Building franchises and shared universes have become a big staple in Hollywood. Every studio is looking for the next big thing that could make them a billion dollars. It seems as if the days of original films are coming to an end. One would think some studios would see the signs and stop trying to push films that just capitalize on existing brands. Below, I have a few examples of such films that have no business being in any form of production.
Transformers Universe: Bumblebee
It’s sad that this film has already started filming. I love Hailee Steinfeld and think she is a terrific young actress, but this film may tarnish her career. The plot of the film revolves around a teenage girl who finds Bumblebee in the 1980s. No other details are known at this time, but the little bit we do know further confuses the timeline of the Transformers films. We know that the Transformers have been on Earth for a long time, but Bumblebee and the other Autobots did not arrive until the early 2000s. With Megatron frozen during this time period, who could the villain even be? This film may have worked if other films in this franchise had not screwed up the history of the Transformers on Earth. Everything about this film screams, “cash grab!”
Gotham City Sirens
This is a great example of how reactionary Warner Bros. is with the DCEU. Just because people loved Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad does not mean she should get her own full length feature. Villains getting their own film worked for Suicide Squad because they were being forced by the government to fight a greater evil. What would the plot of this film be? Who would this trio of villainesses even fight and why? There are only two ways this could work well for Warner Bros. The first one being that if the film was Suicide Squad: Gotham City Sirens, then it would make sense. I could imagine that Amanda Waller could need an all-female team to go on a specific mission. Toss in Katana and a few more DC characters and you could have a great film. The second way this could work is if it was similar to a Marvel One-Shot. This would be a great bonus feature to add to a Blu Ray while also expanding the DCEU.
It makes no sense for Sony to make a Spider-Man film universe without Spider-Man. Venom is a classic Spider-Man villain. Sure, sometimes he can be seen as an anti-hero when battling Carnage, but that does not make a great franchise. The casting of Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock/Venom is a phenomenal choice. However, we live in an age where great actors no longer sell movie tickets. Sony should work with Marvel and incorporate this film into the untitled Spider-Man: Homecoming sequel. The possibility of Peter battling both Venom and Scorpion would be great. He’s already going to space in Avengers: Infinity War. That would be a great time for him to become bonded with the symbiote and bring it back to Earth.
Joss Whedon is a great writer, director, and producer. However, just because he is taking over pick-ups on Justice League, does not mean that Warner Bros. should beckon to his every whim. We all love Batgirl and want to see her on the silver screen, but a solo film is not what we want. Batgirl is a sidekick of Batman and her villains are Batman’s villains. Starring in a live action film on her own would not translate well for the audience. However, I think having her as a main character in Matt Reeves’ The Batman is a stellar idea.
Harley Quinn vs The Joker
This is just a big solid NO. I don’t know why this idea was ever taken seriously. Once again, maybe a one-shot of them having a friendly or deadly competition, but no feature film. Otherwise, save the next Joker appearance for The Batman.
Just like Batgirl, Nightwing does not need his own film. Seeing Dick Grayson on-screen would be fantastic, but only if it is in a supporting role. It would be great if he appeared in The Batman as Bruce’s original Robin. I would enjoy seeing their on-screen dynamic. It would be good to see how he was affected by the murder of Jason Todd. We know that this incident led Bruce to become a more mean and grizzled vigilante who started branding criminals. Also, it would be nice to see him interact with Barbara/Batgirl since she dated Dick and Bruce in the comics.
Silver & Black
Again, it makes no sense for Sony to make a Spider-Man film universe without Spider-Man. However, unlike Venom Silver Sable and Black Cat can work without Spider-Man. The issue is that we would rather see them in a universe where they can interact with the web-slinger and other Marvel characters. I could actually see this working well as a Netflix series more so than a feature film. This would allow the writers to establish more backstory for both leading ladies. Then, they could possibly cameo in future Marvel films and other Marvel Netflix series.