Looking Ahead At DC’s Movie Slate – Summer 2013 Edition

DC_Comics

So, seen any good movies lately?

Seriously, last week Man of Steel dominated the box office with a $200 million opening weekend and is on track to be just the hit DC (and parent company Warner Bros.) needed. After seeing how the comic company across town Marvel kickstarted a movie franchise with their various movies, DC is said to be in the latter stages of getting their ducks in a row to get their family of superheroes off the ground and into movies.

But it won’t be easy.

Although DC has the longest and most dynamic history when it comes to getting their characters adapted to the big screen, for the past decade their attempts have been disorganized at best; many of their characters’ movie rights were sold to various outside companies in the 90s, with Warner Bros. only pulling those back under their wing. Sitting here just a few days after Man of Steel‘s wide release, DC has no films in the pipeline, be it post-production, filming or even cast. They’ve got a sequel to Man of Steelwith the same director, writer and primary cast attached, but they pale in comparison to Marvel who has three movies filming, one in post-production, and Avengers 2 set to begin filming in early 2014.

But Warner Bros. wants to make up for lost time, with reports that Man of Steel 2 will be fast-tracked for release in late 2014 and a Justice League film coming in 2015. There’s a lot of news out there, and in this post we’re going to pull it all together under one roof to see what’s going on. Caution though — wee won’t be covering DC’s animated movies, because there’s enough news on live action films to get any fanboy’s heart beating on its own. And we’re not going to go on rumors of Green Lantern sequels, Batman reboots or the possibility of Arrow tying into the DCU Cinematic Universe. Lastly — Be warned! Expect DC to announce more between now and Comic-Con, which we’ll of course talk about here on iFanboy.

Pre-Production & Hiring:

Man of Steel Sequel

Release Date: Rumored to be in 2014
Director: Zack Snyder (Man of Steel, Watchmen, 300)
Screenwriter:  David S. Goyer (Man of Steel, the Dark Knight trilogy)
Actors: Henry Cavill (Man of Steel, The Tudors), Amy Adams (Man of Steel, The Muppets)

The Scoop: There’s no script written yet, but with those box office receipts coming in fast and furious this week I can bet you a ducat or two that David S. Goyer is furiously working on a script for a second Man of Steel film based on his ideas and conversations with Snyder during the filming of the first. Both the writer, director and the principal cast are locked into deals for a sequel, and early talk by Goyer has it pegged to bring in Lex Luthor (as a “Bill Gates-like Lex that is probably worth 50, 60, 70 billion dollars”) as well as the idea of how a superhero would react to real world problems.

Development Hell:

Justice League

Release Date: Rumored for 2015
Director: None hired
Screenwriter: David S. Goyer
Actors: Henry Cavill (Man of Steel)

The Scoop: Although there hasn’t been a proper press release per se, between Warner Bros. and Man of Steel‘s director Zack Snyder we know they’re definitely working on a Justice League film. Snyder said in an interview that he would direct this if Man of Steel was “successful,” but with DC’s rumored rush to get this and a Man of Steel sequel out to theaters I can’t imagine Snyder would have time to do both in time for a 2014 and 2015 release. It would be similar to the crunch Jon Favreau was put in for Iron Man 2 which led to him departing Marvel Studios as a director. Last June WB hired Gangster Squad‘s Will Beall to pen a script, but in the build-up to Man of Steel Goyer reportedly said that he was stepping in as screenwriter.

 

Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman

Release Date: Rumored for 2015
Director: None hired
Screenwriter: Michael Goldenberg (Harry Potter & The Order of the Phoenix, Green Lantern)
Actors: None hired

The Scoop: Rumor has it that DC is aiming for a Wonder Woman film to come out between the release of the  Man of Steel sequel and Justice League. Then again, a WW film has been in perpetual development for the past decade, so you have to take it with a huge grain of salt. Michael Goldenberg was hired in June 2012 to write a new script, but DC film wunderkind David S. Goyer has also expressed interest in writing one as well. One of the most interesting developments I’ve seen is a conversation between Drive‘s Nicolas Winding Refn and Mad Men‘s Christina Hendricks about their desire to do a Wonder Woman film, but DC or Warner Bros. haven’t said anything about that. From my eyes Wonder Woman looks like it could be DC’s version of Thor, in terms of a mythological hero coming to Earth in a “fish out of water” scenario.

 

Flash

The Flash

Release Date: Unknown
Director: None hired
Screenwriter: Greg Berlanti, Michael Green and Marc Guggenheim (Green Lantern)
Actors: None hired

The Scoop: Therehas a long history of attempts to make a Flash feature film;  Jeph Loeb wrote a script in the late 80s, Man of Steel screenwriter David S. Goyer was hired in late 2004 to write, produce and direct a version. Night at the Museum‘s Shawn Levy was attached for a while to direct, then replaced by The Wedding Crashers‘ David Dobkin. Right now they don’t have a director, although Green Lantern screenwriter Greg Berlanti is rumored to be the frontrunner. Whomever they decide, the general consensus is that the story for the movie is said to be based on Geoff Johns’ popular run on the title. Johns is said to be actively involved in steering this as DC Entertainment’s Chief Creative Officer.

 

Aquaman

Aquaman

Release Date: Unknown
Director: None hired
Screenwriter: Unknown
Actors: None hired

The Scoop: Aquaman is said to be part of the “Big 8″ that DC is pushing to be translated into feature films, but we haven’t heard much about the film in particular since news came out in the summer of 2009 that Leonardo DiCaprio’s production shingle Appian Way was working on it. Leo as Aquaman? Not quite yet, but it does show how much outside interest there is in the concept despite its… fishiness with some fans.

 

Lobo

Lobo

Release Date: Unknown
Director: Brad Peyton (Journey 2: Mystery Island)
Screenwriter: Unknown
Actors: None hired

The Scoop: Not quite the most conventional DC superhero, but that’s part of the charm according to inside sources at DC. Originally planned as a production by Guy Ritchie, Journey 2‘s Peyton was hired in late 2012. Back in 2009, Variety had a look at DC’s plans for the character, describing him as a “seven-foot tall, blue-skinned, indestructible and heavily muscled anti-hero who drives a pimped out motorcycle” who works as an interstellar bounty hunter. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson announced last summer he was in talks to star in the movie, but announced last February he had backed out.

 

JLD

Justice League Dark

Release Date: Unknown
Director: Guillermo del Toro
Screenwriter: Unknown
Actors: None hired

The Scoop: Guillermo del Toro has been talking openly about his plans to do a “Dark” DC movie with Constantine recruiting  Swamp Thing, Madame Xanadu, Deadman and Zatanna to fight an ancient threat that rears his head in the modern day. The idea of del Toro doing a DC superhero movie is exhilarating, but unfortunately del Toro has been attached to nearly three dozen projects that have never been made. That being said, del Toro was quoted at WonderCon back in March that they had already hired a writer and he would be shooting it after his next film, presumably the sequel to Pacific Rim, his big summer movie for this year.

 

Suicide_Squad_0023

Suicide Squad

Release Date: Unknown
Director: None hired
Screenwriter: Justin Marks (Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li)
Actors: None hired

The Scoop: You may not think it, but DC’s movie division has long had a soft spot for the Suicide Squad. Back in 2008 they hired King of Kong director Seth Gordon to helm a Suicide Squad flick, and although Gordon eventually left DC is still apparently working hard to make it a reality. A couple months back came news that Marks was in as screenwriter, giving new fuel to the fire of a possible Suicide Squad movie.

 

Shazam_and_Superman

Shazam

Release Date: Rumored for 2015
Director: Peter Segal (Anger Management, Get Smart)
Screenwriter: Geoff Johns, Bill Birch
Actors: None hired

The Scoop: “Big with superpowers.” that’s how screenwriter John August described his idea for a Captain Marvel movie, and that sounds great to me. The last news we had out of DC regarding a Shazam movie was back in 2009 when Johns and Birch were announced as screenwriter, and confirming Segal — who had been hired years prior. This project — or this iteration — might be dead in the water, but optimistically I’m thinking maybe those great Shazam stories in the back of Justice League are a back door test run on Johns’ modern take on this classic concept.


 

 

Comments

  1. Invincipal Invincipal says:

    I hope they can make awesome films out of Aquaman and Wonder Woman. I even think Green Lantern can be salvaged without rebooting. They should make a sequel that reveals Hal Jordan died during a mission and a new Green Lantern from earth, John Stewart, is selected to investigate. This would allow Warner to acknowledge the existence of the previous film while doing a pseudo reboot with a new lantern.

    I also hope that instead of rebooting Batman they make a Batman/Superman movie instead. I know Superman deserves a sequel used to further define his character but part of me thinks it would be awesome if Batman was in part of the second film and used to establish the new cinematic Batman.

    • IthoSapien IthoSapien says:

      My wish would be the sequel has Hal be commanded to be in space more but the Guardians let him train a GL for Earth exclusively; John Stewart.

  2. JokersNuts JokersNuts says:

    “great Shazam stories in the back of Justice League”

    If you like Captain Marvel, check out some of Jerry Ordway’s run or even Jeff Smith’s mini-series. The Geoff Johns Shazam back-ups in Justice League are pretty awful in comparison to pretty much any other version of the character.

    • IthoSapien IthoSapien says:

      Ditto on the Jeff Smith book, such kid-friendly fun. Tore thru it in a day it was so good.

    • As long as its Fun. i like the new Shazam stories but it lacks the (golly gee wilkers) that i love about the original stories

    • IthoSapien IthoSapien says:

      Doesn’t seem like that would fit with the New 52. If that’s the kind of stories you want, you still have the old books. Doesn’t seem like those stories helped the character sustain a long run in recent memory. I still really like the Jeff Smith book tho.

  3. BC1 BC1 says:

    I like that Christina Hendricks is interested in a Wonder Woman movie. Don’t know that I’d cast her as Diana, but I could see her as a rival Amazon like Artemis, similar to Loki’s role in “Thor.”

  4. midwinter midwinter says:

    Where’s Doom Patrol? THERE”S a franchise waiting to happen…

  5. WheelHands WheelHands says:

    This is depressing.

    When you sift out the rumors that will most likely amount to nothing, you’re left with little more than a MoS sequel. I look at this list of writers and directors, and there’s barely a single resume that excites me. A Del Toro JLD has a lot of intrigue, but his history of blabbing about projects that never end up happening leaves me skeptical. And while I’m a big fan of Refn, and I try not to use the word “never” when it comes to Hollywood, I’m pretty sure we will never see a Refn WW movie. If we do, it will be a vastly different approach to the character, which could be a good thing if it can sneak past WB execs.

    I’d prefer that DC/WB take their time with these things. With the exception of Batman and Superman, they’ve done nothing but fail over the last ten years, so what’s the rush? I know there’s a sense of urgency to capitalize on a trend, but superhero movies don’t seem to be going anywhere, and I’m honestly enjoying the Marvel films so much that it’d be nice to have something to look forward to once that well is dry. If they deliver material half as good as the Marvel films, they can take all the time they need.

    • MistahJ97 MistahJ97 says:

      I agree with this. While it is important to eventually get to a whole universe of heroes, the titular World’s Finest needs to be set DEFINITIVELY with quality films. With that said, I would in NO WAY mind if Del Toro is allowed his movie any earlier than a proper JL movie. It sounds like an AMAZING concept and can’t wait for it. The Vertigo characters can just exist in their own dark corner of the world, the way it should be.

  6. kennyg kennyg says:

    Maybe they should re-think having all these people involved with making Green Lantern on the new films. They need to ferret out whoever stunk it up and run them out of Hollywood!

    • IthoSapien IthoSapien says:

      Pretty sure it was the guy the studio hired for the rewrite, don’t know his name.

    • Greg Berlanti (screenplay) &
      Michael Green (screenplay) &
      Marc Guggenheim (screenplay) and
      Michael Goldenberg (screenplay)

      Greg Berlanti (screen story) &
      Michael Green (screen story) &
      Marc Guggenheim (screen story)

      Here they are. GL writers.

    • IthoSapien IthoSapien says:

      Yeah those are the people behind the screenlay, but who was the guy who did the rewrite on that? The studio brought him in because they felt the original was too out there and needed work (Read: ADD SMOKE MONSTER). C’mon, you seriously think some comic fans got together and said “The best way to do this villain is to make it a smoke monster”? I’m not saying the script would be automatically perfect when written by comics fans but I have to think it would have been better than the final product.

      Looking at that list; I think Michael Goldenburg was behind the rewritten screenplay?

  7. IthoSapien IthoSapien says:

    Jeez, thats alot of projects. Gotta say it looks more diverse than Marvel’s right now (Solo sequels, GotG, and Avengers 2). DC can’t possibly have the resources to launch all of these, even if the WB studio is freed up. And I don’t like the idea of David Goyer having to write screenplays for every JL movie hero, it might make for consistency but I don’t think the guy has it in him. And if you letting the GL writers have another crack at a franchise, don’t hire someone else to come in and rewrite the whole damned thing (Seriously, I blame that second guy for the mess that was GL. What comic book writer would use a Smoke monster for anything?!)

    JL: Already said my thoughts on that. Could be cool, but it needs time to breath.

    WW: Couldn’t care less about it, unless its based on Azzerallo’s run in which case I would line up at the midnight showing.

    Flash: God I hope its not based on Geoff’s second Flash run, I thought that was terrible. Why not more like the tv series or the current Flash run?

    Aquaman: Base it on Geoff’s current run with Bradley Cooper as Arthur Curry. Tell me that wouldn’t be awesome.

    Lobo: … Well I hope someone knows what they’re doing for that.

    Suicide Squad: Could be good, but I feel like its iffy. Maybe Ocean’s Eleven with Super-Villains?

    SHAZAM: I would love to believe this could happen but I highly doubt it. Not unless we get everyone else a movie first. And this movie couldn’t be another Superman movie, it would have to be something different and special.

    JLD: The idea that this movie won’t get made saddens me to no end. Damn you Del Toro, commit to something and make you mad genius!

    • Invincipal Invincipal says:

      Aquaman based off John’s current run would be great. Considering how little we know about the ocean floor in comparison to other aspects of earth geology and topology makes me think an Aquaman movie can be just as grounded/relate-able as Man of Steel. I can picture Cooper as Arthur. Playing up how Atlantis fits into the world as a Sovereign nation and repercussions of its known existence would be an interesting to see in live action. I’m inclined to think it would be a more interesting movie if Arthur is King from the beginning and Manta is hired by some Government to collect information about Atlantis and Arthur. Or maybe Manta is hired to investigate Arthur and the conflict between them plays out through the movie and ends with Arthur taking the throne. A lot of John’s stuff could be easily incorporated.

    • Invincipal Invincipal says:

      I also think Neil Patrick Harris would be a great Aquaman

    • IthoSapien IthoSapien says:

      Yeah everyone says NPH would be good as the Flash or this or that, I just don’t see it. He’s a great actor no doubt, he just doesn’t feel like he could embody those characters to me. Don’t get me wrong, I think he could totally play a major DC character and/or JL member but I want to make sure its the right one. For Aquaman, the guy has to command authority, like he could pick a fight with WW or Supes and hold his own. Even bulking up NPH to an insane degree, I just don’t see it. Cooper has the right build (in my mind, I mean for all I know NPH is taller and Cooper stuffs his shirts. WHO KNOW?). Maybe Elastic Man or (GASP) Booster Gold!

      But back to Aquaman,I like the idea of Manta being part of eiter a rogue African (or whatever country he hails from, I’m not sure) and having a personal vendetta on Atlantis or just going after it himself. I think it would be good if we see Arthur’s parents and childhood, then see him learn about his Atlantian heritage (uh oh, maybe thats too much like MoS) then see him connect to Atlantis. This could be flashbacks and we see him being king today. But what I wan for sure is when the League meets him, he’s king of Atlantis and he’s not a joke.

  8. flapjaxx flapjaxx says:

    I can’t even begin to contemplate whether or not Christina Hendricks would be a good Diana, because just thinking about seeing her in that costume is making my head explode. So, yes, please make this happen. She IS definitely a good actress anyway.

  9. As much as I want ALL of these movies to come out and succeed (yes, even a Lobo film) I just don’t see how that’s possible. Batman is the only character that gets critical and box office success at this point. Cause Man of Steel might get some big dough but it got even worst critical reaction than Superman Returns. So is WB really going to commit to a true sequel to a Superman AND a Justice League movie?

    Considering Green Lantern was a big failure on all levels I don’t see how anyone else in the DCU can sustain their own movie. It’ll be amazing if a Justice League Dark movie gets even close to production before any of these. I hate to be a downer but every time Disney releases a huge hit involving Marvel characters, WB showcases they have no idea what they’re doing outside of Batman.

    • WheelHands WheelHands says:

      I agree that it seems like DC/WB appears to have no clue when it comes to their movies, but I disagree that DC characters are inherently unable to find success on the big screen. So many of their characters have such a rich history and broad sweeping appeal. Despite the endless debate about the differences between the Marvel and DC universes, I see no reason why DC characters should be unable to find the same success that Marvel’s have, despite all evidence to the contrary. It’s not the fault of the characters or content, it’s the ineptitude and unwillingness to make bold moves on the executive level that has held DC back on the big screen.

      The one exception thus far has been Nolan’s Batman films, and I firmly believe it has less to do with the appeal of the character and more to do with a fearless and competent creative team behind the project.

    • @WheelHands: Well that’s gonna be a big issue moving forward with the creative teams. Clearly Marvel is carefully picking out their writers and directors for each character. Unlike WB, except for Batman (maybe now Superman), who just seem to give anyone control of the movie. Look at the screenwriters for some of these movies up above. That’s scary to think the people of Green Lantern are going to be involved with most of these projects. Apart from Del Toro on JLD I don’t see how any of these have a chance.

      All of these characters do have a rich history but WB doesn’t seem to give a shit. Just throw people to direct and write a competent action movie and that’s about it.

  10. alanfrancis alanfrancis says:

    I would like any or all of these to happen, but all I gotta say is “I’ll believe it when I see it”.

  11. skrulldave skrulldave says:

    Sandman would be a good movie if done right. I wonder how a horror adaptation of The Demon would fair?

  12. mantil11 mantil11 says:

    I dont think I could handle another disappointment like Man Of Steel.

    That said though I would love to see a really good Shazam movie. I think the idea of a kid with the powers and responsibility of Superman is really fascinating. Im sure Shazam is on the bottom of DCs list for upcoming movie adaptations though.

  13. I would love to see the Flash on the big screen. The one they did for TV years ago was good enough for me.

  14. Endlessw Endlessw says:

    i think they should go for wonder woman and batman movies next then justice league then do GL, flash, and etc…

    ALSO: don’t do a shazam movie NOW, Do a cartoon. DO A CARTOON!!! Cartoon about a 10 year old kid who says a magic word and becomes a Superhero? that is going to sell toys!!!

  15. smo5000 smo5000 says:

    Guuhh, they’re doubling down on Goyer.

    Can we at least get Hayter on something?

  16. Flash923 Flash923 says:

    Well its been over a year for me since I have had a moment to post, I miss you all very much. Work has been very demanding and the bills are kicking my ass again! It will probably another while before I get a chance to post so until then here is what I thought after getting time to see Superman and thinking of all of our other favorite DC characters up on the big screen.
    Superman I gave a solid 4.5 out of 5; like everyone else the ending where has to kill Zod I thought was a sign of the world we live in today and how dark it is getting and even our wholesome Superman is no longer immune. (Also, I thought he could have just flew straight up and avoided the whole thing, which is probably what the old Superman would have done. But the world she is a changing and as he cried a little tear came out of my eye as I thought; yep it is a darker world and not even a great American Icon like Superman is immune.
    Too the other movie sugestions on this list; AWESOME!! Well thought out and I would go see them all!! Not just my favorite character The Flash but even the rest were very intresting. Suicide Squad, Dark Justice and Lobo I would have to say were the most intresting and probably the easiest to write a script for I would think. Justice League of America would be one of the greatest moments for me in all of my life and I think I would stay in theather and watch three or four times even if it sucked. (Maybe)
    Other thoughts I had were why not Superman 2 with Shazam(Capt. Marvel) being introduced half way through to help Superman defeat Brainiac.. leading into the JLA movie with Darkseid!!
    Booster Gold movie with Blue Beetle (Ted KOrd), would be awesome having them join the 80′s type feel JL after they guve a little back ground on each charachter up to their freindship.
    Oh well… got run.miss you all till next time……

    K