Is the DCEU Becoming the BEU?
Posted by: Bill "Jett" Ramey (Follow @BATMANONFILM)
Date: December 16, 2016

Is the DCEU turning into the BEU – Batman Extended Universe?

In a way, yes it is.

And frankly, it’s been going that direction ever since they decided to put Batman in what was going to be a MAN OF STEEL sequel.

Yes, I know that WONDER WOMAN – the next DCEU film from Warner Bros. which is hitting theaters in June ’17 – isn’t a Batman movie. However, Batman – or Bruce Wayne more likely – is definitely in it.

Then there’s JUSTICE LEAGUE. Hell, it might as well have been titled “Batman and His Amazing Friends” or something like that. Does anyone think that Ben Affleck’s Batman isn’t the central and main character in this movie? I thought so.

Currently, the DCEU is three films in, and two of them have been Batman-centric, if you will. MAN OF STEEL was a straight-up Superman film. BATMAN v SUPERMAN was supposed to be a sequel to MOS, but ended up being a team-up film with – you guessed it – Batman pretty much being the main character. And while Batman only cameoed in SUICIDE SQUAD, anyone want to try to argue that it wasn’t kinda-sorta a Batman film? The three main stars of the movie – Will Smith, Margot Robbie, and Jared Leto – were portraying Deadshot, Harley Quinn, and The Joker, respectively, and all are Batman characters. Furthermore, Warner Bros. made sure to include Batman in all aspects of SUICIDE SQUAD’s marketing – including merchandise.

While SUICIDE SQUAD wasn’t a Batman movie ala THE DARK KNIGHT or BATMAN ’89, it definitely resides in the Batman sector of the DCEU.

Now, let us move on from what has already come and gone, past the aforementioned 2017 releases, and look at what DCEU projects we know are coming relatively soon.

It appears that we’re about to have three DCEU movies filming in 2017 (perhaps even concurrently) and likely being released in 2018. Those three films probably are…

THE BATMAN, GOTHAM CITY SIRENS, and AQUAMAN.

One is a total Batman movie (THE BATMAN), one is a “Batman Family” film (GOTHAM CITY SIRENS), and the third is a non-Batman, solo DCEU film (AQUAMAN).

Anyone want to bet against Ben Affleck’s Batman and/or Bruce Wayne not showing in GCS?

I Didn’t think so. It’s set in Gotham City for pete’s sake! Also, it will star three major Batman characters: Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, and Catwoman…and possibly Jared Leto’s Joker to boot!

Yeah, GCS is totally a Batman film.

Now, when it comes to AQUAMAN, yes, this isn’t a Batman movie. BUT, like WONDER WOMAN, it’s more likely than not that Ben Affleck yet again does a cameo as Bruce Wayne and/or Batman in it – though I don’t think I’d be too keen on that happening. Frankly, if you need Batman in a film – even if it’s nothing more than a brief cameo – to help sell the film to audiences, why make a solo film with Aquaman, The Flash, etc. anyway? That’s a discussion for another day, so ANYWAY…

Here’s betting that going forward with the DCEU post-AQUAMAN, we get the same sort of deal from Warner Bros. – A couple of Batman-related films (SUICIDE SQUAD 2 for example) and maybe, a solo film based on a DC character.

Folks who disagree with me on this topic will say, “Well, they (WB) have already announced a bunch of DCEU films!” as a retort. But that schedule – and all those films included – isn’t set in stone.

THE FLASH – which was one of those scheduled DCEU films – has recently lost yet another director and its status is in limbo. A sequel to JUSTICE LEAGUE was, ahem, “pushed back” in favor Ben Affleck’s THE BATMAN – which wasn’t on that aforementioned schedule. Neither was the recently announced GOTHAM CITY SIRENS which now looks to being joining THE BATMAN and AQUAMAN as 2018 releases.

The point is folks…if you were putting stock and faith in that DCEU films schedule being chiseled in granite, you were fooling yourself.

The bottom line here is that the DCEU schedule and its films are malleable as Play-Doh. Furthermore, it should be obvious to everyone by now that Batman IS the epicenter of the DCEU – and the character and his own universe’s significance is even greater going forward post-BATMAN v SUPERMAN.

Warner Bros. probably views this as a "business decision". For example, look at their animated DC movies as they are, well, very Batman-heavy. Perhaps they believe that same approach will work for their live-action DC movies as well. Batman is, arguably the most popular comic book character amongst the mainstream (though I’ll admit Spider-Man is right there with him), so why wouldn’t Warner hang their hat on him? Batman is bankable and reliable; and like it or not, these films are NOT made for to please fans; they’re made to make money.

Thus, the “BEU”.

(Hell, I could actually see an actual BEU – if indeed Warner Bros. went totally in that direction. There are many solo film possibilities based on characters from the Batman universe – Nightwing, the Birds of Prey, Robin, the Outsiders, Batgirl, Harley Quinn, Deadshot, and others.)

Sure, it’s very likely that we’ll see a few DCEU films after 2018 that won’t include Batman in some capacity. (And I very much hope that’s the case. I don’t want to see Batman show up in, say, GREEN LANERN CORPS – if that one even gets made, of course.) Regardless, I suspect Batman and his world will be leaned on heavily with the DCEU going forward. - Bill "Jett" Ramey

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