There are dozens of projects in various stages of development, but right now, Warner Bros. has seven DC movies releasing in theaters after Zack Snyder’s Justice League. By the end of the 2010s, superhero movies dominated the entertainment industry on both the big and small screens, and judging by Hollywood’s upcoming films, it seems the 2020s won’t be any different. Marvel Studios is getting underway with Phase 4 of their Marvel Cinematic Universe; Sony Pictures is beginning to flesh out their Spider-Man spinoff universe; and DC Films has their massive slate of DC movies.
In addition to continuing to build upon the DC Extended Universe with new sequels for Aquaman and Wonder Woman, among others, Warner Bros. is also looking to expand with a variety of DC projects that don’t have any explicit narrative connection to the shared universe – not that it would matter considering everything technically exists in one multiverse. All of that makes the future of DC movies very exciting; whereas before all films needed to continue off one another in some way, shape, or form, that’s no longer the case. Filmmakers can create a movie that’s distinctly theirs without much care for how things will shakeout down the line.
The Suicide Squad – August 6, 2021
Coming in-between Guardians of the Galaxy films is James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad, a long-delayed sequel to David Ayer’s Suicide Squad from 2016. Although the original movie didn’t win over critics, it became a massive financial success worldwide. So Warner Bros. commissioned a sequel, but getting it through production took some effort as the story and creative team kept changing. Now Gunn is on board with a story that takes Task Force X to the island of Corto Maltese, where they will destroy the Nazi-era prison Jotunheim.
The Batman – March 4, 2022
DC initially planned a Justice League spinoff for Ben Affleck’s Batman, but when he exited the standalone film, Matt Reeves signed on to create a separate trilogy of his own with Robert Pattinson as the new Caped Crusader. Taking place in Batman’s second year of crime-fighting in Gotham, The Batman movie will see Bruce Wayne face Riddler for the first time on-screen since the 1990s. Although the movie won’t be in the mainline DCEU, it will still have a fleshed-out world of its own, with there already being hints of other superheroes existing in the same universe.
New versions of Alfred Pennyworth and James Gordon will join Pattinson’s new iteration of Batman, alongside Catwoman, Penguin, and Carmine Falcone. Production first began in January 2020, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it didn’t wrap until March 2021. As long as everything stays on schedule, The Batman should release in theaters on March 4, 2022. And shortly thereafter, HBO Max will release its prequel series tentatively titled Gotham PD, which will be set one year before The Batman.
DC Super Pets – May 20, 2022
The good thing about superhero movies in the 2020s is that studios can now experiment with wacky stories, like the animated film DC Super Pets, which is based on the team Legion of Super-Pets. Like its name suggests, the team consists entirely of superpowered pets, particularly Krypto the Superdog, Beppo the Super-Monkey, Streaky the Supercat, and Comet the Super-Horse. It’s unclear where the story will go in the movie, but it’s possible it could adapt the Silver Age incarnation of the characters, in which they fought the alien species Brain-Globes, but that information will be revealed in due time. Jared Stern is writing and directing DC Super Pets, with Sam Levine co-directing. It’s currently scheduled to release in theaters on May 20, 2022.
The Flash – November 4, 2022
The Flash has been retooled a number of times since its original announcement in 2014, but it’s finally coming in November 2022 with DC Films hiring Andy Muschietti to shepherd the project to completion. Inspired by the Flashpoint storyline from the comics, The Flash movie sees Ezra Miller return as Barry Allen in a multiverse adventure that’s expected to unite Michael Keaton and Ben Affleck’s versions of Batman, as well as introduce Sashe Calle as the DCEU’s Supergirl.
With all of these superheroes in one place, The Flash movie is the perfect opportunity for the studio to effectively “reset” the DCEU without forgetting where it all started. Furthermore, the film will also see Kiersey Clemons come back as Iris West – after her role was cut from the theatrical version of Justice League – with Maribel Verdú making her debut as Barry’s mother, Nora Allen. Unfortunately, the role of Henry Allen will be recast since Billy Crudup won’t return due to scheduling conflicts.
Aquaman 2 – December 16, 2022
James Wan’s Aquaman is one of the few DC movies ever to break $1 billion at the box office. It was such a success that Warner Bros. saw it as a no-brainer to resign Wan for the sequel and give him the opportunity to spin off the film with a story on the Trench, the lost kingdom. Part of that new movie may be set up in Aquaman 2 seeing as the sequel is expected to explore more of the Seven Kingdoms of Atlantis, with Jason Momoa’s Arthur Curry at the forefront as the new king of the seven seas.
Shazam!: Fury Of The Gods – June 2, 2023
Perhaps one of the most unique movies to come from DC Films in recent years is Shazam!, an action-comedy that saw a teenaged Billy Batson transform into the superhero Shazam by exclaiming the word “Shazam”, after getting his powers from the ancient sorcerer… Shazam. And now there will be even more Shazam as the film returns with a sequel from director David F. Sandberg in June 2023, titled Shazam!: Fury of the Gods. Asher Angel will reprise his role as Billy, with Zachary Levi also returning as the titular superhero. They will be joined by the rest of the Shazam Family, who made their surprise debut in the final act of the original movie.