As ‘Justice League’ launches, a new era is upon the DCEU.
The DC Comics Extended Universe can be viewed as two different timelines: before and after Wonder Woman. Before Wonder Woman, the movies were monetarily successful to a degree, but they were critically destroyed. Now it looks as though they have turned a corner. Wonder Woman was a monstrous success and early impressions of Justice League have been good.
One of the biggest changes to the DCEU after Wonder Woman is the tone. Warner Bros was committed to the fact that audiences wanted dark and brooding superhero movies because that was successful for Christopher Nolan and Batman. That same tone doesn’t really work for Superman, though. If we look forward to Warner Bros’ upcoming slate, a lot of these superhero movies will mix comedy into the motion pictures – something that the overtly serious Batman V Superman was sorely missing. While the upcoming release of Justice League will also shape the upcoming slate for Warner Bros, this is a tentative list of many of their upcoming projects after Justice League.
Aquaman – December 21st, 2018
Unsurprisingly, Aquaman is the DCEU film we know the most about. The film was in production from May to October 2017 and has completed principal photography. Aquaman will star Jason Momoa and, similar to Wonder Woman, it will act as an origin story for the character. Momoa will be joined by Amber Heard, who is playing Queen of the Undersea of Atlantis, Mera, and Patrick Wilson, who will be playing the Ocean Master, Aquaman’s corrupt half-brother. We wouldn’t be surprised if some new promotional material comes out with the release of Justice League this weekend, or sometime very soon. Since Aquaman was originally supposed to premiere in July, its delay means that it will be the only DCEU movie of 2018.
Shazam! – April 5th, 2019
Given how many casting announcements have been made lately regarding Shazam!, it looks like production is in full swing. Shazam! is being put into production before many other DC adaptations largely because it fits the vision of the DCEU that was established after the success of Wonder Woman. Certainly, the trend here is that Wonder Woman totally changed the tone and outlook of the entire cinematic universe. Shazam! will star Disney Channel actor Asher Angel as Billy Batson, and whenever he chants his magical phrase, he will turn into an adult superhero who will be played by Zachary Levi. The original idea was to have Shazam! nemesis Black Adam in the film, but that was scrapped, and instead Mark Strong will play the part of Doctor Sivana. Given the tone of the rest of the DCEU, it is surprising that Warner Bros is pushing this through quickly, but perhaps they have a bigger picture in mind.
Wonder Woman 2 – December 13th, 2019
Warner Bros wants to fast-track a sequel to one of its biggest successes in recent years. Director Patty Jenkins has signed on to return to the series and will direct the sequel. Gal Gadot is scheduled to return as Wonder Woman, but there has been some news recently that she might only come back under certain conditions. We don’t know too much about the plot yet, except that it is expected to take place during the ’80s when the Cold War is occurring. Jenkins has also hinted that it will take place in the US: when speaking to EW in April, she said “the story will take place in the US, which I think is right. She’s Wonder Woman. She’s got to come to America. It’s time.” It is currently dated December 13th, but with Star Wars: Episode IX being delayed to December 20th, expect this date to move.
Cyborg – April 3rd, 2020
Given the relative quality and success of the DCEU before Wonder Woman, Warner Bros was hesitant to really start announcing a lot of upcoming projects. One of the movies still apparently on the table is a Cyborg solo outing. We haven’t actually seen all that much of Cyborg (Ray Fisher) up to this point. He didn’t really matter in the Batman v Superman movie, and other than that, Justice League will be his big premiere. Warner Bros will likely see how audiences take his character before committing to this solo outing fully, but it is one of the projects that is currently dated. Joe Morton, who plays Dr. Silas Stone, has said that he signed a three-picture deal to reprise his character, so there is hope in place. However, his words in this interview about starting in 2020 make us wonder if perhaps this project has been pushed forward another year.
Green Lantern Corps – Jul 24, 2020
Very little is known about the Green Lantern Corps film. David S. Goyer (The Dark Knight Trilogy, Batman V Superman) has been reportedly hired to write the script and the film is likely to feature both Hal Jordan (the second Lantern) and John Stewart (the fourth Lantern). The last we heard anything about the film was during Warner Bros’ Hall-H presentation at SDCC this summer. It is still sometime before it would launch, and we likely won’t hear much more about it anytime soon. Will there be a mention of Green Lantern in Justice League? He was one of the original members of the Justice League, and it would make sense to mention their existence to tie them in later, but that remains to be seen.
Suicide Squad 2 – 2019
Given the box-office of the original feature, a sequel was a no-brainer for Warner Bros. Director David Ayer won’t be back to direct the sequel, and given the rumors of what happened to his cut of the original, we can’t blame him. Apparently, Gavin O’Connor (The Accountant) has signed on to direct the sequel, and they are trying to get the main cast of Will Smith, Margot Robbie, and Jared Leto to return.
Flashpoint – 2020
Among the many features that are in various stages of development, Flashpoint looks to be one of the features Warner Bros is prioritizing next. Gal Gadot and Ray Fisher have apparently already signed on to continue their roles of Wonder Woman and Cyborg. They will join Ezra Miller’s Flash in one of the most significant stories in the DC Comics. Robert Zemeckis has been rumored for the job as director for the movie, but nothing is official yet. Expect this to pick up steam if Ezra Miller is a breakout character in the Justice League feature.
Even though we’ve heard countless stories about The Batman, there doesn’t seem to be a date for this project yet. It is expected to be the first solo outing for Ben Affleck’s Batman, but although he has said otherwise, from our standpoint, it doesn’t look like he will be appearing in this feature. First, he gave up his directing job to Matt Reeves (War for the Planet of the Apes). Then, there were the rumors of his departure. Now, he just doesn’t look like he wants to be involved anymore. Reeves is rewriting the script to suit his vision for the detective. Whether or not Affleck will be there is the biggest mystery of all.
In March, Joss Whedon signed on to write, direct, and produce a Barbara Gordon/Batgirl feature. Based roughly on the New 52 incarnation of Batgirl by Gail Simone, the film is supposed to begin production in 2018. This was quite a surprise for comic book fans because Whedon had previously directed the two Avengers features. Not only does he get the keys to a Batgirl feature, but he also assisted Justice League to reach the finish line, taking over for Zack Snyder after Snyder had left the picture.
Remember how Black Adam was supposed to be the villain in Shazam!? Warner Bros decided to give Black Adam his own movie since Dwayne Johnson was attached to play the character. The idea is for both Shazam! and Black Adam to set up each of the characters in their own movies, and then have them meet up in a third movie. Other than that, we know that Adam Sztykiel has been hired to write the script for the movie.
We reported recently that Warner Bros wants to move forward with a Deathstroke film. The Raid director Gareth Evans was being hired for the job and Joe Manganiello was in talks to star. The plan was for the character to appear in The Batman film, but since that has been changed quite a bit over time, the idea is to give him a solo movie. Nothing is written in stone for this project yet, but Warner Bros is high on the idea.
A lot more films are in various stages of development as well, and it looks as though Warner Bros is fully committed to expanding their DC Comics universe. Perhaps the biggest question marks at the end of Justice League seem to be the continued adventures of Superman and Batman. Will we see Cavill and Affleck suit up again, or is this their last outing as Superman and Batman?