What Could Be Next For DC?
Recently DC and Warner Bros. announced a total of nine films to be released all the way up until 2020. Unfortunately for fanboys and film fans alike, DC didn't disclose which films would be filling those nine spots. One film is already confirmed, but these nine new release dates have left people wondering what might be in store for DC's cinematic universe.
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice has already been confirmed for release on March 25th 2016. The film has moved from its original release date of May 6th 2016, so as not to go head to head with Marvel Studios Captain America 3.
The Justice League film will almost certainly fill one of the nine spots, and online speculation is pointing to the film being on our screens sooner than expected, with August 5th 2016 being mooted as a possible release date. DC are apparently filming the Batman V Superman and Justice League films back to back, which makes this a viable time frame. While online rumours abound of Batman V Superman featuring a cliffhanger ending, it also makes sense that DC would want to capitalise on any hype that film gains and get the next instalment out as quickly as possible.
If we accept that Justice League is to be the first film on the list, that still leaves another eight films to mull over. An educated guess would indicate that Wonder Woman will finally get her own film, and if the character features heavily in both Batman V Superman and Justice League, the second date of June 23rd 2017 could well be taken by the Amazonian Princess.
Meanwhile, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson has all but confirmed that he has signed on the dotted line as Billy Batson, aka Shazam. The character of Billy Batson only has to utter the word "Shazam" and he is transformed into a hero with herculean strength. Shazam is one of the oldest superheroes, and was created in 1939. If Shazam were to appear in either Batman V Superman or Justice League, in either a cameo or larger role, it is likely DC would want to hold onto Johnson's services and the film could well occupy the November 17th 2017 date. This would put it on a similar time frame to that of Marvel's Thor: The Dark World which also had a November release.
After that things get thrown a little more up in the air. Joseph Gordon-Levitt has been in talks to star in an adaptation of Sandman, but it is fair to say that Sandman would be unlikely to fit into the grander scheme of things in DC's universe. With that in mind, the film could well fill an early date in the year, so as to avoid the summer blockbuster season, and could possibly take the March 23rd 2018 release.
2018 has one more release date, of July 27th to be exact and that could be taken by either a well-known character or a less established one. Aquaman has been rumoured, along with many others, to have a role in the Justice League movie, and if they nail the King of Atlantis then he could be in for his own stand alone film. DC may want to act quick on this one though, as Universal Studios are apparently in the early stages of developing a Sub-Mariner film. That character is one of the few that managed to slip out of Marvel's grasp, and would cause many a comparison between himself and Aquaman.
As we move into 2019, the first date we come across is April 5th. Superman is due his own sequel and, despite a mixed response to Man of Steel, will likely get one. It would make sense to put the film here, as it gives time for the more unknown characters to come into the public conscience and develop a bit more back story before coming across a character we are all familiar with again.
The second date in 2019 is June 14th, and is ripe for being a bona fide blockbuster. As with Marvel's Avengers: Age of Ultron, DC's Justice League film will surely get a sequel. Releasing it in 2019 would give the audience a three-year gap between Justice League films, and the solo films that fall between the two would help set up a wider universe for the filmmakers to explore.
That leaves two dates in 2020, on April 3rd and June 19th. Regardless of his current popularity as Batman, Ben Affleck's version of the Dark Knight has been rumoured to be receiving his own movie, and would likely take one of these dates. That would give audiences plenty of time away from Christian Bale's Batman, and Batfleck could make a cameo appearance or two in a few of the other films along the way.
That leaves us with one date to fill. A Flash/Green Lantern team up film has been mentioned, as has a Justice League Dark film. The Flash/Green Lantern film seems a little unlikely right now, as audiences will no doubt be used to the TV version of The Flash. While the Ryan Reynolds starring version of Green Lantern is still fresh enough in people's minds for DC to want to leave that alone for as long as possible. A Justice League Dark film seems entirely possible though. With director Guillermo Del Toro talking about his desire to helm the project. His schedule may be a problem, but he may well be free to have the film ready by 2020. A Justice League Dark film could open up DC's universe even further, as the characters in that team take on the more magical and supernatural threats that the regular Justice League would not normally handle.
This all speculation for now, and with DC so far refusing to comment on what films they choose to release, it could be a few months before we know anymore about what they have in store for their cinematic universe. However, with their extensive back catalogue, they won't be short on characters to choose from.