So If I were running the show for the DC films department of WB what would I do to catch Marvel and make sure there is a Summer Blockbuster guaranteed 300 million dollar maker each summer for at least the next 10 summers ...what would it look like ?
2011 : Kick off with Superman: Man of Steel.
The movie lays out a DC universe paralleling past years of DC. With just allusions to a Batman and Gotham but never seeing it or him- we establish the super-powered fantasy universe of DC with Superman(a few years into his history and the only 'known' superpowered being) and using plot devices and small scenes- launch Hal Jordan,John Stewart,Wonder Woman and J'onn J'onzz. End of movie sets the stage for a team up film with Superman and Martian Manhunter leading the way.
* also allows for Batman III to be unaffected and let it remain in the world Nolan has made.
2012 : Using the setups from Man of Steel- we launch 'Green Lantern' and 'Wonder Woman'
Using the Act II self sacrifice of Hal Jordan- we have Hal Jordan plummetting to earth only to be saved by a dying alien being with a powerful ring that serves as the weapon of choice for a Galactic Police Force in its infancy. The film leaves earth and becomes a space epic that does not return to earth until Hal Jordan is a fully realized Green Lantern corps member and earth is in his sector of patrol.
For Wonder Woman- we use the Act I setup of the shadow of an Amazon warrior on the beach of Themyscara to travel back in time...Wonder Woman the film details the mythic war that ensued between the warrior race and the barbarian horde who sought to enslave them. With a Greek/Roman feel and a 'Lord of the Rings'-esque quality- Wonder Woman is brought to life onscreen and at the end the film we fast forward back to present day knowing fully why Diana is torn between leaving to help mankind or remain on the island with her mother and sisters.
2013 : Justice League. Now our screenplay has a base core group of Superman,Manhunter,Wonder Woman,Green Lantern and Flash. Flash is sought out by Superman and J'onn in this film as well as Diana. Hal Jordan arrives in mid battle to make a dramatic save and entrance in the end of Act I. Act I also includes a brief showdown between Superman and Wonder Woman before she realizes his intentions are of global emergency. Long time fan favorite villain Darkseid arrives in this film with Elite Guard in tow. An epic summer film that culminates in the onscreen beginning of the greatest team of heroes ever.
2014 : The Flash get his film! Barry Allen's origin is brought to life and serves to introduce a smart ass young man named Wally West and pays homage to Jay Garrick. The full repotoire of the Flash's powers are on display as he can do alot more than run fast. It is the story of a police officer turned superhero and his struggle to make sure that Central City doesn't become like Gotham. Villains: a Mob Boss named Tobias Whale and a genius scientist with an affinity for weather manipulation.
Now this leaves a good spot in the summer next to this Flash movie for a possible BATMAN 4 or a CGI film of Teen Titans done in the same tone as "TMNT"
2015 : A Summer to Remember!!
Justice League II brings back the team to face Lex Luthor and some superpowered creations of his own from Level 33.1. Using alien dna samples and a genius level intellect- is found to have been plotting for years to bring down Superman. A series of seemingly random crimes grabs the attention of the league which is just a trap to their confrontation with the Anti League group of criminals scientifically enhanced at Luthor Corp. John Stewart takes over for Hal Jordan in this chapter and tragedy befalls the team and brings to light one of the fans favorite characters Wally West as the Flash- who doesn't exactly begin the film on the right side so to speak. By the end of the film we have the setup for the next solo Superman chapter and CADMUS. Villains: Lex Luthor(with powers and armor),Gorilla Grod,Solomon Grundy,Giganta(max height 15-20 ft and incredibly strong), Shade, Deadshot, Mercy
2016 : Superman: Doomsday CADMUS has been playing around with DNA and have 2 creations to show for it: a hideous monster composed of DNA from Superman,Devilance the Hunter and Prehistoric reptilian DNA found in fossilized mosquitos(yes a little Jurassic Park nod!) and a near perfect creation of human and kryptonian DNA -GALATEA. An attempt to destroy the monster goes wrong and it is set free with nothing but carniverous bloodlust. Amanda Waller calls upon GALATEA to retrieve the monster while trying to hide the fact that the US Govt is responsible. Superman and Galatea battle the beast until it is just Superman and the Monster left for one final showdown that leaves both participants dead.
2017 : Justice League III
The team returns in this third chapter without it's leader in Superman and a new threat. Deep within the recesses of CADMUS- the original Alpha 1 computer from 'Man of Steel'- has throughout each movie been somewhat involved and also evolving. BRAINIAC is fully realized and it cripples the U.S. technologically -leaving America in the stone age (yes I did borrow that from Die Hard 4). Meanwhile J'onn senses a person he thought perished and we find out that he also has been maintaining a secret. Superman returns stronger than before and the team in full force squares off with Brainiacs 'ULTIMEN' and eventually Brainiac itself as a 'terminator'-esque war machine bent on destroying organic life in hopes of a world totally mechinized.
2018 : Proposed Green Lantern/Sinestro War movie set in space- this would be the story that is the result of Hal Jordan having John Stewart replace him in JL II. Hal Jordan is pulled away to help fend off the Sinestro Corps. A force led by former Green Lantern and Hal Jordan's mentor: Sinestro!
2019 : Now either begin another BATMAN series of films or 'THANAGARIA' the story of a planets struggle to keep from being enslaved by The Hunters (the same race as Devilance) very Lord of the Rings in style. Serves to introduce Hawkman and Hawkgirl
2020 : The Underwater Epic in the tone of King Arthur- Aquaman comes to the screen telling the story of a beautiful woman lost overboard from a cruiseship who is rescued and brought to Atlantis by the Young King. They fall in love and have a child but civil unrest grows as some 'purists' don't recognize a human Queen. As Arthur reaches his 18th year his father is murdered and civil war breaks out. A young warrior named Attila leads an army seeking to seize the vacant crown. Arthur is forced to grow up and become the man his father envisioned.
***Now these are the Summer tentpoles. Obviously other parts of other years within this frame will see proposed films such as : SHAZAM! , Green Arrow Supermax(which I still think would be better if it were Canary and Huntress in jail while Question and Arrow try to get them out and deal with the man who framed them) and possibly a Martian Manhunter film or follow up to the Teen Titans.
Now this would be our gameplan for the next decade and it would be geared towards bringing fans their wildest dreams and possibly bringing in a Global box office take hovering around 5-10 Billion and that is modest considering how monstrous in popularity the Justice League will be by chapter 2 of the trilogy. If Dark Knight is closing in on a billion global wide then the 5 pack of films (Justice League and 2 solo Superman) would easily grab over 5 billion collectively.