So, Man of Steel, while what I felt was a great film, has also set up the beginning of a whole cinematic universe. No matter what you feel about DC compared to Marvel, they have been telling great stories for eighty years, and have a mountain of great characters to use on screen. Let's look at what they could do with the slate of films they have announced all the way up to 2020.
Superman v Batman: Dawn of Justice (25th March 2016)
Marvel, upon doing their phase 1, had five solo films before The Avengers. DC are teaming up with their second film. This shows that the approaches they are taking are nothing alike, and we can stop comparing them and just enjoy the huge amount of superhero on screen time we are getting. This film is going to help set up many of the future films, including Aquaman, Wonder Woman, and Justice League, as well as potentially showing us the origin of Cyborg and Green Lantern. I am excited for Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor, as he is an absolutely fantastic actor. Also, I think we could see the origin of Doomsday, who could definitely be a future villain for Superman, or the whole Justice League. It seems from the film synopsis that we will see Luthor manipulating Batman into fighting Superman, and by the end of the film they will defeat Luthor together (with the help of Wonder Woman, Aquaman and maybe Cyborg).
Suicide Squad (5th August 2016)
Excitement is huge for this film. It looks absolutely amazing! I didn't know much about a number of these characters before they were cast, but seeing many of them in costume has really convinced me about just how good this film is going to be. Harley Quinn is one of the most popular DC comics characters right now, and it is easy to centre a film around her, let alone the Joker, and with the huge cast filling up the rest of the positions on the team, this is an incredibly promising film. I'm interested to see who is the "villain" as such, it may be Jared Leto's Joker, or any number of the villains in the film.
Wonder Woman (23rd June 2017)
Finally, a female led superhero film. I'm excited to have Wonder Woman in her own film, and I think Gal Gadot is going to do a great job of it. I'm really interested for DC to explore so many facets of their universe so early on in their cinematic universe. They threw aliens in first thing, they'll have Atlantis and Aquaman, and all of the mythology Wonder Woman brings with her. Potential villains that we could see include Cheetah, First Born or Ares. Any of these would be pretty brilliant to see on screen, and there are many Wonder Woman storylines that could be explored. She will already be established in Dawn of Justice, so there is unlikely to be an origin story (thank God, I'm so tired of them).
Justice League Part 1 (17th November 2017)
Now they all come together. It's interesting that Wonder Woman will be the only solo film we see between now and the first Justice League film. It presents the issue of character establishment which Marvel didn't have with their main characters. We will only have seen Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne in Dawn of Justice and some sort of cameo in suicide squad. It's not enough to really get his character, and what type of hero he is. However, honestly, it's still going to be awesome. DC seems to be using films like Dawn of Justice and Justice League to develop characters for their solo films, instead of the other way around. An interesting move. The question now is, who will they fight? It could be Doomsday, especially if Lex Luthor brings Zod back to life in some form, or it could be Darkseid, pictured at the top of the article. Darkseid was what brought the League together in the current continuity, and it makes sense, as his forces of "Apokolips" are destructive enough to bring the League together to fight them. However, it could be any number of threats, like Brainiac, or Mongul. I doubt we will see a team up of villains in this film, it is more likely to be seen in Part 2, however you never can tell.
The Flash (23rd March 2018)
I'll be honest guys, I am not excited. I love the Flash television show, and it is really screwing over Ezra Miller because everyone wants Grant Gustin in the role on the big screen. However, due to certain multiversal issues, that is not going to happen, unless we see Crisis on Infinite Earths in fifteen years or so, which would be absolutely magical, although the CW shows may struggle to run that long. I think Ezra Miller's film will need to use a villain already established on the CW as well, because all the best Flash villains have already been used. It'll either be Reverse Flash, Gorilla Grodd, or a Rogue's gallery of some kind. I'm simply going to beg them not to use the Rogues, or at least Captain Cold, because Wentworth Miller makes him one of the best characters in any of the CW shows so far, and I will be very upset.
Aquaman (27th July 2018)
Don't like Aquaman? Try telling that to this guy, see where it gets you. I was certainly surprised when this image was revealed, but it makes sense. How can you try to get people to take him seriously when he is wearing green spandex? You can't, and DC are going for a really gritty style of hero for all of them, as far as we have seen, so don't expect anyone to be running about having a good time. Aquaman films can definitely be awesome, especially if they use Black Manta as the villain. I think that using Manta brings Aquaman into contact with the outside world more, which is a better choice as it looks like this guy has not spent too much time outside of Atlantis. Ocean Master would also be good, but really is Atlantis-centric. It could be an epic story, and will change how people look at Aquaman forever.
Shazam (5th April 2019)
This film is interesting, because it is outside of the cinematic universe, or the CW universe. This makes three different universes so far, and that makes it extremely likely that there will be universe hopping at some point in the future. It has already been established and explored in The Flash on CW, so we can definitely assume it is possible. Anyway, as for this film on it's own, we can expect to see young Billy Batson, an orphan, gaining the ancient power of Shazam, and fighting Dwayne Johnson's Black Adam in an epic showdown. Black Adam is a great villain, Dwayne Johnson is a great actor, and I can't wait to see who they cast as Shazam himself.
Justice League Part 2 (14th June 2019)
This film is surely going to have a large build up, and it will certainly have one of the most dangerous villains in the DC universe. It could be that we will see Darkseid take on the league, or any of the other potential part one villains, but I could even see some team up like the secret society, as between Suicide Squad and the solo films, we will have a considerable line up of potential villains. It could be a great film, and since it looks set to be a totally separate film from the first one, there won't be any problems for the films between.
Cyborg (TBC 2020)
I can't say much about this. Cyborg is getting his own solo comic series soon, which I am incredibly pleased about, because he has never had one, and therefore he doesn't really have any villains of his own, except for potentially the Grid, who was a pretty awesome villain and mostly against Cyborg. However, it would be difficult to put him into a film, so Cyborg needs some villains of his own to be established. I do think it is going to be DC's version of Ant-Man, as they try to take a character who is considerably less popular than their main ones, and try to make a great film of him.
While it is likely to be Hal jordan in the films, it seems like Ryan Reynolds will not return, which is not disappointing. I love him, but not as Green Lantern. He is an awesome Deadpool, and should stick to that. There are a lot of great villains that Green Lantern can take on, but 2011's version of Parallax is not one of them. Sinestro as a villain is a great idea, and he could take on multiple heroes in a later film. As long as they get this film right, it can lead into a whole series of Green Lantern Corps films, involving many of the other beloved human (and non-human) green lanterns, and potentially lanterns of other colours, such as Red Lanterns.
Well that's it, DC has a very promising slate of films, although we obviously can't know anything for sure until we see at least Dawn of Justice. Don't forget to check out parts one and two of the Superhero Supplement, and like Comical Theory on Facebook or Instagram, or follow @comicaltheory on twitter.