Is the DCEU Officially Reset? – TheFantasyTimes

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By Jitin Gambhir

Is the DCEU Officially Reset?

The DCEU was an ambitious project that failed to deliver on its promise. Despite the initial excitement surrounding its release, it quickly became clear that the dark and violent interpretation of iconic characters was not resonating with audiences. Attempts to salvage the franchise with tangential films and new directors fell short, and it seemed like the end was nigh.

Now, with the release of The Flash, many are wondering if this film will be the reset button for the universe. However, the movie’s ambiguous ending and loose ends leave much to be desired. While Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is set to release later this year, it is unlikely to be the saving grace that the DCEU needs.

Luckily, the franchise has new leadership in James Gunn and Peter Safran, who are building a new DCU universe from scratch. They have already begun casting for Superman: Legacy and are developing Blue Beetle. The Flash may have been the final nail in the DCEU’s coffin, but it also presents an opportunity for a fresh start.

The Marvel model of bringing superheroes together to form a team proved successful, but the DCEU fell short. Despite attempts to use time travel and a multiverse to correct their mistakes, they ultimately failed. The Flash may be the reset that the franchise needs, but it remains to be seen if fans will accept it.

In the end, the DCEU was an experiment that did not pan out. However, with new leadership and a fresh start, there is still hope for the DC universe to thrive.

The DCEU was an experiment that never really did what it set out to do. In the end, it started a universal promise that it couldn’t fulfill.

But now that The Flash has been released, does that mean the universe is reset?

What Was the DCEU?

Warner Bros. Pictures


The DCEU was a Zack Snyder creation. At least he was given the reigns to do what he wanted with the DC characters. Unfortunately, his take was one of darkness, violence, and a complete rewrite of how these characters were known in popular culture.

Although some people were happy with the films and others praised their casting (Henry Cavill as Superman and Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman in particular), it was seen as a dead-end endeavor. The studio attempted to make it work with other directors and tangential films, but after Man of Steel, Batman V Supermanand The Justice Leagueaudiences were tired of the darkness and what felt like a misfire of an idea.

Related: DCEU: The Best Superheroes From the Franchise, Ranked

Now, after years in development limbo, The Flash has finally been released in theaters. With Ezra Miller playing the titular character, it has not been a home run for the studio. However, it seemed to have been set up to reset a few major issues with the universe. The question is, what did it actually do?

How Does the Ending of The Flash Change Things?

Warner Bros.

The Flash saw Barry Allen change his past, attempt to reset it, lose his powers, regain his powers, and meet a handful of cameos along the way. It was a pastiche of ideas that felt like years of meddling by various individuals.

Due to these issues, the film’s ending became a bit ambiguous. With reports of at least 2–3 reshoots, the entire idea behind the conclusion may have created a bunch of loose ends that may never be tied up.

At the end of the film, we see Barry, having saved his universe and returned home, meet up with Bruce Wayne. [SPOILER] Except Bruce is not Ben Affleck but George Clooney. Clooney notoriously played Batman in the doomed 1997 Joel Schumacher film Batman & Robin. This twist ending did more to undermine the purpose of The Flash than anything else. It meant that Barry has not only irrevocably messed up his own timeline but most likely a variety of others as well.

The film should have been the final domino for the DCEU, but it will just be the frayed end of a very unreliable rope.

We know that Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom will be out later this year, but it seems like a foregone conclusion. The film will be just another death gasp for the DCEU as star Jason Momoa does his best to get through it. The issue is that even if the film is a hit with audiences, nobody cares anymore. They don’t care because of two people: James Gunn and Peter Safran.

Safran and Gunn Drop the E

James Gunn Peter Safran DC Studios cropped
DC Studios

The new heads at DC are done with the DCEU. Their shiny new DCU is in full development mode, and they are being gracious enough to allow The Flash and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom to be released. It is a mystery why these two films were not given the Batgirl treatment and shelved for tax purposes, but here we are.

Gunn and Safran are well into their DCU world-building, with Blue Beetle being the first entry into this new universe. However, Superman: Legacy will not be far behind as casting is already taking place.

James Gunn, known for his ability to start from scratch, is the writer/director/producer for his projects. He knows the value of creating his own brand, and the DCU is his opportunity to become a more actively involved Kevin Feige (head of Marvel Studios) and create a lasting impression on a genre of cinema that many people see as being on its way out.

Related: Do Any DCEU Movies Matter Going Forward?

The Flash may be the film that finally broke the DCEU’s back. It is a movie crammed with inconsistencies, plot holes, and CGI that the director, Andres Muschietti, said was intentionally bad. This type of statement shows that Warner Bros. and DC have moved on.

The fact is that James Gunn has already tapped Andres Muschietti to direct Batman: The Brave and the Bold, which will be the intro to not just the DCU’s Batman but the entire Bat-family. This could be an ideal project for a proven director who was given, then saddled with, a movie like The Flash.

There Was An Idea…

Justice League
Warner Bros.

Much like the Marvel model, DC, and Warner Bros. had an idea to bring superheroes together to form a team that would anchor a decades-long franchise. Unfortunately, The Flash has proven that the team was never going to work and that even with alternate versions of the characters, versions that have worked beautifully before, the DCEU could not be saved. They tried time travel and a whole multiverse of possibilities and could not correct their mistakes.

And therefore, The Flash spells the end of the DCEU. It is a reset in the way that a frozen computer is reset. The broken program is being turned off, and a new update is being loaded. The problem is that there will be DCEU fanboys who refuse to accept the new program. The good thing is that quite a few more people love James Gunn and cannot wait to see what he’ll do next.

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