Upcoming DC movies that are going to blow everyone away

The DC Extended Universe might be struggling to find some creative success, but the company's comics have been battling Marvel for market share for decades, and that didn't happen accidentally — these are seriously iconic characters with no shortage of stories just waiting to be adapted for the big screen, and there's a large audience eager to watch them being told. 

That's just one reason that despite the critical drubbing many DCEU movies have taken, this franchise is still making a lot of money—and Warner Bros. remains committed to establishing it further, with more than a dozen additional DC-derived releases in various stages of development right now. We've watched the Justice League come together, but that's only the beginning of Warners' plans for DCEU domination. What do fans have to look forward to over the next half decade or so? Let's take a look at the upcoming DC movies that are going to blow everyone away.

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 DC hero 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 DC 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 DCEU 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)

DC seemed to have landed a big fish when they recruited The Avengers director Joss Whedon to make a Batgirl film, but his attachment to the project wound up being short-lived. The Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator was initially set to write, direct, and produce the film, which was rumored to follow the New 52 version of Barbara Gordon. However, he wound up pulling out of the project after a year of working on it because he realized that he "really didn't have a story."

Rumor has it that Whedon was under more pressure because he was a male filmmaker working on a story about an iconic female character. According to The Hollywood Reporter's sources, the company was worried that he would have been subject to "greater public scrutiny" because he would be a man telling a woman's story.

Luckily, though, they later found a replacement for Whedon in Bumblebee writer Christina Hodson, who is set to take the latest stab at the script. While no new director has been attached yet, it's good to see that the project is getting back on track. 

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.

Birds of Prey (TBD)

DC has quite a lot of Harley Quinn on the docket, and Margot Robbie is set to reprise her pitch perfect performance as the character once again in Birds of Prey. Robbie first announced that DC would be working on a standalone film surrounding Harley while speaking with MTV News in November of 2017; the project later got a lot more momentum in April of 2018, when it was announced that Dead Pigs director and former Wall Street Journal reporter Cathy Yan was being brought on board to direct.

The film is said to be based on the Birds of Prey comic, which has featured characters like Batgirl, Poison Ivy, Catwoman, and Katana. The movie, which is reportedly being talked about as "an all-female variation on Suicide Squad," has a script from Christina Hodson, who has also been tapped to work on DC's Batgirl pic. Hodson's script reportedly "blew execs away," leading them to move the shooting of the movie up to the end of 2018. DC is also reportedly set to provide an intro for Batgirl, similar to Marvel's introduction of Black Panther in Captain America: Civil War before the character got his own standalone film.

The New Gods (TBD)

Oscar nominee Ava DuVernay is set to blow everyone away with DC's The New Gods. DuVernay, who became the first African-American woman to direct a movie with a budget over $100 million when she made Disney's A Wrinkle in Time, will direct the film, based on the comics from legendary creator Jack Kirby as part of his "Fourth World Saga," which he created after leaving Marvel for DC in the early 1970s.

The New Gods tells the story of a war between two alien planets — the picturesque New Genesis and the ghastly Apokolips. The war spills over to the earth when Darkseid, who rules Apokolips, learns that humans are the key to solving the Anti-Life Equation, which would allow him to control every living thing in the universe. It's unclear which characters will be included, although DuVernay has previously said that Big Barda, who plays a key role in the comics, is her favorite superhero of all time for "many reasons." 

Blackhawk

DC nabbed an Oscar winner for their planned Blackhawk film. Steven Spielberg, who has taken home three Academy Awards over his expansive career, will produce and likely direct a film based on Blackhawk, the enigmatic leader of a international squadron of heroic pilots who take on the Nazis during World War II. The Blackhawk character debuted in 1941's Military Comics No. 1 and was originally published by Quality Comics before DC acquired it in 1956. 

The character, who was co-created by Will Eisner, Bob Powell, and Chuck Cuidera, headlined a number of best-selling comics in the 1940s. His World War II background makes him a great fit for Spielberg, who earned an Oscar and a number of other accolades for his work directing the World War II-based drama Saving Private Ryan. He's bringing on Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull and Jurassic Park writer David Koepp to pen the script.

Untitled Jared Leto Joker movie

Jared Leto's version of the Joker is getting his own movie. In addition to a potential appearance in Suicide Squad 2, a potential spinoff alongside Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn, and a potential Joker origin story that could star Joaquin Phoenix, DC is also looking into making a standalone film featuring Leto's version of the famed villain. It's unclear what the movie, which Leto would also likely executive produce, will cover, but it is said to "tie into future installments" of the Suicide Squad world. 

Leto will likely end up with quite a lot more to do in this film than he did in Suicide Squad, although it remains to be seen if his behind-the-scenes antics will once again steal the show. There's no timeline for the film and a writer and director don't seem to have been found yet, so this one could be a while down the line, but it should still be exciting for fans who wanted to see more of Leto's deranged take on the character.