The DC films created by Warner Bros. (formerly known as the DCEU) have proven divisive since the release of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. While the films have made money at the box office, critically, they have had mixed results. This contradiction has spawned inevitable comparisons to Marvel’s financially and critically successful films. This fact is not lost on the stars of the film, including Superman himself, Henry Cavill. The actor recently explained his nuanced take on why the DC movies have struggled, noting,
Even if Marvel didn’t exist, we’d struggle. There was a style they [DC] were going for, an attempt to be different and look at things from a slightly different perspective, which hasn’t necessarily worked. Yes, it has made money but it has not been a critical success; it hasn’t given everyone that sensation which superheroes should give the viewer.
Henry Cavill’s take here is pretty intriguing. He seems to be judging the DC films on their own merits and not based on how they compare to Marvel’s films. He believes that the tonal and stylistic differences compared to other superhero films may have been admirable in their attempt, but he feels they didn’t necessarily work for the subject matter or what the audience expects. This is an honest and sober analysis that doesn’t defer to the standard refrain of ‘we didn’t make this for the critics’ that so often accompanies blockbusters that fail critically. Despite the struggle thus far, Henry Cavill seems optimistic and positive about the future of the DC films. He also told The Rake (via @sliickslack):
I feel like now the right mistakes have been made and they haven’t been pandered [to], and we can start telling the stories in the way they need to be told. It is even better to come back from a mistake or stylistic error into the correct vein because it will make it seem that much stronger. Wonder Woman was the first step in the right direction.
Wonder Woman could not have come at a better time for Warner Bros. and the DC film universe. The film was a massive critical and commercial success that Henry Cavill sees as the first course correction down a better path for the DC films. In sports, it is often said that you learn more from a loss than you do from a win and that silver lining outlook will hopefully serve the DC films well going forward. The hope would be that fans would give DC’s superhero movies the benefit of the doubt and judge each movie on its own merits. And they will get that chance soon as Henry Cavill will presumably be seen in the upcoming Justice League.