Upcoming DC movies that are going to blow everyone away

The DC Extended Universe might be struggling to find some creative success, but its movies are still making a lot of money—and Warner Bros. has more than a dozen additional DC-derived releases in various stages of development right now. What do fans have to look forward to over the next half decade or so? Let's take a look.

Aquaman (December 21, 2018)

He's been the butt of jokes for years, but James Wan's Aquaman film looks to finally bring some respect to the man who talks to fish. (Casting burly Game of Thrones alum Jason Momoa in the title role didn't hurt.) The film will give Aquaman a few foes, including Black Manta and his half-brother the Ocean Master, whose forces he can be seen fighting in the first bit of footage screened at San Diego Comic-Con. It's a risky venture, but having Wan (Furious 7) at the helm means if nothing else, the action should at least be up to snuff.

Shazam! (April 5, 2019)

Shazam! has been in the works for years, but for a while, it seemed as though the movie was being permanently stalled. Initial reports had Dwayne Johnson attached to the film as the villainous Black Adam, but DC later announced that Johnson's character would get his own film, leaving Shazam! without a nemesis and without a star. While casting announcements have been kept under wraps, the film got a huge push towards production in the summer of 2017, when Annabelle: Creation's David Sandberg was officially announced as director. Sandberg then finally made the huge announcement fans had been waiting for in late October, when he revealed that Chuck star Zachary Levi had landed the title role. With the movie reportedly headed into production in early 2018 (and Levi basically living at the gym bulking up in the meantime), this movie seems like it'll be magical.

Untitled Wonder Woman sequel (Nov. 1, 2019)

The Wonder Woman sequel was finally given an official announcement at San Diego Comic-Con, with a release date set shortly afterwards. After months of keeping fans in the dark, director Patty Jenkins confirmed in early September that she is officially set to return for the sequel, and rumors suggest her salary could be historic. Jenkins and DC Studios head Geoff Johns are teaming up with The Expendables' Dave Callaham to work on the script, based on a treatment from Jenkins and Johns. With Jenkins saying she wants to take Diana to America and rumors saying the film could take on the 1980s, Wonder Woman 2 seems like it will be an amazing ride.

Green Lantern Corps (July 24, 2020)

No casting has been announced, but the studio is actively working this one behind the scenes, with a script from David Goyer and Justin Rhodes on the way. Despite the fact that it's three years out, Warner Bros. is bullish, with a release date already locked. No word on the plot, but it's described as "Lethal Weapon in space," and is reportedly based on a comic book origin story. We also know it'll focus on two different characters: the popular Lanterns Hal Jordan and John Stewart. Bringing Stewart in is a wise move. He's a fan favorite, and getting him in the mix will help this film stand apart from the previous, critically panned Green Lantern flick. Considering the fact that Jordan was set up alongside the other primary members of the Justice League in the new DC Comics intro that played before Wonder Woman, it seems he'll play an important part in the DCEU going forward.

Flashpoint (2020)

DC's Flash movie, starring Ezra Miller as Barry Allen, has had a bit of a rocky road. The film first found a director in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies' Seth Grahame-Smith, but he dropped out and was followed by Dope's Rick Famuyiwa, who also left. Rumor has it that Matthew Vaughn, Robert Zemeckis, Sam Raimi, and even Ben Affleck were at one point considered to direct the movie, but the studio ultimately landed on Spider-Man: Homecoming screenwriters John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, who had previously directed Vacation and Game Night. The script has also undergone quite a few rewrites, with recent reports saying it was being completely overhauled.

Concrete details about the film finally began to be released at San Diego Comic-Con in 2017, when DC officially announced that the movie would be titled Flashpoint. This seems to suggest that the movie will cover the famous 2011 comic storyline (from DC head Geoff Johns), a move which could have huge ripple effects across the rest of the DCEU.

Despite the creative problems DC has had behind the scenes, the decision to make the movie a Flashpoint film is bold and exciting, and hints that there is a reason for the frequent delays in the film's production. As the CW's hit Flash series has proven, there's an audience out there. The pressure is on to get them in theaters.

Cyborg (TBD)

By the time Cyborg shows up in his solo movie, fans should be pretty familiar with him. Ray Fisher's version of the character will have co-starring roles in Justice League and The Flash, and as much as Warner Bros. loves cameos, we wouldn't be surprised to see him pop up elsewhere, too. We already got a fleeting glimpse at Cyborg thanks to those handy Lex Luthor YouTube videos in Batman v Superman, but we'll presumably learn more about him over the next few films. Since the character will have been thoroughly introduced by the time this one rolls around, it stands to reason it probably won't be an origin story. Or if it is, at least it won't be the entire focus of the story.

The Batman (TBD)

Batman is easily the cash cow of the DC universe, and Warner Bros. seems keen to get a standalone movie made starring Ben Affleck as the new version of the Dark Knight. However, the project has faced a number of issues on its way to production, including numerous script rewrites and Affleck stepping back from the director's chair amid rumors that he would be backing away from the character entirely. Still, despite the delays, it looked like The Batman was finally getting off the ground, with War for the Planet of the Apes' Matt Reeves (after some hemming and hawing) officially signing on to direct.

Things got complicated once again, though, when reports started to surface that Warner Bros. was looking for a way to transition Affleck out of the Batman role, with Reeves reportedly planning a trilogy that the actor is unlikely to be a part of. Affleck denied these rumors at San Diego Comic-Con, saying that Batman is the "coolest f***ing part in any universe," and praising Reeves as a director. Still, though, with the introduction of Flashpoint as an already established way to recast the role, anything could happen with Affleck's involvement with the film. It still remains to be seen whether or not Affleck will stay on and whether or not Reeves' re-written script will keep Joe Manganiello's Deathstroke as the primary villain, but it seems like it is going to be a while before The Batman hits the big screen.

Dark Universe (TBD)

Sometimes known as Justice League Dark during development, this project is set to focus on the mystical side of the DCEU, featuring characters such as John Constantine, Swamp Thing, Deadman, Zatanna, and Etrigan the Demon. Edge of Tomorrow's Doug Liman was initially signed on to direct, but he dropped out due to scheduling conflicts; the film has yet to find a new director. Still, trade sources say the film is likely one of the next few DCEU movies to go into production. Considering the success Marvel had with Doctor Strange, it stands to reason Warner Bros. will be keen to get this one off the bench soon. Here's hoping they continue the trend of letting Matt Ryan play John Constantine, because let's be honest, the dude is perfect.

Gotham City Sirens (TBD)

David Ayer's follow-up to Suicide Squad looks to be this Harley Quinn-centric spinoff, as opposed to a straight-up sequel. Ayer is set to reteam with Margot Robbie for the film, which will focus on Harley Quinn and several other female heroes and villains across the DC Comics canon. No word on which characters will show up, though players like Catwoman and Poison Ivy seem likely. Along with getting a Wonder Woman movie out before Marvel could make Captain Marvel, DC has an excellent opportunity take the edge in female-led superhero fare, which could be a huge move for a studio playing catch-up. The movies just, you know, need to be good.

Justice League 2 (TBD)

Warner Bros. originally penciled this one in for 2019, though it's since been bumped to an unspecified date to clear out some space for The Batman. This one might not be penciled in anywhere at the moment, but of all the projects at the far end of DC's master plan, it stands to reason another Justice League is one of the most bankable. The Avengers has become a flagship franchise for Marvel, and DC is looking to leverage Justice League the same way. Of course, there are a lot of standalone movies and spinoffs to make in the meantime.

Man of Steel 2 (TBD)

Superman looks to feature in the Justice League film in some way (duh), but despite Man of Steel formally kicking off this universe, the studio doesn't seem to be in a major hurry to give him another solo adventure. The cast has confirmed a script is in the works, but with so many other movies on the docket, you have to think it could be years until they actually get around to making this one. There's also the question of how DC wants to treat the character in the long term, and if they've learned anything from the Hulk over at Marvel. Both are insanely powerful characters, and both typically work a bit better in an ensemble. Much like Marvel pulls Hulk out to play in the big movies, DC could follow the same playbook with Supes.

Suicide Squad 2 (TBD)

A proper Suicide Squad sequel is in development, but there's been no word on when it'll actually hit the big screen. Despite anemic reviews, the first film still made a whole lot of money—and introduced characters like Robbie's Harley Quinn, and Will Smith's Deadshot, both of whom will almost certainly pop back up in the DCEU down the line. After months of rumors, The Accountant's Gavin O'Connor officially signed on to direct in September of 2017. He's also set to rewrite the script, which had an early draft from The Legend of Tarzan's Adam Cozad. With the behind-the-scenes team shaping up, it looks like the rumored fall of 2018 production start date should be a go.

Untitled Nightwing film (TBD)

The Lego Batman Movie's Chris McKay will take on live-action superheroes in DC's planned Nightwing movie. The film has a script from The Accountant's Bill Dubuque, and, although it doesn't have a star yet, it seems there are quite a few young actors who would love to step into the acrobatic shoes of Dick Grayson. (Michael Cera, who voiced Grayson in Lego Batman, is probably off the table.) Although no official plot details have been released, McKay is an up-and-coming director, and having him behind the camera means the movie is already in a good spot.

Untitled Batgirl film (TBD)

Joss Whedon is making the leap from Marvel to DC for a Batgirl film. (Don't worry, Marvel is totally supportive.) The Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator is set to write, direct, and produce the film, which is rumored to follow the New 52 version of Barbara Gordon, daughter of J.K. Simmons' Commissioner Gordon, who will debut in Justice League. The movie is reportedly set to follow Gail Simone's darker version of the character's storyline, which features her using experimental surgery to recover from a severe spinal injury inflicted by the Joker. With the amazing success of Wonder Woman, it makes sense that DC is pursuing Batgirl, and it wouldn't be surprising to see them push the movie ahead quickly. First, though, Whedon will have to finish up work on Justice League; he's assisting in post-production after director Zack Snyder had to step down due to a family tragedy.

Lobo (TBD)

Word leaked last year that Warner Bros. is looking to bring the space bounty hunter Lobo to the DCEU, and Jason Fuchs (Wonder Woman) is reportedly working on the script now. The studio has also signed Brad Peyton (San Andreas) to direct. A film based on Lobo has kicked around development hell for the better part of a decade, with Guy Ritchie (Sherlock Holmes) set to make one as far back as 2009; despite the false starts, this new project is apparently a fresh take on the character. Considering the success Fox and Marvel have had with Deadpool, Lobo could be a foul-mouthed sweet spot for DC to get in on the action.

Deadshot (TBD)

Will Smith is a Hollywood star, so it's no surprise Warner Bros. is looking to spin him off with a film focused on his Suicide Squad character Deadshot. Outside of Ben Affleck, Smith is arguably the biggest star in the DCEU—so it's only a matter of time until they get him suited back up for another fight against Batman. At this point, the project seems to be in very early development, and there's no word on where it might eventually fit in the overall schedule.

Black Adam (TBD)

This one has us a bit confused. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson has been attached to co-star in a Shazam movie for years, playing the villain Black Adam. And we recently heard Warner Bros. is now development a full-fledged Black Adam spinoff film, which will split the character off into more of an antihero. "We're building our world that way," Johnson told reporters of plans to start the characters off in their own films. "Then we can come together at some point." It remains to be seen how DC will juggle a two-pronged side section of the DCEU while they're still trying to establish the main universe—but in the meantime, we've done a little Photoshop to imagine how Johnson will look in character.

Untitled Joker origin story (TBD)

The Joker is one of DC's most popular characters, so it makes sense that they're taking yet another stab at bringing him to the big screen—and this time, with a planned solo movie about the character's origins. The movie is said to explore what it took for the Joker to become a criminal mastermind, using an '80s setting as a backdrop. While it will obviously draw heavily from the comic books, it's supposedly intended to feel more like a gritty crime drama than a superhero film, and said to be separate from any other iteration of the Joker in the DCEU.

The movie is set to be co-written and directed by The Hangover's Todd Phillips, with The Fighter's Scott Silver joining as a co-writer. Don't expect to see Jared Leto in the lead—Joaquin Phoenix is reportedly Phillips' top choice and is said to be in early talks to play the title character. Recasting the role is fitting with the movie's separation from the rest of DC's films, and bringing in an actor of Phoenix's pedigree should make for a high quality film. Considering Warner Bros. was reportedly previously considering Leonardo DiCaprio for the role, this project seems to be no laughing matter.

Untitled Joker and Harley Quinn movie (TBD)

Jared Leto and Margot Robbie are set to reprise their roles as the Joker and Harley Quinn in their own film, which is described by Warner Bros. as a "criminal love story" and has been referred to by one insider as "an insane and twisted love story. When Harry Met Sally on benzedrine." To that end, the studio has recruited a duo familiar with romance, with This Is Us and Crazy, Stupid, Love's Glenn Ficarra and John Requa in final talks to write and direct. The pair also already have experience working with Robbie, having directed her in 2015's Focus and 2016's Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.

While the movie doesn't have a release date yet, it could be on the way soon. Insiders say the plan is to fast-track the movie after the upcoming Suicide Squad 2, with the timeline being pushed up thanks to the actors' holding agreements. While it may seem like we're getting Joker overload with the Suicide Squad sequel and the character's planned origin story movie, this film is said to be further along.

Untitled Harley Quinn solo film (TBD)

Harley Quinn is clearly a major part of Warner Bros.' plans for the DCEU, which makes sense—she's one of DC's most popular characters. However, the sheer number of projects centered around Margot Robbie's live-action version of the villainess may already have some fans spinning—and Robbie already has another film to add to the list. 

The Suicide Squad star has revealed that she's working on a standalone Harley film in addition to Suicide Squad 2, Gotham City Sirens, and the untitled Joker and Harley Quinn movie. Although she declined to offer any more details, Robbie did say it's "totally separate" from the other films. 

"Honestly, I don't think anyone know what's going to be the next thing to happen," Robbie said. "But I think everyone's keen to get Harley back onscreen, so everyone is working on lots of different versions of what that could be." We're definitely on board, and we're guessing many DC fans feel the same way.