The DCEU is growing at a rapid pace. With two films a year, Warner is gaining momentum and looking to totally revolutionize the comic book film industry, which up until now has been dominated by Marvel and Disney. However, despite the fact that DC owns the more popular characters and properties (the comic book sales reflect this), Warner has been willing to take bigger risks with the films than ever before. Why? Why would they run the risk of killing off important characters (like Superman, Jimmy Olsen, and the rest), reimagining classic villains (The Joker), and toying with alternate costumes and styles? The answer might be that they have something bigger up their sleeves.
Up until recently, the Watchmen comics and characters were not considered to be part of the DC Universe. However, DC Rebirth has changed all of that and introduced Doctor Manhattan as the new antagonist for the world of Rebirth. It’s revealed that Manhattan was personally responsible for alternating the DC Universe by entering it after the events of Watchmen. Hence the dark and gritty world of the New 52.
Does this mean that perhaps Zack Snyder’s 2009 movie adaptation might be part of the extended DCEU already? That might be a subject of debate, though there are plenty of references to Watchmen scattered across Man of Steel, Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad. But why? Are they just friendly nods to the director’s previous work? Maybe. But why would Ayer add references to Suicide Squad? There is a huge yellow smiley face in the department store window where Harley Quinn steals the bag and Deadshot stares into before jumping into a flashback. The icon is strongly associated with Watchmen.
Also, the tone and texture of the Watchmen movie would certainly match what we’ve seen in DC movies so far. Superman and Batman have had their core values rewritten. Superman is more cynical of humanity just like Dr. Manhattan. Batman is certainly more damaged and unhinged like Watchmen’s Rorschach.
So what am I getting at?
Perhaps, just perhaps, DC and Warner have a contingency plan. Maybe they’re thinking that they could give their writers and directors free reign to experiment and if it doesn’t work, they only need to call in the Watchmen crew in order to reboot the series again. Of course, this might be Warner’s plan all along. Perhaps Rebirth was discussed earlier on in the franchise. Maybe this is an alternate timeline. Maybe this isn’t our Joker. Maybe this isn’t our Batman. Maybe this isn’t our Superman. Maybe they are the result of Doctor Manhattan’s creation.
When you sit back and look at all the pieces, they fit. Why did we need the Flash time-traveling sequence in Batman v Superman? Was it there because they wanted us to know that it’s possible? Or is there be something more to it? Could we see Wally West enter the world and go back to totally undo the storyline? Could it be the reason why Geoff Johns (the man behind Rebirth) has been brought in to oversee the films?
It’s possible. And it would make sense. If the fans keep complaining, they’ll have no choice. Either way, I’m along for the ride.