Back in the spring, news of the Nightwing movie was quickly followed by another surprise: that Joss Whedon will write and direct a Batgirl film. Whedon has, of course, been finishing off Justice League for Zack Snyder, but before that he’d been starting work on an outing for Barbara Gordon – something that wasn’t even in the works until Whedon pitched it.
Like Nightwing, we know next to nothing about the film, but given Whedon’s pedigree and relationship with WB and DC, it seems likely Batgirl will get made sooner rather than later. Still, with no production or release date, it’s anyone’s guess when the movie will arrive and what it will entail. And just like with Nightwing, it’s not clear how Batgirl could get a solo movie without being introduced alongside Batman first. Given how many DC sidekicks and villains are getting their own proposed films, it’s clear the company is taking a different approach to origin stories and spinoffs. What isn’t clear yet is how it will all work out.
While most of the solo films for villains and supporting characters have come from their prior notoriety, the announcement at the beginning of the year that a Black Adam solo movie was in the works is all about the star. Not long after a Shazam! movie was announced, we learned that Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson was set to tackle the titular hero’s nemesis, Black Adam. The move was an unusual one, given Johson rarely plays villains. It also became hard to imagine how he would share second billing with someone else as the star of the film.
Word of Black Adam getting his own film, and subsequently being out of Shazam!, simultaneously made sense and had us scratching our heads. No one can deny Johnson’s appeal as a film’s lead, but Black Adam is yet another movie that will be difficult to pull off without leaning heavily on another film character. In this case, at least, Shazam! now has a director, star, and release date. So whenever Black Adam does arrive, at least some of the lore will be established.
The final new DC announcement of this year isn’t a new film exactly, but it’s definitely a change to the expected plan. The Flash was one of the earliest film’s DC announced, but also one of the most turbulent; the movie has already lost two writers and as many directors, with no name yet attached in that latter position. This year’s San Diego Comic-Con, however, proved it’s still very much a priority for WB and DC.
Though they haven’t announced a release date yet, the title of the film was changed to Flashpoint. This means that, through all the rewrites and reworks, the film has evolved from being a simple solo outing to a universe-busting adventure involving Barry Allen messing with time. This early in the life of the DC cinematic universe, it’s an odd choice, but the establishment of a Multiverse can only help when it comes to side universe stories.
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