The past 72 hours of DCEU news has been a literal clusterfuck. There’s no other word to describe it: clusterfuck is the most fitting. In fact I can actually describe what kind of clusterfuck this is. It’s a clusterfuck full of epileptic, blind goats trying to recite the pledge of allegiance while gargling gravel.
Nobody knows what’s going on, and nobody is looking good.
Warner Bros. isn’t doing any damage control. The entertainment sites/journalist can’t go five minutes without contradicting themselves in every article released. Everybody is losing their damn minds because nobody seems to know what is actually going on. And I can barely get through this paragraph without slamming half a bottle of whiskey in one gulp.
It’s a frustrating situation, to say the least. And I’m not going to try and explain what is happening because I can barely wrap my head around it. Lord knows there will be a dozen articles dissecting every statement, Tweet, and fart anyone at Warner Bros. makes.
But, here’s what I am going to do: I’m going to ask you a question.
Why Do You Care?
I’m not asking that to be dismissive, or cynical, and I’m definitely not trying to trivialize the importance of these films. Because they are important to millions of fans and audiences. I love superhero movies, and I love the DCEU. Yes, I love Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and Suicide Squad and I don’t feel even remotely guilty for liking them. To top it all off, Wonder Woman is my favorite superhero movie of all time because it offered an emotional connection I hadn’t felt in any Marvel movies since Spider-Man 2.
So, I’m not asking “why do you care about these movies?” I’m asking, “why do you care about the noise surrounding these movies?” Think about your answer for a second, because I think I know. You care because you are passionate about these movies. You’re passionate about what happens because you want to share your passion with everybody. And you want the news surrounding these movies to be good.
So, it’s completely understandable to be upset when it seems like all you’re getting is bad news.
It Seems Worse Than It Is
Passion is what makes fandom and entertainment a beautiful community, but as any high school counselor will tell you: passion can also lead to disaster. It’s easy to let your passions become anxiety, fear, and doubt. Nobody wants to see a bad movie, and nobody wants to make a bad movie either. But, we let these stories get in our heads, and we assume the worst. Negativity leads to more visceral reactions, which leads to more clicks, and the only thing that’s really changed is the minute hand on the clock.
And during all this doubt and anxiety about these movies, communication just breaks down and we all become really defensive and accusatory: Warner Bros. isn’t doing damage control. Biased journalists are trying to shit on a franchise because they didn’t like a few movies in it. Rotten Tomatoes is full of Disney bought hacks. The fans are visceral and ungrateful.
And the whole thing is just fucking exhausting.
But, I’m here to offer you all some advice from my favorite novel.
I said in the title that the DCEU world isn’t ending, and I know that it isn’t. Because at the end of the day, we don’t really know what’s going on. Even after all the news, and speculation all we know for certain is that Justice League is coming out in November, and Aquaman is coming out a year later. You might think that it’s a bad thing to not know, but I argue that I’d rather be surprised. Do you really want to know everything about all the DC movies coming out? It would ruin the joy of seeing them for the first time.
I guess all of this is a very fucking long winded way of saying, “let’s not take this so fucking seriously.”
Now I’m going to give you three bits of advice that help me not get swept up in all of this entertainment journalism bullshit:
1. A Movie Does Not Exist Until A Trailer is Released
Say it out loud: “A Movie Does Not Exist Until A Trailer is Released!” Tattoo that on your ass if you have to because it’s vital for surviving these reports. Thousands of movies go into development, and not all of them become real movies. That’s not confirmation that it is for sure happening. All that means is that some people met up said, “yeah sure, let’s try and make it,” and the studio responded with “go nuts!” Half of these announcements could be dead in the water tomorrow.
2. You do not have to apologize for your film preferences
This advice doesn’t just go to the DCEU fans. I’m sure there are still fans of the Michael Bay Transformers movies. They’re not wrong for still wanting to see them. I hated Alien Covenant, but nobody is wrong for liking it. A movie is a wonderful form of entertainment, but it’s just a movie. It is escapism, and you can’t dismiss someone for passionately loving their escapism. And no-one can judge you for what your favorite movies are. What matters is how you communicate your love for your favorite films, and how you communicate why you don’t like other films. Nobody’s asking you to be perfect, but just try to keep an open mind as to why a movie you love didn’t speak to someone, and vice-versa.
3. your life is more important than a film franchise
Don’t worry, I’m not trying to get sentimental on ya, but what I’m saying is true. Your life is more important than a film franchise. It’s more important than who stars in it, more important than who creates it, and it’s absolutely more important than who reports on it. Your world is bigger than a movie’s; allow yourself to live in it.
After you finish reading this article, shut down your computer and put your phone away. When you do that, do something else, anything else for at least two hours. I don’t care what it is: Take a walk. Watch your favorite movie. Watch a movie you’ve never seen before. Try Thai food. If you like Thai food, make your unadventurous cousin try it. Go to a bar with your friends, and meet new people.
In those two hours, you’ll be away from the nonstop world of entertainment journalism, and you might miss something important. A huge news bomb about the future of the entire DCEU. The final say on Batfleck. Whether or not Green Lantern will actually be in Justice League
Because, I promise you three things: the world will keep turning, the sun will shine, and there is somebody on this earth who is very happy you’re alive.
The fate of a film franchise can never take that away from you.