Here's What To Expect From Warner Bros.' DC Extended Universe Throughout 2019

Here's What To Expect From Warner Bros.' DC Extended Universe Throughout 2019

Here's What To Expect From Warner Bros.' DC Extended Universe Throughout 2019

Aquaman has turned things around for the DC Extended Universe but moving into 2019, what should we expect from Marvel Studios' Distinguished Competition? We take a look at all of the many possibilities...

Much to the dismay of a lot of snobbish film critics out there, superhero movies and comic book adaptations are going from strength to strength and clearly aren't going anywhere. 2019 looks set to be a banner year for both Marvel Studios and Warner Bros.' DC Extended Universe, while everything is about to change at Fox and Sony Pictures forges ahead with its Spider-Verse.

Now, we're kicking the year off by looking at what the DCEU may have in store for us in 2019.

While Warner Bros. may not be quite as organised as the competition, we do have Shazam! and Joker to look forward to this year, while we're bound to get some big updates on future releases like Birds of Prey and perhaps even long-gestating projects like The Batman and Nightwing!

Either way, based on what we know for sure and what we think will happen, below you'll find an in-depth guide regarding everything we should expect from the
DCEU now its fortunes are on the rise.

So, to take a look, all you guys have to do is click on the "View List" button to check it out in full.

Plans For The Batman Finally Become Clear

It has to be this year, right?

For years now, rumours have swirled that Warner Bros. would announce The Batman at Comic-Con (bear in mind it was supposed to be released in 2017...then 2018...and then this year) but nothing has happened. With conflicting reports about Ben Affleck's future as the Dark Knight 
continuing to do the rounds, we have to hear something concrete during 2019.

After all, Matt Reeves' screenplay must be done by now so it's just a case of Warner Bros. signing off on that and deciding whether or not to bring back Ben Affleck as the iconic superhero. 

With any luck, the casting process will finally begin before the year is over and we'll get a release date at the very least. Then again, we've been waiting so long for it to happen, there's a chance that we'll be hoping for the exact same thing this time next year...


Shazam! Ushers In A New Era For The DCEU

Some fans weren't keen on Aquaman but the majority loved it and it will pass the $1 billion mark at the box office in a matter of weeks, news which is bound to make Warner Bros. happy. 

Shazam! has seemingly been made with a similar Marvel Studios-type tone and with no ties to Justice League, this may very well be the DCEU's actual fresh start as an entirely new hero is introduced alongside a very different well of exploring these characters (without any sort of influence from Zack Snyder's much darker take on proceedings). 

Should Shazam! connect with moviegoers, we're bound to see that have an influence on future movies and it will be particularly interesting seeing how it ties to any other releases.


Comic-Con Brings Some Big First Looks

Say what you will about Warner Bros. but they always deliver when it comes to Comic-Con.

Last year, we were surprised with the first trailer for Shazam! and seeing as Birds of Prey is expected to begin shooting in a matter of weeks, there's a very good chance that will be brought to the event alongside Wonder Woman 1984

Joker should also be a focal point for the studio and while it's too early to say whether or not Marvel Studios will choose to show up, don't be surprised if the DCEU steals the show again.


Plans For 2021 Start Becoming Clear

As of right now, we know for sure that Birds of Prey and Wonder Woman 1984 are coming in 2020 and while it's feasible that Warner Bros. could squeeze one more release in, that seems highly unlikely unless they're further along on Suicide Squad 2 and The New Gods than we thought.

Either way, as 2019 continues, plans for 2021 are bound to start becoming much clearer. 

With any luck, some highly anticipated releases like The Batman and Green Lantern Corps will start taking some big steps forward and empty release dates will start quickly being filled. 


A Controversial Take On The Joker's Origin Story

Joker has some fantastic talent both in front of and behind the camera and there's really no reason to suspect that it will be anything other than a really good movie. Will it be a good comic book adaptation, though? Honestly, that's a lot harder to say as of right now. 

One thing which is clear is that the standalone origin story for the Clown Prince of Crime will be taking some big liberties with the source material and the prevailing theory right now is that "Arthur Fleck" will ultimately be outed as Bruce Wayne's bastard half-brother. 

If that or even half the theories floating out there are correct, then expect there to be a sizeable amount of fan backlash in October.


Birds Of Prey And Wonder Woman 1984 First Looks

Comic-Con aside, it's definitely possible that some more stills from Wonder Woman 1984 will be revealed ahead of that trailer debut, while Birds of Prey starting shooting in the coming weeks means that we'll almost certainly see some set photos (something which could prompt Warner Bros. to debut official images of Harley Quinn's new look and characters like Black Canary and Huntress). 

Superman's Future May Also Be Revealed

As of right now, Henry Cavill has seemingly hung up his cape and will not be returning as Superman in the near future. That's upsetting news and Warner Bros. must have noticed the backlash from fans at the prospect of the Man of Steel being shelved.

Regardless of whether it's during an interview or from a reliable scooper, we're bound to hear more about what comes next for Superman in 2019 and while a movie announcement would be ideal, even a surprise cameo in Shazam! would be pretty great.


DC Continues Expanding Its Small Screen Ventures

Warner Bros. has taken a very different approach to TV shows than Marvel because they've chosen to set them all in their own worlds rather than forcing them into a shared universe (something which has backfired on Marvel because of how dissatisfied fans are not to see the likes of Daredevil and Luke Cage popping up on the big screen despite living in the same New York as Spider-Man).

Regardless of what happens in the 
DCEU then, we can expect to see the DC TV Universe continue to get bigger both on the DC Universe app and networks like The CW (where Batwoman has just been ordered to pilot). 

Not every DC TV show is a winner but the good thing about having so many to choose from is the fact that there's something for everyone out there and that means we'll have plenty to keep us busy despite the fact that Warner Bros. has only two DC movies coming throughout 2019.


More Movies Are Announced/Rumoured

Whether it's from the studio itself, the trades, or even entertainment websites/forums, we're bound to spend a good chunk of this year hearing about other movies that Warner Bros. has in development, especially if Joker succeeds and opens the door to more standalone adventures/origin stories.

The Flash has been ground to a halt for a while now, while projects like Lobo and Nightwing seeming remain in development hell while the studio tries to figure out what to prioritise next.

Those and movies we haven't even contemplated being made will no doubt be mentioned throughout 2019 and that means it should be an exciting year to be a DC Comics fan. 


An Official Slate Reveal?

This would be great to see but is something we probably shouldn't bank on. While Aquaman is bound to have increased Warner Bros.' confidence in its DC Comics properties, they'll need a few more hits before being ready to reveal an entire slate of movies. 

Despite that, Comic-Con (or, hey, another conference call) could bring some surprises and it would be great to know what's coming a little further down the line, especially when everything has been so vague over the past couple of years after some notable flops. 

For a recap of what's happening with Superman following
Henry Cavill's departure, keep reading below!

It Might Not Be Over Yet

Something which it's important to note is that while it may currently seem as if the door has been closed on Cavill returning as Superman, this could all be a very public negotiating tactic. If the actor's people have leaked the news of his departure to the trades, it may force Warner Bros. to give him what he wants regardless of whether that's another Superman movie or a larger, higher paid contract.

After all, if this whole thing was just a ruse, it's worked wonderfully because the outpouring of support for Cavill's Man of Steel has been huge and there's no way the studio hasn't seen that fans, bloggers, and celebrities alike would all like him to stick around as Superman, especially as he's so hot after starring in Mission: Impossible - Fallout. Now we'll just have to wait and see if it ends up working!


The DC Extended Universe Is Being "Reset"

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros. is attempting to hit the "reset button" on this shared universe, taking these characters in a very different direction in the process. That's not a great surprise based on what we've heard in the past but in what world does it make sense that we're getting three or four different Joker movies but literally nothing featuring DC's most iconic superhero.

The new direction of the
DCEU is something of a mystery but Aquaman, Shazam, and Wonder Woman 1984 may give us at least some ideas, even if they were already in the works before leadership changed at the studio. Something that is clear, however, is that there will be few ties between each release.

Supergirl Is The Priority

It's no secret that Warner Bros. is developing a Supergirl movie and while that could have easily featured the Man of Steel. Some sites have reported that he wouldn't be needed because of the age difference between the two heroes but that's incorrect because while she may have been a teenager when he was a baby, he's actually older than his cousin by the time she finally crash lands on Earth. 

Not including Superman feels like a huge blunder and is something that the TV series did wrong at first. Regardless, her movie is now a priority for the studio as they look to launch more female-led franchises. Seeing as Wonder Woman is the studio's only real success since Man of Steel was released in 2013, it's understandable why they're now looking to shine the spotlight on the DCEU's women. 


Henry Cavill Responds

Hours after the news hit, Henry Cavill shared a rather bizarre response on Instagram, describing the day as being "exciting" and showing a video of himself holding a Superman action figure. Was he making fun of the stories claiming that his time as the Man of Steel is over or taking some satisfaction from seeing everyone lose their sh*t over him no longer playing the character? It's hard to say but it certainly feels like there's still more to this entire story than meets the eye after seeing this video...


Today was exciting #Superman

A post shared by Henry Cavill (@henrycavill) on

A Shazam! Cameo Which Didn't Happen

It's said that talks between Henry Cavill and Warner Bros. broke down after the actor was forced to turn down a role in Shazam! due to a "scheduling conflict." Apparently, that would have featured Clark Kent (it's not clear whether he would have been in his Superman persona) tracking down Billy Batson and telling him that "they" would be keeping an eye on him, a great tease for a Justice League 2

It's hard to imagine Cavill saying no to this cameo due to money and it seems more likely that he didn't want to make what would essentially be a meaningless appearance before being put on the shelf again. This also points to plans for Superman to appear in Black Adam - which probably won't ever happen at this rate seeing as it was first announced in 2014 - being put on the backburner for quite a while.


Warner Bros. Remains Vague

What was Warner Bros.' response to reports that Henry Cavill is hanging up his cape? "While no decisions have been made regarding any upcoming Superman films, we’ve always had great respect for and a great relationship with Henry Cavill, and that remains unchanged," the studio claims.

That's a terrible response and the fact that they haven't made a decision about Superman's big screen future shows that the character isn't a priority for them. In all honesty, it's a typical sort of statement from a studio which is very 
non-committal and tells us nothing about what's really going on here.

The End Of The Trinity

Well, don't get used to seeing this sight! While we've known that the critical and commercial failings of Justice League have put the team on the backburner for the foreseeable future, fans have been holding out hope for them to reunite somewhere, regardless of whether that's in the Flash's movie or something else altogether. Unfortunately, this iteration of the Trinity will not be seen on screen again.

We did get two movies featuring this iconic trio standing side by side but no time was ever devoted to fleshing out their relationship and exploring the dynamic between them. Regardless of how you felt about Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League, Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman standing side by side was truly epic and it just sucks it won't be repeated any time soon.


There's Going To Be A Long Wait For A New Superman Movie

Something which was very interesting about that story from The Hollywood Reporter is the fact that they claim Warner Bros. is unlikely to make another Superman movie for at least "several years." That pretty much debunks each and every report we've heard about what might come next for the character on screen, including names like McQuarrie and Matthew Vaughn being eyed to direct. 

During the press tour for Mission: Impossible - Fallout, Cavill had plenty to say about where he'd like to see Superman going next, mentioning Brainiac as a possible villain and pointing out that he was waiting to hear from Warner Bros. about what might be on the horizon for the hero. Alas, it seems he was every bit as in the dark as he claimed and nothing concrete is being developed for Superman.


...But We May Know Who The Next Man Of Steel Is

While nothing is set in stone, Deadline claims that Michael B. Jordan is one name that's been thrown around at Warner Bros. in regards to what comes next for Superman. The Black Panther star is often linked to big roles because he's such a hot commodity but this report could point to Warner Bros. looking to deliver a much more diverse take on Clark Kent and that could actually work really well.

It would mean moving away from everything we know about the character but there are some very interesting parallels which could be made between a black man in America dealing with racism and the fact Superman is often persecuted for being an alien. For now, though, it's still very, very early days.


What Comes Next For Henry Cavill?

Justice League could have killed Henry Cavill's career, especially as he became an internet meme thanks to the terrible CGI face Warner Bros. gave him in the superhero ensemble. It's just lucky that Christopher McQuarrie cast the British actor in Mission: Impossible - Fallout because he's been praised for his villainous turn there and it's quickly turned him into someone every studio wants to cast.

His schedule is looking pretty light at the moment but he recently signed up to star in Netflix's The Witcher TV series, a big budget production which adapts both the video games and series of novels. Apparently, being unable to come to terms with Warner Bros. about Superman is what led to him joining the show and while it's not exactly a consolation, we can look forward to seeing him in that.


The Ramifications Of No Superman

The DCEU can survive without Superman but the impact of us not having a Man of Steel is bound to be felt. There's now no one to go and "recruit" Shazam (Wonder Woman, I guess?) and that hero won't have any backup against Black Adam if and when that movie finally becomes a reality...which it probably won't. So far, the DCEU has made Supes a shining beacon of this world and even Suicide Squad touched on his death so how will his absence now be explained? It probably won't be, sadly.

This also means we can say goodbye to the likes of Lois Lane, Perry White, and Martha Kent as well.


What Happens To The Justice League?

Well, nothing! Warner Bros. was initially planning a sequel which would have pitted the team against Darkseid, while the after-credits scene set the stage for them to square off with Lex Luthor's Injustice League. Unfortunately, the critical and commercial failings of the movie have resulted in the Justice League being put on the shelf and the spotlight moved to most of the individual team members.

Is The DCEU No More?

As of right now, it might as well be. While movies featuring the likes of Aquaman and Wonder Woman are on the horizon and sequels could become a reality, it seems as if standalone adventures are the name of the game moving forward. That's why we're getting Joker movies featuring both Joaquin Phoenix and Jared Leto and we should prepare ourselves for the links between all these movies to be minimal or possibly even nonexistent. So, the Zack Snyder DCEU at least is indeed dead and gone.

Oh, And Batman's F****d Too!

Something which was buried in The Hollywood Reporter's story was the news that Ben Affleck is unlikely to return as the Caped Crusader in The Batman. That's actually not a huge surprise all things considered but it means Gal Gadot is the last woman standing from the Trinity and the Justice League now only consists of her, the Flash, Aquaman, and Cyborg (who is also unlikely to be seen again). 

Chances are Matt Reeves will find a new Batman for his solo movie, of course, but these heroes are in a state of flux and it's going to be hard coming to terms with not seeing Affleck as the Dark Knight again.


Could He Play Captain Britain?

Perhaps the only good thing to come out of this news is the fact that Cavill no longer playing Superman frees him up for two other big roles that playing the Man of Steel meant were off limits for him: James Bond and Captain Britain. We know that there are problems with Bond 25 and Daniel Craig is obviously getting on in years now, while I wouldn't put it past Kevin Feige trying to sign Cavill up for the MCU.

After all, it would be the ultimate "f*** you!" to Warner Bros. to put Cavill in a superhero movie and do it right and rumours have been swirling that a Captain Britain and the Black Knight film is in the works.

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