Thu
Jul 18 2013 1:45pm

An Aquaman Movie Before Wonder Woman? DC Sketches Out Its Film Plans

Yesterday, The Hollywood Reporter featured an interview with Diane Nelson, the new Entertainment Chief at DC following a recent shake-up. While Nelson was candid about what projects DC is focusing on (“Sandman is right on top.”) the interview further muddled what is already an unclear cinematic objective from the DC universe.

Nelson could not reveal anything about plans for a Justice League movie or Man of Steel sequel, despite both projects being near-certainties in the minds of comics fans, and this hesitation underscored the entirety of the interview. Even listing specific DC properties that the company would be focusing on—Sandman, Fables, Metal Men, Justice League, and Aquaman—prompted Hollywood Reporter interviewer Borys Kit to wonder about the absence of DC’s most high profile female character Wonder Woman.

“We have to get her right, we have to. She is such an icon for both genders and all ages and for people who love the original TV show and people who read the comics now. I think one of the biggest challenges at the company is getting that right on any size screen. The reasons why are probably pretty subjective: She doesn’t have the single, clear, compelling story that everyone knows and recognizes. There are lots of facets to Wonder Woman, and I think the key is, how do you get the right facet for that right medium?”

Nelson shows an intrinsic understanding of the DC universe characters here—an understanding she repeats when discussing Sandman movies—which bodes well for future film efforts. She also stresses that Wonder Woman is one of the top three priorities for DC and Warner Bros.

But the question remains... why can’t DC and Warner Bros. sustain their characters on the big screen? Marvel Studios has forced the issue by being such a ubiquitous presence, but DC has an advantage in that their heroes already possess the iconic presence that Marvel is attempting to construct through its slate of films. Superman and Batman are larger-than-life figures and their most successful film outings present them as such. Why not attack the task of a Wonder Woman movie with the same approach?

Beyond that, where is DC? Marvel’s planned out so far I can barely keep track of them but I couldn’t state a release year for any DC property besides a rumor of Man of Steel 2 in 2015. Does DC and Warner Bros. have a plan? (Keep in mind that this interview was done before any SDCC announcements, so the answer to that question could be a show-stealing thunderous yes.) Nelson’s response was a little odd:

We don’t want to oversaturate with superheroes, and DC is much more than superheroes. [...] part of our job is getting consumers to understand that there is more breadth and depth to DC beyond those primary DC characters. Our job has to be, let’s have great success with Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash and Aquaman but then build on that to expand the universe for the broad populace.

So...eventually flood the cinemas with DC characters, but don’t oversaturate?

In a few days these questions could be entirely moot, but for now the backtracking statements are confusing. Although the fact that they seem dedicated to getting them right is very heartening. I’d rather see them done well than done at all.

The notion of a more varied superhero film universe that Nelson mentions is also intriguing. Would DC keep their movies disconnected? Will Batman and Superman never meet? Would we see a year that contains a Sandman movie, the Justice League, and maybe an animated Pixar-esque Metal Men? DC embracing these varied possibilities would certainly make them stand out against the Marvel Film Universe.

Time will tell, I suppose. But seriously DC, no Aquaman movie before Wonder Woman. Come on.


Chris Lough is the production manager of Tor.com and doesn’t know what you mean by “O.M.A.C.” Is that like a Sodastream?

8 comments
Chris Nelly
1. Aeryl
Del Toro's been talking about doing a Justice League movie(whenever he finds the time!), but it's using a lot of the smaller scale DC characters, so that may be what they are going for, and keeping their universe disconnected.

Marvel was somewhat forced to do that, since the largest and most well known Avenger is at Sony, but they did it right, and built up the anticipation by introducing Tony Stark to people in his own movie. If DC thinks they can get an Avengers sized splash at the box office, just by slapping a Justice League title on a bunch of characters no one has heard of, I think they have another thing coming, even if Del Toro directs it.
sofrina
2. sofrina
what is the problem? the wonder woman fandom has long ago come to a consensus. just give us a multicultural lead and a strong story. why can't they embrace the mythic backstory like they did with thor? but ground it in the real world, like with everything else? look what they did with underworld kingpin catwoman in TDKR. they made that crazy girl very relevant, relatable and amazing at the same time. and she wasn't superpowered in any way.

tick tock, people. the ideal cast is not getting any younger: paula patton (diana) and vanessa williams (hippolyta). make it happen.
sofrina
3. Oriares
Gina Torres as Hyppolyta instead.
sofrina
4. Colin R
Why an Aquaman movie, period? Nobody wants an Aquaman movie. Now a Sub-Mariner movie on the other hand...

Seriously, I don't get what the challenge with Wonder Woman is. She has almost never been good in comics; they are free to do something totally cool with her without any hand-wringing about fidelity to the comics.
Lee Anderson
5. DSNiner
Anyone who has seen Olivia Munn's work on The Newsroom already knows she's the ideal actress to play Princess Diana of Themyscira.

And no one at DC should be pretending that a Wonder Woman film is hard to do when they've already proven it can be done quite well with the animated direct-to-DVD movie.
Ty Myrick
6. tymyrick
In my personal headspace, the DC movie universe starts fresh with the Justice Society of America, set in WWII. Time Warner then follows it up with Birds of Prey, Aquaman, the Flash, Wonder Woman, and the Justice League. Superman and Batman will not appear again until after the first phase.
sofrina
7. Madfacedkid
I would love to see a Aquaman movie, I do feel wonder woman, and Flash should get one also. I'm suprised that Green Lantern had a movie before Diana.
sofrina
8. Jbomber
@Colin r you obviously know nothing about the character, 1) he has a bigger fanbase then Namor 2) a popular comic series out 3) well known whether good or bad. I would like to see a WW movie. Why do you Namor fans see the name Aquaman and feel threatened and feel the need to share your opinions on a character you know nothing about by the way? It looks ignorant.

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