Given Marvel’s success with their Cinematic Universe starting in 2008, DC comic fans wondered when their time would come. Finally in 2013, Man of Steel gave DC and their cinematic partner Warner Bros. the box-office hit – even if it received mixed critical reviews – they were waiting for, and the plans for the DC shared universe films went into action.
Two years later, we’re finally getting the details of just what all the planned films will be. But boy, were those details worth the wait. DC/Warner Bros. have 12 movies scheduled for release in the next five years. Check out what we know about each of these movies below! And prepare yourself to be very, very excited.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
The first in the upcoming DC lineup, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice functions as a sequel to Man of Steel. With the world turning against Superman, Batman finds him for what looks like a battle, based on not only the movie’s title but also its trailer.
Both the director (Zack Snyder) and the writer (David S. Goyer) of Man of Steel returned for this movie, as did Amy Adams (Lois Lane), Diane Lane (Martha Kent) and Laurence Fishburne (Perry White).
If, like me, you were underwhelmed by Man of Steel, take heart in the new cast of characters! Joining Henry Cavill’s Superman are Batman (Ben Affleck), Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), Aquaman (Jason Momoa) and Cyborg (Ray Fisher). And if that’s not enough to get you excited, Batman v Superman will also introduce Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) to the new DC line.
Because this is the first time Superman and Batman have been in the same live-action movie and because this movie will set the tone for the next nine to come, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice has its work cut out for it. Expect it in theaters March 25, 2016.
Like Batman v Superman, this third movie in the DC universe – counting Man of Steel as the first – features a stellar cast list and a ton of comic characters, both familiar and new to the big screen. But unlike its predecessors, Suicide Squad is all about the villains – or anti-heroes, if you’d prefer.
According to IMDB, the plot goes a bit like this: “A secret government agency recruits imprisoned supervillains to execute dangerous black ops missions in exchange for clemency.” And yes, imprisoned does mean we’ll be spending some amount of time at Arkham Asylum.
Among the cast are Will Smith (Deadshot), Jared Leto (The Joker), Margot Robbie (Harley Quinn), Joel Kinnaman (Rick Flagg), Viola Davis (Amanda Waller), Jai Courtney (Captain Boomerang), Cara Delevingne (Enchantress), and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Killer Croc). And that’s not even half of them!
With that cast of characters, Suicide Squad, which is currently filming in Toronto, Ontario, just might be the best film of the franchise. But if you’re not as interested in the villains as I am, don’t worry because the Justice League is coming.
Suicide Squad is scheduled for release on August 5, 2016.
Because the rest of the DC lineup is at least two years in the future, there’s unfortunately much less information on them. After teaming up (possibly) with the other heroes in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Gal Gadot will return for her own stand-alone movie, Wonder Woman.
Although the movie recently lost its director due to “creative differences,” a replacement has been found in the form of Patty Jenkins. Jenkins has directed a few television episodes though her big claim to fame is Monster, the movie for which Charlize Theron won her Oscar.
Wonder Woman is set to begin filming this fall, but it remains to be seen if the director shake-up will force an adjustment of that schedule. The movie is due in theaters on June 23, 2017.
Justice League: Part One
The big team-up movie, analogous to Marvel’s The Avengers, will of course be Justice League: Part One. Whether that “part one” bit will leave us with a two-year cliffhanger or not remains to be seen, but I hope it doesn’t because two years is a long time to wait!
Regardless of the ending, Justice League: Part One looks to be a good time with the actors from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice reprising their roles as Batman, Superman, Aquaman, Cyborg and Wonder Woman. Presumably these heroes will team up in the movie to form the Justice League. Because Ezra Miller has already been cast as the Flash – way in advance of the 2018 movie – Entertainment Weekly speculates he might also have a part to play in Justice League: Part One.
Returning from Man of Steel and Batman v Superman will be writer David S. Goyer and director Zack Snyder, so you better hope you like their interpretations of the characters. Justice League: Part One is scheduled for a release close to Thanksgiving on November 17, 2017.
2018 sees two release dates for DC movies – March 23 and July 27 – but it’s unclear yet which movie will be released on which date.
As noted above, Ezra Miller (The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Madame Bovary) has already been cast as the Flash, more specifically as Barry Allen.
If you’re thinking this means The Flash movie already significantly differs from current The Flash TV show on the CW, you would be right because on the show, Grant Gustin plays Allen. It’s not clear why DC/Warner Bros. chose to recast the part, but it means that unlike in the Marvel Universe, the movies and TV shows, also including CW’s Arrow, will probably remain separate entities.
One of the movies we know the least about, Aquaman will feature Jason Momoa as the titular character. The only other thing we know about the movie is that James Wan (Furious 7, Saw, Insidious, The Conjuring) might direct it.
The project is hush-hush with two different scripts being written, although this is likely to make sure Aquaman doesn’t turn into a joke, which most of the Internet thinks is easily doable since the character’s super power is essentially talking to fish. With two takes on the character, the studio keeps its options open.
Like 2018, the two releases in 2019 don’t have clear dates yet, but the slots DC has scheduled are for April 5 and June 14.
Like me, you might know Shazam better as Captain Marvel, the superhero/magical alter ego of teenage boy Billy Batson. Neither the Batson or Shazam role has been cast yet, possibly because the project is so far in the future. But Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has already been cast as Black Adam.
Although Black Adam is typically Captain Marvel’s nemesis, the president of New Line Cinema – the subsidiary of Warner Bros producing Shazam – calls the character a compelling and complex anti-hero. In the same interview, he also revealed Shazam will have a different tone from other comic book movies, describing it as more fun and humorous.
With writer Darren Lemke tapped for the film, it certainly looks like the tone will be different, considering most of Lemke’s credits have been children’s movies, including Shrek Forever After, Jack the Giant Slayer, Turbo and the upcoming Goosebumps movie. If it works, Shazam could breathe new life into the universe in the same way Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy did.
Justice League: Part Two
The other movie of 2019 is – finally! – Justice League: Part Two. DC/Warner Bros. haven’t yet confirmed who will be appearing in the movie, but it’s likely most – if not all – of the cast of Justice League: Part One will return. If the Flash doesn’t appear in the first movie, he’ll probably appear in this one, and maybe Green Lantern, whose stand-alone movie hits theaters in 2020, will be along for the ride.
But for now, the only confirmed detail is that Zack Snyder is also directing this movie, which makes sense considering the films’ titles.
For 2020 – a ridiculously long five years from now – the release dates April 3 and June 19.
Because it’s so far in the future, we know almost nothing about Cyborg except the fact that it exists. The largely unknown Ray Fisher will reprise his role as the title character after portraying him in three of the previous DC films. These will be his first feature film roles as Fisher has been primarily a stage/theater actor.
You might think it’s impossible to know less about a movie than we do about Cyborg, but coming in as the DC movie we know the least about is Green Lantern. While Cyborg at least has its main character cast, Green Lantern doesn’t even have that.
All speculation points to this movie being a reboot of the Green Lantern origin story, and considering the Ryan Reynolds-helmed Green Lantern was bad enough that Warner Bros. cancelled their plans for a sequel, Green Lantern can’t go anywhere but up.
If all of those movies aren’t enough for you, Warner Bros. also announced plans for both a stand-alone Superman movie with Henry Cavill and a stand-alone Batman movie with Ben Affleck. Both movies would be released before or during 2020, but that’s the only information on them at this time.
Obviously for DC fans, all of these releases are like having Christmas twice a year for five whole years. And that doesn’t even include the stand-alone Batman and Superman movies! Hopefully, the DC movie lineup will prove itself as watchable as the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I guess we’ll find out next March.