One of the more interesting themes running throughout the DC Cinematic Universe is the concept that audiences will see both flashbacks and flash forwards. It’s a technique already used in all of the movies up to now, including Man of Steel, Batman vs. Superman and Suicide Squad. Now it’s being reported that the studio may be looking to double down on the technique.
Speaking with Comicbook about Wonder Woman, the films producer Charles Roven talked about the issue of a fluid timeline throughout the DCEU. In particular, he revealed that Warner Brothers has already decided how it plans to flesh out characters backstory’s and also help build the universe in a more organic manner;
“For example, the Justice League movie will take place in a universe that’s post-Batman v Superman, just like Batman v Superman takes place in a universe that’s post-Man of Steel. When we’re dealing with either The Flash or Aquaman, since they will take place in a universe that has happened after Justice League, the characters and the world will be informed by the movies that preceded them, except that there’s flashbacks or whatever within those particular movies, [and] flashforwards within those particular movies.”
There’s already precedent for this within the DCEU – as during Man of Steel we got our first glimpse of Flash when he invaded Batman’s dreams. They were also used in Suicide Squad to help establish the backstory of the Task Force X members.
It’s clear audiences are growing fatigued with the Superhero origin story. It’s why Marvel chose to introduce Black Panther in a more organic manner during it’s Captain America: Civil War. It’s also why we’ll be meeting members of the Justice League before we see their backstory – much like how Wonder Woman was introduced.
I’m all for this personally, but only if it’s used sparingly. No one wants to see audiences confused – and some were left bemused by the inclusion of Flash in such a throwaway scene during Batman v Superman. We’ll be looking to see if Warner Brothers can make this technique work.
Do you want to see more flashbacks and flashforwards?