The dust has settled, the smoke has cleared and the cosplaying is over. That’s right folks, San Diego Comic Con 2017 is finished and while I’m sure there are hundreds of volunteers cleaning up the convention centre, the ripple effect of the some of the biggest announcements the weekend had to offer continues to have a cause and effect sensation.
Warner Bros. by any measurable means, knocked the ball out of the park (sports metaphor) on Saturday when they took over Hall “H” for two hours. No only did they have two very successful panels in Ready Player One and Blade Runner 2049 (Full Recap Here) but their DC segments including a massive Justice League trailer release and our first look at Aquaman footage blew the roof off the hall.
But it was their pre-panel DCEU announcement that caught the eye of many. When the lights dimmed and screens lit up, a rapid sequence of graphics detailing their upcoming films, including images of logos, indicated what’s next for DC slate wise. We saw logos for Wonder Woman 2, The Batman, Batgirl, Shazam!, Green Lantern Corps., The Flash: Flashpoint, Justice League Dark and Suicide Squad 2. Once the logos faded a banner appeared showing the entire DC universe of characters indicating the DCEU is getting a whole lot bigger!
So let’s take a very brief look at each film and talk about what we know, if anything, about them…
Batgirl is one of the few films here that we have a few details about. One of the more exciting announcements that happened prior to Comic-Con was the news that Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Avengers director Joss Whedon will be writing/directing a Batgirl film based on the New 52 version of the female super hero. Whedon is currently finishing up the Justice League film, so we weren’t sure when we could expect to see any movement on this. Well we now know that Whedon will start developing the film in early 2018. Casting wise, there’s been no mention who could play the lead yet.
It was DC Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns, while doing an interview with IGN Live, who spoke about when Batgirl could start production:
But for Batman what I will say is that Batman is more than just Batman and, you know, it’s been way too long since we’ve seen, you know, an expansion of that universe, and Batgirl — we are doing Batgirl with Joss Whedon, it’s going to be super exciting. He’s going to start that next year, and that’s just the start.
With Ben Affleck dismissing publicly the rumors that he’s leaving the role as the Dark Knight and Matt Reeves firmly on board to direct this film is officially a go…
“Let me be clear, Batman is the greatest fucking part in the world. I am thrilled to do it.” – Ben Affleck at SDCC ’17
The script is being re-written again with Reeves bringing in his own scribe, Mark Bomback, scrapping the Geoff John story. The rumor is the film and/or trilogy will have a stronger film noir vibe focusing more on Batman’s keen detective skills while fighting off some of his classic villains that we know so very well. Cast wise we know we’ll see J.K. Simmons as Commissioner Gordon, Jeremy Irons as Alfred and Joe Manganiello as Deathstroke. Deathstroke originally was going to have a more prominent role but the part has been diminished with the arrival of Reeves and Co. There’s no confirmed date yet but we know they’re looking at 2019 release sometime.
THE FLASH: FLASHPOINT
Perhaps the most surprising and exciting news was that The Flash standalone film will be based on the Flashpoint storyline from the Geoff Johns comics. While most fans are a little surprised that next time we see Erza Miller’s iteration of Barry Allen after Justice League will be such a major universe altering storyline, WB and DC clearly have liked what they’ve seen from Miller to this point.
If you haven’t read that particular story Barry, tapping into the speed force, goes back in time to stop his mother’s death at the hands of reverse Flash creating a parallel universe. In the comics, Barry going back in time causes all sorts of problems with timelines and upsets the balance between all the heroes and villains, including Thomas and Martha Wayne.
Jeffrey Dean Morgan has taken notice of Flashpoint as well, as he took to social media at SDCC to tease the film. Safe to assume if WB had Flashpoint in mind as a movie for a while that Zack Snyder specifically cast Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Lauren Cohan in Batman vs. Superman intentionally to play their alternate universe characters down the line.
As of this writing there is no release date.
GREEN LANTERN CORPS
Warner Bros. officially confirmed that the forthcoming Green Lantern Corps movie will feature both Hal Jordan and John Stewart. While there are rumors suggesting they’ll be some type of Green Lantern in the upcoming Justice League film, whether it be Abin Sur, Hal Jordan or John Stewart, the announcement of a Green Lantern Corps film had everybody in Hall H very excited.
It’s a hot topic for DC fans who have patiently been waiting for news Lanterns who have been rumoured for some time to be making their debut appearance in this year’s Justice League movie. Speculation has now grown following yesterday’s release on the latest Justice League trailer with many believing it is indeed a Lantern that Alfred is talking to at the end of the trailer.
What we do now know for certain is that the Green Lantern Corps is scheduled for a 2020 release with David S. Goyer writing the script. Inevitably, what fans will really be wanting to know is who will be cast to play the Lanterns? Many names have been speculated, most notably Armie Hammer for Hal Jordan with Tyrese Gibson pushing the hardest for the conveted John Stewart part. Gibson revealed via social media that he has indeed met with the studio but wouldn’t onfirm nor deny his involvement in the Green Lantern Corps project…yet.
JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK
Dark Justice, based on the comic book title Justice League Dark, was originally going to feature members from the DECU such as Zatanna, Swamp Thing and John Constantine. A side project of director Guillermo del Toro at the start, the film made the rounds in Hollywood for years before del Toro would eventually left leave the project, but it appears DC wasn’t done with it.
Now with the box office success of Wonder Woman, the WB has decided to go ahead with a Justice League Dark film which surprised many fans in attendance at SDCC as they haven’t seen this be a priority ahead of Gotham City Sirens or Man of Steel 2. The recently released Justice League Dark animated movie did well and this may have play a large part in the studio greenlighting the project.
Doug Liman was the most recent director attached to this project but has since dropped out and there has been no word on his replacement. No casting announcements or release dates have been made.
The announcement by DC that a Shazam! film (aka Captain Marvel) is coming wasn’t much of a surprise, the project has been in development for a very long time, so it’s good to see it’s finally happening. What was confirmed was that the movie will go into production early next year under the direction of David. F Sandberg (Lights Out), who has been long rumored to be directing the movie.
While doing an IMDB showcase panel at San Diego Comic-Con with host Kevin Smith, Sandberg confirmed he is directing Shazam!. After revealing his involvement, he explained that progress on the film has been going smoothly:
“It’s coming along pretty well. I’m very happy with the script and how it’s all coming along, so it’s super exciting.”
Another interesting tidbit that came out of San Diego was that the movie will not feature his Captain Marvel’s main villain, Black Adam, so Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson who is playing the villain, will not be in Shazam! and will likely get his own solo film.
The film is scheduled to be released sometime in 2019.
SUICIDE SQUAD 2
Announcing a Suicide Squad 2 film ahead of Gotham City Sirens left some puzzled but not completely unsurprised as the first installment of reluctant villains turned hero’s managed a nice profit at the box office even after being crucially panned.
Embattled director David Ayer will not be back to direct and oddly enough, is attached to the previously mentioned Gotham City Sirens starring Margot Robbie as fan favorite Harley Quinn. Mel Gibson’s name was rumored as a possible replacement but meetings between him and the studio proved unfruitful and it never materialized. Most recently it appears as though The Shallows director Jaume Collet-Serra is the front-runner to helm the sequel.
Casting wise, Jared Leto has been reluctant to say for sure whether he’ll return as The Joker, a role which left many fans divided, but it seems likely especially if Robbie returns as Harley Quinn. Cara Delevingne has already come out and said she will not be returning as the Enchantress and there have been little to no details on the rest of the cast. The Suicide Squad in the comics has had many members that weren’t depicted in the first film so they could easily bring in a whole new cast.
Filming is slated to being in March of 2018.
WONDER WOMAN 2
Likely the least surprising announcement was that there would be a Wonder Woman 2 put in to production. This information was dropped before the weekend by WB and DC and director Patty Jenkins, who’s returning, has been very public about a sequel even to go as far as discussing details and that her and Geoff Johns have started on a script.
Indeed all the momentum DC had going into San Diego is in large part due to the amazing worldwide success of Wonder Woman. The film has made international stars of not only Jenkins but star Gal Gadot as well who, deservedly, received a hero’s welcome at this year’s Comic Con. The film has been breaking box office records since it’s release and is now the second biggest earner this year in North America.
With Gadot and Jenkins back the word is that Chris Pine will also return in some capacity as Captain Steve Trevor and that film will take place in the 1980s. No villains have been announced but Russia is expected to be in play and there have been rumors circulation that we could see a formidable female antagonist this time around such as Circe or fan favorite Cheetah.
So that’s it! There are still a lot of unknowns such as details regarding Man of Steel 2, Cyborg, Gotham City Sirens, Black Adam and Nightwing but it’s clear DC is feeling good about their future. And the excitement generated at this most recent SDCC should carry them into the fall.
The success or failure of Justice League this fall is unlikely to derail these plans so look forward to many years of DC films.
Till next time…