The DC Extended Universe has been kind of a mess from the very beginning. Man of Steel was never supposed to be the start of a mammoth cinematic universe, and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice went way overboard with the world-building. And Suicide Squad, felt like the rough cut of a much better film.
Then came Wonder Woman, which was a brilliant step in the right direction. There was less focus on building up a universe and more focus on doing a beloved character justice and telling a great story. And most recently, we’ve been blessed with Justice League.
It is looking like a bright future for the DCEU, one filled with exciting movies. Here are 15 upcoming movies on the DCEU slate following its most recent entry, Justice League.
Guy Ritchie was originally tapped to direct Lobo, so that he could bring his signature “irreverent, gruff tone” to the film. However, Ritchie left the project to do a sequel to Sherlock Holmes, and has since been replaced by San Andreas director Brad Peyton, who has written a story treatment for Wonder Woman writer Jason Fuchs to craft a screenplay from.
The Lobo movie, more of a spooky sci-fi flick than your average superhero fare, is described by Variety as follows: “Lobo is a seven-foot tall, blue-skinned, indestructible and heavily muscled anti-hero who drives a pimped out motorcycle, and lands on Earth in search of four fugitives who are bent on wreaking havoc. Lobo teams with a small town teenage girl to stop the creatures.”
14. Harley Quinn vs The Joker
Margot Robbie is looking to be the crown jewel in the DC Extended Universe. It looks like she might even be cropping up in the franchise more times than Batfleck.
She’ll be in Suicide Squad 2, Gotham City Sirens, her own completely separate and unrelated solo movie, and this untitled movie about her relationship with the Joker, which has been given the working title Harley Quinn vs The Joker.
The movie will reportedly be written and directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, the duo that previously directed Robbie alongside Will Smith in that lame heist movie Focus. This one has been described as a “criminally love story,” probably along the lines of a comic book version of Bonnie and Clyde.
It’s an exciting prospect, given how Jared Leto’s Joker and Robbie’s Harley Quinn were the only two good things about Suicide Squad.
13. Justice League Dark
Justice League was a dark movie, but its characters are nowhere near as dark as that of Justice League Dark, the dark version of Justice League. They’re not heroes, they’re more antiheroes, which is cool.
This movie is based on a pitch by Hellboy and Pacific Rim director Guillermo del Toro, and Lord of the Rings mastermind Peter Jackson is currently in talks to take it on as director.
The movie will focus on the characters that Dr. Alec Holland (Swamp Thing), John Constantine (Hellblazer), Jason Blood (Etrigan the Demon), Jim Corrigan (The Spectre), Nimue Inwudu (Madame Xanadu), Boston Brand (Deadman), and Zatanna Zatara. It’s raring to go, but the studio’s just waiting to be blown away by a pitch from a writer before firing the starting pistol.
12. Black Adam
Black Adam, played by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, was expected to be the villain of Shazam!, but thanks to Johnson’s ever-rising star power and the awesomeness of the character, he’s been given his own solo movie instead. Johnson himself elaborated on this decision: “We’ve had great discussions with Geoff Johns over at DC.
This is a really fun, cool time for DC right now, because they’re world building. We’re seeing that with Wonder Woman and Aquaman. We have a few surprises down the line. So, what we decided to do was to create a scenario where Black Adam has his standalone movie, and Captain Marvel, Shazam, has his standalone movie.
We’re building our world that way, and then we can come together at some point.” If that’s not exciting enough, Johnson has also confirmed that at some point in the DCEU, Black Adam and Superman will fight!
11. Suicide Squad 2
When original director David Ayer left the Suicide Squad sequel to focus on its spin-off, Gotham City Sirens, Warner Bros. were left scrambling to find someone to helm the follow-up to their monster hit, which the critics didn’t take to, to put it lightly, but made a boatload of money at the box office.
They considered Mel Gibson, Jonathan Levine, Ruben Fleischer, Daniel Espinosa, and Jaume Collet-Serra before finally settling on Gavin O’Connor, who will be writing and directing the film.
Hopefully the key problem with Suicide Squad – its messy plot – can be fixed with O’Connor in the director’s chair, since he’s no stranger to action movies with a smart plot, having given us Warrior and The Accountant. Production on Suicide Squad 2 is expected to begin sometime in 2018.
Cyborg is one of the lesser-known members of the Justice League, so Ray Fisher had to really work to stand out among the likes of Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman. When asked about the Cyborg solo movie on the press circuit for Justice League, Fisher expressed his wishes for the film.
“Things are in development. If I had my druthers, I think a Cyborg standalone would be a slightly more intimate story. One of the things that I always think is interesting with these sort of universes is, whenever there’s a world threatening crisis, it always makes you wonder, ‘Where are the other members of the group? Why didn’t they show up?’ I think finding an organic way to explain why these characters have to have their solo mission.”
Shazam! is the story of a kid who has the power to turn into an awesome adult superhero called Captain Marvel by saying one special word. You guessed it: it’s “Shazam!” David F. Sandberg, who helmed the huge box office and critical hits Lights Out and Annabelle: Creation in the horror genre (and it’s really hard to win the love of the critics in the horror genre).
Sandberg planned to cast both a child and an adult to play the dual role of the titular character, and has already set Zachary Levi as the adult counterpart. Levi has described the plans for the movie is this: “The hope is that it’s gonna feel like the movie Big, but with super powers.” That sounds fun, doesn’t it?
Another upcoming movie in the DCEU is the story of Dick Grayson’s tenure as Nightwing.
It will be directed by Chris McKay, who has graduated through the ranks of various different mediums, having directed the animation on The Lego Movie and then made his feature directorial debut in the Lego animation arena but in DC Comics territory with The Lego Batman Movie, and now, he’s making his live-action debut with Nightwing.
The script, which will reportedly be very faithful to the source material, will be written by Bill Dubuque, who recently gave Netflix one of its best new original drama series with Ozark. It’s in the early stages of development, but the production team are going about Nightwing differently than the other movies.
There’s an open casting call for the lead role, so we could end up with a complete unknown, but they’d have to be immensely talented to beat the others to the part. The director plans to put him through intensive martial arts, gymnastics, and stunts training. Nightwing will apparently be a straightforward action movie with grounded realism and minimal use of CGI effects.
Avengers director and Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator Joss Whedon had to take a break for a few months from his Batgirl movie to help out his friend Zack Snyder. Snyder’s daughter had died tragically young and he was unable to complete Justice League, so Whedon helped him out by stepping in and taking the director’s chair.
But now that Justice League is finished, Whedon can return to his other DCEU movie: a solo movie for the criminally underappreciated Batgirl, whose alter ego is Barbara Gordon (yes, she’s the daughter of Commissioner Gordon).
Whedon is looking to right the wrongs done to the character in her last on-screen live-action appearance in Batman and Robin, where she was butchered by a hammy script, eyesore costume design, and a cheesy performance by Alicia Silverstone. This one will fix all of that.
6. Green Lantern Corps
You may have wondered when watching Justice League why Green Lantern wasn’t in it, given how he’s an essential member of the team and all, and one of the most important and valued and original members in the comics.
Well, that’s because the way that the DCEU is structured is saving his introduction for this solo film, which will hopefully be an improvement on the 2011 disaster starring Ryan Reynolds (let’s be honest – that one didn’t exactly set a high benchmark).
The script is being written by David S. Goyer, who wrote The Dark Knight trilogy alongside the great visionary Christopher Nolan, and Justin Rhodes, who is currently also writing a reboot of the Terminator franchise (yes, another one).
Their screenplay for the movie is being described as “Lethal Weapon in space,” which certainly sounds tantalizing. Unfortunately, this movie won’t be released until at least 2020.
The Flash’s solo movie is finally coming together. After years of directors coming and going – from 21 Jump Street’s Phil Lord and Christopher Miller to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies author Seth Grahame-Smith (who thought that would be a good idea?) – they still don’t actually have someone in place.
But Ezra Miller has been well-received for his game performance in Justice League. It has set the stage for his own movie, which has had its title changed from The Flash to Flashpoint. According to a recent interview with Miller, everything’s coming together, more announcements are due soon, and the long road to finding the perfect story has paid off royally.
“It’s coming up. We are getting ready. It’s been a long process to make sure we’ll get it right, but Warner Bros. is being very careful with it and that’s something I feel really honored by and it’s something I appreciate. But I’m stoked to get going. I can’t reveal specifics, but it is coming up really soon.”
4. Gotham City Sirens
Based on the success of Wonder Woman and Margot Robbie’s portrayal of Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad, Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment eagerly greenlit Robbie’s pitch for a female-centric movie called Gotham City Sirens — about the women who often outsmart Batman on his home turf: Harley Quinn, Catwoman, and Poison Ivy.
David Ayer turned down the chance to direct a Suicide Squad sequel in order to focus on this spin-off: “It’s a story about three fantastic women who are trying to find their way in the world, and realize that they have more power together than they do individually. I have daughters, and I want to create something that might be able to help them get along in the world a little bit.”
The screenplay for Gotham City Sirens is being written by Geneva Robertson-Dworet, a great female writer who is on fire right now, having written the movie reboot of Tomb Raider that’s due in theaters soon and the upcoming, indefinitely delayed sequel Sherlock Holmes 3. Should be good.
3. Wonder Woman 2
Wonder Woman came as quite a surprise earlier this year. As an instalment in the fledgling DCEU, which until that point had reached the ridiculous lows of Suicide Squad and was a franchise where Man of Steel was something to brag about, not that much was expected from Wonder Woman.
It wasn’t even expected to be any good, let alone emerge as one of the greatest movies of the year. But hey, that’s just what it did. With its positive message about female empowerment and its anti-war stance and its light humor, which contrasted with the dreary gloom-fests of BvS and Suicide Squad, it attracted critical acclaim and huge commercial success.
Director Patty Jenkins is looking to replicate this success with the upcoming sequel, which will reportedly be set during the Cold War, which would be pretty awesome.
Aquaman used to be a lame character. He was made fun of by comic book fans for having pretty much useless powers, a dead duck of a costume with an ugly color scheme of orange and green, and for being confined totally to the ocean when all the bad guys are generally outside the ocean. Some of them are in space.
But then Jason Momoa came along, standing at 6’4” and weighing in at 230 lbs, and no one’s laughing at Aquaman anymore. His solo movie, directed by The Conjuring’s James Wan (whose vision has been described as “Star Wars underwater”), is coming out on December 21, 2018.
It has a hell of a cast behind Momoa, filled with a bunch of greats: Willem Dafoe, Amber Heard, Patrick Wilson, Dolph Lundgren, and Nicole Kidman.
1. The Batman
This is the one everyone’s waiting for. Ben Affleck’s Batman (dubbed Batfleck by some) will be getting his own solo movie soon enough. Shooting is scheduled to begin early next year, with a release date yet to be announced. Affleck wrote the first draft of the screenplay himself, having won an Academy Award for co-writing Good Will Hunting with his buddy Matt Damon.
Then Affleck’s script was rewritten with the help of DC overlord and comics genius Geoff Johns. Affleck was initially slated to direct the movie as well, before a mutual decision was made that this would be too much work for him. The main villain in the film will be Deathstroke, played by Joe Manganiello, who was teased at the end of Justice League.
Chris Terrio, who wrote Affleck’s movie Argo and also contributed to the screenplays of BvS and Justice League, has done some rewrites on the script for The Batman, too. Meanwhile, Matt Reeves has been hired to direct the movie. The Planet of the Apes director will bring a noir style inspired by Hitchcock, with a focus on Batman’s mind and soul.