Since it began in 2013, the DC Extended Universe has had less luck than the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Many have noted that this was due to the lack of meticulous planning. And even with a few notable hits, things haven’t really changed for DC, but that might soon be in the universe’s past.
New Warner Bros. Discovery president David Zaslav has revealed that there’s now a 10-year plan in place to turn the DCEU into a box office juggernaut like what Disney has. While it’s great that DC may finally have a winning formula on the big screen, it’s still mysterious how this decade-long plan will play out. Given what’s already on the docket for the next year, here’s some speculation on how Zaslav might save DC.
Aquaman, The Flash, Shazam & Black Adam Will Determine the DCEU’s Fate
Three planned DCEU movies are coming out before the release of The Flash — Black Adam, Shazam: Fury of the Gods and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. Much of where the DCEU goes from here will depend heavily on how these movies fare. Black Adam is getting primed as the movie that ushers in a new era of DC films, especially since Dwayne Johnson has promised that the hierarchy of power in the DC Universe will change after its release. There could definitely be spin-offs made of the various Justice Society characters if Black Adam becomes a hit. But if it fails, that sector of the DC Universe is likely dead on arrival.
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom likely won’t be a make-or-break affair, even though the first movie was such an unexpected hit. The same goes for the lighthearted Shazam, which is in its own little section of the DCEU. If these movies all fail, however, The Flash will likely be the curtain call for the DCEU as fans know it. The movie’s intended ending had it rebooting the shared universe by putting Michael Keaton’s Batman in continuity with the rest of the films. But that ending may have been scrapped given batgirl‘s cancellation and other factors, making Zaslav’s plans even harder to figure out.
The DCEU Likely Won’t Be Fully Rebooted… Yet
The ending of The Flash would be the perfect opportunity to end the DCEU, especially if the movie’s released directly beforehand don’t really hit critically or at the box office. Since that’s seemingly no longer the case, and with Ben Affleck coming back to shoot more scenes as Batman in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdomit’s highly likely that the plan is to keep at least some version of the DCEU in continuity. The Flash could change the universe’s history, but most actors could return for future stories. Since Superman is a big priority of Zaslav’s, Henry Cavill may return for non-rebooted movies. The same will likely go for Affleck, Momoa and Gadot, though their mileage may vary.
The Next Decade Will Be Filled With Planned but Spaced Out DC Movies
Given that at least a decade of planning is going into the next wave of DCEU films, there will likely be a deluge of movies that use the various DC heroes in their best capacity. With Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman at the top of Zaslav’s priority list, their films will likely be the ones that everyone else’s are released around. Other movies could include sequels and spin-offs to Aquaman, Black Adam, The Suicide Squad and Shazamthough The Flash and anything involving the character may be on the back burner for a bit.
Equally unlikely for a while would be another Justice League movie, with Warner Bros. Discovery possibly doing the opposite of its first mistake. Instead, a Justice League film probably won’t come until the fifth year of this decade’s endeavor, if not the final year. It’s unlikely the powers that be use the elements that Zack Snyder planned for his Justice League sequels, though they could build off some of his ideas. For instance, the introduction of Ryan Choi in Zack Snyder’s Justice League may lead to a film for the Atom. The long-awaited movies for Ben Affleck’s Batman and Deathstroke could also get produced.
Though the movies may be more planned out, WB may hold the reins on releasing too many movies at once. In fact, the superhero movie bubble seems more ready to bust than ever before. However, with good planning, DC can finally get in on the action and take advantage of Marvel Studios’ current woes before the party ends.