The Hollywood Reporter has shared some updates on a few films on WB/DC’s film slate. So I tried to combine that and recent news concerning Shazam, Aquaman and Wonder Woman 2:
There’s a lot to digest in the world of DC’s films but recent news have provided some clarification and perhaps a better step forward in the building of DC’s shared universe. It all started when Walter Hamada, who has helped to shape New Line’s The Conjuring universe, stepped in as the president of DC Entertainment (over the films), who has since been trying to “clean up” the studio’s mess.
Then, Geoff Johns stepped down from president and chief officer of DC Entertainment to establish Mad Ghost Productions, where he has signed a deal with WB to write and produce projects under the DC banner (movies, shows, comics). Jim Lee, co-publisher of DC Entertainment, will take over Johns’ previous position as chief creative officer while maintaining his current position. Johns has had a huge impact since joining the team, having helped with CW shows The Flash, Supergirl, and Black Lightning. He helped to write and develop the upcoming Titans series on DC’s new platform set for next year, as well as being credited as co-writer and a producer of the upcoming Aquaman film and has been working on the Wonder Woman sequel with Patty Jenkins. His next project is said to be the Green Lantern Corps film, for which he will write the screenplay and also be a producer for.
“I took on a role at DCE because I love the characters and this universe more than anything. But, I want to spend my days writing and on set. I’m thrilled to get back to a more hands-on creative role. It’s a dream job on dream projects, reaching even deeper into DC’s vast pantheon of characters.” (Johns)
Now back to the film slate. Firstly, let’s start with a bit on Shazam. We’ve yet to receive an official first look at the film except for set photos and a licensing expo banner. But it is quite possible we’ll be seeing that at this year’s SDCC.
And now for some Aquaman news since this has been rather quiet for a film that is slated for release later this year. EW has recently shared some words from director James Wan and producers on the status of the aquatic hero’s first solo film as well as that “troublesome” underwater dialogue. (SOON – Aquaman first trailer)
“James has done an incredible job with his team. The film is taking you to a different place and imagining the underwater world in a way you haven’t seen before.” (Toby Emmerich, WB film chief)
“[Aquaman‘s] got the great action you expect, it’s got a lot of great humor, it works on so many levels … it’s a testament to James’ unique vision. I think it’s an extraordinary step in DC Universe that sets it on the right path.” (Peter Safran, producer)
“The underwater stuff has never been executed like this before. The visual effects shots coming in are just beautiful. James can switch modes from horror to big bright colorful action to really emotional scenes. He’s so able to hit all these different genres.” (Geoff Johns)
“People are overthinking it. They’re just gonna talk!” (Wan on the underwater dialogue)
Only just today, Patty Jenkins and Gal Gadot released two stills of the upcoming Wonder Woman sequel. The film is confirmed to be titled Wonder Woman 1984, revealing the exact time setting we’ll see Diana in. It was also revealed that we will be seeing her in the US, and that filming is currently taking place in Washington, D.C. The film has gained new stars, Kristen Wiig as long-time WW foe Cheetah, and Pedro Pascal in a mystery role. It is slated for a December 21, 2019 release date.
Next up, a bit on the article THR has posted. Firstly, the two solo Joker films. The Todd Phillips’ Joker film, which will star Joaquin Phoenix and is not part of the shared universe, is expected to begin shooting this fall and could potentially be placed under a new DC label. More recently, we received surprising news that a solo Joker film with Jared Leto, who appeared as the character in Suicide Squad, could be happening. Not only would Leto star in the film, he’d also help exec-produce the project.
The Flash has been struggling to get picked off the ground, after having lost multiple directors as well as several rewrites. It was supposed to have begin production last year and be released this year but obviously did not make that timeline. Finally, Ezra Miller will return as the scarlet speedster as production is expected to begin early next year with Game Night directors John Francis Daly and Jonathan Goldstein. The film is described to be a “a touchstone” to Back to the Future, which is no surprise given earlier rumors. Kiersey Clemons, who was cut from the Justice League film, has updated she will still be Iris West, and it is expected we will see Billy Crudup return as Miller’s father in the film.
Margot Robbie has been working on a female-centered Suicide Squad spin-off for awhile and it looks like it’s finally happening. The film is said to based on the Birds of Prey comics, with Batgirl rumored to have a role in almost all of the scripts WB has looked at. Cathy Yan is currently attached to direct the film based on a script by Christina Hodson, the same writer who is currently working on the Batgirl solo film. Batgirl, however, currently has no star or director.
THR also reports that Matt Reeves has recently turned in a new script to WB for the Batman solo film and it might not feature Ben Affleck in the role. Instead, we could be looking at Batman in his younger years, which would call for a new actor. (This I’m fine with – I’d be annoyed if they recast Affleck for Batman in the current timeline.)
Lastly, it sounds like Walter Hamada will not be announcing DC movies so far in advanced as done in the past because it has bitten them in the a**. Hamada instead has a new and more specific plan for the DC universe at the moment.