There are a lot of comic book films and series “in development” as of right now. With something like Marvel Studios, who’ve proven themselves time and time again for the last 10 years, it makes sense that they are working on so many projects at once. However, with Warner Bros and DC, who’ve been in a constant state of transition and reactionary filmmaking since their universe debut with Man of Steel, it seems strange that they have such an abundance of movies being worked on right now.
In fact, besides the 7 films that are actively in production (that I covered here last week), I’ve come down to 7 additional films that are being worked on to some capacity behind the scenes right now. Whether or not they see the light of day is a whole other conversation. Let’s get started —
Directed by Adil El Arbi & Billal Fallah
Written by Christina Hodson
Leslie Grace as Barbara Gordon/Batgirl
When I outlined this article last week alongside Part 1 of this series, I had 4 recently released names to be on the shortlist to play Batgirl. Turns out I have incredible timing because just last week it was reported that Leslie Grace would be taking on the role of Barbara Gordon. The In The Heights star landed on most people’s radars (including mine) just this summer with the Lin-Manuel Miranda-produced musical. Besides Anthony Ramos, Grace was easily my favorite part of the film, so I am very excited to see her take on this role.
As far as the talent behind the camera goes, they are not lacking in any area. Directors Adil El Arbi and Billal Fallah made quite a splash with the 2020 film and trilogy topper Bad Boys for Life. So much so that they were already hired to direct the Disney Plus series, Ms Marvel, for Marvel Studios, so by the time cameras roll in November, they’ll have had plenty of experience in the comic book world.
Christina Hodson is no stranger to the comic world either, and she’s particularly familiar with the DC universe. She wrote the Cathy Yan-directed film, Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn, and she was also hired to pen the script for Andy Muscietti’s 2022 film The Flash. Given how well Birds of Prey was received (regardless of box office), I think it’s safe to say that The Flash and Batgirl are in safe hands.
This film does come with its fair share of questions, though. 2022 will feature THREE different iterations of the Batman character, each with their own respective Commissioner Gordon. Which of these universes will the film take place in, if any? Grace is of Latin descent, and none of the Gordons (Jeffery Wright, JK Simmons, Pat Hingle) relate to that in any way. I think the film may take place in its own universe, but if not, I’m going to be very interested to see which of the many Batman universes this film lands in when it eventually hits HBO Max, probably sometime late next year or early 2023.
Directed by Angel Manuel Soto
Written by Garett Dunnet-Alcocer
NO CAST ANNOUNCED
When news of this film dropped in February of this year, I was pleasantly surprised. People have been begging for this film for ages, and they were finally relieved to see that their man Jaime Reyes would finally be getting his shot. However, the announcement was soured by the news that Batgirl and Blue Beetle would be hitting HBO Max exclusively.
With Charm City Kings director Angel Manuel Soto attached to the film, people still had reason to be excited. Also having writer Garett Dunnet-Alcocer attached to write (who wrote the yet-to-be-seen Scarface remake), the film is up to its knees in Latin talent. I’m very happy to see WB putting a great team behind this project, especially with this writer and director.
While no casting has been disclosed at all, there is plenty of fan casting to find online, though none of it is based on any truth. After Grace was cast as Batgirl, people have been fan-casting her In the Heights co-star Anthony Ramos as the character. There have also been tons of support for Cobra Kai star Xolo Mariduena to take over the role, and he seems much more age-appropriate (although we don’t know the character interpretation yet).
Regardless of who ends up in the role, plenty of people are still very excited to see this movie come to life. They are reportedly beginning filming in the Fall of this year, so we are sure to hear some casting for the character in the news soon.
No Director Hired
Written by Ta-Nahisi Coates
NO CAST ANNOUNCED
The Superman situation over at WB seems like the most convoluted situation ever. Henry Cavill still hasn’t officially left the role, and most fans would probably love to see him get another solo film, but there are also 3 other Superman projects in the world completely separate from him. Michael B. Jordan was just announced to be working on a series for HBO Max, there is a different cartoon series in the works for HBO Max, and there is this film currently being written by Ta-Nehisi Coates.
Jordan’s series will utilize the Val-Zod character, and Coates’ film will feature a black Clark Kent. Obviously, the choice to have a black man wear the Superman suit at all is going to be a controversial one, but I am more than happy to see that be a possibility. The distinction between the two different iterations of Black Superman is very important, as Val-Zod is already a known entity and a black Clark Kent has never been done before.
There can be a lot of interesting places for them to go with a black Clark Kent. Will the Kent’s be a black couple in Kansas, or will they be white and have to raise Clark as a black man. Will that disconnect between white parents and a black son be explored? Coates has proven himself time and again to be an incredible writer for black stories. His story about the black Captain America, Isaiah Bradley, was partially adapted for the Disney Plus series Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Either way, Coates has proven himself to know what he’s doing, and I’m more than willing to trust whichever direction he takes.
Obviously, having no director even attached, the film is not very far along at all. However, fan casting for a black Superman has been ongoing for a long time. Funnily enough, the top casting choice would probably have been Jordan, but clearly, he’s tied up producing and possibly even starring in his own project. Personally, I’d love to see John Boyega or Trevante Rhodes take on the role, but that’s mostly just because I couldn’t possibly see enough of those two.
There’s some more interesting stuff going on in the producer credits for this film. JJ Abrams, who had recently struck up a partnership with WB and DC, is attached to produce this movie. It’s something that seems kind of off when you consider that he was mostly partnering with WB/DC to adapt Justice League Dark characters for HBO Max, and even more interesting when you consider that Abrams has time and again talked about his deep love for the Superman character. Even going so far as to write his own unproduced Superman script, titled Flyby.
It’s just interesting to think: will this end up connecting with his Justice League Dark plans in some way? Or will he try to include ideas from his Flyby script in the story? I know producers aren’t usually that hands-on, but it’s something interesting to consider. At the very least, almost everyone working on this project has a lot of love for the character and clearly has enough experience to write a great story about the cultural implications of a Black Superman.
No Director Hired
Written by Emerald Fennell
NO CAST ANNOUNCED
If I can be honest, this is something that’s going to be hard for me to write about. It’s not that I don’t have interest in this movie at all, it’s just mostly that I have genuinely NO IDEA what this movie could entail. Obviously, as I mentioned before, the film is produced by JJ Abrams in some sort of scheme to put together a Justice League Dark universe. I will say, however, they’ve made the most obvious and brilliant choice for a writer on this film.
Emerald Fennell is a great writer and has had two very prolific hits (in different mediums) with Killing Eve and Promising Young Woman. Ever since Killing Eve premiered in 2018, you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who doesn’t like the show. With that show’s success, it seems almost redundant to mention her most recent undertaking: Promising Young Woman. I’ll mention it anyway, though, because the film did a little thing called WIN HER AN OSCAR for Best Original Screenplay.
After both of those projects, giving her a character like Zatanna seems like a given. However, the choice of director will be an interesting one. They’ll surely go with a female director, and maybe they’ll even bring Fennell in to direct as well. But I personally think it’d be interesting to get someone like Phoebe Waller-Bridge. She has no director credits currently, but she’s such a creative mind (who also worked on Killing Eve), that I can’t help but wish for more success for her.
I have absolutely zero opinion on who should be cast in the titular role. I have seen a lot of people bring up Ana De Armas, who I loved in Knives Out and Blade Runner 2049. She’s a great actress, so why not. I’ve also seen Saoirse Ronan and Alexandria Daddario brought up, who are also great and I’d be willing to give them a shot at the role. I think when just looking at fan casting for the role, essentially any working actress can qualify for the role, so I guess we’ll just see what happens.
Let’s play a little game of “Tucker doesn’t know what he’s talking about,” before moving onto the next film. Due to my comic book experience almost entirely coming from films and series, my knowledge of Dr. Fate and Zatanna both come down to the animated series Young Justice. What I know from that, is that at one point, Zatanna’s father takes on the mantle of Dr. Fate. Given the casting of Pierce Brosnan as Dr. Fate in Black Adam, I am honestly just looking for any reason to shove him in any upcoming DC project. So in my imagination, perhaps Dr. Fate and Zatanna cross paths for some reason in this new Zatanna film. Hopefully, soon we’ll learn some new information about the project.
No Director Hired
Written by Randy McKinnon
The further down we get on this list, the less is known about the projects. That’s very evident when we look at the upcoming Static Shock project. It was announced in August of 2020 that the film was in the works, and almost nothing about it was known. By October, the only information known about the film was that Michael B. Jordan was going to be producing it alongside Reginald Hudlin. That changed in March of this year when THR reported that Randy McKinnon would be writing the script for the movie.
McKinnon’s experience mostly comes down to the recent Disney Plus football film, Safety. I haven’t personally seen it, but the reviews for the movie are quite good. Jordan seems really excited about the script that’s been put together, and based on what he said in an interview with Collider, it seems they are approaching this project with great care and consideration.
With that kind of passion behind it, I have no doubt the film will be great. But as I said, there is virtually no other information for the film out right now. However, given the way that Jordan talks about the Static Shock show with such love, it would surprise me if the movie didn’t follow the show to some degree. They’ll probably keep Virgil in high school, or at least relatively young, and cast some young star in the role (my personal choice is Caleb McLaughlin).
There have been some discrepancies about how the movie will be released. Walter Hamada made a statement that the “riskier” characters’ films could be released via HBO Max. He included Static Shock as a possibility alongside Batgirl and Blue Beetle. While it would be a shame if the minority characters were relegated to HBO Max, there’s nothing we can do about it. All I’m gonna do is cross my fingers and hope that someday I’ll get to see it on the big screen. I do know this movie will be an absolute treat to see when it (hopefully) hits theaters, but who knows when or if that’ll happen.
Wonder Woman 3
Directed by Patty Jenkins
Written by Patty Jenkins
Gal Gadot as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman
Kristen Wiig as Cheetah (Rumored)
Warner Bros. wasted no time announcing Wonder Woman 3 after the release of Wonder Woman ‘84 in December of last year. They announced Patty Jenkins would return as writer and director, which definitely raised a lot of eyebrows. For those of you who don’t know, Jenkins was hired to direct a new Star Wars movie only a couple of weeks before the announcement of the third Wonder Woman film.
If there was an opposite to the term “fast track” in Hollywood, this movie would qualify. Not only does Patty Jenkins plan on directing her film Rogue Squadron before the third Wonder Woman, but Jenkins and Gal Gadot are both working on a Cleopatra film for Paramount.
So with Rogue Squadron releasing in Christmas of 2023, I’d imagine WW3 will start production soon after that. Meaning this film could come as late as 2025, putting 5 years between the films. Not that that would be necessarily out of the ordinary, as James Gunn’s studio hoppin’ has left the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise in an almost identical dormant state.
Some interesting things can happen with Wonder Woman 3, though. The franchise has seemingly caught up with the present day and moved on from Steve Trevor, so we’re left wondering what’s next. I think the acronym WW3 might have some interesting connotations. While that’s not even a confirmed title or anything, maybe the idea of Diana having to stop another World War from being brought on would be interesting. Or maybe the introduction of Gods in Shazam! Fury of the Gods will have some repercussions for her story. Maybe she’ll meet Zeus. Who knows? Not me.
No Director Hired
Written by Cat Vasko
This last one was probably the most “huh?” announcement that I’ve ever seen. Only a couple of months after DC Fandome, WB took it upon themselves to announce that a female-led Plastic Man film was in the works. The fact that it was female-led wasn’t really head-scratching, it’s mostly just that Plastic Man is in the works to any degree.
What’s odd, though, is that Plastic Man has been in the works for a very long time. DC has failed time and time again to bring the character to film, and maybe they think that changing something up will give them better luck. That’s fine, the movie might be all the better for it.
Cat Vasko is an interesting choice to write the film because when you look at her profile on IMDb, almost all of her projects are upcoming. So while companies behind the scenes might know how good her writing is, I have zero ideas about any of her work. I hope it’s good though, as a good comedic film about a stretchy person is just what I’ve needed lately.
What’s most funny is that I probably would’ve relegated this movie to the third part of this series, if not for the fact that the news just came last December. I guess we’ll have to wait and see if the movie ever really comes to fruition.
Yeah, you heard that right. There is still one more part of this “Upcoming DC Films” series. I hope you’ve enjoyed this (mostly) educational article, and keep an eye out for the final piece in the series. The most fun is yet to come.