The DC film universe that started with Man of Steel in 2013 didn’t get off the best start. That much is admitted by Superman himself, Henry Cavill, in a interview where he opened up about the lack of critical success of DC movies and the self-reflection that was needed to (sort of) reboot the universe.
Every DC movie that has been made has been a financial success, but only one has been a critical hit. That would be Wonder Woman. Every other movie left fans wondering what exactly Warner Bros. is doing with the dark aesthetic and heavy themes that never stuck a chord. Henry Cavill acknowledged this mistake during an interview with The Rake.
The actor was forthright and honest about what went wrong with Man of Steel, Suicide Squad and Batman v. Superman in failing to connect with fans.
“Even if Marvel didn’t exist, we’d struggle,” said Cavill. “There was a style they [DC] were going for, an attempt to be different and look at things from a slightly different perspective, which hasn’t necessarily worked. Yes, it has made money but it has not been a critical success; it hasn’t given everyone that sensation which superheroes should give the viewer.”
One of the biggest challenges DC movies faced was the always-present comparison to Marvel movies. In trying to explore new stories and creative methods that differentiated them from Marvel’s universe, this ended up ignoring what fans look forward to these comic book movies. Be it the humor, optimistic outlook or simpler individual storylines.
Cavill also believe’s DC’s shift to understand what fans want and develop a more streamlined storytelling method already started with Wonder Woman. That only happened because Warner Bros. learned from its mistakes with previous DC movies.
“I feel like now the right mistakes have been made and they haven’t been pandered [to], and we can start telling the stories in the way they need to be told,” continued Cavill. “It is even better to come back from a mistake or stylistic error into the correct vein because it will make it seem that much stronger. Wonder Woman was the first step in the right direction.”
This reboot Cavill alludes to will only be as strong as Justice League is. If Justice League leans more towards the Batman v. Superman side of things, these words will ring hollow. If it’s in Wonder Woman’s territory, then we might actually believe Warner Bros. and DC have turned the corner for good.
Nevertheless, its good to see a major star of the DC movies understand that there was something wrong with the early DC movies and something had to change. It’s a move similar to what Ben Affleck did a few weeks ago in accepting that Batman v. Superman’s criticism.