DC are working hard. After the phenomenal success of The Dark Knight Trilogy, their Superman re-boot, Man Of Steel, soared at the box office. Inevitably, audiences and commentators began to look at their long term plans – and compare them with their closest rival, Marvel. Such comparisons are understandable – both have a stable of iconic superheroes to draw upon. However, while DC have been in the superhero movie business for decades, Marvel have managed to create a large-scale cohesive universe – incorporating film and TV – in less than 10 years. Clearly, all future DC plans are shrouded in secrecy. But, if there is a person to ask, David Goyer is that person.
The writer’s penmanship is stamped on every film in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy. He also wrote the story and screenplay for Man Of Steel, the story for Batman vs. Superman, and will write the screenplay for the Justice League movie. In addition, he’s leading the charge toward a film adaptation of Sandman, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Not content with conquering the cinema screen, Goyer is also moving into TV, leading the upcoming series production of Constantine.
This is where it gets interesting – and where the Marvel comparisons really come into their own. In addition to Arrow, DC currently have no less than four TV pilots heading into production – The Flash, Constantine, Gotham and iZombie. A further three are rumoured to be in development – Hourman, DMZ and Preacher. Marvel are in a similar – if slightly less advanced – position, having signed a deal with Netflix for four superhero shows.
To a blinkered eye, it certainly looks like DC are running to catch up with Marvel’s speeding juggernaut, and if you had the opportunity to chat with David Goyer, you would definitely ask – just as IGN recently did. In talking about the TV shows DC has in development, IGN asked if they would be designed to tie into DC’s movies, creating more cohesive universe along the lines of Marvel’s masterplan.
“I mean, it’s too early. I know that Warner Bros would love to make their universe more cohesive. There have been a lot of general conversations about that, but it’s really, really early. I’m not sure. Marvel has had enormous success, but I’m not sure that everybody should emulate them either. It’s just been vague conversations so far.
“You have to admire what Marvel’s done. It’s really hard to create a brand – I mean, where people follow your brand. Pixar’s done it, and now Marvel has done it. It’s really, really hard to do because there’s not a lot of brand loyalty anymore. They’ve created a cohesive universe, so I really admire what they’ve done.”
The man makes a good point – the construction of a cohesive universe has created brand loyalty for Marvel. If TV audiences were honest – how many would still be watching Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D if it weren’t tied in to Marvel movies?