If the list of Warner Bros. movie announcements planned for Comic-Con International is even half as long as Nikki Finke’s sources indicate, DC Comics fans will likely leave Hall H next month very happy.
The Deadline founder launched her eponymous website today with a purported development slate that, while characterized as “in flux,” certainly qualifies as ambitious: “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” (May 2016); “Shazam” (July 2016); “The Sandman” (Christmas 2016); “Justice League” (May 2017); “Wonder Woman” (July 2017); a Flash and Green Lantern team-up (Christmas 2017); and “Man of Steel 2” (May 2018).
The date for “Batman v Superman” was, of course, already known, but Finke contends its move from July 2015 to May 2016 wasn’t due to the script or the availability of Ben Affleck or Jesse Eisenberg, but rather because Warner Bros. needed to negotiate multi-picture deals with the actors who will make cameos as heroes before going on to appear in “Justice League” and, in some cases, their own movies. According to Finke, along with Cyborg — already reported to be part of “Batman v Superman” — the film will also include The Flash, and “may” introduce Green Lantern, with Aquaman added to the mix in “Justice League.”
Aside from the number and frequency of superhero films — three each in 2016 and 2017 — the rumored lineup contains several surprises, not the least of which is the timing of “Justice League,” which initial reports indicated was unlikely to arrive before 2018. A few eyebrows may also raise at a July 2016 release for the long-discussed “Shazam,” which was thought to have been torpedoed by “Man of Steel” and “Batman v Superman,” at least until it popped up in late April on a list of DC movies supposedly in development.
While a Wonder Woman solo film might have seemed like a forgone conclusion — after all, actress Gal Gadot reportedly signed a three-picture deal — the character has long flummoxed the studio (on both the big and small screens), to the growing frustration of vocal fans, who are undoubtedly overjoyed by its inclusion on the list. Of course, if Finke’s schedule is indeed accurate, Gadot and Superman actor Henry Cavill will have a full calendar, with “Justice League” and “Wonder Woman” premiering in May 2017 and July 2017, respectively, followed in May 2018 by a “Man of Steel” sequel.
It’s also worth noting that Finke reports Ryan Reynolds won’t reprise his role as Green Lantern, something that probably won’t surprise anyone. The question then is whether Warner Bros. will find another actor to play Hal Jordan or go with another Green Lantern, like John Stewart or Kyle Rayner. Also: The planned “Metal Men” and “Suicide Squad” movies have apparently slipped off the schedule.
Comic-Con International will be held July 24 through July 27 in San Diego.