The newly revamped DC Universe is on the way, as confirmed by James Gunn. The Guardians of the Galaxy filmmaker turned DC creative chief has been in the headlines a lot lately with his plans to overhaul the DC slate of films.
The bad news out of the way first: Henry Cavill is officially out as Superman. However, there are many exciting developments afoot. Scroll down to discover the DC movies headed your way over the next few years.
1. Superman: Legacy
It's been suggested that Gunn himself will tackle the new Superman film, although nothing has been officially confirmed. Superman: Legacy is the start of the rekindled DC Universe and in the words of Gunn's cohort Peter Safran, “It’s not an origin story."
He adds: “It focuses on Superman balancing his Kryptonian heritage with his human upbringing. He is the embodiment of truth, justice and the American way. He is kindness in a world that thinks that kindness is old-fashioned.”
Expect Superman: Legacy to fly into view on July 11th, 2025.
2. The Authority
The Authority first appeared in the 1990s under the imprimatur of Wildstorm, run by artist and now head of DC publishing Jim Lee. Expect a wilder and more unexpected take on superhero tropes because The Authority focuses on the extremes of protecting and saving the world. More akin to The Boys and Kick-Ass, perhaps.
“One of the things of the DCU is that it’s not just a story of heroes and villains,” says Gunn. “Not every film and TV show is going to be about good guy versus bad guy, giant things from the sky come and good guy wins. There are white hats, black hats and gray hats.”
Adds Safran: “They are kinda like Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men. They know that you want them on the wall. Or at least they believe that.”
3. The Brave and the Bold
This is the new DC Universe's first Batman movie – but don't expect it to star Robert Pattinson. The latter's Dark Knight is already something of an adjunct to the existing DC Universe, which is now officially known as DC Elseworlds. (This will also encompass Todd Phillips' Joker sequel Joker: Folie a Deux starring Joaquin Phoenix and Lady Gaga.) Gunn and Safran can, therefore, populate their revitalised DC franchise with a brand-new take on the Caped Crusader.
“This is the introduction of the DCU Batman,” Gunn explains, “of Bruce Wayne, and also introduces our favorite Robin, Damian Wayne, who is a little son of a b***h.”
The movie will take inspiration from the now-classic Batman run written by Grant Morrison that introduced Batman to a son he never knew existed: a murderous tween raised by assassins. “It’s a very strange father-and-son story," adds Gunn.
4. The Batman: Part II
However, Robert Pattinson won't be absent from our screens for long. Following the critical and commercial success of The Batman, Pattinson's nascent Caped Crusader will once again be tearing up the crime-ridden streets of Gotham City.
Matt Reeves will return to the helm and The Batman: Part II will be released on October 3rd, 2025. Says Safran: “2025 is going to be a very big year for DC. Superman and Batman within the same year.”
5. Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow
Superman's cousin will have her time to shine on the big screen and it sounds a bit darker than what we've come to expect.
Gunn explains: “We will see the difference between Superman, who was sent to Earth and raised by loving parents from the time he was an infant, versus Supergirl, raised on a rock, a chip off of Krypton, and who watched everyone around her die and be killed in terrible ways for the first 14 years of her life and then come to Earth. She is much more hard-core and not the Supergirl we’re used to.”
6. Swamp Thing
Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson's cult DC creation will splatter onto the screen and resolve the first chapter of the DC Universe. Swamp Thing first appeared in 1971 and made an immediate impression, being an anthropomorphic swamp monster that is determined to protect his home from various threats.
Gunn says the film will investigate the "dark origins" of Swamp Thing, adding that it's "a much more horrific film" than the rest of the Dc template. Gunn also promises that Swamp Thing "will interact" with the other characters from the franchise.
So, what about the DC movies being released in 2023?
1. Shazam! Fury of the Gods (released March 17th)
The body-swapping superhero is back to confront some angry Greek Gods in this sequel to the 2019 hit Shazam! As before, Asher Angel and Zachary Levi occupy the different halves of the Shazam character, the former as teenager Billy Batson and the latter as his grown-up superhero alter-ego.
Helen Mirren and Lucy Liu play the villainous gods who are on the rampage and on a collision course with Billy/Shazam. Fortunately, he has an assist from his newly-formed superhero family, and Djimon Hounsou's wizard (also named Shazam) plays a bigger role this time.
2. The Flash (released June 16th)
The lightning-fast superhero (played by Ezra Miller) gets his first solo superhero movie, and Michael Keaton's Batman is also thrown into the mix. It's the first time the latter has played the Dark Knight since 1992's Batman Returns, making this something of a historic moment.
Gunn has said that The Flash will "reset" the DC Universe. Exactly how remains to be seen.
3. Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (released December 29th)
Jason Momoa's charismatic half-Atlantean, half-human ruler will be making waves again in time for Christmas. Director James Wan is back, as is a contingent of familiar faces from the first Aquaman blockbuster. Expect to see Amber Heard, Patrick Wilson, Willem Dafoe, Dolph Lundgren, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Temeura Morrison and Nicole Kidman all reprising their roles as we return to the deep for another splashy adventure.
Which of these DC movies are you most excited about? Let us know @Cineworld.