Keeping Track of Every DC Movie In Development
Those damn moviegoers certainly love their superheroes. Four of the top ten highest-grossing movies of 2017, 2016 and 2014 featured superheroes. Three of the top ten in 2013 and 2012 did as well. The last time a superhero movie wasn’t in the year’s top ten was in 2011. That was when Harry Potter was box office king and Ryan Reynolds was Green Lantern.
With this superhero craze comes a bevy of new projects from Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe, Warner Bros.’ DC Extended Universe, Fox’s X-Men universe and Sony’s Spider-Man universe. It’s getting pretty confusing out there so let our guides help you keep track of where each movie — confirmed or rumored — is at right now in its development cycle.
DC has three movies with release dates and supposedly another 20 (!!!) at various points in development.
LAST UPDATED (5/12/18): Shazam! has finished production
LAST UPDATED (4/12/18): Pickups are underway; Set for release on Dec. 21
2014: Writers Will Beall and Kurt Johnstad were supposedly hired in August 2014 to write competing scripts for an Aquaman movie (THR). A couple of months later, Aquaman was officially announced for a 2018 release (Business Wire).
2015: It was reported that Beall and Johnstad were still writing scripts in April and filmmaker James Wan was the frontrunner to direct (THR). Wan was eventually confirmed to direct and look over a script by Johnstad a couple of months later (Deadline). By the end of the year, writer David Leslie Johnson was said to have been brought on to help write (THR).
2016: Beall was apparently brought back on board to write a new script in July, but this time based off a new treatment from Wan and writer Geoff Johns (THR). Pre-production in Australia began by the end of November (Gold Coast Bulletin).
2018: In April, Wan said the movie was undergoing pickups (Twitter).
LAST UPDATED (5/12/18): Finished production; Set for release on Apr. 5
2017: Writer Henry Gayden was said to be working on the script in January (THR). In February, David F. Sandberg was said to be in talks to direct from a script by Lemke (Variety). That summer it was reported that the movie would go into production in early 2018 for a 2019 release with Sandberg directing (THR). Pre-production officially began in August (Instagram).
Wonder Woman 2
LAST UPDATED (11/13/17): Release date moved up; Set for release on Nov. 1, 2019
2017: Wonder Woman executive producer Geoff Johns said that he and the film’s director, Patty Jenkins, were writing the treatment for a sequel in June (Variety). A month later, Wonder Woman 2 was made official at Comic-Con (ScreenRant) and hit with a Dec. 13, 2019 release date a few days afterwards (THR). In September, Jenkins became the highest-paid female director in history when she signed on for the sequel (Variety) and Dave Callaham was said to have been brought on board to help write (THR). However, by the end of the year Disney rescheduled Star Wars: Episode IX for the week after Wonder Woman 2 and Warner Bros. wanted none of that. Wonder Woman 2 moved up to Nov. 1, 2019 (Collider). Tough sh*t to those kids trick-or-treating at my house BECAUSE YOUR BOY IS GOING TO THE HALLOWEEN NIGHT PREMIERE.
Birds of Prey
LAST UPDATED (5/8/18): Margot Robbie confirms director, writer and R-rated plans
2016: Christina Hodson was said to have been writing a Birds of Prey movie that would have Margot Robbie producing and reprising her role as Harley Quinn (Wrap).
2018: Cathy Yan was rumored to direct in April after delivering an “exceptional” presentation (Deadline). A month later, Robbie confirmed she has been working with Hodson on a potentially R-rated movie starring DC’s women, which is to be directed by Yan (Collider). Birds of Prey was not specifically mentioned.
LAST UPDATED (4/10/18): Script is done, filming might begin in 2019
2017: New Line Cinema was said they were going to simultaneously develop Shazam! and a Black Adam movie starring Dwayne Johnson (THR). In October, Adam Sztykiel was said to be in negotiations to write the Black Adam movie (Tracking Board).
2018: Johnson said the script is done and if everything goes fine then the movie might start filming in 2019 (Yahoo).
LAST UPDATED (4/9/18): Writer has been hired
2017: Filmmaker Joss Whedon was nearing a deal to write, direct and produce a Batgirl movie in March 2017. At Comic-Con, producer Geoff Johns said Whedon would begin production on the movie in 2018 (YouTube).
2018: After a year of trying, Whedon could not come up with a story for Batgirl and departed the project in February. It was said that Warner Bros. was planning to hire a female filmmaker in his place (Tracking Board). A couple of months later, Christina Hodson was hired to write a script (THR).
LAST UPDATED (4/3/18): Might get a new title
2014: A Flash movie was confirmed to be released in 2018 starring Ezra Miller (Variety).
2015: In spring 2015, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller were said to be working on a story treatment for the Flash movie and might direct (Deadline). By October, it was rumored that Seth Grahame-Smith was in negotiations to direct and write a script from Lord and Miller’s treatment (THR).
2018: John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein were confirmed to direct in February (Collider) and the movie was said to be part of the next wave of DC movies (THR). In April, it was reported that the “Flashpoint” title would be dropped (Twitter).
LAST UPDATED (3/15/18): Director has been hired
2018: It was reported that Ava DuVernay is directing New Gods for DC (Variety). While DuVernay didn’t confirm anything, she posted a quote on Twitter by New Gods author Jack Kirby the day the news broke (Twitter).
LAST UPDATED (2/9/18): Rewrite supposedly on the way, Michael Bay might direct
2012: Brad Payton was hired to direct and work on a script for a Lobo movie (Deadline).
2016: Jason Fuchs was hired to write a script from scratch with Payton still directing (Wrap).
2018: In February, it was rumored that Michael Bay would take the director’s seat. Fuchs is apparently rewriting the script to bring it down from a projected $200 million budget. Apparently, even Michael Bay thought that number was too high (THR).
LAST UPDATED (2/8/18): Script is expected soon
2017: Chris McKay was said to be in negotiations to direct a Nightwing movie from a script by Bull Dubuque in February (THR).
2018: In February, McKay said he expects the script soon (Twitter).
Green Lantern Corps.
LAST UPDATED (1/9/18): Movie is still in the works
2014: A Green Lantern movie was said to be released in 2020 (EW).
2015: At Comic-Con, the movie’s title was revealed to be Green Lantern Corps. (IGN).
2017: In January, it was said that David Goyer and Justin Rhodes were hired to write a script and the studio will try to get a director soon (Deadline).
2018: Goyer said in January that the movie was still in the works (IGN).
Suicide Squad sequel
LAST UPDATED (12/11/17): Filming expected to begin in October 2018
2016: Director David Ayer and star Will Smith were said to be planning to film a Suicide Squad sequel in 2017 (Variety).
2017: Ayer was said to be directing a Gotham City Sirens movie for DC instead so talks were had with other directors including Mel Gibson. Adam Kozad was also apparently in negotiations to write (THR). In July, it was said that Jaume Collet-Serra was the top choice to direct and begin filming by mid-2018 (THR). That fall, Gavin O’Connor was said to have been made the official writer and director (THR) with the movie expected to begin filming in October 2018 (Omega).
Justice League sequel
LAST UPDATED (12/7/17): No “immediate” plans for Snyder to direct another DC movie
2014: Justice League was originally announced as a two-part movie with Justice League Part One set to be released in 2017 and Justice League Part Two in 2019. Both movies were to be directed by Zack Snyder (EW).
2016: In June, Justice League producer Deborah Snyder said they “were only ever planning” one Justice League movie. Sure, Deborah. Have it your way (Vulture). In December, it was said a Justice League sequel would still be directed by Snyder but was being pushed to make way for a standalone Batman movie (THR).
2017: While doing press for Justice League, star J.K. Simmons said a script for a sequel was being written (Cosmic Book News). But in December, it was said there were “no immediate plans for Snyder to direct another DC movie.” Warner Bros. parent company, Time Warner, was said to have not been pleased that Snyder came back after the critical failure of Batman v Superman and were turned off by an early, dark cut of Justice League (Variety).
LAST UPDATED (12/7/17): New actor to play Batman?
2014: A solo Batman movie was announced in October 2014 (EW).
2015: In July 2015, it was first rumored that star Ben Affleck would direct the movie himself and co-write with Geoff Johns (Variety).
2016: In February 2016, one of the heads at the agency that represents Affleck confirmed that he wrote a script for a Batman movie (THR). Two months later, the news of Affleck directing was made official at CinemaCon (Variety). Affleck said the movie was probably going to be called The Batman in October (YouTube) and said in December that the script was finishing up and they were expecting to shoot in spring (Variety).
2017: With the movie in prep for the summer, Affleck dropped out of directing to remain a producer and star on the movie. At that same time, it was rumored that Matt Reeves would direct (Variety). A month later in February, Reeves was officially made the director (Deadline). In July, Reeves said he was starting over with a new script (THR). The director might be starting with a new Batman too as it was said in December that Reeves was possibly bringing in a new actor for the part (Variety).
LAST UPDATED (11/6/17): Fisher knows the next movie he will appear as Cyborg in
2014: A Cyborg movie was announced for a 2020 release that will star Ray Fisher (EW).
2017: While doing press for Justice League, Fisher said he knew the next movie he would play Cyborg in. Unfortunately, he didn’t specify which (ComicBook).
LAST UPDATED (10/26/17): Writer and director supposedly in talks
2017: Gareth Evans is supposedly in talks to write and direct a Deathstroke movie after he impressed the studio with a pitch.
Justice League Dark
LAST UPDATED (10/26/17): Director passed on the opportunity
2013: Guillermo del Toro said he was working on a movie that would bring together some of DC’s supernatural characters like Swamp Thing, Constantine, The Spectre and more. He confirmed he was writing an outline that had a working title of “Dark Universe” and they found a writer (IGN).
2014: A completed script was said to have been sent to Warner Bros. (Forbes).
2015: del Toro was said to be off the project (THR).
2016: Doug Liman was set to direct after del Toro supposedly got sidetracked with other projects (Variety).
2017: In May, it was said that scheduling conflicts booted Liman from the project (Variety), but the movie was still part of the studio’s slate at their Comic-Con presentation in July (USA Today). A month after that, Gerard Johnston was hired to rewrite the script (Deadline). In October, it was reported that Gareth Evans passed on the movie.
Harley Quinn vs. The Joker
LAST UPDATED (9/19/17): Robbie (kind of) confirms the filmmakers’ involvement
2017: A movie that would pit Harley Quinn against The Joker was rumored to be in development in July 2017 with the possible title “Harley Quinn vs. The Joker” (ScreenRant). Glenn Ficarra and John Requa were said to be in negotiations to write and direct a month later with the movie to go into production after a sequel to Suicide Squad. In September, actress Margot Robbie was asked about the movie and she talked about how much she loved working with the filmmaking duo. She avoids saying if they are actually hired for the project. (ComingSoon).
LAST UPDATED (8/23/17): Director and writers may be set, Martin Scorsese may produce
2017: Todd Phillips was said to be directing a movie that would serve as an origin story for The Joker. He would also be co-writing with Martin Scorsese possibly producing.
Gotham City Sirens
LAST UPDATED (7/21/17): Filmmaker talks what brought him to project (IGN)
2016: A Gotham City Sirens movie is rumored to be directed by David Ayer from a script by Geneva Robertson-Dworet. Margot Robbie would reprise her role as Harley Quinn and serve as an executive producer (THR).
2017: By Comic-Con in July, Ayer was talking about the movie and what brought him to the project (IGN).
LAST UPDATED (12/13/16): Studio may develop it
2016: Warner Bros. was supposedly “looking into” a spinoff featuring Will Smith’s Suicide Squad character Deadshot. This project wouldn’t be developed until after a Suicide Squad sequel and Gotham City Sirens (THR).
LAST UPDATED (11/5/16): Script is in progress
2014: Another Superman movie was announced in October 2014 (EW).
2015: There was a rumor that Warner Bros. was trying to get George Miller to take on directing duties (Digital Spy), but the filmmaker later said that he hopes his next film doesn’t have special effects or a lot of stunts. So, probably not a Superman movie (Digital Spy).
2016: In August, it was said that the movie was in “active development” at Warner Bros. (Wrap). A month later, actor Henry Cavill’s agent confirmed he was working on the standalone movie (Newsweek). However in November, actress Amy Adams said they were still working on a script (YouTube).
LAST UPDATED (5/12/16): Berlanti not confirmed to direct, script being written
2015: Greg Berlanti was said to be directing a Booster Gold and Blue Beetle team-up movie to be written by Zak Penn (Tracking Board).
2016 Berlanti reconfirmed that a Booster Gold movie was still in development but he said he wasn’t set to direct anything. He said he “probably” would direct and that Zack Stentz was writing the script (THR).
The competition rages on:
- Marvel Cinematic Universe (17 films = $13,511,852,934) – Average: about $794,814,878
- X-Men (10 films = $4,996,632,006) – Average: about $499,663,200
- DC Extended Universe (5 films = $3,768,298,638) – Average: about $753,659,727
Box office stats from Box Office Mojo.