The DC Extended Universe might be struggling to find some creative success, but its movies are still making a lot of money—and Warner Bros. has more than a dozen (16 for those keeping count) additional DC-derived releases in various stages of development right now. What do fans have to look forward to over the next half decade or so? Let’s take a look.
Wonder Woman (June 2, 2017)
It’s been a long road, but director Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman movie is set to finish a journey that many fans never thought would arrive in theaters. DC’s biggest female hero is long overdue for her solo shot at big screen glory, the early trailers from the film look fantastic, and Gal Gadot’s take on Diana was one of the best things about Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. But there’s been a cloud of negative buzz surrounding the project, claiming it’s a “mess.” For the sake of DC, and Wonder Woman fans everywhere, we hope those rumors aren’t true.
Justice League (November 17, 2017)
Zack Snyder’s Justice League picks up in the wake of Batman v Superman, and is reportedly essentially having its tone retooled on the fly after all the negative buzz from Batman v Superman’s grim darkness. It’ll apparently follow Batman and Wonder Woman as they look to assemble a team of heroes to pick up the slack following Superman’s “death” at the end of that film. Considering it’s not the Justice League without Superman, we’d think it’ll also feature Supes’ resurrection, too.
Aquaman (December 21, 2018)
He’s been the butt of jokes for years, but James Wan’s Aquaman film looks to finally bring some respect to the man who talks to fish. (Casting burly Game of Thrones alum Jason Momoa in the title role didn’t hurt.) The film will reportedly feature the classic comic character Black Manta as the central villain, and introduce audiences at large to the wider world of Atlantis and the Atlantean culture. It’s a risky venture, but having Wan (Furious 7) at the helm means if nothing else, the action should at least be up to snuff.
Shazam! (April 5, 2019)
Warner Bros. has been prepping a Shazam! movie for awhile now, and all we really know is that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is attached to play the villain, Black Adam. Outside of that, there hasn’t really been a lot of momentum; we don’t know a lot about the story, and the filmmakers have been coy about just how much it will (or won’t) connect to the DCEU at large. Outside of Johnson, there’s been no word on casting, namely who will play teenager Billy Batson or his super-powered alter ego Shazam. Whoever it is, the pressure will be on to actually match up against Johnson as the big bad.
Green Lantern Corps (July 24, 2020)
No casting has been announced, but the studio is actively working this one behind the scenes, with a script from David Goyer and Justin Rhodes on the way. Despite the fact that it’s three years out, Warner Bros. is bullish, with a release date already locked. No word on the plot, but it’s described as “Lethal Weapon in space,” and is reportedly based on a comic book origin story. We also know it’ll focus on two different characters: the popular Lanterns Hal Jordan and John Stewart. Bringing Stewart in is a wise move. he’s a fan favorite, and getting him in the mix will help this film stand apart from the previous, critically panned Green Lantern flick.
The Flash (2020)
Pretty much the only thing we know about DC’s Flash feature is that it’ll star Ezra Miller as the big-screen Barry Allen. Aside from that, everything is in flux. Dope director Rick Famuyiwa was originally attached, but he left the project in late 2016 due to creative differences. It’s been months, and the studio is still looking to fill the directorial void. Considering all the creative problems DC has had behind the scenes, the split from Famuyiwa isn’t a great sign, but, Warner Bros. looks to be taking its time to try and get this one right, which is smart. As the CW’s hit Flash series has proven, there’s an audience out there. The pressure is on to get them in theaters.
By the time Cyborg shows up in his solo movie, fans should be pretty familiar with him. Ray Fisher’s version of the character will have co-starring roles in Justice League and The Flash, and as much as Warner Bros. loves cameos, we wouldn’t be surprised to see him pop up elsewhere, too. We already got a fleeting glimpse at Cyborg thanks to those handy Lex Luthor YouTube videos in Batman v Superman, but we’ll presumably learn more about him over the next few films. Since the character will have been thoroughly introduced by the time this one rolls around, it stands to reason it probably won’t be an origin story. Or if it is, at least it won’t be the entire focus of the story.
The Batman (TBD)
Batman is easily the cash cow of the DC universe, and Warner Bros. seems keen to get a standalone movie made starring Ben Affleck as the new version of the Dark Knight. Affleck has been developing the project for awhile, but it was recently announced he wouldn’t be directing; instead, he’ll be focusing on his work in front of the camera. By moving Affleck out of the director’s chair, it seems the studio might be trying to get the project made sooner than later (Affleck has said numerous times that he wasn’t in a huge hurry to get it done). Little is known about the project, aside from the fact that it’ll likely feature Joe Manganiello as key villain Deathstroke.
Dark Universe (TBD)
Sometimes known as Justice League Dark during development, this project is set to focus on the mystical side of the DCEU, featuring characters such as John Constantine, Swamp Thing, Deadman, Zatanna, and Etrigan the Demon. Doug Liman (Edge of Tomorrow) signed on to direct last year, though there hasn’t been much information since then. Considering the success Marvel had with Doctor Strange, it stands to reason Warner Bros. will be keen to get this one off the bench soon. Here’s hoping they continue the trend of letting Matt Ryan play John Constantine, because let’s be honest, the dude is perfect.
Gotham City Sirens (TBD)
David Ayer’s follow-up to Suicide Squad looks to be this Harley Quinn-centric spinoff, as opposed to a straight-up sequel. Ayer is set to reteam with Margot Robbie for the film, which will focus on Harley Quinn and several other female heroes and villains across the DC Comics canon. No word on which characters will show up, though players like Catwoman and Poison Ivy seem likely. Along with getting a Wonder Woman movie out before Marvel could make Captain Marvel, DC has an excellent opportunity take the edge in female-led superhero fare, which could be a huge move for a studio playing catch-up. The movies just, you know, need to be good.
Justice League 2 (TBD)
Warner Bros. originally penciled this one in for 2019, though it’s since been bumped to an unspecified date to clear out some space for The Batman. This one might not be penciled in anywhere at the moment, but of all the projects at the far end of DC’s master plan, it stands to reason another Justice League is one of the most bankable. The Avengers has become a flagship franchise for Marvel, and DC is looking to leverage Justice League the same way. Of course, there are a lot of standalone movies and spinoffs to make in the meantime.
Man of Steel 2 (TBD)
Superman looks to feature in the Justice League film in some way (duh), but despite Man of Steel formally kicking off this universe, the studio doesn’t seem to be in a major hurry to give him another solo adventure. The cast has confirmed a script is in the works, but with so many other movies on the docket, you have to think it could be years until they actually get around to making this one. There’s also the question of how DC wants to treat the character in the long term, and if they’ve learned anything from the Hulk over at Marvel. Both are insanely powerful characters, and both typically work a bit better in an ensemble. Much like Marvel pulls Hulk out to play in the big movies, DC could follow the same playbook with Supes.
Suicide Squad 2 (TBD)
A proper Suicide Squad sequel is in development, but there’s been no word on when it’ll actually hit the big screen. Despite anemic reviews, the first film still made a whole lot of money—and introduced characters like Robbie’s Harley Quinn, and Will Smith’s Deadshot, both of whom will almost certainly pop back up in the DCEU down the line. Squad is a semi-proven commodity within the universe, which is significant. But with Warner Bros. high on getting Gotham City Sirens off the ground, this one could stay on the back burner for awhile.
Word leaked last year that Warner Bros. is looking to bring the space bounty hunter Lobo to the DCEU, and Jason Fuchs (Wonder Woman) is reportedly working on the script now. The studio has also signed Brad Peyton (San Andreas) to direct. A film based on Lobo has kicked around development hell for the better part of a decade, with Guy Ritchie (Sherlock Holmes) set to make one as far back as 2009; despite the false starts, this new project is apparently a fresh take on the character. Considering the success Fox and Marvel have had with Deadpool, Lobo could be a foul-mouthed sweet spot for DC to get in on the action.
Will Smith is a Hollywood star, so it’s no surprise Warner Bros. is looking to spin him off with a film focused on his Suicide Squad character Deadshot. Outside of Ben Affleck, Smith is arguably the biggest star in the DCEU—so it’s only a matter of time until they get him suited back up for another fight against Batman. At this point, the project seems to be in very early development, and there’s no word on where it might eventually fit in the overall schedule.
Black Adam (TBD)
This one has us a bit confused. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has been attached to co-star in a Shazam movie for years, playing the villain Black Adam. And we recently heard Warner Bros. is now development a full-fledged Black Adam spinoff film, which will split the character off into more of an antihero. “We’re building our world that way,” Johnson told reporters of plans to start the characters off in their own films. “Then we can come together at some point.” It remains to be seen how DC will juggle a two-pronged side section of the DCEU while they’re still trying to establish the main universe—but in the meantime, we’ve done a little Photoshop to imagine how Johnson will look in character.