With San Diego Comic Con all but kaput this year due to the coronavirus pandemic and fans in desperate need of some buzz-building blockbuster news, WarnerMedia and DC promise to put on one hell of a show this Saturday. DC FanDome—a free, 24-hour digital event available to stream via DCFanDome.com—will serve as the Comic Con-esque launching pad for major news, reveals, and announcements pertaining to all things DC.
Specifically, we know that new footage from Wonder Woman 1984 will be shown ahead of its October release. Plus, the first looks at James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad and Matt Reeves’ The Batman will be unveiled. Famously (or infamously, depending on who you ask), the first trailer for Zack Snyder’s mythical cut of Justice League, heading to HBO Max in 2021, will also debut at DC FanDome.
But, far more interesting than what we do know is what we don’t. Here are five big potential bombs that would electrify the DC fanbase that we are hoping to see at DC FanDome this Saturday, ranked by how much we want to see them dropped.
5. Harley Quinn Season 3 Announcement
Hot Take Alert: DC Universe’s animated Harley Quinn series is the single best piece of content DC has produced in the modern DCEU era. It’s irreverent and hilarious without ever mocking the tropes it clearly loves and is a shockingly fantastic character study about how we recover from toxic and traumatic experiences in our lives.
As expected, DC publisher and creative chief Jim Lee confirmed last week that the DCU’s original content will be “migrating to HBO Max.” Although both seasons of Harley Quinn are currently available to stream on Max (go watch it!), the platform has not yet ordered a third season, according to series writer Dean Lorey.
It’s time to rectify that and there’s no better opportunity than Harley Quinn‘s panel on Saturday. Quality content should be rewarded. This is a no brainer.
4. Michael Keaton Officially Confirmed for The Flash
In June, it was reported that Michael Keaton’s version of Bruce Wayne/Batman from the Tim Burton films would return in The Flash movie, introducing the idea of the multiverse to the DCEU and creating an ongoing Nick Fury-like mentor role for Keaton. We viewed that huge decision as yet another victory in DC’s slow recovery following the disastrous flop of Justice League.
There’s just one problem: Warner Bros. has yet to officially announce Keaton’s return.
Those June reports stressed that talks between the two sides were in the early phase and that it was far from a sure thing. For the hype levels of The Flash—a project that has endured endless behind the scenes drama—and the security of the DCEU’s future, making the buzzy hypothetical an official certainty would be a big win for the brand. Let’s get it done so we can start rabidly speculating about what else the studio can do with Keaton’s Batman (The Dark Knight Returns, anyone?).
3. Update on Green Lantern Corps
For years, DC Films has been touting a Green Lantern Corps movie—a new big screen iteration of the iconic galactic heroes and a mulligan for the 2011 Green Lantern misfire starring Ryan Reynolds. Then, in January, fans were shocked to learn that Arrowverse architect Greg Berlanti would be developing a Green Lantern series for HBO Max.
“It’s going to span several decades and focus on two stories about Green Lanterns on Earth” as well as one in space “going into the Sinestro story,” HBO Max head of original content Sarah Aubrey said at the time.
What does this mean for the long-gestating film? Is it dead or will it exist concurrently with the upcoming series? WarnerMedia has yet to make anything official, leaving fans in a state of uncertainty. With all due respect to Berlanti, a prolific and creative producer in his own right, we’d rather see another big screen crack at the property (perhaps helmed by J.J. Abrams, now under a mega-deal with WarnerMedia) than an HBO Max series. Hopefully, DC FanDome provides some clarity on the matter one way or another.
2. Update on Ava DuVernay’s New Gods
In March 2018, it was announced that Selma filmmaker Ava DuVernay would direct a big-budget adaptation of The New Gods, a team originally created by the beloved artist Jack Kirby. In May 2019, she revealed on Twitter that esteemed Batman comics writer Tom King had joined her to write the script for Warner Bros. And in July of last year, she also revealed that Darkseid and the Female Furies will play a role in the film.
Other than that, we know absolutely nothing about the mysterious movie. We don’t know any specific details about the plot or which characters it will follow nor do we know anything about casting or an official release date. We don’t even know if the film belongs in the DCEU or not. The 2018 Deadline report on DuVernay’s hiring suggested the film has “no connection to the other DC worlds being exploited for film right now,” much like Reeves’ The Batman, while Variety’s article at the time said the film is connected to the shared continuity. What gives?
After two years of wandering in the unknown, it would be nice to get a little morsel of intel from DC about the direction of the film.
1. Henry Cavill Returning as Superman
We’re approaching conspiracy theory territory here, so just bear with me.
In late 2018, it was reported that Superman star Henry Cavill and Warner Bros. had parted ways after three films, leading to a flurry of questions about the character’s future in the DCEU. This speculation was only further inflamed with the Man of Steel’s not-a-cameo in the post-credits scene of Shazam!, which featured Superman from the neck down (what is this—Muppet Babies?).
Then, in May, it was reported that Cavill and Warner Bros. might have come back to the negotiating table to figure out how he can return to the big screen as Superman. Importantly, the report suggested that WB could use Superman as an added value supporting player in other character’s films rather than his own standalone sequel. This was followed by Cavill saying in June that “I hope that I get to play more of Superman in years to come.”
Now, the official Black Adam panel—which will serve as Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s official DCEU introduction years after being cast in 2014—is promising “a few surprises” on Saturday. It would make a lot of sense for Cavill’s return to work as a supporting character in Black Adam for several reasons.
For starters, Superman has long been vulnerable to magic in the comics, which is the source of Shazam and Black Adam’s power. There’s an interesting dynamic to play with there and the two have fought several times across the comics. Secondly, Johnson has continually emphasized in social media posts that “the hierarchy of power in the DC Universe is about to change” with the intro of Black Adam. To upend the power hierarchy of the franchise, he would need to go toe-to-toe with the most powerful entity in the DC Universe, which is Superman.
And finally, both Cavill and Johnson share a producer/manager in Dany Garcia (Johnson’s ex-wife), who would have been able to effectively backchannel between all the parties involved to help make this happen. If there were ever a time and a way to reintroduce Cavill’s Superman, it’s alongside the unmatched global star power of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson at the highly-anticipated DC FanDome.
Bonus: Announce a Black Canary HBO Max Series
As we wrote yesterday, Jurnee Smollet is an absolute star ready to go supernova in her own project following Birds of Prey and HBO’s Lovecraft Country. She’s simply too talented not to get her own, bigger showcase platform. DC should lock her up to a Black Canary solo deal while they still can.