As far as the DC Extended Universe goes, to say it is unanimously applauded will be like saying water can catch fire. The Studios of Warner Bros. with their incessant meddling into the directorial roles have created a grotesque monster that almost always underperforms at the Box Office.
Despite a stellar cast, great script and awesome crew at the disposal of DC Entertainment, they have failed to leave an indelible mark on the box-office.
The only saving grace of the DCEU was Zack Snyder. His vision was the only thing that kept DC movies artistic and realistic at the same time. It had flaws but it molded those imperfections into a beautiful thing to behold. And the true comic book fans loved him for it.
Under his tutelage, the struggling DCEU grew to become a gothic dark franchise. He is often considered to be a great visual director but lack talent to create gripping emotional drama which is the core strength of Christopher Nolan who directed the Dark Knight trilogy.
The beauty of Nolan Batman trilogy was it leveraged core strengths of DC i.e dark and brooding Batman who was consumed with angst and pain, but the characters were so emotionally resonating that you just can’t control yourself but give a standing ovation in the end. But DCEU in its current form failed on that front.
But the DCEU’s flaws are still terribly outshining its perfections. It is too dark and humorless, and it has a tendency to rush to things without giving it any form of second thought. The DC Extended Universe was born out of a desire for Warner Bros. to catch up to their biggest rivals Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe stature.
But they forgot that things like that take time. Rome wasn’t built in a day. But WB thought it did. The result was DCEU still lags far behind MCU in terms of critical appraisal and financial standing.
But it has its moments too. WB gave the Directors free reign when determining the tone of the movie. They interfered in post-production but the general light in which the movie was portrayed was the director’s choice.
The MCU constrained the director and the writers in a sandbox all in the name of continuity and maintaining the timeline of things. In the hopes of creating a greater vision, the MCU dashed all hopes of creativity and thus the movies came out to be generic themed that spoon fed the audience and left nothing for the viewers to figure out on their own.
The DCEU is many things, but it never fails to take risks and experiment. And that is one of its greatest achievements. Although, Justice League was supposed to be equivalent of Avengers Infinity War fell way short of gigantic expectations at the box office, the silver lining was that Snyder and later Whedon got the character arcs right and DCEU is definitely improving. It is on a right path but certain changes need to be incorporated.
There is one other area where the DCEU has outshone its fiercest rivals – the villains. Although, some will disagree but that is the general consensus cutting across camps. From an alien General Zod in Man of Steel to Ares in Wonder Woman to Steppenwolf in Justice League, the roster of DC villains in quite impressive.
To be sure I do not at all mean Marvel does not have great villains. It has baddies just as awesome, complex and layered. But the Marvel Cinematic Universe has failed to portray them in a nefarious light. DC Comics and the DCEU, both have villains that are miles ahead of their competitors. General Zod, the Joker, even Luthor is better at the evil game than Red Skull and Ronan the Accuser.
Now there will be one more addition to DCEU’s villain gallery. One more talented actor is about to join DC Films and shine like a star like all the bad guys under the WB banner have. The famous actress Sarah Paulson (12 Years A Slave, Carol) has expressed her willingness to play iconic comic-book female villain Cheetah.
Wonder Woman 2 will have Diana’s greatest villain in the comics as the big bad of the movie – The Cheetah. And if rumors are true, she is almost confirmed to be played by none other than American Horror Story Star Sarah Paulson.
Wonder Woman is by far the greatest and most financially appealing addition to the DCEU. The movie was directed by Patty Jenkins, who became the first woman to direct a DC film. The screenplay of the movie was written by Allan Heinberg, story by Heinberg, Snyder, and Fuchs.
The gorgeous Fast & Furious actress Gal Gadot played the Wonder Woman and Chris Pine played Captain Steve Trevor. The supporting cast of the film included Robin Wright, Danny Huston, David Thewlis, Elena Anaya etc. The story explored the origins of Wonder Woman, how she evolved from being Diana on the island of Themyscira to saving American pilot Steve Trevor who crashed his plane offshore, ultimately becoming Wonder Woman and defeating Ares.
Wonder Woman broke the record of biggest opening weekend collections for a female directed live-action movie. The movie is poised to hit the Billion dollar mark as it has already crossed $800 million at the worldwide box-office. This means that when all is said and done, Wonder Woman will be the highest grossing DCEU movie as it has gone way past Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad.
To replicate its record-breaking success, the studio is toying with the ideas of a sequel. Some say the story is supposed to be set in the Cold War while some say the story will be set in the modern era. On one hand, the first Wonder Woman movie was based in World War I setting, the sequel could be set in cold war era in 1980’s USA where Wonder Woman will play an important role to take on Russian enemies during the height of Cold War and Chris Pine may return as aging Steve Trevor.
Whatever the case may be, Cheetah could fit the bill perfectly.
Cheetah is Wonder Woman’s most famous comic book villain. She debuted in 1943 and as of now, there have been four iterations of the character. The most popular one is Barbara Ann Minerva which Paulson will most likely play in the movie.
Barbara Ann Minerva is a British Archeologist who was given the powers of a cheetah and turned into an animal/human hybrid by the Plant God Urzkataga.
Of course, the DCEU is notoriously infamous for changing the characters’ origin story. Wonder Woman could see Cheetah as some form of a secret Soviet science experiment. Or Cheetah could just be a minor henchman in the service of another God-like in the first movie.
Maybe Cheetah is a servant of Hades and not Urzkataga. Wonder Woman was a massive success so the sequel will be most anticipated. The 2019 release date won’t be changed. So that leaves Patty Jenkins, Wonder Woman director with more than enough time to set the story and cast the main villain. Ms. Jenkins, please cast Sarah Paulson.
A sincere request – Let the villain be Cheetah. Diana fighting another God just did not make the audience click. Ares was just not good enough. But Cheetah most definitely will.