Today, Warner Bros. unveiled its slate of upcoming DC Films releases, and while there was plenty to be excited about based on the films listed, the omission of certain films from the list may be equally as telling about the direction the DC Extended Universe is headed in.
Chief among those missing is the sequel to Justice League. Justice League was originally announced as a two-part movie, with the second part meant to release. However, it came out not long ago that Warner Bros. was planning to delay the film in order to The Batman into theaters earlier.
However, while there’s been some hand-wringing around the domestic box office performance of Justice League, even though the Justice League sequel isn’t on the new slate doesn’t mean its off the table. The script was still reportedly in development alongside The Batman's and Henry Cavill is under contract to play Superman in one more movie, though whether Zack Snyder will return to direct as originally planned is a matter of some debate.
Speaking of Henry Cavill, the Man of Steel sequel is also absent from the list. Perhaps considerations are being made as to where to deploy Cavill next before having to renegotiate his contract. Warner Bros. was looking at Matthew Vaughn to direct.
The Justice League movie isn’t the only previously announced film to go missing from the new slate. A Cyborg movie was announced in the DC Extended Universe’s big initial announcement and was set for an April 2020 release date, but now the film has gone missing from the slate. Ray Fisher debuted in the role in Justice League, and actor Joe Morton has stated that the film is still in the works, but Warner Bros. has been silent on the project.
Two movies focused on villains, Black Adam and Deathstroke, were also absent from the new film slate. Black Adam, starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, has been in development for some time, but with Johnson’s busy schedule, it has never been clear when the film would enter production. The film is expected to follow Shazam, though Black Adam may show up elsewhere in the DC Extended Universe before his own movie is released.
Deathstroke was only recently revealed. The film is to be directed by Gareth Evans and will star Joe Manganiello as the titular villain, who made his first appearance in the DC Extended Universe in the post-credits scene of Justice League. Rumor had it that Manganiello’s Deathstroke was going to be the villain of The Batman, but the director and writer shakeup on that film seems to have altered those original plans.
And then there were the many Suicide Squad spinoff movies. Suicide Squad 2, the direct sequel, was mentioned in the new slate, but several other spinoffs – almost all featuring Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn – were not.
Suicide Squad director David Ayer is working on the Gotham City Sirens spinoff, which will team Harley with Catwoman and Poison Ivy. There are also plans for a solo Harley Quinn movie and a film pitting Harley against the Joker, but those plans are less solid.
A Nightwing solo movie is also in development, with Chris McKay directing. We know that casting for Nightwing is only just beginning.
Other films that have been rumored to be in development include a Birds of Prey movie, which would also feature Harley Quinn, a Deadshot movie, and even a Lobo movie, but these films seem to be in such early stages of development that we would not expect them to be formally spotlighted at a convention panel.
Justice League is now playing in theaters. The film will be followed in the DC Extended Universe by Aquaman on December 21, 2018, Wonder Woman 2 on November 1, 2019, Shazam on April 5, 2019, Cyborg in 2020, and Green Lantern Corps in 2020.