Warner Bros. reserves two 2020 dates for DC films, but what are they?

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Jul 18, 2017

Warner Bros. and DC Films announced this week that two new dates had been reserved for additional DC Comics-based movies: February 14, 2020, and June 5, 2020. The two dates join a bevy of held dates for DC Films, which have never officially had films assigned to them, though many have been connected via sources and speculation.

Indeed, in 2020 alone, DC Films now has four dates reserved, the two above plus the previously reserved April 3 and July 24, which were planned release dates according to reports for Cyborg and Green Lantern Corps, respectively. The former hasn't had much movement since its announcement back in October 2014, but the latter hired David S. Goyer and Justin Rhodes to write the screenplay this past January, based on a treatment by Goyer and DC Films co-head and DC Comics CCO and president Geoff Johns.

The only movies on the docket with guaranteed release dates at the moment, though, are Justice League, coming November 17, 2017, and Aquaman on December 21, 2018. While DC Films and WB haven't officially vacated the July 27, 2018, date, with no other films currently in active production it's doubtful they'll have a release ready in time. The Flash was originally a 2018 release, but having lost two directors and four writers and still without a replacement, that's simply not going to happen.

Other films in development include Shazam, the Justice League sequel, The Batman, a Man of Steel sequel (or another solo Superman film), a Suicide Squad sequel, Gotham City SirensBlack AdamNightwingBatgirl, and the Wonder Woman sequel. So they have a lot to work with -- 12 films and currently eight reserved dates if we include the July 2018 one, three in 2019 and now four in 2020.

So just what are those two new dates for? Looking at production schedules, which will include getting the band back together for a Justice League sequel that will be an effects powerhouse, the relatively lower-budget SquadSirensNightwing, and Batgirl, which should all stay fairly grounded, and the middle-of-the-road budgets expected on the DC Trinity's next solo films, it's likely that 2020 will see Justice League 2, plus the anticipated Man of Steel 2 and Wonder Woman 2. As for the fourth slot, one of the smaller-budget fare, or the previously planned release of Cyborg or Green Lantern Corps, assuming neither gets bumped up in the schedule, would make sense.

Some have speculated The Batman could fall back as far as 2020, but that seems unlikely. With a lead actor, Ben Affleck, who is rumored to be ready to ride out his initial contract and then get out of the role (he was originally writing and directing the film and is now doing neither of those things), WB will probably try to get it out by 2019, to capitalize on his popularity as soon as possible. Wonder Woman 2 could also come as early as 2019, though that would mean a production schedule of next late winter/early spring in order to hit that timeframe, and star Gal Gadot has essentially been shooting as Wonder Woman for the past two and a half years straight, with only brief breaks for the film Keeping Up With the Joneses and a pregnancy (she actually did reshoots for Wonder Woman while pregnant!). A 2020 release would give her some much-needed time off and help build anticipation for the film.

At this point, it's safe to say DC Films' anticipated schedule is entirely up in the air, and previously linked films and dates are likely back on the drawing board. The success of Justice League and the response of fans to the characters therein, plus the intangibles of the Hollywood machine, will both factor into how these dates all play out. For the time being, DC Films has 14 movies coming, two with release dates, and eight other reserved dates in the mix -- that's all they've officially said. An announcement about Wonder Woman 2 and more will likely come this Saturday at San Diego Comic-Con.

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