DC Future Films Pick Up Speed

James Gunn Nearly Helmed Superman

A new feature piece in Variety has gone into the future of Warners’ films based on DC Comics heroes like Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman and more.

Bouncing back from the disastrous “Justice League,” the studio has made over $1 billion each on “Aquaman” and “Joker,” while “Shazam” also did very solid business and all three scored positive reviews. Even so, Warners is still reportedly trying to figure out how to move forward and are keen to get DC superheroes back on the big screen.

The article indicates the studio has become more comfortable with backing comic book movies for adults with the upcoming “Birds of Prey” predicted to get a R-rating rating along with James Gunn’s “The Suicide Squad” next year.

That doesn’t mean they’ll be dark or grim, with the tone of “Birds of Prey” said to be “humorous, spirited, girl gang adventure”. The trade also says a series of recent reshoots on that girl team-up film “dramatically improved test screening results”.

Matt Reeves’ “The Batman” is also on the way and rumors of the entire film unfolding in Arkham Asylum are said to be unfounded, while key cast members in both “The Batman” and “Birds of Prey” have contract options to appear in sequels and standalone films.

The studio is less clear on what to do with Superman and despite Henry Cavill’s comments, he’s not set yet and there’s been discussions with others including J.J. Abrams and actor Michael B. Jordan about the franchise. In any case, no new Superman film is expected until 2023 at the earliest.

“Green Lantern Corps.” is still a priority with Geoff Johns working on a script which aims to be turned in by the end of this year, while the likes of Abrams and Greg Berlanti could be in line to handle that franchise as director.

Warners still has faith in Ezra Miller’s “The Flash” and are proceeding with development on the standalone film with Christina Hodson (“Bumblebee”) writing the script for it before moving on to write a screenplay for “Batgirl”.

One thing that is clear is a new mantra from longtime New Line exec turned DC Films president Walter Hamada who has been “credited with having a strong sense of story and with keeping a firm eye on the bottom line, reining in budgets so productions don’t go off the rail.”