This year the DC Extended Universe is only going to have one entry being released this year, but that does not mean that the DCEU is slowing down on it’s expansion. Gavin O’Connor’s Suicide Squad 2 can make up for this as the third DCEU film to release next year. Warner Bros. Pictures finally launched the fandubbed DC Extended Universe franchise with Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman Dawn of Justice in early 2016 and they’ve only continued to expand this universe in an effort to compete with the likes of 20th Century Fox’s X-Men and Marvel Studios’ Marvel Cinematic Universe franchises ever since. Although this universe has certainly gotten bigger with additions like Wonder Woman and Justice League, Warner Bros. has not been able to develop these films any faster.
James Wan’s undersea superhero epic Aquaman is set to release this December, and that is unfortunate for fans of this franchise who were accustomed to getting at least two of them a year until now. This certainly is disappointing news considering that six Marvel related films are being released this year from Marvel Studios, Fox, and Sony and it’s clear that Marvel fans are celebrating that 2018 is biggest year for their brand yet. However, Warner Bros. did not have a lot of control in the matter. The planned solo The Flash film was originally set to release this year but had to be pushed back again after multiple delays such as the departure of directors Seth Grahame-Smith and Rick Famuyiwa and the studio undergoing shake-ups and restructuring the DC Extended Universe after Justice League was a critical and financial failure. This means that 2018 is largely a gap year to get things back on track before getting back into the saddle next year.
Now what exactly are Warner Bros. plans for the DC Extended Universe come 2019? Well, based on the progress of production and development it is clear that Shazam! and Wonder Woman 2 will definitely premiere next year as planned. David F. Sandberg’s production on Shazam! is bolting through production without any behind-the-scenes problems as far as we know. The Annabelle Creation director joined the project in mid-2017 and did not take the time to celebrate getting the new gig as he immediately got to work on writing the story and casting the characters. While Shazam! was announced almost four years ago it began filming late last month and is slated to finish filming and go into post-production in May. Once post-production wraps up the childish superhero with soar on to the big screen eleven months later on April 5th, 2019 as the first DCEU outing of the year but not the only one.
Patty Jenkins’ is returning to direct Wonder Woman 2 which is on the way with Gal Gadot reprising her role as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman from the previous film. Wonder Woman shattered box office and critical last year and sent ripples across the film industry. It was not just the first critically well-received DCEU film. It was also one of the most financially successful superhero films ever made in a post-The Avengers world where several superhero films have grossed at least $1 billion at the global box office. It is not surprising that Warner Bros. wanted to make a sequel for the female directed and female led production a priority as it is slated for release on November 1, 2019. Wonder Woman 2 is expected to begin production sometime in the United Kingdom this summer.
Now where does this leave Gavin O’Connor’s Suicide Squad 2? Well, let’s take a little bit of a rewind for a second. David Ayer’s Suicide Squad was released a few months after the release of Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman Dawn of Justice and established more of the background of a universe that had felt lived-in in Batman v Superman. It explored the public perception after the death of Superman, which the United States government decides to commission a special task force consisting of the “worst of the worst” to perform black operations in exchange for their freedom. The Will Smith and Margot Robbie-led action adventure was a smashing financial success despite it being unable to win the hearts and minds of critics and the general audience. This did not dissuade Warner Bros. from greenlighting a sequel and several spin-offs such as Gotham City Sirens and a solo Harley Quinn film with Margot Robbie set to reprise her role as the mistress of the macabre, Harley Quinn. Most of these projects are still in the early stages of planning and have not fully gone into development but Gavin O’Connor’s Suicide Squad 2 is in the middle of pre-production with principal photography expected to take place at various locations sometime this year. This has all of the makings of an expedited production that implies that Warner Bros. is hoping that they can release the film next year.
If you look at the list of Warner Bros. slate of films for 2019, there are slots that are reserved for untitled “event” films and one of those dates is August 2nd, 2019. This is the most likely slot that Suicide Squad 2 could fill since that is the same month that the original film premiered. It is to be noted that not a lot of big budget films are released in August so there is not any major competition that presently exists and it paid off at the box office in 2017. It most likely will again in 2019, despite people being cynical about the idea of a sequel for it. It is definitely possible for it to hit that August deadline as it’s production is moving at a similar pace to the other two planned DCEU films of 2019. The proposed date for filming to begin in the fall is not too far behind Wonder Woman 2, and it is reportedly going to be a more grounded take that departs from the epic CGI extravaganza that released in theaters two years ago.
Presently, there are no other major Warner Bros. projects set to begin filming this year without having a secured release date, and since Suicide Squad 2 is a big budget blockbuster film it fits the bill for being an event film. Now if Suicide Squad 2 does not take the advantageous August 2nd release date then it is possible that the studio does want to create a four month gap in between releases so as to avoid competing with themselves. Around this time Warner Bros. will be releasing Minecraft on May 24th and It: Chapter 2 in September 6th.
Now based on these speculations it is possible that the DC Extended Universe’s future is looking to be a lot better and more secure than ever going into 2019 and even afterwards. When Warner Bros. announced their planned slate for the DCEU in 2014 at San Diego Comic Con they had initially planned to release two films a year. This was a commitment that they were successfully fulfilling in 2016 and 2017 with Batman v Superman, Suicide Squad, Wonder Woman, and Justice League. However, 2018 at the moment seems to be when they deviate from their tentative plans, which they’ve shown a penchant for doing as of late. As previously mentioned, Aquaman is the only DCEU film set to splash into theaters this year. Even with this and the suggestion that three DCEU outings could release in theaters 2019 it is assumed that the studio is confident in the current slate of DCEU projects. The studio certainly knew that Justice League was going to fail but that didn’t dissuade them and they did not make any alterations to their roster of films within the franchise that they provided us with at San Diego Comic Con that summer. Executives at the moment are well aware that they’ve been cruising along on choppy seas but despite some of the misfortune they’ve had since Man of Steel they believe that they can make the franchise into a worthwhile investment that is both critically and financially successful across the board.
Hopefully, this confidence in the franchise pays off in spades and continues to show everyone that despite having a rocky first few years this franchise can come out on top!
What do you think of this news? Do you want to see three DCEU films in 2019? Let us know in the comments section down below!