Since 2008, Marvel Studios has built up their cinematic universe with some of the most popular movies being produced in Hollywood, but DC Comics and Warner Bros. are in the midst of creating something huge and competitive. The release of Zack Snyder's Man of Steel in 2013 kicked things off, and now we are slowing watching the construction of the DC Extended Universe.
But what are the titles that are going to help fans dive into this vast comic book world? Who are the filmmakers making the movies, and who will be starring? Well, we've organized all that information for you below, so read on to have your big questions answered!
Aquaman -- December 21, 2018
In 2018, star Jason Momoa and director James Wan will take audiences to the depths of the ocean and see DC Comics' King of Atlantis at the center of his own solo film. Joining Momoa is The Get Down's Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as the villainous Black Manta, Patrick Wilson as the king's brother, Orm, and Amber Heard has been confirmed as Aquaman's wife, Mera. One also can predict struggles for the throne and battles between those from sea and those from land. Oh, and plenty of big, epic battle scenes featuring lots and lots of water. It really just wouldn't be an Aquaman movie without it.
This project has a particular challenge ahead of it, if not just because its central character has been the butt of jokes for a few decades now -- most mocking his somewhat silly water-based powers. That being said, DC Comics has done a great deal to redeem the character since the big comic book relaunch The New 52, and now many fans see him as an underwater badass (complete with a harpoon spear for a hand). The fact that one of the toughest and most terrifying Game of Thrones stars is playing Aquaman doesn't hurt either. The character is first getting his taste of big screen action in Justice League, this will be his big moment in the spotlight. Get the latest news and information about Aquaman HERE.
Shazam -- April 5, 2019
Warner Bros. and DC Comics have been trying to develop a Shazam film for years now, and after a whole lot of false starts, it looks like it might finally happen. The studio still hasn't picked out a specific release date, but it was officially announced in July 2017 that Lights Out's David F. Sandberg has been locked in as the director of the superhero adventure film, and that it would be the next DC Extended Universe movie to go into production. It's also been confirmed that while Dwayne Johnson has signed a deal to play Shazam villain Black Adam in the DC Extended Universe, the character won't be making his big screen debut in the feature.
Said to be more comedic than other titles in the DC Extended Universe, the plot will center on a young boy named Billy Batson (Asher Angel) who, thanks to the teachings of an old wizard, can transform into an adult superhero (Zachary Levi) after saying the titular word. Get the latest news and information about Shazam HERE.
Wonder Woman 2 -- November 1, 2019
To the surprise of only the few who couldn't understand the potential of a female-driven superhero movie, Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman was a monster hit when it was released in the summer of 2017, and as a result a sequel is now in the works. Patty Jenkins has confirmed that she will come back for Wonder Woman 2, and has suggested interest in taking the story to America, but what has not yet been officially said is what time period the blockbuster will be set in. As a follow-up to the World War I-centric adventures of the first Wonder Woman, could the sequel take place during World War II? It hopefully won't be too long until we have some firm answers. Get the latest news and information about Wonder Woman 2 HERE.
Suicide Squad 2
Although David Ayer's Suicide Squad was not acclaimed, the film was still successful enough to warrant a sequel. Not much is known about the project at this point, other than the fact that David Ayer won't be returning to direct (he's been instead focusing on Gotham City Sirens, which has become one of the 'Question Mark' projects we have categorized below). It was previously suggested that Orphan's Jaume Collet-Serra could take the helm of Suicide Squad 2, but he wound up choosing Disney's Jungle Cruise movie with Dwayne Johnson instead. As a result, Warner Bros. and DC are still searching for a filmmaker who can take on the bad guy-driven team blockbuster. We do know that Suicide Squad 2 will follow Shazam at the box office.
Batman is unquestionably one of the most beloved pop culture icons of all time -- so we know that it won't be long until Ben Affleck's version of the character gets a solo movie of his very own. Unfortunately, what's unclear is exactly when we will see that happen, as while we know that a new film about the Caped Crusader is now in development, we have no idea when it will actually start production or arrive in front of audiences.
While Ben Affleck was originally attached to direct based on a script he co-wrote with Geoff Johns, he stepped away from the director's chair, and now it's Matt Reeves who is steering the ship through development. It's been said that Reeves is doing his own page one rewrite of the script, which has left fans wondering if there are still plans to include Joe Manganiello as Deathstroke. The response to both Justice League films could define the future for this project, and when it will land on Warner Bros' release schedule. DC could fast track this project, or hold off on it; neither option would surprise us. Considering the rumors that we've heard about Affleck's waning interest in the franchise, sooner might be better than later.
Justice League Dark
Once the proper Justice League receives its introduction into the DCEU, the franchise will be introducing audiences to the more magical counterpart from the comics. Originally Justice League Dark was going to be directed by Guillermo Del Toro, and then it was going to be Doug Liman... but now the project exists without a director. The property focuses on a group of anti-heroes (led by detective John Constantine) who face off against supernatural and magical threats -- as opposed to the more scientific and extraterrestrial threats the Justice League battles. No plot details have been announced, and we don't know anything yet about casting. But Comic-Con 2017 did reveal the movie will come after the Batman solo movie.
Given the popularity of the entire Bat Family, it seemed inevitable that DC would finally decide to give Barbara Gordon her moment in the spotlight. Now we know not only that a Batgirl movie is now in development, but that it will be both written and directed by Joss Whedon (who made his jump from Marvel to DC when he agreed to complete the post-production process for Zack Snyder's Justice League). Whedon obviously has a very strong track record with female heroes, so our hope remains high that this project comes together sooner rather than later.
Green Lantern Corps
Following the unfortunate Green Lantern movie that came out in 2011, Warner Bros. and DC Comics are rebooting the story of the famed intergalactic peace keeping force by making a team movie instead of just focusing on a single Emerald Knight. Not much is known about the project yet, though it's been announced that the film could actually feature both Hal Jordan and John Stewart in addition to other famous versions of the character.
What's interesting and unclear about Green Lantern's role in the DC Cinematic Universe is exactly when he will be introduced. It's surprising to many fans that he is not being included as part of the original Justice League lineup, as he has always been portrayed as a founding member, but there haven't been any official announcements regarding who will be playing any of the Green Lanterns just yet. We may have to wait until Green Lantern Corps gets a firm release date before we hear anything about casting. Get the latest news and information about Green Lantern Corps HERE.
The Flash: Flashpoint
Following his appearances in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad, and Justice League, Ezra Miller's Barry Allen is expected next to be featured in his very own solo Flash film. Unfortunately, a lot of behind the scenes drama has created a situation where we have no idea when we will actually see the movie. Initially it was writer Seth Grahame-Smith who was set to make his directorial debut with the blockbuster, but then Warner Bros, handed the reins over to Rick Famuyiwa -- known for directing the indie hit Dope. Sadly, he left the movie several months after signing on, citing "creative differences." Because this was shortly before the film was originally set to go into production, now the project sits in limbo.
What we do know now thanks to official announcements at San Diego Comic-Con 2017 is the plot of the movie - courtesy of the title being revealed as The Flash: Flashpoint. The subtitle suggests that the blockbuster will be adapting the 2011 DC Comics event series of the name, which featured Barry Allen going back in time and saving his mother from a gruesome murder. After doing so, he returns to his normal time and discovers that the world has been completely altered, and he must find a way to fix everything. Given that this same plot was just used for the third season of The Flash television series, it will be interesting to see how the film version winds up being different. Get the latest news and information about The Flash HERE.
Justice League 2
The future of the DC Extended Universe will very much depend on what happens with Zack Snyder's Justice League - and there is no individual project for which that's more true than Justice League 2. As noted earlier, it was originally intended that the team-up sequel would be released in the summer of 2019, but those plans existed back when The Flash was still coming out in 2018. Now we don't really know what the future holds for the Justice League sequel, as it doesn't even seem to be a project that is in active development right now.
When Warner Bros. and DC Comics revealed their full slate of projects at San Diego Comic-Con 2017, one of the many notable projects missing from the list was Justice League 2 (the same is true for all of the projects you're about to read about). It's very possible that the studio simply doesn't want to commit to a direct sequel right now, as only the box office numbers in November 2017 will reveal the actual demand for more. For now, this blockbuster sequel only exists in limbo. Get the latest news and information about Justice League 2 HERE.
A few years ago, Warner Bros. and DC Comics had plans to give each of the founding Justice League members their own solo movies following the team-up... but those plans have kind of disintegrated. Case in point, we were originally supposed to see Cyborg film released in 2020, but now that particular project doesn't even exist on the development slate. Things could certainly change if the character (played by Ray Fisher) winds up being beloved following his debut in Zack Snyder's Justice League, but for now it doesn't seem like there is any forward motion on this one.
Unlike many of the other Question Mark features you're about to read about, the project does not currently have a director, and it has not been revealed who is penning the script. You can get the latest news and information about Cyborg HERE.
The announcement of Matt Reeves as the new director for the solo Batman movie appears to have gotten the ball rolling on a renewed emphasis on The Bat Family in the DCEU. To capitalize on that, a Nightwing movie was announced in the winter of 2017, with The LEGO Batman Movie's Chris McKay attached to direct. Despite this news, the project was not mentioned during the DC Extended Universe slate revealed at SDCC 2017, which means it's unclear what the future holds for it (or if it's actually moving forward at this point).
Man Of Steel 2
When Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was first announced, it appeared from the outside that it would also serve as Man of Steel 2. As the project moved through development, however, it very much morphed into something else (a.k.a. the setup for Justice League), and while it dealt with consequences from the 2013 Zack Snyder movie, fans are going to have to wait for a legitimate second Superman solo film. Of course, what Man of Steel 2 will be about will entirely be defined by where it winds up landing in the timeline. It's been rumored that notable Superman baddies Darkseid and Brainiac could wind up playing key roles in the Justice League titles, so where would that leave a new Superman movie? Metallo? Cyborg Superman? Bizarro? We'll have to wait and see, as right now there are no immediate plans to get a Man of Steel 2 in theaters.
Gotham City Sirens
Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn was a standout from David Ayer's Suicide Squad, and the studio and actress have been working hard to figure out her next cinematic steps. Screenwriter Christina Hodson recently has been hired to pen a treatment for a Gotham City Sirens movie, and it's been confirmed that David Ayer will be taking the helm. Going by the title and comic book history, it's assumed that the feature will center on the adventures of Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy - though there has been no word on who will be getting that plum DC Extended Universe role. Gotham City Sirens wasn't mentioned during the Warner Bros. Hall H panel at San Diego Comic-Con 2017, so it could be a long way off.
The talk of Suicide Squad 2 and Gotham City Sirens has been accompanied by stories that DC intends to move forward with a solo movie centering on Will Smith's Deadshot - though it is another title that has yet to be officially confirmed. Given that Smith is still one of the biggest movie stars in the world, it makes sense that Warner Bros. and DC Comics would want to utilize him as much as possible, but it also doesn't seem like it's something they are rushing to do. Basically, you can expect that Will Smith's next DC Extended Universe feature to be Suicide Squad\__2 instead of a solo feature.
Black Adam is easily the oddest feature we're going to discuss in this feature. Dwayne Johnson has been talking with Warner Bros. for years about playing Shazam villain Black Adam on the big screen, and the actor has spent a long time spreading news about plans for a Black Adam solo movie. Given all the talk, it was heavily expected that the project would be officially announced at San Diego Comic-Con 2017... but that didn't happen (all we got was the news that Dwayne Johnson WON'T be in the Shazam film). The would-be blockbuster does not have a director attached, nor a release date.
While it's not necessarily going to be part of the DC Extended Universe, there is another key DC Comics adaptation in the works over at Warner Bros. A big screen adaptation of Neil Gaiman's Sandman has been in the works for some time now. The film will tell the story of Morpheus -- also known as Dream -- as he manages to escape the bonds of an occult ritual that has kept him imprisoned for 70 years. He returns to find that the empire he had built is destroyed, and simultaneously works to rebuild all that he has lost, and also seek retribution. Not being a part of the DCEU, it could be a while before this one gets going, as the source material isn't terribly easy to adapt. Still, if Watchmen could be brought to the big screen after many failed attempts, Sandman may eventually do it as well. Originally Joseph Gordon-Levitt was attached to take the helm of the project, co-writing the script with David Goyer, though he wound up splitting from the movie due to creative differences with the studio.