In The Wake Of ‘Suicide Squad’, Will The DCEU Dispense With Origin Stories Entirely?

(Warning: The following contains mild plot SPOILERS for the recently released Suicide Squad, along with discussion of the future of the DC Extended Universe. Proceed with whatever level of caution the explosive implant in your neck allows…)

Now, with rumors swirling that the recently released Suicide Squad – possibly against the wishes of its director David Ayer – it’s a little difficult to gauge just how much of what we saw on the big screen was part of Warner Bros’ original plans, and how much was a direct response to criticism of the distinctly divisive Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. What does seem certain, however, is that the final product is – despite acting as an introduction to the ‘Squad – a surprisingly long way away from being a conventional origin story.

Which, as it turns out, isn’t all that surprising, since…

It Seems As Though The DCEU Doesn’t Much Care For Origin Stories

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice/Warner Bros.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice/Warner Bros.

After all, while Man of Steel certainly acted as a new introduction to Superman, Batman v Superman cheerfully threw Batman into the mix with only a solitary scene of back-story, and then announced the arrival of Wonder Woman, The Flash, Cyborg and Aquaman with as little context as possible. As such, even if Justice League offers us up a few scenes of the heroes’ pasts, there’s a pretty solid chance that only Wonder Woman will really have her past explored before the whole team assembles in November 2017.

Intriguingly, that pattern very much continued in Suicide Squad, with a few moments of Harley Quinn and Deadshot’s pasts being shown in flashback, but largely just to reinforce the idea that they’ve had rich, villainous lives in the years prior to the movie’s arrival. In other words, the movie may be the origin story for the ‘Squad, but all of its leads very much already had their secret abilities and code names long before it began. It is, effectively, a team-up movie, as opposed to a true origin story in the vein of Man of Steel, Batman Begins, or Iron Man.

The big question that raises?

In The Wake Of Suicide Squad, Will The DCEU Dispense With Origin Stories Entirely?

Suicide Squad/Warner Bros.

Suicide Squad/Warner Bros.

After all, the upcoming Cyborg, Aquaman and The Flash solo movies are all set to arrive in the years following Justice League, meaning we’ll have learned a whole lot about them before they get their own moments in the sun. Will Warner Bros. really opt to drag us back into their respective pasts at that point, rather than pursuing the story threads and character beats that Justice League is sure to introduce? Most likely not.

After all, everyone’s already excited to see THIS version of The Flash…

Instead, it seems more likely that the majority of the DCEU’s ‘phase one’ will be made up of solo adventures that – while fleshing out the heroes back-story – won’t really function as two-hour long tales of ‘how The Flash got his powers’, or ‘How Aquaman learned to talk to fish, and subsequently employ that skill for any kind of useful purpose’.

Instead, they may well be a little more like Suicide Squad, with the filmmakers leaving some gaps in our knowledge of the past in order to pique our interest in future movies that may (or may not) explain them away.

So, Does That Mean We Won’t See Any More Origin Stories In The DCEU?

Well, possibly – though that likely depends on your definition of the term origin story. Wonder Woman, after all, looks set to explain much of Diana of Themyscira’s past, and to give us some Man of Steel-like context for her present day adventures. Indeed, as the trailer above makes crystal clear, we’re set to spend the majority of the movie in the DCEU’s past – which in turn opens up the possibility of seeing more ‘period flashback’ movies in the future. Aquaman in particular could well wind up set in the past, especially if it turns out that the DCEU’s take on the hero was back in as cinematically interesting a time period as Wonder Woman‘s First World War-setting. After all, who wouldn’t want to see Jason Momoa’s Aquaman fighting in the War of 1812, or hunting down U-Boats in the Second World War?

The most likely answer, then, is that we will see future DCEU movies act as origin stories – but that they probably won’t obey all the traditional conventions of such tales. For one thing, we’re most likely going to have met all of the heroes way in advance – especially if a certain Green Lantern just so happens to turn up in Justice League

Want to know more about the future of the DCEU? Check out…

In the meantime, though?

What do YOU reckon?

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Staff Writer, Superheroes, Star Wars and such. Bad jokes aplenty. Follow at @kitsb1