After news earlier this week that The Batman shoot will be postponed until 2018, pushing the release date firmly into 2019, Variety‘s Justin Kroll is reporting that Warner Bros. and DC Films are looking to potentially fill the void left in their 2018 release slate with one of five films.
RELATED: The Batman Release Date and Filming Likely Pushed Back
Currently James Wan’s Aquaman is the only DC Extended Universe movie on track for release next year, with filming starting this year on May 22 in Australia and Italy for a just-announced December 21, 2018 release date. Because of The Batman director Matt Reeves’ commitment to complete work on War for the Planet of the Apes through June of this year, plus a rumor that the script is getting a total overhaul, that film won’t be ready in time for a 2018 release. In its place, DC Films is currently considering fast-tracking one of these five films to take its place:
Green Lantern Corps
Gotham City Sirens
Suicide Squad 2
Therein lies the rub: All of these films are either in very early development or in a state of disarray. The Batman was originally pushed forward from a 2019 to 2018 release date after The Flash lost director Rick Famuyiwa over creative differences, but then Ben Affleck dropped out as Batman director as well. The core cast of The Flash is already in place with Ezra Miller reprising his role as Barry Allen, Billy Crudup as his father Henry Allen and Kiersey Clemons as Iris West. Joby Harold (King Arthur: Legend of the Sword) is currently hard at work on a page one rewrite after Famuyiwa, Seth Grahame-Smith and Phil Lord & Christopher Miller all took a crack at it. The original story was said to be a buddy movie with Flash and Ray Fisher’s Cyborg, though that may have changed due to…
Green Lantern Corps, which hired writers David S. Goyer and Justin Rhodes at the same time it hired Harold to revamp The Flash. It makes sense they would want a new direction for The Flash, since its been said that Green Lantern Corps will essentially be a “buddy cop” movie with Lanterns Hal Jordan and John Stewart. This is probably the least-likely film to get fast-tracked to next year since it has only just begun serious development and no hard casting has been done. One film that does have some casting in place is…
Gotham City Sirens, David Ayer’s Suicide Squad spin-off starring the lovely lady villains of Gotham, led by Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn. Roman Sionis, aka Black Mask, is rumored to be the film’s villain, with Haley Bennett hinted at as a possibility to take on the role of Selina Kyle, a.k.a. Catwoman, and Megan Fox also rumored for the Poison Ivy role. Ayer proved with Suicide Squad that he could churn out a blockbuster movie with a quickness (the script was written in six weeks), though reviews and fan reaction showed that maybe that’s not such a good idea. This might be the most likely to push forward and make that 2018 release slot.
As for Suicide Squad 2, Warners and DC are actively looking at a range of directors to fill in for Ayer, including Oscar winner Mel Gibson (Hacksaw Ridge), Daniel Espinosa (Life), Jonathan Levine (Snatched) and Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland). Levine seems not so likely since he just signed on to make the comedy Flarsky with Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen, and has expressed little interest in doing superhero movies after being on the shortlists for Doctor Strange and Spider-Man: Homecoming. Fleischer has been in movie jail since Gangster Squad bombed, but he has a good relationship with Warners and was once on track to direct Justice League. The studio just hired Legend of Tarzan writer Adam Cozad to pen the script, but with a big cast to wrangle, it seems unlikely to see this one before 2019, despite it clearly being a priority for the studio.
Finally we come to the long-in-development Dark Universe, a.k.a. Justice League Dark. The project was previously under the stewardship of Guillermo del Toro, but the studio passed on his take. Last August, they put experienced action helmer Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Edge of Tomorrow) on the film, after he bailed on Fox’s Gambit solo movie. Working from a script by Michael Gilio, Liman is an interesting choice to helm a team-up movie with John Constantine, Swamp Thing, Deadman, Zatanna and Etrigan the Demon, though he has little experience with either superheroes or the supernatural. He’s also known for busting budgets and schedules, with the original Bourne delayed a year in order to fix problems. If Warners wanted to fast-track a movie, Dark Universe under Liman would not be a safe bet.
With all that said, Kroll notes that DC Films could (wisely) decide none of these films are ready to go and make 2018 a breather year with only one movie, as Marvel Studios did in 2012 when they cancelled production on Runaways and only released The Avengers.
That said if scripts aren’t ready to go, studio is content just shooting AQUAMAN this year till films are ready to go
— Justin Kroll (@krolljvar) March 16, 2017
Which of these five DC Films would you like to see the most? Should Warners fast-track these movies or give them more time to develop? Let us know in the comments below!