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There’s lots more Batman, Wonder Woman, and, yes, even Aquaman, on the horizon.
In this golden age of superhero franchises, it’s no small task to keep up with what upcoming DC Comics movies are hitting theaters and when.
Like Marvel, DC is bringing dozens of characters to the silver screen in interwoven storylines. Creating this expansive universe takes some serious planning, and that’s why Warner Bros. and DC have their release schedules plotted for years to come.
Here are all of the DC movies you can mark on your calendar through 2020. This list will be updated as premiere dates are added or moved by the studio.
Upcoming DC Comics movies: Release calendar through 2020
Aquaman, Dec. 21, 2018
Warner Bros. Pictures
Aquaman, a superhero who can telepathically communicate with sea life, has been the butt of superhero jokes for decades. No more. Fans were immediately impressed with the king of Atlantis when they saw photos of the brawny Jason Momoa in the title role.
Amber Heard (Drive Angry, The Danish Girl) has signed on as Mera, Queen of the Sea, while Patrick Wilson (Watchmen, The Conjuring) will be Aquaman’s evil half-brother Orm Marius, also known as Ocean Master. Though little has been released about the script, director James Wan (Saw, Furious 7) said the movie would have a lighter tone than the dark and gritty fare commonly associated with DC movies. Of course, he could have been making a joke about the challenge of lighting underwater sets. Either way, we’ll take our Aquaman comedy where we can find it.
In January, Wan tweeted a photo of Momoa, Heard, and Wilson at a table read of the script.
On Dec. 2, 2016, Variety reported that Warner Bros. had bumped the release date for Aquaman back from July 27, 2018, to Oct. 5, 2018, perhaps freeing up the July date.
Several months later, Warner Bros. moved Aquaman‘s release date again, from Oct. 5 to Dec. 21, 2018. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the movie fills an Avatar 2-sized hole in the schedule during the lucrative holiday season, after James Cameron announced his Avatar sequel wouldn’t come out in 2018 after all. The move also sets up a bit of a superhero showdown: Dec. 21, 2018, is also the release date for Sony’s animated Spider-Man movie featuring black-Latino comic hero Miles Morales.
After Justice League opened to mixed reviews and worse than expected box office numbers, DC fans are looking to this next film in the Warner Bros. lineup for something better. Unfortunately, the Atlantis scenes in Justice League were among the most confusing, with Mera and Aquaman apparently having to enter an underwater air pocket to speak to one another. Wan distanced himself from the move, saying underwater dialogue will work differently in his version of Atlantis. While the lack of continuity between the back-to-back releases is a little baffling, it’ll be interesting to see how Wan tweaks the details in the standalone film.
💪🏋️♀️ Fret not, no “air bubbles for dialogue” in my underwater world. https://t.co/rRbWp2Ejfd
— James Wan (@creepypuppet) November 21, 2017
Shazam, April 15, 2019
Shazam is an offbeat choice, but Warner Bros. spent year getting this adaptation off the ground. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, was set to star as the villain/ anti-hero Black Adam, but Warner Bros. has since made it clear that he’ll debut the character in a (yet to be scheduled) standalone film instead of Shazam.
Zachary Levi, who played Fandral in Marvel’s Thor movies, will jump to the DCEU in the role of adult Shazam, the superhero alter-ego of a young orphan named Billy Batson (Asher Angel). Grace Fulton (Annabelle: Creation, Ian Chen and Jack Dylan Glazer play Billy’s friends at the orphanage, with Mark Strong (Kingsmen: The Golden Circle) as the villain Dr. Sivana. Roy Cephas Jones will play the wizard Shazam, who gives Billy his powers.
Henry Gayden (Earth to Echo) and Darren Lemke (Turbo, Jack the Giant Slayer) have been tapped to write the screenplay. Swedish horror director David F. Sandberg (aka “ponysmasher”) will direct. Filming began in early 2018, with fans drawing attention to behind-the-scenes photos of Zachary Levi in the cartoonish Shazam costume.
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Wonder Woman 2, Nov. 1, 2019
Wonder Woman 2 will once again be directed by Patty Jenkins. This time around, Jenkins will co-write the script with DC Comics stalwart Geoff Johns and The Expendables screenwriter Dave Callahan.
Elena Anaya is set to reprise her role as Dr. Poison, and we can expect to see more of the Amazons. So far, the biggest new casting news for Wonder Woman 2 is Kristen Wiig as the villain Cheetah and Pedro Pascal in an undisclosed role. Filming on the Wonder Woman sequel began June 13.
Cyborg, April 3, 2020
Warner Bros. Pictures
We got our first, brief look at Cyborg, played by stage actor Ray Fisher, in a pretty disturbing scene in Batman v Superman. DC will continue to develop the character in the pair of Justice League movies before Cyborg takes the lead in his own solo film.
Green Lantern Corps, July 2020
Though Ryan Reynolds instantly won audiences over as Deadpool, his portrayal of Hal Jordon in 2011’s Green Lantern fell flat. But DC isn’t ready to give up on the classic character—and this time, as the title indicates, the focus will be on the whole division of super-powered interstellar cops.
No cast has been announced for this reboot.
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The Joker, Halloween 2019
While there are a couple of other Joker movies in the works starring Jared Leto, the first to go into production will star Joaquin Phoenix. After months of negotiations, Warner Bros. secured a deal for Phoenix to star in a 1980s-set origin story, produced by Martin Scorsese and directed by The Hangover’s Todd Philips. Filming will begin in September 2018.
Warner Bros.’ press release describes the story as an “exploration of a man disregarded by society [that] is not only a gritty character study, but also a broader cautionary tale.” No co-stars have been announced, but we assume this is a standalone movie with no crossovers from the main DCEU franchise. It’s also running on a $55 million budget; significantly less than the blockbuster money for DC’s other movies. This could suggest an adult rating and/or more creative leeway for the filmmakers, much like Deadpool and Logan.
Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker movie is officially titled Joker, and it’s set for a Halloween 2019 release.
Birds of Prey, Feb. 7, 2020
Harley Quinn, by far the most popular character to come out of Suicide Squad, is starring in her own spin-off film featuring the female-led super group Birds of Prey, which will face off against what’s been described by Variety as a “Gotham crime lord.” Margot Robbie will reprise her role as Harley, who will spearhead the team.
Cathy Yan is slated to direct, and we now know the identity of the first two characters to join the Birds of Prey. Variety reported that Jurnee Smollett-Bell and Mary Elizabeth Winstead will portray Black Canary and Huntress, respectively. Black Canary, who’s also shown up in the CW’s Arrowverse, can create the Canary Cry, which can stun and disorient her enemies. Huntress, on the other hand, is even closer to Gotham’s culture of corruption as the daughter of a mob boss who fights on the streets of Gotham as an arrow-wielding vigilante. Rosie Perez will portray Renee Montoya, a Gotham City Police Department detective. Ewan McGregor is in talks to play Black Mask, a Gotham City crimelord who will be the film’s main villain.
Upcoming DC Comics movies: TBD
The Flash, no release date
Clark Kent aside, it’s pretty rare for superheroes these days to cross the line from television to the silver screen. But DC seems to be making an exception for The Flash, a character who has been delighting TV audiences on the CW since 2014.
Ezra Miller ⚡️ pic.twitter.com/KCXpxcWOht
— ComicBook NOW! (@ComicBookNOW) May 30, 2016
While Grant Gustin takes the starring role of Barry Allen in the ongoing television series, Ezra Miller (The Perks of Being a Wallflower) will be the youthful face of the cinematic version of the character.
Following the departure of writer/director Seth Grahame-Smith (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter) over creative differences, Warner Bros. decided to tap up-and-coming writer/director Rick Famuyiwa. Famuyiwa recently helmed indie darling Dope and the Emmy-nominated HBO original movie Confirmation (starring Kerry Washington). Though Famuyiwa was an exciting choice, his work on The Flash movie was short lived. In early November 2016, he parted ways with the studio citing—you guessed it—creative differences.
In a public statement, he said, “I pitched a version of the film in line with my voice, humor and heart. While it’s disappointing that we couldn’t come together creatively on the project, I remain grateful for the opportunity.”
On Jan. 26, 2017, Variety reported that Warner Bros. hired screenwriter Joby Harold to give the script a complete rewrite, and Warner Bros. announced at San Diego Comic-Con 2017 that the movie we be titled Flashpoint after the popular comics story arc that sees The Flash travel back in time to save his mother.
Variety reported on Jan. 16, 2018, that Spider-Man: Homecoming screenwriters John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein have been tapped as the new directors. Neither have directed an action movie or big-budget film before, although they co-directed the Ed Helms comedy movie Vacation and the murder mystery/comedy Game Night. The film will reportedly have a much lighter tone with Back to the Future as an inspiration.
The start of production on The Flash has been pushed back by several months to the end of 2019, due to Miller’s filming schedule for the third Fantastic Beasts movie, which is set to begin July 2019; Warner Bros. is the studio behind both films. The movie is now tentatively set for a 2021 theatrical release.
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Justice League Part Two, no release date
Director Zack Snyder is not expected to return for the Justice League sequel, following the first film’s poor box office performance, and a reshuffle of DC’s creative team at Warner Bros.
Originally slated for a June 2019 release, Justice League 2 no longer has a release date. Justice League included a post-credits teaser showing the return of Lex Luthor, so if this film actually happens, we can expect a team-up between Luthor, Deathstroke, and an assortment of other villains.
The Batman, no release date
Among the unscheduled films coming in the DCEU is The Batman, which was supposed to star Ben Affleck in addition to him producing and directing the movie. In January 2017, Affleck announced he was stepping down from the director’s chair to focus instead on his performance. Affleck worked on the original script with DC’s Geoff Johns. Warner Bros. announced in Feb. 2017 that Matt Reeves (Cloverfield, Dawn of Planet of the Apes) would take over as director. Joe Manganiello was cast as the villain Deathstroke, but it’s unclear whether he’ll end up in the final version.
As of March 2018, Matt Reeves is still working on the film but hasn’t announced a completed script or a time to start filming. A June 2018 report revealed that Reeves’ script focuses on a younger Dark Knight, suggesting that Affleck will no longer play Batman (something which Affleck had been hinting at for some time).
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Deathstroke, no release date
Gareth Evans is in talks to direct a Deathstroke spinoff starring Joe Manganiello, who was originally slated to play Deathstroke in Ben Affleck’s Batman movie. Known for directing the hyperviolent martial arts movie The Raid, Evans is an ideal choice for this action-focused character.
The Wrap reports that Evans is pitching his own ideas for the character, planning to write as well as direct. While the spinoff hasn’t officially been announced by Warner Bros., Evans teased his involvement by posting a Deathstroke mask on Instagram.
Other DCEU movies in the works
There’s a Harley Quinn-led spinoff tentatively titled Gotham City Sirens in the works, now confirmed with director David Ayer. Ayer previously directed Suicide Squad, which also has a sequel in the works. Despite rumors that Gotham City Sirens could be replaced by a film starring Harley and the Joker, Warner Bros. says the film has been delayed, not canceled. In fact, Warner Bros. is developing the Harley/Joker romance separately, in addition to a solo Joker origin story produced by Martin Scorsese. Are you confused yet? We sure are. But we’re not done. Margot Robbie says she’s been developing a Harley Quinn standalone movie for years. And DC resurrected Justice League Dark on its upcoming movie slate.
Also in development are Black Adam (starring the Rock), The New Gods (directed by Ava DuVernay), Nightwing (directed by The Lego Batman Movie‘s Chris McKay), Lobo (by Michael Bay), a Man of Steel sequel (maybe), and Booster Gold. Phew.
A Supergirl movie is also in the works with Oren Uziel (22 Jump Street, The Cloverfield Paradox) set to write the script. The character already stars in the beloved CW series, but Deadline reports that a film version of the character (who is Superman’s cousin in the comics and TV show) could loop Henry Cavill’s Superman back in and potentially set up a different kind of Superman movie.
Editor’s Note: This article is regularly updated for relevance.
Sarah Weber is the former editor of Daily Dot’s Parsec section, where she wrote about geek culture. She previously worked as a reporter and editor at community newspapers in the Midwest and was recognized by the Ohio Associated Press for news reporting.