We have experienced a pretty awesome collection of superhero movies recently since Marvel Studios began churning out flicks faster than the time it takes for Hawkeye to dodge a bullet. The release of Iron Man in 2008 began what is called the Marvel Cinematic Universe; a series of interconnected films about our favorite Marvel comic book superheroes such as The Hulk, Captain America and Thor. The project has been a booming success, to say the least, as the 10 films released so far have already been some of the most entertaining and financially successful actions movies in the past decade. There are many more movies to come, and the universe has even spread to the smaller screen, with a handful of new television series either already airing now on cable or releasing soon on Netflix.
As Marvel prospers, however, comic book fans wonder why DC Comics is missing out on all of the action. Sure, the recent Batman trilogy was a huge hit, and Man of Steel – the newest Superman film – received favorable reviews, but that’s pretty much it. DC Comics has a vast amount of kick-ass superheroes who have yet to grace the silver screen. But fear not, as Warner Bros. made a surprising announcement last week, specifically detailing DC Comics’ own series of superhero movies to rival the future films being released by Marvel Comics. We now know the studio’s release window all the way up to 2020, with most movies already having an actor cast for the starring role. I’d like to walk you through each movie and explain everything we know so far…even if it’s just the release date (and even that is subject to change). Here are 10 reasons you shouldn’t lose hope for DC Comics’ future in film.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Release date: March 25, 2016
Currently filming, this is officially the sequel to 2013’s Man of Steel, the most recent reboot of Superman’s story. By judging the title, you can tell it’s going to be a much more epic film than the first, featuring several superheroes that will eventually join together to form the Justice League. Henry Cavill reprises his role as Superman, while Ben Affleck (yes, Ben Affleck) will be playing Batman.
The rest of the main cast features acclaimed actors Amy Adams (American Hustle) as Lois Lane, Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network) as villain Lex Luthor, Laurence Fishburne (The Matrix) as Daily Planet editor-in-chief Perry White and Jeremy Irons (The Borgias) as Bruce Wayne’s butler Alfred Pennyworth. Expanding the DC Comics universe even more, Gal Gadot (Fast & Furious) will be featured prominently as well in her appearance as the first Wonder Woman in film. There will also be a couple of minor superhero introductions with theater actor Ray Fisher as Cyborg and Jason Momoa (Game of Thrones) as Aquaman.
We don’t know exactly what the story will encompass, but we have at least been given a few hints. Director Zack Snyder has confirmed that the story takes inspiration from – but isn’t based on – the classic comic The Dark Knight Returns. In this famous story by renowned comic book writer Frank Miller, an aging Batman returns from retirement to fight the surging crime wave in Gotham City. Affleck’s casting as Batman coincides with the older Batman storyline, and the few images released of the film show a Batman logo similar to the comic book’s design. It is a mystery how the rest of the superheroes are involved with the story.
Release date: Aug. 5, 2016
Since these movies are ultimately setting up the Justice League movie, it’s only appropriate that we get to know some of the supervillains that our heroes will square off against. The current incarnation of the Suicide Squad in the comics includes Black Manta (archenemy of Aquaman), Deadshot (marksman and adversary of Batman), Deathstroke (also known as Slade; enemy of the Teen Titans, Batman and Green Arrow), Joker’s Daughter (an insane villain who is actually Harvey Dent’s daughter) and Harley Quinn (The Joker’s accomplice and significant other). It is unknown how many villains in the current roster will appear in the film, but it’s likely at least a few of these villains will appear.
Release date: June 23, 2017
The announcement of Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman drew jeers from comic book fans, as her only prominent films are of the Fast & Furious series, but I have hope. A promotional image has been released with Gadot in costume and she looks to fit the hot warrior princess look just as well as Lynda Carter did in the 70s.
Justice League Part One
Release date: Nov. 17, 2017
Just as the first Marvel films gave us great expectations for The Avengers movie, we will be salivating over this film’s release. Based on the announced movies, the team will likely consist of Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, The Flash, Cyborg, Green Lantern and Captain Marvel.
Release date: March 23, 2018
With the hype surrounding the new television series based on the character, it was assumed the show would be connected to the films. However, the confirmation of Ezra Miller (The Perks of Being a Wallflower) earning the role of The Flash, confirmed that the television series and films will be set in different universes.
Release date: July 27, 2018
Aquaman has long been the laughing stock of superheroes in popular culture, and DC comics clearly wants to change that image. Colossal actor Jason Momoa – best known for his role as badass warrior leader Khal Drogo in Game of Thrones – has been cast in the title role, which gives comic book fans much hope that Aquaman will finally be recognized as a fierce combatant.
Release date: April 5, 2019
Despite its name, Shazam will tell the story of Captain Marvel, a superhero who gains the abilities of six mythological figures – Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles and Mercury – after speaking the word “Shazam” (hence the name). Dwayne Johnson has been cast as Captain Marvel’s nemesis Black Adam and the film is said by executive producer Toby Emmerich (The Hobbit) to feature a lighter and more fun tone than the other DC Comics films.
Justice League 2
Release date: June 14, 2019
It’s crazy that we already know the release date to the sequel of a film that hasn’t even finished filming. Expect the superhero cast to be even bigger than the first.
Release date: April 3, 2020
Best known as a member of the Teen Titans, Cyborg officially became a founding member of the Justice League in a 2011 reboot of DC Comics’ storylines. Played by theater actor Ray Fisher in his first movie role, Cyborg is a human who was reconstructed with robotics after a lab accident.
Release date: June 19, 2020
Especially since this film will release almost a full decade after the 2011 Green Lantern movie, do not expect Ryan Reynolds to return as Hal Jordan. Moreso, we will not even know which hero the flick will be focused on, as more than six people have historically battled evil as Green Lantern.