It’s funny how superhero movies are now so established that multiverses are about to become a big thing for both Marvel and DC. While the concept of a multiverse is nothing new to comic book readers, it’s a far cry from where we were a couple decades ago with films like X-Men and Spider-Man striving just to get people on board with a new generation of superheroes.
While Marvel’s multiverse plans are starting to come into focus with the upcoming Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness as well as a Spider-Man sequel that will bring in past Spider-Men and their villains, DC Films is also officially starting up their multiverse plans. They had attempted a DCEU that never quite clicked so they returned more to individual stories like Aquaman and Shazam!, but were also able to create a hit film with Joker existing outside that continuity. In a recent New York Times article, DC Films overseer Walter Hamada confirms that a multiverse is coming:
Boiled down, it means that some characters (Wonder Woman as portrayed by Ms. Gadot, for instance) will continue their adventures on Earth 1, while new incarnations (Mr. Pattinson as “The Batman”) will populate Earth 2.“The Flash,” a film set for release in theaters in 2022, will link the two universes and feature two Batmans, with Mr. Affleck returning as one and Michael Keaton returning as the other. Mr. Keaton played Batman in 1989 and 1992.
Will the multiverse mean critical mass for the superhero genre? Probably not. It’s the next evolution in a growing genre, and after 2020 where Marvel released no movies for the first time since 2009 and DC just managed to get Wonder Woman 1984 in under the wire on HBO Max, people are still clamoring for these heroics. We like the fantasy that someone will come along and save the world (problematic as that fantasy may be). It’s just that now the fantasy is too big for one universe to contain.