Here’s A Complete Guide To DC’s Upcoming Superhero Movies
For the past decade, Marvel has dominated the superhero box office with one record-breaking movie after another, while DC has struggled to maintain a consistent pace. Now that the first chapter of Marvel’s cinematic success is coming to a close, it seems like every week DC and Warner Bros. are announcing new competitive additions to their feature-film slate.
From all of the upcoming Harley Quinn appearances (at least three!) and the highly anticipated Wonder Woman 2, to the renowned directors Steven Spielberg and Ava DuVernay tackling the less mainstream lore, it can be nearly impossible to maintain that mental list.
To aid your comic book catch-up, here’s the complete line-up of all the movies coming to the DC film universe in the years to come, and everything we know about them so far.
WHO? The mysterious leader of a World War II-era ace pilot squadron originally fighting Nazis, and later other war-related enemies.
THE LATEST: Steven Spielberg is the latest Hollywood mogul to join a DC project, with the director signing on to produce—and potentially direct—Blackhawk. He’s enlisted David Koepp to write the script, which is pretty promising considering the two men have worked together on hits including Jurassic Park, War of the Worlds, and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. No stranger to superhero adaptations, Koepp also wrote the screenplay for 2002’s Spider-Man, starring Tobey Maguire.
Harley Quinn/Birds of Prey
WHO? The antihero and Suicide Squad member who nursed Batman nemesis the Joker to health (or something like it) and became one of his closest accomplices. Harley Quinn is the central antagonist to Gotham’s all-female crime-fighting group, Birds of Prey, which includes Batgirl, Black Canary, and Huntress.
THE LATEST: Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn was one of the aspects of 2016’s Suicide Squad that really resonated with audiences, so, naturally, the Oscar-nominee decided to produce her own Harley Quinn movie with a female force to fuel it! Cathy Yan is in talks to direct the spin-off. If all goes according to plan, Yan will be the first Asian woman to direct a superhero (or anti-hero) movie. Christina Hodson will write the script.
WHO? The female counterpart to and ally of Batman.
THE LATEST: Speaking of Hodson, the writer has also been tapped to write the upcoming Batgirl movie after Joss Whedon, who brought both Justice League and The Avengers to the big screen, exited the project for lack of ideas. Batgirl is anticipated to be the second stand-alone female superhero movie in the DC Universe after Wonder Woman became a global hit. And this feels like a good time to remind everyone about…
Wonder Woman 2
WHO? If you made it to 2018 and haven’t heard of Wonder Woman, I applaud your ability to avoid all of her record-breaking movie news for the past year. Wonder Woman is the kickass female superhero hailing from the Amazon island of Themyscira.
THE LATEST: Patty Jenkins will be back to write, direct, and produce the sequel to what was lauded as the best DC movie yet, with Gal Gadot once again picking up the lasso as our heroine. It was recently announced that Kristen Wiig will be playing the Cheetah, the Wonder Woman’s infamous supervillain. Pedro Pascal (of Narcos fame) has also snagged an unknown key role. Mark your calendars: The journey continues on November 1, 2019.
The New Gods
WHO? The gods residing on two at-odds planets: beautiful New Genesis and scorched Apokolips.
THE LATEST: Are Warner Bros. and DC about to be taken over by women? It’s possible. Ava DuVernay will also be bringing her feminine touch to the studio, having signed on to direct a live-action adaptation of The New Gods. Following her historic feat of becoming the first African-American woman to direct a film with a budget of over $100 million with A Wrinkle in Time, the renowned filmmaker will bring the Fourth World Saga—including her favourite superhero, Big Barda—to life.
The Joker and Harley Quinn
WHO? Complicated, controversial lovers and Batman nemeses.
THE LATEST: Despite the above evidence to the contrary, the DCEU isn’t exclusively working on female-centred stories. In addition to her standalone Birds of Prey film, Robbie will be reprising the role of Harley Quinn alongside Jared Leto’s Joker for a criminal love story. Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, the duo behind This Is Us and Crazy, Stupid, Love, were in final negotiations to write and direct the movie as of August 2017.
WHO? See above.
THE LATEST: Supplementing the love story, the Joker is getting his own movie showcasing the villain’s origin story. Martin Scorsese will produce, with The Hangover’s Todd Phillips also signed on to produce and write the script alongside 8 Mile writer Scott Silver. According to Deadline, the story will be set in the early 80s, and someone who is not Jared Leto will tackle the role. As of April 2018, Joaquin Phoenix was reportedly eyeing the project.
Suicide Squad 2
WHO? The criminal task force comprising of Deadshot, Harley Quinn, Captain Boomerang, Killer Croc, El Diablo, Slipknot, and Enchantress working together for the greater good under Rick Flag.
THE LATEST: Gavin O’Connor will write and direct the sequel, with Will Smith, Margot Robbie, and Jared Leto returning for their second act. But it’s going to be a minute. Variety reporter Justin Kroll noted that production for the movie has been pushed in favour of Robbie’s Birds of Prey.
WHO? Come on, you know who Batman is.
THE LATEST: Originally set to be written and directed by Ben Affleck, Cloverfield director Matt Reeves has taken over writing and directing duties, currently working on the script for the DCEU flagship property.
WHO? The heroic heir to the Atlantis kingdom’s throne and esteemed (read: oft-parodied) Justice League member.
THE LATEST: Jason Momoa will reprise the role of Aquaman for the third time (following a small cameo in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice and a supporting role in Justice League) in the superhero’s first stand-alone film. Amber Heard, Nicole Kidman, Willem Dafoe, and Patrick Wilson round out the main cast. The movie, directed by James Wan and written by Will Beall, is currently putting final touches on filming for an anticipated release date of December 21, 2018.
WHO? Originally named Captain Marvel (long before Marvel Comics’s current Captain Marvel appeared in print), Shazam is a young boy with the power to transform himself into an adult superhero.
THE LATEST: Currently filming in Toronto, Zachary Levi plays Shazam, while Asher Angel plays his human counterpart, Billy Batson. The superhero will be facing off against villain Doctor Sivana, played by Mark Strong. The movie, directed by David F. Sandberg and written by Henry Gayden and Darren Lemke, is slated to hit theaters April 5, 2019—and it features a predominantly young cast that rivals Peter Parker and his Spidey crew.
WHO? The antihero and arch-nemesis to Shazam.
THE LATEST: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has been attached to play Black Adam for years, even when he was only meant to appear in Shazam! as the villain. Realising there was enough material for his own movie, the studio decided to give Black Adam a stand-alone film. The movie now has a script from Rampage co-writer Adam Sztykiel, and The Rock said he anticipates the movie will begin filming in 2019. But you may not have to wait so long before your first taste of the anti-hero: Speculation is that he’ll make his official debut in Suicide Squad 2 or Aquaman ahead of his solo act.
The Untitled Flash Project
WHO? The Fastest Man Alive and beloved member of the Justice League.
THE LATEST: Ezra Miller will portray The Flash for the fourth time in the movie formerly known as Flashpoint (and now seemingly untitled, according to THR), following Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad, and Justice League. While there isn’t a release date yet, two of the Spider-Man: Homecoming writers, John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, are on board to direct the movie. Before the duo sat at the helm of the troubled project, Dope director Rick Famuyiwa was slated to helm, as was IT producer Seth Grahame-Smith before him.
WHO? The supervillain who has menaced the Teen Titans, Green Arrow, and Batman, previously also known as the Terminator—long before James Cameron’s The Terminator.
THE LATEST: We’ve already been introduced to Joe Manganiello’s Deathstroke once, in Justice League’s post-credits scene. About a month before his grand introduction, reports came out that Gareth Evans was in early talks to write and direct the movie, and after mostly crickets since, earlier this month Manganiello told Variety, “There are things in the works, that’s all I can say.” Very mysterious.
Justice League 2
WHO? The superhero team that includes Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, the Flash, and Cyborg.
THE LATEST: The sequel to the notorious post-Wonder Woman flop was originally slated for a 2019 release, but has since been pushed in favour of other DCEU properties. Even though J.K. Simmons (Commissioner Gordon) said a script was in the works in October 2017, news on the movie hasn’t been entirely positive since. Original director Zack Snyder has stepped away from the project following a personal tragedy, as Variety reported mere months later that the DC regular has “no immediate plans” to tackle another movie in the universe.
Green Lantern Corps
WHO? The intergalactic police force that patrols the entire DC Multiverse. The movie will focus on two specific Green Lanterns, Hal Jordan and John Stewart.
THE LATEST: Things have been pretty quiet on this front. In early 2017, Man of Steel screenwriter David S. Goyer and Justin Rhodes were on board to write the script. A year later, in January, Goyer confirmed that the project is “still in the works,” and that’s really all we know!
WHO? Originally known under the identity of Robin, Dick Grayson moved on from his partnership with Batman to become Nightwing, a hero in his own right whose comics pulled inspiration from both Batman and Superman.
THE LATEST: Another seemingly long-term DC project, Warner Bros. picked their starting lineup for Nightwing in early 2017, with The Lego Batman Movie’s Chris McKay set to direct and Bill Dubuque writing the script. This past February, McKay offered a minor non-update on Twitter, saying the script was “expected very soon,” but don’t hold your breath for more news, because, as he noted, “This is going to be a LONG process.”
WHO? The mercenary and bounty hunter anti-hero with a penchant for cigars.
THE LATEST: The movie has been bouncing around as an idea for 15 years, with Will Smith, The Rock, and Guy Richie all attached in some capacity at various points. The latest news is that the studio is hoping to snag mega-director Michael Bay for the project, but the current script would require a massive $200 million budget—a price tag no one is on board for. Jason Fuchs is working on a cost-cutting rewrite.
Justice League Dark
WHO? The supernatural superhero team that handles DC’s less traditional battles, including John Constantine, Madame Xanadu, Deadman, Shade, the Changing Man, and Zatanna.
THE LATEST: Hit-maker and Oscar winner Guillermo del Toro has been talking about this script for years, even hiring a writer to work on it, and has since reportedly walked away from the project, but it wasn’t until 2017’s San Diego Comic-Con that the title was included in a list of upcoming movies. One month later, Gerard Johnstone was hired to rework the script, as the search for a director continued.
WHO? The Justice League member who travels back in time to create futuristic heroics on a grand scale.
THE LATEST: Another project that’s been on the cusp of something great for years, Arrowverse mainstay Greg Berlanti has been signed on to produce—and potentially to direct—a Booster Gold film since 2016. Zack Stentz is tasked with writing the script. Berlanti confirmed in March that the movie is still in development, but, so far, doesn’t have a timeline for filming and release.
Man of Steel 2
WHO? You’ve probably heard of him going by the name of Superman.
THE LATEST: In the longest will-they-won’t-they of the universe, a sequel to the 2013 film that launched the current DCEU has been rumoured for years. Unfortunately, with absolutely no progress made and storyboard artist’s Jay Oliva seeming denial on Twitter, it seems likely that this movie is going to remain just that: a rumour. But that won’t stop the internet from asking Henry Cavill about it anyway.