Justice League's disappointing box office performance has put a lot of pressure on Warner Bros., but it seems the studio has no plans to change their film slate.
The DCEU to date has been a subject of real controversy. Zack Snyder's Batman V Superman was a critical failure, although it grossed over $800 million at the box office. It was swiftly followed by Suicide Squad, which repeated the pattern. The studio had hoped that 2017 would see a change in their fortunes, and at first things looked promising. Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman was a tremendous success, breaking the glass ceiling for female superheroes. But it was followed up by Justice League. Although the studio hoped this film would turn things around, it's proved to be a disappointment at the box office.
Fans have been deeply curious as to how this would affect the future of the DCEU. We've had our first hint at Comic Con Experience 2017 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The studio presented a list of upcoming titles that shows no change from the DC Film's movie slate announced at Comic-Con back in July. According to CBR, it included the Wonder Woman sequel, Suicide Squad 2, Flashpoint, Shazam, Batgirl, Green Lantern Corps, The Batman, and Justice League Dark. It seems Warner Bros. has no intention of changing their official slate just yet.
It's a promising sign that the studio is finally establishing a long-term creative vision. That's in spite of recent reports another corporate restructure is in the works. We wouldn't be expecting Warner Bros. to push their film slate unless they felt it wouldn't be affected by the restructure.
That said, it's interesting to note the studio hasn't greenlit any other projects since July. There's no mention of Cyborg, Deathstroke, Gotham City Sirens, Harley Quinn, Nightwing, or the two Joker films believed to be in the works. Now, it's perhaps understandable that Martin Scorsese's Joker origin movie would be omitted from the list. The film won't be set in the DCEU, so we wouldn't really expect it to appear in the DCEU slate. But the other omissions are far more surprising. It suggests that, for all the rumors and news, none of these movies have actually progressed beyond initial discussions. We may well see a few of these projects dropped.
Ultimately, this slate definitely seems like a statement of confidence from Warner Bros. The studio has often seemed reactive rather than proactive, switching strategies in response to the latest critical and/or box office failure. The unchanged slate suggests they may be learning from those errors.
- Aquaman (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018
- Wonder Woman 2 (2019) release date: Nov 01, 2019
- Shazam! (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019