There has not been a live-action DC film released since 2017's Justice League, and the fallout from the critical and financial result of that movie initiated a lot of changes -- from new management heading DC films, to directors being let go, and even the possibility that some big name actors will not reprise their roles. However, there seems to be a renewed sense of hope that a more stable direction for DC films is being paved. The trailers for both Aquaman and Shazam! were well-received and there is a belief that at the very least, some of the problems of the DCEU, such as studio meddling, rushed projects, and sub-par CGI, can be easily fixed. The quality of the upcoming DC films can of course only be measured when they will be released, but the general feeling is one of optimism, even if it is guarded.
The new era of DC films kicks off this December with Aquaman, and by the time it releases it will have been over a year that a DC film hit the big screen. While the wait will have been long, Aquaman will be the start of many DC movies releasing in quick succession -- a total of four films within 11 months. The upcoming movies, as we'll see, are a mix of big budget, some obscure characters, and very unique DC projects. Let's take a look at what so far has been confirmed, what is rumored, and what fans are very eager to see.
15 CONFIRMED: WONDER WOMAN 84
This is the big one. There is no doubt that Wonder Woman has become the centerpiece of DC films as a result of the tremendous financial and critical success of her solo movie. This is a pretty amazing occurrence, considering that just a few years ago Batman and Superman were showcased in their first movie together (and many think she outshone both of them in that film too).
Adding to the intrigue of Wonder Woman 84, is the mystery surrounding why it is set in that time. There is no doubt that from all the upcoming DC films, this is the movie that both fans and the general public are most looking forward to.
14 CONFIRMED: BIRDS OF PREY
With the announcement that there will be a Birds of Prey movie, it looks like there will be more of an exploration of the different characters that inhabit Gotham City. What might be the most intriguing aspect, apart from getting the first female team movie, is that it does not look like Batman will be a part of this.
Seeing as how other characters handle Gotham without the Dark Knight being present will be very interesting and offer something fresh. Including a mainstream favorite in Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn will only add anticipation for this flick, which is set to begin filming next year.
13 CONFIRMED: JOKER
This might be the most intriguing (and riskiest) project from the forthcoming DC films. Some fans were very enthusiastic when this was announced, while others raised their eyebrows. Apart from being the first movie to ever offer an in-depth look at the origins of The Joker, another interesting aspect is that the actor in the lead role will not be Jared Leto, but Joaquin Phoenix.
It is not certain at this time if there will be two different on-screen versions of Joker concurrently or whether Phoenix is the new Joker, but in either case movie audiences are going to see a side of the Clown Prince of Crime that they have not seen before.
12 CONFIRMED: THE FLASH
There have been so many rumors going back many years about some kind of a Flash movie, everything ranging from a Flashpoint film to a Flash/Green Lantern team-up flick. Finally, a Flash movie is going to be a reality with production set to begin early next year with Ezra Miller returning in the role.
It looks as though this will be a straight-up solo Flash movie with no other DC superheroes involved. It's been an interesting journey in terms of cinema for the character. The Flash has already been seen in three recent movies -- Batman v Superman, Suicide Squad, and Justice League -- before getting a film dedicated entirely to him.
11 CONFIRMED: THE BATMAN
This is a very peculiar situation: a Batman movie is going to begin filming next year (Batman's 80th anniversary), but there has been no official word with regards to who will play Batman. Originally, this project was supposed to be directed by Ben Affleck and he was going to star in it too. He has since dropped out of the director's chair, but there has been no announcement in terms of whether he will return as Batman.
Until a decision is made either way, that will continue to be the main question surrounding the film, but it'll also be interesting to see which villains will be part of the film. This project will be garnering many headlines in the months to come.
10 RUMORED: GREEN LANTERN
The one major DC superhero who was notably absent in the DCEU was Green Lantern. There were rumors of a possible surprise cameo appearance in Justice League, but that did not come to pass (other than a couple of seconds from an alien Lantern). However, the absence of any Earth-born Lantern thus far may just be the lingering effects of Green Lantern, which was released in 2011 and was a box office disaster.
The latest rumor is that the next Green Lantern film may have both Hal Jordan and John Stewart in it, with Tom Cruise being eyed for the role of Hal Jordan. One has to think that at some point this character has to make a return to cinema, but for now there is nothing concrete.
9 RUMORED: BATGIRL
At one point, there was news that Joss Whedon was set to direct a Batgirl film, but he has announced that this is no longer the case. Still, the rumors continue that at some time in the not to distant future a Batgirl film will be made. With the revelation that Barbara Gordon will not be a part of the upcoming Birds of Prey movie, this has led some to believe she is being saved for a solo feature.
With the aforementioned Birds of Prey film and the news of Batwoman appearing in the Arrowverse, it seems like it is only a matter of time before this Gotham female character also appears in live-action; whether it's on the big screen or on TV remains to be seen.
8 RUMORED: SUPERGIRL
The latest DC superhero rumored to be getting her own feature film is Supergirl. This caught some by surprise as there is currently a relatively successful TV show based on the character (with a well-liked lead actress) and the fact that it is her and not her cousin, Superman, who is being speculated as getting their own film soon.
If this project does come to fruition, it would be the second time the character has appeared on the big screen, the first being in 1984 with Supergirl. That movie did not do well in any regard; however, it could be argued it was the first instance of a shared superhero universe as Jimmy Olsen from the Christopher Reeve Superman films was in it! In any case, Warner Bros. will be hoping for more success should this film become a reality.
7 RUMORED: SUICIDE SQUAD 2
Even though Suicide Squad was trashed by critics and was divisive at best for fans, the reason why there continue to be rumors about a sequel is pretty simple: the movie made a lot of money. For most people, it didn't live up to the hype that the trailers generated, but it did get some additional publicity by winning an Oscar. As we mentioned earlier, Margot Robbie's performance was widely praised.
There is one looming question regarding the potential of a sequel, though: how does the fact that Harley Quinn will be in the Birds of Prey movie affect the possibility of a second Suicide Squad movie?
6 RUMORED: GOTHAM CITY SIRENS
This is a project which seems to be losing steam in terms of news surrounding it. The initial reports about a year ago were that Suicide Squad director, David Ayer, was going to helm the movie, but there has been no further progress. As with a potential sequel to Suicide Squad, the Birds of Prey movie seems to have clouded the future of this film too.
However, David Ayer recently tweeted a picture of him meeting with the creator of the Gotham City Sirens comic book, Paul Dini, which has refueled speculation that this film may be on the verge of being given the green light.
5 WANT: MAN OF STEEL 2
There is a feeling among many fans that Superman has not been given his cinematic due recently, that the Snyder tone did not fit the character, and that a more hopeful Superman in Justice League was overshadowed by his CGI issues. Many believe that Henry Cavill is capable of delivering a truly memorable Superman film on par with the early Christopher Reeve films.
What is somewhat surprising is just how little news there has been on a potential Man of Steel sequel. One aspect that may be working against this potential film is the fact that there have already been four movies with Superman in them in just the past dozen years -- and all of them under-performed financially.
4 WANT: JUSTICE LEAGUE 2
For all the troubles and mixed reception of Justice League, the one aspect of the film that had many people excited and interested was the post-credits scene of Lex Luthor saying that they needed a team of their own, i.e. The Legion of Doom. The possibility of having a team of villains going up against a superhero team was unique and intriguing.
For the most part, people also enjoyed the character interactions in Justice League; the feeling being that an intriguing premise combined with the chemistry that the actors displayed could make for a decent Justice League film. At very least, it could meet the standards that a movie involving DC's premier group should attain.
3 WANT: ROBIN
The character of Robin has not been seen on film since 1997's contentious Batman & Robin (unless you count Robin John Blake from The Dark Knight Rises). Many fans have been clamoring for some sort of Robin film; whether it's a Nightwing origin story, Red Hood, or even just a Tim Drake tale.
Robin will be seen in the upcoming Titans show on the DC Universe streaming service. The issue for Warner Bros. may be whether it views him as more of a sidekick rather than someone who can carry a solo movie, that's if we even see him on the big screen in any capacity at all in the near future.
2 WANT: SWAMP THING
This is a character that a lot of fans have long believed would translate well to a live-action setting, due to the unique look and character traits which he possesses. There is a series based on him coming up for the DC Universe streaming platform, but as seen with Flash, having a small-screen show does not necessarily negate the possibility of having a film.
There was a Swamp Thing theatrical movie released all the way back in 1982, and it did well enough to warrant a sequel. There is evidence that such a film can connect with the audience, now we'll see if Warner Bros. grants the wishes of some fans or whether the series is what will have to suffice for now.
1 WANT: ZATANNA
There is perhaps no other relatively minor DC character who fans want to see on the big screen more than Zatanna. Considering she has not even had her own solo comic book series in eight years, the amount of times she shows up in fan wish lists for movies or DC movie fan art is definitely not proportional to her visibility in the comic book world.
There were rumblings in the early-to-mid 2000s that a Zatanna movie was being considered, but it did not progress much further than the early development stage. Recently, there were rumors of her appearing in a Justice League Dark movie, but those have slowed down too. It may just take some magic to get her to make her cinematic debut.