Upcoming DC movies that are going to blow everyone away

The DC Extended Universe — or Worlds of DC, as the interconnected film franchise is now officially known — has struggled in the past to find consistent 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 Worlds of DC 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)

While he may have been the butt of every comic book joke for decades, the King of Atlantis looks to be swinging for the fences in Aquaman. The film's first trailer debuted at San Diego Comic-Con this year and sees Jason Momoa's Arthur Curry (who first appeared way back in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice) reluctantly returning to Atlantis to stake his claim to the throne. 

In addition to giving us our first extensive look at Atlantis outside of the glimpse we got in Justice League, the trailer puts its tremendously impressive cast on display. From Patrick Wilson as the warlike Orm the Ocean Master to Nicole Kidman as Arthur's Atlantean mother, it's shaping up to be something truly special. What's more, it looks to have some killer cinematography (those ocean blues really pop) and a decent sense of humor. The latter is particularly important: Aquaman may not be as much of a joke these days, but it's good to see that the film won't be taking itself too seriously. 

Shazam! (April 5, 2019)

The DCEU is getting a little bit smaller (literally) come April of 2019, when Annabelle: Creation director David Sandberg brings Shazam! to the big screen. The film introduces young Billy Batson, a kid who can turn into a superhero by saying the word "Shazam!" to channel the power of an ancient wizard. Featuring Zachary Levi as Shazam and Asher Angel as Billy, the film looks to be a far more lighthearted romp than DCEU fans are used to — and that looks like a very good thing. The trailer, which debuted at San Diego Comic-Con 2018, features some great humor and heart, making the film look like something truly special. Throw in an appearance by Mark Strong as the villainous Dr. Sivana and the promise of a proper Black Adam appearance on the horizon courtesy of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson (there's no way Adam and Shazam won't be crossing paths eventually) and we're inclined to say the future is looking bright for Billy Batson and Shazam. 

Joker (October 4, 2019)

Well, that certainly escalated quickly. In the summer of 2018, it was announced that the Clown Prince of Crime would be receiving a solo film to be directed by Todd Phillips of Old School and The Hangover fame, and starring none other than Joaquin Phoenix as Batman's arch-nemesis. Before DC fans could ask "Why so serious?," additional members of the cast started being announced (and went through a weird upheaval in which Alec Baldwin signed on as Bat-dad Thomas Wayne and then left the production over the course of about two days), and filming was underway.

The peeks we've seen of the film so far show a Joker far more in line with Heath Ledger's take on the character than Jared Leto's, implying that this will be a somewhat more grounded affair — and one that's presumably self-contained from the rest of the DCEU. Based on what we've seen thus far, Phoenix's Joker is more greasy criminal than glam rock frontman — and with a supporting cast featuring Marc Maron and Zazie Beetz, the talent is certainly in place for Joker to be a hit.

Birds of Prey (February 7, 2020)

Suicide Squad wasn't everyone's idea of a great DCEU movie, but if nothing else, it gave us Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn. The consensus pick for the best thing about Squad, Harley was quickly pegged as a cornerstone for a handful of upcoming projects, including Birds of Preydescribed by Robbie as an "R-rated girl gang film." As you might have guessed, she won't be alone.

DC's Birds of Prey comics have featured a number of characters over the years, but several have been confirmed for the film — including Cassandra Cain and Renee Montoya as well as Huntress, to be played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and Black Canary, who's being played by Jurnee Smollett-Bell. The script in the works is being written by Christina Hodson, who's also working on the upcoming Batgirl film, which has led to rumors that Prey will feature the character's debut. As for Batman? He's reportedly been AWOL for two years when the story begins — and the story's main villain could be a Black Mask played by Ewan McGregor.

Wonder Woman 1984 (November 1, 2019)

We were pretty much ready for Wonder Woman's sequel the moment the first movie's credits started to roll. Thankfully, we won't have to wait too much longer: Wonder Woman 1984 is scheduled for release in November of 2019. Gal Gadot returns as the titular Amazonian hero — and more surprisingly, Chris Pine reprises his role as Steve Trevor — as director Patty Jenkins reclaims her helm to take the Amazon into the brave new world of the 1980s. She'll be taking on the Soviet Union and longtime Wonder Woman antagonist the Cheetah, played by Kristen Wiig. 

Also joining the cast is Pedro Pascal of Game of Thrones and Narcos fame. Little is known about his role, but based on photos many believe him to be Maxwell Lord, a sleazy businessman who goes on in the comics to become one of the great villains of the DC Universe (though before that he's just a bumbling capitalist who funds the Justice League). Whoever he's playing, we're sure he'll be no match for Diana of Themyscira when Wonder Woman 1984 hits the big screen. 

Green Lantern Corps (July 24, 2020)

Warner Bros. may have run into a bit of a roadblock in meeting their announced July 2020 release date for Green Lantern Corps. Although no cast or director has been announced, the film was set to feature a script by David Goyer and Justin Rhodes. The script they'd prepared featured Hal Jordan and Jon Stewart as the primary Lanterns and had been described as "Lethal Weapon in space," which sounds pretty awesome; additionally, it was allegedly based on a comic book origin story. 

Unfortunately, that script has been scrapped. Acclaimed comics scribe Geoff Johns, who made his name writing the world of Green Lantern for several years, is now attached to rewrite the script from page one. He says it will be very much akin to what he recently did with DC's Rebirth initiative — that it's "going to celebrate the mythology and reinvent it in a different way." It looks like the film will also draw heavily from Johns' run on the Green Lantern comics. 

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.

Justice League 2 (TBD)

A superhero cinematic universe isn't going to work without an Avengers-esque tentpole, and Justice League should be just that for the DCEU. The problem? There have been a few roadblocks along the way, starting with the middling box office take and critical reception to the first one, which was marred by reshoots and a now-infamous CGI upper lip on Henry Cavill, who'd grown a mustache for his role in Mission: Impossible – Fallout during the interim.

There's now a further roadblock in the form of, well, Cavill himself. The film is confirmed as being in the works, sure, but it was originally slated for 2019 and it's already been pushed back indefinitely while the DCEU reassembles and reassesses. Cavill's potential exit from the franchise would only further delay the process — without a Superman in the mix, it seems unlikely that a Justice League sequel will move forward anytime soon. Of course, there are always those rumors that a certain cousin could step up to lead the way…

Man of Steel 2 (TBD)

Perhaps no piece of superhero news has rocked the world of cinema quite like the rumors that actor Henry Cavill will be stepping down as Superman. In September 2018, news leaked that negotiations between Cavill and Warner Bros. had broken down over a cameo in Shazam!, leading to the actor removing himself from the role. Since then, Warner Bros. and Cavill's own rep have insisted that Cavill is still employed, though the star himself has played it coy, with a bizarre Instagram video being his only public response the situation.

While a script for Man of Steel 2 was confirmed as being in the works a while back, there's no telling how this potentially massive shakeup will affect the film's progress. Finding the perfect Superman is no small feat and it's hard to imagine the studio moving forward with this one until they have a replacement for Cavill (if Cavill really needs replacing at all, that is).

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 in 2016 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 and Harley Quinn movie (TBD)

The DCEU's most dysfunctional couple are finally getting time for a date night: Margot Robbie and Jared Leto will be reprising their roles as Harley Quinn and the Joker in an untitled film set to spotlight the certifiably insane lovebirds. According to Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, the writers behind This Is Us and Bad Santathe film will be, well, a cross between This Is Us and Bad Santa. They've also revealed details on the story, which will apparently see Joker and Harley kidnapping Dr. Phil (yes, that Dr. Phil) in an attempt to force him to help them through some relationship troubles. Credit where it's due: that's pretty original.

As of right now there's no release date in mind, but with a heavy shift in the DCEU's focus seeming to point towards Joker and Harley, don't be surprised if production on this one gets fast-tracked pretty soon. Let's just hope Dr. Phil's schedule can open up on short notice.

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 (TBD)

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 (TBD)

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.

Supergirl (TBD)

If Kal-El hasn't left the DCEU feeling super enough for you, fear not: It looks like there'll be a second super Kryptonian joining the party soon. Warner Bros. has officially announced their plans to introduce a  Supergirl film to the DCEU. She'll be making her debut in a film penned by writer Oren Uziel, who has recently scripted hits like 22 Jump Street and the decidedly less well received The Cloverfield Paradox, but further details are pretty scarce at this point. The character got a mainstream boost with her own TV show on the CW, and it's been enough of a hit to stoke interest in bringing her over into the DCEU. It won't be the character's first time on the silver screen, though — she first appeared in 1984's Supergirl, though if you don't remember that one, don't worry. You aren't missing much. Hopefully Uziel's script will be the first step in giving this classic character the great story she deserves.