The DCCU is not being rushed

Some suggest thatdclogoblue the DC Cinematic Universe is being rushed.

We cover two interpretations of this concern: first, that not enough time has been spent on the actual production; and second, that not enough time will be given on the screen.

What about production time?

If anything, it has been a long time coming and is something that Warner Brothers has been attempting and developing to varying degrees for years.  In fact, the first mainstream comic book shared cinematic universe existed between Christopher Reeve’s Superman and Helen Slater’s Supergirl with the common casting of Marc McClure as Jimmy Olsen.  Of course, this iteration of the shared universe is the one that people really care about.

We can go back and forth on the arguments for why but sometimes it’s illustrative to just look at the metrics.  Rushing means doing something too quickly for the time allowed.  Here, we can objectively evaluate the time allowed.

Let’s contrast Marvel Phase One, leading up to The Avengers, with DC’s slate leading up to Justice League.

mcu dcu

Visually, they don’t look all that different.  Note that graphs aren’t to scale relative to one another.  The DCCU timeline encompasses 53 months over the MCU’s 48 month timeline.  Aside from first visual impressions, let’s get into the numbers.  For the sake of simplicity we’re rounding dates to the first of the month….

Months From First to Team Up 48 53
Films From First to Team Up 6 5
Months From First to Second 1* 33
Average Months Between Films 9.6 13.3
Average Run Time 129 148
Minutes before Team Up 631 592**

* or 24 if counting from Iron Man to Iron Man 2 instead of Hulk
** projected from the only film we have

So in trying to determine whether the DCCU is being rushed we look at the time being allowed.  DC is taking nearly half-a-year longer to develop its team-up film than Marvel did in Phase One.  DCCU films get more time to breath within that development period, more time for care and deliberation to be put into their production.

The most dramatic difference is the amount of pre-production leading into their cinematic universe.  Marvel had a gap of one month between Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk (obviously, production was parallel, but that means more resources and attention split; the less overlap the more targeted attention), or one year between Iron Man and its sequel.  However, DC has allowed for 33 months of careful planning and production between Man of Steel and Batman v. Superman.  More time allowed, mitigating allegations of rushing.

Note that Ben Affleck was announced as Batman in August of 2013… 31 months before Batman v. Superman.  By comparison, Chris Hemsworth was announced 24 months before Thor.

What about screen time?

Now, another interpretation of rushed is the amount of story-telling time to develop the universe prior to the team-up film.  Here, Marvel would seem to have an advantage with an additional film and running time to develop their world.  However, if you look at the tent-pole blockbusters of Warner Brothers over the years, it’s apparent they aren’t afraid of longer runtimes.  It’s a tenuous projection, but if we use Man of Steel as the average, the gap in the amount of storytelling between Marvel and DC before their team-up film is a scant 39 minutes.

Aren't you glad we spent all that time developing Bruce's relationship to Betty Ross in The Incredible Hulk?

Aren’t you glad we spent all that time developing Bruce’s relationship to Betty Ross in The Incredible Hulk?

If you reflect back on The Incredible Hulk, was there 39 minutes of Marvel Cinematic Universe world-building in its 114 minute runtime?  Thor spent half its time off-world and Captain America was a period piece (the latter paying dividends for Agent Carter but less so for The Avengers) .

If you start discounting minutes not spent on shared-universe world-building from the films, the difference could end up in DC’s favor with a heavy emphasis on a shared universe planned from its second film on, rather than Marvel’s tentative toe-dip with Incredible Hulk before committing with Iron Man 2… or, more likely, being entirely irrelevant.  Basically, arguing over a scant few minutes here or there is a making a mountain out of the molehill of potential time difference between the development of the two cinematic universes.

The allegation of rushing has no basis in metrics, reason, or reality.

Marvel was able to produce a successful and satisfying team-up film in the time allotted approaching the problem as if it were novel.  DC has not only more time, but also complete commitment to a shared universe out the gate with an audience primed to accept and understand a shared universe, and Marvel’s example to follow (in some respects) to achieve similar results.  From everything we’ve seen and are aware of, DC is not rushed when compared to Marvel’s successful Phase One… and we can look forwards to fully fleshed out cinematic universes from both companies.

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  1. Very informative breakdown. Even though I’ve never analyzed DCCU’s schedule to this degree, the claim of “rushing” never made sense to me as Justice League was always extremely far into the future.

  2. I agree that the DC Movie Universe isn’t being rushed though I did notice one mistake on the MCU side. You have Iron Man 2 listed as May 2010 that would mean it was 24 months between Iron Man and Iron Man 2, not the 12 months you listed.

  3. This is a great post, I shall plaster it everywhere!

  4. just wanted to congratulate you..excellent article… i was tired of explaining the same thing to everyone..but some paid reviewers and paid articles have planted this idea purposefully in everyones minds..which is a sad thing

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