Will Warner Brothers & DC Ever Catch Up To Marvel Television After Last Night … – Forbes
One of the biggest shockers that came out of the hiring of Joss Whedon as Marvel Studio’s creative grand puba for the foreseeable future was the announcement that Marvel was going to be getting into television, but not in the way we’ve seen before. Marvel’s plan was to create a show that would exist within the already established Marvel Cinematic Universe. A show that would be impacted by the events of the studio’s tent-pole films, and that would allow the company to do things on a personal level the way the films could not. That show became Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and after last night, one must wonder if main Marvel competitor, DC, can ever catch-up with its super-hero based rival.
In an interview with IGN, Man of Steel and current DC go-to writer, David S. Goyer said the following when asked about attempting what Marvel has done in television with the newly establish DC Cinematic Universe: “it’s too early. I know that Warner Bros. would love to make their universe more cohesive. There have been a lot of general conversations about that, but it’s really, really early. I’m not sure. Marvel has had enormous success, but I’m not sure that everybody should try to emulate them either. It’s just been vague conversations so far.” This comes in the wake of Goyer having his own DC based series, Constantine, set up with a pilot at NBC, FOX currently working on Gotham, a direct-to-series origin story of Jim Gordon and The CW still going strong with its top dog, Arrow, and planned spin-off, Flash.
With all these series in various stages of production, one must wonder why Marvel was able to make such a big splash last night in a shocking twist involving an all out betrayal of one of Team Team Coulson’s leading members when DC has clearly been in the business of making successful television for years. What is it about Marvel’s tactics that succeed where DC’s fail? In all honesty, the answer can be found in the business model of Marvel Studios. While, yes, DC does have a successful track record on the small screen, if the ultimate goal is to go the Marvel route and make all live-action media line-up in one, cohesive universe, the home of Batman needs to utilize the one thing that it’s never been able to grasp: patience.
This isn’t the first time the argument has been made, and it most certainly won’t be the last, but the reason Marvel succeeded was because they had nothing but time. No one was in a rush to get to The Avengers, especially not after Iron Man ended up being one of the most successful films of 2008. Kevin Feige and his team took four years to build to its billion dollar cross-over, and it was that fuel that allowed the company to push for a spot on the small screen. By the time Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. came along, Marvel was seven films deep into its cinematic universe. The company had the luxury of already teaching its audience that everything baring the Marvel logo (and only the Marvel logo) took place in the same live-action universe. There was nothing else for viewers to know. Unfortunately, DC doesn’t have the same luxury… for now.
While they may be unfavorable, the facts are the facts. DC is only one film deep into its newly established universe and already has one non-connected show airing with three more in development for the upcoming season on three different networks. Unfortunately, DC is a fractured beast. The only way the company could ever reach Marvel’s level of expansion would be to take a step back and not rush things. The answer is, as unlikely as it sounds, that simple. However, that move would cost the company millions in wasted development. If the continued pile-on of heroes to the next Man of Steel film is any indication, all the company can do now is push forward and hope that five to ten years from now, they will be competing with Marvel on the same level they’re at now.
Can DC reach Marvel’s level of success in the small screen game? Yes, there’s no reason not to believe that. But to believe that could happen in the near future is false. DC is in no place to supersede Marvel as television’s most fascinating super-hero company. Maybe one day will change, but that day is not today, and not in the next few years to come.