Upcoming DC Movies: The Full List From 'Wonder Woman 1984' to 'The Batman' and More
By John Boone
While Warner Bros. has had plenty of success with their DC superheroes in the past -- it is, after all, the studio that gave us The Dark Knight Trilogy -- their recent attempt at building a cinematic universe around Batman, Superman and their Justice League cohorts infamously proved less than, well, super.
But with the successes of Wonder Woman, Aquaman and Shazam!, all seems to be back on track, even as the studio decided not to put all its DC eggs in one DCEU basket and branch off into one-off films for their various heroes and villains. And with an endless list of titles that are reportedly in development -- including Batgirl and Gotham City Sirens and Green Lanterns Corps -- there is still plenty to come.
Below, we've compiled a comprehensive guide to what you can expect from the future of DC.
Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (Out Now)
The delightfully titled Birds of Prey is a spinoff of Suicide Squad, with Margot Robbie reprising her role as Harley Quinn, albeit surrounded by a completely new squad. This all-female gang is comprised of Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell), Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and detective Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez), who team up to save Cassandra Cain (Ella Jay Basco), aka the future Batgirl.
Following its theatrical run, Birds of Prey began streaming early for quarantine viewing. "I hope it can bring just a little bit of laughter to you and your family during this time," director Cathy Yan tweeted.
Wonder Woman 1984 (August 14, 2020)
Especially considering it was originally meant to be released already (the date was later bumped to June 5, 2020), we don't know all that much about the Wonder Woman sequel. Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) will return, as will Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), somehow. (He didn't make it out of the original movie alive, after all.)
Gadot, however, says WW1984 is a "totally different film." It's set in the '80s, for starters, which director Patty Jenkins chose because it represents "mankind at its best and worst." Kristen Wiig joins the cast as Dr. Barbara Minerva, an archaeologist who receives powers from the plant god Urzkartaga and thus transforms into the villainous Cheetah.
"Kristen was the perfect Cheetah," Jenkins told ET. "She was the perfect Barbara Minerva to come in and be someone who has great character, great depth, a funny friendship with Diana but then this potential to turn into something completely different. And, boy, did she nail it."
Directed by: Patty Jenkins Starring: Gal Gadot, Kristen Wiig, Pedro Pascal and Chris Pine
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, either as a 4-hour film or multi-episode series.
"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, Raymond Fisher and Jesse Eisenberg
The Batman (October 1, 2021)
Following Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League, Ben Affleck had plans to direct, co-write and star in a standalone Batman movie, though he eventually stepped down as director and War of the Planet of the Apes' Matt Reeves was brought on. And then Affleck departed the project entirely.
Pattinson's Batman will square off against some of his most famous foes, as the movie's rogues gallery includes Zoë Kravitz as Catwoman, Paul Dano as The Riddler and John Turturro as crime boss Carmine Falcone, with Colin Farrell in talks to play The Penguin. Jeffrey Wright, meanwhile, will play Commissioner Gordon and Andy Serkis as Bruce Wayne'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
The Suicide Squad of 2016 had so much potential -- how much it capitalized on that potential is for you, the reader, to decide -- so 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, who is 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 Courtney's Captain Boomerang, Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn, Joel Kinnaman's Rick Flag and Viola Davis' Amanda Waller have all been re-enlisted, alongside new comic book anti-heroes like Polka-Dot Man, Ratcatcher and King Shark. Notably, Will Smith will not be returning as Deadshot, and while Idris Elba was briefly set to step into the role, the plan has since changed and Elba will portray a new character.
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
In addition to a Shazam! sequel (below), WB has long been in-the-works on an origin story centered on longtime Shazam adversary and occasional antihero, Black Adam. Dwayne Johnson, who served as an executive producer on Shazam!, will step into the titular role, which he was set to originate in that film before it was decided to split them into two separate movies.
"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. This role is unlike any other I've ever played in my career and I'm grateful to the bone we'll all go on this journey together."
Directed by: Jaume Collet-Serra (Disney's Jungle Cruise) Starring: Dwayne Johnson
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 Barry Allen, aka 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.
"We're marching forth," Miller told ET in 2016 after Famuyiwa departed the project. "I'm so devoted to this work and so devoted to the process. I trust ultimately things work out the way they're meant to." As it currently stands, Andy Muschietti (IT and IT Chapter Two) is set to direct from a new script by Christina Hodson (Birds of Prey).
"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 is expected to 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: TBA Starring: Zachary Levi
Aquaman 2 (Dec. 16, 2022)
The only thing we know about an Aquaman follow-up is that it is happening, as WB announced a 2022 release date. 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 been no confirmation whether James Wan will direct or what story the sequel will tackle. That said, we know from the post-credits scene that Aquaman foe Black Manta (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) is still alive and looking for revenge.
Directed by: TBA Starring: Jason Momoa and Amber Heard
The Trench (TBA)
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.