The DC Extended Universe of films, which culminated with 2017's Justice League, never reached the world-dominating heights of its rival's Marvel Cinematic Universe. The interconnection and team-building attempt were there, but despite moderate box office success, they simply weren't the smash hits that the Disney-run MCU were year after year. So it makes sense for DC (and the film studio behind their films, Warner Bros.) to go back to the drawing board. Now, after a string of films like Shazam!, Birds of Prey, and Joker, the world of DC is wild and diverse in tone and audience. Wonder Woman 1984 is the rare sequel on the docket, but as its returning helmer Patty Jenkins explains, it too will operate in a way that celebrates its uniqueness.
Speaking to Total Film, Jenkins talked about the '80s-set film that pits Diana (Gal Gadot) against both Cheetah (Kristen Wiig) and Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal) — and how it's operating on its own terms now. "I love that about it," Jenkins said. "To me, that's what superhero movies — period — always were. I think the exception to that was that Marvel had such success doing a shared universe." After the DCEU's attempt left its fans clamoring for a recut version from director Zack Snyder, perhaps it's best that DC opted for a different direction. Jenkins certainly thinks the shared universe should stay over at Marvel.
"But that certainly shouldn't be the status quo," the filmmaker said of the MCU. "I think you should look at comic books. There's this huge variety of comic books, and their look and tone and world are radically different. And they don't always inevitably join together. Sometimes they do, and that's really fun, and that's that thing. But a lot of times, they have their own run. I'm psyched that DC — and to be frank, Marvel's been doing it a little bit more now, too with some of the tone of Thor: Ragnarok, and Black Widow, and Doctor Strange — they feel very different in tone. But I love that about DC, and I've always thought that that's a wonderful thing about DC — they were all so different."
As The Suicide Squad and The Batman loom on the horizon, the latter of which not connecting to the Joaquin Phoenix Joker, it does seem like WB is moving solidly away from trying to follow in the MCU's Iron Man-rocketed footsteps. And, as its recent track record has shown, it's finding its own success. Now, as Sony attempts to start a shared universe of its own with its gaggle of Spidey side-characters...well, that's a different story altogether.
Wonder Woman 1984 is set to keep this trend alive when it takes fans back to the '80s on Aug. 14.