- Warner Bros.’ DC superhero movies rebounded after “Aquaman” and are moving forward with a new strategy.
- Seven movies, including “Wonder Woman” and “Aquaman” sequels, have official release dates between now and 2022.
The DC movie universe seemed stalled after “Justice League,” but it rebounded last year with the success of “Aquaman,” which made over $US1 billion worldwide.
What’s known as the DC Extended Universe got off to a bumpy start with “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” and “Suicide Squad” in 2016; both performed well at the box office but were trashed by critics. “Justice League” put the nail in the coffin when it underperformed critically and commercially.
But now Warner Bros. is going all in on its DC superhero movies with renewed confidence and a new strategy focused more on standalone stories rather than a connected universe. 2017’s “Wonder Woman” and “Aquaman” proved the strategy could work, and the upcoming movies are likely to capitalise on that.
The studio has seven release dates set for DC movies that range from sequels to origin stories to whatever “Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)” will be. More movies are in development beyond that that don’t yet have official release dates, such as an “Aquaman” horror spin-off about the Trench creatures.
Here are seven upcoming DC movies with official release dates:
“Shazam!” — April 5, 2019
James Wan made the move from horror hits like “Saw” and “The Conjuring” to blockbusters like “Furious 7” and “Aquaman.” The director David Sandberg, known for “Lights Out” and “Annabelle: Creation,” is doing the same with “Shazam!” in April.
The movie follows a young boy named Billy Batson (played by Asher Angel) who gains the ability to turn into an adult superhero (played by Zachary Levi) by shouting the magic word “shazam.”
“Joker” — October 4, 2019
Todd Phillips, who directed “The Hangover,” is directing this origin story based on Batman’s deadliest foe, the Joker, played by Joaquin Phoenix.
The movie is expected to be a gritty crime drama (Martin Scorsese was once attached to produce) and has no connection to previous movies.
“Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)” — February 7, 2020
Margot Robbie is reprising her “Suicide Squad” role of Harley Quinn. But this time, she’s teaming up with an all-female crew of Gotham City vigilantes, such as Huntress (played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead), Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell), and Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez) to take down the crime boss Black Mask (Ewan McGregor).
“Wonder Woman 1984” — June 5, 2020
Patty Jenkins, the “Wonder Woman” director, is returning for this sequel set during the Cold War. Gal Gadot is also returning to the title role, as well as Chris Pine as Steve Trevor. Kristen Wiig will play the villain Cheetah.
The movie was originally scheduled to come out in November but was moved to summer 2020. The first movie, which opened in June 2017, grossed $US821 million worldwide and is the best-reviewed DC Extended Universe movie, with a 93% critic score on the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.
“The Batman” — June 25, 2021
Matt Reeves, who directed “War for the Planet of the Apes,” is directing the next Batman movie, which will recast the character; Ben Affleck, who played the Dark Knight in “Batman v Superman,” “Suicide Squad,” and “Justice League,” is stepping away from the role.
Reeves wants a younger actor for the part, according to multiple outlets, including The Hollywood Reporter and Deadline.
“The Suicide Squad” — August 6, 2021
After being fired by Disney last year from Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy 3” after offensive tweets resurfaced, James Gunn was quickly hired to write, and possibly direct, a “Suicide Squad” sequel.
Gunn wants to focus on a fresh cast of characters aside from Harley Quinn and Deadshot. Idris Elba is replacing Will Smith as the latter, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Rumours have circulated online that the “Guardians of the Galaxy” star Dave Bautista is in talks for a role, but Warner Bros. told Business Insider it had not had discussions with him.
“Aquaman 2” — December 16, 2022
Fans will have to wait longer than expected for the “Aquaman” sequel, set to swim into theatres in December 2022. But a spin-off called “The Trench” is expected to arrive before that, the “Aquaman” producer Peter Safran told The Hollywood Reporter.
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