The Current State Of DC Superhero Movies

The Current State Of DC Superhero Movies

It’s been a confusing few days for people trying to keep track of what’s going on in Warner Bros.’ movie universe, called the DC Extended Universe (DCEU). So we’ve compiled a list of all the movies currently planned and their statuses.

All images: Warner Bros.

Justice League (And Sequels)

Set to be released November 16 of this year, Justice League is in the middle of being finished by Joss Whedon — with reshoots and new scenes written by him — after Zack Snyder stepped back due to a family tragedy. Rumour has it that one of the changes being made by Whedon is the removal of Jesse Eisenberg’s less-than-adored version of Lex Luthor.

A sequel to this movie was originally announced for a 4 June 2019 US release, but has been pushed back. Also still in the cards is a Man of Steel sequel, which Amy Adams has said is at least in the scripting stage.


The standalone Aquaman movie, with a release date of 26 December 2018, has been he most stable of the slate. James Wan, despite reports that he was considering leaving, has stuck it out as the director. It’s currently filming.

Shazam! and Black Adam

This movie was originally set to come out in the US 5 April 2019, and the plan appears to be to start filming early next year. David F. Sandberg (Annabelle: Creation) is the director.

It was originally presumed that Black Adam, played by Dwayne Johnson, would be the villain of Shazam! but he’s since been granted his very own standalone movie.

Wonder Woman 2

Set for release in the US 13 December 2019, Wonder Woman 2 is probably one of the safest bets on this slate, given the popularity of the first movie. Patty Jenkins, who was somehow not signed to a multi-picture deal, is currently in final negotiations to return as director. Probably with a much-deserved raise.


Cyborg’s standalone movie is supposedly going to come out in the US on 3 April 2020. That’s pretty much all we know so far, save that Joe Morton is going to be playing Dr Silas Stone again.

Green Lantern Corps

Similar to Cyborg, Green Lantern Corps has a release date in 2020 but not much else. It’s set for release in the US on 24 July 2020, and David S. Goyer and Justin Rhodes are writing a script based on an idea from Goyer and Geoff Johns.

Justice League Dark

Previously known as Dark Universe, which was deeply confusing when Universal decided to give its shared monsterverse the same name, this was originally announced in 2013 with Guillermo del Toro at the helm. He was replaced last year with Doug Liman, with a whole new script surrounding John Constantine, Swamp Thing, Deadman, Zatanna and Etrigan the Demon. However, Liman also left in 2017, leaving the project without a director and, according to reports, in the midst of another rewrite.


Strap in, kids, this one’s especially bumpy. A standalone Flash movie was announced in 2014 and for a long time it was presumed that Ezra Miller would play Barry Allen in a movie coming out in the US 16 March 2018. That release date receded into the realms of fiction as Warner Bros. didn’t get its first choice of director — the team of Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, whom the studio signed to script the movie and was courting for the director’s chair. Then Seth Grahame-Smith (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter) was hired to write and direct. He left in 2016, with his script put in the hands of Dope‘s Rick Famuyiwa. Who also left that year.

At SDCC this year, the Flash movie was revealed to actually be a Flashpoint movie, based on multiverse-bending comic book event. And now we’re back to trying to find directors, with a possibilities including Robert Zemeckis, Matthew Vaughn, Sam Raimi, and Lord and Miller again.

The Batman (If That Is Still the Title)

Welcome to Ben Affleck’s own personal hell. Affleck was hired to play Bruce Wayne in Batman v Superman and was then set to take the reigns behind the camera for the Dark Knight’s standalone movie. There was (or maybe wasn’t) a script and Joe Maganiello was going to play Deathstroke.

None of these things is certain any more, including Affleck even staying on to play Batman. Early this year, Affleck stepped down as director and was replaced by Matt Reeves (War for the Planet of the Apes). He’s scrapped Affleck’s script and recently managed to confuse everyone by saying, “When they approached me, what they said was, ‘Look, it’s a standalone, it’s not part of the extended universe.'” Which could just mean it’s a standalone within the continuity of the DCEU but without the burden, say, Batman v Superman had to set up things for the rest of the universe. Or, given recent other announcements about the direction DC and WB are headed, could literally mean a parallel universe Batman movie. I think the former is still slightly more likely. But, at this point, either could be true. It’s still unclear.


Joss Whedon entered the DCEU in order to write and direct Batgirl. It will begin production in 2018.


Early this year, another Batfamily picture was announced centred on Dick Grayson’s post-Robin identity. Chris McKay (LEGO Batman) was hired to direct and Bill Dubuque was hired on to write.

Lobo and Deadshot

Neither of these movies officially exist yet, but Jason Fuchs was supposedly writing a Lobo movie at some point and Deadshot was once rumoured to be getting a Suicide Squad spinoff of his own.

Suicide Squad 2

The sequel was formally announced at Comic-Con last month. Yesterday, The Hollywood Reporter said the movie was being fast-tracked and it could come before some other just-announced plans.

Joker Movie

This Wednesday came the news that Warner Bros. is expanding their DC slate with a Joker origin movie that falls outside the canon of the DCEU. So the movies will have several universes — the exact opposite of Marvel’s “it’s all connected” mantra.

This Joker movie is intended to be made without Jared Leto, with Martin Scorsese producing and Todd Phillips (The Hangover) directing. It’s supposed to be a “gritty and grounded hard-boiled crime film set in early-’80s Gotham City”.

Joker and Harley Quinn Movie/Gotham City Sirens

In further Joker news, yesterday we learned that Glenn Ficarra and John Requa (This Is Us and Crazy, Stupid, Love) are in the final stages of being hired to write and direct a “criminal love story” with Leto and Margot Robbie back as the Joker and Harley.

There was a brief moment when it was reported by Deadline that this movie was going to replace the previously announced Gotham City Sirens, which has Suicide Squad‘s David Ayer attached to direct. That version of the story is gone now. Gotham City Sirens will be another villain team-up movie and also have Robbie and Leto back in their DC roles.

That’s a lot of moving pieces, although given how many movies there are and how far out they’re being planned, it could be worse. What absolutely does emerge is a renewed focus on Batman, his allies, and his villains. While the earlier slate focused on getting Justice League members in their own movies, the people of Gotham have dominated the recent announcements. That’s simultaneously interesting — it’s much less diverse than Marvel’s plans, for example — and boring — WB just keeps going back to the Batman well for its comic book movies. WB’s track record isn’t the best, but they could be turning it around.

Mostly, this looks like throwing spaghetti against the wall, and there’s no way to tell which pieces will stick.