The DCEU is experiencing a nice momentum shift after the success of Wonder Woman, and the studio can build on that in a big way at San Diego Comic-Con this year with some key announcements and information.
The studio has a full slate, with projects like Justice League, Aquaman, The Flash, Cyborg, The Batman, and more already in development. This year along more projects have entered the calendar, like Joss Whedon's Batgirl and the Nightwing solo film. Once you throw in rumored films like Man of Steel 2 and Justice League 2 you end up with a pretty diverse and exciting DCEU, and this would be the time to let fans know what's coming down the pike.
It would also be the best place to clear up some rumors and speculation with casting announcements and status updates. Projects like The Flash, Batgirl, Shazam, and Green Lantern Corps are constantly swirling with rumors, so why not make a big statement with some key announcements that at least pull the curtain back a little bit.
Last year Warner Bros. used Comic-Con to reveal brand new footage from Justice League as well as Wonder Woman, so you can also expect some new footage from upcoming films as well. Of course, it wouldn't be a Comic-Con without some surprises, so most liekly there will be a few head turners that no one expected, including ComicBook.com.
That could include the recently revealed release dates that WB is occupying for 2020, on February 14 and June 5 respectively. There also might be information for the DC Animation side of things, including a close-up look at Gotham by Gaslight.
With that said, here are some of ComicBook.com's expectations as to what fans will see at the majjor panels, including a few you might have forgotten about since last Comic-Con.
Regardless of what makes it to the stage, there will be plenty to talk about once Comic-Con comes to a close.
This is probably the safest bet for San Diego Comic-Con this year. Justice League's release date starting to come into view (November), so now is the time to put a new trailer out into the world.
Warner Bros. released a montage of new footage last year at Comic-Con, helping to dispel some of the anxiety about the project coming off of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. The tone was much lighter, easing some fears Now that the DCEU has its first commercial and critical success in Wonder Woman, Warner Bros. is not going to want to lose momentum, so showing something that gets fans talking heading into the back half of the year seems like the wise play.
Odds are the new footage will include either a hint of Superman or Steppenwolf, the film's primary villain. Neither one has been seen in the footage released thus far, though Superman was in the initial marketing posters.
As for Steppenwolf, he hasn't been seen since the deleted scene in Batman V Superman: The Ultimate Edition and many are eager to see what he'll look like on screen. Recent action figures have given fans somewhat of an idea, but since he is completely computer generated, it could still look quite different on the big screen.
For Wonder Woman, Warner Bros. never released a trailer or footage that showed Ares in all his glory, so it is possible that Justice League takes the same approach.
Wonder Woman is still performing in theaters, but that hasn't kept fans from asking about a sequel. The Patty Jenkins directed film is an unmitigated success, and a needed one for Warner Bros. and DC.
You'd think that a Wonder Woman sequel would be immediately greenlit, but that hasn't been the case. Jenkins has come out and said that she already has ideas for what the sequel could be, even teasing that it could involve more of the modern day.
WB has a reputation for being very director friendly, and it would take an utter collapse of faith to let Jenkins walk out of the project. Expect for DC and Warner Bros. to make a splash at Comic-Con and early some easy goodwill by announcing Jenkins will helm the sequel.
Depending on how the conversations go, they might even reveal an expected release date, as they know Jenkins and Gadot are back on board and that no one expects any issues with it.
Ever since Joss Whedon's name was attached to the solo Batgirl project, fans have been anticipating a casting announcement for the one and only Barbara Gordon.
It makes sense, even above the character's incredible popularity. This casting will likely affect many other projects, as Gordon might have some involvement with projects like Gotham City Sirens, Nightwing, The Batman, and more.
There was a rumor at one point that said Warner Bros. was planning on making the official announcement at Comic-Con, with a rumored short list also making the rounds. The list included names like Elle Fanning, Olivia Cooke, Bella Thorne, Katherine Langford, Margaret Qualley, Jane Levy, Emma Roberts, Haley Lu Richardson, and Naomi Scott.
That said, it could be someone completely different, and last time Whedon spoke about the subject he was still trying to figure out who his Batgirl is, saying
“There’s so many things to say about her. I’m very excited to see a girl in the cowl. No, I don’t have my eye on anybody. I’m creating this character. I’m in a dialogue with her. We’ll see who joins that later on. I think this is somewhere where you go and find Batgirl and then you cast her.”
Whedon is working to finish Justice League, but he might have had time to cast a Batgirl. Many hope that's the case.
Not much is know about Chris McKay's Nightwing project, other than that it exists. That could change at San Diego Comic-Con, as Warner Bros. and DC look to pull the curtain back on their forthcoming extensions of the DCEU.
For Nightwing, it could come in the form of a casting of Dick Grayson or a title and release date combination. Any details would be significant, but McKay has revealed a few noteworthy tidbits about Grayson as a character.
“The story of Dick Grayson, becoming Robin, then becoming Nightwing played out for us, the audience, in the comics in REAL TIME," said McKay. "It wasn’t a flashback. We experienced it. So all of Robin/Nightwing’s successes and failures we were along for the ride."
“People that underestimated Robin or dismissed him perhaps had their opinions changed as we watched him “grow up” right in front of us. His relationships, his conflicts with Batman et al felt real to me because he was the window character with which we experienced Gotham City.”
Details on what sorts of interactions he'll have with Ben Affleck's Dark Knight would definitely interest plenty of Batman fans.
There is next to nothing known about Gotham City Sirens, though it does have Suicide Squad director David Ayer attached. Any details about the film would be welcome, including just who will comprise the actual Sirens.
In the comics, the cast is made up of Harley Quinn, Catwoman, and Poison Ivy. Harley, of course, is already in place thanks to Margot Robbie's pitch perfect portrayal in Suicide Squad, but the other two characters have yet to debut in the DCEU. Ayer has teased he wants to keep the original trio together, also teasing that the villain could be Roman Sionis, who goes more often than not under the title of the Black Mask.
It has also been rumored that film will serve as a way to introduce other Gotham centered characters like the Birds of Prey, which of course also includes Batgirl. It will be very connected to the rest of the DCEU but also has the potential to get bogged down in that.
In any case, news about the film would be delightfully received.
Other than Justice League, the most anticipated DCEU film has to be Aquaman, which will feature Jason Momoa reprising his Justice League role alongside Amber Heard's Mera.
Momoa's Aquaman made quite the impression in the first footage from Justice League, and the cast has been sharing plenty of behind the scenes footage and photos during filming, which is currently taking place.
It makes sense then that the first trailer would debut at San Diego Comic-Con, giving fans at least some idea of what James Wan's Atlantis will look like. It could also be the place that fans get their first cast photos, promotional posters, or title details about the film, all of which would be welcome if the footage isn't possible yet.
Recent photographs showed sets being constructed to resemble Amnesty Bay, so it would be fair to assume that the crew is still hard at work bringing this movie to life. WB isn't a studio that wants to give fans unpolished looks at films, so a poster or title might be the safest bet.
While Suicide Squad didn't receive a critically warm reception, it did quite well at the box office, bringing in over $325 million stateside and over $745 million worldwide.
You aren't going to let that sort of success just sit there, and spin-offs for characters like Deadshot and Harley Quinn are either in consideration or in the development phase. That said, the studio still wants a full-fledged sequel, with recent reports suggesting a March 2018 start date for production.
Since David Ayer is not returning for the sequel, this would be a perfect place to announce who is taking over the director's chair. Names have been rumored, but nothing has been officially announced. Even if the director slot is still open, announcing the returning cast or who the villain will be would appease fans for the time being.
As mentioned earlier, Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn will be starring in Gotham City Sirens, so maybe this is where an official Deadshot spin-off is announced?
No movie has inspired as much anticipation and fear as The Batman, the in-development solo film that once was the sole beacon of hope for the DCEU.
Back then the project was being directed by Ben Affleck, who is also starring in the Batman role. He has since stepped off the project s director, though he is still starring in it. Director Matt Reeves took his place and has since revealed that they are essentially starting over from square one with the story and script.
So, any news on who the primary villain is, what other supporting cast will play a part in it, and the official title of the film would be most appreciated. Reeves recently finished up his latest War For The Planet Of The Apes film, not leaving much time to work on a full rewrite of the script, so film details might not be practical at this stage.
A title or firm release date certainly would though, and hopefully, some other details make the Comic-Con cut.
This one is sort of a longshot, but Man of Steel 2 is a part of the DCEU future, so it isn't out of the realm of possibility.
Superman is likely to play a big part in the WB panel, as many expect some sort of footage of him showing up in Justice League. What better way to celebrate that than with a tip of the hat to Superman fans with a Man of Steel tease?
Whether in the form of a release date or just acknowledging that it's coming, this could be a great way to end the conference. It's not like fans don't know that Superman is returning in Justice League, and if they really wanted to get people talking they could announce a director for it.
So far there have been a few rumors, with the most recent being J.A Bayona (Jurassic World 2), who is a well-known Superman fan, and calls the Christopher Reeve Superman film "the film that made me want to become a director."
Shazam has seemingly been in development limbo for years, with the only concrete element being Dwayne Johnson's involvement.
Earlier this year Johnson met with DC and Warner Bros, about the project and seemed pleased with what he heard, so maybe Comic-Con is when the rest of the world finds out what is coming for the popular character.
This could be a number of things, from a director to an official title for the film to who will be cast as Shazam. Recently rumors suggested that Johnson's Black Adam won't be involved in the film, but that doesn't really make any sense unless WB is situating the conflict for a sequel.
Here's what Johnson had to say about the project.
“Had a very cool and strategic meeting with the heads of DC about their entire universe. As a hard core DC fan, to get a real sense of the tonal shifts and developments coming in these future movies has me fired up. Something we, as DC fans have all been waiting for for a very long time. Hope, optimism & FUN. Even when talking about the the most ruthless villain/anti-hero of all time finally coming to life. Prepare yourselves DC Universe.”
Green Lantern Corps is another big DCEU mystery, though fans at least know what the film's overall theme will be. Warner Bros. could pull back the curtain in a big way at San Diego Comic-Con, and it would have wide-ranging effects.
Rumors pointed to a Green Lantern showing up in Justice League, so getting fans amped starting here wouldn't necessarily be a bad idea. The casting of Green Lantern stalwarts Hal Jordan and John Stewart could be big drops for WB, as actors Armie Hammer and Tyrese Gibson have long been rumored to play those parts.
The project is being directed by David Goyer, and while fans know it will have a buddy cop feel to it, an actual synopsis or villain for the film would be substantial information. Even concept art of the myriad of other lanterns would be a nice reveal, especially considering that aforementioned rumor that an alien Lantern will cameo in League.