Today is a damn good day to be a DC Comics fan, because Warner Brothers have finally unveiled their long-term plan for the burgeoning DC Cinematic Universe that began with last year’s Man of Steel!
The DCCU continues in 2016 with Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, which until this morning was set to hit theaters on May 6th, 2016 – the same day as Marvel’s Captain America 3. Anyone who ever truly believed that neither studio would move their film is completely bonkers, because that would be horrible for business on both sides. The folks over at WB know this, and have decided to bump Batman V Superman‘s release date up a bit – to March 25th, 2016.
March may seem like an odd time to release a comic book movie, but judging by the box office success that Marvel has enjoyed with films like Captain America: The Winter Soldier (which came out in early April) and Guardians of the Galaxy (in August, the year’s dumping ground for leftover summer blockbusters). Additionally, Warner Brothers struck gold with The LEGO Movie in February, showing that it doesn’t really matter when a big tentpole movie comes out. The movie just has to be good, and it stands a chance to make a ton of money. Batman V Superman was always going to make money, for the simple fact that it’s Batman V Fucking Superman. Not only have WB given Batman V Superman a wide berth from Cap 3, but they’ve given it a ton of time to rule the box office until the Star Spangled Avenger arrives. That, my friends, is damn good business.
As great as it is to hear that the wait time between now and Batman V Superman got a month and a half shorter, WB also announced nine new release dates for DC films stretching from 2016 to 2020. That’s right. Nine.
The dates, which currently belong to “Untitled” DC films, are as follows:
August 5th, 2016
June 23rd, 2017
November 17th, 2017
March 23rd, 2018
July 27th, 2018
April 5th, 2019
June 14th, 2019
April 3rd, 2020
June 19th, 2020
That means we’re getting two DC movies a year beginning in 2016. As a lifelong fan of these characters, I couldn’t be happier. I wish I knew what these films were, but hey, they’re there, they’re coming, and it’s actually official. WB has been incredibly hesitant with their DC properties up until this announcement, so it’s incredibly encouraging to see a bit of confidence from them. Fans are dying to see these characters on the big screen, and now is the time to do it.
So, what movies will occupy these dates? Well, we know that Justice League is coming, and will likely hit in 2017. My guess is on that June 23rd slot. We also know that Shazam is getting his own movie (starring Dwayne The Rock Johnson), which I’m guessing will hit in August 2016. As for the rest of the movies? Wonder Woman will likely get her own solo film after Justice League, and former Deadline writer Nikki Finke recently dropped a hint about a Flash/Green Lantern team-up film. You can also bet that Justice League 2, Man of Steel 2, and a new solo Batman pic are nestled in there somewhere.
And then, of course, there’s WB’s adaptation of Sandman, which has absolutely nothing to do with the DC universe. Still, it’s based on a DC/Vertigo comic, so technically it’s a DC film.
I would love to see a curve ball thrown in there somewhere. An Aquaman movie, perhaps? Or lesser known characters like Booster Gold or, dare I say it, Hawkman? Probably not, but hey, a card-carrying member of the Booster Gold Fan Club can dream, can’t he?!
Whether or not cinema can withstand the onslaught of superhero movies (spoiler alert: it can) is a while other story, but for now, let me just say that I’m so incredibly excited about this upcoming slate, and eagerly await more news on both Batman V Superman and the rest of the DC cinematic universe.