After years of hoping and waiting for it to happen, Warner Bros. has finally pulled the trigger today on the DC Comics shared movie universe. Green Lantern failed to kick things off in 2011 and after Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale said goodbye to Batman after The Dark Knight trilogy, director Zack Snyder had the chance to start something massive with Man of Steel. And massive it looks to be. The modern take on Superman scored mixed reactions among critics and fans but it did successfully launch what ultimately is becoming DC Entertainment's answer to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
That film's quasi-sequel, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, is currently in production for an early 2016 release where we just learned today, it will be followed up a few months later by Suicide Squad. The following year Wonder Woman will get her own movie after Gal Gadot plays the character first in BvS, and later in 2017 she will re-team with Batman and Superman again - and other heroes - in the first of two Justice League films. These are just four of 12 DC Comics movies that became official today when Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara made a series of film announcements during a monumental investor meeting.
10 of those films were given rough dates, proving some of the previous rumors and reports incorrect and others right on the money. Here's how the DC Movie Universe will actually play out from now until 2020:
- Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice - March 25th, 2016
- Suicide Squad - August 5th, 2016
- Wonder Woman - June 23rd, 2017
- Justice League - November 17th, 2017
- The Flash - March 23rd, 2018
- Aquaman - July 27th, 2018
- Shazam - April 5th, 2019
- Justice League 2 - June 14th, 2019
- Cyborg - April 3rd, 2020
- Green Lantern - June 19th, 2020
You'll notice there's no mention of Batman or Superman there but don't worry. Ben Affleck's Bruce Wayne and Henry Cavill's Clark Kent will have much more to do than play a part in the Justice League team-ups. In the official Warner Bros. press release sent after the investor meeting (where they also announced three LEGO movies and three Fantastic Beasts Harry Potter spinoffs) it was confirmed that "stand-alone Batman and Superman films" will also debut between 2016-2020. That's in addition to The LEGO Batman movie they're also developing.
Yes, there will be two years where there are three DC Comics blockbusters, just like Marvel Studios will start having three movies/year beginning in 2017. Keep in mind, Fox and Sony may each have a pair of Marvel-branded superhero tentpoles those years as well so get your wallets ready.
With Snyder locked in to direct Justice League parts 1 and 2 after Batman V Superman, we wonder if there's room for Ben Affleck to take the helm of one of these features, the most obvious being his own Batman movie. Perhaps that was a selling point in getting him to sign long-term with WB for the part in the first place.
Four months ago rumors surfaced that The Batman, a new solo feature for DC's most bankable character, would debut in 2019 - essentially relaunching a solo Batman series for Ben Affleck. Given today's information, that's still possible and it may just come down to Affleck's schedule with other projects (and when production begins on Justice League 2 which also hits in 2019). It would also mean we can expect Man of Steel 2 in 2018 or 2020 since those two years are dedicated to solo character movies.
So, don't worry Bat and Supes fans, your top DC heroes are getting their own additional stories in these years as well. If you missed some of our other reports - join the discussions:
- DC Movie Universe Unveiled
- Green Lantern & Cyborg Movies in 2020
- The Flash, starring Ezra Miller, in 2018
- Jason Momoa Confirmed As Aquaman For 2018
- Zack Snyder To Direct Justice League 1 & 2
- Wonder Woman Confirmed For 2017
- Suicide Squad Coming in 2016 From Director David Ayer
Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.