The DC Extended Universe is finally giving Marvel a run for its money—something that’s bound to increase now that James Gunn is running the show. The DCEU’s myriad projects stretch far beyond superhero mainstays Batman, Superman, and the Justice League, promising to include new and interesting takes on DC Comics’ enormous stable of characters.
What follows is an up-to-date list of everything DCEU-related that’s on the way: DC movies heading to theaters, as well as DC streaming movies and shows coming to HBO Max.
Last updated 5/2/2023.
Director Andy Muschietti was tapped to make sense of this multiverse story that won’t just have multiple versions of Barry Allen (Ezra Miller) but multiple Batmen in Michael Keaton and Ben Affleck. Michael Shannon is also set to return as General Zod. We have high hopes for some Spider-Man: No Way Home-type reveals, excitement, and implications for the rest of the DC Universe. Behind the scenes, meanwhile: while it looks like Miller’s recent and ongoing legal troubles won’t affect the movie as it is moving ahead as scheduled, it seems likely that after The Flash, Miller (who recently spoke out about their actions) won’t be returning as the character. The first full Flash trailer appeared during the Superbowl, further ramping up our excitement for what looks to be a Batman-filled, multi-dimensional adventure.
Cobra Kai’s Xolo Maridueña is Jaime Reyes, a Mexican American student who finds an ancient scarab that attaches to him and turns him into a superhero. Susan Sarandon will play the villainous Victoria Kord (a role originally given to Sharon Stone), a new character created for the film that shares the same last name as Ted Kord, the original Blue Beetle in the comics. Interesting! From director Angel Manuel Soto, Blue Beetle was originally going directly to HBO Max but will now be a theatrical release. That’s promising.
The first Blue Beetle trailer dropped in early April; here’s our breakdown of all the important details we spotted.
Director James Wan returns for the next adventure following Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa) as the newly crowned King of Atlantis. Now in his new role, Arthur will explore more of the world under the sea while also dealing with new threats from Black Manta (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) and others. Like Shazam 2, Aquaman 2 has endured its share of release-date changes, with its new Christmas 2023 date designed to give Wan and company ample time to complete all the necessary special effects.
Todd Phillips never saw his Joker movie as anything but a singular film. But over a billion dollars at the box office and an Oscar for Best Actor (for star Joaquin Phoenix) obviously changed things. We have a few nuggets of info so far: the title is Joker: Folie à Deux (French for “shared madness”), Phoenix is returning and will co-star with Lady Gaga (who’s playing Harley Quinn), Zazie Beetz is probably returning as Arthur Fleck’s neighbor, and... it’s likely going to be a musical? Filming wrapped in early April 2023.
Hot off the success of Matt Reeves’ long-awaited The Batman, everyone involved made it clear that wasn’t a one-and-done. Robert Pattinson’s Batman will be back. Will he face off with the Joker? It’s possible but not definitive. You’d imagine the Penguin and Catwoman could be back too. We don’t know much yet about this one, but we do know it won’t be arriving until 2025.
The fourth and final season of Doom Patrol—starring Brendan Fraser, Matt Bomer, Diane Guerrero, April Bowlby, Joivan Wade, Timothy Dalton, Skye Roberts, and Michelle Gomez—already aired its first batch of episodes; the remaining six will return at a TBD date later this year.
You saw him in The Batman and now, Colin Farrell’s Penguin is getting his own HBO Max series. As of April 2023, the show is in production, with a cast that also includes Cristin Milioti, Rhenzy Feliz, Michael Kelly, Shohreh Aghdashloo, and Deirdre O’Connell, with Clancy Brown and Michael Zegen recurring.
From the instant that opening credits scene rolled for the first time, DC fans and non-fans alike fell in love with Peacemaker. Well, he’s coming back, still played by John Cena and still from the twisted mind of James Gunn. There’s no word on when it’ll happen but Gunn has to finish his latest Marvel movie for mid-2023, so we’re guessing 2024.
James Gunn also confirmed to The Playlist that characters introduced in Peacemaker will reappear in future DC television projects, including an upcoming series he is writing and directing.
The shake-up at DC Studios got a huge zap of energy at the end of January, when James Gunn and Peter Safran announced their massive slate of planned projects. Little is known about most of these projects so far in terms of cast and crew and even release dates—but we do have a few tidbits for each.
- Creature Commandos (An animated HBO Max show) - A seven-episode animated series written by James Gunn himself. It stars Indira Varma (Obi-Wan Kenobi, Game of Thrones) as the Bride, who’s the lead character, and Marvel veteran Frank Grillo as Rick Flagg Sr.—father of Rick Flagg, played by Joel Kinnaman in The Suicide Squad. The rest of the cast includes David Harbour (Stranger Things) as Eric Frankenstein, Sean Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3) as G.I. Robot, Zoe Chao (The Afterparty) as Nina Mazursky, Alan Tudyk (Star Wars: Rogue One) as Dr. Phosphorus, Maria Bakalova (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3) as new character Princess Ilana Rostovic, and Peacemaker’s Steve Agee and Sean Gunn returning as John Economos and Weasel, respectively.
- Waller (A live-action HBO Max show) - Viola Davis will reprise her Suicide Squad character; the story will bring back characters from the Peacemaker show and tell a story with events set between Peacemaker seasons one and two.
- Superman: Legacy (Theatrical film) - Release date is locked in for July 11, 2025, and Gunn will write and direct. It is not an origin story.
- Lanterns (A live-action HBO Max show) - Set on Earth, this mystery series will follow Hal Jordan and John Stewart doing their thing as DC’s “super cops.”
- The Authority (Theatrical film) - The Wildstorm superhero characters will make their big-screen debut in a film co-written by Gunn.
- Paradise Lost (A live-action HBO Max show) - How did Wonder Woman’s world, Themyscira, come to be? Find out in this Game of Thrones-ish tale set before her birth.
- The Brave and the Bold (Theatrical film) - Based on the acclaimed Grant Morrison comic run, this will explore the story of Batman’s son, Damien Wayne, and will feature “other members of the extended Bat-family.”
- Booster Gold (A live-action HBO Max show) - The “loser from the future” superhero character gets his own series.
- Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow (Theatrical film) - Based on Tom King’s comics run, this movie will explore how Supergirl is different from Superman. It’s not yet certain if Sasha Calle, who plays Supergirl in The Flash, will reprise the role here.
- Swamp Thing (Theatrical film) - The character’s “dark origins” will be the focus of this one. DC does horror! Rumored but not yet confirmed to be directing, James Mangold (Indiana Jones 5) told Collider that he’s slated to write the script.
Upcoming DC Movies and Shows That Were Once in Development, But Whose Fate Is Unclear in the Gunn/Safran Era
The news of Superman: Legacy cast uncertainty on this project from writer Ta-Nehisi Coates and producer J.J. Abrams. There hadn’t been an update on this one in a while, but in late April, James Gunn himself told io9 that the two films don’t necessarily cancel each other out: “That’s an exciting movie ... if it comes in and it’s great ... and if the timing is right, that could absolutely happen. That’s totally unrelated. It would be an Elseworlds tale like Joker.”
Michael B. Jordan was once developing a Superman take for HBO Max as a limited series that would feature Val-Zod as opposed to Clark Kent. Again, there hasn’t been an update in a while.
Part of the relaunch of the Milestone comic brand is this adaptation produced by, once again, Michael B. Jordan. A writer was hired back in 2021 to come up with a script and we haven’t heard much since.
J.J. Abrams was among the people involved with bringing this evil super-team to life and while there hasn’t been a ton of movement on the project of late, it’s been around long enough that we’d imagine it happens eventually.
One of the more recent pre-Gunn/Safran DC films to go into development, this is this tale of six beings based on various powerful metals. It’s from directors Ron Clements and John Musker (Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, and Moana), so if it happens, it’ll have an incredible pedigree.
Last year, Emerald Fennell won an Oscar for writing Promising Young Woman. She followed that up landing the job to write this DC superhero flick about the young magician. Like most of the films in this section, there hasn’t been movement in a while.
Yes, the hero who takes a drug that makes him a hero for an hour was, back in 2021, rumored to be in development. Whether or not that’s still the case is unknown but we figured it was worth noting.
In addition to The Penguin, Matt Reeves has said he plans to expand the world of The Batman into HBO Max shows. At one point, a series about Gotham PD was in the works, but now he says it might be more about the inner workings at Arkham Asylum. On October 25, The Staircase’s Antonio Campos came aboard as a writer—the third to hold that position on the potential series so far—and may direct and serve as showrunner if the show happens, according to a report in Variety.
Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel and Star Wars releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about House of the Dragon and Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.