For a while there it seemed as if the DC movie universe was in serious trouble after the failure of Justice League, but the franchise rebounded in a big way at San Diego Comic-Con 2018. Warner Bros. debuted trailers for Aquaman and Shazam! that pushed the universe in a brand new direction that has us excited.
As part of the shift, the defunct DC Extended Universe (as it was unofficially known) was rebranded as the World of DC. This gives Warner Bros. multiple options as to what movies it can create from DC comics, shredding the original plan of having an interconnected universe similar to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
In doing so, DC has the flexibility to create some connected movies continuing the storyline set by Justice League while creating other new movies that take place in a whole new world that isn’t subservient to any other movie, paving the way for the new Joker movie that’s separate from Jared Leto’s Suicide Squad version and a Batman movie that reboots Ben Affleck’s character.
With that in mind, you may be wondering which World of DC movies are in development? Things are still somewhat in the air, but with the new direction Warner Bros. decided to go in at Comic-Con, we have a feeling things will become much clearer in the coming months.
For now, here are all of the World of DC movies Warner Bros. has either committed to making or is considering.
- Status: Post-production
- Release date: December 21, 2018
Aquaman is the next DC movie to hit theaters this December. Judging from the first trailer, it will be a rollicking fun time exploring the underwater kingdom of Atlantis at the hands of James Wan. It being the origin story for the character gave Wan the opportunity for a lot of world building and he took full advantage of the opportunity, creating a fantastical world and including characters like Black Manta and Ocean Master.
- Status: Principal photography
- Release date: April 5, 2019
It may be hard to remember, but once upon a time DC movies were decried for being too moody thanks to Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Things have changed mightily. Look no further than the first trailer for Shazam! What you have is a 12-year-old boy, Billy Batson, gaining superpowers to become the muscular and adult superhero Shazam. So, what does he do next? Apparently it involves doing the floss dance.
- Status: Greenlit
- Release date: October 9, 2019
Of the four DC movies to get greenlit and earn a release date, Joker is the only one that hasn’t started production. With Joaquin Phoenix signed up to play the titular role and Todd Phillips directing, the project is ready to take off with a new spin on the character. It’ll be much more visceral and gritty than past DC movies with a focus on the Joker’s life as an outcast. The movie is also much more stripped down, reportedly carrying a fairly small $55 million budget for a comic book movie that pegs it to be more character driven than action-heavy.
Wonder Woman 1984
- Status: Principal photography
- Release date: November 1, 2019
The cream of the crop for DC movies is its most successful character, Wonder Woman. The sequel to the 2017 monster hit, Wonder Woman 1984 will ditch the World War I setting for the ’80s where Diana will have her hands full with Kristen Wiig as Cheetah. Though the setting is changing, her old love interest Steve Trevor, portrayed by Chris Pine, is making the journey with her though he was thought to be dead at the end of the first movie.
Movies in development
Birds of Prey: The project has been in development for a while now with star Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn signed up to reprise her role from Suicide Squad, but Warner Bros. has yet to nail down a script or set a release date. Cathy Yan has signed on to direct so it may only be a matter of time before it’s officially green lit.
The Batman: Much like Birds of Prey, The Batman has a director in Matt Reeves but has run into similar issues. The most prevalent issues being Reeves has not found a successor to Ben Affleck as the Dark Knight and a script has yet to be completed. Once a few more pieces fall into place, Warner Bros. is going to approve this project as soon as it can.
Suicide Squad 2: The first movie was a surprise success and had an A-list cast featuring Will Smith, Jared Leto and Margot Robbie, so that alone is keeping talk of Suicide Squad 2 alive even though the first entry was universally panned by critics. Director David Ayer has also departed the project, so it’s a wonder if this movie will ever get made.
Flashpoint: When Flash was included in Justice League, his standalone movie was ready to be made but then it lost two directors and the project has been in purgatory ever since. Ezra Miller is still on board but with no news coming out of the movie, it’s unclear if it’ll be made.
Aside from those eight movies mentioned, Warner Bros. has also talked about other projects it wants to make but for various reasons hasn’t. It may have been waiting to see how Justice League performed to better map the movies that it spawned. Just take the big Green Lantern shoutout that acknowledge their existence in the world the movie takes place.
All that went to hell and now that the studio going in a different direction with World of DC, the possibility of these projects getting made just got a lot better.
- Green Lantern Corps.
- Man of Steel 2
- Justice League 2