Quite recently the internet has been ablaze with rumors and reports regarding the future of the DC Extended Universe. They have stated that Batman and Superman would essentially have no role in the DCEU moving forward. Michael Keaton might take on a role similar to Nick Fury in the early days of the MCU. Their original roles will be taken over by Batgirl and Supergirl of the trinity. While it seems like there’s a bit of uncertainty on what’s to become of the DCEU, I don’t think all is lost. In fact, I feel like there’s even more potential now than there was ever before.
Obviously, Batman and Superman are essential characters to the comics mythos. They are the literal pillars of the DC Universe across all mediums, and rightfully so. Luckily the characters will live on in multiple other projects like Matt Reeves‘ The Batman, Batman: The Caped Crusader, My Adventures With Superman, Superman and Lois, as well as whatever DC has planned. The two aren’t completely gone from DC’s cinematic future. As such, they can continue to exist in their own separate projects while minor characters get a chance to shine in a connected DCEU.
That is exactly why we shouldn’t look at this as the end but rather as an opportunity. In this instance, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has proven how a franchise can build itself without some of its most iconic characters. Yes, there have been comparisons when people pointed out that the DCEU went a little too fast so that they could catch up with the MCU, but in this case, they should take a page out of their book. With this new direction, they may be unshackled like Marvel Studios once was.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe was able to build without its pillar characters, as back in 2008 they only had limited access to their roster of characters. As such, the MCU was forced to start without the likes of Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, and even the X-Men. They couldn’t access these characters that put them on the map. Instead, they worked with what was available at their disposal and built a universe with the likes of Iron Man, Ant-Man, Doctor Strange, Scarlet Witch, Vision, the Guardians of the Galaxy, and many more. While it seems difficult to imagine a world without them, they weren’t well-known at that time.
The DCEU has a chance to dig through its incredibly rich roster of characters and give the spotlight to those that would’ve otherwise never gotten the chance. Marvel is at a place now where they can introduce characters like the Eternals, Echo, Shang-Chi, and many more to their universe and instantly turn them into household names. Even Moon Knight just recently had more views within the first 24 hours than series like Hawkeye, WandaVision, and even Loki. These are all characters that became fan-favorites after being part of the franchise for years, and this new character managed to outperform them.
So, even if the future for Batman and Superman in the DCEU is uncertain, this isn’t something to fear but rather embrace. These two characters have such a strong place in the cinematic consciousness of the public. They aren’t dependent on the rest, especially with Reeves‘ plans of building an entire universe based solely on Batman. So, the DCEU can reestablish itself and become even more interconnected as minor characters get their time to shine. We’re already seeing the new direction with projects on Black Adam, Blue Beetle, and more. This is just the beginning of a brighter future.