Of course, there is a fairly limited amount of information you can give out in a press release and a 30-second spot — especially when the service is drawing on decades of stories from TV, film, and comics.
So…what do we now specifically know is coming, but hope to see in the DC Universe?
Read on…and if we forgot something, let us know in the comments or on Twitter @russburlingame!
We’ve seen that the app will host the Fleischer Superman cartoons, early animation that is in the public domain. Will it also carry the live-action serials featuring Superman and Batman which are similarly easy to get hold of for free?
Every so often, somebody will get ambitious and package the serials, but with a DVD market that has suffered the loss of video stores and most of its retail footprint in much of the U.S., it seems unlikely that will happen again.
Bringing these to the DC streaming service seems like a no-brainer, and the biggest challenge is likely getting a version of them that is in high enough definition to feel at home on the app, which has upgraded even the ’70s Wonder Woman series to HD, but is unlikely to be able to carry the same sharpness to the serials.
The series, which lowered the stakes considerably from the over-the-top comics of the day and saw Superman mostly fighting gangsters and common crooks, gave fans some of the most memorable performances of the beloved characters in Metropolis.
Seasons of the series have been made available on DVD, and streaming via the Warner Archive, but this show — and maybe also The Adventues of Superboy, which came out years later — would be a great addition to DC Universe.
A character whose profile with non-comics readers is pretty low, Captain Marvel/Shazam has historically been one of the most valuable IPs DC holds. So as Zachary Levi’s film steps into the spotlight, the next question becomes how to elevate his profile, and making it easier for more people to see the previous adaptations would be a good step in the right direction.
Arguably the most famous and influential comic book TV series ever made, Batman has endured long after it went off the air, and even now continues to spawn spinoffs and tie-ins (in the last year there has been an animated movie and now a crossover comic with Archie, both set in the world of Batman ’66).
The series’ rights were tied up for years, and reportedly only totally resolved when DC and Fox made a deal during negotiations for Gotham. Digital rights are, of course, a different animal but seem to have been included in whatever deal happened since the home release of the Blu-ray carried a digital code.
The series is, like many other DC shows, available only for rental or sale, not to stream for free, so putting it on the DC Universe app would be a way to reach out to new audiences who would not be likely to pay $1.99 an episode for an unknown quantity.
Most people probably remember the version of Human Target that ran on FOX about a decade ago and starred Mark Valley (The Flash) and Jackie Earle Haley (Watchmen) — but did you know there was another one?
Yeah, back in the ’80s there was a TV pilot starring Rick Springfield which came from the producers of 1990’s The Flash and hewed a little closer to the comcis than the 2010 series did, with all of Chance’s high-tech disguises.
What else might DC be able to release in that vein?
There are some notorious DC pilots, including David E. Kelley’s Wonder Woman and the ’90s half-hour Justice League…but what other gems might be hiding away in a vault someplace?
Static Shock and Teen Titans are just two of the various series that DC has not been streaming lately, so it could be nice to see those and a handful of others that are currently available only by dropping a pretty penny come to the DC Universe app.
There have been a number of DC projects considered for movies and TV that never got off the ground, so if this turns out to be a hit, and the company can support Titans and Doom Patrol and the rest, why not go the Netflix route and try some feature films, too?
Booster Gold might be a good starting point, since it has been in development forever and was expected to be produced and directed by Titans EP Greg Berlanti.
Other projects like Metal Men have been developed and dropped over the years, leaving DC with a presumably strong sense of what Hollywood is “looking for” out of their lower-tier IP.
Certainly this is not something that will happen right away, but if this app — which purports to be fan-centric — turns out to be a success and starts developing a ton of original content, this might be the only way one could imagine Warner Bros. shaking loose the money necessary to satisfactorily complete the supposed “Snyder Cut” of Justice League, which if we understand correctly is basically an unfinished workprint that laid out the skeleton fo Snyder’s vision for last year’s box office bomb.
Fans will almost certainly overrun the forums in the app with “Snyder Cut” requests, since they have been doing it with nearly every Twitter thread about DC movies for months, and while DC and Warner Bros. have implied that no such cut exists, enough people involved with the film have said otherwise that fans will simply not believe it anymore.
What might be a better option than actually editing a $250 million movie that already failed once? How about taking whatever footage they have and turning it into an epic animated movie?