2014 was a very successful year for DC Entertainment. Warner Bros. finally unveiled its lineup for a multi-film DC Cinematic Universe that will occupy the next few years, promising the long-awaited big screen debuts of many iconic characters. Several DC television shows premiered this year, with more in development. A new DC Animated Universe was created with the release of direct-to-video movies Justice League: War and Son of Batman. And 2014 saw the release of one highly anticipated video game and the announcement of another. In this part of our reflection, we look at the various DC Entertainment movie announcements of 2014.
2014 marks one of the very few years where a DC or Vertigo movie was not released in theaters. However, that doesn’t mean that there were not major advancements concerning DC Entertainment’s big screen future. After the release of Man of Steel in 2013, a follow-up film was immediately put into development. As we all know now, this movie will pit Superman against none other than Batman (Ben Affleck). It was also announced that Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) will make her big screen debut in the film, which we now know is titled Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. After filling out its supporting cast, including Lex Luthor, production began in May 2014 and concluded in December. In addition to the DC Trinity, Batman v Superman will also feature appearances from Cyborg (Ray Fisher), Aquaman (Jason Momoa) and possibly The Flash (Ezra Miller). The film was present at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, debuting new images of Batman and Wonder Woman as well as a teaser trailer. A trailer was rumored for an online and theatrical release this fall, but it looks like that was inaccurate.
Of course, this is only the beginning of the DC Cinematic Universe. After moving Dawn of Justice up to March 2016, Warner Bros. announced release dates for nine untitled DC films. Two months later, the studio revealed exactly which movies will occupy these dates. Joining Batman v Superman in 2016 is Suicide Squad, which will be directed by Fury‘s David Ayer. This movie recently announced its all-star cast, which consists of Will Smith as Floyd Lawton/Deadshot, Tom Hardy as Rick Flagg, Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Jai Courtney as Digger Harkness/Captain Boomerang, Cara Delevingne as Enchantress, and Jared Leto as none other than The Joker. The latter role was also offered to Ryan Gosling, but he turned it down. Additionally, Viola Davis is reportedly set to play Amanda Waller, while Jesse Eisenberg may reprise his Batman v Superman role of Lex Luthor.
Moving on to 2017, Wonder Woman will finally headline her own solo film, with Gal Gadot reprising the role. Michelle MacLaren, whose previous credits include Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad, is set to direct the project, with Pan‘s Jason Fuchs in talks to write the script. Man of Steel and Batman v Superman director Zack Snyder will produce Wonder Woman, and he is also attached to Suicide Squad as an executive producer. Speaking of Snyder, he will go on to direct Justice League Part One for a November 2017 release. Chris Terrio will likely pen the script, Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Amy Adams, Jason Momoa, Ray Fisher and Ezra Miller are all expected to reprise their DCCU roles for this superhero ensemble, whose villain is rumored to be Brainiac. Snyder will also direct 2019’s Justice League Part Two, which will likely have Darkseid as the main antagonist.
Warner Bros.’ 2018 DC slate consists of two solo films starring two Justice League members. The Flash will star Ezra Miller as Barry Allen, confirming once and for all that the DC Cinematic Universe is separate from The CW’s Arrow and The Flash television shows. Geoff Johns had previously affirmed this. Additionally, Jason Momoa will return as Aquaman in his own standalone movie, for which two separate scripts are being written by Will Beall (Gangster Squad) and Kurt Johnstad (300). Jeff Nichols (Take Shelter) is rumored to be directing the epic.
As for DC’s other 2019 film, after months of teasing, Dwayne Johnson confirmed that he will play Black Adam in a Shazam movie, which is being written by Turbo‘s Darren Lemke. This is a role that he has been seeking to play for years, and this casting has been supported by fans for just as long. Finally, in 2020, Ray Fisher will return as Cyborg in his own solo film, while Green Lantern will unsurprisingly get a reboot. Expect this iteration of the Emerald Knight to be completely separate from Ryan Reynolds’.
Of course, Warner Bros.’ DC future won’t be limited to these movies. Standalone films for Batman and Superman will be released between 2016 and 2020, with the former reportedly having the working title The Batman. A 2019 release was suggested, but with Affleck’s Caped Crusader likely playing a leading role in Justice League Part Two that year, the studio may want to slot his solo film into another year. WB is also said to be in the very early stages of developing a Legion of Superheroes adaptation, while New Line’s big screen take on Y: The Last Man was killed as the rights reverted to the original creators. Original Suicide Squad scribe Justin Marks was hired to tackle an adaptation of Vertigo’s Federal Bureau of Physics, while progress is being made on the long-awaited Sandman film, which acquired a writer this year and may or may not be directed by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Regarding the latter, creator Neil Gaiman confirmed that it was separate from DC’s other films, suggesting that an entirely different movie slate consisting of Vertigo adaptations will be announced at some point.
One of these Vertigo movies may be Dark Universe, which would bring DC’s Justice League Dark to the big screen. While writer and potential director Guillermo del Toro originally was fond of the idea, he later said that he was not focused on connecting his movie to other DC properties – at least initially. He was also not depending on NBC’s Constantine series for continuity, even though star Matt Ryan expressed interest in reprising the role for the big screen. However, del Toro more recently referred to Dark Universe as a “shared universe project,” implying that it will indeed exist in the DC Cinematic Universe. He has also confirmed that a script has been turned in to Warner Bros.
And that’s about it for DC’s cinematic future so far. Lobo, which was to be directed by Brad Peyton after years in development hell, appears to be shelved. The Conjuring‘s James Wan is apparently being lined up to direct an unnamed movie for Warner Bros. and New Line; considering his experience working with Dwayne Johnson on the upcoming Furious 7, the film may just be Shazam. A team-up film starring The Flash and Green Lantern was rumored to be a part of DC’s initial slate, but the two heroes are getting their own solo movies instead. The likes of Metal Men, 100 Bullets, Sleeper, Fables, and possibly more are in various stages of development. As we enter 2015, we will surely receive plenty of more DC and Vertigo movie news, so stay tuned.
Which upcoming DC Entertainment movie are you looking forward to the most? Stay tuned for the next part in our “Year in Review”, which will cover the various television announcements of 2014.