Warner Bros has decided to push back the release of Wonder Woman 1984 back to June 5th, 2020, from its original release date of November 1st, 2019. This gives more clearance for its comic cousin movie, the Joachin Phoenix-starrer Joker, which opens October 4th, and also puts Wonder Woman back at the start of the summer movie season, where it had opened previously.
The slot had previously been occupied by the long-in-development Six Million Dollar Man, with Mark Wahlberg set to star, but it is currently pulled from the release schedule while they still seek a director.
With apparently no appearances of Superman planned in the DC film universe, especially after the very underwhelming response for Justice League, the news has been flying that Henry Cavill will be hanging up the cape. However, there doesn’t seem to be a lot in the way of official statements from Cavill’s camp, and Warner Bros released a statement earlier today stating that “We have a great relationship and great respect for Henry Cavill that continues to remain unchanged. Additionally we have made no current decisions regarding any upcoming Superman films.”
Warner Bros has been thinking about their DC focus a lot lately as they have yet to find a formula to compete with the hugely successful Marvel Cinematic Universe. Wonder Woman was the most successful in the franchise so far, which was led by a female actress and director, unlike the other films, which were directed by Zack Snyder. Currently they are still moving forward with Wonder Woman 1984 and Aquaman, and Shazam! opens next April, but a sequel to Justice League seems to be dead and Ben Affleck appears to be on the outside looking in while the look at a Batman reboot. It appears that WB/DC may next focus on a Supergirl film, perhaps leading to a female-lead franchise. So as far as Cavill is concerned, he may just not be reprising the role simply because there is no film in which for him to do it.
I don’t know exactly what is wrong with the DC films, so I don’t know exactly how to fix it, but I think one of the main reasons at least to me is the failure to make the characters interesting. The the MCU we were introduced to likeable characters (who weren’t the “top tier” necessarily) in several films who were later assembled (yes, I said it) to form the megamovie. DC appeared to be running on the assumption we’d like the characters because we always have by taking their flagship character, give him a film, then immediately start folding in other characters and conflicts, without really letting us get to liking them. Nothing about it felt interesting with the exception of Wonder Woman. Parts of Justice League just seemed nonsensical. So maybe a refocus is warranted…
Some casting news this week…
Damon Lindelof’s Watchmen pilot for HBO added three more to the ranks this week, in the form of Dylan Schombing (Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce), Lily Rose Smith (The Vampire Diaries) and young newcomer Adelynn Spoon. They join an extensive list which includes Regina King, Jeremy Irons, Don Johnson, Frances Fisher and Louis Gossett Jr. Producers are tight-lipped about any characters though.
The eighth installment of FX’s horror anthology American Horror Story, subtitled “Apocalypse”, sees a bunch of familiar faces returning. Alums Gabourey Sidibe, Taissa Farmiga, Lily Rabe, Frances Conroy, Sarah Paulson, Kathy Bates, Evan Peters, Adina Porter, Emma Roberts, Cheyenne Jackson, Billy Eichner, Leslie Grossman, Billie Lourd, and Stevie Nicks will all join Jessica Lange, which director Ryan Murphy is billing as a crossover between the “Coven” and “Murder House” seasons. Joan Collins is also joining the cast this season.
And it appears that the DC TV Arrowverse will see a Gotham addition. Orange Is the New Black‘s Ruby Rose has signed on for the role of Batwoman for the next four-series Arrowverse crossover event this December, and is also expected to film a full-length pilot for a potential Batwoman TV series, which already looks like it will have a good chance of going to series.
Put simply, Wonder Woman is a spectacular movie. It is likely the best superhero movie DC and Warner Bros has yet put out. And now it heads to Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, Ultra 4K Blu-ray and DVD this Tuesday, September 19th! And the Blu-ray releases include a special bonus scene not seen in theaters!
Like any superhero action movie, Wonder Woman is laden with action scenes and visual effects, but they are done so well and don’t detract from the character story, which delves into the origin of Diana, Princess of Themyscira, who we all know as Wonder Woman, although it starts off where Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice had left with Bruce Wayne wondering about where she came from in a photo taken 100 years earlier.
The visual effects were simply amazing. To me, extensive use of “bullet time” effects can get annoying, but their use here was not only not distracting but incredible. Combine that with some of the spectacular location shots, and it makes for a beautiful movie. There were only a couple of visual issues I picked up on, and only on viewing the Blu-ray…the early wide shot of the Amazon training felt composited where it seems like some of the fighters were overlaid on the scene. And the glowing of the lasso rope felt too cartoonish…a light glow only to enhance the color would have been better.
The cast was excellent as well.
Gal Gadot was awesome. Aside from her appearance in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (which as a movie I didn’t care for), this was the first movie I actually saw her in. I think she was perfect in the part as a fish-out-of-water superhero, both fierce and beautiful simultaneously.
Chris Pine as Steve Trevor…Pine for some reason always makes me feel like he’s somehow going to charm his way out of every situation with his smile…and I still like him. His charm I think works for the spy character.
Joss Whedon may yet get his DC heroine movie…after pitching a Wonder Woman movie a 2007, where the studio opted instead to go a different direction which ultimately didn’t happen, Whedon is now in talks with Warner Bros. to bring a Batgirl feature to the big screen under the DC Universe of movies.
Whedon has a knack for strong female characters and leads – from Buffy the Vampire Slayer to Firefly to Dollhouse, he hasn’t been afraid to let the women stand on their own, so he seems a good fit to bring us a Barbara Gordon who doesn’t stick to the background of her better-known vigilante friends. Spin it and get out of the way, Bruce…
Umm…Supes is…missing… 😉
[Minor spoilers ahead] So the big crossover episode of Supergirl aired on Monday, while we await word of renewal. Did The Flash give it a good enough boost? Time will tell, as there has been no announcement yet, but it definitely had an effect on the ratings. Overall viewers were up 21% and the all-important 18-49 demo was up 31% over last week, to see how the DC television universe would handle this network-and-multiverse-crossing episode. It also had the highest rating for any scripted show that night.
So, how did they handle the crossover, given that Flash’s Earth seems to have no awareness of Kara or her better known cousin or other aliens, while Kara’s version has no metahumans? Simple – the comic multiverse, DC-style.
The Flash has already established the multi-Earth concept, with the Golden Age Flash, Jay Garrick, coming to Barry Allen’s Earth-One, and Barry going to Jay’s Earth-Two. So to expand a bit, Barry does something (to be explained in The Flash‘s Tuesday episode) back home that results in him arriving on Kara’s version of Earth, where he helps out and then Kara gives him a boost – literally – to get back. This now opened up a myriad of possibilities in storytelling with other DC characters, in such a way that they can be independent of shows or even the movies – we already know that a movie version of Barry Allen’s Flash will be played by Ezra Miller instead of Grant Gustin. So it sets op independent franchises that in some ways can lean on each other occasionally.
It also provides a gimmick that can unfortunately be used as an end-around to any intractable situation, so let’s hope they keep this trick in the back pocket unless it actually helps with the story.