Over the past several months, various rumours and reports out of Warner Bros. and DC have raised questions about the direction DC Films would be taking with regard to continuity. The first four films of the DC Extended Universe have clearly been part of a single continuity leading to November’s Justice League, but how that cinematic universe develops post-Justice League has been less clear.
Speaking to Vulture, two of DC’s biggest authorities have weighed in on the official trajectory of DC film continuity – Diane Nelson (President, DC Entertainment) and Geoff Johns (Chief Creative Officer, DC Comics). Nelson explains:
Our intention, certainly, moving forward is using the continuity to help make sure nothing is diverging in a way that doesn’t makes sense, but there’s no insistence upon an overall story line or interconnectivity in that universe.
Nelson’s comments were reinforced by Johns, who further explained that DC is not looking to abandon continuity, but wants each film to stand on its own without needing to establish a wider story.
Some of the movies do connect the characters together, like Justice League. But, like with Aquaman, our goal is not to connect Aquaman to every movie. The movie’s not about another movie.
The joint comments seem to address a common critique of modern superhero films, which is the bloating of films with set ups for future installments; a critique leveled at both DC and Marvel, with Batman v Superman and Avengers: Age of Ultron the most recognizable examples.
Nelson and Johns also confirmed that DC would be exploring some completely out-of-continuity storytelling with unconnected films, starting off with the much-talked-about Joker standalone film directed and co-written by Todd Phillips.
Justice League hits theaters on November 17, 2017.