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After Aquaman, what’s next for the DC movie universe?

Warner Bros’ DC superhero universe isn’t quite the powerhouse of Marvel – but there’s still a lot to come after Jason Momoa's watery adventure

Published: Friday, 21st December 2018 at 9:51 am

Warner Bros’ latest superhero movie Aquaman is finally in cinemas, and so far fans seem to be warming to Jason Momoa's underwater adventure.


Generally speaking, though, the DC superhero universe he finds himself in is in choppy waters compared to rivals Marvel.

The underperformance of 2017’s Justice League has called into question exactly how the wider DC/Warner Bros project will play out going forward.

Aquaman was already in production Justice League was released, which begs the question: how will the changed state of the DC movie universe affect the future of Aquaman now? Will there be more crossover movies like Justice League? And just how many other DC superhero movies are in the pipeline?

To find out, we’ve taken a look at what could come next from Aquaman and the DC/Warner Bros movies in general – with a little help from Jason Momoa...

An Aquaman sequel - TBC

According to the Hollywood Reporter there’s already talk of a standalone Aquaman sequel starring Momoa and co-star Amber Heard, and when spoke to Momoa he had a few ideas about where another film could go.

“Absolutely, I’d like to do more,” the actor told us.

“Without giving too much away, I’d definitely like to spend more time up on land. And dealing with some family issues.”

Currently, there’s no writer confirmed for the mooted Aquaman 2 – but when they do start, there’s a few ideas for them, straight from the fish’s mouth.

Shazam! – release date 5th April 2019

This offbeat tale of a young boy turned into a superhero by speaking a magic word is set to debut next spring, though it probably won’t tie too much into the wider DC universe save for a few Easter Eggs.

There are plans for a spin-off from this film based around Black Adam, an antihero who may or may not be played by Dwayne Johnson.

Wonder Woman 1984 – release date 5th June 2020

Currently filming is Patty Jenkins’ eagerly-awaited follow-up to 2016’s Wonder Woman, Warner Bros and DC’s greatest critical and commercial success so far.

Gal Gadot is set to return in the titular role along with Chris Pine’s Steve Trevor, which is a bit confusing considering he was killed off in the early 1900s during the first film and he’s turned up again now nearly 70 years later without ageing a day…

Anyway, this film’s period setting will probably keep it out of any crossover concerns with other DC properties. What they’ll do if they decide to do a Wonder Woman 3, though, is anyone’s guess.

Joker – release date October 2019

The last DC movie currently in production is Todd Philips’ relatively low-budget take on classic Batman villain the Joker. However, he’s not connected to the Jared Leto version introduced in 2016’s Suicide Squad, or Batman apparently.

Instead, this version of the character (a failed stand-up comedian) will be played by Joaquin Phoenix in what’s promised to be a particularly off-kilter version of the story (also starring Robert De Niro and Zazie Beetz).

This movie is already shooting and set to turn up in 2019, so despite its odd set-up it’s actually one of the more secure movies on DC’s slate. Speaking of which…

Justice League 2?

Justice League cast including Henry Cavill (Superman), Ben Affleck (Batman), Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman) and Jason Momoa (Aquaman)

Ok – now we’re moving into less certain territory.

Originally superhero team-up Justice League was set to be a two-part movie, but trouble behind the scenes and a poor reception for lead-in movie Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice meant that it was cut back to just one fairly zippy adventure.

Following Justice League’s own critical and commercial disappointment (Black Panther beat Justice League's entire, multi-week domestic box office in just four days), it seems likely that this particular superhero team-up franchise is dead in the water.

With all that said, though, Aquaman’s Momoa is still hoping for another team-up.

“I had a ball on Justice League,” he said, adding that he hoped a reunion with co-stars Gal Gadot, Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Ezra Miller and Ray Fisher could be on the cards one day.

“I don’t like saying this too much, because I really love having the standalone film, I’ve never had this at this level,” Momoa continued.

“But it’s nice having the group – Wonder Woman, and Superman and Batman, it’s nice. And Ezra! And just the camaraderie.

“It’s two totally different kinds of movies,” he concluded.

“I enjoy being part of an ensemble, and it’s nice having a standalone.”

So who knows – maybe one day he’ll get his dream. After all, (slightly) stranger things have happened.

Other DC movie projects

DC and Warner Bros have announced literally dozens of movie projects over the years, some of which may have been quietly dropped. However, a few with significant buzz and talent attached are still likely to come to fruition.

Examples? Well, Spider-Man: Homecoming writers John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein are currently helming a solo movie for Ezra Miller’s speedster The Flash; Margot Robbie’s Suicide Squad character Harley Quinn is set to have her own spin-off in Birds of Prey (written by Christina Hodson, and also starring Ewan McGregor), and fired Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn has been hired by Warner Bros to pen a script for a (possibly rebooted) Suicide Squad 2.

Meanwhile, Matt Reeves’ long-heralded Batman movie is still apparently happening as well, though given that Ben Affleck may be leaving his role as the Dark Knight behind it could be that a bit of retooling and recasting will be needed before The Batman can properly get going.

There have also been some mixed messages regarding the recasting of Henry Cavill's Superman, though there aren't currently any films slated to include him anyway.

Jared Leto "The Joker"; Sky Pics, Warner Bros

And that’s not all! In various stages of development from DC and Warner Bros, in no particular order, we also have films based on heroes and villains like:

  • Batgirl (originally a project for Avengers director Joss Whedon before he quit)
  • Green Lanterns Corps
  • New Gods (this has Ava Duvernay attached, so it might still happen)
  • Blackhawk
  • Jared Leto’s Joker
  • Joker and Harley Quinn in a romantic movie
  • Supergirl
  • Nightwing
  • Justice League Dark (a less salubrious line-up of heroes than the main Justice League)
  • Ray Fisher’s Justice League character Cyborg
  • Shazam baddie Black Adam
  • Superman baddie Lobo
  • Plastic Man, a stretching hero whose movie is the most recently announced project from DC and Warner Bros.

Some of these movies, like Cyborg, are currently looking less certain, while others like Plastic Man are only just beginning their journey to the big screen.

Whatever happens, one thing’s for sure – after Aquaman, there’s a LOT of DC/Warner Bros superhero movies still to come. Possibly.


Aquaman is in UK cinemas now


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