DC and WB reveal 10 movies on the way
And now we know. After months – even years – of speculation, Warner Bros finally announced its big picture plans regarding its DC superheroes on film, according to Deadline. The ambitious DC movie lineup includes two Justice League films, and several solo outings for the members of the Justice League. To top it off, WB also confirmed that Jason Momoa will play Aquaman, and it revealed its pick for the Flash.
The announcements are specifically related to large, tentpole releases, and also included the release windows for the trilogy of upcoming Harry Potter spin-off films, along with a trio of Lego movies. It did not, however, list some of the possible lesser known DC-based films that are supposedly on the way, including Sandman and 100 Bullets. That said, there were plenty of surprises.
Here’s a quick look at the films and their release windows:
A WB press release further outlined the releases:
o “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” directed by Zack Snyder (2016)
o “Suicide Squad,” directed by David Ayer (2016)
o “Wonder Woman,” starring Gal Gadot (2017)
o “Justice League Part One,” directed by Zack Snyder, with Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill and Amy Adams reprising their roles (2017)
o “The Flash,” starring Ezra Miller (2018)
o “Aquaman,” starring Jason Momoa (2018)
o “Shazam” (2019)
o “Justice League Part Two,” directed by Zack Snyder (2019)
o “Cyborg,” starring Ray Fisher (2020)
o “Green Lantern” (2020)
The press release also mentions “stand-alone Batman and Superman films” that aren’t specified.
Along with the listings comes the confirmation that Jason Momoa will play Aquaman – presumably in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, as well as both Justice League films – and that Ezra Miller (The Perks of Being a Wallpower, We Need to Talk to Kevin) will take on the role of Barry Allen, aka the Flash.
Miller will presumably make his debut in the Justice League film (if not sooner). His casting also puts to rest once and for all the question of whether or not the DC movie and TV universe, which includes the characters of Arrow and Flash, are connected. On one hand, it’s something of a shame that DC’s cinematic universe won’t stretch to the small screen, but on the other, it gives the TV shows a great deal of flexibility. The Suicide Squad – who have appeared in the show Arrow – further emphasize that split.
Following the release of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the next DC film will be the a Suicide Squad film, directed by David Ayers (Fury, End of Watch), who is best known for his gritty portrayals of crime and war. It’s a somewhat risky move to follow up Batman v Superman with a film starring lesser known characters, and villains (or at best anti-heroes) at that. If nothing else, it does seem to confirm DC and WB’s inclination to keep a darker tone than their Marvel counterparts.
The rest of the announcements are not as much of a surprise, but it is still interesting to see the long term plans – it’s also important to note that despite the announcements, these films are so tightly connected that there needs to be a successful lead in for some of them. Cyborg, for example, will star Ray Fisher as the lesser know Justice League member who will be introduced in Batman v Superman. If for some reason that film, or one of the two Justice League movies fails, the Cyborg film may pay the price. Green Lantern is far more well known, but with one box office bomb already attached to that name, the lead up films will need to be hits.
Still, judging by the success of Christopher Nolan’s Batman films and Man of Steel, plus the general hunger for big budget superhero films, things are looking good.
One thing is for sure, the teams involved in these projects, from the actors to the crew, are going to be very busy for the rest of the decade. Zack Snyder is going to be especially busy, and both Henry Cavill and Ben Affleck are likely going to have to begin work on the first Justice League almost immediately following Batman v Superman. A year is not a lot of time between films. With a Justice League sequel set just two years after that, there probably won’t be much rest for Momoa or Miller either, who will have to go from Justice League to their solo films and then back to Justice League. Feel free to pity Gal Gadot as well, who will appear as Wonder Woman in three films in two years, including a solo movie starring the character.
As for the Shazam film, it isn’t exactly clear how that will play into the overall story. The only real announcement so far is that it will star Dwayne Johnson as Black Adam, Shazam’s enemy. No word yet on who will play the title character. With a Shazam film coming in 2019 though, it would make sense to introduce the character in Justice League, but that would put the star in the odd position of possibly being overshadowed by the antagonist in his own film – barring an equally well known actor taking on the role (and finding someone more popular than Johnson won’t be easy, and certainly won’t do the budget any favors).
Expect to hear plenty more about this in the near future.