There have been plenty of fans who have complained about Warner Bros.’ attempts to replicate Marvel’s money-generating Cinematic Universe with DC. But they’re not the only ones — some Hollywood executives also doubt WB can pull it off, because the studio seems to be going about it in the worst way possible.

All this comes from a new story in The Hollywood Reporter, which anyone who is interested in modern superhero movie-making (or DC movie schadenfreude) should check out. But here’s the short version of why WB seems to going about a DC Cinematic Universe all wrong:

In the early going, some in Hollywood are questioning whether Warners has acted too much in haste without having fleshed out the world on which so much hinges. Grumbling among talent reps came especially in response to the studio’s strategy of hiring five writers to compete for a job on Wonder Woman, which has a June 2017 release date.

Hiring five different people to write five different scripts, not to work together, but to see who makes the best one may not seem that problematic, but it does indicate a troubling lack of direction — especially given the movie is due in two years.

On Aquaman, set for 2018, sources say Warners commissioned scripts from three writers, one of whom followed the studio’s direction only to be told the rules governing the universe had changed and his work no longer was usable.

But it appears that even once WB has decided something, there’s a decent chance that the studio execs may change their minds again. That’s definitely not good.

Another writer has been on hold for the film for months as the studio works to define its vision. “They just haven’t been thorough about their whole world and how each character fits and how to get the most out of each writer’s time by giving them direction,” says a rep with knowledge of the process. “Obviously, Marvel’s very good at that.”

Please note these three quoted sections are actually one single paragraph in a lengthy feature that details WB’s attempts to get the DC Cinematic Universe up and running, even if they have no idea which direction to go. The whole article is an excellent read, and seems quite honest about WB’s strengths and weaknesses regarding its DC movies — you should definitely check it out here.


Contact the author at rob@io9.com.