Keyword: DC Studios multiverse
Currently, we are all waiting for James Gunn and Peter Safran’s plans for the DC Universe. As co-CEOs of the new DC Studios, it’s up to them to herald in the new age of DC Comics characters in live-action for Warner Bros. Discovery. Joining only in November 2022, the duo is expected to present their plan for a shared DC universe of live-action movies any day now. During all of this, some fan-favourite actors are already confirmed as not being part of Gunn’s plans for the DCU. Such as Henry Cavill’s Superman and The Rock’s Black Adam. However, there’s a very easy way for James Gunn to create a DC Studios multiverse story. Both Gunn, Safran and the fans can all have their cake, and eat it too. Here’s how.
Understanding Multiverses And Their Impact
First of all, for decades, movie studios have shied away from the idea of a multiverse. Even though DC Comics and Marvel Comics have had crossover events featuring some kind of a multiverse for decades. Everything from DC Comics Crisis stories (all of them) to Marvel Comics’ Ultimates line of stories have been about the Multiverse. So why couldn’t they work in live-action?
Well, the fear was always that general movie-going audiences will not buy into the idea of multiple realities, and various versions of popular characters they love. A 2.5-hour movie was tight enough to introduce 1 lead character with superpowers, their history, background, development and arc in one particular movie. To then introduce multiple iterations of the same character in the same movie would be ‘too confusing’. However, movies with Multiverse stories existed before the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Other Multiverse Movies
The fan favourite Jet Li, at the peak of his career in the early 2000’s, did a movie called, The One. The idea was how a villain, played by Jet li, travelled through the multiverse, killing versions of himself so that their energy would flow into him, making him stronger. That is until he came across one version of himself (also Li) who would stop him.
More recently, one of the greatest Spider-Man movies of all time saw a story deeply rooted in the concept of a multiverse. Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse was all about various Spider-Men from various multiverses coming together to fight a common threat. The film won an Oscar and will see two sequels in the coming years.
Cut to today, and Everything Everywhere All At Once is one of the hottest and most surprising hits of the year. The story is about a meek Asian woman with a dull life, finding the courage to fight, using skills she borrows from all the other versions of herself, from all other realities. So clearly, audiences aren’t confused’ by multiverse stories. And here’s how DC Studio’s multiverse can take advantage of that.
DC Studios Multiverse Needs A Quick Tweaking
Currently, there are 4 movies releasing that are still part of the DCEU and not part of the newly created DC Studios run by Peter Safran and James Gunn. The debate over, wether audiences should even watch these movies if they’re not connected to the now defunct DCEU, is silly. Of course, they should, because they might be good movies, even if they don’t connect.
But the movie I’m most interested in, that might help create a DC Studios multiverse is The Flash. Given that the story of The Flash sounds like it’s going to be a variation of the Flashpoint Paradox story, it’s the perfect movie to launch a multiverse story in DC. And it would be very easy to do.
How DC Studios Can Take Advantage Of Current Multiverse Craze
If re-shoots are out of the question, given the movie has already wrapped, there’s another way. I’m assuming that at some point, Barry Allen as Flash (Ezra Miller) will open a portal to the Speed Force, as he did at the end of Zack Snyder’s Justice League. During this Speed Force portal, the movie can easily posit that this is the entry point to other realities and universes. Similar to how they depicted the same thing in The CW’s Flash series. Which is how they could give us the DC Studios Multiverse.
When the Speed Force portal opens, it could showcase almost like a sizzle reel of footage from all existing DC movies based on DC Comics characters. The Snyderverse films, Henry Cavill as Superman, Harley Quinn and the Birds Of Prey, Phoenix’s Joker, and Pattinson’s Batman. Even older footage of George Reeves’ Superman, Keaton’s Batman, and so much more. Showing them within the Speed Force portal would either imply, or they could explicitly state, that all these stories are all from various other realities, where variations of the characters we know exists. Thereby officially making all those other franchises, canon within the DC Studios, but as separate realities.
The Benefits Of A DC Studios Multiverse Approach
This way, after the events of the Flash movie, whether or not this iteration of the Flash ends up in the new DC Studios or not, the movie will make canon every version before and after as just another reality in the DC Studios multiverse. So if James Gunn does reboot the DCEU, then an entirely new universe with new actors playing the iconic characters will be something that Gunn and Safran build out.
While at the same time, anything that came before, can still exist as another reality, allowing other creators or storytellers to revisit them somewhere down the line. With those same cast members. So if 10 years into the new DCU, they want to do a multiverse story, like Marvel Studios is now doing with Dr. Strange Madness In The Multiverse or the Loki series, they absolutely have the option to do so.
Same Actors Have Already Played Different Versions Of Themselves Before
Imagine Henry Cavill returning an a much older Superman in a Kingdom Come storyline years from now in the DCU. Similar to how Brandon Routh got another bite at the apple as Superman from 2006’s Superman Returns, in the CW Arrow-verse crossover. Also how John Wesley Shipp played Barry Allen in the first live-action Flash in 1990, but then returned as the Golden Age Flash, Jay Garrick of another reality in the CW Flash series. Why, even Ezra Miller’s Flash from the DCEU has crossed over with The CW’s Flash, Grant Gustin. So it’s not unprecedented, even within other DC live-action franchises.
And If they want, other creators can even do sequels or new stories with those former DCEU characters and actors, since they would exist in a universe of their own, disconnected from the main DCU. Similar to how, apparently, Matt Reeves’ Batman universe and Todd Phillips’ Joker movies will co-exist but be independent of one another, and any other DCU story. It’s the best of all worlds!
What do you think of my idea for a DC Studios multiverse? Do you think it’s feasible or will it get ‘too confusing’ for general audiences for there to be multiple Batmen and Supermen running around in their own movies and TV shows?
Let me know in the comments below!