Warner Bros. rethinking restrictiveness of DCEU in future DC movies

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Sep 29, 2017, 3:02 PM EDT

So you know that whole DC Extended Universe concept, based on the Marvel Cinematic Universe, that set about establishing the Justice League characters across several different standalone films, which would then intersect gloriously in this fall’s Justice League film? Well, that connective tissue may not be as taut as we once thought.

DC Entertainment president Diane Nelson and chief creative officer Geoff Johns recently spoke with Vulture about all of DC’s varied galaxies rubbing up against each other in the DCEU. Among many other nuggets, the dynamic duo explained why they’re rethinking the entire idea of continuity. It’s not going away altogether, but more so they’re easing the DCEU’s restrictiveness, to let their filmmakers play outside of that often-serious sandbox.

“Our intention, certainly, moving forward is using the continuity to help make sure nothing is diverging in a way that doesn’t make sense, but there’s no insistence upon an overall story line or interconnectivity in that universe,” says Nelson.

Which makes pretty good sense too, if you’re looking at DC’s comic book roots. Sure, making things make sense is part of a storyteller’s job, but an artist’s ability to do that shouldn’t be inhibited by anything but their own imagination. Which is a tenet that the brass at DC seem to be adopting, especially in light of this summer’s Wonder Woman phenomenon.

“The movie’s not about another movie,” says Johns. “Some of the movies do connect the characters together, like Justice League. But, like with Aquaman … our goal is not to connect Aquaman to every movie.”

“Moving forward, you’ll see the DC movie universe being a universe, but one that comes from the heart of the filmmaker who’s creating them,” says Nelson.

Minus a few nods toward the Justice League future, that sounds a lot like what Patty Jenkins, Gal Gadot, and company did with Wonder Woman – not just in story, but also in tone. And that was the first WB film that DC Entertainment had “substantial influence on,” according to the report. Did you see that flick?

Yeah, so did everyone else. And it sure sounds like WB noticed, because that’s the whole idea behind the new side label that lives outside of the continuity, the first film of which is slated to be a Joker story written and directed by The Hangover’s Todd Phillips, which Johns says they’ll be officially titling “soon-ish.”

We’ll soon see how it all plays out, too.