DC Planning to Release Two Low-Budget Superhero Films a Year?

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suicide squad dc movie DC Planning to Release Two Low Budget Superhero Films a Year?

Love it or hate it (or something in between), Man of Steel has ushered in a new era for DC’s cinematic universe. The upcoming sequel, known as Batman vs. Superman in lieu of an official title, will introduce at least one of Kal-El’s fellow members of the Justice League, though rumors abound that other superheroes will make an appearance (Robin, it seems, may’ve already been confirmed).

Warner Bros. and DC studio executives having been helping to fan the fire, by dropping hints about upcoming movies that feature Aquaman (who was recently labeled “a priority character”) and Wonder Woman. Discussions about the latter’s overdue feature debut have re-ignited over the past couple of weeks, thanks to Katniss Everdeen’s sequel The Huger Games: Catching Fire tearing up the box office (and proving that, yes, it is possible to make a well-crafted genre movie that both features a female protagonist and is accessible to moviegoers of all genders).

The latest update on the situation is that the DC company’s ‘big announcement’ for 2014 will be a plan to release two lower-budgeted projects a year – one in the springtime and the other in the fall/autumn – alongside the major tentpoles featuring heavy-hitters, like the members of the Justice League (those could be released in theaters every couple of years).

dcuniverse DC Planning to Release Two Low Budget Superhero Films a Year?

Bleeding Cool previously reported that Davis S. Goyer – whose comic book movie history extends far beyond writing Man of Steel and co-writing The Dark Knight trilogy – may be in line to serve as the architect of the DC film universe hereon forward, now that he’s finally signed a formal deal with WB (after years of working for the studio). The site revealed that movie treatments based on lesser-known DC comic book properties – Suicide Squad, Team 7 and Deathstroke among them – are currently in development, with Goyer serving as the creative foreman.

Suicide Squad – revolving around a team of incarcerated super villains who undertake black ops missions for the government – is a movie that Bleeding Cool reports could be made within the $20-40 million budget range (not including marketing costs), which is fairly small compared to the pretty penny that WB/DC invested for production on Man of Steel ($225 million). Similarly, shows like Once Upon a Time have demonstrated that the world of Fables - a noir-influenced comic book property about fairy tale characters – can be satisfactorily realized on a TV budget, so a relatively cheap full-length feature (which DC President Diane Nelson has expressed interest in making) seems perfectly feasible.

Amanda Waller and the Suicide Squad DC Planning to Release Two Low Budget Superhero Films a Year?

Additionally, if this report proves accurate, then it goes to show how much the DC game plan has evolved and changed over the past year, considering it was less than twelve months ago that producer Dan Lin claimed that the company (and WB) intends to “finish their A-list stories first,” before tackling more obscure superhero properties. (Marvel Studios will help to pave that road next year, when it releases Guardians of the Galaxy in theaters.)

Last year when news leaked about DC setting in motion a movie adaptation of The Metal Men comic book series – with Men in Black trilogy helmer Barry Sonnenfeld attached to direct – and Suicide Squad was ‘announced’ near the same time, it seemed like a sign that DC might not imitate Marvel Studios’ approach with its cinematic universe. And that would be justifiable, as we’ve discussed before how different Marvel and DC properties are from one another, thematically/artistically speaking - so why should their movies be constructed in the same fashion?

There’s a risk inherent to this rumored DC approach, as the lower-budgeted superhero films won’t have built-in awareness like Marvel releases (or, as a similar example, Lucasfilm’s plans for Star Wars spinoffs in between the upcoming Episodes); as we saw with Dredd, lower-cost niche comic book adaptations can be strong creative accomplishments, but unfortunately that doesn’t guarantee a large turnout at the box office.

Still, if the superhero genre is to continue thriving in the future, then it needs to continue diversifying in terms of content – and that’s something that the proposed DC approach would encourage.


Batman vs. Superman opens in theaters on July 17th, 2015.

Source: Bleeding Cool

Follow Sandy Schaefer on Twitter @feynmanguy
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  1. Marvel has official ruined super hero movies. No longer can we expect to see self contained movies that have the strength to stand on their own merit. Instead we can expect a bunch of soulless productions that all run together like mush. Intact with continuity so convoluted that they start bringing back characters from the dead by popular demand such as Agent Coulson…

    • So what you’re saying is that Marvel has basically made Comic Book movies like Comic Books? Huh, I wonder why they would do that…

    • I also would like to blame The Beatles for making music awesome.

  2. The best thing they could do is kill off Batman. Now before you all get uppity, just listen to my idea.

    PHASE 1:

    2015 – BvS. Bats and Supes team up as the Worlds Finest to take down Brainiac (the villain which makes logical sense in regards to the skills of both characters). Obviously there is going to be a lot of tension from Bruce Wayne and maybe even a cameo from Wonder Woman or even Stephen Amells Green Arrow (if you wanna bridge things). Lets have Bats already having established allies, hidden under the radar. All these people start showing up because of the arrival of Superman. Include the bottle city of Kandor as an entry point for more supergirl references.

    2016 – Green Lantern. Story could centre around sinestro forming the yellow lanterns after learning about the dawn of the universe and the entities of light and you can throw a monitor cameo in there for kicks. The monitor stuff indicating the existance of a multiverse of characters. Maybe a quick cameo from ryan reynolds in a parallel universe that gets mentioned to be destroyed… not as a part of the plot, but in the background. Cast idris elba.

    2016 – Justice League. Darkseid arrives on earth to recruit Superman into his personal guard. Cue madness. Film ends with batman giving his life to save the world and superman holding the bones of his buddy. It would be the ultimate shock ending and nothing anyone was prepared for. Would also help shape the importance of batman around all these super-beings if he’s the guy who gets the job done.

    PHASE 2:

    2016 – Scarlet Speedster. Use established grant gustin as the flash (he will have 2 seasons under his belt by then) Introduce professor zoom. Involve loads of time travel and have cameos from booster gold and blue beetle. Make the ending a paradox where he gives himself his powers in the past in some way.

    2017 – Battle for the Cowl. Include all the extra characters you can think of. All the robins could be introduced properly, as well as some more of the bat family and even some wildcards (throw deathstroke and green arrow in there, why not).

    2017 – The throne of Atlantis. Use this as an excuse to delve into the politics of aquaman and wonder woman’s civilizations. Make it clear there is a definite tension between any alliance they have (for 2019 movie). Cast liam mcintyre.

    2018 – Blackest Night. Crossover event 2. Use this as an excuse to revive some characters that may have died in previous films. Including the body of general zod and some baddies from dc tv shows. End the film with the flash being captured by the anti-monitor as he escapes the black lantern.

    PHASE 3:

    2019 – The return of bruce wayne. Bruce Wayne’s time travel back through the ages. Have batman wind up at the beginning of phase 3′s crossover.

    2020 – Trinity. One final hoorah for the main trio of the justice league before the final crossover event so that fans dont forget them. BAse it on crisis on two earths. Introduce multiverse theory properly and owlman screwing everyone over.

    2020 – Crisis on Infinite Earths. The flash is still in the hands of the anti-monitor and we all know how that turns out. Include cameos from older DC movies (like constantine and swamp thing) to show characters not yet seen in the current movie outings. Make sure their universes are destroyed. End the movie with the flash going back in time instead of entering the speed force. This way the movie can cross into the final phase crossover.

    PHASE 4:

    2021 – Dark. Introduce the dark universe characters. Have cameos from sandman and other vertigo licences to portray the other side of the DCU.

    2021 – SHAZAM! Use the previous film as a stepping stone to inveil billy as shazam. Cast the rock as black adam. Introduce a superman cameo and have him gravely wonded by black adams magic (to great shock and ohnoes).

    2020 – Suicide Squad. Introduce the baddies that go on missions to save the world. Make Cyborg their target so he can be introduced properly as well.

    2022 – FlashPoint. Aquaman and Wonder Woman go to war in a dark alternate history. Have bruce wayne and thomas waynes batmen work with the flash and the suicide squad in order to stop everything happening. Destroy the earth but make a load of references to how all of this never would of happened if superman never showed up. Go through previous films and point out how superman started the chain reaction of all of the madness. End the film with the flash going back to before superman arrives and calling in a fake terror threat where the military just blows supermans pod up.


  3. They should do a Sandman movie with Gaiman as writer/producer…

  4. like superheros