DC Films only have one movie coming in 2018, but Suicide Squad 2 could more than make up for it with three movies in 2019. Warner Bros. finally launched their unofficially titled DC Extended Universe with Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice in 2016, and they’ve continued to expand the newly-formed shared universe ever since. But even as things have gotten bigger, Warner Bros. hasn’t been developing projects any faster.
James Wan’s Aquaman is set to release this December, and that’s the only DC film hitting theaters in 2018; there are six Marvel movies releasing before Aquaman. That’s definitely not a good sign, although Warners didn’t have much of a choice in the matter; The Flash solo movie (originally set for 2018) hit multiple snags and had to be delayed (again), and the studio needed time to restructure and reprioritize properties at DC Films after Justice League‘s problematic release. That meant taking a breather-year before jumping back into the fray in 2019.
DC Is Definitely Releasing Shazam! And Wonder Woman 2 In 2019
David F. Sandberg’s Shazam!, starring Asher Angel as Billy Batson and Zachary Levi as Shazam (formerly Captain Marvel), is progressing through production without a hitch. Sandberg officially joined the project in mid-2017 and immediately began working on the story and casting. Shazam! finally entered production in late-January 2018 – almost four years after it was originally announced – and is slated to wrap up in May 2018. Then, it will hit screens 11 months later on April 5, 2019. But that’s not the only DC film coming out in 2019.
Wonder Woman 2 is also on the way. Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman, starring Gal Gadot as the iconic Amazon superhero, sent shockwaves throughout the filmmaking industry when it released in 2017; not only was it the first critically successful DCEU film, but it’s also one of the most financially successful superhero movies ever made. Unsurprisingly, Wonder Woman 2 is being prioritized and is slated to release on November 1, 2019. Both Jenkins and Gadot are returning for the sequel, which is expected to begin production in summer 2018.
Suicide Squad 2 Is Likely Releasing August 2019
David Ayer’s Suicide Squad immediately followed Snyder’s Batman v Superman in 2016 and expanded the shared universe by introducing a world without Superman – one in which the U.S. government commissions a task force outfitted with the worst heroes ever to perform clandestine missions in exchange for potentially reduced prison sentences. Starring Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Viola Davis, and more, Suicide Squad was a smashing commercial success, with not only a sequel but multiple spinoffs green-lit. While most of those new projects are still gestating, Gavin O’Connor’s Suicide Squad 2 is well into pre-production, with principal photography expected later this year. That’s an accelerated production that suggests it could release in 2019.
Warner Bros. has several release dates reserved for untitled “event” films through 2019 and one of them is almost perfect for Suicide Squad 2: August 2, 2019. After all, the first movie also released in August and performed exceptionally well in that uncompetitive time-frame. Plus, Suicide Squad 2 is moving forward at a similar pace to the aforementioned 2019 films; the proposed Fall 2018 start date (pushed back from March) isn’t much further behind Wonder Woman 2, and it’s a distinctly less CGI-heavy prospect.
At the moment, Warner Bros. doesn’t have another major project in development that is expected to begin filming this year without a release date already slotted in, and a DCEU Suicide Squad 2 certainly qualifies as an event film. Moreover, if Suicide Squad 2 doesn’t take August 2019’s release date, then the studio may be looking at a four-month gap between releases; Minecraft is due out on May 24, and IT: Chapter Two floats in theaters on September 6.
DC Films’ Future Is Bright Post-2019
When Warner Bros. announced their tentative DCEU slate in 2014, they initially planned on releasing two DC films per year. They managed that in 2016 (BvS and Suicide Squad) and 2017 (Wonder Woman and Justice League), but 2018 is a different story; as already mentioned, Aquaman is the only DCEU film releasing. However, what’s coming after makes clear that Warner Bros. is confident in their currently DCEU slate. That confidence is evident in a recent report that suggested Warner Bros. knew Justice League would fail yet they didn’t bother to alter their official DCEU lineup from San Diego Comic-Con that prior summer. There’s a sense that, while it’s been rocky, they know the franchise can grow into an across-the-board success.
Remarkably, the amount of faith Warner Bros. is displaying counters 20th Century Fox’s confidence in their X-Men franchise. Fox was supposed to release three X-Men films in 2018 until they delayed The New Mutants by 10 months into February 2019. 2018 was meant to be the merry mutants’ year, with three distinct releases (Deadpool 2 and X-Men: Dark Phoenix still release in May and November, respectively) that had them matching genre kings Marvel. The New Mutants move means they’re still stuck at no more than two superhero films per year, whereas Warner Bros. is gearing up for massive expansion – and that’s after the whole Justice League debacle.
There’s currently four release dates set aside for DC films in 2020 (although whether that’s still the plan is unclear). With their 2019 and beyond slate, Warner Bros. is showing everyone that they aren’t backing down. Even if they do hold Suicide Squad 2 back and put it in one of the 2020 dates, they’re sending a clear message that past failures haven’t stopped them.
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