DC has an immensely busy 2016 ahead. With Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad going through post-production, as well as several high-profile projects in the works, distributor Warner Bros. is now preparing to start on its next DC Cinematic Universe film, Wonder Woman. So far, none of this is news to the fans; all of these films have been well documented in the past few months. However, in interesting news, a member of DC’s “brain trust” has revealed several details about their upcoming slate, including the development of the long-awaited Justice League movie that will begin shooting in Spring 2016.
Speaking to Collider, producer Charles Roven shared a wealth of crucial intel on the shooting locations and current production timeline for Wonder Woman and Justice League Part 1.
“We’re actually gonna start shooting Wonder Woman towards the end of November. We are shooting in the UK and in Italy… We’re making most of Wonder Woman in the UK and we’re also making most of Justice League there, JL One… We’re definitely gonna be shooting Part One in the first or second quarter of next year.”
DC fans will rejoice on the revelation of this news. Also, the statement confirms that Wonder Woman has not yet started principal photography, nixing reports that it already had. Whether this is to capitalize on a multi-film shooting schedule or to hone and shape the cast (Nicole Kidman is currently negotiating a role, as reported by the Inquisitr) remains to be seen. With regards to Wonder Woman, we can expect plenty of picturesque set photos, tweets, and videos within the coming months. The Italian location should provide some authenticity to the origin of the comics as well since the fascinating architecture and stunning locale is the perfect substitute for her home of Themyscira.
The most recent tidbit has Ben Affleck, who will star as Batman/Bruce Wayne for the foreseeable future, sitting in the director’s chair for Justice League Part 1. This is merely a rumor, one that started back in 2012 — and one that Affleck flat-out denied in an interview with 24 Hours Vancouver on its original reveal. After all, Affleck has always preferred to direct projects with a dramatic, realistic theme, something that may have led to his decision. Things change, though, and three years might as well be a lifetime in Hollywood. In the interview, Affleck also stated that he is not interested in directing a film unless it also involves a role for him. At the time, he wasn’t cast as Batman, so watch this space.
With the details above, many expect him to star in Justice League as Batman — in some capacity anyway — so does this lend some gravitas to the rumours? Will Ben Affleck direct Justice League? Only time will tell. He has the ability, and you only have to look at his directing credits to realize this. Anyone who has seen the trailer for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and its predecessor, Man of Steel, will know that Zack Snyder’s universe is deeply rooted in the dramatic. Let’s not forget that Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy was all too real and was more of a crime epic than a superhero series. The films were a massive success at the box office.
With DC’s related TV shows Arrow and The Flash also firmly based in a realistic narrative — after all, many of the enemies are villains with enhancing gadgets, not superpowers — DC seem to have a direction in mind. In Ben Affleck, they might just have the perfect person to direct a DC franchise that, so far, has represented its characters as realistic, dramatic heroes. Dramatic? Realistic? Anyone see a theme developing here? With Affleck’s future firmly rooted in the DC Cinematic Universe, and his upcoming solo outing The Batman on his schedule, where Deadline revealed he will both star and direct, don’t expect those rumours to disappear any time soon.
“The intention of the film is definitely to be PG-13. We really want to make these films tonally consistent so that, as I said because this is a shared universe, at least our current thinking… so you want to leave yourself open to changing your mind, doing something different, being inspired, that’s the whole process of filmmaking is you have to allow for inspiration as well as having a road map for what you’re gonna do. So our plan right now is to make all these films PG-13. In some cases, you know, right there on the edge of PG-13, but still PG-13.”
In modern cinema, it is routine to tailor a big-budget movie towards a family-friendly audience, but it leaves us with more questions than answers. How will they deal with the adult themes? For a film involving a squad of killer mercenaries, not to mention the word Suicide in the title, how will they cater this to the children that accompany their parents? And, most of all, how will The Joker be portrayed to a younger audience? After all, his previous psychopathic film outings pushed the relative films towards an R-rated demographic. Roven has stated the films will be on the edge of PG-13, but with Marvel opting for a hard R on Deadpool, which will probably become the norm for a handful of movies in the following years, is this a mistake? Will DC be catching up?
Either way, 2016 looks bright for DC. With Marvel currently dominating the superhero genre, let’s hope they make it count.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is released on March 25, 2016. Suicide Squad will be released on August 5, 2016.
[Image via Warner Bros. Pictures]