While Marvel Studios is dominating the box office with movies like Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Iron Man 3, and, of course, The Avengers, DC and Warner Bros has yet to capitalize on the moderate success of Man of Steel in 2013. Although Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice was slated for summer 2015, it was pushed back to the next summer because of production issues. It hasn’t been much of a competition between Marvel and DC Entertainment with the former releasing at least two movies every year… until now.
There are now reports that DC and Warner Bros are planning to beef up their superhero offerings with seven (yes seven!) movies for the next two and a half years after the release of [Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice](movie:711870) in 2016. It’s reported that Warner Bros will officially announce the new movies at this year’s San Diego Comic Con next month. While some of the would-be movies are not expected to tie into the overall DC Cinematic Universe, the move shows that Warner Bros is serious about competing with Marvel and, more importantly, making billions of dollars in the process. Let’s take a look at what’s coming up, shall we.
Of course, we know that Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice is coming out on May 6, 2016, against Marvel’s Captain America 3, but we’re also possibly going to get a [Shazam](movie:738107) movie a few months later in July. With how DC has established the tone of the DCU in Man of Steel, it’s going to be interesting to see if that look and feel will carry over to Shazam, which seems very doubtful to me. Shazam is so light and airy that it would be absurd if “the world's mightiest mortal” was given a darker tone. There’s also an element to Shazam that makes him very appealing to kids with his alter ego Billy Batson. But who knows. If Superman can kill people in Man of Steel, then I’m sure anything is possible. Later in the year, Warner Bros is expected to release Joseph Gordon Levitt’s Sandman film adaptation around Christmas time. It’s likely that Sandman will not fit into the Justice League world.
The following year in 2017, Warner Bros might release [Justice League](movie:401267) in May and a few months later a standalone Wonder Woman movie in July. That’s right! After more than 20 years of development, Wonder Woman will be at the center of her own movie. The only real concern about a Wonder Woman movie is Gal Gadot. She was cast in the role a few months ago for Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and it is unclear if she can actually act. While I love her in the Fast & Furious movies, those films didn’t exactly call for her to do much except look pretty and have amazing on-screen chemistry with Han Seoul-Oh, played by Sung Kang. I still can’t see Gadot as Wonder Woman, but we’ll see when the movie is released. Around Christmas time in 2017, Warner Bros might release a Flash and Green Lantern team-up movie, as it is also rumored that Ryan Reynolds will not play the Emerald Knight. Instead, it’s most likely that John Stewart will take up the green power ring.
And finally in May 2018, we might get a proper Man of Steel sequel that will most likely take place after the events of The Justice League. These reports are actually exciting, so I hope they’re true. While Marvel is the king of the box office at the moment, its superhero formula is in danger of getting stale. DC and Warner Bros, on the other hand, are still shiny and new, and we have yet to see what they have in store for us in the upcoming years. DC could be the new benchmark for superhero movies in the latter portion of the decade.
If these new movies are, in fact, in development, then movie-going audiences benefit from more superhero movies in the market. This will be a real competition, as Marvel and DC will now try harder to top each other. Marvel should be worried that DC and Warner Bros is finally expanding their superhero movies, but it’s unclear if DC will be as successful as Marvel in the long run. Disney still has a reach that Warner Bros just cannot match, no matter the quality or popularity of their new offerings.
In 2012, Marvel and DC competed head-to-head for your movie ticket money with The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises, respectively. Marvel won with $1.5 billion worldwide, while DC made it a little interesting, grossing a solid $1 billion. The tables might turn in DC’s favor in 2016 with [Captain America 3](movie:994409) and Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. If DC and Warner Bros are planning to release three movies in one year, then there’s a greater chance for more box office dollars and building a better quality and more exciting cinematic universe. We’ll have to wait and see, when Warner Bros takes the stage in Hall H at this year’s San Diego Comic Con. I really don’t think Marvel has anything up their sleeves to top that kind of news from DC. Let the superhero battles begin!!