After failing miserably with, well, every DC Comics movie other than Wonder Woman, Warner Bros. should consider calling a mulligan. They had some good ideas, ambitious plans, strong casts and great directors. They just couldn’t make it all fit together properly.
It’s still early. They can start from (almost) scratch. Keep the things that worked, such as some of the casts, and dump everything else. Here’s how that would work…
Keep some cast, lose others
Gal Gadot is as much Wonder Woman now as Robert Downey Jr. is Iron Man. Ezra Miller and Ray Fisher are great as The Flash and Cyborg. Jason Momoa may or may not be right for Aquaman, but if he stays he’d need to change his persona. Lastly, J.K. Simmons makes for an interesting Commissioner Gordon.
Everyone else should go. Replace Ben Affleck with Jon Hamm. Get an American, any American, to play the Man of Steel. Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor is ludicrous. All of the side characters can be bumped as well.
As for the cast of Suicide Squad, why don’t we just pretend that storyline is gone. Speaking of storyline…
Start from the middle
Marvel was able to put together a strong origin story for all of their superheroes. They did it in chronological order for each individual character, then brought them in at a good pace (with the exception of Hulk, but that’s their double-mulligan and they got it right eventually).
DC tried to do pretty much the same with one notable exception: Batman. He’s older and grizzled in this DC universe. Robin is already dead. He’s already dispatched with some of his old foes and is now into Justice League mode. This was a great way to frame the whole story and they should try a different variation with the whole DC storyline.
Forget about pitting Batman versus Superman. That was intended to drive the formation of the Justice League itself, but it was amateur in execution and convoluted in delivery. Don’t get me started with the Martha incident.
Pick up the story from the middle. The Justice League and Legion of Doom are already formed. They’ve already fought some battles. Perhaps the storyline can launch with a conspicuous absence of the Legion for a year or two and the Justice League is focused on preparation for other potential dangers to the planet. So far, every movie has seen existential threats. Tone it down. Hint at previous stories that can be told in future movies. It’s challenging to make good movies when the main character is known to have survived, but addressing those concerns and still maintaining tension makes it possible to have incredible story telling and even stronger movies. They did it with Wonder Woman by introducing her first, then telling her origin story later. Do it with all of them.
Another option would be to bring Superman in later. It’s always been one of the biggest dilemmas in the DC universe to find foes worthy of Superman. Imagine a universe where Superman is just Clark Kent for the first 30+ years of his life. He’s just a guy trying to get by at the Daily Planet. He doesn’t become Superman until the Justice League meets its match, perhaps in a movie after the first Justice League reboot movie when other aliens/demons/whatever attack. Then, Clark Kent can safely reveal he’s also not from here.
All of this would be risky, but at this point they have nothing to lose. Their on the verge of having a break-even outing for what was supposed to be their biggest blockbuster to date. That doesn’t bode well for the “safe” storyline they’ve been using so far.
Scratch everything else
New directors. New writers. New look and feel. That’s not to say they didn’t have talent on the crew, but let’s face it. None of it meshed properly. Wipe the whole board clean, take a couple of years to flesh it out, make a real plan that doesn’t have to rely on superheroes whose mothers have the same first name, and let’s put a real DC universe together on the big screen.