The DC Extended Universe is at it again. In just under two month's time, Justice League, the Batman and Superman led group of superheroe, will band together to fight evil and save the world. It's been a rocky road to get here. While many of the run up movies flailed, only Wonder Woman has been a box office smash. Hence fans and critics alike asking why were there no Wonder Woman post credits sequences to help Justice League along?
It's no secret that the DCEU has been playing catch up to Marvel even since 2012's The Avengers caught them making 20th century stand alone franchises in a world that suddenly demanded 21st century connected universes. Superman's Man of Steel wasn't even supposed to be the beginning of a shared universe, but it had to become so, and quickly. The problem was, it was controversial to begin with. The follow up, Batman's intro in Superhero FacePunch (aka BvS), had an even worse critical response when it finally came in 2016.
Meanwhile, other stand alone spin offs that should shoot off of Justice League, like The Flash and Cyborg, have been unable to get off the ground. Only Aquaman, starring Jason Momoa, seems to be functioning the way Wonder Woman did.
The point is, since the DCEU are following in the wake of Marvel, they're also being judged against Marvel's established tropes -- one of which is the endless post credit sequences. What was originally a single fun bumper at the end of the first Iron Man has grown so popular, that Guardians of the Galaxy 2 squeezed in no less than five last summer.
Warner Brothers has tried to separate themselves from Marvel by not doing them. Well, at least they didn't with Man of Steel, but remember, that was not originally supposed to be a founding movie to a universe like Iron Man was.
Since then, they've toyed with them on occasion. Superhero FacePunch had a post credit teasing Justice League, but it wasn't shown with the movie. Instead, it was released on line the Monday after the movie's debut.
Wonder Woman, on the other hand, had nothing. Not with the movie, not after the movie, not online, nothing. This seemed rather odd -- after all, hers was the last stand alone before going into Justice League, and the first DCEU movie not to be a fan derided or critical disaster. One would think they would at least do an "online bumper" like the one above.
But no. Let Patty Jenkins explain:
I'm not always a believer in post-credit scenes. I feel like they make sense if the films are extremely similar. I think if you know the next movie is going to be set in the same world or have the exact same tone, then I think it makes sense. To me, it does not make sense to have a commercial for a completely different style of movie in the credits of another movie. One of my favorite things about the DC Universe is they were super supportive of me doing my own tone, but there's no other movie that they have that's of the same tone. So it just felt weird to do some other crossover. Also, the end of the movie was the end. It wasn't, 'Tune in later for more.'
Jenkins isn't wrong. This isn't a problem Marvel has, because they are so fiercely protective of their films working together as a piece. They're also able to insist that everyone work together as a piece, because that tone is working. On the other hand, this is a big problem for DC. Jenkins' film has a tone that isn't like any of the other DC movies -- and they let her do that, because (let's face it) the tone established by Zack Snyder ultimately wasn't working.
But the tone of Jenkins' film did work -- which suggests that if DC wants Justice League to work, they should perhaps find a way to follow suit. That Jenkins said "thanks but no thanks" to hitching DC's only hit movie to their overall universal franchise is both a power move on her part, and a suggestion -- at least at the time Wonder Woman was being finished last spring -- she was not that impressed by what they were doing.
Of course, the movie has undergone some serious revamping since then, with Zack Snyder taking personal leave time, and Joss Whedon stepping in to do reshoots. Will Justice League ultimately surprise us all as pleasantly as Wonder Woman did? We'll find out in November when it comes to theaters.