Studios has successfully done, nor should they. All this time, critics have been quick to diminish anything DC has done in film, since 2013. In turn, this has damaged what the general audience thinks about their films as well. But what happens if they create something critics nor bloggers can control, and allows who views it to be in control? What happens if talented minds come together to create unique, else world stories, that have no bearing in a cinematic world, but exist outside the continuum?
DC would be able to stand above their competitors when it comes to creating original content on their dedicated streaming service, DC Universe, while also breaking free from the shackles of corporate bureaucracy based on aggregate scores and who makes more than a billion at the box office. They can create lower budget, lower risk but gritty takes on all types of heroes or villains. Which brings me to my main point: The Joker film that Joaquin Phoenix will star in, should be an exclusive on the DC Universe streaming service. Not only would that bring a bigger audience, but that would show all the talent in the world, that DC will become the place creativity will be valued.
Imagine being able to watch The Crime Syndicate from Earth 3 or Superman: Red Son from Earth 30, as a series or even as a film, and not have to worry if the general audience will be confused because this is a different version than the on-screen one. What about Kingdom Come as an animated exclusive or live action? Or what about ‘The Killing Joke’ being the prime story this new Joker film will be based on, and it being R-Rated? DC Universe would have the freedom to pick and choose what content is made, while also being the only major comic property with this type of freedom. Sure, Disney will be removing a lot of their content from Netflix soon, but because Marvel is owned by Disney, will they really allow things to be as ‘free’ as Fox has been with their Marvel Properties? (Think Venom and Deadpool)
If done right, people would be paying to watch content like this, that wouldn’t require EVERYTHING be connected. If the off-chance they did want to connect things, the greatest thing that could happen is ‘Crisis on Infinite Earths’ becomes a real, thought-provoking concept. With all the multiple series they would have, it would allow for a dark and gritty real world setting. Major characters could die without affecting the simple mindedness of anyone not fully understanding that the films and the streaming service are not one in the same. And because DC would be making all of this for the fans actually paying for the service, they wouldn’t need to cater to anyone EXCEPT we, the fans. And if that happens, count me in.
What do you think? Do you think the DC Universe streaming service would benefit with else world tells and series’? Let us know in the comments.