Warner Bros. might be in a state of disarray with regard to the long-term future for its superhero movies, but there are still a few high-profile projects set to join the DCU when 2023 rolls around.
Since Warner Bros. and Discovery officially completed their merger in 2022, things haven't been so bright and sunny for a number of projects in the greater DC Universe. From Batgirl's untimely cancelation for a tax write-off to other projects like the Zatanna movie and the Green Lantern Corps show having its story and lead character completely changed, this franchise is mired in disarray for the time being.
Thankfully, the studio is trying to rectify that, most recently by appointing MCU and DCU director James Gunn as the co-CEO for the newly-named DC Studios as he tries to get a handle on the overarching story at hand. And while Gunn just took over the post at the start of November, fans are wondering how much he still has to oversee by the time DC returns next year.
Well, according to Warner Bros.'s most recent earnings call, fans may have an idea of just what to expect on that front.
Four DC Superhero Movies Coming Next Year
During the latest Warner Bros Discovery (WBD) Earnings Call, CEO David Zaslav confirmed that four DC movies will hit theaters in 2023:
1.) Shazam!: Fury of the Gods
Zachary Levi and Asher Angel will bring Billy Batson and his superhero alter-ego Shazam back to the big screen in a second Shazam! movie, this one-upping the ante for the hero in a solo setting. Along with his entire Shazam family returning to expand on their powers more fully, Billy and his crew will be in for an immense challenge with their latest villains.
Hollywood icons Lucy Liu and Helen Mirren will star in this sequel as Kalypso and Hespera, with Rachel Zeigler playing Anthea and completing the powerful trio known as the Daughters of Atlas. Trailers have highlighted a great deal of action and drama, and with the threat of the gods looming heavily over the core heroes, this new outing should be an exciting follow-up to one of the most highly-praised DC movies in recent memory.
Shazam!: Fury of the Gods will debut in theaters on March 17, 2023.
2.) The Flash
Even with the immense drama surrounding The Flash thanks to leading star Ezra Miller's troubles off camera, WBD is hoping that their first DCU solo movie will set the stage for an exciting future. Thankfully, Miller's Flash will be far from the only major character, as they'll share the spotlight with Michael Keaton in his return to the cape and cowl of Batman.
Also introducing Sasha Calle's Supergirl, this outing will be the first to truly dive into the DCU Multiverse, hopefully expanding the borders of what's possible across multiple dimensions for future outings. Whether that future includes Miller as Barry Allen is still as big of a mystery as any, but the company is doing everything in its power to give fans the great Scarlet Speedster movie that has eluded them for so many years.
The Flash will finally release in theaters on June 23, 2023.
3.) Blue Beetle
Having been moved from an HBO Max debut to a theatrical release, Blue Beetle looks to bring the franchise's first-ever Latino leading man to the big screen with an almost all-Latin cast sharing the spotlight. Xolo Maridueñao will take on the leading role of Jaime Reyes as the teenager discovers the Blue Beetle scarab, an alien artifact that morphs into a beetle-inspired suit allowing him to fight crime and even travel through space.
Maridueñao has an all-star cast surrounding him, including comedy icon George Lopez, Harvey Guillen, Susan Sarandon, and possibly even Ted Lasso's Jason Sudeikis, as they give Blue Beetle his first movie. After being heavily utilized in the animated realm during Young Justice's run, Jaime Reyes will look to make a similar impact in his live-action debut and give the DCU a young hero to build upon for many years to come.
Blue Beetle will debut in theaters on August 18, 2023.
4.) Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom
Dealing with its own round of controversy behind the scenes, the sequel to the DCU's biggest financial hit to date looks to push the boundaries of Arthur Curry's world well past the borders of Atlantis. And on top of the drama surrounding leading actress Amber Heard, the movie's release was delayed by nearly a year, although fans now have a small idea of what they'll see on screen.
Following that delay, director James Wan shared a number of concept art images teasing new worlds that Aquaman 2 will explore, which even includes another battle with Yahya Abdul-Mateen II's Black Manta before the actor becomes Wonder Man for the MCU. This sequel hopes to set Aquaman on the right path as he solidifies his position as the King of Atlantis, although it will also hopefully open new doors to him being a key player with the Justice League going forward as well.
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom will debut in theaters on December 25, 2023.
The New DCU Under WBD
Zaslav also shared the following quote where he shone a spotlight on all four movies, specifically highlighting Blue Beetle as the franchise's "first move starring a Latino character:"
“We are very excited for our robust film slate next year. We are back in business with a lineup of features that is truly supportive of a distinct theatrical window. The slate includes… The Flash, Shazam: Fury of the Gods… Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom… and Blue Beetle, DC’s first superhero movie starring a Latino character, directed by Angel Manuel Soto.”
With these four movies confirmed for next year, DC fans still have an impressive slate of new material to look forward to on the big screen, even for the issues that plague production behind the scenes.
How High Will DC Rise in 2023?
Looking at these four movies, WBD certainly has a chance to get the DC Universe back on track after a rocky few years on the big screen and in the streaming world. They will all look to take the baton from Dwayne Johnson's Black Adam, which isn't having quite the success that many fans imagined, and bring viewers a comprehensive set of movies that can be watched with pride.
Of course, with a persistent round of anxiety building behind the scenes of both The Flash and Aquaman 2, WBD hopes that these new movies are received well enough to at least bring some kind of positive reception after so much recent disappointment. Then, James Gunn will have the difficult task of continuing this universe and building upon everything that these new outings deliver on the big screen while trying to get back into fans' good graces once again.
Warner Bros. Discovery's 2023 slate begins with Shazam!: Fury of the Gods on March 17, 2023.