This week, it was reported that Warner Bros. is in the process of creating a new DC movie banner. This banner is designed to explore standalone stories that reimagine DC characters, and it is separate from the DC Extended Universe. Basically, this approach is similar to DC’s Elseworlds, an imprint that explores out-of-continuity stories.
The film that will spearhead this banner is a Joker origin story, directed by Todd Phillips and produced by Martin Scorsese. The movie takes place in 1980s Gotham City, and it’s described as a gritty crime thriller.
Of course, there’s plenty of potential for more Elseworld films. Under that imprint, DC Comics has published multiple storylines. It’s only natural that some of them would make it to the big screen.
Below, we’ve compiled a list of five DC Elseworld films we would love to see.
Superman: Red Son
Starting off with one of the more popular Elseworlds stories. Red Son reimagines Superman as a proponent of the Soviet Union, rather than America. It’s a radically different take on the Superman mythos, and it could very easily stand apart from the Man of Steel’s past films.
In fact, director Jordan Vogt-Roberts
pitched a Red Son
movie to Warner Bros. a while back, and he suggested the idea of making alternate “offshoots” that co-exist with the DCEU. That’s pretty much what WB’s new banner is doing, so could Vogt-Roberts get his wish? Time will tell. But regardless of who directs it, Superman: Red Son
would make for a pretty fascinating film if done right.
Batman Beyond was a hit animated series, serving as a sequel to Batman: TAS. The show is set in the future, with an elderly Bruce Wayne retiring from the Batman mantle and passing it on to Terry McGinnis. Since then, the Beyond concept was incorporated into DC’s comic book continuity. WB was also developing a film adaptation back in 2000, but it was ultimately scrapped.
A Batman Beyond movie would be an ideal addition to DC Films’ Elseworlds banner. The idea of an old Bruce training a new Batman would be very different from past films, while the futuristic setting would be really cool. It’s unclear if there are any plans to eventually bring this concept into the DCEU, as that is still focused on modern day Bruce. But if there aren’t any plans, then bring it over to the Elseworlds banner.
Justice Society of America
The Justice Society of America is a precursor to the Justice League in the comics, featuring characters like Alan Scott/Green Lantern and Jay Garrick/Flash. The team appeared on Smallville and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, but currently, there are no plans to bring them to the big screen, let alone in the DCEU. So, why not give them an out-of-continuity movie?
Exploring a superhero group in the World War II era would be a lot of fun, and the JSA has countless members to choose from to make up a cinematic team. Perhaps a film adaptation could look at The Liberty Files, an Elseworld comic where the JSA is a team of covert government operatives, rather than full-on superheroes.
Batman: Gotham by Gaslight
Gotham by Gaslight
is the original Elseworld storyline in DC Comics. The comic reimagines Batman and the world of Gotham in 1889, during the steampunk era. Batman has fewer gadgets, his costume is a little different, and he’s going up against Jack the Ripper. This story is actually being adapted in an animated movie
for next year. Assuming that is a success, how about a live action film?
Gotham by Gaslight offers a very unique setting that would make it stand out from every other superhero film. I mean, who wouldn’t want to see a steampunk Batman movie? As WB expands its slate of non-canon DC films, this is a story that should be a given. Bring it.
And finally, we have one of DC’s most iconic storylines – and my favorite graphic novel of all time. Kingdom Come explores an alternative future, as Superman and the Justice League retire and a new, more reckless generation of “superheroes” rises. The two come into conflict in a battle that threatens the planet’s very existence. Simply put, this is a very epic biblical story, and it could be incredible on the big screen.
While Kingdom Come would be a great way to conclude the DCEU (whenever it happens), it could work just as well as a standalone Elseworld film. Its deconstruction of heroism, its distinct visual style, and its portrayal of older Justice League all make this an obvious comic to adapt. As long as it does justice to the source material, then Kingdom Come could be a truly special addition to the comic book movie genre.
Honorable Mentions: DC’s Bombshells, Gotham Noir, The Dark Knight Returns, Injustice: Gods Among Us, Booster Gold
Which DC Elseworld movie would you like to see?
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