Can Adding More Comedy Help DC Universe Movies Succeed?

It is still early days, but the initial attempts of DC to take on the Marvel powerhouse have been no cause for concern for the more established cinematic franchise. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice raked in a respectable $872.7 million despite scathing reviews and a score of 28% on Rotten Tomatoes, but in the same year, Marvel’s main event Captain America: Civil War smashed it with a global box office of $1.132 billion. DC have plenty of ideas in the pipeline, including standalone films for characters such as Aquaman and The Flash. But after mixed feedback regarding Suicide Squad and their new vision of Batman, DC may need to try a different tact to win mass audiences over. With the forthcoming Wonder Woman flick, they hope that comedy will make it unique.

According to director Patty Jenkins, Wonder Woman which is set to hit the big screen in June, will include more elements of comedy than any of its DC predecessors. Jenkins, who is best known for Monster, said that she aspired to create something that was in line with the first ever Superman and the Indiana Jones saga. These movies managed to combine plenty of action with compelling and highly amusing characters. Though the origin story will doubtlessly contain high-octane fight scenes and adventure, the inclusion of comedy could bring some much-needed light relief to the DC franchise. The film will certainly have to try to strike the right balance in a similar way to what the Iron Man trilogy achieved, something which Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad both failed to deliver.

If the film doesn’t find that balance, though, it risks alienating lifelong fans of the character who may not want Wonder Woman to become too much of a joke. The heroine has been around for years in various forms and is regarded by some to be as important as the likes of Batman and Superman. Now that the superwoman has an opportunity to thrive in modern film, some fans may be understandably on edge, wondering whether the filmmakers will be able to do her justice. The Wonder Woman character has been in existence since 1941, which was three years after the first appearance of Superman, and two years after Batman. She hasn’t been quite as prevalent in mainstream media as the two male superheroes, but even so, there have been various incarnations of the powerful female warrior over the years. In addition to the numerous comic book storylines throughout the ages, Wonder Woman has also starred in TV animated series such as the DC Animated Universe and DC Super Hero Girls.

There have been games based on the iron-clad demigoddess as well. The online game Wonder Woman Gold, which forms part of Sun Bingo’s library of slot games, is a well-known title that features images of Lynda Carter from the successful 70s Wonder Woman live action television series. The five-reel, 40-paylines game features symbols including Wonder Woman alter-ego Diana Prince, her spaceship, her bracelets and character Steve Trevor.

Although the director has stated that the new Wonder Woman film will be funny, judging by the trailers there will also be a lot of excitement. The teasers that have been released so far (see videos above) suggest that it could be the first of the DC films to strike on an equilibrium between humour and action. With so many amazing and iconic characters to create material for, it is surprising that DC’s movies haven’t been instant grand successes. But 2017 could be the year that the studio mounts a full-scale assault on Marvel’s dominance. In addition to Wonder Woman, Justice League will be out in November this year. The film will be DC’s answer to The Avengers, and feature the likes of Cyborg and Aquaman. With future movies in the pipeline involving all these various characters, the studio desperately needs their next two offerings to be huge. Could comedy be the answer?