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Why does it seem like the DCEU is dragging towards a finish rather than ending in a celebration of ten years of narrative when "Shazam: Fury of the Gods," the first of four films releasing this year, deserves to be a huge draw?
The DC Universe is coming to an end with Man of Steel, but James Gunn and Peter Safran are planning a new slate of film, TV and gaming projects.
The 2019 film Shazam! was only marginally successful, although several critics praised it as the best DCEU film to far. Fury of the Gods, the sequel, was seen as the third wise course correction for the DC franchise. But, rather than honouring 10 years of narrative development, the DCEU is sluggishly drawing to a close.
Fury of the Gods has been met with mixed reviews, but box office predictions point to a less favourable debut due to its non-comic book characters and lack of a Shazam vs. Black Adam showdown.
The merits of the movie should be looked at individually, and not in terms of what it sets up, or the post-credit scenes that may never come to fruition in another film. However, that is not the way people watch these movies, at least not entirely. Social media chatter has returned to the same query about these pre-reboot films, "what's even the point?" The point is to see a good film, but that is not enough of a convincing argument for a franchise that has had more hits than misses.
Fury of the Gods should demonstrate that fans are still interested in the DC movies by demonstrating their continued success. The position of these franchises inside the DCU should be made clear, and The Flash should serve as an actual conclusion before transitioning into a reboot. The actors and directors who have contributed to ten years' worth of storylines should be given dignity and clarity in the delivery of this last chapter.