Wednesday, October 15th, 2014, Warner Bros. announces their slate of films based on the heroes found within the pages of DC comics. Plans for films based on characters ranging from Aquaman to Cyborg were scheduled for release over the next six years. At the time, this announcement was heavily criticized by internet personalities and move sites for the film slate not being announced at a major convention like the San Diego Comic Con. Instead, the films were announced at a investors meeting by Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara.
This announcement came two years before Batman v Superman came out and drove a wedge between fans of the series with its dark interpretation of the world renowned Trinity. To say that a lot has happened in the years since this announcement is a bit of an understatement. So let’s take a look back at the 2014 DC film slate and see how things have changed in the years since Last years release of Justice League.
We’re starting off on a bad note here. The Flash was originally supposed to release this year. While the actual date, outside of “2018”, is unknown, the first feature film to focus on the Scarlet Speedster (played by Ezra Miller) has gone through more ups and downs than any other film on this list. A revolving door of directors that seem intent to leave the project, the unknown involvement of heroes like Batman or Cyborg, and a production start date of “pushed back again” (into 2019) has ensured fans of the Flash an ever increasing sense of dread when asked if this film will ever get off the ground. I’m certain that a Flash movie will hit screens one day, but will it be the Flash we’ve seen onscreen three times now?
A Movie about everyone’s favorite “Dude-Bro”, Aquaman (Jason Mamoa), is set to hit theaters on December 21st of 2018. Director James Wan (Saw) brings us our first look at the infamous underwater kingdom of Atlantis and Aquaman travels there to take his rightful place as king of the seven seas. Since the debacle that was Justice League, Aquaman is DC’s first step back up to the plate with their very own cinematic universe. What’s funny about this film is how smoothly everything has seemingly gone for it. From what I can tell, there were no major delays in filming or problems on set, and no one thought it was a good idea to wrestle creative control away from the director this time. Although the big hurtle for this film is a congested release window featuring films like Mary Poppins Returns, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse, Mortal Engines and Bumblebee all released around the same time. It’s not a question that Aquaman will be a hit, but how long will it last after it’s opening weekend?
Good God am I stoked for this film. The feature film debut of Earth’s Mightiest Mortal is scheduled for release on April 5th, 2019. Shazam (Angel Asher/Zachary Levi) shows the adventures of a twelve year old foster child turned mega-powered superhero. As of the time of this writing, Shazam is going through scheduled reshoots. While everyone always seems to freak out when the term “reshoots” rear their head, it should be noted that reshoots happen on virtually every film and are scheduled months in advance, often time before the film even starts production. It should also be noted that star Zachary Levi got in ridiculous shape for this role, and all anyone can talk about is the padding on his hero suit. It’s kind of a shame that the guy has to put up with not being buffed up enough…for the internet, I guess. It’s weird what people complain about.
Justice League 2
Well shit…yeah, this isn’t happening any time soon. What was once supposed to be the sequel to Zack Snyder’s Justice League before Warner Bros. and Joss Whedon shredded the F@#$ out of it is now nowhere to be seen. According to legend, this film was going to see a proper invasion from Darkseid and apparently the death of Batman. But now, all we have is a bad feeling from what was the last Justice League film and the faint hope that a sequel will one day grace the big screen, but, I don’t know; things aren’t looking good for now.
This just keeps getting worse. Cyborg was initially given a release date of 2020, and while this date is still set, it is unclear if a Cyborg move will ever see release. This is such a shame seeing as how Cyborg was my favorite new addition to the DC films with his debut in Justice League, and star Ray Fisher is charismatic as hell. It’s too bad we may never see what he is capable of in the role of Cyborg, a role that could’ve been immensely fleshed out in a solo film. While some have said that a film is set to release in 2020, others are saying that the film won’t start production until 2020. So, again, it looks like a lack of transparency is the biggest villain of the DC Universe of films so far.
Now known as Green Lantern Corps, the film will be written by comics’ writer and film producer Geoff Johns…and that’s about all we know about this film at the moment. While the fans of DC films have wasted no time dream casting their perfect Green Lantern, it should be noted that this film will feature more than one Green Lantern. While most people think of Green Lantern as a singular hero, the Corps themselves is something of a police force in outer space that features dozens if not hundreds of members. It is unknown how many members this film will focus on, but my money is on a rookie Green Lantern like Kyle Rayner being taught the ropes by more seasoned Green Lanterns of Earth like John Stewart and Guy Gardner, with maybe a cameo or flashback with Hal Jordan (we all know this won’t happen, this is just my own daydreaming). The status of this film and even who is involved with it, outside of the writer, is unknown to the public, but seeing as how big of a hit the Guardians of the Galaxy series has been, and how great Star Wars is still doing, a movie about space cops should be a big deal to Warner Bros. and DC.
So considering that many of these films may not happen, what is going on over at DC and Warner Bros.? While it’s easy for me to say that the people behind these films have no idea what they’re doing with these characters (like so many have already said), I absolutely refuse to believe that a company that has been in the business of making films for the last ninety five years has suddenly forgotten how to do their job. I am not so arrogant to believe that I, a man that does not make films, knows how a studio should handle their films.
But with that being said, what is Warner Bros. doing with their DC properties? What is coming and what isn’t? For more, check out part 2 and thanks for reading.