Have Warner Bros.' long-overdue plans for its DC Comics superhero movie slate been revealed at last?
According to Hollywood gossip columnist and former Deadline editor Nikke Finke, who launched her own site with this explosive news today after seven months away from the scene, Warner Bros. will unveil its comic-book movie plans next month at Comic-Con -- and they include an ambitious seven films in three years. Take a look:
May 2016 – Batman v Superman
July 2016 – Shazam
Xmas 2016 – Sandman
May 2017 – Justice League
July 2017 – Wonder Woman
Xmas 2017 – Flash and Green Lantern team-up
May 2018 – Man Of Steel 2
Wow. That's one hell of a lineup right there. It's also far from confirmed -- although Finke's reputation for nailing solid scoops is well deserved -- and it raises a lot of questions.
First, the listing of an actual Man of Steel 2 proves that Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice is not a sequel per se to last year's Superman reboot, but the launch of the Justice League franchise itself. Yet why no mention of any standalone Batman films?
Second, will Shazam -- which has been in development for 10 years -- tie in to the Justice League-related films or be its own thing?
Third, will the Flash referenced in this slate be the same Flash (Grant Gustin) making his debut on The WB, or will the movies launch their own version of the character? And who is playing Green Lantern? Finke does provide some intel on this one, which also explains why Batman v Superman was pushed back from next year to 2016:
According to my source, “Like Marvel’s The Avengers, there will be cameos of superheroes for future installments. The cameos will include the already known Cyborg and Flash. Green Lantern (not played by Ryan Reynolds, thank god) may be introduced. And Aquaman will be seen in the Justice League movie. Problem is, Warner Bros Pictures was still negotiating with the actors for those cameos and future roles, meaning major contracts for multiple JL/character films to follow. The studio didn’t want to move forward until they had more of this secure so they held off starting production for a few months. Seemingly simple reason, but the implications are pretty darn huge.”
So, from what Finke's source says, it's quite possible that we will see the WB Flash cross over -- but he'll be fighting alongside an entirely new Lantern.
My take on all this? It sounds like the kind of slate that Warner Bros. would love to launch to compete with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But seven films in three years sounds kind of unrealistic. They need scripts and directors, unless those are all secretly ready to go along with the actors. Zack Snyder and David Goyer can't do it all (nor would we want them to).
Looks like we'll have to wait another few weeks until Warner Bros. makes its presentation in Hall H at Comic-Con, but in the meantime, start your speculation now. Does this ring true to you? Can WB catch up to Marvel in epic fashion?