The DCU Reboot Already Tastes Like New Coke

Written By Mikey Sutton • Editor-in-Chief • Owner

The DCU reboot has revealed little, but it already tastes like New Coke. Granted, we haven’t seen the full menu from DC Studios co-CEO James Gunn yet. Certainly, there might be gems inside. On the other hand, this isn’t like licking a Tootsie Pop to reach its delectable center.

Instead, it’s like putting your hand in dog poop to search for sweet candy. No, this is a different kind of Hershey’s kiss. But before we speculate on the future or discuss the present, let’s take a quick trip the past.

In April 1985, the Coca-Cola Company produced one of the biggest marketing blunders in history. Coca-Cola replaced their original formula with the watered-down New Coke. The suits believed that it would boost sales. Suddenly, old Coke was gone. In its place was an atrocity that tasted more like Pepsi, their competitor.

However, they left consumers without a choice. Keep an open mind and accept the New Coke. This was decades before social media. Thus, if you hated anything, it’d take a while for anyone to notice.

Nevertheless, the backlash was so loud Coca-Cola brought back their trademark flavor in three months. Instead of giving people what they truly wanted, they shoved an inferior product down their throats.

The DCU Reboot Already Tastes Like New Coke

The DCU Reboot Already Tastes Like New Coke

Image: Warner Bros.

When Gunn announced that he will replace Henry Cavill as Superman, it conjured memories of New Coke. Cavill – and the Rock – already told the world who is Superman going forward. Then Gunn abruptly pulled the rug from underneath the fans.

Actually, it felt like he ripped the bandage off. If Cavill hadn’t announced his return, perhaps it wouldn’t sting as much. After all, the previous DC Films trained followers not to expect anything from them. In my 35 years as a professional journalist, I’ve never witnessed such cruelty from a movie studio.

This isn’t about fan entitlement. It’s about bait-and-switch. On an epic level. Again, it smacks of New Coke. In other words, let’s take away what you like, and we’ll give you this instead. You’ll enjoy it, trust us. Drink it.

And there’s the condescending keep an open mind. I hear that quite a bit from certain folks who don’t understand why a person becomes emotionally attached to a product. For example, like Coke. Yet the executives don’t keep an open mind about what their consumers want.

Without a doubt, it’s not a two-way street with them. They pretend to listen to us to make themselves feel better.

Upcoming cameos by Ben Affleck and Cavill pointed to the direction Warner Bros. Discovery was headed. Warner Bros. Pictures Group CEO Mike De Luca wanted to keep the SnyderVerse cast for a final ride. Indeed, we saw the puzzle pieces. Affleck in The Flash and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. Moreover, The Flash added Cavill.

All gone.

And so is our interest in the DCU.

The DCU Reboot Already Tastes Like New Coke

The DCU Reboot Already Tastes Like New Coke

Image: Warner Bros.

Whenever there are disgruntled followers, they throw the same excuse: We don’t owe you anything.

Guess what? We don’t owe DC Studios anything, either. Going to the movies is expensive. If I took a taxi to a theater, it’d cost me $50 in back-and-forth cab fare and a single ticket.

That has to be earned.

Marvel Studios continues to rake in billions because they make the fans happy. Of course, not all of the time. That’s impossible. But they brought Spider-Man into the MCU. They didn’t recast Daredevil and the Kingpin. They delivered John Krasinski as Reed Richards. And they’ll team up Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine with Deadpool.

Warner Bros. reluctantly unleashed The Snyder Cut to energize HBO Max. Then WarnerMedia’s Ann Sarnoff told us to stop asking for more.

While the MCU continues to flex its muscles, the DCU prefers we take a sip of New Coke.

Sure, some will like the taste. In 1980, I saw a movie called The Hollywood Knights. In this film, some high-school pranksters spike the punch with their own urine. An oblivious cop drinks it and says, “Does have a little wang in it. Good, though!” Anything is possible, I suppose.

DC Studios is banking on the general public to gulp down the New Coke. It won’t take them long to see they prefer The Real Thing.