With more films, TV series, and animated shows based on the legendary superhero setting being added every day, the world of DC comic books comes to life in Warner Bros.’ expansive slate of films, TV series, and animated shows based on the legendary superhero setting. You never know what the next premiere will bring, from Batman to Wonder Woman, the Suicide Squad to Aquaman, Shazam to the Flash.
Some of these films are currently in development, with filming wrapping up and trailers set to air. Others are in the works, but not yet on the calendar. Expect DC’s list to double the next time Marvel snaps its fingers and adds 18 more movies to the MCU release calendar. Beginning in 2022, Warner Bros. plans to release four DC-based films per year, with new television series being released on a regular basis. “With every movie that we’re looking at right now, we’re thinking, ‘What’s the potential Max spinoff?'” says DC Films president Walter Hamada.
With that in mind, here’s the latest of what we know about every new DC comic movie and show.
[Ed. note: This story only contains updates on Warner Bros.’ DC projects, not the latest in CW/Arrowverse release dates, which is a whole other disconnected can of worms.]
Peacemaker: Jan. 16, 2022
In a spin-off from James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad, John Cena will star in an HBO Max-exclusive TV series. Cena will return as the Peacemaker, a sort of “douchey Captain America” who inspired Watchmen’s the Comedian.
The Batman: Mar. 4, 2022
In October of 2014, the first solo Batman film of the new DC era was announced. Ben Affleck was supposed to direct and co-write the script with Geoff Johns, but he reportedly stepped down as director in January 2017 to concentrate on acting.
In February 2017, Matt Reeves was announced as the director, and the project was dubbed The Batman. He confirmed in July 2017 that he was scrapping Affleck’s original script, which featured Joe Manganiello as Deathstroke, and rewriting it from the ground up. Manganiello’s involvement in the film has not been confirmed by Reeves.
In May 2019, Ben Affleck announced his departure from the role of Batman, and Robert Pattinson was cast in his place. The new film follows a young Batman as he defends Gotham from the Riddler’s schemes, with Catwoman (Zoe Kravitz) as his sidekick. The film’s production was halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but it is now scheduled for release in 2022. The most recent Batman trailer can be seen here.
DC League of Super-Pets: May 20, 2022
In the summer of 2022, a CG-animated adaptation of the DC League of Super-Pets series will be released in theatres. The animated feature from directors Jared Stern (Green Eggs and Ham) and Sam Levine (Wreck-It Ralph), which is expected to feature Krypto the Super-Dog, Ace the Bat-hound, Streaky the Supercat, and more, should give kids something to chew on until they’re old enough for the edgier stuff.
Black Adam: July 29, 2022
Since 2008, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has been associated with the character of Black Adam, and fans have been anticipating his portrayal of the character. In January 2017, it was announced that a standalone film based on Black Adam would be released. Black Adam is one of Shazam’s arch-enemies, but the character has evolved into more of an antihero in recent comics.
Black Adam will also introduce several members of the Justice Society, an older incarnation of the Justice League, including Atom-Smasher (Noah Centino), Hawkman (Aldis Hodge), Cyclone (Quintessa Swindell), and Doctor Fate (Quintessa Swindell), according to Warner Bros. in 2020. (Pierce Brosnan).
The Flash: Nov. 4, 2022
The solo Flash film has seen a lot of quick changes in directors, producers, and screenwriters. However, Ezra Miller is currently set to star in a film that borrows plot elements from DC Comics’ Flashpoint storyline, bouncing between different DC Universe timelines. Multiple Flashes and Batmans will appear in the film, with Ben Affleck and Michael Keaton reprising their roles.
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom: Dec. 16, 2022
With the success of the first Aquaman, it was only natural that a sequel would emerge. While the first film was a little cliched, it was a blast to watch and a stunning visual spectacle. Aquaman 2 was announced in February of this year, and it was almost a foregone conclusion.
In Aquaman’s mid-credits scene, director James Wan teased a slew of sequel teases. Despite taking a bad fall off a cliff, Black Manta (a.k.a. David Kane) is still alive and well. Dr. Stephen Shin (Always Be My Maybe) has taken possession of Black Manta’s suit. Shin agrees to help Kane get his revenge on Aquaman in exchange for Kane leading him to Atlantis. While it’s unclear whether Park will reprise his role in Aquaman 2, Wan told Polygon in December 2018 that he hoped he would.
Shazam!: Fury of the Gods: June 2, 2023
Shazam! screenwriter Henry Gayden will return to write the script for the project, with director David F. Sandberg and producer Peter Safran also expected to return given the success of the first film. Zachary Levi and Asher Angel, who played Shazam and Billy Bastion, respectively, are expected to return along with the majority of the cast from Shazam!. And maybe even Sinbad? OK probably not, but Helen Mirren and Lucy Liu are on board as the villains, a trio of ancient Greek goddesses.
Netflix’s TV adaptation of The Sandman, the legendary comics series written by Neil Gaiman and brought to life by a variety of groundbreaking artists, is well on its way, starring Tom Sturridge as the eponymous Dreamlord, and, among other actors, Gwendoline Christie as the literal devil.
DC’s first adaptation of Blue Beetle will bring the character’s third hero, Jaime Reyes, to the screen, marking the comic book outfit’s first Latinx-lead film (and perhaps the first Latinx superhero to hit the big screen). Created by Keith Giffen, John Rogers, and Cully Hamner in the 2006 miniseries Infinite Crisis, Jaime Reyes is a Mexican-American teenager with a pretty gnarly superhero origin story: he finds an alien artifact called the Scarab that attaches itself to his spine while he sleeps, giving him creepy-cool body armor and an assortment of superpowers that he is quite bad at using. His cinematic vehicle is expected to be directed by Puerto Rican filmmaker Angel Manuel Soto (Charm City Kings).
After Joss Whedon gave up on script development for Batgirl, the production entered a kind of limbo, until Birds of Prey writer Christina Hodson took a crack at it. Now the movie has a star — Leslie Grace as Barbara Gordon — and a home on HBO Max. DC debuted a first look at the movie and its cast and crew at the DC FanDome.
Wonder Woman 3
Wonder Woman has spent a significant time in the past; between her first DC Extended Universe solo film, Wonder Woman taking place during World War II and Wonder Woman 1984 taking place in … well, the 1980s. Wonder Woman director and co-writer Patty Jenkins has stated that the third film in the series will bring the heroine into the present.
“I have pretty clear plans for Wonder Woman 3,” Jenkins told Vanity Fair in January. “Whether I [direct] it or not, I see how her arc should end in my incarnation of Wonder Woman. I have great passion for that.”
And it’s definitely happening: After the first weekend on HBO Max, Warner Bros. Pictures immediately greenlit the threequel. Jenkins announced that she’s actively at work at the movie during a conversation with TV’s Wonder Woman, Lynda Carter, at the 2021 DC FanDome.