Warner Bros. Pictures is hard at work on several DC Comics-based movies, both in live-action and animation. While the vast majority of live-action DC films remain part of the ongoing DC Extended Universe (DCEU), which launched with Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice in 2016 (a follow-up to 2013’s Man of Steel), a handful of upcoming DC films are going to be standalone. Those are going to release as part of WB’s currently-untitled banner that resembles DC Comics’ Elseworlds stories.
Over the past few years, WB has released sevenDC Comics-related movies – Man of Steel, Batman V Superman, Suicide Squad, Wonder Woman, Justice League, Aquaman and, most recently, Shazam! – and the critical and commercial reception has ranged from being overwhelmingly negative to overwhelmingly positive, with a few handing in the middle. But things are changing going forward.
IT producer Walter Hamada will be overseeing DC Films alongside Chantal Nong as VP of DC production, and their purview extends to all corners of the DC universe on the big screen. And it looks like they have their work cut out for them. In total, there are more than two dozen DC Comics-based movies in various stages in development (including several movies that are on the official DCEU slate and some that aren’t), with only a select few slated either to release or go into production within the next few years.
Last updated: April 19, 2019
Joker – October 4, 2019
Directed by Todd Phillips (The Hangover), Joker is technically not part of the DCEU, but is instead a standalone movie set in the 1980s, with Joaquin Phoenix playing the Clown Prince of Crime. Executive produced by Martin Scorsese and inspired by Scorsese’s 1982 satirical film The King of Comedy, Joker will serve as an imagined origin story for Batman’s greatest nemesis, though Bruce Wayne himself is just a child (played by Dante Pereira-Olson). Set photos and behind-the-scenes images from Phillips have shown Phoenix wearing a red suit, green hair, and traditional clown make-up, and seemingly inciting riots in Gotham City.
Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) – February 7, 2020
Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn will return in Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn), a team superhero movie with a very long title, directed by Cathy Yan and written by Christina Hodson. Birds of Prey will also star Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Huntress, Rosie Perez as Detective Renee Montoya, and Jurnee Smollett-Bell as Black Canary. Ella Jay Basco will play the young Cassandra Cain, and Ewan McGregor will play the movie’s villain, Black Mask.
Wonder Woman 1984 – June 5, 2020
After first appearing in Batman v Superman, Gal Gadot reprised her role as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman in Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman film in 2017, which became an astounding critical and commercial success. So, of course, Warner Bros. decided to fast-track a sequel. Jenkins returns to direct the sequel based on a script from David Callaham (Godzilla, The Expendables) and a story Jenkins co-wrote with Geoff Johns. Wonder Woman 1984 (as you can tell from the title) takes place in the 1980s, during the final days of the Cold War, with Kristen Wiig playing the titular villain, Dr. Barbara Minerva/Cheetah.
DC Super Pets – May 21, 2021
Moving into 2021, the first dated movie is DC’s Super Pets on May 21. An animated movie from Jared Stern (writer of The LEGO Batman Movie) and thus a more family-focused film than many on the slate, Super Pets will presumably follow Krypto the Superdog, Ace the Bat-Hound and the various other animal sidekicks of Justice League members (likely with an all-star cast).
While this will be an animated film and not a part of the DCEU main narrative, it’s still a key DC release and represents the diversification of the DC Films output going forward.
The Batman – June 25, 2021
Ben Affleck originally signed on to write and direct The Batman – a standalone Batman movie film set within the DCEU – in addition to reprising his role as Bruce Wayne/Batman. In 2017, however, Affleck chose to remove himself from a creative role. And now, Affleck has officially exited the DCEU; Warner Bros. is looking for a younger actor to replace him as Batman. Cloverfield and Planet of the Apes director Matt Reeves ended up replacing Affleck as writer-director, though. Reeves threw out the story that Affleck and Geoff Johns co-wrote for the movie and started the script from scratch. Although Reeves is only confirmed to direct The Batman, he’s also reportedly looking at creating a new Batman trilogy of his own.
Read More: The Batman: Every Update You Need to Know
The Suicide Squad – August 6, 2021
Aquaman 2 – December 16, 2022
One of the latest DC movies to be put into development is Aquaman 2, which comes on the heels of James Wan’s Aquaman earning more than $1.14 billion at the worldwide box office. Aquaman 2 is currently being written by David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick, who co-wrote the first movie; Wan will return as a producer, though there’s no word on if he’s directing the sequel yet. Peter Safran is also returning to produce. While it hasn’t been announced, Jason Momoa will undoubtedly return as Arthur Curry aka Aquaman in Aquaman 2, as should Amber Heard as Mera.
Page 2 of 3: DCEU Movies In Active Development
- Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) release date: Jun 05, 2020
- Shazam! (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019
- Joker (2019) release date: Oct 04, 2019
- Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020) release date: Feb 07, 2020
- DC Super Pets (2021) release date: May 21, 2021
- The Batman (2021) release date: Jun 25, 2021
- The Suicide Squad (2021) release date: Aug 06, 2021