Something that has long caused scepticism about the prospect of a DC cinematic universe, is the consistent message that the entire endeavour would be approached differently. While these types of cohesive franchises are becoming increasingly common, Zack Snyder and his producers – Deborah Snyder and Charles Roven – have never swayed from the point that the DCEU would be unusual in the way it unfolds.
One aspect of it that is not unusual, however, is the apparent plan to have various Justice League members pop up in each other’s movies – and Deborah Snyder has now dropped a sizeable hint to Forbes that one of those pop-ups may well be Cyborg in The Flash.
“As you can imagine, when we get to The Flash movie, Ezra Miller and Ray Fisher — who plays Cyborg — are kind of our youngest characters, and they have a really nice comradery [camaraderie] with each other. Ezra is super funny, so the tone of that film will be very different than the rest of them.”
This comment is notable for two reasons. Firstly, it is a tantalizing teaser of these two fan-favourite characters appearing together in a standalone movie for the first time ever. Secondly, it further supports the nature of the cohesive universe that Snyder, Snyder and Roven are in the process of creating.
One of the main ways in which these filmmakers seek to set the DC cinematic universe apart from its predecessors and cohorts is in the tonal variety it promises – as Deborah Snyder further explained to Forbes.
“When we were moving toward Justice League and introducing all of these superheroes in the same universe, it was really important – especially when you have a Justice League movie and then all of these stand-alone movies in-between – to have a timeline, to have a framework of where you’re going from A to B. If we knew where the characters we going, we knew where they could fit in. And we wanted them to feel consistent, because it’s the same universe.
“But we also – Zack and I have a very filmmaker-driven company [Cruel And Unusual Films], and we didn’t want to dictate to directors what they could or couldn’t do. So we felt like, if we had an outline, we could then give the directors the latitude to have the tone be different between the films, and to really make the films their own. So you have, like, a David Ayer whose tone is so different in his film Suicide Squad from what Patty’s [Jenkins] doing in Wonder Woman. It gives a lot of freedom, but we’re always communicating with each other if we change what a character’s doing, or where they are, so it all makes sense in the world.”
This is an important aspect of the franchise because it not only reflects the way the source material works – with different comic book writers and artists adding their own spin to iconic characters – but also because it honours the fact that film is, first and foremost, an artistic medium.
This is not about delivering a series of production-line, cookie-cutter, crowd-tested, homogenized, films by committee – this is about artists telling stories, which happen to be potential blockbusters only because of the nature of the characters involved. That, in itself, is exciting, but the idea of Cyborg popping up in The Flash makes it even more so.