DCEU Reboot?! WB’s Reset Explained & Your Questions Answered

During Warner Bros. Discovery’s earning call on Thursday, August 5, more information regarding the DCEU’s future was revealed. Following an underwhelming panel at San Diego Comic-Con and the shocking cancellation of Batgirl, the future of the DCEU and of the DC films as a whole was put in check. The unprecedented move of shelving a nearly completed 90-million superhero film indicated that significant changes would happen, which now Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav confirms to be the case.

The DCEU technically started with Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel, although it was only during Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, also directed by Snyder, that Warner Bros. really decided to go for the shared-universe approach. Batman v Superman was supposed to set up the Justice League, but the movie’s mixed reception was the start of a series of highs and lows from which the DCEU never managed to escape. After the Justice League controversy, the Snyder Cut, and The Flash’s potential reboot of the main DCEU timeline, anything seemed possible for where the DCEU could go.

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Related: WB's Batgirl Cancelation Makes Superman's DCEU Return Certain, Right?

In the meantime, Discovery acquired AT&T’s WarnerMedia, creating Warner Bros. Discovery. The merge would obviously lead to significant changes in the structure of the studio, and by default, in the plans for every Warner Bros. franchise. This was no different for the DC movies, with the Batgirl cancellation being the first indicator of what WBD’s plans for the DCEU are.

Is The DCEU Being Rebooted?

Ben Affleck Batman and Henry Cavill Superman DCEU

During the Warner Bros. Discovery earning call, CEO David Zaslav mentioned the word “reset” – but that was not directly related to a complete DCEU reboot but rather to a change in how the IP is dealt with. Zaslav highlighted that the DC IP is a top priority for the studio, with a special mention for Batman, Wonder Woman, and Superman. The WBD earning call also indicated that DC will have its own studio, as the DC logo was listed under the “studios” sections of their presentation. Zaslav mentioned a 10-year plan for the DC films, but he did not specifically mention a full reboot. Therefore, as of now, a DCEU reboot is not confirmed.

What seems to be happening is a course correction – a revaluation of what movies should be made, what their budget and scale should be, and what they should lead to. In other words, it is difficult to imagine that Jason Momoa’s Aquaman and Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman will be discarded – at least for now. A full DCEU reboot that discards everything could indeed happen, but not anytime soon as Zaslav especially mentioned the Aquaman sequel and The Flash as movies they are very confident with.

Who Will DC’s Kevin Feige Be?

What If Kevin Feige Left Marvel For DC Phase 2 MCU DCEU Changes SR

During that same earning call, David Zaslav specifically mentioned what Kevin Feige has done at Marvel as an inspiration for the DCEU. Early in the year, right after Matt Reeves' The Batman premiered to strong reviews and a solid box office, it was reported that Warner Bros. Discovery was in fact looking for a Kevin Feige-type of producer who could assist in the making of the DC films. Warner reportedly did not want an all-powerful producer, but rather someone who, like Feige, understands the business as much as he understands the IP. While no name was announced, a strong contender for that role is Alan Horn, who has just now returned to Warner Bros. as a consultant after a highly successful run at Disney.

Related: The DCEU Just Can't Catch A Break, Huh?

Alan Horn had worked at Warner Bros. during the studios’ most memorable recent years and was behind franchises like Harry Potter and Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy. At Disney, Alan Horn worked on box office titans like Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Aladdin, not to mention the MCU movies like Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. Horn confirmed he will assist with the DC films, although is difficult to say what exactly his consultant role means compared to what Kevin Feige does at Marvel Studios.

How Does The Batman Trilogy Fit In With A Reset?

Robert Pattinson in The Batman with Gotham behind him

Perhaps the trickiest part about Warner Bros. Discovery's reset plan for the DC films is what happens to Matt Reeves’ The Batman. WBD listed Batman as a franchise of its own, but currently, there are three versions of Batman existing at the same time for different productions. Michael Keaton’s Batman is in The Flash, so is Ben Affleck’s Batman (who reportedly is also returning for Aquaman and The Lost Kingdom), and 2022 saw the beginning of Robert Pattinson’s run as the Dark Knight. Matt Reeves’ The Batman is set in its own universe, with no connections to the DCEU whatsoever.

Therefore, in theory, The Batman doesn’t fit into Warner Bros. Discovery’s announced strategy of pursuing what Marvel has done in terms of a shared universe. That said, The Batman was one of DC’s and Warner Bros.’ strongest movies in years, both critically and at the box office, and it would be unrealistic to imagine that the franchise will not move forward. If the DCEU is indeed fully rebooted in the next few years, then The Batman could work as the beginning of a new universe, although that would likely depend on what Matt Reeves and Robert Pattinson envision for the future of the Dark Knight.

Can The Flash Be The DCEU Reboot?

Ezra Miller as the Flash and the heroes of DC

Even if the DCEU is not completely scrapped as of now, the franchise could still be soft-rebooted (or “reset” as Zaslav mentioned) through The Flash. The Warner Bros. Discovery CEO mentioned that they will make films like Black Adam and The Flash even better, suggesting that reshoots could still be on the way. Those would likely be to adjust the upcoming DCEU movies to WBD’s new plan, to which The Flash is very important. The Flash will deal with the multiverse and alternate timelines, and it was set to change at least some aspects of the franchise as Michael Keaton had seemingly been set to become the DCEU’s Batman for subsequent movies like Batgirl and Aquaman 2, both of which was originally going to be released after The Flash.

Related: Batgirl Cancellation Spells Trouble For The Flash Movie

However, Batgirl is now scrapped, and Michael Keaton’s Batman cameo in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom was reportedly replaced by Ben Affleck’s. Therefore, it is likely that the state of the DCEU canon after The Flash will be altered before the movie drops, either to reshape the universe in a way that fits WBD’s plans or to simply remove any drastic change to the timeline such as Keaton replacing Affleck – something that was presumed to be part of the old WB regime’s plan for the films.

Will DC Recast Superman & The Justice League?

Henry Cavill as Superman in Zack Snyder's Justice League

If Warner Bros. Discovery wants to reshape the DC films and follow Marvel’s strategy, then the franchise will need a Superman and a Justice League. The status of Henry Cavill as Superman remains unknown, as the last movie Cavill shoot a scene for was 2017’s Justice League. Considering that this is now a new leadership with new plans, it is possible that a new deal is worked with Henry Cavill to return as Superman, although a recast would be equally possible. WBD went to the lengths of adding Ben Affleck to Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, suggesting that they have more immediate plans for the Justice League instead of scrapping everything and recasting the superhero team. That said, Ezra Miller’s future as the Flash is uncertain after the actor’s recent controversies, making it even more difficult for the original Justice League to be put together.

Is Warner Bros. Discovery Restoring The Snydervse?

Henry Cavill as Superman and Ben Affleck as Batman in Zack Snyder's Justice League Knightmare

As of now, a Justice League sequel directed by Zack Snyder remains unlikely. Therefore, the Snyderverse as in the originally planned Zack Snyder sequels is still not being restored. That said, the Snyderverse as in the Justice League cast put together by Zack Snyder seems to have better chances of a future now, as Michael Keaton is no longer replacing Ben Affleck as Batman in what would have been the most definite shift from the original DCEU.

What Will The Next 10 Years For The DCEU Look Like?

Ben Affleck as Batman, Henry Cavill as Superman, and Ezra Miller as Flash

While Zaslav mentioned Kevin Feige’s work at Marvel Studios as an inspiration for the DCEU’s 10-year plan, that doesn’t mean the next decade of DC films will simply recreate what the MCU has done. Instead, the DCEU’s 10-year plan seems more like a transition phase, moving forward with what has been successful while slowly getting rid of what has not. Even if a complete DCEU reboot happens, it will would likely only happen after the Aquaman, Wonder Woman, and Shazam franchises end. Therefore, the first half of those 10 years could be dedicated to wrapping up the current DCEU, followed by an actual reset from which a new DC universe could be built on. Despite the teases of a reset and of a 10-year plan, the future of the DC movies remains very much a mystery, although there now seems to be a much clear vision of how the IP should be handled on the big screen.

2022-08-06T10:04:23.000Z

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