'Shazam!' Producer Hints 'The Batman' and 'The Joker' Will Be Darker Than Other DC Movies

The DC Films world is evolving into some interesting directions in recent years, with characters both iconic and unfamiliar about to hit the big screen. And while recent fare like Aquaman and Shazam! might be seen as a bit more family-friendly, someone close to the studio's outputs has hinted that there's probably more darkness in store.

In a recent interview with IGN, Warner Bros. producer Peter Safran spoke about the more upbeat tone that Shazam! has, and how it relates to the other films that will come after it. As Safran put it, each film's tone is entirely dependent on the character at the center of it, which could mean seeing darker films for characters like Batman and The Joker.

“I think that DC has the same idea we do now, which is every movie that they make should have the right tone for that particular character." Safran explained. "Shazam is such a fun character. He is all about wish fulfillment. He is fun and funny, and that is the tone that you should have for the film. Aquaman has got a tone, fantastical element. Shazam! is fun and funny. Wonder Woman’s got her thing. I think they realize each tone has to be specific for each movie."

“Listen, there are certain characters like Batman, like the Joker, that dark tone is perfect for them." Safran continued. "It’s what you really want to see.”

Seeing as both of the aforementioned characters do have highly-anticipated film adaptations in store - Todd Phillips' Joker and Matt Reeves' The Batman - there are fans who will probably be pleased by Safran's comments. Granted, the notion that both of those films might skew darker also isn't much of a surprise, based off of comments from those tied to the projects.

"The approach that Todd Phillips has taken is more of an origin story and a character study of a mentally ill person that becomes The Joker." Joker star Marc Maron said in a recent interview. "It’s more of an intimate and gritty movie with a very specific scope. It’s going to be really interesting to see how it comes out."


"It's very much a point of view-driven, noir Batman tale. It's told very squarely on his shoulders, and I hope it's going to be a story that will be thrilling but also emotional," Reeves said of The Batman in an interview earlier this year. "It's more Batman in his detective mode than we've seen in the films. The comics have a history of that. He's supposed to be the world's greatest detective, and that's not necessarily been a part of what the movies have been. I'd love this to be one where when we go on that journey of tracking down the criminals and trying to solve a crime, it's going to allow his character to have an arc so that he can go through a transformation."

Shazam! lands in theaters on April 5th, Joker on October 10th, Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) on February 7, 2020, Wonder Woman 1984 on June 5, 2020, The Batman on June 25, 2021, The Suicide Squad on August 6, 2021, and Aquaman 2 on December 16, 2022.