Upcoming DC Movies and TV: 'The Suicide Squad,' 'The Batman' and More
By John Boone
What Warner Bros.' onscreen universe of DC superheroes lacks in cohesion -- the studio forgoed a strictly shared cinematic universe after its attempts to build one around the Justice League proved less than, well, super -- it makes up for in unexpectedness.
Sure, the successes of Wonder Woman, Aquaman and Shazam! guaranteed continued installments in those franchises, but by not putting all of its DC eggs in one DCEU basket and branching off into one-off films and spinoffs -- from the Oscar-winning Joker to original HBO Max streaming series -- the future of DC's onscreen heroes is essentially limitless.
With a laundry long list of titles that are reportedly in development -- including Batgirl and Gotham City Sirens -- below, ET has compiled a complete guide to what you can expect from the future of DC.
After years of fans demanding Warner Bros. #ReleaseTheSnyderCut -- the cut director Zack Snyder would have delivered had he not been forced to step away during production -- it's officially happening: A new take on the film will stream on HBO Max in 2021 as a four-part miniseries.
"I want to thank HBO Max and Warner Brothers for this brave gesture of supporting artists and allowing their true visions to be realized. Also a special thank you to all of those involved in the Snyder Cut movement for making this a reality,” Snyder said in a statement.
Directed by: Zack Snyder Starring: Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller, Ray Fisher, Jesse Eisenberg, Amy Adams, Amber Heard, Kiersey Clemons, Harry Lennix, J.K. Simmons, Joe Manganiello and Jared Leto
The Suicide Squad (Aug. 6, 2021)
The Suicide Squad of 2016 may be the most divisive film of the DCEU, but WB isn't throwing out the baby with the bathwater and instead pivoting to a partial reboot, sort-of sequel titled, somewhat confusingly, The Suicide Squad.
"It's going to be a whole new thing," Jai Courtney, reprising his role as Captain Boomerang, told ET. "There's some familiar faces and some old friends and a whole bunch of new people as well...[Director] James Gunn has an amazing energy and I really trust him and what he's going to do with this."
In addition to Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn, Joel Kinnaman's Rick Flag and Viola Davis' Amanda Waller, Task Force X will boast new comic book anti-heroes like Bloodsport (Idris Elba), Polka-Dot Man (Polka-Dot Man) and King Shark, among many, many more.
Directed by: James Gunn Starring: Viola Davis, Idris Elba, Margot Robbie, Jai Courtney, Joel Kinnaman, Steve Agee, Flula Borg, Juan Diego Botto, Alice Braga, Peter Capaldi, John Cena, Joaquín Cosío, David Dastmalchian, Pete Davidson, Nathan Fillion, Sean Gunn, Jennifer Holland, Tinashe Kajese, Daniela Melchior, Mayling Ng, Storm Reid, Michael Rooker, Julio Ruis and Taika Waititi
Peacemaker (TBA on HBO Max)
John Cena will make his DC debut as Peacemaker -- "a douchey Captain America," as the actor describes him -- in The Suicide Squad before spinning off to his own HBO Max series. Gunn, who will write and partially direct the show, describes the character as "the guy who believes in peace at any cost, no matter how many people he needs to kill along the way."
"Peacemaker is an opportunity to delve into current world issues through the lens of this superhero/supervillain/and world’s biggest douchebag,” said Gunn. "I’m excited to expand The Suicide Squad and bring this character from the DC film universe to the full breadth of a series."
As for whether this means Peacemaker survives his big screen outing? Gunn notes, "We’re holding off announcing the timeline of the Peacemaker TV show until after The Suicide Squad movie."
Directed by: James Gunn Starring: John Cena, Danielle Brooks, Chris Conrad, Jennifer Holland, Steve Agee, Robert Patrick, Chukwudi Iwuji, Lochlyn Munro, Annie Chang and Christopher Heyerdahl
The Batman (March 4, 2022)
The Batman is a noir take on a younger Bruce Wayne, both as Batman, of course, and "the world's greatest detective." Robert Pattinson stars opposite a rogues gallery of Zoë Kravitz as Selena Kyle, Paul Dano as Edward Nigma and Colin Farrell as Oswald Cobblepot.
"[I'm telling] a version of Batman that isn't about how he became Batman but about the early days of being Batman. He's not perfect," director Matt Reeves says. A string of murders will reveal the city is more corrupted than he could have ever imagined and inspire origin stories for the aforementioned villains.
"Selena isn't Catwoman yet. That's part of the journey. Oz isn't the kingpin yet, he's the Penguin and he doesn't like being called that. The Riddle is just emerging for the first time," he teases. Jeffrey Wright, meanwhile, will play Commissioner Gordon, with Andy Serkis as Bruce's trusty butler, Alfred Pennyworth.
Directed by: Matt Reeves Starring: Robert Pattinson, Zoë Kravitz, Paul Dano, Andy Serkis, Jeffrey Wright, John Turturro and Peter Sarsgaard
Gotham P.D. (TBA on HBO Max)
Warner Bros. will launch "a new Batman universe across multiple platforms" with an HBO Max companion series to The Batman. Overseen by Matt Reeves, Gotham P.D. will be showrun by Joe Barton (Giri/Haji) and explore the vast corruption within the city's police department.
While The Batman is set during Bruce Wayne's second year donning the cape and cowl, "The idea is we go back to year one and year one is the beginning," Reeves has said. "It's the first appearance of this masked vigilante that unsettles the city."
There's no word on whether Robert Pattinson or any of The Batman cast will crossover to the small screen, but Gotham P.D. will focus on characters "some of whom will touch on that you may have seen from the comics and others totally new,” Reeves teased.
The Flash (Nov. 4, 2022)
In 2014, WB announced a slate of interconnected films to launch with Batman v Superman, with Justice League to follow in 2017 and The Flash in 2018. The first two arrived as scheduled and introduced Ezra Miller's take on the titular speedster; however, The Flash has yet to make it to the screen.
The project has cycled through multiple directors (from Seth Grahame-Smith and Rick Famuyiwa to John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein) and as many scripts (at one point, it was officially revealed to be titled Flashpoint, indicating it would adapt the beloved time-traveling storyline from the comics) to no avail.
Now, Andy Muschietti (IT and IT Chapter Two) is set to direct from a new script by Christina Hodson (Birds of Prey), which will see Miller's Barry Allen racing through the multiverse, rubbing elbows with not only Ben Affleck's Batfleck but Michael Keaton's Bruce Wayne, too. (Keaton played the part in 1989's Tim Burton-directed Batman and its sequel, 1992's Batman Returns.)
Directed by: Andy Muschietti Starring: Ezra Miller, Michael Keaton and Ben Affleck
Aquaman 2 (Dec. 16, 2022)
The only thing we know about an Aquaman follow-up is that it is happening. Screenwriter David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick, who co-wrote the first, will reportedly pen the script and -- presumably -- Jason Momoa and Amber Heard will also return as Arthur Curry and Mera, respectively.
Beyond that, there's no confirmation as to what story the sequel will tackle. (Though we know from the post-credits scene that Yahya Abdul-Mateen II's Black Manta is still alive and looking for revenge.) "The second one is a little bit more serious, a little bit more relevant to the world we’re living in today," director James Wan has said.
Directed by: James Wan Starring: Jason Momoa and Amber Heard
Shazam! Fury of the Gods (June 2, 2023)
"We will get more Shazam!," Zachary Levi, who stars as the eponymous superhero, told ET in June. "That's the plan. They're writing the sequel -- or are in the process of writing the sequel -- right now, and hopefully, we'll start shooting that not too long from now."
Considering the first film was a huge success, that shouldn't come as too big a surprise. Specifics beyond that are vague: Screenwriter Henry Gayden is the aforementioned sequel writer, while director David F. Sandberg will return alongside the original cast. Fingers crossed the sequel will find plenty for the Shazam Family (i.e. the adult heroes played by Adam Brody, Meagan Good and Ross Butler) to do.
Directed by: David F. Sandberg Starring: Zachary Levi, Asher Angel, Jack Dylan Grazer, Faithe Herman, Meagan Good and Adam Brody
Black Adam (TBA)
WB has long been in-the-works on an origin story for Shazam adversary and antihero, Black Adam. Dwayne Johnson, who served as an executive producer on Shazam!, will star with his Jungle Cruise director, Juame Collet-Serra, at the helm.
"Black Adam is blessed by magic with the powers equal to Superman, but the difference is he doesn't toe the mark or walk the line," Johnson wrote on Instagram. "He's a rebellious, one of a kind superhero, who'll always do what's right for the people -- but he does it his way. Truth and justice -- the Black Adam way."
Black Adam will explore his origins as a slave in Kahndaq more than 5,000 years ago and in modern day, see him take on the Justice Society of America, comprising Noah Centineo's Atom Smasher, Aldis Hodge's Hawkman, Quintessa Swindell's Cyclone and Doctor Fate.
WB knows you like Aquaman, so the studio is putting a franchise in your franchise and turning the Seven Kingdoms of Atlantis into its own cinematic universe within a cinematic universe, starting with an upcoming "horror-tinged" spinoff centered on The Trench and the amphibious monsters who live in the deep.
"I definitely love the Trench creatures, because it does allow me to hark back to my horror roots," James Wan (who previously directed films like Saw and The Conjuring) explained. "So I went all out and basically made those sequences just sea creature monster movies. I think they should have their own movie!"
Directed by: TBA Starring: TBA
New Gods (TBA)
Not to be confused with Marvel's upcoming Jack Kirby adaptation about eternal beings locked in an age-long war with their nefarious counterparts, New Gods will bring Kirby's other saga of gods and monsters to a cinema near you courtesy of director Ava DuVernay.
The legendary comic writer introduced his New Gods in the '70s as deities hailing from the utopian New Genesis who wage war with their counterparts in the nightmarish pit known as Apokolips. DuVernay has confirmed that long-teased DC uber-villain Darkseid will appear in the film, as will the all-female fighting force known as the Female Furies.