After the incredible success of Aquaman, DC films are back where they belong: on top. The less-than-stellar box-office performance of Justice League left the fate of future movies a little touch and go there for a second, but it seems like everything is back on the right track. Of course, that doesn't mean that every upcoming production will be a billion-dollar bonanza like Jason Momoa's King of Atlantis. Some releases might join the elite club, while others will make less money. Even so, you can't judge a movie's quality based solely on its box-office returns; that's a studio's concern, not yours.
Our only major issue is, which DC films will actually be released? Years ago, Warner Bros. and DC went overboard by announcing a whole slate of features to come. Naturally, most of these never came to fruition – nor do they look any closer to being made today. With so many moving parts and changes at Warner Bros., it's inevitable that priorities have shifted and some projects have fallen down the wayside – that's show business for you. So, let's pick apart which films are confirmed, still possible, and those that are unlikely to see the light of day in the near future.
20 CONFIRMED: SHAZAM!
When Shazam! became a part of the DC film slate, no one believed it would actually enter production. You see, the character formerly known as Captain Marvel had his heyday many moons ago, and has largely been sidelined in the comic books. Yet, there's a live-action film being released on April 5 – who would've thunk it?
Based on Geoff Johns and Gary Frank's electric run in the New 52, Shazam! stars Zachary Levi and Mark Strong, and is directed by David F. Sandberg from a screenplay by Henry Gayden. So far, the trailers and snippets display a fun movie that doesn't look like it takes itself too seriously.
19 RUMORED: THE BATMAN
At this point, Matt Reeves' The Batman (or whatever it'll end up being called) is like the Chinese Democracy of superhero films. First, Ben Affleck was directing, then he wasn't. Now, we don't even know if he'll be involved at all. Heck, we don't even know if Reeves is finished writing the script yet.
There are murmurs that production might kick off towards the end of the year, but there has been no official confirmation from Warner Bros. The million-dollar question is, who'll be donning the cape and cowl if Affleck does indeed vacate the Batcave? Right now, your guess is as good as ours.
18 WISHFUL THINKING: MAN OF STEEL 2
Last year, a horrible rumor started that Henry Cavill was departing his role as Superman. There have been denials from both camps, but no one knows the truth except for the people involved. One thing's for sure, though: Man of Steel 2 is nowhere to be found on Warner Bros.' upcoming list of movies.
While Zack Snyder's Man of Steel didn't exactly electrify the box office in 2013, it became a cult classic with an ardent fanbase. Nevertheless, a sequel doesn't seem to be a high priority for the studio. Our last impression of Cavill's Superman will unfortunately have to be his Shrek face in Justice League.
17 RUMORED: THE FLASH
Back in 2013 a Flash film was announced. Since then, the release date continues to shift around while Warner Bros. plays musical chairs with directors. The last bit of news was that John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein had signed on to direct the feature.
More puzzling is that no one seems to be able to decide what it'll be about. There was a strong suggestion that it was set to be based on Flashpoint and act as a reboot to the Worlds of DC, but that no longer seems to be the plan. The only thing we know for certain is that Ezra Miller is scheduled to reprise his role as Barry Allen/Flash.
16 CONFIRMED: BIRDS OF PREY
Unlike a lot of other DC projects, Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn), or simply Birds of Prey, was kept relatively quiet and only announced when the ball was ready to roll. Right now, it's set for February 7, 2020, with Cathy Yan directing the feature from a script penned by Christina Hodson.
Jurnee Smollet-Bell and Mary Elizabeth Winstead will play Black Canary and Huntress respectively, while Margot Robbie will reprise her role as Harley Quinn from Suicide Squad. The film is also set to feature Black Mask (Ewan McGregor), Cassandra Cain (Ella Jay Basco), and Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez).
15 RUMORED: GREEN LANTERN CORPS
Remember those rumors that Hal Jordan would appear in Justice League? It didn't quite pan out, though we at least know of the Lanterns' existence in this universe. Warner Bros. did announce a Green Lantern Corps film, with a tentative July 24, 2020 release date – but we wouldn't be too precious about that date if we were you.
A hot rumor doing the rounds was that Christopher McQuarrie was in the running to direct the film, and he would've brought Tom Cruise to portray Hal. Of course, that's all talk and nothing was ever officially announced. Considering the Green Lanterns' importance to DC, we wouldn't bet against seeing more concrete news soon.
14 WISHFUL THINKING: JUSTICE LEAGUE 2
The term "Justice League" must be an outlawed one at Warner Bros. After such a tumultuous time, the studio must be glad to be over the hurdle of a film that aged many people. What should've been an easy billion-dollar movie for the studio turned into a nightmare experience for everyone involved.
As such, we wouldn't bank on Justice League 2 being announced anytime soon. Make no mistake, another Justice League film will arrive at some point in time, but we'd bet on it being a reboot rather than a continuation. Heck, there's probably more chance of receiving the Snyder Cut of Justice League than seeing the sequel to it.
13 RUMORED: GOTHAM CITY SIRENS
After 2016's Suicide Squad, director David Ayer suggested Gotham City Sirens would be his next involvement in the Worlds of DC brand, and it would feature Harley Quinn, Catwoman, and Poison Ivy. We've seen a few teases about the film here and there on his Twitter account, but it seems like it made way for Birds of Prey.
Right now, Gotham City Sirens looks like one of those projects that's on the table but could go either way. Chances are if Birds of Prey and Suicide Squad 2 do well at the box office, we might see this other villainous team-up in the near future. Until then, no one knows.
12 CONFIRMED: WONDER WOMAN 1984
After making $821.8 million from a budget of $149 million, it should come as no surprise that Wonder Woman is getting a sequel. It was actually fast-tracked, with the announcement for Wonder Woman 1984 arriving at the 2017 Comic-Con International in San Diego. The release date of the film has shifted a few times, but it's now set to be released on June 5, 2020.
Patty Jenkins will return to direct the film, while Gal Gadot and Chris Pine are set to star once more. Additionally, Kristen Wiig has been cast as Wonder Woman's fabled foe Barbara Ann Minerva/Cheetah. With the story taking place during the Cold War in the '80s, it's set to be another superhero period piece.
11 RUMORED: SUICIDE SQUAD 2
Despite the critical thumping that Suicide Squad took when it was released, it was inevitable that it would receive a sequel. (You don't just ignore $746.8 million at the global box office, right?) There's still money on the table and Hollywood teaches you that you never leave before you've finished eating.
Since the sequel's announcement, though, there's been a bit of a merry-go-round with the directors and writers for the project. The latest news is that James Gunn will be penning the script and it's likely that he'll direct as well. We haven't heard anything else since then, so maybe Gunn is still busy with the script.
10 WISHFUL THINKING: BATMAN BEYOND
Recently, Kevin Smith stated that he believes a live-action Batman Beyond film, starring Michael Keaton, would clear a billion dollars at the global box office. Many fans got beyond the idea while others questioned why it hasn't happened yet. It almost did, actually, but it was scrapped in favor of Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker.
The thing is, Batman Beyond is a hard sell for the average person. While it has a dedicated fanbase who adored the animated series, would it appeal to the average person who only knows Bruce Wayne as the Caped Crusader? It's possible that it could succeed, but studios don't normally take these types of risks.
9 RUMORED: NEW GODS
One of the biggest disappointments of Justice League was how it practically ignored the New Gods lore. We were promised Darkseid, but he was as absent from the film as Zack Snyder's original footage. Surprisingly, and against all expectations, a New Gods film was announced in March 2018.
Kario Salem is responsible for the script, while Ava DuVernay will direct the picture. Rumors have floated around that New Gods will mostly focus on Mister Miracle and Big Barda. If true, that's undoubtedly the right way to go as Tom King and Mitch Gerads' Mister Miracle is one of the best comic book series to be released in years.
8 CONFIRMED: JOKER
When Joker was first announced, there was a lot of confusion around the project. It started with a rumor floating around that Jared Leto's Clown Prince was set to get his own solo film. Then, there was talk of a Harley Quinn & Joker movie. Eventually, we found out that Joker would be without Leto and take place outside of the Worlds of DC brand.
Most fans' immediate reaction to the project was meh. When Joaquin Phoenix was announced as the titular character, however, the production had our attention. There's a lot of positive buzz around this film, so we'll have to wait until October 4 to see what's in store for us.
7 RUMORED: BATGIRL
Oh, how things can change in the space of a year. Before Joss Whedon even took the reins of Justice League, he was tapped by Warner Bros. to write and direct a Batgirl movie. By February 2018 Whedon stepped aside, admitting that he didn't have a story to tell.
A few months later, it was announced that Bumblebee writer Christina Hodson would be penning the script for a Batgirl film. Nothing else has come out of the Warner Bros. camp regarding a director or timeline for release, but the studio was looking for a "Kristen Stewart type" to portray Barbara Gordon/Batgirl, according to some leaked info.
6 WISHFUL THINKING: JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK
The greatest cinematic tragedy was Guillermo del Toro leaving the Justice League Dark project. Can you imagine what he'd do with characters like Swamp Thing, Zatanna, and John Constantine? It would be the perfect love letter to the horror-themed superhero team-up book.
In July 2017 a live-action Justice League Dark movie was announced, but there's still no one attached to it. News of the project has been dormant for the past year and a half, and it looks nowhere closer to being made than when it was first announced. Considering the heart palpitations Warner Bros. suffers when it hears anything with the term "Justice League" in it, we reckon this film is on the back-burner indefinitely.
5 RUMORED: AQUAMAN 2
After its billion-dollar success, there's no question that the sequel to Aquaman is happening. All that's preventing Warner Bros. from announcing a release date is that it needs to tie down James Wan to direct it. It just goes to show that even the studio didn't anticipate the level of success that this underwater adventure brought, or else it would've given Wan a multi-picture deal from the get-go.
It's likely that we'll see more of Yahya Abdul-Mateen II's Black Manta in the sequel, as he inevitably faces off with Arthur Curry. As long as the film is able to capture the same magic of Aquaman, there's no doubt it'll be another smash-hit for Warner Bros.
4 WISHFUL THINKING: CYBORG
According to several sources, Ray Fisher's Cyborg was central to Zack Snyder's Justice League, and even considered the standout character of the story. With all the studio tinkering and inclusion of Joss Whedon's "thirsty" jokes, Vic Stone took a bit of a backseat in the final theatrical release.
Of course, this only impacted the chances of seeing a Cyborg film down the line. While it was originally on the slate for April 2020, it no longer seems to be a priority for the studio. Sadly, Cyborg didn't electrify the audiences enough in Justice League, and his film seems to be the resultant casualty of it.
3 RUMORED: NIGHTWING
Nightwing is a character that a lot of people want to see in film. While we've seen Dick Grayson appear as Robin in several live-action movies (and now the Titans TV series), we've yet to witness his other alter ego on the big screen. In 2017 Warner Bros. announced that a live-action Nightwing film was set to be made, with Bill Dubuque writing the script and Chris McKay directing.
The subsequent turmoil and change in leadership at DC Films has thrown an escrima stick into the works, though. McKay has stated that we might have to wait a long while before seeing the film, but all is not lost yet.
2 WISHFUL THINKING: HARLEY QUINN & JOKER
The financial success of Suicide Squad fooled Warner Bros. Many of the execs thought it excused a lot of the wrongs in the film, so they went gaga at the potential of other potential spinoffs. One of the potential projects mooted was a Harley Quinn & Joker movie, which would've been DC's own Bonnie and Clyde story.
With hindsight, it's likely that Warner Bros. will avoid this movie altogether, considering how divisive Jared Leto's Joker was among the fans. In fact, we'd bet that if Phoenix's interpretation of the Joker is better received than Leto's, we're likely to never see Leto in the role again.
1 RUMORED: SUPERGIRL
Seeing the success of Wonder Woman and Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad, Warner Bros. has acknowledged that the future is female and it's plowing ahead with more female-led superhero films. Last year, Variety revealed that the studio is in the early stages of a Supergirl movie.
Reportedly, Oren Uziel has been hired to pen the script, but there are no producers or directors attached to the project just yet. According to various scoopers, Supergirl will be replacing Superman as the central piece of the Worlds of DC, so it's likely we'll see more of Kara Zor-El than her cousin Kal-El. Maybe the Man of Steel will still feature in some way or the other?