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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.

Wonder Woman 1984 (August 14, 2020)

2017's Wonder Woman was the first DCEU effort to be widely embraced by fans and critics alike, and its sequel — the succinctly titled Wonder Woman 1984 — will see Diana taking on new challenges during the Era of Yuppies. Originally scheduled for a November 2019 release, the flick was pushed back to late summer 2020, which allowed it to avoid competition with Joker and places it in the same frame in which the first film found blockbuster success. 

In addition to Gal Gadot reprising her role, the sequel has cast Kristen Wiig as frequent Wondy nemesis Cheetah and Pedro Pascal (The Mandalorian) as Maxwell Lord, who in the comics is a villainous telepath. Interestingly, Chris Pine is also back as Steve Trevor, despite his character meeting his end in the first film. Lord will reportedly be on the hunt for magical artifacts, one of which curses Wiig's character and causes her transformation into Cheetah; none too happy about this, Cheetah will set out to kill Lord, who enlists Diana's help in stopping her, using one of his artifacts' magic to resurrect Trevor in exchange for her assistance. Patty Jenkins has also returned to the director's chair, working from a screenplay she co-wrote with comics legend Geoff Johns and Dave Callaham, who will also be scripting Shang-Chi for rival Marvel Studios.

The Suicide Squad (August 6, 2021)

Despite introducing Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn, 2016's Suicide Squad was considered to be one of the DCEU's more disappointing early efforts; a wildly inconsistent tone, a final battle bogged down by poor CGI, and a poorly-received turn by Jared Leto as the Joker all contributed. But it did pretty well at the box office, and during writer-director James Gunn's temporary firing from Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, DC struck while the iron was hot, securing him to mastermind a soft reboot of the property, titled The Suicide Squad

This will, we're confident, turn out to be a genius move. Gunn has retained key players from the first film (such as Robbie, Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flag, and Viola Davis as Amanda Waller) and built his own stellar cast around them. They include David Dastmalchian (Ant-Man and the Wasp) as Polka-Dot Man, Steve Agee (Brightburn) as King Shark, Daniela Melchoir (The Black Book) as Ratcatcher, John Cena (F9) as Peacemaker, and Idris Elba in an undisclosed role (although he apparently will not be replacing the departed Will Smith as Deadshot). Principal photography has wrapped on the flick, and although it was a tough shoot — Gunn lost his father near the beginning, and his beloved dog near the end — the director took to social media to call the experience "the most fulfilling time [he's] ever had making a movie." Plot details have been kept firmly under wraps, but this is a James Gunn joint; we're pretty sure it's going to be a good time.

The Batman (October 1, 2021)

The Batman has been a long time in the making, but since writer-director Matt Reeves took over from Ben Affleck (who had been attached to write and helm a solo Bat-flick practically ever since being cast as the Dark Knight in 2013), the project has come into pretty sharp focus. Reeves' film will be a "neo-noir," focusing on the early career of the Caped Crusader and his activities as the World's Greatest Detective — and the director has assembled a formidable roster of talent to bring his vision to life.

Starring in the title role will be Robert Pattinson, whose stellar turns in flicks like Good Time and The Lighthouse flew under the radar of many. Vexing Pattinson's Bruce Wayne will be Zoë Kravitz as Catwoman, Paul Dano as the Riddler, Colin Farrell as the Penguin, and John Turturro as crime boss Carmine Falcone; in his corner will be Andy Serkis as Alfred Pennyworth and Jeffrey Wright as Jim Gordon. Reeves has a lot to prove to a lot of fans — as he is still best known for starring in the Twilight series, his casting of Pattinson didn't initially sit well with more than a few of them — but it's definitely starting to look like The Batman will be the solo flick that Bat-fans have been awaiting for far too long.

Black Adam (December 22, 2021)

Back in 2014, Dwayne Johnson was handed the role of longtime Shazam nemesis Black Adam during the first round of casting for Shazam!, but his involvement was scrapped when the filmmakers decided on a more lighthearted approach. As producer Hiram Garcia explained to Collider, it was also determined that Black Adam was compelling enough to support a feature of his own.

"We were just realizing that both characters are so special that we didn't want to compromise either of them by cramming them both into the same movie," Garcia said. He went on to affirm that the project is "definitely happening," adding, "We're actually very deep into a script on it right now, which is coming along really well... For the longest time, you know you kind of have this living superhero in Dwayne Johnson, so I was always trying to figure out what's the perfect character that will kind of fit him and... his kind of edge and the attitude he's got."

In an Instagram post in April 2019, Dwayne Johnson confirmed that — due in large part to the success of Shazam! — production was expected to finally begin in 2020. The flick will be released just before Christmas 2021 — and just a few months later, the character will return to tangle with his most iconic nemesis.

The Flash (June 3, 2022)

The upcoming solo vehicle The Flash has undergone a lot of changes on the road to the screen, with only one constant: Ezra Miller, who originated the role of the big-screen Scarlet Speedster in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League. The movie — thought to be based on the iconic Flashpoint storyline — was announced way back in 2013, and since then, a laundry list of filmmakers have come and gone from the project. Seth Grahame-Smith (The Lego Batman Movie), Rick Famuyiwa (The Mandalorian), John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein (Spider-Man: Homecoming), and Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future) have all been attached at various points. In 2019, Miller even attempted to head off the potential expiration of his contract by taking a crack at the screenplay. The production appeared to get on track with the hiring of It director Andy Muschietti — but now, the star might have a bigger problem.

On April 6, 2020, a video surfaced which appeared to show Miller choking a female fan and dragging her to the ground during an altercation at a bar in Reykjavik, Iceland. The video has been confirmed to be genuine by a bar employee and several patrons, and while there has been extreme radio silence from both Miller and Warner Bros. in the wake of the incident, fans have been vocal in calling for the star's removal from The Flash. For now, though, we'll have to wait to see how the situation plays out. The flick is currently slated for release on June 3, 2022.

Shazam 2 (November 4, 2022)

Having gained plenty of superhero-ing experience during the events of his 2019 solo vehicle, young Billy Batson will be ready (we hope) to take on Black Adam in Shazam 2. Of course, he may have a little help; you'll recall that at the conclusion of Shazam!, Batson was able to defeat Doctor Sivana (Mark Strong) by sharing his powers with his foster family, transforming them into Shazam-like heroes who will presumably have a significant role to play in the sequel.

The movie's mid-credits stinger revealed that Sivana, while currently imprisoned, is still a threat — and that he may be keen to team up with that scene's cute little talking caterpillar, Mister Mind, a... well, a space worm from Venus who is a heck of a lot more dangerous than that descriptor might make him sound. Batson will need all the help he can get with Black Adam in the picture, although there's always the possibility that Adam — being played by the Rock and all — will lean toward the "hero" side of his typical antihero depiction, and end up assisting Batson and family against the forces of evil. Shazam! was a heck of a lot of fun, but we all know that superhero sequels tend to go darker. It stands to reason, then, that whatever the nature of Adam's involvement, young Billy is going to have some growing up to do in Shazam 2.

Aquaman 2 (December 16, 2022)

It wasn't really supposed to happen like it did. Arthur Curry, a.k.a. Aquaman, had been the butt of pop culture jokes for decades, owing to his seemingly lame power set (although fans knew this to not exactly be the case); shots had been taken at him on everything from Family Guy to Entourage, in which the very idea of an Aquaman movie was played for laughs. Jason Momoa's first appearance as the character in 2017's Justice League was received well, if not rapturously, and the movie itself underperformed severely at the box office.

But then a funny thing happened: James Wan's Aquaman, featuring Momoa reprising the role, became a smash hit, raking in over a billion dollars worldwide and becoming the highest-grossing film in the DCEU by a comfortable margin. It didn't take long for Warner Bros. to determine that they had a hot property on their hands, and in February 2019, it was confirmed that a sequel is in the works. The first film's co-screenwriter David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick is already hard at work on the script, and Wan will be returning as a producer, although it's unclear if he will direct. As for Momoa, nothing is set in stone — but given his intensely charismatic performance and wholehearted commitment to the role, it's unlikely in the extreme that the project would be moving forward if he were not on board. Warner Bros. is apparently taking their time to make sure they get this one extra-right: Aquaman 2 splashes down in theaters on December 16, 2022.

Green Lantern Corps (TBD)

The Green Lantern Corps movie has been a long time coming. The project was announced way back in 2014, and an early version of the screenplay was labored over by scribes David Goyer (The Dark Knight) and Justin Rhodes (Terminator: Dark Fate) for years, with their work ultimately being deemed unsatisfactory. To the rescue came comics legend Geoff Johns, who was hired to rewrite the script from the ground up in 2019 — and while his work continues, there may be a slight complication.

Johns is also slated to contribute to showrunner Greg Berlanti's Green Lantern series, which is in the works for the HBO Max streaming service. While there's no word on whether the show will connect to the Green Lantern Corps movie in any way, it sure seems like that would make sense. At the moment, though, no character or plot details have been made available for either. Johns was to have delivered the first draft of his script to Warner Bros. by the end of 2019, so there should be some forward movement on it soon. It's even been posited that J.J. Abrams and his Bad Robot production company, which entered into an overall deal with Warner Bros. in 2019, might get involved with the film. It's worth noting, though, that no Green Lantern projects were announced in the initial unveiling of the partnership. For the time being, we'll just have to wait to see how the long-gestating project shapes up.

Justice League 2 (TBD)

Justice League was a resounding disappointment, but with the DCEU having found its footing with the critical and financial success of Wonder Woman and Aquaman, this doesn't mean that another go-round isn't in the cards. Indeed, the sequel could be seen as an opportunity for Warners to correct that which they got wrong the first time, and the questionable status of both Henry Cavill's Superman and Ben Affleck's Batman could mean that a Justice League sequel would focus on those characters with which the DCEU has found its greatest success.

Some have speculated that Aquaman director James Wan would in fact be a perfect fit to take on a Justice League sequel, especially now that Zack Snyder — who co-directed the first picture and had detailed ideas, now scrapped, about where the second might go — is officially out of the picture. For his part, Aquaman star Jason Momoa loves the idea of a sequel, opining that Black Manta could assemble the Legion of Doom. "Seeing all the bad guys together and seeing us come in would be awesome," said the star in a Toronto Sun interview. "I'd definitely like to come riding in on a tidal wave to whoop some ass." Yes, Jason, we'd like to see that, too.

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).

Justice League Dark (TBD)

Justice League Dark, a potential feature film based on the team that includes such horror-themed characters as John Constantine, Zatanna, and Deadman, has  been in various stages of development for an unreasonably long time. The great Guillermo del Toro was attached to write and direct as long ago as 2012, with the project being passed off to Doug Liman (Edge of Tomorrow) in 2016; after nearly a decade of no real movement on the film, fans were ready to give up. That is, until J.J. Abrams and his Bad Robot production company stepped in to save the day.

In January 2020, it was announced that Bad Robot will begin developing both feature film and television projects based on the property. Warner Bros. bringing on its hired guns to rescue Justice League Dark is a pretty strong indication that the studio was never willing to let it die on the vine, but at this point, we're still not sure what shape (or shapes) it'll take, and how long it'll take to get from the writers' room to in front of our faces. Also unknown: what team members will be involved, and whether or not the movie and/or TV series will tie in with the larger DCEU. We can finally say, however, that we should have some answers sooner rather than later — and after eight years of waiting for JLD to get off the ground, that can only be good news.

Untitled Nightwing film (TBD)

This long-mooted project may have been headed off at the pass by DC Universe. The streamer premiered Titans, featuring Dick Grayson/Robin (Brenton Thwaites) in a lead role, in 2018. Of course, the comics incarnation of Grayson eventually goes on to take up the mantle of Nightwing, giving him an identity independent of Batman, and it's this version of the character which has long been rumored to be getting the feature film treatment.

The project was first announced in early 2017, with The Lego Batman Movie director Chris McKay slated to helm from a script by Bill Dubuque (The Accountant), but since then, there has been complete radio silence from Warners. McKay offered a glimmer of hope for Nightwing in late 2018, when he was asked directly whether the feature was dead on Twitter. "No. You're going to have to wait tho," he said. "Keep hope alive. To paraphrase Dick Grayson: Nightwing lives. Always." We'll be waiting with bated breath to see whether Dick Grayson's solo vehicle actually makes it to production.

Untitled Batgirl film (TBD)

The saga of the standalone Batgirl may comprise the most visible shift in course of the post-Justice League DCEU. Avengers director Joss Whedon was announced to be in talks to write and direct the picture in 2017 based on the Barbara Gordon version of the character, but stepped down when he realized he "didn't really have a story." The film appeared to be on the far back burner until Birds of Prey emerged, leading to speculation that one of the potential spinoff characters that film could be introducing might be the Cassandra Cain version of Batgirl — a notion which gained more credence when Warner Bros. tapped Birds scribe Christina Hodson to resurrect the project.

Speaking with the Los Angeles Times, Hodson seemed to promise a distinctly Dark Knight-ish take on the character. "I'm really excited — because she's Batgirl! She's all the things I love about Batman," Hodson said. "I've always been more interested in humans than supernatural things and monsters. People are capable of profound good, but also profound evil. The things that people will do when you back them into a corner are amazing, terrifying, and wonderful at the same time, and it draws out these primal things in us — good and bad."

Lobo (TBD)

The idea of a feature film based on the near-unstoppable alien bounty hunter Lobo has been kicking around even before the DCEU's inception, with a Guy Ritchie-directed version (which was subsequently scrapped) discussed as far back as 2009. The project was revived as part of the DCEU slate in 2016, with San Andreas and Rampage director Brad Peyton set to helm from a script by Jason Fuchs, who contributed to the screenplay for Wonder Woman and has also been tapped to pen the Minecraft video game adaptation. It was rumored in early 2018 that none other than Michael Bay was being eyed to take the reins, and Fuchs was still reported to be working on the script.

As is becoming a theme with the DCEU, however, the television side of things has threatened to intervene. The second season of the Syfy series Krypton features Irish actor Emmett J. Scanlan taking on the role of Lobo, leading some observers to speculate that the character's feature film prospects had dimmed — but there's been no official word from Warners, so a starring vehicle for the ultra-violent baddie could still be in the cards. Once again, the name of the game is "wait and see," but if there's one thing we know about Lobo, it's that he never quits.

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.

Supergirl (TBD)

The DCEU's version of the Man of Steel may be a bit up in the air (no pun intended), but one project that Warners is reportedly high on is a starring cinematic vehicle for his cousin Kara Zor-El, a.k.a. Supergirl. The character is enjoying a high profile thanks to the success of her TV series set within the CW's Arrowverse, and with the MCU's Captain Marvel arriving in 2019, the time seems right for the DCEU to introduce its own awesomely-powered female lead.

Little is known about the in-development project other than its screenwriter: Oren Uziel, who penned 22 Jump Street as well as The Cloverfield Paradox. The rumor mill has suggested that the project could be set in the '70s, in an alternate timeline which sees Kara arrive on Earth before her cousin, in order to set the film version of the character apart from her TV incarnation. Uziel has been at work on the script since August 2018, so more details are sure to surface sooner rather than later.

The Trench (TBD)

Director James Wan may be known as a horror maestro — he's the driving force behind the Conjuring Universe, not to mention the Saw and Insidious series. But he acquitted himself nicely, following up a mega-successful turn as director of Furious 7 by delivering the DCEU's first billion-dollar success with 2018's Aquaman. One scene in that otherwise relatively lighthearted film betrayed Wan's horror roots: Arthur and Mera's detour through the Kingdom of the Trench, where they came under attack by carnivorous beasties straight out of one of the director's blood-soaked fright flicks. Interestingly, the terrifying world depicted in this scene will be expanded to feature length in The Trench, a spin-off being scripted by freshman screenwriters Noah Gardner and Aidan Fitzgerald.

Wan will executive produce the film with Peter Safran, who revealed to The Hollywood Reporter that he had designs on getting the flick greenlit even before Aquaman's blockbuster performance. "We always, even from the early concept art days, loved the idea of a Trench movie," the producer said. "Then, when audiences embraced it in the movie itself the way they did, particularly that ant farm shot where the camera follows the Trench [creatures] following Arthur and Mera down into the deep, we just knew that we had something very special there and we knew what that movie should be. And consequently, I suspect that that's one that will come out significantly before Aquaman 2." If you like a little blood-curdling terror with your comic book adaptations, this is one flick to keep your eye on.