Since the DC Extended Universe's inception in 2013, the eight DCEU films have earned a total profit of $5.471 billion in global box office revenue. The DCEU has had a rollercoaster of a run, with reviews from critics and fans being widely varied across the board, as Warner Bros. Pictures, and DC Entertainment have tried to replicate the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe from their competitors at The Walt Disney Company and Marvel Studios.
The DCEU has worked incredibly hard to allow the likes of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and many other characters to co-exist within the same cinematic universe. There have been mixed emotions shared by many of the franchise's most prominent names on their experiences with making these films, but it seems like the studio has ambitious plans to expand the DCEU over the next few years.
Warner Bros. is continuously trying to breathe new life into the DCEU with the addition of new franchises. Thus far, most of the original on-screen Justice League members from the comics are set to get their own solo films, with more reportedly being planned. Moving forward, filmmakers and actors from all over Hollywood have shared a great interest in being a potential part of the DCEU, and the team behind these films clearly has more than a handful of optional projects to tackle.
At this time, there are nearly 30 combined DCEU projects, either with or without a confirmed release date. This feature will dive into all of the known details about these projects!
CONFIRMED WITH RELEASE DATES
The DCEU currently has seven films confirmed to release between 2020 and 2022, each in various stages of development. Most of this slate includes sequels following the DCEU's first phase of movies, along with a semi-reboot, and two introductory solo films. Here is The Direct's preview of all seven DCEU movies with confirmed release dates:
Wonder Woman 1984
Director: Patty Jenkins
Writers: Patty Jenkins, Geoff Johns, David Callaham
Release date: October 2, 2020
The DCEU's only film of 2020 will be Wonder Woman 1984, the sequel to one of the franchise's most successful movies, both financially, and critically.
The film's cast will include the return of Gal Gadot as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman, Chris Pine as Steve Trevor, Robin Wright as Antiope, and Connie Nielsen as Hippolyta. Two of the film's biggest newcomers to the DCEU are Kristen Wiig as Barbara Ann Minerva/Cheetah and Pedro Pascal as Maxwell Lord.
The biggest question revolving around this film is Steve Trevor. Trevor, who was presumed dead in Wonder Woman, previously sacrificed himself by destroying the gas stored bomber plane that he was piloting. Other important plot points include Diana’s adjustment to the semi-present day, navigating her way through the 1980s, and her eventual “cat-fight” with Cheetah.
Wonder Woman 1984 has completed post-production and is set for theatrical release on October 2, 2020.
The Suicide Squad
Director: James Gunn
Writer: James Gunn
Release date: August 6, 2021
After a successful, yet unfinished run with the MCU's Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, director James Gunn is now bringing his talents to the DCEU as the writer and director of The Suicide Squad. The upcoming film is rumored to be both a sequel and a reboot to director David Ayer's Suicide Squad, hopefully preparing for more critical success even after Ayer's film earned nearly $747 million at the global box office.
The film's cast is massive and includes the return of some of Ayer's original talent, such as Margot Robbie (Harley Quinn), Viola Davis (Amanda Waller), Joel Kinnaman (Rick Flag), and Jai Courtney (Captain Boomerang). New cast members include megastars John Cena, and Pete Davidson, along with more than a handful of Gunn film regulars and MCU veterans, like David Dastmalchian (Polka Dot Man), Steve Agee (King Shark), Idris Elba, Michael Rooker, Sean Gunn, and Taika Waititi.
Official plot details about this film have yet to be revealed, but the cast alone has fans beyond ecstatic about Gunn's directorial DC debut. Gunn is hoping to breathe new life into the DCEU, as he becomes the first director to direct in both the MCU and DCEU.
The Suicide Squad has completed filming and is currently in post-production remotely preparing for worldwide release in theaters on August 6, 2021.
Director: Matt Reeves
Writers: Matt Reeves, Mattson Tomlin
Release date: October 1, 2021
Although the DCEU has worked hard to bring the best of DC comics to life in an interconnecting universe, there has clearly been a Batman-sized hole over the first seven years of films. Warner Bros. and DC Films are hoping to rectify this with 2021's The Batman, which will be the first feature film in the DCEU centered around the billionaire crime-fighter.
Robert Pattinson will take over the cape and cowl of Bruce Wayne/Batman from Ben Affleck for the solo film, and the cast is filled out with Zoë Kravitz (Selina Kyle/Catwoman), Paul Dano (Edward Nashton/Riddler), Jeffrey Wright (Commissioner James Gordon), John Turturro (Carmine Falcone), Andy Serkis (Alfred Pennyworth), and Colin Farrell (Oswald Cobblepot/Penguin).
No details have been revealed for the film's plot yet, although all indications point to the film focusing on a version of the Caped Crusader never seen before. Director Matt Reeves has hinted at a sort of noir-driven version of Bruce Wayne for this film, showing his early crime-fighting days and really trying to focus on the detective aspect of the superhero more than any of the previous iterations. The cast also features a number of Batman's most iconic villains from the comics, and all signs point to the Penguin being the main antagonist. Battles with Carmine Falcone and the Riddle have been hinted at as well.
The Batman was about a quarter of the way through filming before the COVID-19 shutdowns, and the film is scheduled for worldwide release on October 1, 2021
Director: Jeaume Collet-Serra
Writer: Adam Sztykiel
Release date: December 22, 2021
One of the first films announced as a part of the DCEU's major expansion in 2014 was Black Adam, focusing on one of the biggest villains in DC history. After initially deciding to have Black Adam debut as the main antagonist of 2019's Shazam!, the plan later changed to have each character feature in their own solo movie before eventually crossing paths later on. The film will star Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson (who also serves as an executive producer) as Black Adam; no other cast members have been announced as of yet.
There have been no specific plot details revealed for the villain-centric film, but the rumored overarching story is said to focus on the character's origins before he eventually meets his heroic counterpart Shazam. Johnson will team up with director Jeaume Collet-Serra, with whom he collaborated for 2021's Jungle Cruise, in a film that will reportedly be as gritty and violent as the stories shown in the Black Adam comics run.
Black Adam was originally set to begin filming in July 2020, although that start date is in jeopardy due to the COVID-19 delays. The film is set for worldwide release on December 22, 2021.
Director: Andy Muschietti
Writer: Christina Hodson
Release date: June 3, 2022
Almost no movie in the DCEU has faced more production delays or issues than The Flash, which features one of the most iconic members of DC's Justice League. The solo movie has been in development since 2015, going through a handful of staff changes in the director's chair before settling on Andy Muschietti. The film's only cast member thus far is Ezra Miller, who also portrayed Barry Allen/The Flash in 2017's Justice League.
No plot details are known yet for the upcoming solo movie, but it seems like that may be the last thing on the minds of Warner Bros. executives who simply want to get this film off the ground. Multiple other movies on Miller's schedule have caused a number of delays to the start of shooting, and other cast members have dropped out of the production entirely as the team tries to get the DC speedster's first solo movie on track.
Filming for The Flash was supposed to begin in April but has been pushed back indefinitely due to the pandemic. The film is still scheduled to release on June 3, 2022.
Untitled Shazam! Sequel
Director: David F. Sandberg
Writer: Henry Grayden
Release date: November 4, 2022
2019 saw the DCEU make a huge comeback with Shazam!, one of the most popular films from the franchise for fans and critics alike. Although the original film wasn't a huge hit at the box office with only $336 million globally, it was universally praised and a sequel was given the green light the very month of the original's theatrical release. David F. Sandberg and Henry Graden will both return to direct and write Shazam! 2; Zachary Levi (Shazam) and Michelle Borth (Lady Shazam) are the only cast members so far that are confirmed to reprise their roles.
No plot details have been revealed for the upcoming sequel, but the hope is that it will be just as fun and wacky as the original Shazam!. The first film took a new direction for the DCEU in terms of tone and colors, letting Zachary Levi shine in the role with his comedy and action chops while bringing a new and exciting face to the franchise. The sequel will also hopefully expand on Asher Angel's Billy Baston, who helped bring a younger perspective to the DCEU as he learned to love his new foster family.
Shazam! 2 is currently slated to begin production this summer, although there are no confirmations of any delays due to the Coronavirus. The film is scheduled for worldwide release on November 4, 2022.
Untitled Aquaman Sequel
Director: James Wan
Writers: David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick, Jason Momoa
Release date: December 16, 2022
Aquaman made an incredible splash (pun intended) upon its arrival in 2018, becoming the first and only DCEU movie to date to gross over $1 billion at the global box office. Development for a sequel began within months of the film's theatrical release, and the studio gave confirmation of that development status shortly after for the upcoming sequel. Aquaman 2 will feature the returns of Jason Momoa (Arther Curry/Aquaman), Patrick Wilson (Orm Marius/Oceanmaster), and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (David Kane/Black Manta).
The plot for the upcoming sequel is rumored to center around exploring the other Seven Kingdoms of Atlantis, hopefully expanding mightily on the massive underwater civilization. Jason Momoa is also set to have a much more expansive role for this film as both an executive producer and a screenwriter, helping make the most of his own solo franchise as the story continues on. There is also no confirmation to whether or not Amber Heard - who has experienced legal issues since the original's release - will return as Mera.
Aquaman 2 is set to begin filming in 2021 with an anticipated theatrical release on December 16, 2022.
While the DCEU only has the seven films above confirmed, rumors have floated around for years regarding a number of other potential projects. These films are all in varying early stages of development and none of them have a confirmed date for release. The Direct previews all 22 of these projects ahead...
The Amazonians - Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins announced this spinoff film in December 2019 featuring the Amazonian race of Themyscira. Jenkins will serve as an executive producer and there is no set date for production to begin.
Batgirl - Joss Whedon had been attached to write and direct this project going back to 2017 but stepped down one year later, leading DC to turn to Birds of Prey writer Christina Hodson to take over as the screenwriter. The studio is currently looking for a female director to replace Whedon.
Blackhawk - Acclaimed director Steven Spielberg will finally take on his first superhero movie in the unscheduled movie centered around DC's Blackhawk. Warner Bros. Chairman Toby Emmerich expressed how excited the studio was to bring Spielberg into the fold, although there is no set date for production to begin considering how full his schedule currently is.
Blue Beetle - A film centered around the Jaime Reyes incarnation of Blue Beetle has been in development since November 2018. Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer and Zev Foreman are attached to the project as the screenwriter and executive producer with no other crew or cast members announced to date.
Booster Gold - This film was announced to be in development in September 2015, with screenwriter Zach Stentz attached since September 2016. It's been said to have no connections to the larger DCEU and the script was reportedly completed in March 2018. Warner Bros has not yet decided where to place this film in its upcoming release slate.
Cyborg - Cyborg played a starring role in 2017's Justice League and has had a solo movie in development since 2014. Starring actor Ray Fisher has spoken multiple times about the film's production delays, and it's still unsure when the film will begin shooting. It has already been delayed from its original release on April 3, 2020 and currently has no new date.
Deadshot - Will Smith was attached to return as Deadshot by late 2018, although scheduling conflicts have forced him to put the role on hold for the time being. Idris Elba was originally set to replace him for 2021's The Suicide Squad before moving to another unknown character so that Smith could potentially return to the DCEU in the future.
Deathstroke - This film has been in development since October 2017 with Joe Manganiello set to reprise his role from the end of 2017's Justice League. Set to show the origins of Slade Wilson/ Deathstroke, the film is indefinitely delayed at the moment.
Gotham City Sirens - This movie's production was delayed in favor of 2020's Birds of Prey, although leading star Margot Robbie is still hoping to push forward as one of the executive producers. Robbie hopes to further explore Harley Quinn's relationships with both Poison Ivy and Catwoman once the movie moves further along in its development.
Green Lantern Corps - A Green Lantern Corps movie has been in development from Warner Bros and DC since 2014 with potential connections to both Man of Steel and Justice League. Most recently, Geoff Johns was expected to deliver a new version of the script to Warner Bros by the end of 2019, yet the current status of the script is unknown.
Harley Quinn/Joker Film - This film centered around two of the biggest DC villains and has been in development since July 2017 with Glenn Ficarra and John Requa in line to co-write, direct and produce. Production was rumored to begin after the release of 2020's Birds of Prey, but nothing has been confirmed since then.
Joker Film - Jared Leto was set to reprise his role as the Joker when the film entered early development in June 2018. He will also serve as an executive producer. Warner Bros. is hoping this film will help pave the way for other Suicide Squad related projects, and Leto will reportedly be involved in hiring the film's production crew.
Justice League Sequel - 2017's Justice League was originally set to be a two-part film, both parts directed by Zach Snyder with the second film releasing on June 14, 2019. This idea was scrapped in favor of standalone projects like The Batman and more confirmed sequels.
Justice League Dark - After a number of changes behind the scenes since the film was first set to be in development in 2013, Scott Rudin is currently attached to produce and Michael Gilio is on board rewriting the script. There is also a new Justice League Dark series set for release on HBO Max from JJ Abrams, putting the status of this movie further into jeopardy.
Lobo - This film has been in development for over a decade, and finally settled on hiring Jason Fuchs as a screenwriter in 2016. Warner Bros. was also in discussions with Michael Bay to direct the film in February 2018.
Man of Steel Sequel - The sequel for Man of Steel has been in development since 2014 after the original film helped kickstart the DCEU in 2013. After circling around a number of names to direct the sequel, Warner Bros. has most recently entered discussions with JJ Abrams to direct the film. There are no confirmations pointing to Henry Cavill's return to the DCEU due to his multiple other projects in development.
New Gods - In March 2018, Ava DuVernay was signed on to direct this film, first pitching the idea to Warner Bros. after the New Gods were featured in 2017's Justice League. She announced that she will co-write the script with Tom King in May 2019, although varying reports have been conflicting in whether or not the film would connect into the larger DCEU.
Nightwing - A film centered around Dick Grayson has been in development since February 2017 with Chris McKay and Bill Dubuque signed on as the director and screenwriter. As recently as February 2018, McKay had a script nearing its final draft.
Plastic Man - Amanda Idoko was hired to write the script for this film in December 2018. No other names are attached, although the plot is said to be a kind of comedy-action adventure.
Supergirl - Warner Bros. is currently looking for a female director to helm this film, which has been in development since August 2018 with Oren Uziel set to write the script.
The Trench - A horror spin-off of 2018's Aquaman was announced by Warner Bros. in February 2019, focusing on the villainous Trech kingdom. Peter Safran and Aquaman director James Wan are set as the film's producers, with Noah Gardner and Aidan Fitzgerald serving as screenwriters. The film is rumored to have a lower budget than other DCEU films and Safran has said he expects the film to be released before Aquaman 2.
Wonder Woman 1984 Sequel - Just after principal photography for Wonder Woman 1984 was completed in January 2019, Patty Jenkins revealed that plans were already underway for the series to become a trilogy. The story arc is said to have been planned over three films with the third one taking place in present day after the sequel explores the 1980's. It is assumed that both Jenkins and Gal Gadot will return to direct and star in the third film.