DC Comics is home to some of the most recognizable characters on the planet. Forget about those Justice League headlines – there are plenty of DC heroes, villains, and their related associates headed for the big screen in the coming years. Here, we’ll take a look at Every DC Comics Movie In Development and what we know.
The DC Comics Universe is full of beloved superheroes and rich storylines ripe for cinematic adaptation. The Adventures of Superman pilot actually had a theatrical release back in 1951. Adam West’s Batman leapt into theaters from the small screen in 1966. Richard Donner’s Superman, starring the late Christopher Reeve, is revered as one of the greatest superhero movies of all time. We’ve seen commercial and critical successes like Tim Burton’s Batman and Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight and box office duds like Steel, Catwoman, Jonah Hex, and Green Lantern.
In 2013, Watchmen and 300 director Zack Snyder kicked off Warner Bros. shared universe of DC Comics films with Man Of Steel, a rebooted origin story for Superman with Easter Eggs that hinted at a larger interconnected comic book inspired world. Snyder introduced Wonder Woman, Flash, Aquaman, and the Caped Crusader, among others, in the DCEU’s very next movie, Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. (By the way, we recommend the highly superior Ultimate Edition of Batman v Superman.) Suicide Squad followed, with the well-received Wonder Woman solo movie arriving in 2017.
Here’s everything we know that’s in development post-Justice League.
Briefly teased in Batman v Superman before his full introduction in Justice League, Arthur Curry gets his own movie in December 2018. Arthur’s half-brother, Orm, takes control of Atlantis and courts war with the surface world. We’ll also meet Aquaman villain Black Manta, who first appeared in the comics in 1967. Amber Heard, briefly seen in Justice League, returns as Mera. Aquaman is co-written and directed by James Wan, the man behind Furious 7, Saw and The Conjuring 1 and 2.
Looking something like Big meets Superman, Shazam! hits theaters in April, 2019. Generation X kids may remember the TV series that ran on CBS in the mid 1970s. The movie exists in the DCEU, but with a much lighter tone than what’s come before.
The untitled Joker origin movie, on the other hand, is not connected to the DCEU at all, yet it’s getting made faster than previously discussed projects like Suicide Squad 2, a Harley Quinn and Joker movie, or a Joker standalone with Jared Leto. Joaquin Phoenix, Robert DeNiro, and comedian Marc Maron are among the cast, with an October 2019 release date. Director Todd Phillips is primarily known for the Hangover movies and Old School, but he certainly knows a thing or two about anarchy and mayhem. His first movie was the documentary Hated: GG Allin and the Murder Junkies, about the late punker. The character-driven Joker origin story has a reported budget of $50 million, much lower than typical summer superhero flicks.
Gal Gadot and director Patty Jenkins reunite for the follow-up to the smash Wonder Woman solo movie, with another period adventure, this time trading World War I for the Cold War. We’re not sure how Steve Trevor will return, but we do know that Kristen Wiig plays Cheetah, a villain who dates back to 1943’s Wonder Woman #6.
As for the rest of the Justice League…
DC first announced plans for a Cyborg standalone movie back in 2014. Whether or not it will make its April 2020 release date remains to be seen, if it gets made at all, but it’s still reportedly in some stage of development. Ray Fisher has assured fans that he has no plans to abdicate the role. We do know that portions of Cyborg’s origin, as well as the death of his father, were filmed but cut from Justice League.
Ezra Miller has been attached to a Flash standalone for quite some time, with Kiersey Clemons as Iris West, who was in Justice League at one point, but her scenes were cut. The Scarlet Speedster has lost two different directors along the way, but another look at the DCEU’s Central City is still likely. There were plans to adapt a version of the Flashpoint storyline, which the CW tackled in the Arrowverse as well. The movie Barry Allen would’ve encountered the Flashpoint reality’s Batman, Thomas Wayne, played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan. At 2018’s Comic Con, Morgan said his involvement is now unlikely, as The Flash shifted to more of an origin story.
Speaking of the Caped Crusader who invited Barry Allen into the DCEU’s Justice League, the title seems to be the only thing that’s stuck with The Batman thus far. There’s been some mixed messages about whether or not The Batman will fit into the DCEU’s ongoing continuity or not and who will wear the cape and cowl if and when it finally gets made. Ben Affleck was originally set to co-write, direct, and star in the Batman standalone, with Joe Manganiello as the villain, Deathstroke. Even after that storyline was discarded and director Matt Reeves came onboard, Affleck was still rumored to star. As of the summer of 2018, Reeves had confirmed Affleck would be involved in some way, but that could simply be as a producer at this point.
The Lanterns existence in the DCEU was confirmed in a Justice League flashback. Ryan Reynolds hasn’t held back his opinion on Green Lantern, the 2011 big-budget box office dud from Casino Royale director Martin Campbell. When the guy whose voice you’re listening to asked Reynolds about sequels at the press junket for the movie, prior to its release, he quickly pivoted, suggesting future installments should move away from his Hal Jordan and explore other Lanterns, like Guy Gardner. Like Cyborg, a Green Lantern Corps movie was announced back in 2014. The story would reportedly include both Hal and another popular Green Lantern, John Stewart. There’s been talk of Mark Wahlberg or Tom Cruise playing Hal Jordan in the DCEU. Former DC Entertainment President Geoff Johns is writing and producing.
Man of Steel 2
The race to establish the Justice League meant that instead of a true Man Of Steel sequel, we got Batman v. Superman. That doesn’t mean Man Of Steel 2 won’t happen. We know that X-Men: First Class director Matthew Vaughn met with Warner about it in 2017. Cavill is up for it, joking that Man Of Steel 2 could arrive anytime between 2019 and 2045. He’s talked about what he’d like to see happen story wise, citing the Superman comic arc “For Tomorrow” by Brian Azzerello, Jim Lee, and Scott Williams.
Suicide Squad 2
It’s unclear which members of the Suicide Squad will return for the sequel or whom they’ll be fighting, but we do know it’s supposed to be directed by Gavin O’Connor, who worked with future Batman villain Tom Hardy in Warrior and future Batman Ben Affleck in the crime drama The Accountant. In August 2018, reports surfaced that Suicide Squad 2 will be delayed. O’Conner will reunite with Affleck on The Has-Been first, freeing up Will Smith to star in any number of hotly anticipated sequels.
Birds of Prey
We do know what Harley Quinn will be up to before Suicide Squad 2. Margot Robbie will star and executive produce Birds Of Prey, a team-up movie starring Gotham heroes and antiheroes like Black Canary and Huntress, with Black Mask as the villain.
Joker and Harley Quinn
Birds Of Prey has a rumored January 2019 start date and Suicide Squad 2 has been pushed back – so where that leaves the untitled Harley and Joker movie Variety first reported in 2017 is unclear. That movie will be helmed by the director duo behind NBC’s This is Us and the heist movie Focus, which starred Robbie and Will Smith.
Jared Leto’s Joker
Like Robbie and Birds Of Prey, Jared Leto has been given his own movie to star in and executive produce. It’s no secret that The Joker ended up in Suicide Squad way less than anyone had originally planned, including the actor himself. The untitled Harley-Joker project, Suicide Squad 2, and a standalone would give him more bites at the apple, ‘though the unconnected Joaquin Phoenix movie may confuse audiences.
Zack Snyder has a story credit on the Man Of Steel prequel comic that revealed that one of the open pods, seen in the movie, once housed Superman’s Kryptonian cousin, Kara Zor-el. Snyder later said on his Vero account that the pod was meant to hint at “something bigger” than Supergirl, but he did intend to introduce her to the DCEU eventually. Regardless, there is definitely a Supergirl movie in development.
Many years ago, Joss Whedon was interested in making a Wonder Woman movie. In more recent times, he met with the studio about bringing Batgirl into the DCEU. It was during that process that Warner brought him in to do some new writing and reshoots on Justice League. Batgirl would have been next, but Whedon left the project in February 2018. Christina Hodson, who wrote the Transformers spinoff Bumblee and the upcoming Birds Of Prey, has taken over scripting duties on Batgirl. (In the meantime, the Arrowverse is getting its own Batgirl, played by Ruby Rose.)
For the uninitiated, Nightwing is the superhero alter-ego of the grown-up Dick Grayson, aka the original Robin the Boy Wonder. Zack Snyder said on his Vero account that the Robin who was killed by the Joker in his DCEU was Richard, aka Dick Grayson, the first Robin, and not Jason Todd, like in the comics. But those words are never spoken on screen and we know the Nightwing movie in development with The Lego Batman Movie director Chris McKay will of course be about Dick Grayson. It will also be heavy on action. The director even predicted the Oscars may have to come up with a stunt category in its wake. No star has been attached and there is no timetable for the Nightwing movie. The Titans TV series on DC’s streaming service features both Dick Grayson and, in a lesser role, Jason Todd.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has long been attached to play Shazam nemesis and sometime antihero Black Adam in the DCEU. Very little is known about the plot, but The Rock insists Black Adam is still happening and could begin shooting in 2019.
The Justice League post-credits scene teased the idea that Lex Luthor would form a league of his own, the Legion of Doom, with other villains. In that very scene, audiences met Deathstroke, played by Joe Manganiello. The actor was set to reprise the role in The Batman, which shifted instead to his own solo movie. Manganiello is so amped about it he’s even worked on the story, which he pitched to The Raid director Gareth Evans at one point. As recently as Comic Con 2018, he says it’s still happening. For now, we still have the awesome Deathstroke of the Arrowverse.
Will we see the Main Man on the big screen, in all of his boisterous and charismatic cosmic glory? Warner has long tried to get a Lobo movie off the ground. As best we can tell, it’s still in the works. How cool would it be to see Lobo fight Superman?
The King of Comics, the late Jack Kirby, was the legendary co-creator of Captain America and together with Stan Lee, a who’s-who of Silver Age heroes, including the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, the Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, and Black Panther. At DC, he created the Fourth World saga, which introduced the New Gods into the DC Universe. We’ve already seen one of his New Gods, Steppenwolf, on the big screen. Selma and A Wrinkle in Time‘s Ava DuVernay will direct an adaptation of Kirby’s New Gods. Whether or not it’ll be tied to the DCEU remains to be seen.
The Golden Age Blackhawk was about a squadron of ace World War II pilots and has long been a favorite of Steven Spielberg. With The Lost World screenwriter David Koepp on board alongside the legendary moviemaker, there’s no word on whether their Blackhawk movie will focus on WWII or DC’s post-war era stories.