DC Daily Planet: Dan Didio Talks DCU and Zack Snyder Spills on DCCU

DC Comics has been bubbling with news this week, from major casting announcements featuring Chris Pine, a new Supergirl villain and 400 mothers and daughters, a possible meeting between DC and Robot Chicken, DC head Dan Didio reveals the plan for DC Comics upcoming line, and Zack Snyder reveals bits of his plan for the DC Cinematic Universe. Let’s break it all down shall we?

The Wrap was the first to report the official announcement that Chris Pine, who had been rumored to either be playing leading Green Lantern Hal Jordan, or leading love interest for Wonder Woman Steve Trevor, has officially picked a part. And the winner is…Steve Trevor, ladies and gents!

Yes, our space captain of Star Trek will be playing the sometimes friend, sometimes love interest of Wonder Woman, Steve Trevor, in the upcoming Wonder Woman. Recently Steve Trevor has been reworked to play a larger role in both Wonder Woman’s storylines and within the overall DCU, acting as a both a former military pilot and currently the liaison between the Justice League and the military/government.

In his original role, Steve Trevor was a pilot who had crash landed on Themysica by accident. Diana, our Amazonian Princess herself, was charged to take Steve back to “man’s world”. In more mainstream recent fair, Steve Trevor has been seen in Justice League: War, Justice League: Throne of Atlantis, and Justice League: Gods and Monsters, as the sometimes love interest of Wonder Woman, and/or the cranky, would-be go between of the Justice League and the government.

The press releases for Pine’s official casting announcement details the potential for more future movies. If Trevor does become a long term love interest for Wonder Woman this wouldn’t be a surprise. Perhaps given the seemingly political tone the DC Cinematic Universe is going for – as seen in the recent Batman vs Superman trailer – there’s a strong change Steve Trevor will also be filling the role most recently seen in his incarnations; as a liaison between the Justice League and government.

The press releases also assures us that Steve Trevor will be more than “just a love interest” for Wonder Woman, because we’re sure that’s something fans were overly concerned with. Love interest, friend, handler, or whatever other moniker’s Steve Trevor receives in the movie(s), here’s to hoping we get one cradle carry between him and Wonder Woman like fans saw in Batman: Brave and the Bold.

EW also reported this week that Sons of Anarchy and The 100 alum Chris Browning has been cast as the villainous Reactron on CBS’ upcoming Supergirl. Reactron, also known by his civilian name Ben Krull, is typically a Superman villain, who wears an armored suit implanted with Kryptonite. Doesn’t seem like Supergirl is taking its time introducing various name stay villains or weaknesses that exist within the mythos.

In other related Supergirl news, CBS recently held a special event where the network invited 400 mothers and daughters to a screening of the Supergirl pilot, set to air in the fall. CBS decided to thrown in a special treat by having Supergirl herself, Melissa Benoist arrive on stage and later sign autographs and take pictures


with fans.

The video is pretty darn cute, even if it’s probably a publicity stunt. Still, it’s pretty nice seeing a network try so hard to carter to the specific audience of both young girls and older women. An audience that all to often goes unnoticed – purposely or not – by networks.

Emmy nominated and popular Adult Swim show Robot Chicken has done two previous DC Comics specials and are currently working on their third installment: “Robot Chicken DC Comics Special 3: Magical Friendship”. I don’t like Robot Chicken, and as such will not be witnessing what is sure to be a crude, but potentially hilarious DC special. For all you fans out there though, rejoice!

Finally, Dan Didio had much to say about the current state of both DC Comics and the DC Cinematic Universe this week.

In an interview with Newsrama Didio stated that he’s been asked three questions with frantic frequency; after Convergence, is DC comics a series of loose contingency, tight contingency, and is diversity just for the core line, or further beyond? Didio answered these questions with a big yes – to all of them. Not good enough for some fans, and understandably so.

When DC completely rebooted their line back in early 2012 and introduced 52 new titles all under the moniker of “New 52!” the company stated that their previous history of comic continunity was kaput. This obviously upset a great deal of fans. Recently with DC’s multiverse event Convergence, there’s been a reintroduction of various older Earths, universes, and characters. The rebirth of Earth 2, and the rebooting of Milestone Comics which will be known as Earth M have been the most discussed.

Didio further describes DC Comics current or upcoming lines as such:

“I describe it in three concentric circles. At the center, you have the core continuity that drives the story, drives the characters, that really defines what the universe stands for — basically, the films and TV shows strive for it too, that connective world.

“Then you move out from there and you have the stories that are associated with that core continuity but are able to move into directions where they stand alone, but they still feel connected to the core universe, because they share a lot of the basic conceits of the shared universe.

“And then you move out to the furthest circle, and that’s where you find a lot of the more fringe ideas, the more risk-taking, and different types of approaches — being able to try different things with different characters, with different artists, with different voices, different tones. And although they share the names of characters that you’re familiar with, they really take on a life and a direction of their own, and we let them move in that direction so that they can breathe and take their own form.”

Still confused? Yeah me too a bit, but it sounds like DC will have their bigger, more encompassing titles, Justice League, upcoming events, as their main stories, then their solo titles that don’t involve these “main” storylines – think the very isolated solo titles like Black Canary, Harley Quinn, Constantine, Starfire, and Cyborg – and after that is their other universe stories. The ones that exist on Earth 2 and Earth M for example. At least that’s the way I’m going to interpret Didio’s interview.

This could mean no more reboots, but I doubt it. However with the inclusion of a wider coexisting multiverse does give weight to the possibility of more inclusive titles. More so than just more solo titles with minority characters, there’s also the inclusion of much needed minority writers behind the pages. Milestone has a history of specifically employing creators of color to fill it’s ranks, and that’s hopefully something that will continue on. The need for more diversity on page is important, but equally important is the need for diversity behind the page as well. Hopefully with DC’s new direction will see more of both existing in tandem.

Head of the currently developing DC Cinematic franchise, Zack Synder gave a short interview providing some minor details into the state of DC’s upcoming shared movie universe. Snyder explains that unlike Marvel’s Cinematic Universe – MCU – DC’s “DCCU” will truly begin with one huge story, Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice. “What we are doing is ground up all the way. It is one giant story,” Snyder states in the interview. “The other movies, in a way, have to support that. That is our Wonder Woman, our Aquaman. They have their own creative concepts that supports them, but they do serve Justice League in the coming together of those heroes.”

Snyder and producer Deborah Snyder make it clear that each director were given a lot of freedom to play in what they call “the sandbox”. However, there was also a stringent plan and timeline to which each chosen director had to follow. Given the lukewarm reception Man of Steel has received, and the constant comparisons to Marvel’s MCU, DC and Warner Bros has a lot riding on their next two movies, Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad, both set to release next year.

So that’s all for this week’s DC Daily Planet folks! Lots of announcements in the live action world of DC Comics, seems like Synder and Warner Bros have some sort of plan for the DCCU. Didio certainly believes in DC Comics plan for their upcoming line, and CBS is working hard to cater to young girls and women for the upcoming release of Supergirl.

Desiree Rodriguez

Desiree Rodriguez

Desiree Rodriguez is currently majoring in Converged Communications. She's a writer, geek girl, and proud queer mestiza woman. Desiree is an entertainment writer for The Tempest, and contributor for Nerds of Color. Desiree has written for The Young Folks, The Feminist Wire, and Geeked Out Nation.