The Latest on the DCEU’s Upcoming Film Slate

by Jamison Ashley
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It’s been widely reported now that Wonder Woman is getting a sequel set in 1984 coming November 2019. The story is about Diana Prince coming into conflict with the Soviet Union during the Cold War in the 1980s, and the villain is Barbara Ann Minerva (a.k.a. Cheetah). And DCEU fans have known for some time that both Aquaman (December 2018) and Shazam (April 2019) both have standalone movies coming within a year. But other than those three, no official release dates have been set for any of the other films reportedly in the queue.

 

 

The long ago announced Flash feature film was announced in October 2015, Seth Grahame-Smith (writer of the hit novel Pride and Prejudice and Zombies) attached as director, but he dropped out in April 2016 over the proverbial ‘creative differences’. Then it was announced that Dope director Rick Famuyiwa had replaced him in June 2016, but was out by October. Creative differences struck again, it seemed.

There were then some rumors that Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future, Who Framed Roger Rabbit) was possibly going to take over the film. Then nothing else was heard about that. Other rumors said that it was then offered to Ben Affleck, and finally in January 2018 Spider-Man: Homecoming writers John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein were reported as the latest directors (although it took until March for that to be officially confirmed). Is the third time the charm?

 

As of today, The Flash is planned for a 2020 release. We’ll see about that.

With so little confirmation, there still appears to be a DCEU movie universe forming behind the scenes–especially where Batman is concerned. While there are reportedly as many as six Joker-related movies in the works (Suicide Squad 2, Joker/Harley, Joker Origin, a Harley Quinn solo film and the Birds or Prey film), there’s been little said recently about the current state of The Batman, written and directed by Matt Reeves. Although reports say that the writer director just turned in the first draft of his screenplay or his project centering on a younger Batman. Does this confirm that Ben Affleck is leaving the cowl behind?

Affleck has appeared in three films as the Dark Knight, and it’s been reported that he wants to exit the franchise. This is after we were first informed that Affleck himself that was writing and directing The Batman, before being replaced by Reeves.

 

Todd Phillips’ planned Joker movie is reportedly set in the ’80s and it won’t star Jared Leto in the title role. Instead, Joaquin Phoenix is reportedly in talks to play the Joker in the film as a failed stand-up comic who turns to a life of crime, with The King of Comedy serving as inspiration for the story. Martin Scorsese’s 1982 classic starred Robert De Niro as a delusional man whose dreams of becoming a comedian lead him to stalk and torment his idol — a famous late-night talk show host played by Jerry Lewis.

Scorsese is confirmed as producing Phillips’ Joker movie — marking the iconic filmmaker’s first superhero film. Many DC Comics fans may remember that a similar background was given to the Joker in Alan Moore’s graphic novel ‘The Killing Joke’. This Joker movie is reportedly looking to begin production this year for a 2019 release.

 

Jared Leto wants to reprise his role from Suicide Squad. Keeping track of all the potential Harley Quinn- and Joker-based movies at Warner Bros is a challenge, but we’ve determined for sure that currently the plan is for Leto to star in and executive produce his own solo Joker project. The movie is now looking for a writer and will be different from the Joker origin story with Joaquin Phoenix that’s being developed by director Todd Phillips.

Suicide Squad 2 is the only main sequel that’s currently in development officially involving the Joker. It’s also on track to enter production in 2019, though there’s no word on a release date. Although Suicide Squad was a critical failure, it was successful financially and even won an Oscar. It grossed over $746 million worldwide and was never released in China, netting around $550 million after production costs were calculated. Warner Bros. was anxious to put Task Force X and its spin-offs into development as, along with Margot Robbie’s Harley and Jared Leto’s Joker as quickly as possible.

Director Gavin O’Connor has signed on to helm the movie as well as pen the script. The film is expected to see most of Task Force X return, including Will Smith’s Deadshot. However, there hasn’t been any confirmed casting as of yet.

Are you chuffed about any of these films? Which ones do you think will succeed or fail? Is WB/DC on the right track?

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