April 11th. That’s when Justice League: Part One starts filming, or at least that’s what Zack Snyder told the Empire Magazine podcast. Time is running out for Warner Bros. to do something to stop Zack Snyder from perpetrating any more crimes against superhero cinema, but according to THR‘S Kim Masters Snyder’s reign of terror will remain unopposed.
Several sources say Warner Bros. executives were convinced they had the goods with BvS and were shocked when negative reviews began pouring in. Now, with DC movies dated through 2020, the outcome has led to a flurry of rumors that the studio will make adjustments — maybe add a new producer? — rather than allow BvS director Zack Snyder to proceed with the two-part Justice League. But sources with firsthand knowledge of the situation say the studio has no such plans. One says the filmmakers naturally will evaluate what went wrong with BvS, but when it comes to Justice League, “we’re not going to take a movie that’s supposed to be one thing and turn it into a copycat of something else.”
If you haven’t noticed, WB has had a really bad couple of years, releasing way too many movies and not getting nearly enough hits for their efforts. As such, the studio is reportedly tightening its belt, cutting back production on original films and further prioritizing franchise pictures. It’s not surprising, really. CEO and chairman Kevin Tsujihara has long since claimed he wanted the studio’s foundation to be built on three pillars: DC, LEGO and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
Sure, but Batman v Superman is sinking faster than the Titanic (the ship, not the movie) at the worldwide box office. It may not even reach $1 billion worldwide. That’s despite featuring the three most popular characters in the history of comics, and costing more to make and market than almost any other film in history. As io9 pointed out, if Tim Burton can somehow turn Alice in Wonderland into a $1 billion grosser and you can’t even though you had Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman to play with then you’ve seriously fucked up. Don’t you think you should do something to change the direction things are heading? Reshoots on Suicide Squad are a good start, but is it too late to save Justice League?
It’s with that question hanging over everything that WB curiously announced this morning that Wonder Woman is coming out a couple weeks earlier now (moving from June 23, 2017 to June 2, 2017) and there will now be two more DC films in addition to the ones which have already been announced. Here’s the updated release schedule:
- Suicide Squad (Aug. 5, 2016)
- Wonder Woman (June 2, 2017)
- The Justice League Part One (Nov. 17, 2017)
- The Flash (March 16, 2018)
- Aquaman (July 27, 2018)
- Untitled DC Movie (Oct. 5, 2018)
- Shazam! (April 5, 2019)
- Justice League Part Two (June 14, 2019)
- Untitled DC Movie (Nov. 1, 2019)
- Cyborg (April 3, 2020)
- Green Lantern Corps (June 19, 2020)
So in the face of audience anger WB is doubling down and giving us even more DC? They like to live dangerously, taking a hit at the proverbial Blackjack table when they should definitely stay with the cards they have (I use that analogy just so I can segue into this Austin Powers clip):
Let’s be real: that Cyborg movie’s probably never going to happen. The same goes for Green Lantern. Just because WB has given those movies release dates doesn’t mean they’ll actually happen. In fact, everything beyond Wonder Woman, Suicide Squad and probably Justice League-Part One can be reshuffled.
So pretty much just ignore all of their other listed movies right now, and focus on the few good things people are saying about the DC Cinematic Universe in the wake of Batman v Superman:
- Ben Affleck is a surprisingly solid Bruce Wayne/Batman, and should get his own movie
- Wonder Woman’s barely in the movie, but she steals every scene she’s in
- Suicide Squad should at least be better than BvS
Now all of a sudden WB is moving Wonder Woman up a couple of weeks (albeit avoiding competing with the next Transformers movie in the process) and adding two mystery DC projects to the schedule? And they make these announcements mere days after BvS suffered one of the all-time worst second-week drops for a film of its kind?
My guess: They want us to know we are now that much closer to seeing the Wonder Woman movie, and that they are trying to fast-track a solo Batman movie. If it’s at all feasible, the Oct. 5, 2018 date could be going to Batman. If not, it will come out Nov. 1, 2019. Either way, the timing of this announcement suggests a Ben Affleck Batman movie must be one of the two new DC projects.
What could the other one be? There are multiple candidates:
Suicide Squad 2 – Last month, The Wrap reported Will Smith and David Ayer have penciled a Suicide Squad sequel into their schedules forin 2017.
Lobo – Because nature abhors a success which another company doesn’t rip off, WB put Lobo back into development last month after Deadpool did the Deadpool thing at the box office. Jason Ruchs is attached to write and San Andrea’s Brad Peyton is set to direct
Man of Steel 2 – Henry Cavill and Zack Snyder have both said on the BvS press tour that another solo Superman movie could be on the way if the box office for BvS indicates that’s something audiences would want to see. Um, that’s not looking so good right now. Oh, btw, obviously Superman is currently dead, but that doesn’t mean he couldn’t get another movie. We all know that pine box in the Kansas dirt won’t keep him down for long.
Booster Gold & Blue Beetle – Last September, The Tracking Board said Greg Berlanti was being asked to bring some of his Supergirl, Flash, Arrow magic to the big screen in the form of a “superhero buddy cop comedy” starring Booster Gold and Blue Beetle. Berlanti would produce and direct while Zack Penn (X-Men: The Last Stand, The Incredible Hulk) would write. Nathan Fillion and Alan Tudyk have already nominated themselves to play Booster and Beetle respectively.
Suicide Squad 2 seems like the most obvious candidate, although I’d personally rather see Booster Gold & Blue Beetle or maybe a solo Harley Quinn movie.
Which movies do they think they are actually setting up with the new release dates? And which movies should they be making that they probably aren’t?