So If I Were To Make a DCCU…

Anyone interested in superhero stuff has seen by now that DC have planned a series of films to last until the sun collapses into itself and becomes a brown dwarf, or until Marvel put out a film with a female lead, whichever comes last. And anyone who’s looked at the list of films for five minutes has thought “My God, this is awful. It’s like they’ve forgotten that superhero films could possibly be any good!”
So I thought I’d outline what *I* would do if I were going to do a DC Cinematic Universe based around the same kind of idea as the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with threads that go from one film to another, revamps of more obscure characters, and so on.

Well, *actually* what I’d do is just Seven Soldiers: The Film Series, and I really don’t know why they’re *not* doing something like that since they have the option, but given that that’s not an option, here’s what I’d do. There’s ten films here, so obviously there’s only the bare bones, but you’ll get the idea.

There’s a story arc, but what I’d want to do is something a little different from the Marvel films, which all have a very similar feel, a sort of glossiness they share. I’d want to make the films radically different in tone, but deal with similar themes — particularly the legacy hero thing that *used* to be a big deal in DC pre-Nu52.

We start with a fairly straight adaptation of All-Star Superman — in fact this could just use the script from Dwayne McDuffie’s animated adaptation, except that at one point Luthor has a videophone call from a mysterious figure who talks about “Project Omega”.

No need for an origin story here, any more than there is for Superman. We do super spy-fi Batman here, of the type that’s never really appeared in the films. Batman is training his new teenage assistant, Carrie Kelly, who has taken the name of “Robin” — Batman doesn’t think he needs an apprentice, but Alfred thinks it’s good for him. After the fall of Lexcorp, Wayne Enterprises has to take over, but there’s a second bidder for the company — has the Penguin suddenly become respectable? And how has he managed to raise the funds? And why is his company called Dark Side Enterprises?
B-plot about The Ventriloquist, just because I like the Ventriloquist.
At the end of the story, Batman gets sucked into a time vortex that seems to have been created by some rogue Lexcorp tech from Project Omega.

Wonder Woman
Here’s where the big plot really starts going. We see Wonder Woman’s origin — the first new Amazon to be created in millennia, given life by the breath of Athena… and we see Paradise Island starting to crumble as the Old Gods die and their protection is lost. Princess Diana, last child of the Amazons, has to venture to the world of humans as an ambassador to save her island from destruction — and she also saves the human world, too, when she helps save them from the Thanagarian invasion. An invasion masterminded by a sinister, dark, figure…

Blue & Gold
Booster Gold, a nonentity from the twenty-fifth century, suddenly finds himself back in the twenty-first, where his flight ring, flying robot, and force field make him an instant celebrity. Jaime Reyes, a poor Mexican-American kid in El Paso who’s been quietly saving people’s lives as The Blue Beetle (an identity passed on by his mentor, aging scientist Ted Kord). gets annoyed when Booster takes credit for his achievements in order to promote his new reality TV show, but the two eventually have to team up to stop the dinosaur that’s destroying downtown Austin.
Why is there a dinosaur? According to the mysterious time traveller who turns up at the end, “time is in flux… the fall of the Gods and the rise of the New Gods is rewriting history…”

Shining Knight
The first half of this is an Arthurian epic, about the fall of Camelot, while the second half is pretty close to the Seven Soldiers story, except that instead of the Sheeda we have the New Gods of Apokolips, and Sir Justin (who is played explicitly as what we would understand as a trans man) is brought forward by the same rips in time that saw Booster Gold brought back).

This is the grimungritty dark vigilante film people would *expect* the Batman film to be — Batwoman is investigating a sinister religious cult. The (Renee Montoya) Question is investigating the drugs being dealt at the Dark Side Club (run by the Penguin, who’s not fallen all the way down to the bottom after being defeated, but there are rumours about who’s really behind it all), and Maggie Sawyer (whose appearance has been seeded in the Batman film) is investigating corruption in the police department. When all these turn out to be linked, the three have to work together — but can they put their pasts behind them to do it?

Flashback to the end of Superman, with Superman flying off to “fix the sun”. In the crowd is John Henry Irons, a construction worker who was saved by Superman. He decided that if Superman wasn’t in the world any more, the world needed a NEW Superman, so he fashioned himself a suit of armour and rocket boots. Will that be enough to stop Lex Luthor from wreaking revenge on the city of Metropolis?

Black Canary
Dinah Lance is a serious crimefighter — the greatest martial artist of her generation, trained by her mother, the first Black Canary. But she’s down on her luck, as her mother is dying of the long-term effects of the radiation exposure she suffered when fighting Aquarius, and Dinah needs to find the money to pay for her treatment. Oracle — the wheelchair-bound information genius daughter of Commissioner Gordon, who provides her with a tip for how she can earn more money.
Ollie Queen is the billionaire founder of a social media site and Olympic bronze-medallist archer (he mentions this fact all the time, and expects people to remember it. No-one does). He thinks of himself as progressive and left-wing, but he is in fact a sexist, domineering, arsehole who is *far* less competent than he thinks and completely unaware of his privilege. He wants to play at being a superhero, and is willing to pay Black Canary a million dollars if he can follow her on patrol for a week.
Can Dinah keep Ollie from getting in her way long enough to investigate the threat that Oracle has found — a computer virus that jumps to humans?

Rip Hunter: The Search For Bruce Wayne (TV miniseries)
These two stories go the other way from how they did in the comics, and would be adapted accordingly, but this is basically a combination of the “Search for Bruce Wayne” and “Return of Bruce Wayne” post-Final Crisis miniseries. Batman was sucked into a time rip at the end of Batman, and he’s been scattered through time, ending up in different identities throughout history. Rip Hunter takes Booster, Blue Beetle, Skeets and Ryan (Atom) Choi with him to collect the various aspects of Batman and pull them together into one person. In a surprising twist at the end of the last episode, in the future and guest-starring the Legion of Super-Heroes, Superman returns to Earth, setting up:

Justice League: The Final Crisis
Rip, Booster, Beetle, Batman, Atom and Superman get back to our time to find that the Old Gods have been destroyed and the New Gods have taken their place. There’s war in Heaven, and a computer virus here on Earth that is taking over everyone’s mind and turning them into zombies wishing only to die for Darkseid. Combining elements of Final Crisis and Rock Of Ages,this shows the formation of a new superhero team — the Justice League, consisting of Booster, Beetle, Batman, Atom, Superman, Black Canary, Wonder Woman, Batwoman, Shining Knight, and Wonder Woman, plus possibly the introduction of a couple of new heroes. The Justice League act as the resistance, and work to overthrow the tyrrany of Darkseid. But can they do it before Anti-Life destroys the universe, and who is Lex Luthor *really* working for…?

And this sets up the second batch of films — Adam Strange, Aquaman, Flash, Hawkman, Green Lantern, LEGION… culminating in the Rann-Thanagar War.

So how would YOU make a better series of DC films than DC/Warner?

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9 Responses to So If I Were To Make a DCCU…

  1. c'est la guerre says:

    personally i’d just make multiple documentaries about the broken lives and crushed souls of all the men who created the intellectual properties on which the DC universe rests. will bill finger beat the bottle?

    • Andrew Hickey says:

      I am, of course, assuming either that some kind of fair settlement to those people or their estates (like the recent Marvel-Kirby settlement or the settlement between the Siegel family and DC) was made, or that the characters had fallen into the public domain, and that the money would go towards rectifying in some way the damage done by DC and its various owners over the years — after all, if I’m imagining a universe in which I am given creative control over a multi-billion-dollar film franchise, I’m imagining a world in which anything can happen…

  2. Don Alsafi says:

    or until Marvel put out a film with a female lead

    Er. Did you not see the announcement on that a couple days ago? Captain Marvel (the Carol Danvers version) in 2018?

  3. Nick says:

    Don’t know how I’d make a whole series but the one idea I had was doing a Question film or TV series that basically followed the plot of the Denny O’Neill 80s/90s series, but with Renee Montoya rather than Vic Sage. Oh, and we need a Doom Patrol movie as well.

  4. I’d say a loose Kingdom Come adaptation works better as a hypothetical end to an integrated series of movies, A good Darkseid story would be pretty difficult to pull off without an extended spotlight (GotG did not make me imagine Thanos as anything other than a big lazy fat guy in a chair, not a Big Bad who can steal a scene), so Maybe a New Gods film slipped in beforehand might work? I’m not sold on a Black Canary/Green Arrow movie. Maybe a Zatanna one?

    Have Zatanna try to bring back old school stage magic to the mainstream, while everyone berates it, and in the meantime she’s out stopping M-Space from collapsing from. Can she inspire the world in believing into magic again, or will it take the complete breakdown of space, time and reality for people to get it again?

    Oh, and throw in some Animal Man to get really meta about Hollywood, originality and the degradation of the forth wall. Buddy’s just a minor celebrity who’s trying to climb back up the ladder after doing all the wrong things: Married his old high school sweetheart instead of the world’s hottest starlet, and pushing a little too strongly for animal rights, “Animal Man” is the new big film that’ll bring back to an A-Lister. On set, though, there’s a little too much animal cruelty, Buddy tries his hand saving an Ape from production, and almost dies when it goes wild. He slips into a deathly sleep and Communicates with something calling itself “The Bleed”… In the meantime, The film’s producers start go a little crazy from the troubled production, ad decide to make some deadly alterations…

    Would Green Lantern figure into your plans somewhere, or at this point is it the cinematic equivalent of a dead horse?

  5. Hollistic Tendancies says:

    The only rule I’d have is that there can be no more blond guys called Chris acting in the movies.

  6. Fred Herman says:

    (Red giant, then–I believe–a white dwarf. Brown dwarfs are the guys that don’t quite grow up to be stars, like somewhat bigger Jupiters.)

  7. Ty Myrick says:

    Start with Justice Society of America, masked adventurers fighting Nazis. Include the Flash (Jay Garrick), Wildcat (Ted Grant), Hawkman (Carter Hall), Hourman (Rex Tyler), Black Canary (Dinah Drake), Crimson Avenger (Jill Carlyle) and Miss America (Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons working undercover with the U.S. Army to prevent Nazi from discovering Paradise Island and using it as a forward operating base in an invasion of America). Add in Vandal Savage as the main villain, leading armies of Nazis. Include lots of pulp sci-fi action.

    Follow it up with Birds of Prey, a teenage Aquaman, The Flash, and Wonder Woman.

    In Birds of Prey, the granddaughter of the original Black Canary takes up the mantle and joins Oracle to fight street-level and corporate villains. Play up the legacy angle and the social justice angle.

    Aquaman is a King Arthur pastiche, so have Vulko (the Merlin stand-in) and his apprentice, Mera, show up to find Arthur Curry and return him to his rightful place in Atlantis. Make Mera much more competent than Arthur and have her condescend to him by calling him “Aqualad” until the very end of the movie.

    Wally West is the Flash. His mentor and uncle, Barry Allen, the second Flash died in a cataclysmic battle saving the world. Jay Garrick, the original Flash, provides Barry with family, tutoring and assistance. Bring Gorilla Grodd and the Flash Facts.

    Wonder Woman is an Amazon princess with no experience in the world. Sent to “Man’s World” by her mother, she has to undergo a series of ordeals similar to the labors of Hercules to earn her rightful place as queen of the Amazons. She is strong and courageous but dealing with a world that is completely alien to her.

    The Martian Manhunter would be DC’s Nick Fury character. As a detective, he could be tracking down a supervillain conspiracy that touches each of the other heroes. He could meet each of them in their individual movies–only the audience would be aware of his shape-shifting. Then in the Justice League movie, he would show them how their individual problems are related and bring them together to battle the big menace.

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