Film News

Warner Bros. Just Moved Batman Vs. Superman to March 2016 & Announced 9 More Untitled DC Movies Through 2020 – Wow, Right?

What the heck, Hollywood?  Shouldn’t this kind of stuff be announced at San Diego Comic-Con instead of before (Marvel) and after (DC)?  Or would it not get enough attention coming out during the heightened Comic-Con news cycle?

So, that’s not a great introductory paragraph.  Let me catch you up if you have no idea what I’m talking about.  Late Friday afternoon the week before San Diego Comic-Con, Marvel Studios laid claim to a bunch of release dates for new comic book movies all the way through 2019.  Now, Warner Bros. has waited until mid-to-late day on a Wednesday nearly 2 weeks after SDCC to announce 9 untitled DC movies through 2020.

Additionally, Warner Bros. has made the not-at-all surprising decision to move Batman Vs. Superman from its May 6, 2016 release date so as not to compete with Captain America 3 on that same weekend.  More surprising, however, is that they’re moving Batman Vs. Superman to March 25, 2016.  The only Batman or Superman movie that has ever been released outside of the summer movie season was Superman: The Movie when it came out over Christmas 1978.  However, 4 of director Zack Snyder’s 6 movies have come out in March, with last year’s Man of Steel actually being his first summer release.  So, that surely factored into their thinking as did, “Please, Marvel, don’t crush us with Captain America.  We were fools to ever take you on this pathetic game of release-date chicken!”

Here’s Warner Bros.’ new slate of untitled DC films:

batman-vs-superman-official-logo-HD

2016

3/25 – Batman Vs. Superman

8/5 – Untitled

2017

6/23 – Untitled

11/17 – Untitled

2018

3/23 – Untitled

7/27 – Untitled

2019

4/5 – Untitled

6/14 – Untitled

2020

4/3 – Untitled

6/19 – Untitled

We know that one of those untitled films is Justice League because they have officially confirmed they’re making that, with Zack Snyder again directing.  Plus, Dwayne Johnson has practically been walking around wearing a sign reading, “WB cast me in a Shazam movie, but don’t ask me about it directly because I’m not allowed to say anything…wink, wink.” (Come to think of it, that’d make for one big sign).  Joseph Gordon-Levitt has already officially been hired to work on adapting and potentially directing/starring in Sandman.  Gal Gadot’s Batman Vs. Superman contract apparently includes options for not just Justice League but also a solo Wonder Woman movie just as Ben Affleck’s includes some deal that would allow him to direct a solo Batman movie.

Plus, there’s always Deadline-founder Nikki Finke’s report that Warner Bros. was going to announce the following films at this year’s Comic-Con:

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

  • She was wrong about the timing – they didn’t announce crap at Comic-Con
  • She was wrong about how many films they intend to put out per year – they’re committing to doing two-a-year from 2016 to 2020, not three in 2016 and 2017.
  • However, she was literally the only one who came out and said these films were all happening, and now suddenly we’re looking up at 9 untitled release dates officially claimed by Warner Bros. for DC films.

This is a good time to go even further back than Comic-Con or Nikki Finke to last December when Bleeding Cool dropped the following rumor:

Well, it looks like this will be DC Entertainment’s big news for 2014: a series of lower-prominence comic books being turned into relatively lower budget movies. Suicide Squad is one specifically mentioned as only needing a $40 million budget, pre-marketing. Some could be made for as little as $20 million. And with two-a-year scheduled for Spring and Fall/Autumn, Warners can expand the Man Of Steel/Batman universe significantly, and make a decent profit in the process.

Look again at WB’s release dates: 4 of the 9 slot into either the spring or fall/autumn.   Then again, Bleeding Cool is wrong about their rumors so often, and they made it sound like these lower budget releases would bracket higher-profile summer releases like Batman Vs. Superman or a Justice League movie.  Instead, here’s Batman Vs. Superman not coming out not it in the summer but instead in March, heavily inspired by the big biz Hunger Games did there a couple of years and what Captain America: Winter Soldier did in April earlier this year.  So, actually, maybe forget I mentioned the BleedingCool rumor.  I really only brought it up because they name-checked Suicide Squad, which is one of my favorite comics in DC’s New 52.

Suicide_Squad_0023

Here are the release dates for all upcoming Marvel/DC comic book movies:

2015

Avengers: Age of Ultron – 05/01

Fantastic Four – 06/19

Ant-Man – 07/17

2016

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice –  03/25

Captain America 3 – 05/06

X-Men: Age of Apocalypse – 05/27

Untitled Marvel Film (probably Doctor Strange) 07/08

Untitled DC Film  – 08/05

The Sinister Six – 11/11

2017

Untitled Female Spiderverse Film – TBA 2017

The Wolverine 2 – 03/03

Untitled Marvel Film – 05/05

Untitled DC Film (probably Justice League) – 06/23

Fantastic Four 2 – 07/14

Guardians of the Galaxy 2 – 07/28

Untitled Marvel Film – 11/03

Untitled DC Film  – 11/17

2018

Amazing Spider-Man 3 – TBA 2018

Untitled DC Film  – 03/23

Untitled Marvel Film – 05/04

Untitled Marvel Film – 07/6

Untitled Fox Superhero Film – 07/13

Untitled DC Film  – 07/27

Untitled Marvel Film  – 11/02

2019

Untitled DC Film  – 04/05

Untitled Marvel Film – 05/03

Untitled DC Film  – 06/14

2020

Untitled DC Film  – 04/03

Untitled DC Film  – 06/19

This is a story tailor-made for the current internet news generation.  Warner Bros. has beautifully gifted all of us with endless passionate lists speculating which films they might be developing and arguments for which ones they should.  However, this is still the same studio that made Green Lantern and Superman Returns.  As The Amazing Spider-Man 2 has proven, a studio’s big franchise plans ultimately come down to making sure the early installments in that plan don’t suck. Your move, Batman Vs. Superman.  Please don’t suck.

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5 comments

  1. I’m fairly sure that what finally made them pull the trigger was Guardians of the Galaxy pulling in $94million with a bunch of nobodies based on the Marvel brand alone. WB couldn’t risk having a Marvel movie suck even half that out of BvS’s opening weekend numbers, plus have the reduced movie theater space due to overlapped releases. I always suspected that it would be DC/WB that would blink first.

    1. Agreed. Cap doing so well in April and Guardians equaling it here in August was a proof of concept for WB in terms of non-traditional release dates. It was always going to be WB to blink first on Batman Vs. Superman, but they probably don’t move it to March if Winter Soldier hadn’t made so much this past April.

      Additionally, I know that Time Warner is going through its drama with Rupert Murdoch’s hostile takeover. I don’t know if that has any effect whatsoever on Warner Bros., but it is curious that they didn’t announce these 9 new movies and BvsS release date change during Comic-Con when Murdoch was still officially trying to buy Time Warner and then less than 24 hours after he withdrew his offer causing Time Warner stock to drop suddenly WB is out there announcing a crap-ton of new movies. Curious timing even if there is no causation in that correlation.

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