As the DC movie universe prepares to unleash its next wave with The Flash, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, and more, we’re of course keeping an eye on the overall plan for not just the DC Extended Universe but also the DC Comics live-action movie and projects that may not quite fall into that particular world. Most recently news has broken that two more live-action DC series, an adaptation of the Aqualad graphic novel You Brought Me the Ocean and a Peacemaker spinoff focused on Viola Davis’ Amanda Waller. There were also quite a few new trailers released at San Diego Comic-Con 2022 for Black Adam and more.
Unlike Marvel, DC’s plans don’t include synergy across all mediums. Their movies, while containing many of the same characters, don’t generally cross over with the CW TV-verse that includes The Flash and Superman & Lois, or DC Universe streaming shows like Titans and Doom Patrol. Even the Robert Pattinson/Matt Reeves Batman is set in a different universe from the other current DC movies. At the same time, some HBO Max exclusives are direct tie-ins to the DCEU, such as the Matt Reeves-produced Arkham Asylum series and James Gunn’s Peacemaker.
So let’s take a look at the road ahead for both the DCEU and the bigger universe of DC movies and shows. From Black Adam to Shazam! Fury of the Gods to Aquaman 2 and beyond, read on for all of DC’s planned movies and shows. Some of these are definitely happening, some are in development, and some have big question marks surrounding them, but all could wind up on the big or small screen sooner or later… (And head here if you want a breakdown of just which DC 2022 movies and TV shows are happening.)
What Are the Next DC Movies Coming Out? 2022 Release Dates
For those keeping track, here’s the full lineup of upcoming DC movies and TV shows:
Here are some of the most notable projects that are currently in the works:
The Sandman TV Series (August 5, 2022)
After many years of development hell, Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman will finally see live-action form when the Netflix series debuts on August 5, 2022.
Black Adam (October 21, 2022)
Dwayne Johnson’s Black Adam is finally making his movie debut in 2022. This one has been in the works for years, and will also feature the Justice Society of America with Noah Centineo as Atom Smasher, Aldis Hodge as Hawkman, Quintessa Swindell as Cyclone, and Pierce Brosnan as Doctor Fate. (On March 9, Black Adam’s release date was pushed back from July to October 2022 and DC League of Super Pets was pushed from May to Black Adam’s previous July date.)
Shazam! Fury of the Gods (December 21, 2022)
It wasn’t long after Shazam!’s April 2019 release that rumors surfaced about a sequel. Zachary Levi will be back as Shazam and director David F. Sandberg and writer Henry Gayden are also returning. Most of the cast from the first movie will return, while Helen Mirren and Lucy Liu join the proceedings as Hespera and Kalypso, respectively.
Leslie Grace stars as Barbara Gordon/Batgirl in this movie which is being made for HBO Max. J. K. Simmons, Brendan Fraser, Ivory Aquino, and Michael Keaton — yes, Batman himself — will co-star in the film.
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (March 17, 2023)
The first Aquaman made over a billion dollars worldwide, becoming the highest-grossing DC film of all time for Warner Bros. So yeah, a sequel is happening. Director James Wan returns to helm Aquaman 2, while David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick, who co-wrote the first film, is scripting. Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Patrick Wilson, and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II are also returning.
The Flash (June 23, 2023)
The Flash has gone through a variety of directors and writers over the past few years, including helmers Seth Grahame-Smith and Rick Famuyiwa and writers Phil Lord and Chris Miller. More recently, John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, the team that worked on the Spider-Man: Homecoming script, were involved as directors, but they too left the project. In July 2019, Andy Muschietti (Stephen King’s It) and Christina Hodson came on as director and screenwriter, respectively. Ezra Miller still stars, while Maribel Verdú has been cast as Barry’s mother, Nora. Billy Crudup originally signed on to play Barry Allen’s dad, Henry, but has since dropped out due to scheduling conflicts. At one point it was rumored that Cyborg could appear in the film in some capacity, though the character has reportedly been written out of the movie. However, both Ben Affleck and Michael Keaton are reprising their respective Batman roles, and it’s believed the movie will deal heavily with the concept of the DC multiverse.
Blue Beetle (August 18, 2023)
Charm City Kings director Angel Manuel Soto is set to direct Blue Beetle, which will focus on Mexican-American teen Jaime Reyes, the third character to adopt the Blue Beetle name. Cobra Kai’s Xolo Maridueña will play Reyes. Originally planned as an HBO Max film, this title is now slated for a theatrical release.
Wonder Woman 3 (In Development)
After the long-delayed Wonder Woman 1984 finally hit theaters and HBO Max, Warner Bros wasted little time before confirming a sequel. Both director Patty Jenkins and star Gal Gadot are slated to return, and Jenkins previously indicated Wonder Woman 3 will be set in the present rather than being a period piece like its predecessors.
Joker: Folie à Deux (In Development)
Best Joker Comics to Read After Watching the Movie
For quite some time there, there had been conflicting reports as to whether director Todd Phillips and star Joaquin Phoenix were planning a sequel to their Joker movie. The pair initially said the first film was meant to be a one-off. But in May of 2021, The Hollywood Reporter had the scoop that Warner Bros. had signed Phillips to pen a sequel to the 2019 comic book film. In June of 2022, Phillips confirmed the project by sharing the cover of the script on Instagram. Called Joker: Folie à Deux, the film is being written by Phillips and his Joker 1 co-writer, Scott Silver. Folie à Deux is defined as a psychological disorder where the same or similar mental disorder affects two or more people, so think on that a bit…
Gotham PD/Arkham TV Series (In Development)
Before The Batman was released, reports indicated that HBO Max would play host to Gotham PD, a police procedural spin-off to be produced by the film’s director Matt Reeves. The series was to be set in the first year of Batman’s costumed career (setting it one year before the movie) and would’ve delved deeper into the corruption and conspiracies plaguing the city. More recently, however, Reeves has said that the series has pivoted towards a focus on Arkham Asylum. It is unclear if that means the Gotham PD element is no longer a focus of the show. Originally, Boardwalk Empire creator Terence Winter was also set to produce and write the show, but he later dropped out due to creative differences.
Penguin TV Series (In Development)
HBO Max is also developing a The Batman spin-off series starring Colin Farrell as the Penguin. The series has been compared to the Al Pacino-starring movie Scarface.
Peacemaker Spinoffs (In Development)
James Gunn’s Peacemaker series has been a big hit for HBO Max, and multiple follow-ups are in the works. In addition to Peacemaker: Season 2, the series will see at least one spinoff focused on Viola Davis’ Amanda Waller. Gunn has also teased he may have even more DC series in the works.
DC’s movie and TV plans continue to evolve. Joker became the most profitable comic book movie of all time, so it’s not surprising that reports indicate that DC will pursue more R-rated superhero movies. Of course, Zack Snyder’s Justice League finally debuted on HBO Max in March of 2021, and that cut of the film was R-rated.
Which DC films or shows are you most looking forward to? And which characters or titles do you want to see DC tackle in live-action next? Let’s discuss in the comments!
Note: This story was updated on 5/3/2022. It was originally posted on 7/29/2021.