So around the time Warner Bros. announced that Justice League was coming as the follow-up to Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, word came down that there were nine films currently in development at various stages at Warner Bros. Obviously, we already know a couple of them...and there will likely be at least one more announced during the Warner Bros. panel at San Diego Comic Con International this summer. But...what else is in development? We looked back at our master list of what's with whom, sprinkled in some common sense and here are what we figure to be the nine most likely films in development right now at Warner Bros. Of course, the first two are gimmes...but it's not totally clear that there are only nine in development, or nine beyond the two already named. So for the sake of argument, we're making a list of eleven here and will only glance over the two everyone already knows about.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League We already know these films are in the pipeline. Dawn of Justice is shooting right now, to be followed up by Justice League, for which it's setting the stage by establishing at least four Justice League members that we know of (Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and Cyborg, who has also been cast). Batman Someone clever recently said that there's always a Batman movie in development at Warner Bros. and, given the value of Batman as a franchise and the reported duration of Ben Affleck's contract to play the character, it seems a given that Batman v Superman isn't the only one we'll be getting soon. Affleck's older, more world-weary Batman gives the filmmakers the opportunity to jump into the deep end, using his appearances in Dawn of Justice and Justice League as all you really need to know and avoiding an origin story altogether since this is, after all, the second reboot in 20 years. And, yes, we've heard the same rumors of Affleck (who won an Academy Award for Best Picture just prior to signing on to play Batman) will direct the first Batman solo feature after Man of Steel. It wouldn't be surprising if that turned out to be true, especially since at one point not that long ago, Affleck was quoted as saying that he was so much more interested in directing these days than he was in acting that in most cases he'd rather just act in films he's already directing. Odds of a Kevin Smith pass at the script? 4:1.
Wonder Woman Yes, it's true -- the same report that said Justice League was coming also said there was no Wonder Woman solo film. We know. But we also know there's simply no way that's true. There's been enormous pressure on Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment to get Wonder Woman right for a while. There's been a failed TV pilot and another series that almost went to pilot before being cancelled just in the last five years. And they've already got an actress cast who's the perfect combination of recognizable to casual fans but not famous enough to demand a ton of money. Rumor is they've locked up Gal Gadot for a bunch of pictures including at least one solo Wonder Woman film. None of this points to a character who isn't being groomed for her own movie.
Dark Universe While it wasn't mentioned when The Wall Street Journal went live with Justice League information, Dark Universe is basically the supernatural companion to that film. Based on a number of characters who appear in DC Comics's Justice League Dark, the film is expected from Pacific Rim and Hellboy director Guillermo del Toro and will feature Constantine, Deadman, Swamp Thing, Zatanna and more. Here's the problem: With John Constantine headed to NBC for a TV series and del Toro frequently taking years to deliver on any given project, this one may be classified as "in development" but is almost certainly not going to happen for at least four years.
Metal Men Barry Sonnenfeld of Men in Black fame has been working on this forever. The exact status of the script and whether it's actually still a priority for anyone isn't clear, but it was one of the movies specifically referenced as in development in the Wall Street Journal. Shazam A project which, like Metal Men, seemed to have died on the vine...but that The Wall Street Journal still classifies as happening. Suddenly we've got people thinking that maybe The Rock is back into this film, in which he was once expected to play Black Adam before the whole thing fell apart.
Aquaman This is a project that Geoff Johns, Chief Creative Officer of DC Entertainment and Executive Producer of Green Lantern, Arrow and The Flash, really would like to see happen, and while the character may be a joke to mainstream audiences, his name is a familiar one and Warners seems convinced that it's a potentially valuable IP. There was already a much-loved pilot made for The CW and made available via iTunes when it didn't air. Now, there's a best-selling comic and a Justice League movie coming. It seems virtually guaranteed this is going to happen. 100 Bullets This has been discussed as a cable/pay TV miniseries before (David Goyer was expected to do it at Showtime), but The Wall Street Journal has it down as a movie adaptation. Not surprising, since it isn't as though Goyer has a ton of free time right now. 100 Bullets, like Fables and Sandman after it, have creator participation; it's based on a critically-acclaimed Vertigo series and won't tie into the DC Cinematic Universe that will see Man of Steel crossing over with other Justice League-related films. Fables This one has been in development on and off for years, but it's basically stuck in movies-or-nothing mode right now because ABC, after passing on the book, made something remarkably similar in the form of Once Upon a Time. Now, like when visuals from Grant Morrison's The Invisibles were echoed in The Matrix, it's kind of stuck between a rock and a hard place because people saw the one that came second, first. Sandman Joseph Gordon-Levitt is attached to produce with rumors that either he or screenwriter David S. Goyer will direct. Neil Gaiman is attached as a consultant of some kind...and JGL also might star. That's literally everything we know about this project, which is probably more real than almost anything else on the list.