Deadline's initial report about the film added that Warner Bros. will be creating a new banner of film production, which will be used to "expand the canon of DC properties and create unique storylines with different actors playing the iconic characters."
This takes the DC Films imprint into relatively uncharted territory, with the opportunity to tell developed stories separate from - but still existing alongside - the primary DC Extended Universe. In a way, this could end up modeling the DC universe seen in the comics, which already has plenty of 'Elseworld' parallel universes existing alongside the main comic canon.
So which of those parallel universes and alternate stories could be brought to life in DC Film's new 'standalone' projects? Click through to the next slide to see a few that we have in mind.
(Note: While not every property on our list exists within the 'Elseworld' imprint, we're using the term to refer to a story that would exist without the main DCEU continuity.)
Fans have been clamoring for Terry McGuinness to make his way to live action for quite some time now, and this new production technique could be the best chance yet at making that happen.
The Batman Beyond animated series first debuted in 1999, and has developed a profound following in the years since. Many have grown fond of Terry's role as the caped crusader, as well as the stylized future version of Gotham he resides in. With that in mind, it's pretty easy to see the property adapted into live-action.
With fifty-two episodes to its name, a Batman Beyond film would have plenty of source material to draw from. And a live-action version of the property would feel right at home in the stylized sci-fi film worlds of recent films like Blade Runner 2049. It would also provide audience members with 'Batman fatigue' a portrayal of The Dark Knight - and many of his foes - that is unlike anything else.prevnext
Gotham by Gaslight
Keeping with a Batman theme, Gotham by Gaslight is another property that would translate pretty perfectly into live-action.
The one-shot, first published in 1989, follows a 19th century Bruce Wayne/Batman on a hunt for Jack The Ripper. Even with that being a rather unconventional story for the caped crusader, it quickly became a beloved title.
Much like Batman Beyond, a Gotham by Gaslight live-action film would provide general audiences with an entirely unique take on the character. And given the unique setting in time, it would allow another actor to put on the iconic cowl - in addition to Ben Affleck's performance in the primary DCEU. It also would offer quite a bit of cross-genre appeal - something that steampunk fans would probably eat up.
DC is already making an effort to adapt Gotham by Gaslight in new ways, with the property set to be the imprint's next animated film. If the animated Gotham by Gaslight does well, a live-action version could easily follow.prevnext
Another heavily stylized DC property - one with a much larger range of source material than Gotham by Gaslight - is the Bombshells series.
The comic series features a rotating cast of DC Comics heroines, saving the world in the WWII era. With many of the comics' stories existing in small vignettes and arcs, there's plenty of stories for DC Films to draw from, should they decide to adapt the property into live-action.
It would be entirely up to DC Films whether or not a live-action Bombshells would play off of the DCEU, or exists entirely on its own. With the DCEU already having a slew of beloved female characters - such as Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) and Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) - a Bombshells film would be a bonafide hit if it featured all of those actresses reprising - and also essentially reinventing - their roles.
Plus, considering the fact that DC's Bombshells series initially began from a line of statues, bringing the property into live-action would be a gold mine when it comes to merchandising.prevnext
This next Elseworlds property takes the DC universe far into the future - but provides a concise story that could easily be adapted into a film.
The 1996 miniseries established a world of conflicting superheroes, with Superman's Justice League warring against Batman's 'Outsiders'. At the center of the story are The Spectre, a DC hero with the ability to warp reality, and Norman McCay, an elderly man who narrates the entire series.
While a large roster of DC heroes - including the majority of the Justice League - factor into Kingdom Come, the various age differences would allow for key characters to be played in unique ways. In the end, a Kingdom Come film would be able to present a superhero ensemble film unlike anything audiences have seen, with the end result sure to pull on viewers' heartstrings.prevnext
Superman: Red Son
The three-issue miniseries debuted in 2003, and brought to life an alternate universe where Superman was raised by the Soviet Union. Like with Gotham by Gaslight, Red Son would have the crossover appeal of doubling as historical fiction.
Fans have been clamoring for a live-action Red Son film for a while now, and rumors earlier this summer hinted that it could become a reality. And with bonafide parallel universe-set films now a genuine possibility, it feels like the perfect standalone property to bring into live-action.prevnext
A film based on DC fan-favorite Booster Gold has been in the pipeline for quite some time - but this new wave of standalones could help make it a reality.
The Booster Gold film - produced by DCTV maven Greg Berlanti - was first announced a few years ago, but not a lot of updates have been provided since. Berlanti did say back in 2016 that the film would be disconnected from the DCEU - something that many fans easily accepted, considering the rather unconventional way Booster exists in the comics.
But now, it feels a little bit easier to see a Booster Gold film coming to fruition - with DC Films more willing to work on standalone films.prevnext
Legion of Super-Heroes
While there's an argument to be made for the Legion of Super-Heroes appearing in the prime DCEU, it's also pretty easy to see them as their own separate entity.
The space-trotting group of 30th century heroes have had a lengthy run across the DC Comics universe, meaning there's plenty of source material that could make its way into a feature film. And even with the group's initial ties to Superboy/Superman, there are several incarnations of the Legion that could exist as its own group.
If anything, the biggest argument for the Legion being a standalone film lies in the DCEU continuity. Granted, the goings-on of the current DCEU might not have too big of an effect on the Legion. But giving the group their own standalone film would take out the need to address any of that continuity - and to rely on the events of other DCEU films currently in production.prevnext
Another ragtag ensemble that could be brought to the big screen is the Doom Patrol.
DC readers first met the group of misfit superheroes in 1963, and the Doom Patrol have gone through several incarnations in the years since. The most recent - written by My Chemical Romance's Gerard Way - has given the crew a modern update, and developed a beloved following.
While it's hard to guess which Doom Patrol storyline would be adapted into a feature film, it's pretty easy to see the group being brought to screen, especially with an eclectic onscreen aesthetic similar to that in Way's version.prevnext
Granted, this property could easily work within the DCEU - but the 'Elseworld' approach increases the possibility of it arriving on the big screens.
Mr. Terrific, Plastic Man, Metamorpho, and Phantom Girl are set to unite within the pages of DC Comics later this year, in a series that appears to borrow pretty heavily from Marvel's Fantastic Four.
With that mindset, it would be rather hilarious to see DC Films bring the property to the big screen, creating the kind of campy, adventure-filled story that 20th Century Fox has yet to capture with its various Fantastic Four films. While a The Terrifics film would definitely need some big names attached to garner a wide audience appeal, its something that comic book fans would probably be delighted by.prevnext
And finally, many would argue that the DC: The New Frontier miniseries would translate beautifully onscreen.0comments
The award-winning miniseries helped bridge the gap between DC's Golden and Silver ages, introducing a new roster of heroes into the mix. While the same could essentially be done within the DCEU, The New Frontier's 1950s setting makes it entirely unique, as was seen in the 2008 animated film based off of the miniseries.
Much like Bombshells, Kingdom Come, and even Superman: Red Son, it would be up to DC Films whether or not The New Frontier's cast would be filled with DCEU actors. But either way, the resulting film would profoundly impact audiences, much like the original comic.prev