The DC Cinematic Universe (DCU) will enter a new era after 2022, a year filled with various changes and turbulences.
2022 is a year filled with turbulence for the DCU, especially during the last 2 months. In particular, James Gunn and Peter Safran took up the mantle for the franchise, and enacted various changes.
While there are still many blockbusters such as “The Batman” and “Black Adam”, it is no exaggeration to say that the DCU is undergoing a complete rebuild. Such a drastic transformation is to cater to James Gunn’s creative vision for the next 10 years, promising a completely different look to this franchise.
The disappearance of various familiar faces
After almost a decade of formation, the DCEU (DC Extended Universe), which is the predecessor of DCU, has introduced to the audience plenty of superheroes, with Justice League being in the center of them. Meanwhile, characters such as Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, are regarded as “focus characters”, while Aquaman and Shazam also draw a lot of attention.
Unfortunately, a lot of these familiar faces will be missing after James Gunn and Peter Safran. First, Ben Affleck confirmed his departure after “Justice League”, but did appeared as a cameo in “The Flash”. Henry Cavill is leaving his post for good, due to the DCU wanting a younger version of “Superman” and different stories regarding this character.
Most questionable of all, however, is the fate of Gal Gadot in the DCU, especially after “Wonder Woman 3” was reportedly canceled. James Gunn, however, implied that he still wanted Gadot as Wonder Woman, praising her performances in the past few years.
Jason Momoa will still assume the role of Arthur Curry in “Aquaman & The Lost Kingdom”, which is scheduled for release in Christmas 2023. However, many sources claim that this would be the actor’s last appearance as DC’s Aquaman, and that he would instead play a completely new role.
Ray Fisher, who is behind Cyborg Victor Stone, will no longer be working with DC due to conflicts with director Joss Whedon as well as the production viewpoint of Warner Bros. This means that almost every member of Zack Snyder’s Justice League will be missing in future DC releases.
In addition, while Black Adam was only recently introduced in the DCU, this character is also “under attack” by James Gunn. In particular, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who plays Black Adam, said it himself that he won’t be appearing in the first phase of DC’s new universe. Of course, he may still make an appearance in later works in the “multiverse”, but that’s ages into the future.
Robert Pattinson’s Batman may be the new focus
“The Batman” is among the very few projects to not at all be affected by James Gunn’s plans, with its 2nd movie still in the making as previously scheduled. This is because “The Batman” falls into a completely different universe compared to the rest of the DCU so far, with Robert Pattinson’s Batman being the central character. As DCU is being rebuilt, however, this Batman is likely to become the new focus that will retain audiences for future projects.
It is no coincidence that “The Batman” has always been built in parallel with the DCU. Since the franchise’s first release in March 2022, it has grossed almost 771 million USD (according to Box Office Mojo), and earned numerous acclaims both from critics and the public. At the same time, Robert Pattinson’s portrayal, which highlights Batman’s wit and intelligence, also received a lot of praise.
In addition to “The Batman 2”, DC Studios are planning several drama contents that revolves around Robert Pattinson’s Batman. One of them is the upcoming series “The Penguin”, which focuses on one of the most famous “Batman” villains, played by Colin Farrell. According to various sources, DC will also launch separate projects for Gotham’s police department, Arkham, and Cat Woman.
The future lineup of the DCU
While the DCU is still in the process of “rebuilding”, projects scheduled for release in 2023 will go on as planned. In particular, “Shazam! Fury of the Gods”, “The Flash”, “Blue Beetle” and “Aquaman & the Lost Kingdom” will retain their original schedules.
Among those “The Flash” is considered the most important, seeing that this world will delve into time-traveling and multiverse elements. While still buried in controversies stemmed from its leading actor Erza Millers, “The Flash” is expected to reboot DCU in an understandable and reasonable manner. There are also rumors that Henry Cavill and Gal Gadot’s cameo have been omitted, but so far nothing has been confirmed.
“Blue Beetle” is the only movie to introduce a new superhero, namely Jaime Reyes (played by Xolo Mariduena). According to James Gunn, he also have plans for lesser-known superheroes and villains, similar to what he did for “Suicide Squad” and “Guardians of the Galaxy”.
So far, James Gunn’s detailed plans for the new DC is still kept in tight wraps, and all audiences know is that a new Superman movie, this time without Henry Cavill, is in the making. This project will not focus on the origins and youth of Superman, but rather open up a complete new story about this character.
HBO Max will be crucial to DCU after the success of “Peacemaker”
Following “Suicide Squad”, there’s the followup series “Peacemaker”, made by none other than director James Gunn. Released in early 2022, “Peacemaker” immediately became a new TV sensation, achieving huge successes for a superhero franchise. It is also one of the most successful DC projects on HBO Max, and a second season has also been greenlit, though without any definite release date.
The success of “Peacemaker” has proven the importance of HBO Max to the DCU franchise as a whole. Accordingly, there are numerous projects of the cinematic universe to be aired on this streaming platform, including series for Amanda Waller, The Penguin, and Arkham Asylum, as previously stated.
The cooperation between HBO Max and DC Studios will not only continue in 2023, but is expected to last for years to come. This is crucial to DCU’s plans to conquer both the big and small screen, with James Gunn being one of the largest advocates.
Photo: DC Studios, Warner Bros