No one could’ve predicted how the 2020 year in movies was going to go – not by a longshot. The Coronavirus Pandemic has shattered all scheduling expectations for major franchises – DC and Marvel movies chief among them. While fans will now have to wait longer for films like Black Widow, Wonder Woman 1984, The Batman, and Thor: Love & Thunder, this chaos has also presented a rare opportunity for DC.
By the time fans are heading back into theaters, there will be a something of a fresh start feel to things, and at the moment, DC has all the right ingredients to actually get ahead of Marvel in terms of both branding and profits, with the upcoming slate of films. If you can get past that statement without already taking to the comments in anger, here’s the breakdown of why DC and Warner Bros. have been setting themselves up to have a real chance to overtake the competition:
For the first time since about 2008, Marvel has the rare vulnerability of having to sell a whole slate of new character films to the public. Shang-Chi, The Eternals, a female version of Thor, Black Widow out on her own… These are all potential big new winners for Marvel, but they are not proven yet.
DC, meanwhile, has a slate of films coming in the next two years that are already poised to be hits. A Wonder Woman sequel, a new Batman movie, and a new version of Suicide Squad from one of Marvel’s most beloved directors (James Gunn, a brand within himself)… As far as big “event” films worth seeing in theaters (an even more serious consideration nowadays), DC is stacked really nicely for the next year or so.
Benedict Cumberbatch, Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman are Marvel veterans fans will rally to see, no doubt, and even the untested property that is Eternals is bringing out big guns like Angelina Jolie, and Salma Hayek, and Thor 4 will boast former Batman Christian Bale as its villain. Marvel has a pretty stacked deck, as usual.
However, DC isn’t slouching, either. Gal Gadot and Jason Momoa are now international stars thanks to their DC films; Robert Pattinson (love or hate him) is a major draw for The Batman; and The Suicide Squad has names like Margot Robbie, Viola Davis, Idris Elba, Nathan Fillion, Michael Rooker, and Taika Waititi attached. That’s just scratching the surface of casting we know at this time, with projects like Aquaman 2 and The Flash potentially nabbing more big stars to rival Marvel’s lineup.
Marvel is bringing us a crop of new directing talent (Destin Daniel Cretton, Cate Shortland, Chloe Zhao) and some growing talent (Taika Waititi, Ryan Coogler). However, DC is about to come with lineup of not only proven blockbuster genre talent, but directors that have become distinguished for crafting their own unique visions of blockbuster genre blends.
The DC lineup includes Matt Reeves (Dawn & War For the Planet of the Apes) for THe Batman; Andy Muschietti (IT 1 &2) for The Flash; James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy) for The Suicide Squad; David F. Sanders (Lights Out, Shazam!) and of course, Patty Jenkins’ already-stylish signature for Wonder Woman 1984. In terms of standout cinema, DC has a nice edge in terms of creative talent.