When it comes to the biggest entertainment franchises in the world, you’ve got: Marvel, Star Wars, James Bond, Game of Thrones, Fast and Furious, the Wizarding World and DC. Today, we’re here to talk about that last one. After the failure of 2017’s theatrical Justice League, DC has more or less been piloting the franchise without a specific destination in mind. But that hasn’t prevented the studio from preparing ambitious plans for the near-term future.
Standalone solo adventures, soft reboots, spinoff TV series—DC isn’t slowing down as it continues its course correction from its tumultuous yet successful run across the 2010s. So we’re here to layout the future outlook of DC as an ambitious expansion of the franchise with new films and shows is on the horizon. Here’s every DC project publicly in development.
(Note: this list does not include ongoing series such as Harley Quinn, Doom Patrol or series within The CW’s Arrowverse).
The Suicide Squad (Aug. 6, 2021)
Is James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad a sequel to the 2016 Suicide Squad? A reboot? Co-star John Cena tells Observer that, somehow, it’s neither.
“People are kind of expecting to be something. But nobody’s ready to see this movie. Everyone needs it in their life, trust me. But nobody’s ready to see what it is. Nobody,” Cena said.
Whatever it is, Gunn’s track record is all the convincing we need.
Peacemaker (Jan. 2022)
While working on The Suicide Squad, Gunn was inspired to create an eight-episode HBO Max spinoff series that revolved around Cena’s Peacemaker. The character is essentially an inverted Captain America—a “hero” who believes in peace so fervently he’s willing to kill anyone to attain it. But will Peacemaker connect to the greater DC Extended Universe?
“You may think I’m front and center, but we have an all-star cast and everyone slays,” Cena told Observer. “I think it’s going to go do good for how people view elements of the DC Universe. Whether it continues to weave the web and further the DC Universe, that’s up to you guys. But I think it’ll be an awesome, awesome journey.”
The Batman (March 4, 2022)
Here’s where things begin to get a little tricky. After the failure of Justice League, DC has somewhat softened on the shared cinematic universe, though that structure very much remains in its plans. But Matt Reeves and Robert Pattinson’s oft-delayed The Batman is confirmed to take place within its own universe that is not connected to the DCEU. Will this confuse casual fans? Potentially. But hopefully this explainer helps set the record straight.
Gotham P.D. (TBD)
Executive produced by Matt Reeves, Gotham P.D. is an HBO Max companion series set before the events of The Batman that will explore the corruption and crime engulfing Gotham City and the police department’s role in its decline. Originally, Boardwalk Empire creator Terence Winter was set as showrunner, but departed due to creative differences. Joe Barton (Girl/Haji) was brought in as a replacement.
The series is set during Batman’s first year of crime fighting, though it remains unknown if Pattinson or other characters from the film will make appearances.
Black Adam (July 29, 2022)
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has been connected to the Black Adam role for the better part of a decade. So when Observer exclusively reported that Jungle Cruise filmmaker Jaume Collet-Serra was in talks to direct the DC blockbuster, excitement really began to rev up. The marriage of the world’s biggest movie star and one of the world’s biggest franchises is just too good to pass up.
Cinematographer Lawrence Sher told us that the create team is trying to “reinvent” the aesthetic of superhero blockbusters. “I want it to be something singular and feel wholly original within the genre,” Sher said.
The Flash (Nov. 4, 2022)
It director Andy Muschietti is tasked with bringing a Flash solo film to life after years of false starts. However, “solo film” isn’t exactly the right term. Incorporating elements of The Flashpoint Paradox storyline, The Flash will serve as something of a soft reboot of the DCEU continuity. Michael Keaton’s Batman is set to return for the first time since 1992, Ben Affleck’s Batman will appear to bid adieu, and Sasha Calle will make her debut as Supergirl. Throw in the film’s base time travel story and, well, there’s a lot going on in The Flash.
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (Dec. 16, 2022)
Jason Momoa’s Aquaman is one of the few DC heroes to come out of the Justice League debacle relatively unscathed as his solo flick grossed $1.1 billion at the worldwide box office. He’ll swim back into theaters next December. Flippers crossed that Yahya Abdul-Mateen II’s Black Manta has more to do this time around.
Shazam: Fury of the Gods (June 2, 2023)
David F. Sandberg returns to direct the Shazam sequel after a successful first outing. Joining the cast are Dame Helen Mirren as the evil Hespera and Lucy Liu’s Kalypso, the daughters of the god Atlas. West Side Story‘s Rachel Zegler is also joining the cast in an undisclosed role.
Static Shock (TBD)
In October, The Hollywood Reporter revealed that Hollywood superstar Michael B. Jordan was producing a live-action Static Shock film for Warner Bros. In December, the New York Times mentioned in a profile of DC Films president Walter Hamada that the movie was potentially being developed for HBO Max.
The character is perhaps best known for his excellent animated series of the same name that ran from 2000-2004. The high-school aged Virgil Hawkins has the potential to be DC’s counterpoint to Spider-Man.
In that same New York Times profile, the outlet also mentioned that Batgirl is another possibility to be rerouted to HBO Max exclusively. In May, THR reported that Bad Boys for Life filmmakers Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah had been tapped to direct. Christina Hodson (Bumblebee, Birds of Prey, The Flash) penned the script.
Blue Beetle (TBD)
In February, TheWrap reported that Angel Manuel Soto (Charm City Kings) is set to direct Blue Beetle for DC Films and Warner Bros. The Blue Beetle moniker has been the superhero alter ego used by three separate characters in DC Comics. The film will revolve around Mexican-American teenager Jaime Reyes, a character whose popularity has risen even further in recent years thanks to animated series such as Young Justice.
In April, Variety reported that Promising Young Woman writer/director Emerald Fennell had been tapped to pen the script for a Zatanna movie. The magical sorceress is a powerful DC character who has ties to John Constantine and the entire Justice League.
Green Lantern (TBD)
HBO Max’s Green Lantern TV series will follow several different heroes who have donned the green power ring throughout the years, minus Hal Jordan and John Stewart. Finn Wittrock and Jeremy Irvine have already been cast as two lesser known Lanterns from the comics. Lee Toland Krieger will direct the first two episodes and Seth Grahame-Smith will serve as showrunner.
DC Super Hero High (TBD)
DC Super Hero High is a half-hour comedy series executive produced by Elizabeth Banks (Charlie’s Angels, Pitch Perfect, Shrill), which follows a group of students experiencing the fun and drama of adolescence at a boarding school for gifted kids. These teens are just trying to navigate the pressures of high school, but none of them realize that someday they will become legendary DC Super Heroes.
In February, Variety reported that a Constantine series is in early development at HBO Max. Guy Bolton is writing with J.J. Abrams executive producing. This new series will follow a younger version of the sorcerer we’ve come to love and loathe. The show will reportedly connect to Justice League Dark, which Abrams is also working on via his Bad Robot Productions banner.
Justice League Dark (TBD)
A Justice League Dark project has been in some form of development at Warner Bros. for years. Now, with HBO Max up and running and Abrams on board as executive produce, everything is falling into place. Official details for the TV series are scarce, but the comics saw characters such as Constantine, Swamp Thing, Madame Xanadu, Deadman and Doctor Mist team up frequently to defend the world from mystical and otherworldly supernatural threats.
Batman: Caped Crusader
J.J. Abrams and Matt Reeves are re-teaming to produce a new animated Batman series, Batman: Caped Crusader, with DC animated universe veteran Bruce Timm for a straight-to-series order from HBO Max and Cartoon Network.
Abrams and Reeves, who previously worked together in the Cloverfield franchise, described the new series as a “reimagining of the Batman mythology” in a joint statement at the time of its announcement.
My Adventures With Superman (TBD)
Jack Quaid (The Boys) and Alice Lee (Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist) will lend their voices to WB Animation’s My Adventures with Superman, which scored a two-season order at HBO Max and Cartoon Network. The series features the two characters, along with best friend Jimmy Olsen, as twenty-somethings beginning to discover who they are and everything they can accomplish together as an investigative reporting team at the Daily Planet.
Superman Reboot (TBD)
In February, it was revealed that author Ta-Nehisi Coates had been tapped to pen a Superman feature film reboot produced by J.J. Abrams under his label Bad Robot for Warner Bros. The film would reportedly center around a Black Superman. Directorial candidates reportedly being considered include Barry Jenkins, Ryan Coogler, Steven Caple Jr., J.D. Dillard, Regina King and Shaka King.