The excitement for (and monetary rewards of) superhero movies isn’t slowing down. The unofficial DC “Extended Universe” has an enormous slate of upcoming movies, with more added each day. Some are actively in the works, with production wrapping up and trailers set to run. Others are tentative, with names attached to them, but no proof that they’ll actually come to fruition. Some are merely whispers. The next time Marvel snaps its fingers and puts 18 more movies on the MCU release calendar, expect DC’s list to double. The friendly competition only benefits fans in the long run.
Here’s what we know about every upcoming DC comic movie.
Aquaman wrapped up production in October 2017 and, thanks to a gargantuan amount of special effects to complete, will only be done by the end of this year. Directed by James Wan (Saw, Insidious), the film will follow Jason Momoa’s Aquaman after the events of Justice League, as he returns to the underwater kingdom of Atlantis and is caught in a war between the surface dwellers and his own people. Starring alongside Momoa are Amber Heard as Mera, warrior princess of neighboring undersea kingdom Xebel; Patrick Wilson as Ocean Master, Aquaman’s corrupt half-brother; and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Black Manta, a ruthless treasure hunter and mercenary. Nicole Kidman plays Aquaman’s mother, Atlanna. The film will feature epic underwater battles and according to director James Wan “very classic Shakespearean story … of sibling rivalry.”
There’s no trailer for Aquaman, but the reason is simple, as Wan explained on Twitter. The film simply has a lot of VFX and he’s not yet ready to share.
Hey friends, I usually do my best to avoid internet noises (especially fabricated distractions) but a teaser-trailer going out this weekend was never in the books — despite what some claim. It’s not because of anyone or any nefarious reason holding it back — IT’S ME. (1/3)
— James Wan (@creepypuppet) March 25, 2018
I am simply not ready yet to share. This movie is filled to the gills with VFX, and the process is as slow and laborious as a sea-slug! Yes, even shots for the trailers take forever to do, and I refuse to put out anything that might be construed as subpar. (2/3)
— James Wan (@creepypuppet) March 25, 2018
I know it seems like nothing much is brewing above the surface, but I can assure you, we’re working nonstop under the waves (3/3)
(Ps: And yes, I plan to use oceanic puns/references every chance I get )
— James Wan (@creepypuppet) March 25, 2018
Aquaman will be in theaters December 21, 2018. — Petrana Radulovic
Shazam hasn’t appeared on the movie screen since 1940 despite having been around almost as long as Superman and Batman. No longer known as Captain Marvel (the renaming happened in 2011), the title hero is played by Chuck star Zachary Levi. Asher Angel will play Billy Batson, the child who turns into Shazam when he says, well … “Shazam!” Jack Dylan Grazer, who previously starred in “It” is set to play Freddy, Billy’s best friend, and the cast is rounded out with Grace Fulton as Mary Marvel and Mark Strong as the villain, Dr. Thaddeus Sivana.
In an Entertainment Tonight interview earlier this year, Levi described Shazam! As “Superman meets Big” and stated ecstatically that he’s excited to “be a superhero that’s excited about being a superhero … it’s not glum, and like, ‘Oh, I have to save the world again.’ So I think it’s all really gravy.”
Recently, Shazam! Director David F. Sandberg (Annabelle: Creation) confirmed fan speculations that the film will be set during the winter. Radically different from the horror films that he’s previously worked on, Sandberg told Moviefone last August that the film will have a lighter tone, and that he’s looking forward to bringing his comedy experience to a feature film.
Shazam is set to premiere on April 5, 2019. — Palmer Haasch
Wonder Woman 1984 (2019)
A sequel to the highly successful Wonder Woman movie is in production. Dubbed Wonder Woman 1984, the film will be set in the 1980s with a prominent Cold War atmosphere. Gal Gadot reprises her iconic role as Wonder Woman, with Patty Jenkins directing and collaborating on the script with Geoff Jones and Dave Callaham. In March 2018, Kristin Wiig was confirmed to join the cast as Cheetah, one of Wonder Woman’s primary villains, a British anthropologist who stumbles into the lost city of Urzkartagan in the middle of an ancient ritual and becomes the avatar of their cheetah god.
Pedro Pascal has also been announced to join the cast in a “major role.” An image of Chris Pines as Steve Trevor was tweeted by Jenkins, thought it’s not clear how the supposedly dead character has returned.
Wonder Woman 1984 will be in theaters November 1, 2019. — PR
Joker origin movie (TBD 2019/2020)
Set to be directed by The Hangover’s Todd Phillips and produced by Phillips and Martin Scorsese, this take on the Joker will not involve Jared Leto (which he allegedly did not take well). Instead, seasoned actor Joaquin Phoenix will take up the mantle of Clown Prince of Crime.
It will be a new type of DC film, one that explores the possibilities of not sticking with the same actor for all iterations of the character. It is set to be released under a yet unnamed banner, where Warner Brothers can explore parts of the DC canon with unique storylines and a range of actors.
The movie will take place in ‘80s Gotham, will explore the Joker’s origins, and is reportedly a “gritty and grounded hard-boiled crime film,” akin to Scorsese’s gritty dramas (Taxi Driver, Raging Bull). There’s no release date set for this film, but Phillips is reportedly working on the script alongside Scott Silver (8 Mile) and filming will start in September in New York City. — PR
Shortly after Ray Fisher’s casting as Cyborg in 2014, a solo feature for the hero was announced. Fisher told ComicBook.com that he hopes the film will be “a slightly more intimate story.” Additionally, Fisher has stated he wants the cast and crew of the film to be diverse.
“I think the cast should be diverse in everything we do,” Fisher said to ComicBook at a press event for Justice League. “And I think the crew, equally importantly, should be as diverse. The representation at every level, I think it needs to be adhered to.”
While Fisher has been quite vocal about the upcoming movie, no further production details have been revealed.
The Cyborg standalone is still scheduled for April 3, 2020. — PH
Green Lantern Corps (2020)
Green Lantern Corps was announced in 2014 and, as of Geoff Johns’ recent role switch at DC, will be penned by the longtime comic writer. Described as DC’s response to Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, the film is set to focus on two prominent Lanterns: Hal Jordan and John Stuart. Casting is still up in the air, but a sizeble amount of actors have openly campaigned for the roles: most recently, Sterling K. Brown and Justin Hartley of This is Us expressed that they wouldn’t be against the idea of playing John and Hal. Fans have been eager to toss up other names like Armie Hammer (Call Me By Your Name) or Charlie Hunnam (Pacific Rim) for the roles as well.
The film reportedly focuses on John Stewart’s origin with an older Hal Jordan acting as his mentor, and IMDb gives the following summary:
The story centers on the Green Lanterns of Earth — Hal Jordan, Kyle Rayner, John Stewart, and Guy Gardner — and the rest of the Green Lantern Corps as they fight an interstellar war against the Sinestro Corps, an army led by the former Green lantern Sinestro who are armed with yellow power rings and seek a universe ruled through fear.
Green Lantern is still set to premiere on July 24, 2020. — PH
Suicide Squad 2 (TBD 2020)
A Suicide Squad sequel was announced in March 2016 — before the first film even released. After a search for directors (Mel Gibson among them), the sequel will reportedly be directed by Gavin O’Connor (The Accountant), who is also set to co-write the script. The producers will be Charles Roven, who helmed the first movie, and Michael de Luca (The Social Network, Fifty Shades of Grey). There’s been a few other writers coming in and out of this project, but most recently David Bar Katz and Todd Stashwick joined the team.
Margot Robbie, Jared Leto, and Will Smith are expected to return as Harley Quinn, The Joker, and Deadshot. They’re the only main cast confirmed, though Karen Fukuhara and Jai Courtney have expressed interest in returning as Katana and Captain Boomerang. Production is rumored to begin in October 2018, with a projected 2020 release. — PR
Flashpoint has seen its own share of speedy shifts between directors, producers, and screenwriters. Finally, however, Warner Bros. brought on John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein (Spiderman: Homecoming) to direct the film, and it’s unclear whether or not they’ll be involved in the screenwriting process as well.
The film centers on Barry Allen/The Flash, played by Ezra Miller (who debuted as The Flash in 2017’s Justice League), and based on announcements at the 2017 Comic-Con, will lift from the popular 2011 Flashpoint comic arc. Flashpoint follows Barry Allen as he travels back into time to save his mother, returning to a world so dramatically different that the Justice League doesn’t exist. As of now, it’s not certain how closely the movie will follow the storyline of the original comics.
Currently, the film doesn’t have a set release date. — PH
In March 2017, Joss Wheadon was hired to direct, write, and produce a Barbara Gordon/Batgirl film, but he stepped down in February of 2018, saying that he “didn’t have a story.”
This came during a flurry of controversy about his treatment of women in his personal life and his earlier takes on female empowerment that have aged poorly. Christina Hodson has taken over as screenwriter and the studio is actively searching for a female director.
There is no set production or release date or any further casting details. — PR
The Lego Batman Movie director Chris McKay is set to direct an upcoming Nightwing film, with Bill Dubuque (The Accountant) writing the script. The film will focus on Nightwing aka Dick Grayson, who is most famously known as the first Robin. Grayson took up the Nightwing mantle as the character aged up and became leader of the Teen Titans.
Mckay said that the script was wrapping up back in February 2018. There are no details on casting or production dates, though McKay tweeted a poll asking for fan input on the lead role. Most people preferred a “badass martial artist” to someone of the correct ethnicity, but that’s a conversation for another time. — PR
If YOU were to cast NIGHTWING, what is the most important quality you would you look for in actor:
— Chris McKay (@buddboetticher) February 9, 2018
Justice League Dark (TBD)
Not to be confused with the 2017 animated film of the same name, Justice League Dark has been in the works in some time: Guillermo del Toro began writing a script for the film in 2013 before leaving the project. Similarly, Doug Liman (Edge of Tomorrow) signed on as director in 2016 before leaving in 2017. Despite setbacks and delays, Justice League Dark is still is development.
There haven’t been any specific plot or cast confirmations yet, but characters such as John Constantine, Zatanna, Swamp Thing, Deadman, Etrigan the Demon, Spectre, and Madame Xanadu have appeared on the team over the years. In addition, there are also rumors that the Shadowpact, a group of magic-based heroes, will make a cameo in Justice League Dark, setting them up for potential future appearances.
Despite the slow trickle of news we’ve heard about the film, it’s reportedly still moving forward. In August 2017 Gerard Johnstone was hired to work on the film’s script. There is currently no director or cast attached to the project or a set release date.
In the meantime, check out this neat thread of concept art from Joseph Kahn’s original Justice League Dark pitch, beginning with Swamp Thing: — PH
Man of Steel sequel (TBD)
A sequel to 2013’s Man of Steel was announced back in 2014. Unlike Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, this will be a Superman standalone. The script has been in development for a while, as Amy Adams mentioned in a 2016 press conference for Arrival. Matthew Vaughn and Christopher McQuarrie have both been considered to direct. There’s been an update about once a year for this sequel since it was announced. Further details remain unknown. — PR
Joe Manganiello first appeared as Deathstroke in the post-credit scene of Justice League, and he recently confirmed that Deathstroke’s standalone film, first announced in October 2017, is still in the works. However, when pressed for details about the film at the premiere of Dwayne Johnson’s Rampage, all Manganiello could offer was, “There are things in the works, that’s all I can say.”
That pretty much sums up what we know about the film: as of now, we don’t have any plot details or a release date. — PH
Black Adam (TBD)
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has been attached to the Black Adam name since 2008 and fans have been eagerly awaiting Johnson’s take on the character. A Black Adam standalone was announced in January 2017. Black Adam is one of Shazam’s arch-nemesis, but in recent comic developments, the character has turned into more of an antihero. According to an interview with Johnson, production is tentatively set for 2019. — PR
Lobo is an interstellar bounty hunter and mercenary who wears chains and smokes. After more than a decade of rumors, he’s also finally getting his own movie. In theory.
The upcoming Lobo film is back on the DCEU slate after years of lying in limbo, and as of now, Jason Fuchs (Wonder Woman) is attached to write the screenplay. Michael Bay (Transformers) is currently the frontrunner to direct the film, and the likely R-rated film seems to be right in his camp. The film also seems to be a potential DCEU response to 20th Century Fox’s Deadpool.
Regarding his inspiration and how the Lobo film will compare to his work with Wonder Woman, Fuchs said:
“I think when you’re working on comic book characters, especially ones that are near and dear to my heart, like Wonder Woman and Lobo are, you want to create something that’s true to what the original text are. I think Wonder Woman really captures the feeling of — not only the original Moulton Marston comics, but the George Perez run in the late-80s. It feels like reading those comics up on the big screen. So for something like Lobo, without saying too much about it, it’ll feel, I imagine, quite different, because the Lobo comic itself is quite different. What Keith Giffen and Alan Grant put together was something really unique, and hopefully we’ll capture some of that same spirit when we make the movie.”
There’s no word on which actor will play the antihero, but a film with a central protagonist whose story is typically “one where he starts trouble and stirs up chaos” has promise with the right lead. — PH
The Batman (TBD)
The first solo Batman film of the new DC era was announced in October 2014. Ben Affleck was originally set to direct and co-write the script with Geoff Johns, but he stepped down from directing in January 2017 to, reportedly, focus more on acting.
Matt Reeves was announced as director in February 2017 and the project was officially entitled The Batman. In July 2017, he confirmed that he scraped Affleck’s originally script, which involved Joe Manganiello as Deathstroke, and was reworking it from scratch. Reeves has not said whether or not Manganiello is still involved with the film.
Affleck has since been a bit wishy-washy about whether or not he’s going to be involved with the movie, but as far as we know, he’s still reprising the role of Batman. There is no set filming date or release date. — PR
Gotham City Sirens (TBD)
Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn is set to get more and more time with women. Warner Bros. announced Gotham City Sirens in December 2016, and the film is set to focus on three female villains: Catwoman, Poison Ivy, and Harley Quinn. The movie is fundamentally about these three women — although Jared Leto is rumored to appear in the film as the Joker and the relationship between Harley and the Joker will likely play a role in the story, the film isn’t about the women’s romantic partners or other male superheroes.
In a 2017 interview with IGN, Suicide Squad director David Ayer (who chose Gotham City Sirens over Suicide Squad), stated, “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.” There are currently rumors that Batman villain Black Mask may be the main antagonist of the film, but there’s been no confirmation. The rumors are based on an image that Ayer tweeted in February 2017, a move reminiscent of his Twitter foreshadowing of Jared Leto’s Joker.
There hasn’t been much movement on Gotham City Sirens, prompting rumors of a cancellation. Ayer has continued to insist that the project is still happening and that he is still attached to direct. However, with the recent announcement of an upcoming Harley Quinn-centric standalone film it seems that Gotham City Sirens may have been pushed back. No one’s really sure what’s going on, but … we’ll keep you posted. — PH
Harley Quinn standalone film (TBD)
First announced in late November 2017, there’s a Harley Quinn standalone film in the works. Margot Robbie hinted at the film during an interview with MTV, stating that she had been working on it for two years at the time and that she was involved as a producer. In the interview, Robbie also underscores her desire to see Harley in a film with other women — in the actress’ words, “she needs needs a girl gang.”
Based on recent details released, it seems like Harley will get the girl gang Robbie wished for. The upcoming film will be based on the “Birds of Prey” comic, which is focused on Harley Quinn, Black Canary, Barbara Gordon (Batgirl), and Huntress. As of now, it’s not confirmed if all of these characters will appear in the film. However, the “girl gang” mentality extends past the screen: Cathy Yan (Dead Pigs) is in talks to direct the upcoming film and would be the third female director of a DC film after Patty Jenkins (Wonder Woman) and Ava DuVernay, who is rumored to be directing The New Gods film. Yan would also be the first Asian-American to direct a DC movie.
Margot Robbie’s LuckyChap Entertainment, Sue Kroll’s Kroll & Co Entertainment, and Bryan Unkeless of Clubhouse Pictures are set to produce. Christina Hodson (Bumblebee, the upcoming Batgirl) wrote the script based on “Birds of Prey” that was eventually selected. The script is still currently being worked on and production is expected to start at the end of the year. — PH
The Harley Quinn and Joker … rom-com? (TBD)
We haven’t heard much about this “insane and twisted” rom-com since last August, but we also haven’t heard anything to say that’s is not currently in the works. Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, who helmed 2011’s Crazy, Stupid, Love featuring Steve Carrell, Ryan Gosling, and Emma Stone, were in final negotiations in August to write and direct a currently untitled movie project about Harley Quinn and the Joker starring Margot Robbie and Jared Leto in their Suicide Squad roles.
Insiders at the time told The Hollywood Reporter that the film was a go after the Suicide Squad sequel and moving quickly given that Warner Bros. has to manage actors’ holding agreements. One insider described the film as “an insane and twisted love story. When Harry met Sally on benzedrine.” The film will be part of DC’s cinematic universe.
Nothing has been announced about this film since August 2017 but as for now, we can assume that it’s still in the works and set to debut after the Suicide Squad sequel. — PH
Other Joker, starring Jared Leto (TBD)
Jared Leto wants a chance to redeem his take on the Joker and it looks like he might get it. As we learned earlier this month, Leto is set to star and executive produce an untitled standalone film. According to Variety, this film is set to pave “the way for future movies branching from Suicide Squad.” There’s not much information on when this movie takes place in relation to Suicide Squad or its sequel. Or information about when it’s supposed to start filming. Or information about any other characters involved or anything about the plot line. But Jared Leto really wants to play the Joker again so … that’s … fun. — PR