It seems the folks at Warner Bros. and DC have finally gotten tired of Marvel stealing all the headlines — and they’ve announced a slate that could potentially rival what Earth’s Mightiest Heroes are cooking up.
The studio has officially announced an astounding nine new DC films, including a boatload of spinoffs and plans to split the Justice League film into two parts. We’ll be getting Suicide Squad in 2016 to join Batman v Superman, Wonder Woman with Gal Gadot in 2017, Justice League Part One in 2017, The Flash in 2018, Aquaman in 2018, Shazam in 2019, Justice League Part Two in 2019, Cyborg in 2020 and Green Lantern in 2020.
Yeah, you read that right — DC has announced plans that’ll carry them through the rest of the decade and introduce an absolute ton of new franchises to the mix. The info dump also included some major casting reveals, with confirmation that long-rumored Jason Momoa will headline Aquaman, newcomer Ezra Miller will star in a Flash spinoff film (meaning The CW’s Arrow/Flash universe is definitely a separate continuity) and David Ayer will direct Suicide Squad. As we’d heard a while back, Cyborg will be played by Ray Fisher in his film.
To no one’s surprise: Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams and director Zack Snyder will return for both Justice League films. One big mystery is how they’ll move forward with Green Lantern in the wake of Ryan Reynolds’ mess of a film from a few years back. Do they go Hal or John? By slotting that one in 2020, we’d think they’ve at least left a bit of time to figure it out.
All this info comes after months of rumors that Warner Bros. was laying the groundwork behind the scenes for a massive cinematic universe, and this sounds like a solid way to do it. Splitting Justice League into two parts also makes sense — one film to bring them together, leave space for some standalones along the way, then pull them all back together. Also, just to get the “squee!” out of the way — Wonder Woman! Finally!
UPDATE: Though not directly included in the original schedule, the initial release from Warner Bros. has been clarified to note we will also be getting some standalone Superman and Batman movies mixed in along with all these new additions, though they apparently haven't specifically dated those just yet.
One very surprising bit that stands out: There are apparently no plans for a standalone Batman movie with Ben Affleck, and he’ll instead be relegated to the upcoming Batman v Superman and the Justice League two-parter. Honestly, this is probably a wise move coming off Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy. It should help avoid Batman fatigue, and makes room for more characters to get the spotlight — plus it saves Batman and Supes for the Justice League movies to help set them apart.
When you combine all these projects with the mysterious release schedule DC teased a while back, /Film came to the realization that we can essentially expect the schedule to break out like so:
- Aug. 5, 2016: Suicide Squad
- June 23, 2017: Wonder Woman
- Nov. 17, 2017: Justice League
- March 23, 2018: The Flash
- July 27, 2018: Aquaman
- April 5, 2019: Shazam
- June 14, 2019: Justice League 2
- April 3, 2020: Cyborg
- June 19, 2020: Green Lantern
It’s taken a while to come together, but it seems DC has finally fired a massive shot across the bow toward Marvel’s connected universe. It also seems like they’re doubling (tripling?) down on Zack Snyder as their Joss Whedon-esque mastermind in the wake of Man of Steel's relative success, which could be a positive or negative, depending on your opinion of Snyder.
Regardless, we’re psyched we’ll have a boatload of superhero movies to watch over the next few years — and with all these different projects on the docket — some of ‘em would have to be good, right?