DC Universe Confirmations, Rumors, and Speculation

6/22/2014 Stephen Colbert 0 Comments



If you've been following DCs Universe Building on Geek5auce for a while (or if you know how to use the search bar on the site, or follow links), then you'll know that I was initially very negative about the status of the shared DC universe.  My opinion has gotten steadily more positive as the universe develops, but I was initially very unsatisfied.

First came the announcement that the next movie would be Batman vs. Superman (now titled Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice), which I was cautiously optimistic about it, since Batman and Superman are two sides of the same coin.  Then, the casting announcements started coming and the movie was delayed by a year.  Still cautiously optimistic.  It seemed like the right decisions were being made, but people were starting to lose confidence (especially with the casting of Ben Affleck and Jesse Eisenberg).

The most positive reaction came shortly after the confirmation of a full blown Justice League universe in the works with the first unveiling of Batfleck and the Batmobile.  I have been sold on Zack Snyder's vision since then, because Batfleck looks more like Batman than anything we have seen on film yet.

Production has since started, but other than a few vague set photos, there have been no major (official) developments, but a few high profile leaks combined with a little speculation can give a much clearer picture of what's happening in DCs shared universe, and it looks pretty crazy.

The first leak comes in the form of a fire hose and served as the opening post for Nikki Fink's (one of the most influential women in Hollywood, or the world for that matter) new website.  It was a list of films that Warner Brothers/DC plan to announce at this year's comic-con.  Fink says DC will be releasing the following properties:

May 2016 – Batman v Superman
July 2016 – Shazam
Xmas 2016 – Sandman
May 2017 – Justice League
July 2017 – Wonder Woman
Xmas 2017 – Flash and Green Lantern team-up
May 2018 – Man Of Steel 2

The most recent rumor comes from the Latino Review, which is not quite as credible, but still has an occasional accurate prediction.  LRs leak says Backfleck will suit up in a solo outing in 2019 titled The Batman.

That gives us a 5 year peek at how the Justice League universe will unfold, but there are a lot more pieces to be put into place, considering the ambitious schedule Warner Brothers is taking here.  There have been several casting rumors to add to the Justice League roster as well as some additional roles.  In addition to Henry Cavill as Superman, Ben Affleck as Batman, Jeremy Irons as Alfred, Gal Galdot as Wonder Woman, Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor, and newcomer Ray Fisher as Cyborg, there are several holes that have yet to be filled.

First, the most glaring hole in this schedule is with the 2016 release date of Shazam.  There have been very few rumors at all surrounding this movie, but several movies following it already have casting confirmations.  Official news on this casting will likely be announced (along with the official movie announcement), but there have been some rumors surrounding this previously.

The rock has been in talks for an unknown DC role for quite some time now.  The below tweet from back in March references Black Adam, which would put him right in the middle of a Shazam movie.  I personally think he would make a phenomenal Shazam, due to the childish nature of the character, but I wouldn't complain to see him as Black Adam.
Another long rumored actor is Jason Momoa.  He's previously denied involvement, but that means absolutely nothing.  His name is back in the ring again with the rumor sourced from Batman-News that he will make an appearance in BvS:DoJ playing the role of Aquaman.  This is another great casting–if true–since Momoa is very physically intimidating, and Aquaman has a little bit of a need for image revamp after what Family Guy has done to him.

That's it for the rumored actors, but there are a few more additional roles that are rumored to still be open.  According to Jeff Sneider from The Wrap, Martian Manhunter, Darkseid, and Max Lord will all be making an appearance in Justice League.

The structure of the movies to be released suggests that unlike Marvel, DC won't be doing stand along movies for individual characters, but will instead have all movies feature most characters.  So, for example, Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill will have extended cameos in the Wonder Woman movie, but story focuses on Wonder Woman for the vast majority of the film.  This eliminates the inevitable "where's Superman?" or "where's Batman?" questions like Marvel movies have struggled with since The Avengers.

That covers most of the major rumors, even scraping the bottom of the barrel with that last tweet.  The following will all be speculation on my part, just connecting the dots between some known details, rumors, and drawing from various DC properties for some inspiration (which means spoilers for Man of Steel, Arrow, and various comics/animated series/movies).

First, Man of Steel has already introduced Superman and super powers into this universe.  The movie ended with some pretty major destruction and loss of life in Metropolis, as well as some substantial environmental damage from General Zod's world machine near the Indian Ocean.

BvS:DoJ is the first in line to continue expanding this universe.  We know Ben Affleck was chosen because Batman is intended to be an older, more experienced Batman, who has already been operating for years in Gotham.  Batman isn't traditionally an outright enemy of Superman (not always), but he is wary of the power he (and other heroes with super powers) has, so he wants to be sure to have countermeasures to defeat Superman, should he go rogue.

Bruce Wayne, on the other hand, has a very real reason to dislike Superman, as does Lex Luthor.  Both are billionaires, and we saw millions of dollars of destruction to each of them in Man of Steel.  Lex owns much of Metropolis, and we saw his name in a few places, and we saw Zod and Kal-El destroy a Wayne Enterprises satellite.

The introduction of Wonder Woman is likely related to this same detail.  The Amazonians (by traditional DC lore) operate with a fair amount of isolation, as is (clearly) the case for Aquaman and the Atlanteans.  An event such as the end of Man of Steel, however, gives reason for them to expose themselves and demand answers of the environmental destruction, as well as the presence of a super power that rivals their own.

Man of Steel also ended with acknowledgment that the US government is wary of Superman, which is where we dive deep into my own speculation, because the US government's suspicion of Superman seems to demand the presence of Amanda Waller, yet Amanda Waller has not been confirmed to be present, and none of the actors cast resemble her profile (not that that would stop Zack Snyder).

Could we see Angela Bassett from Arrow also play Amanda Waller for BvS:DoJ or Justice League?  I went down the rabbit hole on the ways DC could connect its movie and TV universe, so you can find that all in an entirely separate post here.  If you want the tl;dr: Yes. DC can easily (and may already plan on) tying Arrow, Flash, Constantine, and Gotham into the larger Justice League universe.

So the initial major connections between all the characters will be the shared concern over the destruction caused by Superman.  Likely, Lex Luthor will have discovered Kryptonian technology, which he can use against Kal-El.  Luthor might be the only real villain in Batman V Superman (any other villains are likely working for him), but the movie may end with the emergence of Darkseid, and then Max Lord works to bring the team together to unite against a larger evil.

Potential plot for the movies after Justice League is hard to speculate beyond that, though, since so much universe building remains to be revealed, but with The Batman rumored for a 2019 release and no Batman focused movie before that, there's a couple assumptions we can make on that end.

First, we know  Ben Affleck will be 46 by that time and Batman and the rest of the Justice League will have a much stronger history at that point, so a Dark Knight Returns story is not that far out of reach.  Second, it's unlikely Ben Affleck will tie himself down the the franchise for too long, so it would make sense for the story to include an intentional exit for the caped crusader.  This can be done with a combination of elements from The Dark Knight Rises and Babel story lines where Batman basically goes against the rest of the Justice League, then phase the character out with the introduction of Terry McGinnis and a Nightwing spinoff.

So there's a lot that has yet to be revealed, but a very vague concept of DC's plans are starting to come into focus.  So much speculation is stacked on other speculations, but there is a shared universe incoming and that's the exciting part.  Keep your eyes peeled the week of Comic-Con, because that's likely when everything will drop.

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