The DC Extended Universe is a fluid situation. Every time a new piece of news drops -- Patty Jenkins prepares to sign on the dotted line for Wonder Woman 2 -- another newsflash arrives that changes the tentative plans of the cinematic universe's upcoming slate. I truly feel like we could write one story a day on potential movies in the DCEU. And yet, if we step back and assess what's sure to come, these are the six movies that have taken enough of a step forward that we might call them definite.
A lot can change between now and the next DCEU movie, which is Justice League, dropping on November 17. Will that be the catalyst for the pending wave of DC blockbusters? Or will more news drop, altering the direction of the DCEU on a post-JL landscape. For now, these are the movies that have enough cards on the table that I think we can pencil them in. The bigger question marks on the DCEU radar, I left for the last page.
James Wan's Aquaman is a done deal. The movie's almost done filming, and even brought some footage to San Diego Comic-Con in July. A trailer for the adventure likely will be attached to Justice League, giving fans the first full look at Aquaman's (Jason Momoa) underwater lair. Wan's movie will introduce the full scope of the Atlanteans -- though they have a major role to play in Justice League. The story is supposed to be set after Justice League, and will focus on two villains -- Black Manta (Yahya Abdul-Mateen) and the Ocean Master (Patrick Wilson).
Release Date: December 21, 2018
While the competition over at Marvel Studios averages three movies a year, DC is pumping its brakes a tad, releasing one movie -- Aquaman -- in 2018. After that, Shazam grabs the first official release-date slot, landing in theaters in April of 2019. Some view this as an odd movie to drop right after Aquaman, as several key members of the Justice League haven't even received their own solo movies (looking at you, Flash and Cyborg). If you are going to branch out, wouldn't you at least have the Green Lantern Corp introduced in 2019? Instead, Shazam will arrive, from Annabelle: Creation director David F. Sandberg. Though it need a star, as Sandberg has said Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's Black Adam will not be part of his movie.
Release Date: April 5, 2019
Wonder Woman 2
Here's where things start to get... dicey. The pieces are in place for a solid sequel in Wonder Woman 2. Gal Gadot is locked in. Original director Patty Jenkins is on the verge of signing a contract to direct (and getting paid big money to do so). And this one even has a release date! Big step forward. However, dates change. Jenkins HASN'T signed as of publishing this article. And the DCEU is nothing if not ever-changing. We have heard rumors that Wonder Woman 2 could be set in the 1980s. We have heard that Chris Pine could find some way to come back. Because Wonder Woman was such a smash hit, the sequel seems inevitable. And as of now, it's looking like DC's second movie of 2019.
Release Date: December 13, 2019
The movies on this list that qualify as "all but guaranteed" tend to have two things in place: a director and a star. Some of them even have a release date! The Batman does not. (That might not even be the movie's title.) Coming off of his two Planet of the Apes movies, Matt Reeves is taking over the reigns of a solo Batman movie, and for now, Ben Affleck (pictured) is still playing the Caped Crusader. Now, you know as well as I do that Affleck's involvement in future DC movies consistently is in question. There even have been rumors that Reeves wants to do a Batman trilogy, which would all but require a younger actor in the Bat suit. So, we think the Batman movie is happening, with Reeves in the director's chair. Affleck remains the wild card until anyone says differently.
The "big step" that Batgirl took is that it hired Joss Whedon to shepherd the movie forward. Back in the day, Joss was circling a Wonder Woman movie, and his treatment was praised far and wide. Then, Whedon took his talents to Marvel, for back-to-back Avengers movies. Now he's back at DC, where he's helping the studio put the finishing touches on Justice League. And his involvement there means that he's in the fold... so we expect the Batgirl movie that he says he wants to do to get fast-tracked at Warner Bros.
Gotham City Sirens
The last one of these that, at the very least, has a director attached. (I'm not including Nightwing, because I need LEGO Batman director Chris McKay to give us something more concrete than the quotes he has provide to date.) David Ayer broke into the DCEU with Suicide Squad, and while a bunch of you didn't care for it (61% Audience Score on RT is nothing to celebrate), the thing made money. Instead of Squad 2, Ayer has attached his name to a Gotham City Sirens movie, and he already has a crucial piece in Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn. You could find a way to involve the Joker here. You could also hit home runs by perfectly casting Catwoman and Poison Ivy -- two villains you need to make Sirens work. This one is trending up.
*Projects That Are Still Up In The Air *
The DCEU's greatest talent? Announcing projects. They're just not the best at finishing them. We have four official DCEU movies. We have the six previously mentioned titles, which I feel are the closest to production and/or release. And we have titles in play, like a solo Cyborg movie, or this Flashpoint film that, in theory, could reset everything that came before it. The Green Lantern Corps movie is down for 2020, but with no real casting, how confident are we in that? I mentioned Nightwing, and Man of Steel 2 seems like a real possibility. Doug Liman left Justice League Dark, so that's back to Square One. The Rock is attached to Black Adam, but we have no clue if he's getting his own movie, or if he'll appear in a Justice League 2... if that movie happens. So yeah, for all that we know about the DCEU, there's just as much that's up in the air. For now, which of these are you most excited for? Take our poll below.