What's next for upcoming DC movies?
What can we expect from the upcoming DC movie slate? Now that the aftermath of BVS has died down I have been wondering what will happen in the cinematic universe? I wanted to take a look at the many, many, many easter eggs in BVS and how the events of the movie will lead into the expanded DC Cinematic Universe. If you haven’t seen Batman v Superman then stop reading now, this article will spoil the hell out of it. By all means come back and check it out and join the discussion on twitter
One of the main criticisms of BVS is that Superman did not get much character development and I would have to agree. With some odd story choices for the character and relatively little screen time, Superman’s arc from Man of Steel was not really fleshed out in BVS, which left a bit of a hole in the movie. Considering BVS originally started as a Man of Steel sequel it is clear this idea soon fell by the wayside making way for Batman and the inception of the Justice League. Both Henry Cavill and Zack Snyder are open to the idea of a Man of Steel sequel, which could take one of the unnamed movie slots (see below). The ending of BVS saw Superman meet his demise but it was made clear to fans that we have not seen the last him. Zack Snyder told Entertainment Weekly:
“I wanted Bruce Wayne to build the Justice League,” Snyder tells EW. “I felt like with Superman around, it’s a different conversation when you create the Justice League, right? It’s like, ‘Me and Superman, we want to make a Justice League.’ [Other heroes would be] like, ‘Okay, yeah, I’ll join!’ I just feel like Bruce Wayne having to go out and find these seven samurai by himself, that’s a lot more interesting of a premise.
I understand why Zack Snyder and the creative team would make this decision. It would be more interesting as a movie goer, to see Bruce Wayne form the Justice League as it he will have to do much more convincing than Superman would. It does beg the question though, when will the DCEU tell the story of Superman’s return? Officially, there is no Man of Steel 2 news, the sequel has not been confirmed and given that Justice League hits the screens in late, 2017 we would assume that Superman’s resurrection will be dealt with in JL. Superman is in Justice League according to IMDB but there are so many other character’s and interconnecting story lines to tackle that unless Justice League is 4 hours long there simply won’t be any room to tell the story.
What if Superman is not in Justice League Part One? I personally think this would be the better move. Having no Superman would raise the stakes for the rest of the team and would mean that a Man of Steel sequel could tell the story of Superman’s return. Just my thoughts…..
Given Zack Snyder’s comments we are led to believe that Batman forms the Justice League so there will be plenty for him to do in the movies. It would seem that Warner Bros are adamant to show Batman as the main character in the DCEU and it is probably a wise move, I mean, the Batman movies have generated a huge amount of business for them over the years and is certainly their most profitable asset. We don’t know much else about Bruce Wayne in Justice League but news broke recently that Warner Brothers have confirmed Ben Affleck has a completed screenplay of The Batman, which he co-wrote with Geoff Johns. Affleck will be in the director’s chair for the new Batman reboot and as yet we have not seen a release date but it would be safe to bet that Batman, 2018 is where the studio is headed.
A potential storyline doing the fandom rounds could follow up the easter egg in BVS where Batman is seen in the Batcave standing near what we presume is Robin’s costume. The outfit has been sprayed with the words “haha the joke is on you Batman”. The late 80’s saw a DC Comics Batman run called a Death in the Family, where the second Robin (Jason Todd) is killed by The Joker. Fans are speculating that the movie could be the direction a solo Batman prequel could take and possibly a follow up sequel telling the story of Under the Red Hood in 2019. What do you think?
One of the elements of the film praised by most people was Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman. The end fight against Doomsday saw Wonder Woman, Superman and Batman teaming up to defeat the DC villain and one of the highlights was seeing Diana Prince play her part in the team. Thankfully, not too much was given away about the character but we did get a few clues as to where the solo movie will take us. The photograph that Wonder Woman was trying to retrieve from Lex Luthor showed the Amazonian Princess with Chris Pine’s character in a World War 1 setting and we fully expect that the Wonder Woman stand-alone movie will provide the foundations for her character in the DCEU. The fact that Wonder Woman is hundreds, if not, thousand of years old means that there could be lots of stories to tell if the movie is well received. Actually, if the old broad really is thousands of years old, this would make Wonder Woman the most qualified to lead the team. I would like to see Warner Bros take the first step towards more female led comic book movies and after seeing BVS, I think that Gal Gadot could pull it off. Of course that might all change when I see the Wonder Woman movie. BVS ended with Batman explaining the need for a Justice League to Wonder Woman so we know that she will feature in the team but until we see the Wonder Woman solo movie in 2017 not too much else was revealed about the character in BVS. which I think was the right move. It was a Batman v Superman movie after all. The IMDB synopsis of Wonder Woman, 2017 reads like this “An Amazon princess leaves her island home to explore the world and becomes the greatest of its female heroes. I am excited for this movie.
Some casual fans and certainly most of the people in my cinema did not realize that Bruce Wayne’s vision (one of many) in his office of a blue electric man was indeed the Flash. Hardcore fans know that the Flash travels in time and we suspect that this has happened here. Given that Bruce Wayne has made some kind of contact with the Flash we can expect that in the future Batman will be seeking out Barry Allen to convince him to join the Justice League. We won’t get a Flash solo movie until March, 2018 (after Justice League part one) so it is pretty safe to assume that this movie will go back to events before Justice League part one to explain Barry Allen’s origin. The Flash IMDB synopsis reads like this: “While working in his lab during a storm one night, a bolt of lightning strikes a tray of chemicals soaking police scientist Barry Allen with its contents. Now able to move at super-speed, Barry becomes The Flash protecting Central City from threats it faces”.
BVS did its best to cram in as many Justice League easter eggs and cameos as possible and one of them was the inclusion of the Aquaman. The character did not have any dialogue and it is still mysterious as to how Aquaman will fit into the DCEU and Justice League. There is still no synopsis on IMDB but director James Wan has been giving away snippets of information here and there. Cinema Blend reported on an interview with MTV where James Wan said this:
“As we all know, Aquaman is somewhat the butt of the joke in the superhero world. There’s something cool about that. I love the idea of being the underdog, coming in with a take on this underdog character and completely blow people’s expectations away. Like, ’Oh, you thought he was going to be a wimpy character? No no no.’ It’s going to be so cool.”
Not too much information there and basically confirms what we would expect from the director of Furious 7. Again this solo outing for the DC character will be released after Justice League part one adding more fuel to the theory that this DC cinematic universe has adopted non linear story telling assuming the solo movie will be an origin story. I think given that 99% of normal people think that Aquaman is the guy who works in the Sea Life Centre, the character probably does need an origin story.
We had one Cyborg scene in Batman v Superman, which was missed by many casual movie going fans. The people either side of me, by that point had no idea what they were seeing and appeared to be a random scene with half a man pinned to a board. Fans of the genre probably realized that this scene saw the inception of Cyborg, which featured Joe Morton as his creator (possibly father). The Cyborg solo movie is not due for release until 2nd April 2020 so we have a long wait. At that point we would have seen both Justice League movies so the question remains, will this be a Cyborg origin story? My theory is that we will get bits and pieces of information through flashbacks during the movie. Stage actor Ray Fisher has been cast as Cyborg but as yet, no director has yet been attached and so far, we have not seen too much information surrounding the project so it is difficult to speculate. IMDB confirms Cyborg in Juctice League Part One but no Victor Stone in Justice League Part Two so it remains to be seen what Warner Bros and DC will do with the character on screen.
According to the DC Comic, Ultimate Character guide (published by DK, 2011) the story of Victor Stone goes like this:
“Victor Stone was an athlete with a bright future, until an accident at his father’s laboratory injured him. In order to save his son, Victor’s father created experimental cybernetic parts that gave Vic special abilities. Despite his astonishing gifts, Cyborg sometimes feels as if his metal body is a prison”
Of course this is just the tip of the iceberg and given that we have DC movies lined up for the next ten thousand years anything could happen. I think Warner Brothers and DC have been pretty clever with some of their decisions. For instance, BVS confirmed that Jesse Eisengurg’s character is indeed Lex Luthor jr which could pave the way for Lex senior to enter the DC Cinematic Universe. With a couple of un-named movies slated for release over the next few years WB are clearly hedging their bets to see what kind of reaction they receive from fans on the early solo and team up movies. The most praised part of Batman v Superman was Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne and Batman so it is pretty safe to assume that The Batman will take one of those slots.
Justice League began filming in April, 2016 and is due for release in November, 2017. We do know the cast list which reads like this:
Gal Gadot – Diana Prince/Wonder Woman
Henry Cavill – Clark Kent/Superman
Ben Affleck – Bruce Wayne/Batman
Amber Heard – Mera
Jason Momoa – Arthur Curry/Aquaman
Amy Adams – Louis Lane
Ezra Miller – Barry Allen/The Flash
J.K. Simmons – Commissioner Gordon
Ray Fisher – Victor Stone/Cyborg
So after seeing the cast list all the fans (myself included) are asking the question. Who will Willem Dafoe play in Justice League? We have seen Dafoe as the main villain, Green Goblin in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man, 2002. Now that Dafoe has switched from Marvel to DC it seems that he has also joined the forces of good, according to an article by The Hollywood Reporter. I really like the actor in a villain role and I find it difficult to picture a comic book movie with Willem Dafoe as a good guy. Who says type casting is dead?!..
In August, 2016 we will finally get to see Suicide Squad, which is part of the DC Cinematic Universe continuity. I am probably looking forward to this movie more so than any other DC movie at the moment mainly as we get to see some villains reluctantly working for the side of good. Plus there is a pretty stellar cast and even Jai Courtney looks like he will deliver in this movie. We’ll get to see Harley Quinn (played by Margot Robbie) in her first live action outing and it will be interesting to see her origin and how Harley Quinn will feature in the DC Cinematic Universe. Director David Ayer has made it public that he would like a potential sequel to be R rated which for this property could work well and would certainly fit Ayer’s story telling style. With features like Training Day and Fury under his belt Ayer is used to delivering more adult movies (not that kind of adult movie).
The cast list of Suicide Squad includes:
Margot Robbie – Dr. Harleen F. Quinzel/Harley Quinn
Cara Delevingne – June Moon/Enchantress
Joel Kinnaman – Rick Flag
Jared Leto – The Joker
Will Smith – Floyd Lawton/Deadshot
Scott Eastwood – unknown character
Jai Courtney – Captain Boomerang
Viola Davis – Amanda Waller
Ben Affleck – Bruce Wayne/Batman
Ever since the first Suicide trailer dropped which showed us a glimpse of Batman pursuing Joker or Harley Quinn fans have speculated how much screen time Batfleck will get. I think we will get more than we first assumed as Will Smith has hinted that The Batman has a history with all members of the Suicide Squad. Could the movie open with Batman catching the future Suicide Squad members and throwing them in to super villain incarceration? I hope so. This would be great to see and would add to the notion that this incarnation of The Dark Knight has been around for a long time and has a lot of history.
The upcoming DC movies have been announced likes this:
Man of Steel
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Suicide Squad – release date August 5th, 2016
Wonder Woman – release date June 2nd, 2017
Justice League Part One – release date November 17th, 2017
The Flash – release date March 23rd, 2018
Aquaman – release date July 27th, 2018
Unitited DC Comic movie – release date October 5th, 2018 (The Batman?)
Shazam – release date April 5th, 2019
Justice League Part Two – June 14th, 2019
Untitled DC film – release date November 1st, 2019 (The Batman sequel or Man of Steel 2?)
Cyborg – release date April 3rd, 2020
Green Lantern Corps – release date June 19th, 2020
There has been talk of other comic book properties that may hit the silver screen. At this point it is not clear if these projects will get the green light or will even be part of the DC Cinematic Universe but some of the rumoured movies include:
Blue Beetle and Booster Gold
So there you have it. I think the future could be bright for the DCEU. What do you think will end up being the best movie in the DCEU? Or what else are you excited for? Let me know your thoughts and join me on twitter