Warner Bros. announced its DC Comics-based film slate through 2020 on Wednesday, and the news brought more than movie titles attached to years. In addition to confirming the rumored “Suicide Squad” film, the announcement also brought casting details for “Aquaman,” “The Flash,” the new “Justice League” movie and more; while giving a better sense of the overall shared universe plan.
Here are the biggest takeaways from Warner Bros.’ announcement to keep an eye on as the films get closer and closer to active production.
The Faith in Characters Other than Superman and Batman
The movie to lead off the DC slate might be “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” but no further standalone films starring the DC’s headliners were announced (though both are in “Justice League”). While a tweet from Warner Bros. stated that there are more standalone Superman and Batman films on the way, the studio is certainly putting a lot of faith in some of the lesser-known characters. “Suicide Squad,” “Aquaman,” “Shazam” and “Cyborg” are all somewhat of an unknown quantity outside of comics — even “Wonder Woman” as a standalone film has had trouble finding traction in the past. Warner Bros. isn’t messing around when it comes to world-building, and it’s clear “Batman v Superman” is meant to open up the potential of DC’s movie universe in a big way. It’s also very different from the Marvel model, which introduced characters in individual franchises before ramping up to “The Avengers.” “Wonder Woman” is the only standalone film other than “Batman v Superman” and “Suicide Squad” that is scheduled before “Justice League.”
Jason Momoa is Aquaman
There was a reason those reports and rumors kept resurfacing — Warner Bros. has confirmed that the “Game of Thrones” star will indeed be playing the King of Atlantis, and given director Zack Snyder’s previous comments about Aquaman in August, it seems pretty likely that the character is set to make his first appearance in “Batman v Superman.”
“You guys were disparaging — a little bit — Aquaman … just a teensy […] I don’t want to, like, giving anything away about the movie or anything like that, but Aquaman has some cool abilities that I think people are, like, ‘Oh, what? Does he talk to animals, because that seems like what he does, or fish, or whatever?’ Snyder told Detroit’s 97.1 in August. “Y’know, the cool thing is that with Aquaman, his trident — people don’t realize this — that could actually cut the flesh of Superman, if they came in contact. That’s a thing that’s in the canon. And he’s super-strong, because of course, he can exist at these super-deep depths, so when he comes up here it’s like he’s crazy strong.”
There’s even been a rumor that Aquaman’s involvement in the DC shared film universe goes back to “Man of Steel,” with Snyder saying whales saved Clark Kent from drowning by pushing him up to the surface — all on the orders of Aquaman.
Ray Fisher is Cyborg
Another rumor confirmed, Ray Fisher has officially been named as Cyborg, and — if rumors are true — he’s also going to debut as the character in “Batman v Superman.” Cyborg’s standalone film isn’t coming until 2020, but it’s been long assumed that if the character shows up in “Batman v Superman,” he’ll likely be a part of the “Justice League” films as well. Fisher will be the first African-American lead in a superhero film since Wesley Snipes portrayed Blade, beating Marvel’s expected “Black Panther” film to the announcement. DC Comics has brought Cyborg to the forefront of the DC Universe since “Flashpoint,” and it looks as though they’re hoping to do the same with its cinematic universe.
The Importance of Lois Lane
In the past, Lois Lane has been much more of a player in Superman’s side of the DC Universe, but it seems as though Warner Bros. is embracing Amy Adams and giving the character a larger role in DC’s cinematic universe as a whole — not only will Lois appear in “Batman v Superman,” she’s also listed as part of the “Justice League” film cast. While details are still unknown about how much Lois plays into “Batman v Superman,” Adams being a part of the “Justice League” can only be a good sign for fans of interconnectivity. The character adds a much-needed human element to the world of incredible powers and demigods. It certainly helps that Lois is a reporter for the Daily Planet, and has the capacity to bring news of their escapades to the entire world, perhaps with a voice over framing the “JL” movie, as Lois reads from her latest Pulitzer-winning article on the world’s new superteam.
Another Shot at Green Lantern
It’s not “Green Lantern 2,” it’s “Green Lantern,” period. Presumably, it’s a whole new ballgame for Warner Bros. and the emerald ringslinger — which means a lot, considering how badly the first “Green Lantern” film performed, both critically and financially. It also means a whole new version of the character is likely in the cards. There are no details on who will lead the way for the film, but the sky’s the limit when it comes to Earth-based Green Lanterns. Hal Jordan could be getting the reboot treatment, or Warner Bros. could choose to go with any of the many other GLs in history — John Stewart, Kyle Rayner, Guy Gardner or even Simon Baz could have the opportunity to step up to the plate. It all depends on what happens in “Justice League.” After all, the film isn’t coming until 2020 — there’s still plenty of time for the studio to figure out which version they’re looking for.
Warner Bros. is Serious About Separation Between TV and Film
“Arrow” star Stephen Amell has said numerous times that the TV and film sides of the DC Universe will be separate, and Warner Bros. just essentially confirmed that by announcing a standalone “The Flash” movie for 2018, right after its television division launched “The Flash” television series to record-breaking ratings on The CW. “The Flash” is set to star Ezra Miller — not Grant Gustin — sending a pretty clear message that the film side of Warner Bros.’ DC projects will be separate from its television endeavors. It also heavily implies that Miller — like Momoa and Fisher — will likely make an appearance in “Batman V Superman.” Sure, it’s possible that Ezra Miller could be playing another one of the multiple Flashes from comic book history, but given the amount of work DC Entertainment has done to establish Barry Allen as “the” Flash, it’d be a fairly major surprise.
The “Wonder Woman” Movie is Happening
Perhaps the most exciting news is the fact that a solo Wonder Woman film has finally been officially announced — although many will be wary until an actual director and screenwriter are revealed, and the film officially goes into production. After all, fans of the Amazon have been burned before — whether it was the cancelled standalone film with Joss Whedon at the helm, the David E. Kelley television series, or the in-development-hell “Amazon” project at The CW. The Amazonian Princess has failed to find her way in front of an audience time and time again, but Warner Bros. seems to have quite a bit of faith in Gal Gadot’s portrayal — enough to announce a solo film before Gadot even appears as the character. Maybe this time, it’ll actually stick. Given the amount of support among fans for a female-led film from Marvel Studios — something that hasn’t yet been announced — it’s significant to see DC finally make a “Wonder Woman” solo film official, even if it had been largely expected for months.
CBR’s Steve Sunu, Stephen Gerding and Albert Ching contributed to this report.
Stay tuned to CBR News for more on DC’s burgeoning movie universe.
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