Marvel’s streaming shows and movies may still steal the majority of the headlines, but the DC Extended Universe is finally giving the MCU a run for its money—something that’s bound to increase now that James Gunn is running the show. The DCEU’s myriad projects stretch far beyond superhero mainstays Batman, Superman, and the Justice League, promising to include new and interesting takes on DC Comics’ enormous stable of characters.
What follows is an up-to-date list of everything DCEU-related that’s on the way: DC movies heading to theaters, as well as DC streaming movies and shows coming to HBO Max.
Last updated 11/29/2022.
There was a moment where DC movies went from slightly disappointing to “oh, wait, this is actually good.” And that moment was 2019's Shazam. So we’re very anxious to see what’s next for Billy Batson, the young boy who can say one word and turn into a superhero, especially now that his whole family is in on the excitement and they’re going up against characters like Hespera, a daughter of Atlas (Helen Mirren). David F. Sandberg, who helmed the first film, returns to direct the sequel. The trailer for Shazam! Fury of the Gods was released during San Diego Comic-Con, and while the release date has shifted a few times, March 17, 2023 seems likely to stick. Hopefully.
Director James Wan returns for the next adventure following Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa) as the newly crowned King of Atlantis. Now in his new role, Arthur will explore more of the world under the sea while also dealing with new threats from Black Manta (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) and others. Like Shazam 2, Aquaman 2 has endured its share of release-date changes, with its new Christmas 2023 date designed to give Wan and company ample time to complete all the necessary special effects.
Director Andy Muschietti was tapped to make sense of this multiverse story that won’t just have multiple versions of Barry Allen (Ezra Miller) but multiple Batmen in Michael Keaton and Ben Affleck. Michael Shannon is also set to return as General Zod. We have high hopes for some Spider-Man: No Way Home-type reveals, excitement, and implications for the rest of the DC Universe. Behind the scenes, meanwhile: while it looks like Miller’s recent and ongoing legal troubles won’t affect the movie as it is moving ahead as scheduled, it seems likely that after The Flash, Miller (who recently spoke out about their actions) won’t be returning as the character.
Cobra Kai’s Xolo Maridueña is Jaime Reyes, a Mexican American student who one day coming home from school finds an ancient scarab that attaches to him and turns him into a superhero. Susan Sarandon will play the villainous Victoria Kord (a role originally given to Sharon Stone), a new character created for the film that shares the same last name as Ted Kord, the original Blue Beetle in the comics. Interesting! From director Angel Manuel Soto, Blue Beetle was originally going directly to HBO Max but will now be a theatrical release. That’s promising.
Todd Phillips never saw his Joker movie as anything but a singular film. But over a billion dollars at the box office and an Oscar for Best Actor (for star Joaquin Phoenix) obviously changed things. We have a few nuggets of info so far: the title is Joker: Folie à Deux (French for “shared madness”), Phoenix is returning and will co-star with Lady Gaga (who’s playing Harley Quinn), Zazie Beetz is probably returning as Arthur Fleck’s neighbor, and... it’s likely going to be a musical?
The (not-so-teen) Titans are back as well. A fourth season of the show, which stars Brenton Thwaites, Anna Diop, Teagan Croft, Ryan Potter, Conor Leslie, Curran Walters, and Joshua Orpin, is now streaming, featuring a new yet familiar character: Lex Luthor, played by Titus Welliver (Bosch).
Release date: December 8 (on HBO Max)
The future doesn’t spell Doom for Doom Patrol—seeing as how last year, Warner Bros. picked it up for a fourth season. That means all your faves, played by Brendan Fraser, Matt Bomer, Diane Guerrero, April Bowlby, Joivan Wade, Timothy Dalton, Skye Roberts, and Michelle Gomez, will be back soon.
Whether you loved Wonder Woman 1984 or not, there was no doubting it was a success. And, as a result, Warner Bros. got to work on making sure star Gal Gadot and director Patty Jenkins would come back for a third film. Now, when will this film happen and what will it be about? We have no clue. But eventually, it will happen.
Hot off the success of Matt Reeves’ long-awaited The Batman, everyone involved made it clear that wasn’t a one-and-done. Robert Pattinson’s Batman will be back. Will he face off with the Joker? It’s possible but not definitive. You’d imagine the Penguin and Catwoman could be back too. All of which is pure speculation because no one knows when the film will be out or what it’ll be about.
You saw him in The Batman and now, Colin Farrell’s Penguin is getting his own HBO Max series. The timeline for the show hasn’t been set but you’d guess it’s after The Batman, so that he can rise up from second in command to become leader of the quack. I said what I said.
From the instant that opening credits scene rolled for the first time, DC fans and non-fans alike fell in love with Peacemaker. Well, he’s coming back, still played by John Cena and still from the twisted mind of James Gunn. There’s no word on when it’ll happen but Gunn has to finish his latest Marvel movie for mid-2023, so we’re guessing 2024.
James Gunn also confirmed to The Playlist that characters introduced in Peacemaker will reappear in future DC television projects, including an upcoming series he is writing and directing.
From the all-star team of Seth Grahame-Smith, Marc Guggenheim, and Greg Berlanti comes this epic, 10-episode HBO Max series featuring the defenders of the universe, the Green Lanterns. The lead, Guy Gardner, has been cast (he’ll be played by Finn Whitrock), and updates beyond that should be coming sooner rather than later.
What’s next for Superman? It’s a big question in the current DC universe and, at the moment, there are two versions potentially in the works. One is from writer Ta-Nehisi Coates and produced by J.J. Abrams. There hasn’t been an update on this one in a while but we hope it’s still percolating.
In addition to the Coates-Abrams film, star Michael B. Jordan is developing a Superman take for HBO Max as a limited series that would feature Val-Zod as opposed to Clark Kent. Again, there hasn’t been an update in a while but we hope it still happens.
Part of the relaunch of the Milestone comic brand is this adaptation produced by, once again, Michael B. Jordan. A writer was hired back in 2021 to come up with a script and we haven’t heard much since—but since DC made such a big deal of bringing the Milestone brand back, we’d imagine this story of a teen who can control electricity will shock theaters eventually.
What was once looking like a possible big-screen adaptation is now, as far as we can tell, going to be an HBO Max series. J.J. Abrams is among the people involved with bringing this evil super-team to life and while there hasn’t been a ton of movement on the project of late, it’s been around long enough that we’d imagine it happens eventually.
One of the more recent DC films to go into development is this tale of six beings based on various powerful metals. It’s from directors Ron Clements and John Musker (Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, and Moana), so if it happens, it’ll have an incredible pedigree.
Last year, Emerald Fennell won an Oscar for writing Promising Young Woman. She followed that up landing the job to write this DC superhero flick about the young magician. Like most of the films in this section, there hasn’t been movement in a while, but Fennell is such a talent that if it happens, it’ll be something special.
Yes, the hero who takes a drug that makes him a hero for an hour was, back in 2021, rumored to be in development. Whether or not that’s still the case is unknown but we figured it was worth noting.
In addition to The Penguin, Matt Reeves has said he plans to expand the world of The Batman into HBO Max shows. At one point, a series about Gotham PD was in the works, but now he says it might be more about the inner workings at Arkham Asylum. On October 25, The Staircase’s Antonio Campos came aboard as a writer—the third to hold that position on the potential series so far—and may direct and serve as showrunner if the show happens, according to a report in Variety.
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