While Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (opens in new tab) and Suicide Squad (opens in new tab) did solid business at the box office, both films found themselves on the receiving end of a critical mauling (and plenty of fans had issues with the movies too).
One of the problems many cited is the overly dark tone of the DCEU, and Geoff Johns - who was promoted to creative head for Warner Bros' DC Film franchise earlier this year - has been talking about how that won't be the case in future films:
"Mistakenly in the past I think the studio has said, "Oh, DC films are gritty and dark and that’s what makes them different". That couldn’t be more wrong", Johns told the Wall Street Journal (opens in new tab). "It’s a hopeful and optimistic view of life. Even Batman has a glimmer of that in him. If he didn’t think he’d make tomorrow better, he’d stop".
The article also goes on to say that Justice League (opens in new tab) will 'directly address Batman’s extreme actions in the last movie' - specifically, torturing and killing criminals and almost killing Superman - and Warner Bros. executive Jon Berg adds that "we accelerated the [Justice League] story to get to the hope and optimism a little faster".
I wasn't a fan of Batman v Superman or Suicide Squad, but the journey to Justice League will sting a little less if the end destination is spectacular. Johns is saying all the right things here - his "we’re trying to take a really hard look at everything to make sure we stay true to the characters and tell stories that celebrate them" is particularly telling - and hopefully his influence will be felt in next year's DC films.
Looks like Scarecrow had the right idea all along...
Directed by Zack Snyder and starring Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot, Jason Mamoa, J.K. Simmons, Amber Heard, Ezra Miller, and Ray Fisher, Justice League: Part 1 is currently scheduled for a November 17, 2017 release.
Images: Warner Bros