So What Happens To The DC Cinematic Universe Now?

So What Happens To The DC Cinematic Universe Now?
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As the reviews of Batman v. Superman have been rolling in, so have your questions about the suddenly shaky future of the DC movies. But if you’re ick of BvS ‘ BS, we’ve also got how Deadpool 2 will handle Cable’s parentage, why the Captain Britain show was never happening, and how to handle non-nerdy family invading your TV time.

Dawn’s Early Plight

J. Lex:

Greetings Postman,

So, with the rather lacklustre reviews (to put it kindly) for Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, are you expecting the DCEU to be completely derailed now? Or will the fact that it will probably make close to a billion dollars (both domestically and abroad) push Warner Brothers plans onward?

Excellent question! While the reviews are likely giving WB execs pause (or at least making them look up concernedly from their mounds of cocaine) the real question is how much money it’s going to make. Right now, it’s currently tracking for an utterly mind-blowing $US350 ($463) million over its opening weekend, and honestly, I bet it makes it, or at least gets close. I mean, even if it’s bad, who doesn’t want to finally see Batman and Superman together in a movie?

Bad reviews will definitely affect the DC Cinematic Universe (except Wonder Woman, which is too far into production). Warner Bros. will panic — they love panicking — and the Justice League movie is literally set to start filming in just a couple of weeks. We know WB has backed out of superhero movies at the last minute before — including George Miller’s Justice League — but I think the fact that it’s so close to production, and the fact that any delay would cause them to lose one or more of their stars, and the comforting fact that BvS will still have made hundreds of millions of dollars will keep Justice League on track.

But I also think that WB hires someone to babysit Zack Snyder, or at least takes away some creative control. They will let him stay, partially because of BvS‘s financial success, and partially because it’s such short notice. But someone will be given a dump truck of money to try to stop Snyder from making the same mistakes. I also think that WB’s panic delays Aquaman and The Flash until Wonder Woman and/or Justice League Part 1 come out, and they feel confident they’re not just flushing money down a toilet with the DC logo on it.

Watch It

Nathaniel K.:

Dear Mr. Postman, sir,

I have the good fortune of having several siblings and a parent who, while really inside the nerd culture, often enjoy nerdy things. I therefore have the opportunity to watch SF/F TV with them, which is often quite wonderful.

However, perhaps because my siblings and the relevant parent aren’t into nerd culture, they don’t engage with it the way I do. When I squee at cameos/references/easter eggs, my siblings look at me like I was a loon; ditto my refusal to let them fast-forward through “the boring parts” (IE, when the characters are being emotional). The relevant parent, meanwhile, being of an older generation and not having adapted well to modern TV storytelling, is apt to go off on rants about how a given work “didn’t end”, or insist on pausing every five minutes and demanding I explain mythology or backstory (also, a tendency to come into a room whilst I’m in the middle of watching something and interrogate me as to whether every character who appears on screen “is a good guy or a bad guy”).

Needless to say, this sort of thing sometimes makes me irrationally angry. Have you any strategies for not flying off the handle at such provocations?

Different problems require different tactics:

• Is someone interrupting the show/movie, demanding information? Well, if they’re attempting to watch and enjoy it with you, understand that there’s a learning curve to joining any franchise, and try to be patient and understanding. If they’re interested, answer their questions happily and patiently to the best of your ability. Of course, if they are asking questions that would be answered if they just shut up and watched for five minutes, feel free to say, “Watch and see.” But do it happily.

• And if they’re just wandering into the room while you’re watching shit and demanding to know what’s happening, remind them they don’t actually care what the answers are so maybe they could leave you in peace.

• If they give you dirty looks when you see something you really enjoy, remind them of the dumb shit they get excited over and point out you don’t give them grief for it.

• And if your family wants to skip the scenes where the characters show emotions, give them each the Voight-Kampff test from Blade Runner because they are probably replicants.

Stiff Upper Lip

Jason H.:

Postman, there was a rumour that there’s a Marvel “Captain Britain” show in the works. Which seems INSANE on any number of levels, since he’s so tied to the X-World (especially Kitty Pryde) but, since he is magical in nature, Captain Britain should still be a Marvel property.

What if, I asked my misses, the rumour isn’t about a show, but just one character? Is it possible that the Bobbi and Hunter might be popping off to Jolly-old-England in Marvel’s Most Wanted? Shield and the US Disavowed them… but not MI6. Adding Captain Britain to THAT show would make more sense than two separate spin-offs.

What do you think? Do you think the rumour shows what might be in store for B&H? And, just out of curiosity, who would you peg to be on a Marvel Captain Britain show?

I regret to inform you that the rumoured Captain Britain TV series — which was announced by a poster artist, as if Marvel doesn’t slap everyone who works on these things with massive non-disclosure agreements — was in fact a producer’s pitch for a Captain Britain show. As if Marvel is just waiting for people to give them ideas instead of generating all their properties in-house in a careful 10-year plan. Sigh.

That said, Captain Britain would have been a decent fit for Marvel’s Most Wanted, certainly better than having his own TV show. (Please think about how many American TV shows have been set in Britain and starred a British person as the main character. Usually, either the setting or the main character is American.) I assume Marvel’s Most Wanted will be incorporating third-tier Marvel’s heroes and villains, just like Agents of SHIELD does. And since Marvel can’t make an Excalibur show and won’t make a Captain Britain show — no matter how good that pitch is — a guest-star spot on the SHIELD series is best the character will get.

As for who could play Brian Braddock? I asked James, io9’s in-house British person, and he suggested Bradley James from Damian. I don’t know who that is, but it’s fine by me.

The Price Was Rights

Steven W.:

Hey, Mr. Postman Sir,

We all know that the MCU can’t use some of Marvel’s best-known characters because the cinematic rights belong to studios other than Disney.

Does Warner Bros have the same problem with some DC characters? Like, can Plastic Man never appear on “Arrow” because he’s owned by Universal? And if this isn’t the case, how the heck did WB pull that off?

Nope, DC doesn’t have the same problem, mainly because DC was effectively purchased by the major, cash-flush company that would eventually be known as Time-Warner back in 1967, and thus never really had to worry about going bankrupt.

Meanwhile, Marvel did go bankrupt — hard — in 1996. It was so desperate for cash that it started selling rights to its characters to movie studios just in order to keep from closing. In fact, the company was so broke it had to sell the rights cheap, which meant taking terrible deals, which is why Fox and Sony have the X-Men and Spider-Man movie rights basically forever. Even more tellingly, the first X-Men movie made almost $US300 ($397) million. You know how much money Marvel made from it? $US0 ($0).

However, DC does have weird hang-ups about refusing to let Batman and Superman (and occasionally other characters they have plans for) from jumping from movies to TV or vice versa. But that’s purely a mental issue, not a rights issue.


M. H.:

Dear Mr. Postal Guy,

I’ve been watching Star Wars Rebels and one thing about it has felt jarring: Chopper the droid is a psychopath. With usually no direction from any human, he has taken control of guns to shoot down TIE fighters, tased people aggressively, and recently, in all likelihood, beat an Imperial Officer to death with a spare leg strut while spinning like a rocket propelled food processor.

Except for the battle droids in the prequels, which were at least directed under an (evil) military command structure, I can’t think of any Star Wars bot that was such an autonomous cold circuited killer. Are there no laws of robotics governing non-evil-military droids? Is there any precedent for this?

Oh, Chopper is completely insane. He literally tried to murder Ezra once, for no apparent reason other than he could — and Ezra is Chopper’s friend. It was when Chopper was “helping” Ezra train by tossing things at him on the top of their ship, while it was hovering high above the planet Lothal; Chopper tossed shit at him until Ezra fell off, and would have absolutely died had Kanan not coincidentally stopped to check on him, and grabbed him with the Force. Chopper also killed a droid just because he thought it might join the crew. And he opened an airlock in a Star Destroyer, causing many, many Stormtroopers to asphyxiate the cold darkness of space.

In the Star Wars universe, a droid’s morality is programmed; only a very few are programmed to kill, like the bounty hunter IG-88 and those irascible droids from Marvel’s Star Wars comic, OOO and BT-1. But it seems that anyone with the knowledge could make a killer droid, it’s just that most people don’t want to. This is probably a good thing.

Shooting STAR

Silas K:

I’m a big fan of The Flash tv show, but there’s a question that’s been bugging me since its first episode: how does S.T.A.R. Labs stay in business? They built a particle accelerator in the middle of a major city, turned it on once, and shut it down for good. That’s got to be a huge investment, on the order of billions of dollars, that’s never going to return any money. They downsized staff after the disaster (almost completely) but even some two years later Cisco and Caitlyn still seem to be drawing a steady pay check with no other source of income. The lights are all on, and they presumably have money to build all the gizmos they need, pay property taxes, and feed all their super-illegally-detained super-prisoners. When Barry inherited S.T.A.R. Labs, why wasn’t he worried about having millions, possibly billions, of dollars in unexpected debt?

Huh. I’m guessing STAR Labs has a bunch of patents on science crap, which effectively cuts them a fat paycheck every month and which probably goes to the STAR Labs accounting department, which is probably housed off-site or farmed out to some accounting firm somewhere (probably). The bills get paid, the employees get their paychecks.

It’s also possible that the previous Dr. Harrison Wells — who was, of course, Eobard Thawne and from the future — used his knowledge of the past to buy stocks and place bets and things, Biff Tannen-style, to make enough money to be financially solvent for years. And since no one knows that Wells died, Earth-2 Wells should be able to get access to those accounts very easily.

Cable News


Greetings Postman,

Any fans that stayed for the Deadpool post credit scene got their minds blown one: Not only will there be a sequel, but it will be Deadpool & Cable! Now this presents many questions, which comic series are they adapting? Who is going to play Cable?! However, the one that is bugging me the most, is how is this going to fit in the X-Men continuity?

Granted, “Deadpool” pretty much ignored and side stepped this question for the first film, often with a fourth-wall breaking joke (“McAvoy or Stewart? These timelines are confusing.”) and that was fine. However, not only does Cable himself bring inherited links to the X-Men, pretty much any story involving those two is going to involve them somehow unless they cook up something completely new, right?

It doesn’t have to be. In fact, it probably shouldn’t be. Remember that the Deadpool movie takes place in the present day, while the X-Men franchise is currently in the ’80s in the Apocalypse movie. If, say, Apocalypse is set in 1985, and Cyclops and Jean Grey are 18 in that movie, they were born in 1967, this makes then nearly 50 in Deadpool time, which Fox is absolutely not going to approve.

Better for Cable to say he’s Cyclops and Jean Grey’s kid from the future, Deadpool to make a joke about how weird the timeline is, and just move on. Best still to avoid it entirely, and just have Cable be some random dude of mysterious parentage from the future. Seriously, X-Men movie continuity is screwed up enough with bringing Cyclop and Jean’s 50-year-old son from the future into the mix

Have a question? Need advice? Have a “what if” scenario? Email your friendly post-apocalyptic fake mailman here!