The DC Comics superhero movie universe is under new management, and it’s kicking off with a new Superman film, another cinematic Dark Knight film, and a sequel to “The Batman” starring Robert Pattinson.
DC Studios co-chairmen and CEOs James Gunn and Peter Safran announced the first wave of ten theatrical films and HBO Max TV shows – a “chapter” titled “Gods and Monsters” – that will create a Marvel-esque long-term interconnected story featuring iconic characters on Tuesday. This first phase “tells cohesive stories that highlight love, compassion, and the inherent goodness of the human spirit,” according to Safran.
Here’s what’s in store for DC in the future:
In a new video, James Gunn lays out the foundations of the new DC universe.
In ‘Superman: Legacy,’ the Man of Steel kicks off the reboot.
The first film of this new slate is “Superman: Legacy,” which Gunn – the “Guardians of the Galaxy” filmmaker who’s also behind recent DC projects “The Suicide Squad” and “Peacemaker” – is writing. (No star has been announced, but it will not be Henry Cavill, the most recent man in the red cape.)
This upcoming Superman story “is the true foundation of our creative vision for the DC universe,” according to Gunn. “Not only is Superman an iconic part of DC lore, he is also a favourite character for comic book readers, viewers of earlier movies and fans around the world. I can’t wait to introduce our Superman, whom audiences will be able to follow and get to know across films, movies, animation, and gaming.”
Other new films include Supergirl and a new Batman and Robin.
With “The Brave and the Bold,” Gunn and Safran’s universe gets its own Batman and Robin, focusing on a father/son story rather than the more recent solo Dark Knight projects. (There is no word yet on who will play this new Caped Crusader.)
In addition, “The Authority” is the first film adaptation of a comic-book superhero team, “Swamp Thing” delves into the dark origins of one of DC’s fan-favorite supernatural creatures, and “Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow” takes the heroine on a sci-fi adventure.
What isn’t clear yet is how the heroes from this year’s DC films, such as Zachary Levi’s “Shazam! Fury of the Gods” hero, Ezra Miller’s speedster in “The Flash,” and Jason Momoa’s sea dude in “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom,” will fit (or not) into the new universe.
Viola Davis’ character in ‘Suicide Squad’ gets her own TV show.
Gunn’s “Peacemaker” team appears again in “Waller,” a new HBO Max series centred on Davis’ morally dubious Task Force X leader from the “Suicide Squad” films. (The character also appears in Gunn’s seven-episode animated series “Creature Commandos,” which features a black-ops team of monstrous prisoners.)
Other upcoming TV shows include “Booster Gold,” a long-running DC character who uses future technology to pretend to be a superhero in modern times; “Lanterns,” a drama about Green Lanterns – and intergalactic cops – John Stewart and Hal Jordan; and “Paradise Lost,” a drama about the Amazons, who gave birth to Wonder Woman.
Fans of the Dark Knight need not fear: Robert Pattinson is returning.
“The Batman – Part II,” a sequel to last year’s blockbuster starring Pattinson as the young cape-and-cowled detective, will be released on Oct. 3, 2025, according to DC. However, it will not be a part of the interconnected superhero universe. Instead, the project will be dubbed “DC Elseworlds,” along with other films and television shows that do not follow that plot line.