A DC Cinematic Universe Reboot: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly Truth

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PARIS, FRANCE - APRIL 26: A DC Comics universe poster: Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, The Joker is displayed during the press preview of the exhibition "The Art of the Brick: DC Super Heroes"at Parc de la Villette on April 26, 2018 in Paris, France. Created by Nathan Sawaya, this Lego exhibition, aimed at fans and the whole family, uses 2,000m2 of over 2 million bricks for more than 120 original creations including gigantic sculptures inspired by the DC Comics universe: Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, The Joker ... and a 5.5m life-size Batmobile that alone required 489,019 pieces Lego. This exhibition runs from April 29 to August 19 2018. (Photo by Thierry Chesnot/Getty Images)

It may seem like I give the DC Extended Universe a hard time, but it’s only because I know they can do better. They have had a rough start to what could be an epic universe of movies. Between divided fans and disappointing box office numbers, it is no wonder that articles like the one in CBR are talking about rumors of a possible reboot.

While there is not enough information to get a clear image, it seems the news about the solo Batman movie could determine the future of DC movies. Of course, there are different decisions they could make. The first and very unlikely one would be that they stop making movie altogether. They could also decide not to reboot and keep going with the current iterations. However, if they do decide to reboot they have two options. They could do a soft reboot, or they could do a hard reboot. This article is going to look at the consequences for those two types of reboots.

A DC Cinematic Universe Reboot: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly Truth

A Tale of Two Reboots

First, let us get a clear idea of the soft and hard reboots. A soft reboot would be keeping the same actors, but changing the direction the movies will take. For example, Gal Gadot and Jason Momoa would still be Wonder Woman and Aquaman, respectively, but the stories that we saw prior to the reboot would no longer be in the new continuity. For a hard reboot, the story takes a complete overhaul. Actors are replaced and new stories are created. Both of these would move the universe in a new direction, and both may still show some similar story arcs that existed in the previous continuity. These two reboot options have pros and cons, but the direction taken is determined by the end goal.

The Good

For both types of reboots, DC has the opportunity to fix any, or all, mistakes that have made so far. This would be the ultimate point for the reboot. The end story would probably similar to the current continuity, but with some different individual arcs.

Doing a soft reboot would allow the studio to fix any character issues or story points without having to get new actors. If they did not like The Joker, they could keep Jared Leto, but just change his character. If they did not want a darker Superman, they could keep Henry Cavill, but change Superman. Overall, they would not lose any time that has already been committed.

With a hard reboot, the studio could bring someone to act in a similar role as Kevin Feige. They could create the entire universe from beginning to end and have control of every aspect of the character from the beginning. This would allow for the creation of a new storyline created by one person. It would also allow for new actors to come into the roles. This could be good because bringing in younger actors could mean longer time with them in their respective roles.

The Bad

While doing a reboot would give away for the studio to improve, there are downsides to both forms of reboots. It may anger or lose more of the fans if the story goes a wrong direction. Granted losing more viewers than they have so far would be difficult, but not impossible.  

When doing a soft reboot, there may error in continuity or the timeline. While fixing a character, using their new backstory or characterization may cause some issues within other stories. Having some off-screen explanation can only go so far. This confusion could have negative effects on the viewing numbers and their satisfaction.

On the other hand, a hard reboot would limit those continuity errors but have other effects. One downside would be that all the work that has been so far by cast and crew would be lost. While the movies would still exist and could still count for a learning experience, the idea that they were working for an extended universe would no longer apply. Any contracts would need to be negotiated or paid out, which would cost money. This would also mean actors that fans loved could be replaced.

The Ugly Truth

Regardless of which decision is made, the ugly truth is that the audience has lost some faith in the movies and the studio needs to earn it back. Whether that’s through a reboot or just a reorganization of staff, improvements need to be made to establish that faith. Once a decision is made, they need to not rush to it. Let it progress naturally. Allow the viewers to connect with characters and stories. Not taking it slow is why people became disinterested. They need to develop a fully coherent plan for everyone across the board. Having a strong plan can make a big difference and make for a better experience.

Last Words on the DC Extended Universe Rumors

With rumors of a possible reboot for the DC movies floating around, how the studio handles the next few movie decisions could decide the fate of the universe… of DC comics. Whether the rumors are true or not, any future endeavors need to be thought out completely and take into account the previous mistakes made. Taking time to develop and plan and considering what will create a better future.

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