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DC film theories that change everything

As the Marvel Cinematic Universe moves into Phase 4, DC has also been slowly but surely moving into a new era of film. Granted, over the past few years, DC has had a tough time when it comes to pleasing fans and critics. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was a disaster, Suicide Squad bombed, and the Justice League wasn't exactly the hit we had in mind. Fortunately, we can always count on Wonder Woman, and both Aquaman and Shazam! were big successes. And now, many believe that things are about to get better for fans of the DC film universe. 

Cryptic trailers, announcements, and castings have sent the DC fandom into a veritable frenzy of theories, with everyone wondering what will happen next. What's going on with the Joker? Where's the Green Lantern? What will happen with Harley Quinn? Piecing together what's known from the comics and what little tidbits of info have slipped out, the internet has made some tenuous, tantalizing, exciting theories as to what's next for the DC cinematic universe. And trust us, if any of these DC film theories are true, they will change everything.

The theory behind the two Jokers

The Joker has become one of the world's best-known baddies. It's no wonder that DC is doing their best to get the most out of one of their most iconic characters, namely by producing not one but two Joker-centric films

There's Joker, the award-winning, R-rated take on a failed comedian becoming the grease-painted face of an anarchist movement, starring the scary-good Joaquin Phoenix. But then there's the controversial Joker from Suicide Squad — a slightly more modern, tatted-up version performed by Jared Leto. How are these two able to exist simultaneously in the same universe? Which is the real Joker? One popular theory claims that they're both Joker, with the Joker being more of an idea than a single person. Anyone could take up the mantle. When it comes to Jared Leto's Joker, some fans believe that he was at one time Jason Todd, one of Batman's own Robins, before he was brutalized and brainwashed by a previous Clown Prince of Crime.

This could explain the memorialized armor in the Batcave reading, "Ha ha ha, joke's on you, Batman." Whatever his origin, whoever he once was, the Joker always seems to prove that what doesn't kill you makes you ... stranger.

DC could be getting darker than ever

DC has always gotten something of a bad rap for making very gritty, dark movies with super grim plotlines. And Joker has fully embraced the lampooned edginess of DC, creating a film that goes where no superhero film has dared to go before. This formula appears to be successful, too. Joaquin Phoenix's performance has been praised left and right, and Joker has won all sorts of accolades and awards. In fact, rumor has it that Joker will be the first of DC's Dark or Black, a label given to movies that exist outside the DCEU as we know it. 

Fans, and directors on Twitter, are theorizing that the next DC Dark film could be the Elseworlds storyline of Superman: Red Son. This alternate timeline imagines what would happen if Superman had landed in the Soviet Union rather than Kansas. Superman fighting for Stalin rather than the American Way turns the Cold War into a superhuman arms race, rather than a nuclear one. This isn't any less dangerous, as it turns out. Such a dark, politically charged plot seems tailor made for a DC Dark label.

Will Shazam and Superman join forces against Black Adam?

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is at last squeezing his muscles into a spandex suit and appearing on the big screen as a superhero. As Black Adam, Johnson will be more villainous than heroic, standing against Shazam and his newly found family. As we learn in the Shazam! movie, Black Adam is the example of what happens when someone not so pure of heart is given wizard powers. 

Black Adam will be introduced in his own solo movie, but fans have been theorizing that the film will secretly be a team-up flick the likes of which DC has never attempted. See, Black Adam is so powerful that he can give even Superman trouble. Fans are saying that the Superman cameo at the end of Shazam! was featured as part of the build-up to the live action version of the 2010 animated feature Superman/Shazam!: The Return of Black Adam. It will take the combined might of both Superman and Shazam to take down this champion-gone-bad.

Robert Pattinson and a live-action Batman Beyond

We have seen the face of the newest incarnation of Bruce Wayne: Robert Pattinson. For a while, it seemed like his reputation would be forever marred by Twilight, but the actor has turned things around in recent years with work in films like Good Time, High Life, and The Lost City of Z. And now, he's the latest version of the Caped Crusader — or Patman, as the kids are calling him. Pattinson is excited for the role, having said that donning that Batsuit is a transformative, if slightly embarrassing, process. However, fans are trying to figure out exactly which Batman Pattinson is transforming into. 

Compared to previous incarnations of the Dark Knight, Pattinson feels rather young. He's certainly not the more grizzled version that Ben Affleck recently graced the silver screen with. His casting has made fans wonder if Warner Bros. and DC are secretly planning on producing a live-action Batman Beyond. In the Batman Beyond animated series, an aged Bruce Wayne passes the mantle of Batman onto the spry Terry McGinnis and guides him as he thwarts schemes and takes down villains in a futuristic Gotham. Fans imagine that this older, wiser Bruce Wayne can and should only be played by a former big screen Batman — Micheal Keaton, to be precise. As much as this idea has been excitedly retweeted, there's no word as to what kind of Bat Patman will be.

Will Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy become a couple?

Harley Quinn is quote "so f***ing over clowns" in the teaser trailer for the action-packed, gritty girl power film Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn). The title says it all. Harley is done with being the Joker's girlfriend/minion, and she's cut ties with the Clown Prince of Crime. She's doing her own thing, with her own friends, namely some super-powered women who want to protect a young girl from a crime lord. The first of a trilogy, these films will bring to life some of Gotham's favorite femme fatales, like Poison Ivy. 

The eventual introduction of Poison Ivy has comic fans excited for the possibility of one of their favorite power couples coming to a theater near you. After Harley's big breakup with Mr. J in the comics, she finds someone new who loves and supports her. And obviously, that's Poison Ivy. Far from just gal pals, the two fight crime by day and cuddle up with their collection of pets in their shared apartment by night. Margot Robbie herself has said that their intimate relationship was one of her favorite parts of the comics and something she hopes to explore in the films.

Is Aquaman a mad king?

We watched as Arthur Curry went from a kind of vigilante beach bum to the commander of the whole sea, riding triumphantly upon the back of the mythical Karathen, wielding the legendary trident of Atlan, and proving himself worthy of the throne of Atlantis. It's an empowering scene, especially after he was labeled as a savage half-breed by his own half-brother. But what if Aquaman is actually the bad guy here? 

Orm, a.k.a. Ocean Master, was intending on waging war with the surface world, which definitively pegs him as the film's bad guy. But nevertheless, Atlantis was on his side. He was a familiar and beloved figure. So when this stranger from the surface shows up, attacking Atlantean forces with the twisted creatures of the Trench no less, it's easy to see how he would be a terrifying figure to the Atlanteans. According to one fan theory, Arthur Curry isn't the rightful ruler he seems to be. Rather, he's a ruthless conqueror, too powerful and irresponsible. He has the ability to rule the oceans with an iron fist. He can control the sea life and krakens, after all. Atlantis accepted him because they had no other choice, and it would be really interesting to see if DC might toy with this particular theory in future films.

An interesting theory about an evil Green Lantern

Featuring Ryan Reynolds in a CGI supersuit, Green Lantern was a massive failure. And ever since the movie bombed, DC has seemed hesitant to try and make another incarnation of Hal Jordan. How would DC even go about creating a well-received do-over for Green Lantern? Well, some fans are theorizing and hoping that the next time we see the Green Lantern Corps on screen, they'll be the bad guys. 

Before the premiere of Justice League, fans were examining Steppenwolf's army of Parademons for a familiar shade of green. The idea was that Steppenwolf had not only defeated the Green Lantern Corps, but that he'd also made them a part of his invading forces. Perhaps Hal Jordan's eventual introduction to the DCEU will be via a redemption arc, released from the control of Steppenwolf. Other fans are theorizing that a Green Lantern Corps movie will be DC's answer to Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy and will be a tongue-in-cheek, intergalactic buddy cop flick. Regardless of which theory prevails, it looks like it's going to be awhile before we get any whisper as to when we'll get to see Green Lantern, sans CGI supersuit, on the silver screen.

Will Crisis on Infinite Earths kill the Snyderverse?

Compared to DC, Marvel is late to the game when it comes to making super-powered TV series. DC has a practical empire of TV content, from Arrow, The Flash, and Supergirl to Gotham, Titans, and Doom Patrol. DC TV shows are notably less dark and gritty than their film counterparts, and they often feature crossovers, existing in parallel to the films but never quite acknowledging them. All that might change, however. 

The Arrowverse is about to release the Crisis on Infinite Earths storyline, which will, according to fans, give the DC TV shows the ability to either acknowledge or wipe out the influence of what's been called the Snyderverse (after director Zack Snyder, of course). Essentially, this TV event will either give the nod to Henry Cavill's Superman and Ben Affleck's Batman, or it will simply wipe the slate clean by saying the Snyderverse was all just a part of an alternate reality that was destroyed. This is a way to unite all the different heroes, villains, and their stories ... for TV at least. 

We're not sure if Crisis on Infinite Earths will reboot ill-received plotlines from the films or even acknowledge them at all, but fans are theorizing that this is how DC will set up itself for Robert Pattinson's Batman and (maybe) the next Superman.

Will DC create the Aquaman Cinematic Universe?

Before we dive into Atlantis under Arthur Curry's rule in the second Aquaman film, we'll be taking a detour down, down, down into the Trench. One of the scariest scenes in a DC film, James Wan's 2018 blockbuster features a moment where Arthur and Mera barely make it out alive as they dive into the dark depths of the Trench. Now, Warner Bros. is extending that terrifying scene into a feature length film. As a result, DC is getting its first true horror movie, taking place among the sharp-toothed creatures of the Trench. 

With The Trench spinoff in the works, fans are wondering if Wan will do for Aquaman what he did for The Conjuring universe. What started with just a single film blossomed into many. Anabelle, The Nun, and The Curse of La Llorona (to name a few) have all been interconnected with a few overlapping details. Similarly, some are hoping for an Aquaman Cinematic Universe. Fans are theorizing that The Trench will be the first of many films that will explore the undersea world, and there are several unique kingdoms that could get their own film. However, The Trench is anticipated to be the scariest of them all.

Flashpoint could be DC's doorway to a reboot

Most of the Justice League members have gotten their own movies, so when will it be Barry "The Flash" Allen's turn to have his own solo film? We have confirmation that a solo Flash flick is in the works, but due to creative differences and Ezra Miller's packed schedule, it's been slowed down in development hell. Maybe that's for the best, because according to Miller, the Flash film will see the DCEU "torn asunder." 

Hear us out. The DCEU getting torn a new one might be a good thing. The Flash will be centered around the Flashpoint storyline in which Barry creates an alternate timeline by going back in the past in order to save his mother. This new reality is ... messed up, to say the least. Fans have said that the topsy-turvy universe created by Flashpoint would be a good explanation for an Elseworlds or DC Dark series of films. Others have said that Flashpoint will serve as a hard reboot for the whole of the DCEU, giving Warner Bros. the chance to start anew. This would explain the new Batman, as well as a new Superman if Henry Cavill is too busy playing in The Witcher.