DC’s New 10-Year Plan, Explained
"Hearst Magazines and Yahoo may earn commission or revenue on some items through these links."
DC's cinematic universe is going through some major changes. In 2022 DC announced James Gunn and Peter Safran as co-CEOs of DC Studios, most likely in a move to start crafting DC’s path to adapting its many famous and notable superhero characters to the screen in a way that can match competitor Marvel's interconnected, multifaceted MCU. The DCEU—which began with Man of Steel and included the likes of Suicide Squad, Justice League, and Black Adam—seems to be no more, as James Gunn said in a recent Instagram video. It'll be called "the DCU." Things are changing over at DC Studios, and for a casual fan, it’s a lot to keep up with.
Gunn and Safran announced in January 2023 that they officially had a new ten-year plan for DC, shooting for two films a year and two HBO Max series a year. Kicking off the new plan will be Superman: Legacy, the first film in what Safran and Gunn call DCU's Chapter 1: Gods and Monsters. Any standalone projects, like Matt Reeves' The Batman, will be part of "Elseworlds," a category for miscellaneous movies.While some aspects of the DCEU are still in development (like The Flash, slated to release this year), there are a host of new movies and shows hinting at a brand new future for DC.
For the sake of this list, we’ll only be focusing on major DC movies and television shows, meaning theatrical releases and any upcoming movies or shows on HBO Max. Still, it's worth mentioning that some DC characters, while not part of this interconnected universe, are spread across different platforms, including the CW (a new Gotham Knights series) and Netflix (where The Sandman has been renewed for a Season 2). While those stories won't cross over to the DCU, they're still worth watching.
Here are all the DC movies and shows on the way.
Upcoming DC Movies
Shazam: Fury of the Gods (March 17, 2023)
Originally planned for a 2022 release, the pandemic delayed production for the kids-turned-superheroes sequel. Lucy Liu, Helen Mirren, and Rachel Zegler have been cast in new roles and could be villains in the upcoming sequel.
The Flash (June 16, 2023)
After his appearances in Batman v Superman, both versions of Justice League, and a cameo in the Peacemaker Season 1 finale, The Flash has his own film on the way. Starring Ezra Miller, The Flash is inspired by the comic storyline "Flashpoint," where the superhero attempts to travel back in time to prevent his mother’s murder.
Blue Beetle (August 18, 2023)
Variety reported that Angel Manuel Soto of Charm City Kings will be directing a film centered on DC’s Blue Beetle. Safran and Gunn have confirmed the film won't be connected to The Flash or other DCEU-era films coming out this year. Soto's version will focus the newest rendition of the hero, a Mexican-American teenager named Jaime Reyes (played by Cobra Kai star Xolo Maridueña) who gains alien armor and weapons when a mysterious scarab bings to his spine. Gross.
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (December 25, 2023)
Not much is known about the sequel to Aquaman. Various cast members from the first film are expected to reprise their roles, including Yahya Abdul-Mateen and of course, Jason Momoa.
DCU–Chapter 1: Gods and Monsters
Superman: Legacy (July 11, 2025)
According to IGN, Superman: Legacy is the first in the new DC cinematic universe. James Gunn will write the film and potentially direct. In a blog post at DC, Safran confirmed that Superman: Legacy is not an origin story, but "focuses on Superman balancing his Kryptonian heritage with his human upbringing." Gunn seemingly confirmed in a Tweet that his Superman could be based on writer Grant Morrison's famous "All-Star Superman" run.
The Authority (TBD)
Gunn calls The Authority "a big movie," featuring characters from Wildstorm, an imprint DC bought in 1999 (it was shut down in 2010). According to IGN, the Authority is an offshoot of a previous team called Stormwatch. The members of the Authority have fascinating abilities gained through biomedical experiments, nanotechnology, and other means. In a way, they're a darker version of, say, the Justice League. Gunn's Tweet suggests that the film could be inspired by the comic runs by Mark Millar, among other writers.
The Brave and the Bold (TBD)
The introduction of the DCU's Batman will come in The Brave and the Bold. Gunn and Safran are skipping a Batman origin story and focusing on a story of Batman following a Batman and Robin where Robin is Damian Wayne, Bruce's estranged son raised as an assassin. These ideas and characterizations are based on Grant Morrison's Batman run. Ben Affleck is assuredly not coming back as Batman, but could potentially direct the film.
Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow (TBD)
Based on Tom King and Bliquis Evely's comic, this film will follow a version of Supergirl with a very different life from the adopted Superman. In the comic run, she stays on Krypton during her adolescence and becomes a superhero after a great deal of trauma. Expect a darker version of the hero here.
Swamp Thing (TBD)
Simply put, this film will explore the origins of Swamp Thing. There's not much information on the movie yet, but there's a deep well of content Gunn and Safran can mine in the eco-focused monster's five decades of existence; Gunn's Tweet implies that the movie will take influence from Alan Moore's famous run on the character. According to The Hollywood Reporter, James Mangold (Logan, Identity, the upcoming Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny) is in talks to direct the film.
The Batman 2 (October 3, 2025)
After the critical acclaim for Matt Reeves' The Batman, there was no question there'd be a sequel; this will be the second movie in a planned trilogy. Fans will have to wait a while though, as we won't see Robert Pattinson as the Dark Knight again until 2025.
Joker: Folie a Deux (TBD)
The critically acclaimed (and socially divisive) Joker is slated for a sequel film, still separate from the rest of DC's cinematic universe. Not much is known about the upcoming film, outside of the fact that Lady Gaga will play Harley Quinn alongside Joaquin Phoenix's Joker, and the movie will be a musical. Not kidding!
Constantine 2 (TBD)
Well over a decade since Keanu Reeves starred in Constantine, a sequel to the 2005 horror film is still in the works despite DC's overall content restructuring. Keanu Reeves is set to reprise his role as the exorcist and according to IGN, Francis Lawrence will direct and Akiva Goldman will produce the film.
The Penguin (Possible 2024 Premiere)
Colin Farrell will reprise his role as the Penguin (he first appeared in The Batman) in this spin-off show. Variety reported Cristin Millioti will also star in the show, which has no release date yet, but began filming in February 2023.
Peacemaker Season 2 (In-Development)
Based around John Cena’s character from The Suicide Squad, Peacemaker follows Christopher Smith, an anti-hero with one hell of a worldview: "I cherish peace with all of my heart. I don't care how many men, women and children I kill to get it." The popularity of Season 1 made a renewal a definite no matter what DC's future cinematic plans were.
Peacemaker isn't the only character from The Suicide Squad getting his own show. Safran and Gunn announced Viola Davis would return in her own show, Waller. In her appearances so far, Waller has been set up as a far more corrupt version of Marvel's Nick Fury; she's already appeared in several DC projects. Gunn said in his announcement that Team Peacemaker will be involved—there are bound to be fun cameos in the show.
Creature Commandos (In Production)
The first series in the new era of DC is Creature Commandos and according to James Gunn, it's already written. Unlike previous animated DC shows, Gunn says Creature Commandos (along with any future animated shows) will be integrated into the overall DC cinematic universe. The plan is to cast actors who are able to appear in other DC projects, potentially migrating to live-action productions as well.
The show will follow a group of military superhumans and features Rick Flag, Eric Frankenstein, the Bride of Frankenstein, G.I., Weasel and others. The first season consists of seven episodes and is currently in production.
Paradise Lost (TBD)
Rather than another straightforward Wonder Woman story, DC is taking a Game of Thrones-style approach to Paradise Lost, which will center on politics and drama in Wonder Woman's birthplace, Themyscira.
Green Lanterns Hal Jordan and John Stewart will team up in this HBO Max series, which Safran describes as a "True Detective-type mystery." The intention is for the show's plot to integrate into other shows and movies in this new era of DC.
Dead Boy Detectives (TBD)
After appearing in Season 3 of Doom Patrol, the Dead Boy Detectives will also get a standalone show on HBO Max, according to Variety. The characters (created by Neil Gaiman) are two ghost boys who decide to stay on Earth and solve supernatural mysteries instead of go to the afterlife. Despite a number of show and movie cancellations over at DC, it looks like Dead Boy Detectives has a cast and is expected to premiere on HBO Max without any hiccups.
The Harley Quinn spin-off poised to be an animated superhero version of Cheers is still reportedly in the works as of 2023, according to Variety. The show will star Harley Quinn character Kite-Man and centers on a bar called Noonan's.There's been no update yet as to when the show will premiere, but Harley Quinn showrunner Justin Halpern gave some insight into the show's concept.
"It’s run by Dean Lorey, who we did the first three seasons with, and he partners with Katie Rich, an amazing comedy writer. The Kite Man series is gonna hit some of the same vibes that the [Harley Quinn Valentine's Day special] does. It gets out there. It goes for it."
Booster Gold (TBD)
This live-action HBO Max series will follow a guy who's not exactly a superhero. Booster Gold isn't actually a superhuman, but a time traveler who travels to the past and passes himself off as a superhero using future technology. No word yet on when the series will premiere, but it sounds like it could be fun and much in the vein of what we've seen with Peacemaker. DC is in talks to cast an actor for the show.
You Might Also Like