Upcoming DC Films Review: Dated & Filming

Since Warner Bros. attempted to recreate the shared universe magic of the MCU, starting with 2013’s Man of Steel, things have been a bit rocky for the company. They laid out an entire DC release slate in 2014, compiled of 10 films (only 6 of which we’ve seen) and spanning 6 years. However, since then, the company has been purchased and sold by two different companies — and has an entirely new regime running things. With the release of Zack Snyder’s Justice League in March, it truly feels like the end of an era. So, let’s look to the future of DC films and see what’s coming soon.


The Suicide Squad

August 6th, 2021

Directed by James Gunn

Written by James Gunn

Starring:

Idris Elba as Bloodsport

Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flag

Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn

John Cena as Peacemaker

Mikaela Hoover as Camila

David Dastmalchian as Polka-Dot Man

Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang

Daniela Melchior as Ratcatcher II

Taika Waititi as Ratcatcher I

Sylvester Stallone as the voice of King Shark

Michael Rooker as Savant

Alice Braga as Sol Soria

Nathan Fillion as T.D.K.

Pete Davidson as Blackguard

Sean Gunn as Weasel

Flula Borg as Javelin

Mayling Ng as Mongal

Peter Capaldi as The Thinker

Steve Agee as John Economos and King Shark (Stand-In)

Viola Davis as Amanda Waller

Freddie Stroma as Vigilante (Rumored)

Synopsis: Supervillains Harley Quinn, Bloodsport, Peacemaker, and a collection of nutty cons at Belle Reve prison join the super-secret, super-shady Task Force X as they are dropped off at the remote, enemy-infused island of Corto Maltese. (via Warner Bros)

After having watched and wrote about 2016’s Suicide Squad recently, I can safely say that I am more excited for this movie than I have ever been. When James Gunn was hired to take on a DC project after being fired from Marvel Studios, it was bittersweet. I was more than excited to see him direct and write characters like the Suicide Squad, but I had fallen in love with his work at Marvel, and the future of those characters was grim at best.

But, since that has been resolved in the past years and Gunn is back to direct Guardians of the Galaxy once again, my excitement for this film is unconditional. Ever since finding out that he would be directing a band of quirky characters who don’t quite get along, it seemed like a no-brainer.

Now that the critic’s social media reactions have been released for about a week, the light at the end of the tunnel is brighter than ever before. Some people are even hailing it as one of the best superhero films yet. I think it’s kind of ironic that the film about dysfunctional people began production after a dysfunctional mess led to the hiring of the director. 

To say that the cast is amazing would be an understatement. Idris Elba, Margot Robbie, Joel Kinnaman, Sylvester Stallone, Steve Agee, Taika Waititi, Mikaela Hoover, Viola Davis, David Dastmalchian — JUST TO NAME A FEW. In a move that seems to be inspired by Rian Johnson’s Knives Out, Gunn cast almost ALL of the hot names in Hollywood that aren’t already attached to a Superhero franchise.

This movie is stacked from top to bottom, and with a little bit of pre-2000s soundtrack to play over the almost certainly gratuitous violence, this movie is bound to be a certified James Gunn hit.


The Batman

March 4th, 2022

Directed by Matt Reeves

Written by Matt Reeves, Mattson Tomlin, & Peter Craig

Starring:

Robert Pattinson as Batman/Bruce Wayne

Andy Serkis as Alfred Pennyworth

Zoe Kravitz as Selina Kyle/Catwoman

Paul Dano as Edward Nashton/The Riddler

Jeffrey Wright as James Gordon

Barry Keoghan as Officer Stanley Merkel

John Turturro as Carmine Falcone

Colin Farrell as Oswald Cobblepot

Alex Ferns as Commissioner Pete Savage

Peter Sarsgaard as District Attorney Gil Colson

Max Carver as Tweedledee/Tweedledum (Rumored)

Charlie Carver as Tweedledumb/Tweedledee (Rumored)

Synopsis: The Riddler plays a deadly game of cat and mouse with Batman and Commissioner Gordon in Gotham City. (via Google)

Given Matt Reeves’ past in filmmaking, this movie is a curious one. While the trailer has no doubt given a great look at what we can expect, there is still a lot left unknown. Reeves clearly has a lot of versatility in his filmmaking career. From writing and directing episodes of JJ Abrams late-90s hit show(?) Felicity, to writing and directing the last two films in a brilliant Planet of the Apes trilogy. He has proven to have the directing abilities for any genre, but I think this film fits in more with the latter.

When Reeves was initially brought on, the film was planned to star Ben Affleck in the titular role, with Chris Terrio having turned in a script to WB. However, in the years since, a lot has changed; Affleck left the role (only to eventually come back in another film), Mattson Tomlin came on to help Reeves write the script, and Robert Pattinson was hired to star.

Watching the trailer and looking at the people involved with the production, there is plenty to look forward to. Grieg Fraser was hired as cinematographer, Michael Giacchino has been brought on to score the film, and the secondary cast has been loaded with Oscar-caliber talent — Jeffrey Wright, Paul Dano, Colin Farrell, Zoe Kravitz, and Andy Serkis.

They put all the cards on the table when developing this movie (and eventual trilogy according to reports). That became very clear when WB and HBO Max revealed that they would be working on a television show to co-exist with the film, based on the GCPD. With Wright attached as Commissioner Gordon and Joe Barton show running and writing, the show is on a mission to world build and add deeper layers to the films that exist in that same world.

They are clearly covering all the bases for this film. Talent in front of and behind the camera has been hired, and fans are sitting on the edges of their seats waiting to see if this movie can deliver. 


DC League of Superpets

May 20th, 2022

Directed by Jared Stern & Sam Levine

Written by Jared Stern & John Whittington

Starring:

Dwayne Johnson as Krypto

Kevin Hart as Ace

Keanu Reeves (Undisclosed)

John Krasinski (Undisclosed)

Kate McKinnon (Undisclosed)

Vanessa Bayer (Undisclosed)

Natasha Lyonne (Undisclosed)

Jameela Jamil (Undisclosed)

Diego Luna (Undisclosed)

Synopsis: The adventures of crime-fighting pets Krypto the Super-Dog, Streaky the Super-Cat, and Ace the Bat-Hound. (Via Google)

This feels like a blind spot for me when it comes to upcoming DC films. When it was announced at DC Fandome last year, it caught me off guard. Since then, my excitement for the film has seen peaks and valleys. 

I am unfamiliar with the writers’ and directors’ past work. However, the cast for this movie is also stellar. Dwayne Johnson, Keanu Reeves, John Krasinski, Natasha Lyonne, and Vanessa Bayer have all been brought in to portray different famous animals from DC comics.

However, there is essentially no information on the plot of the movie, and there aren’t even characters attached to all of these individual actors. But, I am more than happy to support DC delving into producing animation. For years I have been an advocate for Marvel and DC to reach into big-budget animation, and I think with the critical success of 2018’s Spider-Man Into The Spider-verse, people are finally starting to pay attention.

Hopefully, with an all-star cast and what appears to be a beautiful animation style, they can fill enough seats to encourage them to further bridge into animation. Maybe with enough will we can turn the 2020s into the decade of big-budget comic book animated films.


Black Adam

July 29th, 2022

Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra

Written by Rory Haines, Sohrab Noshirvani, & Adam Sztykiel

Starring:

Dwayne Johnson as Black Adam

Sarah Shahi as Adrianna Tomaz/Isis

Aldis Hodge as Carter Hall/Hawkman

Pierce Brosnan as Kent Nelson/Dr. Fate

Noah Centineo as Al Rothstein/Atom Smasher

Quintessa Swindell as Maxine Hunkell/Cyclone

Marwan Kenzari as Sabbac (Rumored)

Uli Latukefu as Young Black Adam (Rumored)

Synopsis: (Unknown)

Image of the Black Adam set shared by Dwayne Johnson on Instagram

14 years ago, when Johnson was first attached to a possible role in a Shazam! film, it seemed like a match made in heaven. Now, just last week, Johnson has finally confirmed he wrapped filming on the solo Black Adam film, set to premiere next summer.

I’m mostly unfamiliar with the work of the director, Jaume Collet-Serra, but I think the work and talent of Johnson is really what drives this film. The first time he was possibly attached to the role was in 2007, and he has shown unfaltering love and passion for this film and role ever since. He was never even out to get his own solo film, but now that he’s got one, they are taking advantage of the opportunity.

They rounded out the cast with some brilliant actors and characters — Pierce Brosnan as Dr. Fate, Aldin Hodge as Hawkman, Noah Centineo as Atom Smasher, and Quintessa Swindell as Cyclone. The choice to introduce the Justice Society of America and set the film in the past is inspired.

If you’ve followed any of the promotions for the film, from either DC Fandome or Johnson’s own Instagram, you’ve probably heard this term: “The hierarchy of power in the DC Universe is changing.” Every time I see or hear it, I can’t help but get goosebumps. It sets a tone for the film that Black Adam is out for blood, and he’s coming after anyone who stands in his way.


The Flash

November 4th, 2022

Directed by Andy Muscietti

Written by Christina Hodson

Starring:

Ezra Miller as Barry Allen/The Flash

Kiersey Clemons as Iris West

Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne/Batman

Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne/Batman

Sasha Calle as Supergirl

Ron Livingston as Henry Allen

Maribel Verdu as Nora Allen

Saorise-Monica Jackson as Mirror Master (Rumored)

Rudy Mancuso as The Trickster (Rumored)

Synopsis: (Unknown)

By the time Andy Muschietti and Christina Hodson had been hired to direct and write the film, there had already been at least 5 directors attached to it in one way or another. But, now that the production is underway and actors are finally in front of cameras, Flash fans can take a breath and sleep well knowing that someday The Flash will hit theatres.

Although the plot of the film is mostly shrouded in mystery, it’s widely believed that the film will adapt the Flashpoint storyline in some capacity. For those of you who don’t know, Flashpoint was a story from the comics that involved Barry Allen traveling to the past to save his mother from being murdered when he was a child. By the time he returned to the future to see his renewed life, things were very different, including the death of some of his friends.

If they are following this storyline, it’ll be interesting to see what happens. By the time the story is done, there are some large changes made to the universe as a whole, so it’ll be interesting to see how they use this “change anything you want” tool that comes with the story. 

Given Bruce Wayne is a star in the story, this time via Ben Affleck AND Micheal Keaton, it’s fun to speculate what capacity that might come in. If they are changing the universe as we know it, and Affleck is on his way out of the role, could they possibly keep Keaton in the role for the future of the DC universe? What could the DC Universe even entail anymore, and are they abandoning it?

Regardless, with the return of Ezra Miller and Kiersey Clemons as Barry and Iris, there is a lot of promise with this movie. Muschietti coming off both IT films and Hodson coming off of Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of one Harley Quinn, the filmmakers behind the scenes are without a doubt legit.

The exciting additions to the cast don’t end with Affleck and Keaton. Back in February, Deadline exclusively revealed that Sasha Calle would make her debut as Supergirl in The Flash. With all of these announcements, I started to wonder “where is the limit?” There seemingly isn’t one, and I’m very excited to see this film finally come out next year.


Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom

December 16th, 2022

Directed by James Wan

Written by David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick

Starring:

Jason Momoa as Arthur Curry/Aquaman

Amber Heard as Mera

Patrick Wilson as Orm/Ocean Master

Pilou Asbaek as Mongo (Rumored)

Temuera Morrison as Tom Curry (Unconfirmed)

Nicole Kidman as Atlanna (Unconfirmed)

Yahya Abdul-Mateen III as David Kane/Black Manta (Unconfirmed)

Synopsis: (Unknown)

Given recent comments from Aquaman sequel director James Wan, it’s very disappointing that this will likely be the last Aquaman installment with him at the helm. However, the implication that Wan is still very enamored and passionate about this story and character means good things for this sequel to the 2018 hit.

Jason Momoa, Nicole Kidman, Patrick Wilson, and Yahya Abdul-Mateen III are seemingly all back on board (pun?) for this sequel and I’m very excited to see where they go. How will Orm be affected by the revelation that his mother is alive? How will Atlanna’s return affect the entire kingdom? All will be answered in time.

Something I can’t help but consider when thinking about this film is the abandoned spinoff film The Trench. The film was revealed to be in the works a while ago, and earlier this year it was revealed to have been removed from their slate. Given the way that The Trench can lean into horror, and Wan’s horror background in filmmaking, it could make sense that Wan decided to fold in horror elements from the canceled film into his sequel.

There is a lot to think about and speculate on. Black Manta is seemingly back for revenge, but the title hints at something else of an antagonist. Will he be reduced to a side character again, or will he be given the spotlight to shine? I certainly hope so, considering Abdul-Mateen III is one of the best working actors today. However, it doesn’t really matter, because Mamoa has confirmed he’s going blonde for the film, so I’m going to see it regardless.


Shazam! Fury of the Gods

June 2nd, 2023

Directed by David F. Sandberg

Written by Henry Gayden

Starring:

Zachary Levi as Shazam

Asher Angel as Billy Batson

Jack Dylan Grazer as Freddy Freeman

Adam Brody as Superhero Freddy

Grace Fulton as Mary Bromfield/Superhero Mary

Faithe Herman as Darla Dudley

Meagan Good as Superhero Darla

Ian Chen as Eugene Choi

Ross Butler as Superhero Eugene

Jovan Armand as Pedro Pena

D.J. Cotrona as Superhero Pedro

Cooper Andrews as Victor Vasquez

Marta Milans as Rosa Vasquez

Helen Mirren as Hespera

Lucy Liu as Kalypso

Rachel Zegler as Anne (as reported by Murphy’s Multiverse)/Third daughter of Atlas (rumored)

Djimon Hounsou as The Wizard (as reported by Murphy’s Multiverse)

Synopsis: (Unknown)

David F. Sandberg might be the most entertaining director working in the industry today. He has this real “everyman” personality, and that makes sense considering his quick rise into stardom. He made a short film that garnered enough attention to be adapted into a feature-length film and then given a film in the successful Conjuring universe, and now he’s directing huge superhero films.

Looking at Sandberg and the kind of person he is, giving him this franchise and pairing him with Zachary Levi seems like the most obvious jackpot of all time. Levi also appeals to the same “everyman” personality, and this very grounded story about a boy just looking for family and stumbling on an incomparable power is a given for him.

Beyond Levi, who shares the main role with Asher Angel, the supporting cast is beautiful. Jack Dylan Grazer and Adam Brody also share the same roles, and that remains the same for — Faithe Herman and Meagan Good, Ian Chen and Ross Butler, Jovan Armand and D.J. Cotrona, and Grace Fulton will now be playing both of the roles as Mary.

In addition to that beautiful, well-rounded family, we also have the addition of 3 actresses to play the antagonists in the film — Helen Mirren as Hespera, Lucy Liu as Kalypso, and seemingly Rachel Zegler as the third daughter of Atlas who at one point goes by Anne in the film (per Lizzie Hill’s report at Murphy’s Multiverse a few months ago). Getting the opportunity to see Mirren play a goddess who goes up against Levi’s Shazaam sounds like great fun, so I will definitely take it while it’s here.


There is no doubt a lot to look forward to when it comes to DC’s future in film, and I haven’t even begun to talk about all of them. That’s why this is actually only the first article in a series of 3, so be sure to be on the lookout for those in the near future.

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