“A Wrinkle In Time” has been a long time coming. The beloved children’s book, long considered unadaptable, was brought to life by director Ava DuVernay. While there are inherent challenges in adapting any book to film, “A Wrinkle In Time” had the added uphill battle of being wonderfully imaginative and difficult to put into actual visual form. DuVernay’s next film might be from a visual medium, but it’s unlikely bringing DC’s “New Gods” to life will be any easier.
DC has seemingly handed the very bizarre and out-there Fourth World concept to DuVernay, a setting and set of very unique characters created by the late Jack Kirby. You may recognize that name from the end of almost every Marvel movie as a co-creator next to Stan Lee. Well, Kirby left for DC in the 70’s after feeling unfairly treated at Marvel, and apparently saved some of his more creative characters for that shift. New God characters have already shown up and been referenced to in the DCEU. Steppenwolf and the Parademons have already appeared, along with some Mother Boxes, the focal items from “Justice League.” Darkseid has also been referenced, but not yet seen.
It is highly unlikely that DC will use those versions of those characters at all for this project. They have been restructuring as of late and already have plans for movies that will not tie into the groundwork previously set, including a Joker origin story, and a stand-alone Batman tale.
Ava DuVernay has already mentioned an affection for characters within that world, stating in her Twitter that Big Barda, a New God herself, is Ava’s favourite superhero. Being a very left-field choice might just be showing off the level of intimate knowledge needed to handle this kind of thing properly.
This might prove to be a considerable gamble for WB. DuVernay, as mentioned, did a great job of adapting “A Wrinkle In Time” for the big screen regarding translated book-content, but it hasn’t set the world on fire at the box office. A lot of things are at play here, including “Black Panther” and the beginning of the blockbuster season in general, however, WB already has an issue with it’s DC properties underperforming. Perhaps this will be different enough from everything else to give it a fighting chance.
The DCEU is all but dead as it tried to chase the MCU in the battle at shared-universe-superhero superiority, but maybe a new, looser sense of adapting some stand-alone fare will do them well. It’s already proved difficult justifying Batman in a universe with aliens and demi-Gods to a general audience. Decoupling may be the best way for WB to truly differentiate their superhero slate.
Bring on Granny Goodness, Scott “Mr. Miracle” Free, Big Barda, Orion, Metron, Darkseid and the rest of the New Gods. When everything else has been attempted, it’s time to dip some toes into the deep end of the pool.