Recently, DC and Warner Brothers unveiled their long-term plans for the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) and the shared cinematic universe's upcoming movies. However, the DCEU's statements combined with interviews from the filmmakers chosen to helm specific DC movies sparked confusion among fans. While interconnected superhero adventures starring DC's famous characters are to be expected, DC and Warner Brothers are reportedly planning to experiment with DC movies that are independent of the DCEU.
So, here's a breakdown of DC's upcoming movies and their relevance (or lack thereof) to the greater DCEU.
Continuity: The DCEU
1. Justice League and Justice League 2
It goes without saying that #JusticeLeague will be a part of the DCEU. After all, it's the cinematic gathering of DC's most famous crime fighters. Justice League (set to be released on November 17) will see the League unite for the first time, while its sequel will possibly see them square off against Darkseid. Justice League 2 is reportedly in the works, but its planned release date of June 4, 2019 was pushed back for undisclosed reasons.
2. Wonder Woman 2
Following the massive success and popularity of the Amazonian warrior's solo DCEU adventure, Wonder Woman 2 was fast-tracked for a potential 2019 release date. Director Patty Jenkins and star Gal Gadot are set to return, and the sequel is said to be set in the height of the Cold War - decades after the first movie's World War I setting.
One of the most surprising DCEU announcements was the confirmation that the #Flash solo movie would adapt the continuity-altering #Flashpoint arc from the comics. Ezra Miller is set to reprise his role as the Scarlet Speedster in the character's solo adventure.
Flashpoint may have a script ready, but it already lost three directors. Warner Bros. are currently looking for a replacement, and it's been rumored that they have their eyes out for Back to the Future mastermind Robert Zemeckis.
#Aquaman (Jason Momoa) is another core member of the League's line-up, so a solo movie centered on him was inevitable. Presumably set after the events of Justice League, little is known about Aquaman outside of some casting revelations that include Orm a.k.a. Ocean Master (Patrick Wilson) and Black Manta (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) - two well known villains in the comics.
Aquaman is currently being filmed by The Conjuring and Furious 7 director James Wan. Wan promised that his movie will be fun and will change the humorous stigma of the titular character. The movie is aiming for a December 2018 release.
5. The Batman
After widespread speculation, it was recently confirmed that The Batman would indeed be a part of the DCEU canon. The confusion started when director Matt Reeves claimed that his take on the Dark Knight would be "standalone... not part of the extended universe," but he has since clarified his statements. To be specific, his #Batman movie will be focused solely on the Caped Crusader and may have close to no references to other DC projects, despite taking place within the same world.
What remains unclear is Ben Affleck's status as Batman, a.k.a. #Batfleck. Given recent reports and the actor's rumored desire to part ways with the character, the actor's long-term commitment to the DCEU is still continually questioned - despite Affleck's reassurance.
6. Man of Steel 2
Man of Steel officially launched the #DCEU with a notably darker and more serious take on #Superman. Yet despite Superman's importance to the DCEU, he was sidelined in favor of the other heroes. Now, it seems that DC is determined to give Superman the attention he deserves. The second Superman solo-movie will most probably take place after the events of Justice League, and Amy Adams - who plays #LoisLane - has said that the sequel is currently being written.
Technically, Man of Steel 2 hasn't verbally been confirmed as a DCEU project, but given that it's a sequel to the DCEU's Man of Steel, we can safely assume that it's within the expanded universe's continuity.
#Cyborg (Ray Fisher), the League's walking armory, will be getting his own solo feature in the future but next to nothing is known about it. There are currently no names attached to Cyborg, though Fisher and Joe Morton - who plays Cyborg's father, Dr. Stone - are expected to return. The movie is set for an April 3, 2020 release.
8. Suicide Squad 2
Even if it had an incredibly divisive reception, #SuicideSquad was a financial success for Warner Brothers, convincing the studio to fast track a sequel centered on Task Force X. The planned sequel currently has no names attached to it, but shooting could start as early as early 2018. #SuicideSquad2 is said to feature a cast made up of familiar faces from the first movie, including the Joker (Jared Leto) and new squadmates.
9. A Joker and Harley Quinn Movie
Despite having less than 10 minutes of screen time in the first Suicide Squad, Jared Leto will return as the Joker alongside #HarleyQuinn (Margot Robbie). Gotham City's most infamous lovers will appear not just in Suicide Squad 2, but in their own movie. Directing duo John Requa and Glenn Ficarra (Crazy, Stupid, Love and Focus) are reportedly in the final stages of negotiations with DC and Warner Brothers to write and direct the yet untitled Joker/Harley movie, which has been described as a "criminal love story."
10. Gotham City Sirens
If things go as planned, Harley Quinn won't only be seen in Task Force X's next mission and alongside Joker. Suicide Squad director David Ayer unveiled plans for a #GothamCitySirens movie, which would see Harley, #PoisonIvy and #Catwoman team up in a crime caper.
However, despite the director's claims, DC may not be pushing forward with Gotham City Sirens, and Ayer's connection to the project remains uncertain. It's been rumored that Sirens was scrapped in favor of the aforementioned Joker/Harley movie, but nothing official from either DC or Ayer has come out to confirm or deny this.
The confirmation of a #Shazam movie was a surprise, as it may be a sharp contrast to the DCEU's darker tone. Describing the DCEU movie as different and "fun," producers New Line Cinema and Warner Brothers promised that Shazam! would be a DC movie like no other.
At one point, Dwayne "#TheRock" Johnson was thought to be the star of Shazam!, but he has since been moved on to be a part of DC's Black Adam. Shooting for Shazam! could begin by next year, with Lights Out director David F. Sandberg helming the film.
1. The Joker Origin Movie
This Joker-centric prequel will reportedly be separated from the DCEU, and is said to be set in Gotham City during the '80s. Legendary filmmaker Martin Scorsese will produce the feature, while Todd Phillips of The Hangover fame will be directing. It has yet to be confirmed, but reports claim that this particular Joker project will not include Jared Leto as the titular character.
Continuity: Not Yet Confirmed (But Presumably DCEU)
While there a number of features that are technically not yet confirmed to be included in Warner Bros.'s DCEU, it makes sense to assume that these titles (unless otherwise stated) will be included in the expanded universe.
With Batman enjoying new live-action movies, it was only a matter of time before the #BatFamily joined the fun. #Batgirl may be the first to do so, and she will be doing this in a film written and directed by Avengers scribe #JossWhedon.
Batgirl will focus on Barbara Gordon's adventures in crime-fighting and vigilantism, with Whedon crediting Gail Simone's take on the character in the New 52 comics as his inspiration. Batgirl will begin production next year, and may see a release date in 2019.
Given Whedon's involvement with Justice League, it would make sense to assume that Batgirl will be a part of the DCEU's continuity, but there's currently no confirmation.
2. Green Lantern Corps
After the failure of #GreenLantern in 2011, it seemed unlikely that DC would ever put the Lanterns on the big screen again. But in 2014, DC revealed plans for a new film titled #GreenLanternCorps. Written by David S. Goyer and Justin Rhodes, who are basing their script on a concept by Goyer and Geoff Johns, Green Lantern Corps is currently in development and is set for a 2020 opening.
The Justice League trailer briefly mentions the Lanterns, so it would be a safe bet to assume that Green Lantern Corps will soon be confirmed as a DCEU movie.
3. Justice League Dark
Following a well-received animated soft-debut (see above), the supernatural defenders of the DC universe are set to make their official live-action debut. Known as #JusticeLeagueDark, the group of mages and supernatural entities were first revealed to be the next project by Hellboy director Guillermo del Toro back in 2013.
However, Justice League Dark hit multiple roadblocks before it could get off the ground. In 2015, del Toro left the project and was replaced by Edge of Tomorrow director Doug Liman, who then left in 2017 due to scheduling conflicts. In this year's San Diego Comic Con (#SDCC), DC revealed that Justice League Dark was still in the works and is undergoing a rewrite.
The second member of the Bat-Family to make his live-action debut is the original Boy Wonder himself, Dick Grayson a.k.a. #Nightwing. Earlier this year, DC announced that it was working on a Nightwing movie with The Lego Movie director Chris McKay and The Accountant screenwriter Bill Dubuque as its masterminds. The movie has no planned release date yet, but McKay teased that his Nightwing movie would combine "martial arts, gymnastics and stunt perspective" with a compelling story.
Plans for a movie based on DC's resident intergalactic bounty hunter #Lobo have been around since 2009, and Guy Ritchie was supposedly involved at an earlier stage. Last year, Wonder Woman screenwriter Jason Fuchs revealed that he was working on a script for the Lobo movie, implying that DC is still interested in giving the foul-mouthed bad-ass a movie of his own.
6. Black Adam
One of the more shocking DC announcements was #BlackAdam, which focuses on the titular anti-hero commonly seen as Captain Marvel's adversary. Even more unexpected was the name attached to the project - Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.
Earlier this year, Johnson revealed that he's had multiple meetings with the DCEU's creative minds to help iron out Black Adam. Though nothing has been confirmed yet, the former wrestler and potential star of the movie promised that Black Adam is "definitely going to happen" and will be worth the wait.
The next DCEU adventure will be the long-awaited Justice League, which will be available in theaters on November 16, 2017.
Which DCEU movie are you looking forward to the most? Share your thoughts in the comments below.